she will hardly ever sleep on her own during the day (maybe once a fortnight) and if she does I have to lay next to her for at least half an hour till she properly drops off (and then go in a couple of times to settle her with a suckle back to sleep)
Normally she will nap in my arms for 15-45mins and that's it, she wakes up straight away if I try put her down, even with me laying next to her.
We co-sleep at night, she is pretty easy so not complaining there, wakes maybe 2-4 times for a closed eyed feed and then straight back to sleep.
Any suggestions to help her sleep better during the day? I love my baby and enjoy being so close to her all the time but would love to get an hour or two without a baby in my arms so I can do some housework! Or just enjoy a cup of tea by myself!!!
My daughter was just like that until around 3 months (your daughter's age, I guess). I used carriers all the time (slings and then an ergo/mei tai) to get stuff done while she slept. She gradually got better and better until now she takes two long naps per day alone in her crib. We stopped co-sleeping at 4 months though, so she was used to sleeping on her own at night too. If co-sleeping at night is working for you, you may want to consider just using the carriers for her daytime naps. Soon she'll be a little more independent (when she can sit up on her own and play with toys) and you'll be able to get more done. The early months were very hard for me because I felt like I was attached to her ALL the time. But it passes. Good luck!
Our daughter Luthien has never been much of a daytime sleeper either. She's now almost seven months and as LilyTiger described, because she can sit up and entertain herself with her toys while my husband and I are nearby, she is content to do so long enough for us to get things done. Before she reached this stage, we often traded off: one of us would hang out with her while the other did a task, and then we'd switch. She also liked being carried in her sling or Ergo. We were given a bouncy seat that we put on the counter so she could watch us cut up vegetables for dinner and we could engage her in conversation, with her hands safe from knives and the stove. She was never in it for very long--just long enough for us to complete a task that could've endangered her.
The plus side is that she sleeps in about four-hour blocks at night, so we get a decent rest.
Naturopathic physician, licensed acupuncturist, writer, avid commuting cyclist and community-theater performer; joyful mother of Kathryn (adopted summer 2011) and Luthien (born 11.30.12), and guardian of seven feline ascended masters!
My son napped best in the sling until at 13 months and I began to transfer him to the family bed and then roll away for a short while. Another set up that can work if your baby doesn't depend on active motion to sleep (such as in a sling), but if you can set up an area on the floor and nurse baby to sleep (until hands open/limp arm stage) then roll away, it is easier on a very firm surface. I stay nearby reading, folding laundry, online.
Keep in mind an infant sleep cycle is only about 40 minutes (adult is 90 min.).
It's normal for babies and young children to wake between cycles and need to be resettled.
The baby carrier will be your friend for a few months! Your catnapper will happily sleep and wake strapped to you, and you kind of get used to doing stuff with a baby on you.
It won't last forever, I promise!
WAHer & Wannabe, Wife to DH 1998, Mama to Buko, Born at Home March 2013