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Daytime naps for a 4month old - aaaargh!

(11 Posts)
gerbo Mon 03-Sep-07 14:46:15

Help! My dd is 4 months old now. She sleeps fairly well at night (7-11, then feed, then 1130-around 5-6am). The big problem is daytime sleeps - they're all over the place. I breastfeed every 4 hours (7,11,3,7,11) and she just seems to take around 45 mins-1 hour naps here and there, with no structure/reglarity. Some days it's as little as 2 or 3 45 min naps. Occasionally she'll go down for an hour and 15 or an hour and a half. According to Baby Whisperer she should have two or three hour-and-a-half naps a day - !!!! How can I get her to take longer naps? When she has hardly any sleep, she's a cross, grumpy baby by 5pm and it's a tearful bedtime at 630 or 7!!! Makes for a stressful couple of hours. Need I worry? Or should I (as my husband says) be grateful that she's pretty good at night?

PetitFilou1 Mon 03-Sep-07 16:26:34

If you want her to have structured naps you need to teach her to have them when you want her to have them. This is going to be contentious but I found Gina Ford useful as I used her routines as a LOOSE basis for mine. I also had the Baby Whisperer and found that adapting both styles to make one that worked for me, worked. You are very lucky if she is going four hours between feeds btw, my two never did!
However, if you can't do staying in the house at the same times of day every day then you are probably better off just going with the swing of things.

PenelopePissedup Mon 03-Sep-07 16:28:57

tbh I think you are doing fine! just let her keep deciding when shes tired...

how are you going to get her to sleep for longer?
wont this involve waking her up???
It could affect how she sleeps at night!!

The babies havent read the books...they dont know the rules...
every kid is different!

puffylovett Mon 03-Sep-07 16:38:15

do you wait for her signals of tiredness ? and get her into her cot fast ?

i was on the same feeding schedule loosley.. we did - feed 7am. back to bed 8am. get up anytime between 9 and 10. then down for a nap BANG on 2 hours after he woke up. usually slept from an hour to 2 hours depending on how tired. then had a short nap about 3.30 / 4ish - with the key being not to let him sleep past 5pm. so it sounds like the same amount of sleep really, just spaced out through the day so they're not too knackered come bedtime.

it was the 2 hour thing that did it for me - once i realised that, i could see his signs as clear as day.

of course it's all changed now he's 6 months !

but once we'd established that, i could then start going out and about more, just as long as he was in his buggy for his long lunchtime nap and buggy or carseat for the short afternoon one !

HTH

puffylovett Mon 03-Sep-07 16:39:46

sorry, meant to make it clear - you shouldn't worry, just keep an eye out for her signals and maybe try the 2 hour rule ?

MegBusset Mon 03-Sep-07 19:38:22

Would say not to worry about the longer naps, 45min-1hr is pretty good! At this age my LO was only taking 30-min naps. Now he has naturally evolved to taking a longer lunchtime nap without any coercion from me. And I would kill to have your night-time sleep!

Please ignore what the books say... just a recipe for stress imo. But would second the idea of working out how long your baby can happily stay awake -- probably 1.5-2hrs -- and make sure you can put her down around this time as soon as she starts to look sleepy.

yomellamoHelly Mon 03-Sep-07 19:54:36

Will echo puffylovett's advice. My ds2 never looks/acts tired, but keep him beyond 2 hours and he deteriorates fast. Then he also has real problems drifting off and everyone ends up miserable.

gerbo Tue 04-Sep-07 10:41:48

Thanks for the advice! I am watching for tired signalas which are usually a yawn or the first rub of the eyes. I tehn put her straight down in the cot and she's usually good at falling asleep.

Here's a question though - she has one nap between the 7 and 11 feeds, and one between the 11 and 3 feeds. BUT if she doesn't get one between 3 and bedtime she's really super ratty. I try to make her sleep around 4/340 for 30-45, but she often just won't and googles and talks in her cot, or resists with crying. Any ways of helping he take some sleep in this end of day slot??

To be hoenst, I'm getting really fed up of worrying about this and may soon call a day on stressing!!! We don't half worry about this stuff - maybe there's something to be said for going with their flow and seeing if she just evolves into longer naps........very tempting! I mean, how did our mothers and grandmothers cope without books? But the 'organised' side of me likes some structure - argh!!!

puffylovett Tue 04-Sep-07 21:52:42

i know exactly where you're coming from ! in our grandmothers day though, we were shoved at the bottom of the garden in the pram and left to cry it out while they scrubbed the front step and put the washing through the wrangler grin i suspect we have too much time on our hands and use it to worry about being the perfect mum with the perfect sleeping baby smile

i usually take ds and dog for a walk at this time and he naps in his buggy. or i make sure if we're out and about that i am driving when he's due to have that particular nap. basically my rule of thum is that if i'm out, i must be home for 5pm to wake him, as he will always sleep in the car - otherwise i jsut have no chance at getting him down decently at 7.30 !!!

also make sure its the 2 hour thing again - eg is she wakes at 1.30pm, feed at 3 and straight down for a nap at 3.30. used to work for me.

hey, by the time she's 6 months, i might have some more sensible advice for you cos we're all change again over here !

specialmagiclady Tue 04-Sep-07 22:21:04

I think it sounds like you're doing AMAZINGLY! And in my experience, the worst thing you can do is try and mess with things when they're going this well.

Really, ahe's a VERY, VERY good sleeper for her age. It might be worth wheeling her round the block in the pushchair for the late afternoon nap, or just letting her sleep on the way home from somewhere for a few minutes. But don't stress. You're not going to get a baby that never cries. Much better that she's a bit ratty in the evening when she's about to go to bed because she's tired than you stressing about spending 30 minutes getting her to go to sleep for 20 minutes while she screams.

Well done, you're doing brilliantly. And I'm afraid your husband does have a point.

gerbo Thu 06-Sep-07 09:33:58

Thanks ladies for your words - it's so good to hear another voice......when you're in the middle of it it becomes the biggest thing ever, when really it's not that big a deal!!! I should count my blessings (even if that little blessing has decided that she will now wake up and coo and goo at FIVE THIRTY AM every day - what's that about?!?!?! Will stop stressing and try to enjoy what's going on.

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