4-month-old and miserable napping habits... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 14 Old 11-01-2010, 05:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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In my life, attachment parenting and napping with DS just won't work.... really, they won't, so those suggestions won't be very helpful. DS is big too, 17 pounds, and doesn't really like to be worn.

Baby-DS is the world's worst napper. Well, probably not, but it feels that way. He never falls asleep at the breast. So getting him to sleep for a nap is a huge production. I've been trying to make it very systematic these past few days, same white noise, same motions, same room, getting him about 95% asleep and then laying him in his crib which can take up to 15 minutes. He then sleeps 40 minutes tops, but usually only 20-30 minutes. So the whole cycle starts again in another hour, hour and a half, because he's never fully rested.

I just managed to get him to fall asleep on his own in his crib, with some Baby Whisperer techniques and I was so excited, because I thought since he did it himself, he'd stay asleep. Nope, still about a 20 minute nap.

What gives? He can sleep ALL NIGHT LONG, by himself... (well from about 10:30 until 4 or 5:00 when he comes in bed with DH & I for a nurse and early morning snuggle/sleep).

This is really frustrating for me. I work at home. When baby naps I need to work. Since baby doesn't nap, I've been staying up well into the wee hours of the morning, 2:00 and 3:00 a.m. So I rarely go to bed with DH. I have to do some housework throughout the day... there's been days when the laundry is just a giant pile of about 4 loads and DH is down to like 1 (or no) shirts or underwear. Forget making dinner. I also have a DD that comes home from school around 4:00 and she needs me... she's having some learning issues become more apparent this year at school, and I feel like after all day fighting with naps, I just let her watch TV or play computer all late afternoon so I can do the dishes or anything while DS maybe takes his 30 minute nap.

My Mom is happy to watch DS a little bit for me. But he refuses a bottle... so that really limits the time he can be away.

Sorry for the major vent. I'm just feeling really, really frazzled by this!!!! Any ideas/suggestions?

Lis ~ Married to my favorite boy partners.gif and raising "our" three ~
DS 14 (hisjammin.gif ~ DD 9 (mineloveeyes.gif ~ toddlerDS 2! (ours) bouncy.gif

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#2 of 14 Old 11-01-2010, 05:35 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lisko15 View Post

So getting him to sleep for a nap is a huge production. I've been trying to make it very systematic these past few days, same white noise, same motions, same room, getting him about 95% asleep and then laying him in his crib which can take up to 15 minutes. He then sleeps 40 minutes tops, but usually only 20-30 minutes. So the whole cycle starts again in another hour, hour and a half, because he's never fully rested.
This is so true for me too!! I am hoping it is just a stage that will end eventually!? I HOPE!
My baby girl is 4months also and I can get a 45min out of her but it's mostly 20-30mins. If I lay with her...which sometimes I do because I know she is just so sleepy, I can get a 2-3 hour nap from her which involves me sticking my boob in her mouth as soon as she begins to stir.
Also my little one used to sleep 10hours a night but has started waking up every few hours (!!!). So I am hoping this passes???

HOpe others have some suggestions.

Cloth diapering, Babywearing, Breastfeeding first time mama! Our bundle of joy was born June 15, 2010
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#3 of 14 Old 11-01-2010, 05:38 PM
 
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I'm sorry you are feeling so frustrated by this. But the truth is, some babies just don't nap.. or don't nap well. It was always a big production to get my DS to nap, and he'd sleep 20-30 minutes tops as well. Lucky for you, at least he sleeps as night. My DS woke every hour all night for the first 18ish months of his life.

Have you tried different carriers? An Ergo is very comfortable, even with big babies. The No Cry Sleep Solution also has some great tips for helping baby sleep better, though most require a lot of work.

I'm sorry I don't have any better advice for you.. I suggest accepting your DS the way he is, because you can't really change him, and trying to work around what you can't change. As far as laundry and dinner goes, does your DH help out at all? Can you hire a mother's helper to come in and do some laundry and make simple meals for you a couple times a week?

Catie belly.gif- Happy wife to Aaron stillheart.gif(01.05), mama to Liambikenew.gif(08.08), and Ian jammin.gif (11.10)! homebirth.jpgnocirc.giffamilybed1.gif and joy.gif due Feb 2013 with blessing #3!

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#4 of 14 Old 11-01-2010, 06:07 PM
 
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Lisko that is SO hard. Have you tried swaddling? We now use a 60" piece of fabric to get a good swaddle on my 14lb DS. It really helps. Since I bottlefeed, I can't rely on sleeping at the breast to help my naps so I've really had to develop some good techniques. The white noise is a good place to start, as is a consistant DARK and quiet room. I rock him in a glider while jiggling him a little bit in cradle position until he falls ASLEEP. Every once in a while he's still a little bit awake when I put him in the crib, but the truth is that 90% of the time he's asleep. I think that might be the secret.

