View Full Version : Help with daytime naps
I've got a five-month-old son who just does not like going for naps during the day. The only way I can get him down is to pop a dummy in and rock him to sleep, and even then not without a fight. I'd be happy to forego the naps except for the fact that he really does need them - without them he gets overtired and turns into Mr Grizzle!
As I absolutely do not believe it letting him cry himself to sleep, I'd really appreciate any tips on getting him to accept his naptimes like a good little man :rolleyes: My back and my housework are both starting to suffer LOL
My DD is the same age. I don't think any babies particularly like going for a nap. I find my DD usually starts crying and I pop the dummy in and hold her arms down gently because she usually flings them around and it keeps her awake. I find that holding her down and/or wrapping helps them to relax and I stick around while not making eye contact until she falls asleep. I think at this age they really don't need more than 3 hours - prob one hour after the first hour up in the morning and then a 2 hour midday nap. The room should also be really dark and quiet. I think if you get them into a regular routine they get used to the naps. Hope this helps.
My DD has always been a very average sleeper:rolleyes: I totally know where you're coming from....I can only get her to day sleep by rocking her, cuddling her etc..
She is currently having her day sleeps in her stroller! I pop her in and run the stroller over the mat in her room for 10 mins...she'll sleep for about an hour and a half.
I too longed for a baby who I could pop in her cot, say night night darling and that be that - I don't....I won't leave her to cry because she goes completey insane
Laying in bed together can also work.
Sorry I haven't been more help.
DS (6 mths) has never been a great napper during the day. To begin with he would only sleep in the sling, hug-a-bub, in my arms or in bed with me. Even then he woke after one sleep cycle (30-45mins) and would need my help to go back to sleep (rocked in the sling, boobed back to sleep). He really needed at least one longer nap each day, but it was killing me dancing him around in the hug-a-bub for two hours at a time (he's not a light baby)! So I can sympathise!
What has worked for us recently is an Amby (http://www.babyhammocks.com.au/) baby hammock. I either feed him off to sleep and put him in or DH or I bounce/swing him off to sleep while singing to him - no cry! He would still stir after one sleep cycle, but we could often bounce him back to sleep. It's easier than rocking your LO, you can sit down and read/watch telly/bub-hub at the same time. Just this past week DS has started putting him self back to sleep when he stirs after the first sleep cycle, and has been having 1.5 - 2 hour naps without our help - so they do get the hang of it all sooner or later! I've also been told that once they're mobile they tend to wear themselves out and sleep better during the day...:fingerscrossed:
The hammocks are quite expensive to buy, so we hired one to start with (we then bought the hire one for a good price). It's worth testing it first cause your LO might not like it. Anyway, PM me if you want any more details. Good luck finding a solution that works for you!
you know i feel for you. My bub is only 5 months old as well and i know exactly where your coming from as i am going through the exact same thing ... He hates going to sleep during the day and i too have to give him a dummy and rock him... he fights me tooth and nails but the worst thing is , is that i persevere for sometimes up to an hour for him to only nap for 20 mins... i get really frustrated as well.
I dont believe in control crying, i just hate it when he cries full stop.
almost everyone i know tells me that im building a rod for my own back...so if you find out before me let me know what the secret is:detective:
Thanks so much for all your support and advice. It's nice to know I'm not the only one with a bub that refuses to nap!! I guess it's just perseverence... Although yesterday, out of pure frustration, I just rolled him on his side and patted his bottom and he went straight off to sleep - no mess, no fuss! I've yet to replicate this miraculous feat, but it gives me some hope!:rolleyes:
My DD is almost 11mths she has had the same Prob since she was about 5mths old. Nothing has changed unfortunaly she's just gotten more stuborn (wonder where she gets that from)
I foud a drive in the car usually sends her off (but thats getting expnsive with the cost of petrol these days) A walk in the pram or Nurse her and breast feed her to sleep.
Hi Bubbamumma and friends,
I too have a catnapper for a DS. He is 4 1/2 months old and i have spent everyday for the past 3 months trying to get him to sleep without some kind of grizzle and resistance. And yes, sometimes an hour of settling with 40 mins of sleep is a little frustrating. He is just ever so slightly starting to resettle even if for 10 or 20 mins. I let him whinge and grizzle a bit before going into him so that he gets less used to me coming running. I also play soothing meditation music and sway around with him to calm him down before putting him down to sleep initially. I use the dummy only for resettling if possible and lightly pat him and reassure him then walk out of the room.
I can also see that confidence and consistency is the key which I have found a challenge given how long I have been trying to get him to sleep during the day.
My problem is the 4 hour feed cycle. He wakes at 5am, I get up at 6am to feed him then he has to go back to bed at 7 for an hour if I'm lucky, but I don't feed him again until 10am. So he has to sleep for a long time or I double up the naps back to back. One of these I may do in the pram. Are all you Little Ones good night sleepers and are they also waking at 5am??
My bub was the same... we went to Ngala which helps families with stuff like sleep/feeding etc and we were taught which cries are 'real' and which are anger/frustration. And we also realised alot of what we were doing (we have a Hammock and the hug-a-bub too) were props and weren't good long term solutions. You really need to be teaching them to sleep without you getting them there. I find now that if I act real fast on her first tired sign, I mean drop everything the very instant she makes a noise then she will go off without too much fuss... but even leaving it for just a minute longer makes a huge difference with settling.
I basically swaddle, dummy, a few reassuring pats and put her in her cot. I then stand outside the door listening, if its just a tantrum I don't go in, if shes upset then I do. I'll pat her and brush her forehead (to close her eyes) and then go out. I'll do that a few times til she settles. If that doesn't work and she escalates then I jiggle the cot (trying to get her out of the hammock) and that usually works. If it doesn't, I find it really helps to take them out of the room (after say 20 mins of trying) and try again in a few minutes after they have sat quietly in your arms.
