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Need advice on 6 month old's naps

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Mostly venting but also desperate for advice. I feel like naps are going to drive me crazy and yet I feel like I don't have anything to complain about because DS mostly sleeps through the night. In fact, all week he has slept from 7pm to 6am without a peep and 3 days he went back to sleep after nursing at 6 and slept until 8 or 9am! But...then he pretty much doesn't nap at all. Today he slept 11 hours through the night and then 20 minutes during the day and I tried pretty much all day to get him to sleep. We go on LONG walks. I wear him in the beco carrier for at least an hour. Rocking him to sleep only gets him angry and he just wants to play if I lay down next to him. I don't know what to do! I am getting so frustrated with him because I feel like I spend my whole day battling with him to get him to sleep. I will spend 40 minutes nursing him to sleep in the dark and the second I put him down on the bed he wakes up and is wide awake. He used to fall asleep nursing and then stay asleep when I put him down. I could probably sit and hold him for an hour but I really don't feel like that's practical. If I try to do anything else: read, even drink water - he wakes up. He's not really fussy but I can tell he's tired and I feel like he gets more and more overtired as the day goes on. I'm having a hard time enjoying my time with him because I'm so frustrated about the sleep thing. He is not even 6 months old, not really teething that I can tell, and really trying to crawl (he is so close: up on his knees and rocking back and forth). I know the process of learning to crawl could distract him from sleep but then why would he sleep through the night? I'm just so confused and I'm frustrated with myself for my lack of patience, mostly because I really want to do foster care eventually and I just keep thinking that if I can't even handle one kid, how am I going to do with more than one.
post #2 of 8
Well, at his age he only needs about 14 hours of sleep a day give or take a few minutes. Some kids need more, others less so if he's sleeping 11-12 hours at night I would only hold your breath for maybe two 30-45 minute naps. That being said I follow the 2-3-4 method. Two hours after they wake up in the morning they will take nap #1, three hours after waking from the morning nap they'll take nap #2 and four hours after waking from that nap they will go to bed for the night. Now, obviously if my daughter wakes up at 2p she rarely gets to bed by 6p but some nights she is so miserable she will be in bed by 630. I used this method with both of my kids and it seems to work. My daughter is a little more flexible with the morning nap in that sometimes she'll be up for 3 hours.

Also, this is the age where they start realizing you are no longer rocking them so that is why he is waking up when you set him down. Do you have a sleepy time routine yet? It helps to set the mood. With DD (6 months) we go into her room, turn the sound machine on, change diaper then I rock her for five minutes, put her in the crib when she is drowsy then I spend about 5 minutes laying my hand on her belly with light pressure before walking away. I also find if she wakes back up and really wakes up a lot then I'll stroke her head gently or rub her back (she likes to sleep on her side). The only time I take her back out of the crib is if she starts to cry or it takes longer than 10 minutes to get her to nod off. Then we start the whole process over. We also follow that routine for bedtime but add in a possible bath and story.

I was so worried about my sons sleeping when he was a baby but really they get what they need. Unless your son is crying all day long because he's so tired I'd try to follow his clues and go with the flow. Yeah, it sucks especially when other moms have babies that will sleep for hours during the day but you have what they probably don't have - a full nights sleep! I'd take that over good daytime naps any day!
post #3 of 8
The more I try to get my kids to sleep, the less likely it is that they will.

My strategy, if he doesn't easily fall asleep for a nap when I think he should is to shrug, say 'oh well, guess no nap today, but I still have to get stuff done'. Then I just put him on my back and do my work/chores. He almost always goes to sleep in there, but if he doesn't that's fine, too. For me the key is not to care.
post #4 of 8
Our babe is not as old as your so not sure if this will work but, we've found that when she gets overtired she is harder to settle and it is harder for her to stay asleep. If this happens we've found that holding her for one or two naps lets her have a really good sleep and get back on track again. I agree that holding for *all* naps is not practical but it usually only takes us one (two at the most) before we can lay her down again.
post #5 of 8
My DD was a catnapper from about 3 months till about 9 months. When she became more active, she started taking longer naps. I was going crazy for the longest time, because she just would not nap!! But now she can go as long as two hours at a stretch,especially if she falls asleep in the car. Don't worry, once they start crawling and becoming more active they get tired and nap more often and for longer...I have also found that rocking while nursing helps A LOT.
post #6 of 8
My DS is 5 mths as well. He has never in his life napped or slept without touching a parent. And we've tried everything, he can be sound asleep, limp armed & if we put him down, he wakes up. We've just accepted either wearing him or I'll sit next to him on the bed w/my laptop while he sleeps. I don't know many highschoolers who still nap w/their parents so I figure it'll end soon enough
post #7 of 8
What type of carriers are you ladies able to have your wee ones in and be able to get work done?

My son is 5 month old and all we have tried is the Baby Bjorn to carry him in. He loves it as well as I do. I am not sure it will be good for me to do chores with him in it.

Elizbeth in NC
post #8 of 8
I use a non-stretchy gauze wrap. She is very securely in there, and I can bend over no problem with her in it.

Re: naps. It seems to me like everyone I know has a baby who either sleeps very well at night and only catnaps during the day or has a baby who sleeps less at night but then bigger naps during the day. My Cecilia is the second type. I'm sure there are people who don't fit into those categories, but as a general rule around me they seem to hold pretty true.
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