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How do you get 3 month old to nap without waking and crying??

(35 Posts)
Muse84 Mon 05-Feb-18 16:10:12

Well first of all, how do you get them to nap in the first place?!

I only just put two and two together to realise his constant daytime grizzling/shouting is tiredness (I thought boredom OR overstimulation 😳). But when he suddenly dropped off just now I had a lightbulb moment.

So I want him to sleep but he won't. I'm flexible with timing and location, not looking for a routine. Just for him to sleep when tired

Then... Once he is asleep...How the hell do I keep him asleep beyond 30 mins without waking and immediately crying? It's so disheartening

He's such a good boy and nights at fine thank god. But his constant shouting and lack of apparent outward happiness is making me miserable. And while I love him dearly, I'm not enjoying being around him at the moment. Just fed up.

(Oh he does sleep in pram when out but I can't pound the streets in the freezing cold three times a day)

user1493413286 Mon 05-Feb-18 21:40:28

I found its much easier to get my DD to nap if I catch her before she gets grumpy as once she’s overtired it takes a lot longer.
It doesn’t need to be a firm routine but at that age babies can normally only manage 2 hours awake at a time so maybe start trying to get him to sleep at that time whether that’s rocking, a dummy or cuddling.
If he wakes up after only half an hour try to soothe him back to sleep but don’t worry too much if that’s it for him.

HopeAndJoy16 Mon 05-Feb-18 21:50:48

My LG would SCREAM and SCREAM at that age, I knew she was tired I just could not work out how to get her to sleep when I spotted the signals. We finally nailed it around 4months. For us we would swaddle or tuck her in to a bouncer/rocker/pram nice and tight so she couldn't flail her arms, pop a dummy in and rock/bounce/push whilst shusshing. We would do this religiously 1.5 hours after she woke up. She would only ever sleep for 30-40 minutes at a time. She's only now at 9 months starting to go longer for some occasional naps. We made the mistake of trying to do a city break when she was 4.5months, it was so stressful trying to get her to sleep whilst also sightseeing and trying to enjoy our break!
What helped was having a few days where I just stayed at home all day so I could "train" her to nap in this way. And it was such a massive relief when we cracked it, it was so miserable listening to her scream all day whilst I tried what felt like everything to get her to settle only for her to wake ten mins later!
Have you tried white noise? Didn't help us but have heard it works for some?

Muse84 Tue 06-Feb-18 20:49:41

Thank you!

I think the problem is that he has started to catnap during the daytime

My new plan is to feed him regularly (every 4h) and catch him before he gets overtired to try and get him to nap. I use a Ewan and a white noise app on my phone. I'm trying not to turn it into a big routine that really ties us down (Ie only sleeps in pitch black room in cot).... We'd never leave the house! But maybe that's what's required? We have a very strict nighttime routine which ha working for us so far...... Thank goodness

FloralSocks Tue 06-Feb-18 21:05:41

Honestly you need a routine. It will be so much easier. You don’t have to be mega strict with it, but the problem is babies will get tired and cranky but won’t necessarily know that going to sleep will help to make them feel better, they need you to help them with this. At 3 months the baby probably needs 3 naps per day, the first one 2 hours after waking, then a big one over lunchtime and then a late afternoon nap to see them through till bed time.

FloralSocks Tue 06-Feb-18 21:08:08

Once they’re in the routine they know when it is nap time and can nap on the go. Get a snooze shade for the pram. If we’ve had a busy week out and about sometimes the routine goes to pot, and I know I need 2-3 quiet days in the house being strict with the routine and then I can go out and about again. I try to always be home for the morning and late afternoon nap but often we are out during the day

FunnysInLaJardin Tue 06-Feb-18 21:12:28

long time ago for me but i remember if they were pulling their ears it was time for a nap! Nothing worse than an over tired baby

teaandbiscuitsforme Wed 07-Feb-18 08:25:15

You might not get longer naps at this stage but you can make them more frequent. Keep awake times to 60-90 mins and then it's time for a nap. If you don't want to be tied to the house, use the nap time then get somewhere (walk in pram/sling, travel in car etc)

Muse84 Thu 08-Feb-18 13:22:47

So we had a good day yesterday because I made sure he got three reasonable naps...though two were in buggy and one in arms. However his personality when awake was much brighter and happier so I know he needs his sleep.

Nights still good

But today- argh! Every nap in pram has abruptly ended with a scream, after 15-30 mins (he was in pram because I was taking him to a class). It'll usually start when I go indoors and/or pram stops.

