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7 week old just will not nap...

(9 Posts)
iloveavocado Wed 08-Jul-09 16:53:57

For the first 5 weeks of his life, my ds slept really well pretty much all day, waking for feeds every couple of hours and going back down no problems.

At 5-6 weeks he went through a growth spurt, was feeding constantly and got really grumpy. He also got colicy and really began to get troubled by wind. He stopped sleeping at all through the day and nights started sleeping for 2 hour stretches, sometimes less and really struggling to settle back down after a feed. Usually we take him in our bed so we can all get to sleep.

Now he's 7 weeks and I'm at my wits end. I just can't get him to nap in the day. I create all the right conditions and he's just about to go off, then his eyes ping back open. I start the process off early, as soon as he seems tired, feed him till he's really sleepy, down in his moses basket and he's suddenly wide awake. I've tried a dummy but he just spits it out, white noise, taking him in the pram (he cries), a sling (he cries), rocking him, feeding until he's actually asleep... But with anything just as he is getting off his eyes ping back open and he's alert.

Night time isn't too bad. He goes for 1-3 hours and we sometimes have him with us, sometimes he can go on his own.

Yesterday and today I spent 2 hours trying to get him to get some proper sleep until I was so frustrated and he's only ended up with an hour both days. 2 hours feeding, head stroking, shushing, holding dummy in mouth, just as I think I've cracked it and his big blue eyes are staring at me once again.

At the end of the day he's overtired. He needs more sleep. What can I do?

TOK Wed 08-Jul-09 17:33:57

I really feel for you, its hard going in those first few months. It sounds like you're trying everything. When he is awake during the day, is he in a good mood or does he get grouchy, do you think something is bothering him? Swaddling worked for my DS and placing him in a completely dark room. As a last resort I would lay down with him next to you, if that works, as you need your sleep as much as he does at the minute. Have you spoken to your health visitor about it? Might be worth a try. Sorry I couldn't be of much use. Make sure you are getting enough rest though because things always feel ten times worse when you are tired too and that'll be no good for either of you. Speak to your health visitor and hopefully someone with experience of this will be able to offer better advice soon. Good luck xxx

pulapula Tue 14-Jul-09 10:17:34

Sorry I don't have any wonderful answers but i am interested to know if anyone responds so am bumping this for you - I am struggling with getting my 9 week old to nap - same sort of thing, looks like he's falling asleep or will be in a deep sleep then will wake himself up. He will however nap in a sling (with dummy) or on my shoulder (once he's fallen asleep feeding or with his dummy), but I would like him to nap without me, as I have 2 other DCs too and i would like some time to myself!

runningmonkey Tue 14-Jul-09 10:22:48

No answers either but sympathy, am having the same problem with my 5 week old.

appletiser Tue 14-Jul-09 23:11:28

did u get on top of the colic? maybe its that? if ds does that i lay him on me on his tummy - it seems to settle him and then when he is in what i think is deep sleep i swaddle him and put him in moses basket - also use infacol.. anyways hope it helps

littlelordfauntleroy Wed 15-Jul-09 09:59:13

I really feel for you avocado. i was in the same position 4/5 months ago. My LO could go ALL day without sleeping and then it would take us a couple of hours of screaming to get him to sleep at night. it was horrible, as it was so obvious he needed to sleep and was getting so overtired that he was completely wired and just couldn't relax enough to sleep - but he just found everything SO stimulating he just could not switch off. Eventually i got to the point where i would drive around for hours a day (he always slept in the car - cost a fortune in petrol and my sanity tho!), and then feeding/cuddling in a dark room for the duration of his naps (i was spending up to 5 hours a day sitting in a dark room!) Lord knows i tried to get him to sleep in other ways, pram, co-sleeping, bouncy chair etc etc but nothing worked.

But it was worth it to have him happy when he was awake, and it also helped his nighttime sleep (he'd fall asleep quickly at bedtime and for longer periods - this soon changed mind you, but thats another story!)

Now he's 7.5 months, we've got the naps sorted but it took a lot of time and hard work. Hindsight is a great thing and theres a lot of things i wish i'd known and things i would do differently next time.

Things that eventually worked for us include, swaddling, white noise (radio static quite loud, now we're using a fan which is quieter to try and wean him off it!), dummy, and dark room. I was so disappointed in myself that i had to use all these things as i'd always imagined my baby would sleep anytime anywhere, and i used to look at my friends in disbelief when they went on about black out blinds and having to have naps at home rather than out in the pram while mummy lunched or met friends for coffee. But look at me now.....

I also kept cuddling him to sleep for a while before putting him down, and gradually, put him down awake but still cuddling him, until eventually we can now put him down awake but sleepy and he will drop off (without 5 hours of cuddling!)

One thing i've learned now that i didn't know then is that some babys (like mine) get tired after a set period of time, and if you leave them any longer, then they become overtired and are much harder to settle. Mine is currently on a 2 hour cycle *raises eyebrows* which can be quite restrictive but i'm praying will get longer soon! It took me a few months to figure this out, but i just kept an eye on his natural rhythm for several weeks - he would start to get cranky almost exactly 2 hours after he last woke. But looking back, i can see now that when he was smaller, he really needed a wee snooze every hour or hour and a half. At the time i thought this was ridiculous and so we would keep him up for 2 or 3 resulting in a totally wired wee boy!

I'm not saying that any of this will help you, or that your LO is the same as mine - but you never know ! maybe something might help !

I also had a quick read of the baby whisperer book recently and thought that i could maybe have benefited from reading it earlier as theres a chapter about baby sleep up till 5 or 6 months or something - i don't know if anyone has used it and could recommend it for you ?

nappyaddict Wed 15-Jul-09 10:48:08

Have you tried waiting til he has been asleep quite a while before putting him down, rather than putting him down as soon as he has gone to sleep?

AitchTwoOh Wed 15-Jul-09 10:56:31

do you have a sling? something like a kari-me or a moby?

vix273 Wed 15-Jul-09 20:35:51

I would also recommend reading the baby whisperer. It suggests routines for you and has a good sleep section in it. I have always put mine to sleep in the dark awake. Swaddling helped alot as they didn't flap there arms and legs about. There's no text book baby, just perservere with what you are doing.

Good luck.

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