My 3 month old won't nap! help please! - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-20-2006, 04:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My daughter is just over 3 months old. When she was first born she slept all of the time (obviously) and in the past month or two has developed a great nighttime sleep pattern. She falls asleep generally at around 8:30pm - 9:30pm without my forcing her in any way and then wakes once or twice during the night to nurse, not even waking all the way. We cosleep and I can get her nursing before she is fully awake which I think is part of the reason she sleeps so well at night. She gets up around 7am which is perfect, as its just about the time I'm done helping my son get ready for school.

So needless to say, our evening routine is great. But during the day, more and more, she absolutely refuses to sleep. Even when she does sleep its generally for about 15 minutes and thats it. I've tried making it as quiet as possible, having soothing background noise, giving her a bath, you name it. She just won't sleep. I'm guessing its because she's reaching a point where she can interact with her environment (reaching for things, watching the people around her, etc) and just doesn't want to stop. But its making life really miserable during the day now...particularly in the afternoon and evening. She is crying so much and I know its because she's overtired, but I don't want to make her CIO. I have a mei tei that she falls asleep in, but she still wakes again and heaven forbid I'm sitting down when she wakes up. She starts to scream. (no other carrier will work with her at all for some reason) Basically I have to stay on my feet to use the mei tei. I try to BF her to sleep but she's not always hungry when she's tired.

Please help me. any suggestions would be REALLY appreciated. Should I somehow set a nap time? If so, how do I do that without making her CIO? Is this something I just have to suffer through? If so, any idea when it will level out? Its hard to tell sometimes if she is tired or in pain or what. She just sounds so miserable.
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Old 01-20-2006, 05:31 PM
 
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I'm so sorry you are going through this. My ds had a similar shift in sleep habits around 3 months old too.

Are you watching for her first signs of tiredness? How did you used to get her to sleep? Have you tried swaddling? I swaddle/rock my ds to sleep and recently just started swaddling him and laying him down on the bed with a pacifier and he will fall asleep. Sometimes it takes 5 minutes, sometimes 50 (not crying of course)!!!

I think the most important thing is watch for very first sleep cues and act on them. Watch for overstimulation during the day. I find that the more stimulation....even just tickling or playing in the exersaucer....all that makes naps more difficult. Follow the two hour rule. Most babies cannot stand to be awake more than 2 hours, and at that age my son couldn't take more than an hour and a half. Make sure the mood is set for naps about 15 minutes before you anticipate her becoming sleepy so she is already calm.

We've had a rough month and things are just now starting to get back to normal. It may be her 3 month growth spurt too. Hang in there mama! It will pass!

Heather-- I'm a <>< SAHM of two fabulous boys 8/05 and 2/07
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Old 01-20-2006, 06:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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She definitely doesn't fall asleep on her own, ever. I used to be able to swaddle her and rock her, but it doesn't work anymore. If I swaddle her she screams bloody murder, and I can't even breastfeed her in a rocking chair anymore because she hates to be held that way in the rocker. (only over the shoulder in which case her head is picked up and she is looking all over the place, refusing to go to sleep or relax)

The only way that I have been able to get her to sleep lately is to BF (which only works if she isn't full already), hold her in my arms and bounce on an exercise ball (which is absolutely KILLING my back, holding her out in front of me that way) or in the mei tei, in which case I can't do dishes or even sit down or shower etc. I should mention too that she hates to be put down when she's awake too. I love holding her and playing with her, but if I put her down to use the restroom or to eat breakfast or fold laundry she generally screams her little head off.

Its frustrating. I dont know if she is just high maintenance or if its normal or if I'm doing something wrong. I cant say how many times I have searched every inch of her convinced she had a broken toe or finger or something else wrong with her, because she screamed and I couldn't fix it.

