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9 week old won't nap

(12 Posts)
confusedfirsttimemum Sat 20-Jun-09 18:01:43

Hi, I am hoping for some Mumsnet wisdom on my 9 week old's sleep patterns.

From birth, she has been a good sleeper at night. She is generally only up once in the night - around 3am - and goes to bed around 7:30/8pm. Sometimes she'll wake for the day about 5:30, other days it's as late as 7am. To go to sleep at night she is swaddled and has her dummy, but is usually left to fall asleep on her own. When we go to bed, she is taken out of the swaddling and rarely stirs. After the feed in the night, she just drops back off.

I realised I am lucky with the nights, but the problem is the daytime. She point blank refuses to nap during the day. By 5pm she's red-eyed and furiously overtired. Yesterday her total nap time was one 45 min nap about 9am and two 15 min naps later on. She screamed solidly for about an hour before her bath and her eyes looked so wide and red she looked almost drugged.

When she was first born, putting her in the sling worked, but it has ceased to do so and she spends her whole time trying to watch what's going on. The pram is the same (and she gets even more furious if you try and block out what's going on by putting something over the pram). She seems to hate being rocked to sleep and won't normally drop off if I'm in the room (although once in a while she'll take a 15 minute nap with her dad). We've also tried swaddling her, closing the blackout curtains and putting her down with her dummy (same routine as night).

Does anyone have ANY suggestions? She's such a sunny baby in the mornings, but the afternoons are becoming a nightmare because she's so overtired. Does anyone else have babies who were like this and sorted themselves out?

drivingmisscrazy Sat 20-Jun-09 18:50:14

yes, yes, yes. DD (now 5 months) was very like this - pretty good at night (but harder to settle than your DD by the sound of things) but woeful for napping in the day. White noise helped for us (hairdryer, radio static etc). But I have to tell you that the only thing that really worked was time - we're still working on lengthening the naps, but she pretty reliably goes down at about 8.30, 11.30 and 3ish. How long do you let her stay up after her morning wake-up? We found/find that she needs to be back asleep not much more than an hour after that - so nappy change, a bit of a play, feed and back to bed. We also found keeping a sleep diary very helpful in identifying patterns (so there was a sleep around 11.30 and one around 1, which we soon realised should actually be consolidated into one nap).

I'm going to say this very quietly, but we also found that she often went after a few minutes of crying (I mean a few minutes, time it). But you might not be comfortable with that - I don't like it, but it seemed better than her being horribly overtired.

SO I don't really have any answers, but much sympathy - it's really hard work, and just feels like you spend your whole day putting the baby to sleep, only for her to wake after an incredibly short period. Shushing and patting might help, or staying with her at first.

drivingmisscrazy Sat 20-Jun-09 18:51:13

ps I think it should be can't nap rather than won't - she's probably as desperate to sleep as you are to have her sleep.

confusedfirsttimemum Sat 20-Jun-09 19:32:18

Thanks. It's helpful to know that some babies do improve naturally with time. I keep wondering whether it is something that I need to do or it will never happen IYSWIM.

Point taken about can't!

confusedfirsttimemum Sat 20-Jun-09 19:35:31

Oh, and yes DD goes down for a nap about an hour or 90 minutes after getting up. It's the only nap of the day we reliably get her to take - although it's often only half an hour.

We tried the crying once, to see if it was a grizzle leading to settling. It wasn't. After 5 minutes it was a full scale screaming fit and we went in and picked her up again. I wouldn't mind a little cry if it was winding down, but it winds up. Then, as soon as you pick her up, she's all smiles and wide awake!

Sleep diary is a good idea.

drivingmisscrazy Sat 20-Jun-09 20:56:31

elizabeth pantley's no cry sleep solution (there's also a no cry nap solution book too - I'm desperate a sucker) is helpful, though it sounds like your DD does escalating crying, winding herself up, whereas mine mostly cries to settle (but not always). Also a first timer. Tricky little buggers darlings, aren't they?

What does she weigh, and is she breastfed?

confusedfirsttimemum Sat 20-Jun-09 22:06:45

She weighed 12 Ibs 4 when weighed at 8 weeks. She was 9Ilbs at birth, so she's always been a big baby!

She's exclusively breastfed and only tends to go about 2, sometimes 2.5, hours between feeds in the day. I figure she's constantly stocking up for the long night stretch.

The book sounds interesting, but does it suggest wind-down crying? DD is definitely escalating!

drivingmisscrazy Sat 20-Jun-09 22:11:54

book doesn't discuss either type as she doesnt believe in crying hmm. A lot of folks would envy you your long night stretch envy me included as DD still not that big and goes a max of 5 hours between feeds at night. If we time this well then that's an 11pm and a 4am which isn't too bad

confusedfirsttimemum Sat 20-Jun-09 22:19:52

I do know how lucky we are with the long night stretch, and I am grateful for it every single day. It just doesn't help that much at 5pm when DD has been screaming for 45 minutes, her face is screwed up and red and she only stops to take long gulping breaths! I know it's overtiredness because on the odd day she has a couple of good long naps (not happened for at least a fortnight...) she's a different baby.

Do you rate the nap solution book, or does the sleep book cover everything just as well (bit suspicious of these spin off books)?

Thanks so much for your help so far. You're right, they're tricky buggers darlings. Feel a bit bad as DH often walks through the door just at the point where I am at my lowest ebb for the day.

drivingmisscrazy Sun 21-Jun-09 10:35:48

I wouldn't bother with the nap book AND the other one, either would do you fine. It's all common sense, anyway and what you're doing more or less.

It's tough, but it will get better. Now I am off to stuff give her a bottle. Something else I wish I'd dealt with before now you live and learn

confusedfirsttimemum Mon 22-Jun-09 15:26:40

Really appreciate all your input Drivingmisscrazy. Think I'll order the nap book. It's discounted on Amazon at the moment anyway...

Has anyone else out there been through anything like this too?

ScaredOfEverything Tue 23-Jun-09 21:42:02

HAve you tried taking her for a walk before bathtime? I only have one DD so taht is what I do everytime she seems overtired, but appreciate is tricky if you have more than one child. GOod luck.

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