Our beautiful little girl is 9 weeks old, and naps are only a theoretical. I spend anywhere from 40 minutes to 1 1/2 hours trying to get her to go to sleep, and she'll stay asleep at most for 20 minutes. She's most certainly tired, all the cues and droopy eyes the whole time. If I try to wait until she's more tired to cut down on putting down time, we encounter a meltdown. I've got the room blacked out for darkness, white noise going, and I'll even try staying with her. We've tried a swing, nursing to sleep, still no real nap. I know she's tired, and it seems like we spend the entire day trying to go to sleep. I haven't been able to do anything, and I have to go back to work next week. Any ideas to try out?
We spent the afternoon at a park yesterday, to avoid going stir crazy, and I saw twins about her age. And they were peacefully sleeping, or quietly alert and content, for the whole afternoon, as I bounced, nursed on went swing with her every 20 or so minutes. I never thought I'd be envious of twins.
My DD was exactly like this at this age. It was hard! Time was the only thing that helped. After almost 2 months of this she started napping for 1 1/2 in the am and pm. Now at almost 8 months she takes 3 1hr naps. In my situation I think there was nothing I could had done differently. She just needed to grow out of it.
I don't advocate sleep training or wake/eat/play fixed schedules but I do think some infants nap much more easily on a schedule. I found a chart from one of the nasty sleep trainers about awake times and although I didn't agree with anything else it was really helpful. I think at eight weeks two hours is the maximum "up time."
I was (am) not great with breastfeeding cues so regardless of when I had nursed before, at the two hour mark we go into a DARK space, nurse in a specific way i.e. on the chair with the boppy, white noise is on, and nurse to sleep. (DS) DD needed more soothing than nursing so after nursing, if she didn't fall asleep I'd put her in the sling and use the excercise ball, singing quietly. (The video fro Happiest Baby on the Block is very helpful.) If that didn't work or I wanted to be out of the house, we would go for a sling walk with the hood over her face.
It really helps to build distinct clues that this is sleep time like dark room, noise, special chair, singing, bounce/walk/sling/ etc.
Oh, hugs. I know that frustration so well. My DD is 4.5 months and I feel like I've spent her whole babyhood so far intermittently pulling my hair out over naps and/or bedtimes. All I can tell you is for us, it seems to go in waves, but is slowly getting better/more consistent with age. I don't know what to tell you about timing because it sounds like you are perfectly aware of her cues, etc., but if she's anything like mine things will start to click into place but it may take time. It was only last week that I started to feel like I was sort of starting to get the nap thing--she's become easier to put down and is sleeping longer more frequently (though still not all the time).
Fiction writer by training, writer/editor of anything anyone will hire me for by trade. Me + D=my girls E (4/2011) and little N, 1/2014.
hi, i was going to suggest wearing her. maybe she can fall asleep in a sling and you can go about your business.
~Karenso happy to be mothering my four... DS ('94), DS ('94), DD ('00), and DS -- June 8, 2011, our UC baby!