I will keep an eye on the clock though. I don't think she sleeps even close to every 2 hours. How long should they sleep normally? Because she sleeps for about 15 to 20 minutes and then wakes back up again. That cant be enough can it?
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Old 01-20-2006, 07:14 PM
 
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This isn't really going to help you other than a voice saying I know, I've been there. DS has never been a good sleeper. He doesn't even sleep as well as your DD at night. He would generally take 2 20-30 min. naps a day on good days until he was almost 9 months. Only in the past month or so can I count on a real nap that last about 1 hour 2 times a day. So I can't really help, but hey, you'll get through it!
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Old 01-20-2006, 10:08 PM
 
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Old 01-20-2006, 10:09 PM
 
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We've been there, too, and still are at times. My daughter is 6 months old. Up until she was about 4-5 months, she would fight her naps like crazy (except as brand new babe, of course, when she slept all the time). After a while of this and our walking, rocking no longer worked and seemed to aggravate the situation, I began laying her down in her crib. Amazingly, she would become very quiet all of a sudden. Now--no miracles occurred. She didn't suddenly start putting herself to sleep, however, we're back to doing this again. When I know she's tired, I lay her down with a pacifier (ugh) and a blanket (she loves to rub a blanket on her face). I let her talk until she fusses. When she fusses, I go in and try soothing her in the crib. If that doesn't work and she cries, I pick her up and gently rock her, sing to her, etc. I try to lay her back down before she's totally asleep....it seems to be working. I don't let her cry. I love to rock my baby to sleep, but she doesn't want that. I'm trying to read her cues for how she needs to go to sleep--our walking, etc. seems to be too much stimulation for her now when she's tired. Good luck--I completely understand your frustration...and the overtired babe is not a fun thing at all! I look forward to the day my daughter doesn't need so many naps. And by the way--even when she does finally go to sleep, she only sleeps about 20-30 minutes which is frustrating. This used to be enough for her, but now she often wakes up fussy but won't go back to sleep.
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Old 01-20-2006, 10:27 PM
 
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sorry, mama
a friend of mine had/has the same problem with no naps and her ped recommended an earlier bedtime. now they put her down to sleep at 6 and she sleeps til 7 the next day. just a thought...

treehugger.gif river and mountain mama to two amazing dust.gif girls, homebirth.jpg 8.25.05 and h20homebirth.gif 1.13.08, and married to my soulmate of 18 yrs partners.gif

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Old 01-21-2006, 03:13 AM
 
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We are going through this also, although I believe it is starting to get better. My ds sleeps like yours does at night, but yes, the day is much harder! Thank goodness for the nights at least. Earlier in the week my little one was so overtired, he freaked out on us...screaming like I've never seen before. I was so emotional about it and nothing worked so we called the ped's office. Nurse's suggestion was to change his scene, so dh took him for a walk and he calmed down. Her other advice was not to get hung up on the energy of wanting him to have a nap but just plan my day and go about it. For some reason that has worked wonders this week. I'm sure your situation will get better with time...good luck!! Mary

Mary, Mama to 3 boys! 9/05 & 8/08 & 7/12
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Old 01-21-2006, 12:31 PM
 
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My DD1 was the same way for a couple of weeks when she was about that age. Starting to implement consistent napping 'routines' started to help for us around this age. I started humming the same song while changing her diaper, rubbing her belly, and luckily she would nurse down (thank goodness). The key for us to was doing this AS SOON as she showed signs of being tired. If we waited at all we seemed to miss that 'window of opportunity'. The earlier bedtime helped too...

Just what worked for us, I bet she'll settle into some consistent napping as she gets a bit older and active and REALLY needs it
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Old 01-21-2006, 01:56 PM
 
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Just wanted to say sounds just like my dd. It is very hard. She is 4.5 months old now and it hasn't really gotten any easier to get her nap yet. I have to work so hard to get her to sleep and then it's only for like 15-30 min nap! I've tried doing the same things you did, but your right-can't sit down, shower etc.. while wearing baby. My grandma said that my and I both were that way as babies too.

Tiffany , mama to my 2 spirited girls, natalee (8/05) and scarlett (5/09)
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Old 01-21-2006, 04:38 PM
 
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Just another post to say we are the same - ds is 10 weeks old and naps only strapped to my front in the carrier while bouncing on an exercise ball. It's fine early in the day but by night my back is breaking ( he naps 4-5 times/day for 30-90 min). I can't sit in a chair or he wakes up - I even take the ball to the dinner table if he's sleeping then. But for now I'm willing to do this as I know it will change eventually or he will get too heavy and I will try something else. dd1 napped only in the stroller but slept 12 hours in her crib from 3 months old with no waking - if I put her in the crib to nap she screamed bloody murder who knows why! They are all different but I agree that sometimes good daytime sleep results in better night time sleep and certainly a happier baby so I do whatever it takes without going crazy
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Old 01-21-2006, 10:37 PM
 
