I feel like I spend my whole day battling the naps. I nurse Audrey to sleep and she is awake 10 minutes later. I never get a good nap out of her and I know she really needs the rest. Does any of this sound familiar or do I have the only tired and crabby baby? I'm ready to pull my hair out!
My baby doesn't nap
I am right there with you, Jill. R isn't a great napper, either.
Will she only nurse to sleep? Can you transfer her once she's asleep? Will she nap in a carrier?
My son only naps on the go. Occasionally, he will nap in the stroller, but he will nap in the ergo every time. He stopped nursing to naps altogether a couple of months ago. Even at night, his papa takes him out for a stroll in the ergo, and then we get him into bed and if we're lucky, he'll not quite wake up, and I can nurse him into goodnightville. Some nights, like tonight, he just wakes up, and is kinda slap happy for a while (much better than slap grumpy), and then another walk and then he zonks.
My daughter was a crappy napper in her day. Ugh. I love naps. I don't know what's wrong with these kids!
Most of the cranky is that he is trying to give up his morning nap.
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I have a really good napper but things have to be JUST SO for him to nap. My older son was the same way. Dark room, white noise, nurse to sleep or at least nurse to drowsy. And we have to be SUPER quiet so he stays asleep. He'll nap in the carrier, of course. And I have to be super consistent about putting him down for a nap 90 minutes after his previous wakeup (or 2-3 hours after for his last nap) otherwise I totally miss the window. He takes 3 naps a day.
I definitely know some kids that will not nap. I don't know how you survive! But I would keep trying for it, just in case. Someday it might stick. My friend's baby wouldn't nap his first year, but near his first birthday he started taking a 2 hour nap in the afternoon everyday.
She will nap in the carrier. That is the only thing that saves me most days but she is such a light sleeper that when I try to transfer her she wakes up. She is also becoming addicted to her pacifier which I really want to get rid of. As soon as I put her down to bed she starts to shake her head back and forth looking for it. BAD! I was able to get rid of the pacifier with dd1 when she started to suck her thumb but Audrey had no interest in that. Any ideas how we get over that hurdle? It does make me feel a little better knowing I don't have the only baby that won't nap!
I have nothing against a pacifier either--whatever works! But Luca won't take one anymore. Once we ditched the nipple shield and started feeding directly on the boob, he's had no interest. He likes to suck his big toes, though.
Dd was like that Jill, until she was about this age- 5 to 6 months old- and then she allowed me to put her down for solo naps. I think some babies are just like that until they mature a bit. If it were me, I would let her nap in the carrier at least once a day and keep working on solo naps at the other times. At this age, she might take 3 naps a day, so you could carry her for the most important nap of the day, whichever one that may be, and then work on the other two. Perhaps if she gets one really good nap in her day the other two will fall into place b/c she's not so grumpy and overtired?
How do solo naps work? Nurse them down? Or just lay them down and say, "See ya later"? R has a fit every time I leave the room if he's awake. SOMETIMES I can sneak out after he's nursed down, but often he'll wake up.
Jill, when R has fallen asleep in the ergo (on the front) I go to the bed, climb into the middle, lean forward and just buckle the whole thing off of me; R hardly moves. I've done that a few times. Is that something that might work? I really should give that a go more often.
Edited by LunaLady - 6/25/12 at 10:49pm
For us, solo naps happen when Avery falls asleep in my arms from nursing or otherwise and I lay him down in bed. I can also transfer him from his car seat most of the time if he falls asleep in the car. I've transferred from a carrier once or twice, but that is trickier. It's probably mostly temperamental differences that allow some kids to handle this and others not to, but I often wondered if it also had something to do with my confidence in doing it. With dd (my first) I was often too scared to try b/c I figured she would wake up and I was so desperate for her to sleep. But with ds1 and now Avery, I put them down with confidence and it works. I also thought it might've had something to do with ds1's thumb sucking, which allowed him to self soothe, but Avery doesn't suck his thumb and he can be put down as well. So I'm going with temperament as the main issue here. Christina, we have never put our babies down awake b/c that simply would not work with my kids. We are just getting there with ds1 and he's nearly 2.5 years old.
