This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Confused about naps for babies under 6months(24 Posts)
I don't know how dense I'm being so please forgive me if I'm being daft (blame new mum lack of sleep slowness!).
I had LO 8 weeks ago. She's a great night sleeper - she sleeps 4-6 hour stretch, wakes up, feeds, then another 3-4 hours.
She is TERRIBLE at naps. I want to focus on improving her naps - she won't nap on me for long - maybe 20 minutes until I move or some noise wakes her up. Sometimes I swaddle her and put her down and manage to get a 40 minute nap out of her but they are few and far between. We end up at the stage where she's so overtired she starts to fight naps hard.
All the health advice I have read says baby is to sleep in the same room as me for the first 6 months, including day time sleep. But all the advice to improve naps says baby should be in a pitch black dark room, swaddled, with white noise - like night time sleep... so am I meant to sit in the room with her while she naps? In the dark? 3-4 times a day?
I am confused! Do you leave baby in their cot for naps?
Any help would be very appreciated!
Also - just to add. At night time sleep she is also great at putting herself to sleep. I put her down awake and she's usually asleep in >10 minutes without any tears. For naps, she is the opposite. Lots of bouncing, patting and feeding to sleep required for not much nap time!
My six week old tends to fall asleep on the boob during the day and stay asleep a couple of hours if we're on the sofa. He also sleeps in his pram. We don't get as long at night as you do though!
Sounds like youre both doing great!! And it sounds like she has FOMO bless her. Everything is too exciting for her to sleep so she just wants to sleep at night time when it is boring. As for naps, no you dont have to sit in a darkened room with her, obviously dont let it be uncomfortably bright, just make sure shes safe and warm/cool enough. I used to put a podcast or the washing machine on with mine and that helped a bit.
Keep doing whatever it is that youre doing!
@roarfeckingroarr Thanks for replying! Yes I'm very happy about her night time sleeping - I wouldn't be bothered about her napping if it wasn't for her becoming this grouchy overtired goblin towards the evening who can't be soothed for love nor money! It doesn't usually effect her night time sleeping though.
@Doublebubblebubble Yes that's what I was thinking! She's just becoming so interested in everything over the last week or so and its making napping almost impossible!
I always worked on the objective of getting my DD to know the difference between nighttime sleep and day time naps.
Day time she would be in a bouncer or sleepyhead in the living room with me, white noise toy but the curtains open/tv on etc. Night time was pitch black with white noise accompanied by a bedtime routine of bath/bottle/song etc.
It took a long while but she eventually got there. The most important thing is deciding what you want to do and how, but be consistent. If you change things up every few days or weeks it'll confuse everything and you'll have to start from scratch.
Also, mine always slept for no longer than 45 minutes at a time for naps. That only changed when she went down to one nap a day and she'll have between 60 and 90 minutes. Some babies just don't nap for that long!
@MaMaD1990 Thank you - I've been trying different things to see if I could find something that works but I think you're right I need to be more consistent with what I do.
More often than not I swaddle and white noise but she's in a bright room downstairs with me, so I'll continue with that!
Hi op, sounds like you’re doing a great job. The guidance I read was different - I was told (as with pp) that you need to get baby to know the difference between day and night, as they have no idea when they’re first born (think it’s the circadian rhythm?)
So day naps were downstairs with tv or background noise in a bouncer or carrycot (or cuddles on me!). Where are you putting her for naps? X
Some babies are terrible tho - my DD used to have days where she wouldn’t sleep for HOURS in the days. I remember walking her round in the pram for 90 minutes trying to get her to drop off. The neighbours came out and asked if I was alright . You’re not alone, you’ll get there!
Have you tried going out for a walk with her in the pram, assuming she can lay flat? That was a good way to get ds to sleep when he was tiny. And if she doesn’t sleep then fresh air can’t be a bad thing!
@MindatWork at the moment she's downstairs with me where its light and bright - either in a snuzpod bassinet or on me. But she cat naps. Some are literally 5 minutes and then shes wide awake and I can't get her down again. Its like she's too distracted to sleep!
I read the same, but think because her night time sleep is quite good and she gets good stretches at night her circadian rhythm is kicking in (although I'm very aware that could change - but her night time sleep has been quite consistent since about 3 weeks old!)
