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Growth spurt?/How do I get my newborn to nap?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

My DS is 5 weeks old.  This past week he has been very awake during the day.  The first few weeks he took 3 hour naps quite often, but now he won't sleep more than half an hour or so max.  He falls asleep nursing or being rocked and then wakes up when we put him down.  He's mostly happy while awake, but he has had a couple days where he was very fussy while awake and he wanted to nurse all day.  That seems to have passed but he still won't take a nap.  How do you get a newborn to take a nap?  We swaddled him the other day but he got overheated.  He sleeps well at night.

post #2 of 7
Is he your only child? I found (and still find, actually) that the best way to get them to have a decent sleep is to lie down with them. Second best way is in the carrier. Carrier is easier if you have older kids and can't spend 2 hours in bed every time the baby needs a sleep :-)

And yes, definitely could be a growth spurt. Especially with the more frequent feeding.
post #3 of 7
Look up info on the wonder weeks. A baby's first big developmental leap occurs at 5 weeks!
post #4 of 7

I think by about six weeks or so babies also become more aware and interested in what is going on around them.  it also so happens that every couple of weeks or months most babies are going to throw you a curve ball and totally change up what they need.  both of my babies have needed to be held or cuddled with to sleep for a long time.  well maybe DD would sleep on her own but my two and a half year old won't leave her/us alone long enough to try.  i would recommend getting some kind of wrap or sling to use so that you can do stuff while baby sleeps.  


so your baby either needs more awake/stimulation time than he used to or he's being overstimulated now that he's more aware of things.  you could try keeping him up longer to see if you can tire him out more, or putting him to sleep before you think he is going to be tired.  depending on his personality type one of those things should work. good luck!!

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thank you for the advice.  BabySmurf, you are right. He is always throwing us curveballs.  We used to do the 5 S's, Happiest Baby on the Block thing to get him to sleep, and now he howls when we do it.  He wants to stay upright instead.  He has decided he wants to sleep on us, which is great because he is sleeping, but I would like to be able to put him down sometimes.  He is getting better in the sling and our Ergo arrives Friday.  I borrowed a friend's ergo and he has slept in it a little bit.  He slept the other day when we turned on the sound machine that we normally use at night.  So he is napping more, but we need to work on a routine.  katelove-he is my only child so I can be more flexible.  I am not going back to work for a while so I hope to get him set up with some better habits by then.

post #6 of 7
I did what Katelove wrote, napped with or used the sling/carrier. That way baby felt safe and secure and could drift off to sleep knowing he would not be alone.
post #7 of 7

My DD did that on and off as a newborn and infant, and it drove me crazy. She would only nap for 20 minutes at a time for days at a stretch, then all of a sudden throw 2- and 3-hour naps in there. Now she is 27 months old and she regularly naps for around 2 hours (except for right now for some reason--she is yelling and singing at the top of her lungs)--has been a solid, regular napper since around 9 months old. Never thought I'd see the day. I second all the people recommending using a carrier--that let me get rest, too. Good luck!

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