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I think how a kid naps is totally individual to the child. Coralie generally transfers easily after she's fallen asleep, it doesn't matter if she's in my arms or the carrier. Once in a while she'll wake up again when I lay her down and I'll pat her butt for a minute until she settles. Olivine needed to take solo naps by 3mo. For her I would swaddler her and then nurse her in bed until she fell asleep. I had more freedom with her though, so it's all about your kid and your situation.
Oren is just changing his nap pattern, thank goodness. For a while there is was 4 or 5 or 6 15-minute naps a day. With the occasional hour-long nap in there. Now he'll have an hour in the morning (usually in the Ergo), one to two hours in the early afternoon (though I have to go in and nurse him back to sleep when he wakes up after 40 minutes or so - then he'll sleep for another hour or more. This is in the bed.) and then a late afternoon nap of just 30 minutes or so, in the Ergo. Sometimes it's two short morning naps - one really early and one late morning, and one longer afternoon nap. But lately it's always been three naps. Whew.
During the day I can't usually transfer him once asleep. So for in-bed naps I nurse him to sleep then slip away, and then I have to nurse him through the sleep-cycle transition if I want him to be asleep for longer than 40 mins. This means being very attentive to sounds of stirring in the monitor. He won't nap longer than an hour in the Ergo, unless I am actively walking for the whole time. At night time I can transfer him.
This is so different than DD, who needed constant human contact in order to sleep, day or night, for the first 14 months of her life. She also needed LOUD white noise, and pitch darkness to sleep. If there was such thing as a sensory deprivation chamber for baby naps, this is what she needed in order to sleep. Unless she was in the Ergo, then she would do decent napping on me. So from 6 months to 14 months I wore her for EVERY nap, usually bouncing, and always nursing the whole time. That was 1.5 hours twice a day. She was an absolute BEAST if she didn't nap for the correct amount of time at exactly the right time, so this was the solution. And if I didn't get her asleep before overtiredness set in, she wouldn't nap, and then screamed for the next 3 hours. At night DH and I traded off lying with her and watching TV on the netbook with earphones. After 14 months she started fighting the Ergo, so we transitioned fairly smoothly to the pitch black/white noise thing but WITHOUT needing me in the bed with her. She had finished transitioning to one nap at this point, so I would also say that things get easier once they are down to one nap. She needed those conditions to sleep until she was 2.
So no matter how Oren sleeps and naps, it will never be as bad, and I am always happy and relaxed about it. Besides, he's generally cheerful, no matter how he sleeps.
Now if he'd only be able to go back to sleep in the night when he wakes up - right now he's been keeping one or all of us up from 3am to 5am every morning. Then up for the day for real with DH at 5am. Yawn. DD was SO hard to get to sleep, but at least she fell back asleep and stayed sleeping in bed for the whole night (she woke every hour to nurse, but nursing ALWAYS put her back to sleep.)
KayPea, my son sounds like your DD. I was thinking about how he used to go down for the night about 5 p.m., and then was up around 5-6 a.m., but now often doesn't go to sleep until about 8-9 p.m., and is still up at 5 a.m. Duh! It's light! We have loud white noise going, probably more for my sake, but it works. Now that it's fan season, I don't have to sleep to "waterfall" noise anymore.
Seeking any advice, here! Since it's gotten super duper hot, napping has gotten a lot harder. My dh still naps him, usually 4 times a day, an hour each time, walking in the ergo. But Luca sleeps less because it's so darn hot, and my dh is kinda cranky being in the heat all the time. My dd is at her dad's next week, so we thought it'd be a good time to try to transition Luca into a different way of napping. Can it be done? We don't know, but we'd really like to try!
He wakes up when moved. He can pass Dr. Sears' limp limb test, and still wake up at the slightest noise or touch. He doesn't fall asleep in the car, rarely falls asleep nursing. And he doesn't stay asleep at night unless he's touching me at all times. Any ideas on alternatives to napping in the ergo would be appreciated!
