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advice please: daytime napping habits

(15 Posts)
lazyemma Sun 29-Jul-07 17:52:56

I've got into the habit of putting my 3 1/2 month old daughter into her bouncy chair for daytime naps. Yesterday it occured to me that this might not be such a good thing, so I've been trying putting her either on the sofa or in her cot, awake but tired, to go to sleep. Disaster! She starts crying, I pick her up, comfort her, get her sleepy again, put her down, she cries. If this continues she gets worked up to the state where she's pretty much hysterical - not surprising, as by this time she's absolutely knackered as well as upset. Should I continue to try to get her to nap in other places than her chair? If so, what's the best way to do this? Before I got into the bouncy chair habit, if I cuddled and rocked her a while, she would always used to fall asleep in my arms. Then after five minutes or so I could put her down, but I'm aware that this could be equally undesirable in terms of setting up bad habits. Any thoughts?

She's otherwise a good sleeper for her age I think. She goes into her cot (almost asleep) after her 10/11pm feed and usually sleeps through till 6 or 7.

DirtyGertiefromnumber30 Sun 29-Jul-07 17:55:59

I dont know what others will say, but personally im anything for an easy life.

If dd sleeps well at night in her cot then thats the main thing, and if she sleeps well in her bouncy in the day, well, youre quids in!

Mercy Sun 29-Jul-07 18:01:48

Bouncy chair and sofa - not a good idea!

Reasons being; bouncy chair (I assume) is not flat and therefore not good for her back and she could easily roll off the sofa.

OK, my dd was a terrible napper until she was 5 months old so I understand your problem! I would go for the rocking/cuddling/falling asleep in your arms option and then put her in her cot - it's the best option, and they don't neccesarily get hooked on that as the only way to sleep ime. 5 minutes is good going tbh.

Oh, and yes it's amazing that she sleeps so long at night.

How many naps during the day?

DirtyGertiefromnumber30 Sun 29-Jul-07 18:04:38

im sure she would be ok in the bouncy for short naps though?

lazyemma Sun 29-Jul-07 18:11:25

Thanks guys.

Mercy - I know the sofa isn't a viable long term option, but it's a big wide sofa, and at the moment she doesn't move really when she's asleep. And I'm always in the room with her when she's kipping anyway. What you say about the bouncy chair is spot-on though, that's why I'm thinking it might be better to get her out of the habit now. And it has become a habit already, which I think explains her consternation when I put her down elsewhere - she's all "what? this isn't where I nap! what's going on?"

She takes about 2 or 3 naps during the day, but it varies. She's not in any sort of napping routine. She often wants a short doze in the morning about 2 hours after getting up and then another one at about 2 or 3 in the afternoon, and again in the evening if she's tired.

lazyemma Sun 29-Jul-07 18:12:47

though of course hopefully, eventually, the "nap" in the evening will turn into her proper going to bed time.

Mercy Sun 29-Jul-07 18:21:01

At such a young age you will be able to get her out of a habit (even though it won't feel like it at the time!)

I'd really try and get her into the cot for all naps tbh - even if you are cuddling and rocking for some time. But you can do it gradually - it doesn't have to be the full on, hard-line approach. She's only tiny

As I said, dd was 5 months before she slept at anything approaching regular times during the day (ds was younger). And you get them into a routine and then they change again - aaaarrrrrrrghhhhhhhh.

Erm, swaddling, dummy, extra feed? Good luck, you'll be fine!

Vmama Sun 29-Jul-07 19:05:55

I'm interested to read this thread my DS is 5.5 months and has always been difficult to get to sleep in the day yet sleeps through at night from 7-7ish. He goes down for his first nap in his cot no problem but it's the subsequent naps that are a battle. I've been trying to do a routine with him -pull the blinds when I walk in the room -give him a cuddle then shush him in his cot. This used to work a bit though he'd often start crying and i would pick him up settle him and repeat. Now though he just won't settle and screams every time he goes into the cot -it's so weird as he's fine in the morning and at night so I know he can get to sleep himself. So then I started wondering if maybe he'snot tired -despite yawns/rubbing eyes etc. Yesterday I battled him for 2 hours before ending up with us both in tears then it was feed time so I fed him and of course he fell asleep on the bottle! I put him in his cot and he slept for 1.5 hours which was his longest nap ever. So am wondering if maybe he's changing to have just 2 naps a day one in the AM and a longer one in the afternoon -can anyone advise?

