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6mo feeding to sleep - nap nightmare - please help

(12 Posts)
katechristie Thu 15-Oct-09 11:20:01

DD is still feeding to sleep. I've been loathe to impose a routine on her, as was hoping she'd settle into one herself, but at 6mo I'm wondering if a gentle nudge in the right direction might be in order now. She has no consistent wake time in the morning, she can be awake for the day anytime between 5-7am, so it makes it very difficult to know what time to put her down for a nap - and she's not one of these babies who you can say "within 2.5hours of being awake she needs her next nap" - it all seems to depend on how much she fed at night and how much sleep she got - sometimes she won't feed on waking first thing if she's fed at night.

She still relies on the boob to fall asleep in the day, and although I feed her and then take her upstairs for her nap, often of course, she wakes when I put her in the cot, either straight away, or a few minutes later (sometimes she will have a decent nap there). Given that she's 6mo, I'd just rather settle her into having 2 decent naps now, but how how how do you get a baby to settle themselves when they've been used to falling asleep cosy on the boob???

Can anybody help me form a plan to sort this out as it's getting me down, DD can't be that happy with such crap naps and DS is getting very little quality time as I promise we'll have stories etc when DD is asleep, then the next minute she's up again. When i then try to re-settle her she's wide awake and then passes on in to the hell that is over tired and I usually end up resorting to the car (luckily DS is obsessed with finding ice-cream trucks stuck in the mud like Dora and thinks caravanettes are ice-cream trucks - we live on the coast, so he loves going out for a drive grin). please please any tips most welcome - especially if you've sorted this out yourself.

(Oh, I'm all booked-out after DS, and have no inclination or time to read anymore baby books - just good old-fashioned this works advice is something I'm craving! Mum FF us, so always says oh I'd put her on the bottle if I was you- it's much less bother. MIL barely speaks to us and my sis and friend don't have babies. the only friends i have who have babies either FF or their children are 10+ now so they can't remember anything practical.)
Huge thank you for reading this epic and any words of wisdom you can offer smile

tinierclanger Thu 15-Oct-09 13:30:53

Have you tried a bit of a routine process (even if you don't have routine times) with the naptimes? So when she shows some sleepy signs, or just after she's been awake 2-3 hours, sit down with her on your knee, read a story, sing a song and then pop her into the cot.

If she doesn't settle on her own, you could start by doing your 'routine' then doing whatever it takes to get her to sleep, feeding or rocking or whatever, then after a couple of weeks, seeing if she'll start to settle without the sleep prop.

Will she sleep in the pram?

katechristie Thu 15-Oct-09 15:55:43

thanks, I suppose the routine is that I change her nappy, feed her, then take her up to her cot. When that doesn't work, I generally end up taking her back downwstairs as she usually gets so woken up by then, plus DS will be at the bottom of the stairs shouting hurry up mummy if I'm too long up there, so he ends up waking her if she hasn't woken herself.

that sounds a good idea, I will try it tomorrow and of course, DS can get involved with the story and song so he doesn't feel it's all her, esp if I choose songs and stories he knows and likes too. then I'll feed if all else fails, but keep being consistent. Like today, I did actually leave her in the cot when she woke herself after a couple of minutes, she was chattering away (even though it had been 4hours since she got up!) the next minute, she's crying as has rolled herself over on her back and jammed her legs in between the cot bars! - note to self, gro-bag as part of routine from now on.

She was settling in the pram, we even bought a Phil & Teds in the end, as DS wasn't giving up his pram just yet and she was getting too heavy in the carrier when also pushing a pram. It really gave me a boost, made getting out easierr and I started putting her in it for naps in the house, but then it started taking 30m to get her to sleep or longer and she'd start really crying (she's very LOUD!) so it wasn't going anywhere - plus somebody would always knock the door loudly if I got her off or the cats would come along and wake her up, so I figure it just has to be upstairs in the cot now. Even when we go for a walk now, she will grumble rather than drop off, so I really need to teach her gently sleep is good, she's just at the stage where the world is too interesting, so she'd rather look around than sleep.

tinierclanger Thu 15-Oct-09 20:00:17

It is hard isn't it, and must be so much harder when you have another to look after too. Your idea of getting DS involved in the story sounds like a really good one. It does sound like maybe she just needs a bit of a wind down and to be aware that sleepy time is coming.

The routiney bit is what we did with DS, who was used to being rocked to sleep, and it actually worked surprisingly quickly - the first couple of days I rocked him, then started putting him down sleepy, and eventually I would just pop him in after the story and he would roll over and stick his thumb in.

Took months before he would sleep for more than 45 minutes though but that's another story! We still take him for his afternoon nap in the pram every day though - for some reason that one's got locked down to the pram but I don't mind, it's good for us both.

katechristie Sat 17-Oct-09 18:08:33

all started off well yesterday, then she came out in hideous cold over night, so it's all to pot today - I'll restart on Monday when I'm hoping she's better. thanks for the suggestions, it's all so simple when you think about it, but when you're wrapped up in it can't see the wood for the trees at times!

tinierclanger Wed 21-Oct-09 12:32:41

How is it going?

katechristie Thu 22-Oct-09 21:59:20

hi, only just logged back on today. well, it started off well, I got some special books we'd read together and thought DS could sit in his room with some new sticker books whilst I settled her, but she took an age to settle down - DH said she was looking sleepy at 8.45 as he left for work having got up at 6am, - it was 1.20pm before she slept in the end!!! am living on my nerves at the moment, resorted to the car in the end.

DS was at nursery on weds and she settled in the chair in the living room for an hour, so am now thinking of ditching the cot idea and thinking a new routine for downstairs instead, which involves me and DS in the kitchen with painting etc. aaaaggghhhhh!!!

tinierclanger Fri 23-Oct-09 13:02:35

Remember nothing will work immediately, you will have to persist for a few days so don't give up on the cot right away. Maybe you were a bit late getting to her and she went through the sleepy zone and came out the other end...!

katechristie Sat 24-Oct-09 12:07:32

yes, I've been trying the cot for a month now, but not with the new routine as you suggested, so will try and persevere this week keeping things the same every day and see how i get on - thanks so much for your support smile

naomilpeb Sat 24-Oct-09 13:26:51

I just wanted to commiserate katechristie as we went through this exact same thing with DD (now almost 10 months), although not with a DS to contend with too!

What I found worked was starting by feeding her to sleep for a morning nap as soon as she got tired (even if she wasn't / shouldn't have been hungry) and then base when to have her lunchtime nap on when she woke from that. Lunchtime I would give her lunch, then a quick feed (waking her up eveyr now and then if necessary), then into sleeping bag, quick story and put her in bed. She wasn't too happy with this to start with but I kept going back in and patting/stroking her, and she quickly got the idea that it was sleep time, and generally slept for two hours - and was a much happier baby for it. It took about a week of doing this religiously to work.

Then I set to on the morning nap in the same way, but without feeding or a story, and she realised almost straight away that this was a sign to sleep.

Good luck!

katechristie Sat 24-Oct-09 20:24:22

thanks naomi, it helps to hear other people have been through it and worked it out, and that you've done it with a routine as tinier suggests. I will persevere!

tinierclanger Mon 02-Nov-09 10:34:08

Hi, are things getting any better?

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