Also, do you have a video monitor? This has really helped me as sometimes DS squaks in his sleep and I think he's awake and starting to cry so I open the door and go in there. Once I open the door, he wakes up. Now that I have the video monitor I can discern whether he's awake and crying (bad) or asleep and crying (fine).

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#5 of 14 Old 11-01-2010, 06:40 PM
 
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Neither of mine could be set down to nap at 4 months- even my napper. and mine were 20lbs by 4 months, so I feel you. Do you have a carrier where you can put baby on your back? Ds often STILL naps on my back (at 2yrs old and 28lbs) A nap is a nap some days

-Angela
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#6 of 14 Old 11-01-2010, 06:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyCatherine185 View Post
I'm sorry you are feeling so frustrated by this. But the truth is, some babies just don't nap.. or don't nap well. It was always a big production to get my DS to nap, and he'd sleep 20-30 minutes tops as well. Lucky for you, at least he sleeps as night. My DS woke every hour all night for the first 18ish months of his life.

Have you tried different carriers? An Ergo is very comfortable, even with big babies. The No Cry Sleep Solution also has some great tips for helping baby sleep better, though most require a lot of work.

I'm sorry I don't have any better advice for you.. I suggest accepting your DS the way he is, because you can't really change him, and trying to work around what you can't change. As far as laundry and dinner goes, does your DH help out at all? Can you hire a mother's helper to come in and do some laundry and make simple meals for you a couple times a week?
This is basically what I was thinking too. Neither of mine have been long nappers, I expect 20-30 min and if it goes longer than I'm happy.

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#7 of 14 Old 11-01-2010, 09:17 PM
 
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i'm right there with you all 3 of my girls have been poor nappers and sleepers. here's the run down for me:

dd1- at about 8mo started napping with her and letting her nursing whenever she stirred (previously this did not work). she would take 2hr naps this way. at about 10mo i could let her sleep alone and sometimes she would take a full nap and sometimes not, but if she started stirring i could go in and lay with and get her to go to sleep most times. at about 12mo she started taking one 2hr nap on her own most days. her night sleep however remained horrible until i nightweaned at 2.5yrs.

dd2- once she reached the "awake" phase she never slept longer than 40min for naps, and i tried everything! i swaddled her until she was about 11mo old for naps and early night time to get that much. her night time sleep was much better than dd1 though, so maybe this was the trade off.

dd3- she is 3mo old and i just recently discovered if i swaddle her, she will take a 40-60min nap in the bed by herself. previously the swaddle didn't work and she slept in the wrap sling for her naps (40min) all day! she is 16lbs so this was starting to kill my back i also use the white noise program for iphone, every nap its either tucked in the sling or playing through the alarm clock. i usually only do the swaddle in the mornings so i can do housework and stuff with the other kids, in the afternoons she still sleeps in the wrap sling, but now she will sleep for about 1.5hrs in that, as opposed to just 40min. its kind of become a complicated process

all this to say you can keep trying different things for sure, but ultimately its up to each individual babe. just don't drive yourself crazy or keep thinking that if you just found the right trick or method that they will finally sleep the way you want them to. i did this sooo much with dd1 and dd2. with dd3 i've tried to be more relaxed about it. i still try different things to help her sleep better, but always keeping in mind that it may or may not work and to try not to be frustrated

HTH! sorry so long

married to my sweetheart 12yrs, semi-crunchy mommy to three very attached girls (dd1-3/30/05, dd2 born at 28wks-9/20/07), and dd3 born at home-8/3/10)
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#8 of 14 Old 11-01-2010, 09:20 PM
 
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My almost 4 month old was THE EXACT SAME. I couldn't take it anymore and I felt like we were on a never ending poor napping schedule/routine. As a result she was fussy (overtired) and I was cranky because I could never consider what my day would be like. Sounds petty, but with two other kiddos in our famiy my sweet babe needed to be a bit more predictable most of the time.

Here's what I did-and I almost hate to type it-because it worked!

I aim for a consistent wake up time. For me and for Stella 7 works well, but day to day it could be anywhere between 6:30 and 7:30. She usually goes down around 9, but there's some flexibility depending on her cues and wake up time. When she woke up I got to her as quickly as possible and gave her her paci and blankie. I sometimes had to give her the paci multiple times. She fussed when it fell out, but within 10-15 minutes (sometimes quicker ) I soothed her back to sleep. She didn't cry, but I also didn't pick her up at her first whimper like I was doing. After a few days she stopped waking up 40 minutes in most of the time and sleeping 1.5-2 hours and staying awake longer afterwards.