He's always been a super alert baby and has always been happy even on just 2 or 3 half hour naps a day but at the moment he's a nightmare at naptime. Have just started weaning (2 weeks ago) so am wondering if this has upset him or if he's teething?? All advice welcome I'm getting desperate!

Mercy Sun 29-Jul-07 20:49:57

Vmama, all babies and children change their nap times as they get older - I'm afraid you just have to go with the flow! (for example my 6 yr old has recently dropped an hour off her usual sleep time, but at 6 she can read to herself, talk to herself or whatever it is she does in her room)

I certainly wouldn't battle for 2 hours (been there!) but just let him sleep when he wants to, he'll only sleep when he's ready tbh. You can gradually introduce a routine if your baby doesn't have one of its own. And all babies like different routines. For example, dd at 6 months had one very long sleep every afternoon, whereas ds had one morning and one afternoon sleep. Same number of hours though.

At least your ds sleeps 12 hours or so at night!

Vmama Sun 29-Jul-07 22:05:36

Mercy thanks for your reassuring post -I find your attitude so refreshing. Just had big argument with DH about this he thinks I'm getting too stressed about it all because I'm trying to follow the books instead of just going with the flow. He's right of course but sometimes I don't know what I'm supposed to be doing and I just want to make sure I'm doing the best by DS. I'll probably look back and laugh in a few years but it doesn't seem that funny at the mo!

when you say about going with the flow -do you mean I should carry on going out and about with him and just let him fall asleep when he needs to? He always sleeps in the carseat or pram if I'm out I just worry that he'll never sleep in his cot in the day and that will make life difficult for me and other care providers (eg MIL)

FrayedKnot Sun 29-Jul-07 22:14:27

Lazyemma Ds slept in his car seat / rocker thing for the first 2 months and then progressed to a bouncy chair until he was about 5-6 months

He wouldn;t sleep flat at all during the day so it was that or on my lap.

I then started putting him down in his cot for naps (after a nice BF in the dark in his room), and he would usually sleep pretty well.

Afaik it did absolutely no harm to his back - he cruised and walked early. I know what the advice is, but I would never have got a cup of tea or a meal cooked in those days if I hadn;t done it.

I woldnt worry jsut yet. perhpas you could try a padded playmat? I know loads of friends babies have had their daytime naps lying on the floor!

And the bad habits thing is a myth.

MegBusset Sun 29-Jul-07 22:26:26

Lazyemma my DS went through a stage around the same age as yours when he would only nap in his pram or the bouncy chair. Now at 5 months he naps in his cot fine, but i think the bouncy chair was a good transition because in the early days he had to be in my arms or on the move. So it got him used to sleep without motion (or mummy) and now he has been consistently cot-napping for a month or so. I would say it is worth doing because then I can get on with other stuff (or have a lie-down myself) but only when your LO is ready, certainly don't feel you have to force it.

lazyemma Tue 31-Jul-07 07:37:23

thanks so much for your posts, ladies - I'm reassured, both that it isn't the worst thing ever that she's napping in her chair, and that I'll hopefully be able to persuade her to switch to her cot in future.

Mellin Tue 31-Jul-07 07:55:53

I wouldn't have survived without a bouncy chair for the first 6 months of dd's life! From birth she would only sleep in a sling or on me, then she progressed to sleeping in the bouncy chair and then around 6 months starting napping in her cot.

I wouldn't worry about where she naps at this age, just as long as she is getting regular sleep during the day. I know I was stressed at the time that I was setting up bad habits etc, when I should have been grateful that she was sleeping at all! I think if you really quizzed people you would find that lots of babies under 6 months don't nap in their cots yet and are sleeping in pram/sling/basket/car seat etc.

gerbo Tue 31-Jul-07 16:29:53

Hi lazy emma - I'm in a similar situation in that my dd (15 weeks) finds it tricky to nap anywhere, especially out and about. At home, she's started kicking up a real fuss (also getting hysterical when put down in her cot as if she knows it's coming...) just as I place her in her sleeping bag for a daytime nap but I find singing the same nursery rhyme quietly and doing lots of 'shushing' usually works - although sometimes she gets ina right state and it's a battle - know how you feel!

All I can say is - have tried methods from both popular baby books (you know the ones!) and after lots of beating myself up about her not doing what she 'should' I'm trying really hard to try combining following my instinct with going with her flow - easier said than done, though, I know. Chin up - it must get better!!!

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