I was in a shop earlier for one of these wake ups and people were staring blush but I knew what would happen-as soon as he's outside the screams stop immediately. And there were never any tears!

My mum is suggesting that he's manipulating me a little bit I don't believe it at this age. However I am careful not to create associations or immediately jump to him when he does this. But I am not prepared to contemplate the CIO alternative (or let's call it screaming it out). Pain has also been suggested (teething, colic) but I strongly believe this is not the case given how and when he cries.

Why god why is he doing this? He was the perfect perfect sleeper until a few weeks ago (now 14 weeks). I wish he'd just BLOODY SLEEP instead of acting like he's being tortured!!! sad

For what it's worth, I'm starting to make a record of his daily activities to see if I can identify a pattern

Any help much appreciated

FortheloveofJames Thu 08-Feb-18 14:14:07

Hes certainly not manipulating you. He’s a tiny baby with needs, not wants at this age. He’s faaaaar to young for any sort of sleeping training. I know it’s hard when they are a nightmare to get to sleep during the day but Short naps are developmentally normal for his age and as he gets older they should lengthen. Is there anyway he will nap longer than 30 mins? Have you tried a sling, I always found I could get longer that way and it was handy. My DS was the same and I did whatever I needed to to get him to nap longer, which meant going for walks in the sling or holding him the whole time. What I also did was every few days try to put him down in the cot for a nap and see what happened. Eventually he would go 45 mins and then it’s just got better from there.

InDubiousBattle Thu 08-Feb-18 14:26:35

He isn't trying to manipulate you. When babies are very tiny they need milk, warmth and to be near you and generally if those needs are met they sleep. As they get a bit older they need active input to sleep, for some it' movement, some it's milk, others it's white noise etc. At 3 months my ds napped one of two ways; in my arms after milk with a dummy- if he stirred he would latch on again have a bit more milk and fall back to sleep and in the buggy with a dummy. Sleep associations are not necessarily a bad thing of they work. Does he have a dummy?

InDubiousBattle Thu 08-Feb-18 14:28:02

Also, feeding ever 4 hours seems infrequent to me for 3 months, ds was fed every 3 hours and dd every 2 hours at this age.

Muse84 Thu 08-Feb-18 16:15:23

Thanks all, I may just do what I need to ensure he gets enough sleep over the course of the day. This seems to be walking with pram which is no bad thing!

I have a sling but he's less keen on it than he was a few weeks ago. I use it now if he's so overtired he can't sleep.

Dummy- no luck though refusing bottle (breast milk) for last couple of weeks too. Was only giving it to keep him used to it as EBF....but apparently that didn't work out!

Re feeding every 4h...this is a general guide and I'm following his cues. I had been feeding on demand and getting the boob out every single time he grizzled before now.

I just don't understand why there are so many sources of information saying "don't give them lots of sleep aids, they won't self settle" and "don't breastfeed them to sleep, they'll never get to sleep any other way". Why all the worst case scenarios that make you worry you're creating a little (cute) monster?! It's so confusing and stressful as a FTM

TeddyIsaHe Thu 08-Feb-18 16:23:15

If you’re breastfeeding he needs more feeds than 4 hourly, breastmilk is digested a lot quicker than formula, so 2 hourly feeds are more likely.

He’s probably hitting the 4 month sleep regression (google it) so his sleep will be off for a while yet. Feed him lots and try not to stress about it! Easier said than done I know.

Buglife Thu 08-Feb-18 16:29:07

DS was like this, they need to sleep however and wherever you can make that happen, and at 3 months they won’t just sleep when they are tired! We ended up rocking and dummy. Also he slept longest and beat on me so that’s what I did at least one nap a day (usually more!) until he was much older. Probably about 7-8 months! Sling naps and buggy naps as well. He never slept alone in a cot/Moses basket until about 9 months old. But when he was rested and slept at least every 90 mins he was a delight when he was awake. I soon realised sleep was the key and if my life was all about getting him to nap for a while then at least we didn’t have screaming. Dummy and sling was the best for us.

Amatree Thu 08-Feb-18 16:31:08

At that age my DS was the same-30 minutes and bang he was awake. So he took four and occasionally five naps a day. I worked on a two hour max awake time and he usually needed pram to nap so I would time trips out so he'd snooze on the way there and back. Luckily as he's got older he sleeps happily in bed and naps have lengthened. He's 14 months now and have one sleep of about two hours at lunchtime which is soooo much easier to work around than the continuous power naps a year ago! I really do feel your pain but I think you just have to go with the catnaps until he grows out of it.