Ah bless her - to be honest I know it’s frustrating but I would take good nighttime sleep over daytime naps any day .
Some babies aren’t great mappers unfortunately. It may all change though - just when I though I’d nailed it with DD it all changed so I’d enjoy you’re good sleep while you can!
Just to add that personally I wouldn’t go down the pitch black / deathly silent route as that isn’t sustainable either for you or her come the spring / summer. Learning to nap when life continues around you is a good skill for both of you otherwise you’ll be tied to the house and lurking behind the front door for fear someone rings the bell! Her naps are your downtime!!
@Szyz2020 I have tried that - it's very hit and miss. Sometimes she'll snooze for 40 minutes, sometimes she'll scream her head off cos she's overtired and won't stop till I'm home and shoved a bottle in her mouth (even if she's not hungry/its not been long since her last feed!). I've taken to baby wearing which definitely soothes her more as she rarely cries but again she doesn't nap all that well!
@MindatWork Yes I definitely prefer it this way round! And will put up with the crap naps if it would effect night time sleep ha!
@Szyz2020 I agree! Some days it just feels quite desperate when she's only slept 60 minutes of 3 20 minute naps in a 12 hour period and she's inconsolable!
My boy is 9 weeks and a. Bad napper, although getting better.
He was going 4 or 5 hours with no sleep, and then only sleeping for 25 minutes. It was rough.
I use an app called huckleberry. I mainly downloaded it because I had a crap memory and could never remember how long it had been since he'd last had a bottle. I use the app to log all feeds, nappy changes and sleep.
Once he hit 2 months, the app starts telling you what the 'sweet spot' is for naps. So it can tell how long his normal wake windows are (his being on average 1hour 10 minutes on a good day) so it will tell me to try to get him to sleep anytime between 1 hour and 90 minutes. I've found that his day time naps have gotten better by following this, although we still struggle with length as he'll either nap for 20 minutes of 3 hours and there's no real pattern.
Its definitely worth having a look at
@Ajahd Yes I have this app - although she's 3 days off being 2 months at the moment so I just get generic 'sweet spots' so far. Hopefully it will help!
Definitely feel you with the not remembering. I use it to log pumping because I have no clue when I last did it.
Naps are important. Try getting a longer nap by being in buggy, even if it's just round the house till she sleeps. I personally wouldn't be in the same room as a napping baby unless there is a medical issue. My two had naps in their Moses basket in their big cot....gradually progressing too big cot and no basket. Same at bedtime, 7pm, in Moses in cot and when I went to bed I'd take them through in Moses beside me for the night, by 4 months they were in own cot all night with baby monitor by my bed as they outgrew Moses basket. Put them down awake for nap....at 8 weeks probably after being awake for 1.5 hours.....try for 3 naps during the day.....usually the more sleep they have the better they sleep at night and no grumpy baby! Some days it won't work but when it does you'll be so glad of babies naps and getting a chance to do your own thing!
@spotlovesbedtime She doesn't really nap in her buggy either - I'll get the same amount of sleep if she's on me - max of 40 minutes but usually 15-20. Buggy naps are hit and miss as sometimes she won't nap and will just cry until I pick her up.
I will try putting her down for a nap and leaving her when the baby monitor I've ordered comes to see if it improves anything.
I offer naps after she's been awake between 45 minutes and 2 hours, depending on how sleepy she gets (I go off her yawning, rubbing her eyes, etc).
@Mindatwork - this made me smile. I remember saying "she can do what she wants in the day as long as sleeps at night!!".
That's brilliant that your LO sleeps so well at night! I found it helpful to pay attention to the wake windows rather than the nap times. When they are so young they can only stay awake for a very short amount of time and if they go past this they can build up the awake hormone and that can have a knock on effect. Once I managed to get my LOs 'sleep debt' down her naps began to improve. It took a week or 2 maybe. I bought a white noise machine from Ebay and turned it down and put it in her crib. She slept fine in a light room and any other noise was cancelled out by that. It sounds like you are doing a really great job. There are no quick fixes to baby's sleep but you are on the right track. Just be flexible and dont let it stress you out or get consumed by it x