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help please...4 1/2 month old wont sleep during the day

(18 Posts)
romysmum Wed 06-Aug-08 17:42:58

i have posted about this before, but not getting any better!!! she just doesnt seem to be able to switch off. Tried various things over the last month and a half, but she seems to sleep even less. Wont sleep in a buggy or car (will drop off until we get to the destination, but then wakes)today she screamed for a good 1/2 hour as we were out on a walk, you could see in her eyes she is shattered, but wont give in.( I checked nothing else seemingly wrong) she will sometimes drop off in my arms, but then if i go to put her down she wakes and screams. This lack of sleep makes her really grumpy. She has the lung capacity of an opera singer, and a temper to boot!! i am thinking of inventing a sound proof rain cover!!!!!! any suggestions.......anyone..... also one day this week she slept for only 8 hours in 24!!.

posieflump Wed 06-Aug-08 17:45:19

have you tried a dummy?
sometimes the sucking action is all they need to get them to drop off
Neither of mine got into a proper routine with naps until they wre on 3 meals a day at 7 months - that was when the nap after lunchtime for 2 hours kicked in. I let them sleep when out and about in the mornings.

romysmum Wed 06-Aug-08 18:01:46

Yeah we try to use a dummy, and occasionally she will take it, but shes not keen, amazing how far it can be flicked out of her mouth!!!

pudding25 Wed 06-Aug-08 23:09:43

I am sure that you have done this - but are you watching her to see the second she gets sleepy (rubbing eyes, yawning, first grumble) and then putting her down immediately? If you havent done this, give it a go, maybe with dummy at the same time.
If you have already done this, then sorry, I can't think of anything else! I presume that she isnt hungry?

I know about loud crying. My dd has the world's loudest voice for a 12 wk old! if she gets overtired and cant sleep, she gets hysterially loud. It is hard going.

romysmum Thu 07-Aug-08 14:56:09

Thanks for suggestions, i do look out for signs, but maybe i have to try harder!!!

Pinkjenny Thu 07-Aug-08 15:04:16

My dd was like this, you have my sympathies, and once a lady said to me in a shop, 'Good lord, what are you doing to that child, it sounds like you are murdering her!'. shock

Have you tried a sling?

ARAG Wed 20-Aug-08 21:37:37

In the same boat with my 6 1/2 month old. Napping issues since 4 1/2 months. Sucks. I can see she is miserable, but she just WON'T let go and go to sleep (and won't take a dummy, either).

Commiserating.

This is my speciality grin

DS was exactly the same. He spent his first five months screaming hysterically every night because he was exhausted. I really think there was one single piece of advice which turned things around (given to me by a kind MNer, funnypeculiar). She suggested I do anything and everything to get him to sleep for a while. He was totally, chronically overtired, mainly because he was incredibly easily overstimulated and alert and therefore found getting to sleep impossible. The more tired he got, the harder it was for him to fall asleep. So by devoting myself totally to getting him to sleep as much as possible we made up a bit of the deficit and slowly got on top of things.

In his case I had to rock him to get him to sleep, sometimes for the best part of an hour, then he'd fall asleep and I couldn't stop rocking or put him down, I had to keep rocking for his whole nap at first. I sat in a leather office chair which made this easier, and I perfected onehanded MNing grin. He also stuck in a 45 minute nap thing for ages so he had to have a minimum of 4 naps a day like this, and it was a nightmare. However, he steadily got better once we started that and it got so i could lie on the bed and BF him to sleep and then slowly he'd let me lie him don on his side to sleep. Very gradual process.

At that age DS was still ready for a sleep about 45-75 minutes after waking for the day, and he'd still be tired when he woke after that 45 minute nap. So it was a case of rushing round doing stuff before the next sleep. He would often sleep in a sling so I would bundle him up and walk and walk. On the odd days he fell asleep in the pram I would just keep walking round and round until he woke (people thought I was a nutter!).

I honestly think it's all you can do for these babies, aside from really minimising stimulating experiences for them. And often they need something to focus on to fall asleep, so rhythmic patting/rocking is useful.

If I remember anything else that helped I'll come back to you.

ARAG Wed 20-Aug-08 22:40:50

That is a fascinating story, IAte... I'm considering a similar approach with my DD's naps, but I'm scared of forming habits that'll be tough (and necessary) to break in the long-run. Where are you now with your DS's sleep saga? How old is he now?

jennifersofia Wed 20-Aug-08 22:54:55

Consider putting her into a routine, if she isn't already. Basically, I find that my 4.5 mth old can only stay awake 2-3 hours and then she needs a nap. If she doesn't, she gets overtired and impossible to settle. She always complains loudly when we put her down to sleep, but settles fairly quickly and wakes up a much happier baby! I find consistency is the key. Wake around 7, nap at 9-9:45, nap 12-2ish, nap 4-4:30ish, settled 6:45-7ish. This is harder when you are out and about, but can still work if you can lie baby down in pram, make it somewhat dark with something over the hood, etc. Maybe dedicate 3 at home days to try and get a routine going, and go from there.

indigomama Wed 20-Aug-08 23:02:04

Have you tried a baby sling? I have a Kari-me for my 6 month old son. Sometimes if he won't sleep Iany other way put him in and he sleeps. It almost always works. The catch is that you will probably have to wear her or she'll wake up but at least you have your hands free. I've found that sometimes my son wakes if I stop moving but I'd rather have an hour of peace and contemplation walking in the park than sit with him crying at home!

