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daytime sleeping with 16 week old

(12 Posts)
vezzie Thu 20-Aug-09 14:26:37

my 16 week old breastfed daughter and I are struggling to find a workable rhythm for her daytime sleeps and it is not making her happy. pleaee help!

she sleeps well at night (mostly - waking once or twice typically, not a problem) and wakes up between 7.30 and 8 very cheerful. then she naps again at 9 or 9.30 for 40 minutes or so and again is very chirpy after that till she starts looking like she needs more sleep, around 11.30 / 11.45. She sleeps then, stirs at around 45 minutes and resettles herself, but won't sleep longer than an hour in total. At this point she wakes suddenly with a sharp angry cry and is still visibly sleepy and I try to resettle her - for the past 5 days I have spent up to an hour solidly trying to get her to sleep more, and she will doze in my arms but not in the cot. Whether I give up sooner or later and get her up, the outcome is the same - she seems tired and grumpy for the rest of the day. She will nap again for half an hour looking absolutely shattered at 4.30 or so and will be screaming in exhausted misery by 6 although not really ready to go to bed - she has an innate sleep time of about 7.30 so we start her bedtime routine to fit in with that. Any earlier just frustrates her.

The few times she has slept for 2 hours or a little more at lunchtime she has enjoyed all afternoon and I am convinced it is what she needs. But having tried a really consistent routine for 5 days in a row and not made this happen, I don't know what to do next.

Any suggestions?

Should I try putting her down at a different time?

Should I just treat the 1200 nap like a 1 hour nap, get her up at 1 and try again at say 3?

She does sleep if we are out in the afternoon with the wrap (not in the pram) but it is not the same sort of sleep and doesn't seem to hit the spot for her and she will still be tired and ratty.

I am not trying to force a routine on her, I am just looking for ideas that will help me to facilitate her getting the sleep she obviously needs. but I have to admit that a solution which involves one long nap would be preferable to something more dispersed that would make me pretty much chained to the house. and I think that is what she needs to have a fun afternoon.

Thank you in advance!

vezzie Thu 20-Aug-09 17:18:59


Sorry about epic post, please does anyone have any ideas? Can't cope with the screaming.


bethdivine Fri 21-Aug-09 20:40:01

sorry, no advice, just wanted to say we are going through similar with DD 18wks, except, she doesn't even have the structure your DD has - she'll only snooze through a feed, then wake if I try to put her down, she won't go down without a feed, then grizzles on and off. The odd few days she's setlled well and napped we've all been so much happier. I'm just hoping it's an age thing and she's starting to settle into her own pattern soon hmm. good luck.

littlejackhorner Sat 22-Aug-09 13:28:22

I'm having a similar problem with my 7 week old - she'll sleep for 30 mins (exactly) then wakes up. She's following a similar pattern - sleeps pretty well at night, wakes between 7/7.30am and needs another nap around 9ish. Wants to sleep again around 11.30am/12 ish but have to resettle after 30 mins, again at 1hour but she won't go back to sleep after that. I think she needs 2 hours as is currently v grizzly in the afternoon.

DS sleeps brilliantly now for 2 hours every day between 1 and 3 and has done since he was 1 (he's now nearly 2) but was the same as DD when he was little. It drove me insane but was somehow manageable with the first. Obviously bit different with the second as you can't spend hours rocking/ helping DD to sleep when DS is running riot downstairs!

Any tips????

AnathemaDevice Sun 23-Aug-09 14:12:31

I hope someobdy has the answer to this because I'm having exactly the same problem with my 20 week old DS.
It's got to the point now where he just will not sleep (despite being absolutely exhausted) from about 10am to 4pm. He then finally drops off, wakes up at around 6pm and is then awake until 10pm, by which point I could cry because I've had enough. To make things worse he won't fall asleep while feeding anymore, so I have to spend hours pushing him up and down the living room in his pushchair until he drops off, which I imagine must be driving the downstairs neighbours insane!
This too shall pass, yes?

DrCosyTiger Sun 23-Aug-09 16:05:18

Hi all,

Afraid I don't have any magic answers, really sorry. I had the same problem with my now 5 month old, but did find that things improved markedly at about 4 months. A couple of things that helped a bit:

When my LO invaribly woke after 45 mins, not rushing in to her unless she was really distressed. More often that not, she did settle herself for a further 45 mins after 5 mins or so of crying and then woke up a happy smiley girl. This only started working at about 4 months though and took some persistance. I fear I was in effect doing a version of CC, which is a bit distressing, but it did work.

Putting LO down in the cot at the very, very first sign that she was tired. Even at 4 months this was sometimes only 1.5 hours after she last woke. Once they get over tired, it gets soooo much harder for them to settle.

Making the room really dark through blackout blinds.

I can offer some hope that if you hang on in there it does get better as it did for me - at 5 months my DD is a fairly reliable napper (not always perfect but more good days than bad) having been terrible basically from birth to about 3.5/4 months. I think it just sometimes takes time for longer naps to develop.

Feierabend Sun 23-Aug-09 20:04:21

Very interesting, my 17 week old has exactly the same nap pattern and I am trying to get her to do a longer lunchtime nap! Will watch this with interest...

dcgc Sun 23-Aug-09 20:16:53

Have any of you tried a dummy and stroking their noses (from the centre of their heads to the tip of their noses). I know it sounds weird but it ALWAYS gets my son to sleep. Anythings got to be worth a go...

Feierabend Sun 23-Aug-09 20:46:57

DD2 won't take a dummy but I always use the nose stroking trick. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. The problem is that when she wakes after 30 minutes of napping, that seems to have taken the edge off her tiredness and then she wants to play rather than sleep some more.

AngryWasp Sun 23-Aug-09 23:44:59

Have you tried feeding more?

vezzie Mon 24-Aug-09 12:06:00

Hi all,

Thanks for the answers.

Now her night time sleeping has gone nuts! She hasn't been this awake at night since she was tiny. I am a wreck. She has just napped for 2 and half hours instead of 45 minutes - because she was up all night. I have no idea what is happening now, all pattern has gone. I am completely freaked out that she won't necessarily go back to sleep when fed now, I thought that was the easy option.

I am scared of CC and don't really know what it is but I think I will have to find out so I have somewhere to go with this.

nose stroking trick - isn't it absolutely lovely when it works? It is the sweetest thing.

Good luck with all your tiny sleepy people.

Feierabend Mon 24-Aug-09 16:11:11

Well I had DD2 in the buggy earlier while shopping, and she had a beautiful 2 hour lunchtime nap, even sleeping through her usual feeding time. She's now in her cot again, having her third nap of the day shock seems she's in a sleepy mood!

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