Page 2 | Nap refusing 3 month old - we're both miserable!

(43 Posts)
MrsK2021 Mon 19-Apr-21 17:29:34

FTM to DS - 3 months old. Night sleep generally ok; usually 2 wakes between 7-7. He wakes up in a good mood, smiley for about 20-30 mins and then ...
he is miserable, from then until bath time. Once the sun is up he refuses sleep completely and is then chronically over tired. I now barely leave the house because of the meltdowns and feel like I have PND or very close to at this point.
I have tried - putting him down at the first sleepy cue, or after 45 mins, after an hour, after two. Being baby led / working to a routine. White noise, blackout blinds, cooler / warmer temp. Same cot as night time sleep / different cot. Ewan the sheep, red light, no light, daylight, rocking, shhing, patting, cuddling, feeding to sleep (always awake at the end but no longer hungry), the pram (sometimes works for 20 mins but then wakes up grumpy) always clean nappy, clean clothes, swaddled as per night time sleep, no tv or other distractions, taking him out for fresh air, not taking him out incase it's over stimulating, playing with him or not playing with him, swing chair (tolerated but doesn't lead to sleep) sling inward facing and outward facing (hates it) car - hit and miss but always wakes as soon as I stop and is more miserable. It means that if I do go out I usually have to leave early as he will meltdown, so I'm now scared to do anything with others as I don't want to ruin their day nor is it enjoyable for me, and instead have resigned myself to spending all day, every day alone, either walking or stuck in a dark room trying to get DS to sleep. I feel so useless, am concerned mine and DH* relationship isn't going to survive and would be so grateful for any advice sad
(*DH works long hours at stressful job, helps when he can but the issue is daytime and he's not here)

OP’s posts: |
FATEdestiny Tue 20-Apr-21 20:08:08


Ive tried the bouncer this morning. Unfortunately he hates it and has screamed until holding his breath each time, so I've then had to get him out and comfort him sad I thought worst case he might at least sit in it and give me a break for 5 mins but that's not happening, let alone sleep. I have tried holding the dummy in his mouth for over an hour but he doesn't attempt to suck it at all. Am waiting for calls from HV and GP re potential silent reflux/PND. The only sleep he gets now is when he cries himself out and sleeps for 20 mins out of sheer exhaustion sad

I have tried holding the dummy in his mouth for over an hour but he doesn't attempt to suck it at all

Sounds like he (and you) might benefit from a dummy sucking lesson. It's physically impossible to cry while simultaneously sucking, so the key here may well be establishing active sucking.

So the dumny should never, ever just be passively stuck in baby's mouth. If it is, take it out and start again.

When putting dumny in to the baby's mouth, think of all the ways you are taught to get baby to latch onto a breast, and do similar.

So tickle baby's cheek with teat so they turn their head and seek the dummy with their mouth. Similarly tickling baby's upper lip also triggers a 'reaching^ reflex with the mouth towards the teat.

Just like you never just shove the nipple in for breastfeeding, and there is an art to learn for latching. It's the same with dummy. It needs to be actively sucked to serve any purpose, not just be in the baby's mouth.

When baby is reaching and seeking the teat with their mouth, aim the dummy upwards to the roof of the mouth to stimulate sucking, not back to the back of the mouth.

You want baby seeking for and sucking it as soon as it goes in. If that doesn't happen remove and repeat because it's not worked, there is no point keep trying if baby is not sucking. So start again. It may take a lot if practice for some babies to "get it", just like breastfeeding. But if you keep trying, you will get there and it gets easier.

Once dumny has been reached for, taken and sucked - if baby stops sucking then tapping on the outside of the dummy triggers the sucking reflex to start again. (This won't work if baby is hungry tho). It's not unusual to need that periodic tapping to keep baby self soothing on the dummy if grumpy and over tired.