ARAG Wed 20-Aug-08 23:11:44

Jennifersofia... how long is 'fairly quickly'? How long does it take for her to settle? How long before you give in? Or do you not give in?

We're on week 2 of at-home-days. It's getting grim...

jennifersofia Wed 20-Aug-08 23:34:03

Within 5-10 minutes. I have been giving her a dummy, but just recently she seems to be going more in favour of her thumb, so today for instance I sat with my hand on her chest for 5 minutes to calm her down(but not engaging her, 'cos she just gets too excited). I find having her in a darkened space really helps. She is used to this routine, which is why she settles fairly quickly. If I was just starting her off on a routine, it would take longer (possibly having a right old shout for 10-20 minutes, which is very difficult for the parent!) for her to give in to the fact that she is being put down for a sleep. Basically, I would still keep her in her cot but be there, not engaging but pat patting her chest, even if she was really crying.
It is very hard, I sympathise greatly! However, I decided early on that I couldn't be doing with walking back and forth with baby to try and get her to sleep, only to have her wake up the minute I put her down. Once we got into a routine, which can happen relatively quickly as long as you are very consistent, we were all much happier. HTH

baltimore97 Thu 21-Aug-08 14:30:58

ARAG, DD1 would only sleep well (without screaming) in my Kari-Me sling at this age - so can I second indigomama's endorsement of it.

She slowly learned to nap in her cot, but only became proficient at about 1 year old. DD2 is much better at sleeping in her cot, but the Kari-Me is still getting a lot of use.

ARAG, we were so desperate that the whole concept of bad habits was a nonissue. Bad habits I could deal with at a later date when we were all getting some rest - a constantly exhausted and hysterical baby I could not deal with.

As it is he's gradually improved in spite of all the bad habit-generating things we did! He's nearly 13 months and unless he's teething or something else has unsettled him he's having between 2 and 4 hours a day over 2 or 3 naps, and sleeps pretty well at night. He starts off in his cot at night, and then comes into bed with us when he wakes. A good night is 2 wakeups but if we weren't so lazy I'm fairly sure we could have sorted this by now. I could never have imagined we'd be able to put him in his cot and sit with him for ten minutes and he'd be asleep - it seemed impossible once upon a time. He also sleeps well when we're staying away from home and settles for both DP and I.

To the person suggesting routine, I do think this may help babies get the idea that it's time to sleep but I also think some babies need MUCH more sleep than others. As I mentioned, DS was exhausted within an hour of waking at that age. He would then only nap for 45 minutes, and would wake up tired, and therefore the rest of the day would be a series of escalating struggles to get him to wind down and switch off to go back to sleep. I tried really hard to get a nap routine going but basically he needed to get out of the overtired cycle before we could even approach it. Now at 13 months he is desperate for a nap 1 hr 45 mins after waking up. This is unusual amongst his age group it seems but it works for him.

I echo the KariMe recommendations - one of us was always wearing it for a lot of DS's early months, and it was a huge help when we needed to go out with a baby who was constantly in need of sleep.

EllieG Thu 21-Aug-08 21:39:50

I've just got rid of my 4mnts old DD dummy as she was sleeping really badly at night because every time it dropped out, she woke up. She sleeps much better at night now, but daytime naps are a prob so interested to read this thread.

She is gradually getting better (I think) but finds it so hard to soothe herself, and if she gets overtired, which seems to happen incredibly quickly, she will SCREAM and nothing I can do will help. I have found she cries harder if I pick her up when she's like this, as think it over-stimulates her more, so I sit on my bed where I can hear and see her but she can't see me and every 2/3 mins I go to her and pat and shush her, and cuddle if seems needed, until she is calm. It's very upsetting though. I hate to think I am doing any sort of controlled crying, but I do need her to sleep, is good for her, and although I do get her out and about where is easier for her to kip I can't always leave the house when she needs a nap so she has to learn to go down in her cot in the day. Also, I would love to stop her crying, and would do anything, but I can't when she's in that mood. We're getting there, but is a hard road.....

Do you think she will be damaged by all the crying? She seems happy most of the time, but I feel like I have fallen into a controlled crying thing, and I really don't feel comfy with that for a child her age. Don't know how else to handle it though.

Sorry for highjacking thread romysmum

EllieG Thu 21-Aug-08 22:05:38

Oh no have killed the thread sad

Off to do dream feed...come back please...

NK573aca14X11c2087a146 Tue 02-Sep-08 01:52:43

Hi, I have an almost 4.5 month baby boy, and when I was pregnant, I always said I could never let him "cry it out", but lately , almost every day he won't have any sleep at all during the day and is very fussy. He sleeps quite well at night, going down at about 7 and waking at around 2 or 3 am. After this, however, we very rarely can put him back down, so he is virtually almost awake every day from 3 am till the evening.
We have tried to self soothe him, but is hard as we just end up rocking or walking him to sleep.
Any ideas to help with sleep during the day?
I don't want to just leave him in his cot and let him cry, but I am quickly running out of ideas. I follow all the books and have tried almost everything, dummy, feeding, watching for tiredness etc but nothing is working. help please!
Thank you

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