I follow the same routine in the afternoon, but she goes down around 1 and again around 4:45 for a short nap.

Admittedly, Stella seems to be a pretty adaptable baby, but she wasn't automatically a great napper!

Mama to Noah and Sophie and Stella 7/4/ 2010
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#9 of 14 Old 11-01-2010, 09:29 PM
 
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Let's see.......Shane is 3 months and only sleeps about 30-45 minutes at a time. I really don't expect myself to "get anything done" in my life while I have such a little baby and that's ok with me.

I think it hard to get a positive perspective while one is in the thick of things, but I feel that would really benefit baby in your case.

Accept your precious baby, love on him and then come here and vent to us!! that's why we're here.

as far as work goes, you need time to get your job done. Period. DH needs to watch baby, cook dinner.....whatever it takes.

Crunchy Christian mama to my home birthed, unvaxed, uncirc boys Shane and Cody!!joy.gif
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#10 of 14 Old 11-02-2010, 12:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the responses... I think I was feeling especially frazzled today. Monday is always a rough day, the house gets super messy over the weekend and I rarely work with everyone home, so it just compounds what I feel should get done when Monday morning rolls around.

As for him not sleeping long because he doesn't need to nap, I just don't buy that. If we hold him for nap time, he will happily sleep 2 hours at least twice, if not three times during the day. He is a very nap-happy kid... and without enough sleep, by 6:00 p.m. he turns into a grumpy bear.

I guess I should just give up a little bit in some ways. I had it in my head that giving him the "naptime" signs it would become less of a struggle. We'll just keep working on it.

Today I gave up around 4:00, stuck him in the Ergo (yep, we have one of those) and went outside to wait for DD to get off the bus. We did some laps around the house and he quickly went to sleep and slept on me until 6:00. I took advantage of the quiet time and read a book.

Noah's mommy - What you did sounds just like what the No Cry Nap Solution recommends. I'm familiar with her method as I did follow the No Cry Sleep Solution with DD when she was a toddler. The 20 minutes, or 30 minutes or however long is the one-cycle of sleep. The baby wakes and can't get themselves back to sleep (although my DS obviously can at nighttime). If you can get in there to quiet them before they 100% wake then you might be able to get them back to sleep. I've tried it, but DS goes from appearing completely OUT and in a sound sleep to FULLY awake in 2 seconds it seems.

SeattleRain - We do swaddle DS, one arm in, one arm out. He occasionally sucks a fist, finger or thumb, so we like to leave that arm out.

DH does help with dinner and with the baby when he comes home. He's stepdad to DD though, so any of her necessary care must come from me, since though she likes him, she wouldn't want him to help her with homework or put her to bed. So I can't start my work until she's in bed and DS has had his last nurse.

I guess I'll just keep plugging along and try to get the naps to extend when he's not being held. As I've heard lots, I should just be thankful he sleeps at night! (And I am... my DD didn't until she was well over 12 months, so I'm thankful for that...)

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#11 of 14 Old 11-02-2010, 01:41 AM
 
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This is probably not the advice you want to hear, but I just don't think it's reasonable to expect to be able to work and care for a baby at the same time. You'll inevitably end up frustrated and feeling like you're not doing either well.

Can you hire someone for a few hours each day to watch DS while you work?
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#12 of 14 Old 11-02-2010, 02:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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jennybear - No, that would be a wonderful idea, except I only work for grocery money... so paying someone would be like working for no reason at all (and I certainly don't like it that much). It is doable with a baby, and I don't try to do the bulk of my work when he's awake or I'm alone with him (except maybe some brief proofreading when he's sitting on my lap or happy next to me playing).

If I could just get one good nap out of him, my work situation would be in good shape, and I may not have to work so late most nights. DH would be happy if I came to bed with him!

All in due time though... eventually the naps will click as they did with my DD... even if he's over 1! At least I'm home with him...

Lis ~ Married to my favorite boy partners.gif and raising "our" three ~
DS 14 (hisjammin.gif ~ DD 9 (mineloveeyes.gif ~ toddlerDS 2! (ours) bouncy.gif

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#13 of 14 Old 11-02-2010, 02:22 AM
 
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You said your mom was willing to help with DS. Would she be willing to come to your house and help? Maybe put him on her back in the Ergo and take him for a walk while you work?

Mama to two crazy boys (8/05 & 9/07) and happy wife to one wonderful hubby.
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#14 of 14 Old 11-02-2010, 03:37 AM
 
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At around 4-5 months, a lot of babies start to develop more regular patterns and consolidate sleep, so hopefully your babe will starting sleeping better for you soon.

I'm glad you're not trying to fit in a full-time work schedule at home--I've tried that and just burned myself right out!
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