As I said, all these things take time and practice though. Don't be at yourself up if it doesn't happen straight away. Just keep going, keep trying. It takes about 3 weeks if consistency to see lasting changes. flowers

Piccalily19 Tue 20-Apr-21 20:43:18

11 week old DS was the same until a couple of weeks ago, I spied some advice from fatedestiny on another thread someone posted and then bouncy chair trick worked wonders for about a week until he got wise to it.
We’ve refined our tactics a bit now so I’ll share what we do, I think you’ve tried some of it but might be worth a shot.
1- cosy bed- we tumble drier a blanket for 5 mins and tuck it over his mattress so it’s warm. First time we tried this he fell asleep the second he hit the blanket he was that overtired. We were gob smacked. Never happened that quickly again mind!
2- put his mattress on the floor. This is more for me as it’s comfier for me to sit on the floor next to him on dummy watch than it is to reach over a cot edge. I can sit scrolling on my phone and it keeps me calmer and makes time go quicker. Plus he seems to like the space- think he found his Moses basket cramped as he likes to wave his arms about. Obviously please don’t do this if you’ve got pets or anything, don’t want anyone coming for me for this suggestion 🙈
3- dummy. Like fate destiny said it’s a must. Our boy didn’t like it for ages so I started him off sucking my little finger and now he’s mostly good with a dummy instead. I find pointing it towards the roof of his mouth and loosely holding it in place until he takes it does the trick. He does sometimes spit it out after a bit but as long as he’s sleepy looking and quiet I don’t put it back in.
4 - white noise. I use “sleep o phant” on Spotify but anything you can put on your phone and turn up loud. Also found the shower or hairdryer helps calm our boy down too.
I normally do all this, sit down and get comfy, try to avoid eye contact and don’t do any speaking other than shushing noises to stop the crying, I also don’t touch him apart from dummy holding as I find any patting seems to wake him up.
We do feed, change, play and the second he lets out a second fussy cry he’s straight onto his sleep routine- normally by 1.5 hours max.
Sorry for the ranting, hopefully something might be of help to you ☺️

Aliceandthemarchhare Tue 20-Apr-21 20:45:40

Mine couldn’t breastfeed either so I don’t know if there’s a correlation sad

He’s been awake since half five this afternoon. I am starting to despair!

Piccalily19 Tue 20-Apr-21 20:51:28

@Aliceandthemarchhare my baby is mostly breastfed and as my post above said he was a nightmare with both sleeping and a dummy until about 1/2 weeks ago so don’t stress yourself on that factor x

Oly4 Tue 20-Apr-21 20:52:12

3 months is tiny. Will baby sleep on you while you put your feet up with the TV? Until six moths all my babies only napped on me or in the pram . They wouldn’t sleep in the cot til after 12 months.. it was exhausting even trying

Aliceandthemarchhare Tue 20-Apr-21 20:53:59

Mines a fair bit older though piccalilly (4 months) and he’s been awake for nearly four hours now.


MrsK2021 Tue 20-Apr-21 20:57:58

Thank you @FATEdestiny - I didn't really know there was a technique to it (DS has always been FF so hadn't thought about how to get a baby to latch onto breast). Will give it another go now I know what to try...and persevere!

OP’s posts: |
MrsK2021 Tue 20-Apr-21 21:25:37

Thanks @Piccalily19 - I like the idea of the warm blanket will give that a go. Can try suggestion 2 as well as no pets smile White noise we use and it certainly helps at night but not in the day for some reason

@Oly4 DS is an independent little thing and hasn't wanted to sleep on me or DH since he was a week old - other than jab days! He only likes to be carried around so he can have a nose what's going on, he's not a big cuddler at all (unlike all my friends babies)

OP’s posts: |
edin16 Tue 20-Apr-21 21:30:29

If reflux is suspected and you will use the gaviscon there's some other stuff you can do too.
Raise the head of his cot a little.
keep him upright after a bottle (sling is good for this)
What kind of sling do you have? Could you get a wrap instead, it can cradle them better. You could even do some skin to skin while he's in it.
7oz is a lot for his age with a reflux baby, could you do more smaller bottles?
Consider changing him from the carry cot to the buggy with an insert to cradle his head. You can lie them mostly back but it will still keep him a little upright.

Gaviscon might make him a little constipated so make sure you're doing daily tummy massages and leg cycles and if you suspect it then get some lactulose from the gp.

Gaviscon gets a bad rep but I think it's really good. If it's not for you there's also omeprazole but that can be quite difficult to give to such a young baby.

I know you said about not switching formula but have you thought about the c&g comfort?

If it is reflux then he's not going to get instantly better with the gaviscon. It will make him feel more comfortable but his oesophagus will need a few days to heal.

