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3 month old naps(9 Posts)
So my 3 month old has only just started sleeping in his cot at night - huge progress after 10 weeks of only sleeping on me. I've realised the importance of daytime naps for nighttime sleep and we have a very rough nap routine of:
Mid morning - 1 hour in bedroom on me after feeding.
Lunchtime - pram nap (or baby carrier) - can be anything from 30 mins to 1.5 hours.
Late afternoon - sling nap for up to 2 hours.
At the moment I don't mind the fact that all naps are 'assisted' but would gradually like to transition him to napping independently in his cot / bassinet as I am pretty trapped for a few hours a day! (I know slings are brilliant but in all honesty I can't get that much done when wearing it, albeit I am mobile). Trouble is, he really fights his tiredness and won't settle anywhere other than the above places (and the car seat, we have recently discovered).
When and how should I be trying to get him to nap in his cot? Is it unrealistic at this age? Should I just be making sure he naps in whatever way I can at this point? I feel like every day is just a mission to make sure he gets enough nap time!
Oh, and should I cap nap times if they go on over a couple of hours??
I’d start with the morning nap. Can you feed lying down? I used to feed my Dd to sleep lying down, then get up and leave her to it. Would that work for you? She didn’t do long naps at that age, but she had lovely long naps on the sofa as a toddler after a feed (we had a big folding out sofa so it was as big as a bed, so no rolling off, and I couldn’t leave her upstairs as she had sleep apnoea so I had to be able to check her breathing regularly)
Some babies find independent sleep harder than others. My Dd needed a lot of assistance to nod off, but my twins are completely different from her (and interestingly from each other despite being identical).
Oh, and pram nap - I used to find if she got past the first sleep transition (around 30 mins) then she didn’t need the movement anymore and I could park the pram in the sitting room and get on with stuff. Did take her a few weeks to get used to that though.
I think 3 months may be a little bit early - I generally find putting them down for naps starts getting easier somewhere between 4-6 months depending on the baby! I would try to start with the morning nap as baby will most likely not be overtired and you can be quite consistent with it. You will probably have to get him to sleep and lie him down once he has gone to begin with, but as time goes by you can try and settle him to sleep in his cot instead. It takes its time - I think we "started" working on naps around 4 months but by 7 months he was self settling in his cot for 2 naps a day!
I agree the morning nap is the one with most potential to be easiest to transition him into cot from or at least away from me. I never got the hang of side lying feeding, but I think there are other ways I can move him on to the bed rather than my chest.
The pram naps are really frustrating at the mo as he more often than not wakes after the first sleep cycle and then he's too distracted to go back to sleep. I have bought a snoozeshade in the hope that might help!
I also have a 3 month old and have been trying to do the same. We are making progress where she will do her morning nap in cot (30-45 mins) and then the next nap - sometimes 2 hours but that’s rare! We started by doing a nap routine... sleeping bag on, book, close curtains, white noise and rocked/shh until asleep then put down. If woke up, either picked up and did it again or shh/pat her. It basically didn’t work at first but consistency is key and we kept gradually putting her down more and more awake. Still have days where it all goes to crap but have definitely seen improvements!
Totally randomly DS slept in carrycot in the house yesterday for 2 whole hours after DH put him down in there. I was flabbergasted and didn't know what to do with myself lol! It felt so liberating! I have no idea why he slept - poss because we'd had more time outdoors than usual?? Fresh air tired him?? I'm sure it was a one off fluke (DS is currently having morning nap in sling after getting cranky and not settling) but it has def given me an incentive to start trying harder to put him down to nap... thanks for your suggestions @lpc123 !!