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Nap training - it's breaking my heart... does it work?

(140 Posts)
themothership Thu 11-Aug-05 17:47:23

I've started nap training my 12 week old dd today after an awful week of sitting with her in a dark room for hours and hours trying to get her to sleep and basically not having any life. She's not bad at night - just really struggles with her daytime naps, and is very alert and finds it hard to switch off.
She's on a 3 hour EASY routine, ala the Baby Whisperer. Today I've bee putting her down for her naps awake, rather than jiggling her to sleep which is what I've always had to do. She's cried and cried and I've popped up to see her every 5 minutes, but she's settled within 20 minutes. However, for every nap today she's woken after 40 minutes and then won't settle at all and has just been working herself into a screaming frenzy. I'm trying not to pick her up but it's horrible and I feel like I'm torturing her. I don't know if I can carry on but I know that she needs to learn to nap without me.
Please help - especially re the 40 minute nap thing. I just feel like I'm a cruel and awful mother.

misdee Thu 11-Aug-05 17:48:51

whydoes she need to nap without you? i breastfeed my dd to sleep, and cuddle her to sleep for naps.

Flossam Thu 11-Aug-05 17:50:31

40 minutes is fine IMO, DS only ever used to nap for half hour at a time at this age. How many naps is she having? try not to get too bogged down in all the routine if you can, DD knows what she wants - loose routine is adequate IMO.

lockets Thu 11-Aug-05 17:50:43

Message withdrawn

WigWamBam Thu 11-Aug-05 17:52:29

Why don't you let her find her own routine rather than trying to squeeze her into someone else's? She'll sleep when she's tired.

bonym Thu 11-Aug-05 17:53:53

I also think 40 mins is ok - dd2 only seems to do 40 mins at a time most days (20 weeks). Have you tried a dummy?

mears Thu 11-Aug-05 17:57:28

I always put 12 week old in pram for naps and took them for a walk or 'shoogled' the pram. Also breastfed to sleep. 12 weeks is too young for sleeptraining IMO. I always picked up a screaming baby and had no sleep problems later on.

themothership Thu 11-Aug-05 17:58:51

Hiya, she's on a routine precisely because she just doesn't sleep at all otherwise and gets incredibly overtired. Believe me, I've tried. If it was as easy as being able to feed her to sleep, or take her out in pushchair etc. then I wouldn't be doing this right now, because it's really not much fun. I've tried everything - she's so alert that if I take her out in either her pram or sling, she gets overexcited and then starts crying because she's overtired. People always comment on how alert she is... hopefully she'll be a clever little girl when she's old but right now it means that she really can't switch herself off.
I love cuddling her but at the moment I can't leave the house or see anyone because once she gets tired she cries and cries anyway. I've been really depressed about it and don't think that's in either of our interests.

Flossam Thu 11-Aug-05 18:00:47

Sorry you are having such problems. But I still think a 40 minute nap is a sufficient nap time provided she is doing it 2 -3 times a day.

themothership Thu 11-Aug-05 18:02:04

BTW she's a little baby, was 5.9lbs when she was born and now clocks in at 10.9lbs so she does need 3 good naps of 1 1/2 hours a day... if she doesn't then she's really grouchy and miserable... but at the moment that means I spend 6 hours a day with her in a dark room getting her to sleep.

jane313 Thu 11-Aug-05 18:03:08

Mine only started doing longer naps at 6 months. Between 3 and 6 months he had 3 x 30 mins sleep, you could set a timer by it.

misdee Thu 11-Aug-05 18:03:14

have you tried a sling?

Flossam Thu 11-Aug-05 18:04:51

Could be me being ignorant, but I really had no idea that babies weight dictated how much sleep they required. Thought it was about age and development etc.

themothership Thu 11-Aug-05 18:06:38

Yep, tried a sling. Used to sleep in it a bit when she was younger, but since she's gained control of her neck, just can't stop herself from peering out of it. Will only now sleep in it if I sit in dark room with white noise... which is the same as me jiggling her to sleep. When I go out though I'll take her in the sling because we both like being close to each other, but she just won't drift off in it. And when she's tired, her bawling in the sling when I'm out with her is awful and I always get comments from people.

misdee Thu 11-Aug-05 18:07:28

what sling are you using? the one dd3 likes to snooze in is a maya ring sling.

mears Thu 11-Aug-05 18:09:01

themothership - I think it isn't doing you or her any good to sit in a darkened room for 6 hours a day. It will not make her sleep. Does she have a dummy? I personally think the more a baby is left to cry - the more they will cry. At 12 weeks she is too young to be 'trained' - you are putting an incredible pressure on yourself. I don't understand the correlation of weight to 3 good naps a day. Are you on your own? Do you have anyone who can take her to give you a break now and again?

themothership Thu 11-Aug-05 18:09:09

I'm assuming there's a correlation between age / development and weight. She does get tired after being up for an hour and 40 minutes just doesn't seem to be enough for her. She's in the 2nd centile for her weight, but maybe that doesn't have anything to do with it and she's just a baby who needs more sleep.

themothership Thu 11-Aug-05 18:13:25

I've got 2 ring slings, a wrapping cloth and a baby bjorn...tried 'em all. The wrapping cloth is her fav but if I go out with her in it she gets so excited that she starts heaving her body out of it and I'm worried about her falling out!

I don't like sitting in the dark room, but it seems to be the only way I can get her to sleep - that, combined with white noise. She won't sleep if she can clearly see whats going on. Even in a darkened room, she still gets distracted whilst falling asleep and will suddenly start craning her neck to look at something and then start crying because she can't stop looking at it.

mears Thu 11-Aug-05 18:13:26

She maybe is a baby who cries whether she sleeps or not. My neice was like that. As babies get older they sleep less. Is she breast or bottle fed? The reason I ask is that she may be going through a growth spurt and want more feeds. Keeping to a strict routine can result in an upset baby who wants more food - more so when breastfeeding.

hercules Thu 11-Aug-05 18:13:43

Sounds like you're putting a lot of stress on yourself and her. Listen to mears, she really knows what she's talking about.

mears Thu 11-Aug-05 18:15:38

My philosphy at that age was if they had clean nappies and were crying then I breastfeed them.

misdee Thu 11-Aug-05 18:16:57

thats what i do as well mears. check bum, all clean, feed. usually keeps her quiet lol.

themothership Thu 11-Aug-05 18:17:09

Breastfed. I know that when I can get her to have 3 good 1 1/2 - 2 hour naps, she's an absolute angel. She's so happy, cooing, smiling etc. and doesn't cry. I've tried feeding her more, but this week she's been refusing the breast when she's mid-screaming frenzy which is why I've had to resort to the whole nap training thing. She's always fought going down for naps, but it's just not getting better and I'm beginning to feel like if this doesn't sort itself out then I'm headed for PND.

misdee Thu 11-Aug-05 18:17:44

have you tried swaddling?

themothership Thu 11-Aug-05 18:18:49

Ooh and I had the nursery nurse round this week, who saw her screaming, refusing to be fed to sleep etc. and said that she'll grow out of it in a few months maybe. I was like 'I don't know if I can last another few months!'.

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