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Am I doing something wrong?(7 Posts)
Ds is 4 months old and has slept through the night since about 6 weeks old (touch wood it continues) but day time naps are impossible he used to nap on me or in the pram but now he just screams no matter what I try to do and will eventually nod off for about 45 minutes at a time. I know there's a regression around the corner so could it be that. I've also noticed as soon as he's in a deepish sleep at night he spits the dummy out but won't for naps. Shall I just wing it and hope for the best?
45 minute naps (1 sleep cycle) ate part and parcel of the 4 month sleep regression. Quite normal and the way to avoid over tiredness is to reduce awake time between naps. 90 mins awake window is about right for 45 min naps.
Then practice linking cycles by always trying to resettle at the end of the nap. This is best done if napping in something that moves (bouncer, pram etc). When first stirring dumny reinsert (or tap to encourage sucking) and restart rhythmic moving.
Dummy staying in past the first 10 mins of sleep is an indication baby isn't getting into the deep sleep phase (when muscles relax) so is staying in a light sleep. Most likely cause is over tired sleep deprivation causing restless sleep.
He has been napping for 45 min since he was about 8 weeks old. He usually falls asleep after an hour of getting up in the morning but still doesn't spit the dummy out then and he has about 5 naps throughout the day. I've also tried resettling him nothing works no amount of rocking the pram will get him back to sleep. Only way he goes back to sleep is if he's fallen asleep on me and I rock him.
45 minute naps at 8 weeks also isn't unusual, dont worry. Just make sure that you keep awake time short between naps so that baby doesn't get over tired.
When I mention baby staying in a light sleep because of being over tired, I mean over an extended period of time - like over the course of several days/weeks. So if baby has a nap 1h after waking in the morning (which is usual) and still doesn't get into a deep sleep, it's not because in that moment he isn't overtired, it more means that over the last 48h (or more) he's not had enough sleep.
Being overtired had significant effects on sleep quality, it's why reducing awake times when naps are short is very important.
As for resettling to lengthen naps, its a case of practicing. Certainly don't expect a resettle to work initially. The idea is that you always try to resettle but don't expect it to work. Very occassionally it will though. Then you keep trying and the times it's successful gets more frequent until most naps are resettled. Then you work on reducing the input needed to resettle until no help is needed and baby stays asleep without input.
Only then (when no input is needed to extend independent naps to 90 mins plus) would I move naps into something stationary. Until then, naps in something that moves allows for movement to extend the nap (or attempt to), which makes it easier to extend.
Non independent naps (ie naps on you) are much easier to extend but they will take your journey to independent sleep backwards. So baby will find it much harder to ultimately learn to nap independently (and even harder still to link sleep cycles independently) once used to sleeping on you. If you are working towards independent napping, then don't underestimate the amount of work and input needed to help baby learn that - it is much more labour intensive on your part than contact naps.
He's certainly overtired today he napped 20 minutes in the morning (health visitor was out) then he must have napped about 30 minutes between going to the park for almost 2 hours then grabbing some shopping on the way home. Then screamed because he realised he was no longer in the car so he fell asleep on me for his usual 40 and he's not long gone to bed and will be up early tomorrow. I've noticed if he doesn't have a very good morning nap then it's pretty much no napping for the rest of the day.
Does giving him a bottle right before bed make it more difficult for naps when he doesn't get one? He will very rarely fall asleep feeding, though once put down awake he falls asleep quickly after he thinks it's hilarious to pull his dummy out his mouth a million times and eat his hands.
Should have said I'm really trying to cut down how much he falls asleep on me, I need to get things done when he's napping cause the house is a tip and I have a 5 year old to entertain.
Does giving him a bottle right before bed make it more difficult for naps when he doesn't get one?
It doesn't make it more difficult. But it is establishing full tummy being necessary for sleep, which us not a useful or helpful association to have.