I'm confused about how my 4 month old should be napping. We co-sleep at night, so nighttime sleeping is okay. But, during the day, I have been swaddling her and putting her in her vibrator chair and turning on white noise and then rocking her in her chair for about 5 minutes for her to fall asleep. She fusses/soft-cries for a few minutes every time but then eventually goes to sleep. I usually watch her, rock her and maybe sing a song while she fusses a little bit. If she cries harder, I take her out and try something else before trying the nap again. Is this an alright napping routine to get into? If she is not swaddled, she'll only sleep for 15 minutes, if that. So, the combination of swaddling, vibrating chair, white noise does help her nap sometimes up to 2 hours. Sometimes she'll still randomly only sleep 20 minutes so then it seems like all that nap prep was not worth it for such a short nap. I don't schedule naps, but just watch her to see when she's tired and I probably put her down 2 or 3 times a day, more or less depending on length of nap and if she acts tired. How do others do naps? I've tried other ways of napping. She won't nap in our bed if I'm not in it next to her. She will not sleep in any sling or baby carrier while being carried - she immediately becomes alert when I carry her. She'll sleep in my arms, but still not as long as swaddled in the baby carrier, unless she's swaddled in my arms and I'm rocking her.
ah naps. i used to be obsessed with my sons naps. what you're doing sounds similar to what we were doing with him until he was about 3 months old...then he got too long for the chair so we had to start laying him down on the bed. i was worried...it turned out fine. i gave up my nap obsession around that time too and became much happier (by the way, I am totally not saying you're obsessed with naps because you've asked a question about them...it's a perfectly reasonable thing to be concerned about).
What I do now (he's 5 1/2 months old) is different every day. if we're out I nurse him to sleep in a wrap. he wouldn't do this at first because he'd get distracted easily, but now he's just used to it. if we're home, i usually swaddle him, nurse him a bit and bounce him on the exercise ball for a minute and then lay him down on the bed or....lay down with him and nurse him and then get up and leave...or nap with him in bed and he nurses on and off the whole nap. and his nap times vary. anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 1/2 is normal for him. if i'm napping with him, sometimes he'll sleep 2 hours. and 2-3 times a day is normal too.
sounds like you're doing a good job, following her cues etc. babies change too so something that "doesn't" work right now may very well work in a couple weeks or so.
If what you are doing is working for both of you, I'd stick with it. Most of my babes prefered to be in arms for nap time, but it does get tiring being stuck there. I could sometimes nurse them to sleep in bed and slip away but it was always a toss up whether they were going to wake again or not.
I like *any* nap method that does not involve CIO or crying to sleep, which is very different than a bit of a fuss from a cranky babe.
Some things that worked for us:
nursing to sleep - this almost always worked for like forever with DS well past age 2 but hardly ever with DD
nursing to almost sleep, then pacifier on the boppy
DH had this complicated shoulder thing when he was a SAHD
taking a walk in a stroller
falling asleep in a sling while taking a walk
falling asleep in a sling while bouncing on exercise ball -- almost always worked with DD
rocking in a chair
falling asleep with a well timed drive
I don't believe in baby schedules per se but some babies do much better with a regular routine at more or less the same time every day. I found some charge associate with one of the nasty CIO guys with times and although I never used it for CIO etc, I did find that DS did much better at the two hour mark then say the thirty minutes later. So get up and play and then get tired, nurse with sleep cues (dark room, special pillows, white noise), and then fall asleep.
I am not very good with nursing cues and/or sleep cues (still!) and it was really helpful to keep an eye on the clock.