Its really hard and I am saying from experience - don't get them hooked on you, they need to be able to drift off on their own and they CAN do it, no matter how it sounds when they are crying.
Saying that she won't sleep longer than 45mins, so I don't try to resettle anymore, it just frustrates us both, but she has 4 to 5 naps a day and that does the trick.
Since giving up on the battle to resettle and since removing me as they key for her going to sleep, she has slept through the night, from 7pm to 6am without fail....
Being that this is the "No-cry sleep solutions" section, I certainly won't be advising you to control cry, or control comfort, or sleep-training. I feed my bubba to sleep, or cuddle him to sleep.
They are only tiny babies for a little while. Don't think that you have to train them to do anything. Enjoy them while they are little.
My 4mth old bubba is a shocker during the day. He will only go to sleep in my arms. Once he is completely out I can sometimes put him in his cot and he will sleep for 20 mins or so, if I keep holding him he will sleep for hours. It's very hard to get anything done but I don't mind, he's such a darling thing and who really wants to do housework :)
He's the opposite at night though, put him on his cot once he falls asleep and he's out until 5am.
Hi! I have "been there done that" as well with my daughter. She was a terrible sleeper, both day and night, but if you read the thread on the No-Cry Sleep Solution book, you'll see that I have had fabulous success without any crying. My daughter is so much happier so here's a few tips that might help you get to where we are today - both sleeping well and both very happy!!
* At five months of age you can pat and shush a baby while they are laying in the cot. Try rolling him on his side looking away from you and hold his arm down so he can't wave it around. Get really close to him and do gentle patting on the bum and shushing in his ear. This method doesn't work as well when they reach about 8 months of age because it will stimulate them instead. The answer is to just place your hand/s on them - no movement - but still say key words or shushing. They will feel like they haven't been abandoned by their mummy, but the best thing is you don't have to rock them.
* ROUTINE ROUTINE ROUTINE! Can't stress this enough. You must have a good routine for both bedtime at night and during the day... otherwise your baby will get overtired and that just causes them to get really cranky... it's much harder to put them to sleep in that state.
* Instead of using aids such as strollers, car rides, etc, make the room sleep-friendly. Dim lighting, soft music, a night light if they are scared of the dark, and your voice. I also recommend getting your baby a comforter that they choose. My DD has a singlet that I used to wear to bed. As soon as she has it in her arms she snuggles up to it and knows that it's sleep time. If you have to, use a dummy as a comforter, but when he gets older don't put it in his mouth for him - make him choose to do it for comfort. That way, if it falls out at night, he can get it himself without waking you up.
* Your voice is the most powerful tool you have. Get into the habit of saying key words EVERY time you want them to sleep. I say "Sleep now, night night" to my DD every time (even if we are out and about or in the car) and she is so used to it that it's like a switch telling her to roll over and close her eyes.
* Record a diary of how much sleep your baby is getting and figure out if it's too much or too little and perhaps work out better times for daytime naps. You might be trying to get them to sleep when their internal clock is saying, "no, I'm not tired yet". After doing a diary for a week, I worked out that DD needs 11 hours sleep at night and 3 during the day. So during the day, if she sleeps two hours in the morning, I know she will only have one hour in the afternoon. Sometimes she has a half hour cat nap in the morning, but then I know that in the afternoon, she'll crash for 2 and a half hours. Sometimes these times change depending on whether we are out and about, but I never try to force her to sleep if she really doesn't show any sleep signs.
* Sleep signs are vital. As soon as you see them, get that baby straight into the cot in the sleep-friendly environment and start the patting/shushing, music, grab the comforter and be patient and calm.
* Make sure they enjoy being in the cot. Some babies are scared of it. Spend time every day having playtime in the cot with some toys and you right beside them. Then give them playtime alone in the cot, without you there.
* If all this fails and you still need to pick your baby up because they are crying (and you have to rock them), I recommend trying Tracy Hogg's (The Baby Whisperer) Pick Up/Put Down method. I tried this for two nights and by the third night my DD slept through without any need for me to rock her. The idea is that you get your baby to understand that it's okay for them to go to sleep in the cot but that you won't leave them. When they cry, pick them up and comfort them (preferably in a laying down hold and say your key words as well as shushing) and then as soon as they stop crying, put them gently back in the cot. Keep your hands on them and continue quiet shushing. If they cry again, pick them up straight away. When they stop, put them down again. Now this will go on for ages... up and down and up and down... possibly over an hour or more but your bub will get so exhausted that they WILL go to sleep. Stay with them afterwards for a while until they are in a deep sleep with your hand on them so they know that you haven't left them. The next night, do the same method. It should take three nights but they do learn that it's a real pain getting in and out of the cot, and that the cot isn't so bad after all. They also understand that you are with them the whole time. With my DD, the first night took 50 minutes, the second night 20 minutes and the third night it never happened at all - she slept right through. It's very tiring, and may not work for every baby, but at no point do you allow your baby to cry and get distressed. You must stay calm and comfort them the whole time - saying your key words, playing soft music, etc. Now as for daytime naps: You can use this method ONLY if you see significant sleep signs. Don't try it on a baby that is wide awake, it will probably just make them more cranky.
These are just some of the things that worked for my daughter... so I hope they help you too. :hugs:
oh my goodness - i'm suddenly extremely thankful that mine zonks on the boob and will sleep through a smoke alarm!!!! :laughing:
HAHA:laughing:, I know what u mean Queen!! I wish my bubba would still do that, so much easier!:idea:
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