Night before last, believe it or not, Luca only woke up twice to nurse. I was amazed (and quite refreshed upon waking)! And for part of the night, he slept a few inches away from me. Really, I think he needs to sleep on his own sleeping surface, because my moving around seems to wake him up pretty easily, and if it's light out, he rarely goes back to sleep. But how to sleep on his own surface and still touch me.... Sheesh. I can't imagine him continuing to sleep in my armpit when it's 100 degrees out, but maybe he will!
What has worked for us the last few days is to nurse Shay on the bed with the lights out and fan on for nap. I lay down with him when he starts rubbing his eyes. Sometimes that's after a walk, sometimes that's after a shower (he will always sleep after a shower, sometimes only 5 minutes). At night we do Toothbrushing, stories, I walk around the house with him in the sling and let him turn off all the lights and then we nurse in bed.
Maybe you could walk him until he is almost asleep and then lay down with him for a few naps until he gets the memo that bed is for sleeping? Do you have an exercise ball? Bouncing gently on one of those while holding a baby works for us.
Sidecarring a crib would give you a seperate surface. Or putting him on a twin bed. You could drape a hand over him instead of full contact.
Our babies took naps in the 90 degree heat today at a wedding. I think they were the longest naps of their lives.
Just want to ugh. Luca woke up at 3 a.m., wide awake. He never does that. Usually he sort of half wakes up, and I nurse him back to sleep. Instead of nursing back to sleep, he decided that biting my nips was the funniest thing ever. I mean, ugh! We laid around the living room with the lights off and he watched the ceiling fan for a while. Then he nursed to sleep, without biting. I have a bruised nipple, but they're both pretty sore. His wakeup nurse today involved biting as well. Little piranha.
Thanks for the tips, Sara. I think getting some sort of black out something will be good. The crack in the curtain that lets light in shines right on his face, apparently. Doh!
Audrey has been going to sleep easily in the carrier lately. I can usually transfer her after she is asleep and we seem to be falling into more of a schedule now. Thank you for all your advice everyone! I just assumed she should fall asleep on her own in her crib because that is what dd1 did. I think I have a spirited child on my hands and I wasn't prepared for that!
Carey - With DD we had blackout curtains on the windows, plus an extra blanket to make it extra extra dark. We started hanging out in the dark room with one dim light on about a half-hour before the whole bedtime thing started. No baths before bed ever, that just stimulated her. The more they sleep, the more they sleep, so it's worthwhile to try and increase night sleep too while working on naps.
We had a crib sidecarred for DD, and that was OK. Just resting a hand on her wouldn't work to settle her, she had to be cuddling (or really, nursing), so often it meant I was sleeping awkwardly on the crack between crib mattress and bed. Sometimes I could move away, but when she woke up I would always have to move back.
Have you read the No Cry Sleep Solution and the No Cry Nap Solution? A lot of her tips and tricks didn't really work on my difficult-to-nap DD, but I felt much better armed with the knowledge of why she needed the sleep, and a list of things to try. It helped me figure out some things on my own, too.
As for the heat factor and trying a new way to nap - all I can say is good luck. I hope you can figure out something that works, because napping hot babies in the summer is the worst. I used to go to somewhere air-conditioned to nap DD when it was really hot. She wouldn't nap out of the carrier at all when it was hot.
Good luck all!
Carey, too bad we don't live closer to an Ikea... they have super cheaper roll up black out curtains. A quick fix. Sigh. We will be putting up old curtains we brought with us from our Maryland house today in an attempt to get our boys to sleep past 6am. But on the bright side, Avery actually slept last night! He only woke once to nurse and gave me a 5 hour block and another 2-3 hour block after that. It was amazing! Yay!
As for the heat, we've been super careful about keeping blinds/curtains shut when the sun streams in, keeping ceiling fans on high, and in the afternoon, we turn on the AC to keep the house cool into the evening. We had been trying to open windows at night, but the upstairs just gets too hot and won't cool off enough. In this fashion, babywearing in the house isn't an issue. But outside it definitely gets sweaty. Can you get Luca to fall asleep in your arms in any way? Up on your shoulder, bouncing on a ball? Sucking your finger? For me, the trick is to get him to fall asleep in my arms and then he can be transferred, but if he falls asleep in the carrier, it's very tricky to transfer him and I just leave him in there. We do a lot of nursing and then finger sucking to fall asleep.