FATEdestiny Tue 20-Apr-21 21:45:04

7oz is a lot for his age with a reflux baby, could you do more smaller bottles?

It is, I'd not noticed that being mentioned. PP spot on there, they are massive bottles for a 3 month old (esp one with reflux).

I'd definately suggest moving to 2 hourly daytime feeding, as a way to reduce the amount per feed.

A decent daytime cycle structure to your day would be to include one feed and one nap in every 2h cycle through the day. That would help with sleep structure and reducing feeds. In fact if you did the full feed upon waking and top up feed (what's left in the bottle) upon going to sleep an hour or so later, you split each feed up into two too.

MrsK2021 Tue 20-Apr-21 22:50:44

Thanks @edin16 He's a big baby and has always taken large feeds for his age. HV/GP have said it's fine as he is staying on his centile smile I think my confusion comes from him happily taking the same oz bottles at night and going straight back down confused

The sling is a wrap, he's just not a close contact cuddly baby (trying not to take it personally hmm ) The buggy is a good idea I didn't think about that at his age, and I will use some lactulose alongside the Gaviscon, thank you for the tip

I had read not to use comfort formula alongside Gaviscon due to the thickness, perhaps what I saw was incorrect.. there is a lot of conflicting advice out there!

OP’s posts: |
CooperLooper Tue 20-Apr-21 22:59:06

This might sound daft, but put YouTube on your TV and search for Hey Bear Sensory and put the funky veg video on. I don't know a single baby who isn't quietly mesmerised by it!

Maverick66 Tue 20-Apr-21 23:09:19


You really are having a tough time thanks
My grandson was like this.

After many trials and tribulations he was diagnosed with silent reflux and CMPA .

He takes baby dose of omperazole first thing and he is on nutrimegin formula (prescription only) . He was a different baby from being diagnosed.

He always slept better in his car seat and never could lie flat in his carrycot or co sleeper.

Hope this helps and good luck.

Oly4 Wed 21-Apr-21 08:54:24

I just wanted to say you can tie yourself in absolute knots with all the advice.. it can be stressful wondering what to do for the best.
At the end of the day, it may well not matter what you do. In my experience, young babies don’t nap much during the day. By six/seven months you will have a different - more settled - baby!

MrsK2021 Wed 21-Apr-21 10:57:04

@CooperLooper thanks that bought me 5 minutes this morning to get dressed grin

Thankyou @Maverick66 our GP has asked us to try the baby gaviscon for 3 weeks then she will consider something like omperazole, good to hear it worked for your grandson though, if DS does move onto that smile

@oly4 That in itself may be the best advice of all. I'm feeling so low from trying unsuccessfully to "fix" things. Will still persevere with everyone's really helpful advice and tips, but might just have to accept it's more of a waiting game, like you said flowers

OP’s posts: |
Oly4 Wed 21-Apr-21 11:26:03

It’s true. Some young babies are just incredibly unsettled and hard to deal with.. then they are replaced by cooing, sweet as pie older babies. Don’t lose your precious sleep over this. You’re not a bad mum or doing anything wrong. It will pass and it will get better

Lovinglifeand Wed 21-Apr-21 11:54:47

Reading your posts have brought back all the memories of my first baby and how impossible it was to get him to sleep in the day. All he did was cry and feed. I just want to reassure you that it really doesn't last. At 6 months old we bought a 'baby walker' and he was able to move himself around and do things. He changed overnight into a happy baby, squealed each morning when he saw the walker as he loved it so much. We laugh about this now because he still loves wheels except now he is an adult it is a sports car. I never was able to get him to sleep during the day and ended up going for an hours drive each day. I made friends with other mums who lived an hour away and would drive to visit (so he'd sleep an hour there) then enjoy a day with them and drive an hour home (another nap). I was very envious of mums who were able to just put their kids down to sleep in the day. Whatever works was my motto when mine were young. Don't worry about getting other things done, they can wait a few months xx

MrsK2021 Wed 21-Apr-21 12:48:28

@Lovinglifeand That was such a lovely message thank you flowers DH was actually saying he thinks he's frustrated at not being able to get around, so hoping a walker might be a turning point for us too. Your story gives me a bit of hope for the next few months after this morning's 3 hour whinge-a-thon!

OP’s posts: |

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in