Amatree Thu 08-Feb-18 16:32:36

Reading your post reminds me that my entire life used to revolve around his napping needs at that age, I was obsessed! Failure to nap meant such hideous evenings that I put a lot of energy into ensuring they happened...20k step days were common! It will pass though smile

Muse84 Thu 08-Feb-18 17:41:11

Thank you! Advice and your own experiences make me feel so much better

He's feeding as I type, having woken up from a really cosy 45 min nap in my arms (I was asleep too!) suddenly full-on crying inconsolably. It's almost like he's not fully awake as he's not really looking at it registering me. This kid does not enjoy waking up, the closest that j can liken it to is that he's having nightmares

I'm so glad to know others went through this and came out the other side!

teaandbiscuitsforme Thu 08-Feb-18 18:20:23

Getting boob out for every single grizzle is absolutely ok with EBF babies. Don't read stuff that says otherwise!!

Ven83 Fri 09-Feb-18 01:15:29

We went through the same, it's really so frustrating. Started when he was about 8 weeks old I think, went for the next 2 months. Then I tried lying down on my bed with him and feeding him to sleep, and he started doing 1+ hour naps that way. He's 4.5 months now and still catnaps when he's anywhere else but cuddling on the bed with me. I just accepted it and use that time to get some rest myself. I don't worry about sleep associations etc. If it becomes a problem, we'll find another way.

DryHeave Fri 09-Feb-18 01:19:22

I’m with you. I can get him down for 45 mins at 8:30am. Then I’ve taken to doing a really long walk in the morning and he’ll sleep 10:30-12:30 in the pram. This sets him up for the rest of the day and the afternoon he’ll catnap and sometimes I have to feed him to get him to have some snooze time at the breast. I’m hoping the walking will also help with the excess(ive) baby weight!

FloralSocks Fri 09-Feb-18 11:31:47

It could be nightmares, that would make sense with what you are saying. How heartbreaking sad poor little sausage!

Assume you’ve ruled out any common medical issues that can cause these symptoms such as reflux or a dairy allergy? Eg if he has reflux perhaps 15-20 mins after he lies down his milk comes up and the stomach acid burns his throat? Could it be that? Just a suggestion, perhaps you’ve already ruled that out.

Muse84 Fri 09-Feb-18 12:52:34

Thanks again!

Floral- definitely not reflux or colic happily, quite confidently ruled this out 👍🏻

Dry heave- I'm sorry you're going through similar but good to know we're not alone!

And ven, you're right... If it becomes a problem it's not insoluble! I have thought that before (God knows I see enough terrible sleepers on those terrible nanny programmes! Not that we'll ever get to that!!)

We've had a great day so far. Two naps of 30 mins on his terms and he woke up happy from both. Earlier he wouldn't be put down and I was like "please just let me dry my hair so we can go out!" Then I realised he needed to feed and nap. So I lay down and napped with him which I have never done. Happy baby again, currently sitting playing for a little while on his own (for the record my plans to go out were very loose, we'll just go out later. Had it been to meet people I would have washed hair much earlier and let him nap in pram on the way there). I just have slightly crazy hair now!

So I think we'll go with the flow and desperately try to ignore anyone who says I'm spoiling him. I'm still able to get out and do what I want/need to do. And he still sleeps like an angel at night, allowing us to have an evening alone.

Sorry for lung slightly boring post! Just feeling a bit more positivesmile

teaandbiscuitsforme Fri 09-Feb-18 13:40:21

You can never spoil a baby! Nobody would ever look back on having a baby and think 'well I shouldn't have cuddled you as much!'

I would always recommend trying to nap with him as much as possible. I still get one cosleeping nap a day and mine are 13mo and 2.9 years!

theotherendofthesockportal Fri 09-Feb-18 13:55:59

I have found my people! DD is 17 weeks old today and will only nap for 30 mins in the day. It's impossible to get anything done, I see bottles and washing mounting up sad

The last couple of days she is refusing to go to sleep at all, and is fighting the sleep and getting very angry. She has been awake since 7.30 with a 15 min snooze whilst she was driven home from a group.

The screaming with rage because she is tired makes me feel stressed and anxious, I know baby crying is intended to do this to mothers biologically. Following this thread for useful tips

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