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Hi, you mentioned that you dd is generally only happy whilst being held upright and at times it sounds as if she's in pain. This is what my ds was like at the same age and it turned out he had reflux. Being held upright is more comfortable for babies with reflux. It also fits with not being able to nurse her to sleep if she's full - a baby with reflux will experience pain if they try to feed when full as acid can come back with any milk they regurgitate. A baby can have reflux without necessarily being sick a lot. It might be worth checking out. I hope it isn't the case though and that things settle soon.
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Old 01-24-2006, 01:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thank you so much for all the tips. My daughter does have reflux and is on meds for it. I think I figured out what the problem was...I was just letting her fall asleep when she was ready and I needed to urge her to sleep earlier. I started timing her awake time and getting her ready to nap at an hour and a half and it has made a HUGE difference. I hadn't realized that it was just overstimulating her when she should be asleep, but I think that was the problem. I was entertaining her too much.

Thanks again. Now if the rest of my family life problems were so easy to solve... adjusting to the new baby without the rest of my life suffering has been tougher than I thought
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Old 01-30-2006, 05:42 AM
 
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i am going through the same thing, my dd is almost 3 months. some days are great and she will nap but some days it's no way! When she does sleep I nurse her to sleep or swaddle her. sometimes she won't nap so i go on a very very long walk, to be srue she gets at least 45 minutes sleep time. this can mean a 2 hour walk or longer! but i know if she gets over tired it's all downhill from there.

generally i know she gets tired after about 1.5 hours of being awake. so i will nurse her if she is hungry, or swaddle her, or rock her.

I have found the only way dd will nap now, oddly enough, is to be right up against something! she usually will only fall asleep against me, but if i put her on the couch facing the back of the couch she'll sleep. That's the only place, though

It was mentioned earlier, the most important thing, IMO is to not let your baby get over tired! Our dd sometimes just will not let herself fall asleep, especially on weekends when dh is home it seems. I assume she wants to be with the party! So today I had dh go work in his studio and she actually napped. Be thankful for small miracles.

You WILL find your groove. it usually takes trial and error. all kids are different but all kids need sleep IMO.

Also. I noticed she naps better if I nap with her... don't know why. but it works and I can always use a nap or a break. sometimes I lay with her and read. The dishes are still dirty and my bills get paid the next day... but it's okay by me!
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Old 01-30-2006, 10:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'll try napping with her today and see if that works. I know that she sleeps great at night in bed with us, so maybe thats one of the differences. I was sick Friday and I slept pretty much all morning and she slept too now that I think about it. Thanks for the tip! crossing my fingers
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Old 01-30-2006, 11:53 AM
 
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I've been having the same problem with my 8wo DS. My SIL brought over my nephew's baby swing...I swore I didn't want to use one but WOW! I've been using it the past few days and it has helped tremendously! Even if DS doesn't go down for a big nap (2hr), I can either get him to fall asleep in the sling if we're out walking (NOT in the house though, he just WON'T!) or in the baby swing for at least 20-30 minutes, sometimes longer. He slept in the swing for 45 minutes yesterday. As a single mom I truly do appreciate the opportunity for a hands free moment to eat/shower/etc...

Just a thought if you don't have one or haven't tried it! I'm an AP/BF/Co-sleeping mama but I love me some swing time!
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Old 01-30-2006, 07:48 PM
 
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My dd was like this at that age too. It was awful!! She was so tired and miserable. I think it's something to do with the age, and also you'll have to experiment to find what works to help her sleep. For us, we've finally settled into a nap routine in the last few weeks. In the morning, we get up around 8:30, and by the time I've showered, eaten breakfast, etc., it's around 10. Then we play for a little bit, and then I put her in the Moby (facing in), and walk her around until she falls asleep -- usually 15-30 minutes. Then she sleeps anywhere from 30-60 minutes. I can sit down at the computer, etc., but have to jump up and walk if she starts to stir. Then, between 1 and 3, she starts to get tired again, and this time I lie down with her in bed (we co-sleep at night, and she sleeps well although nurses constantly, lol). We just lie there and I give her a stuffed animal and her paci, and sometimes have to give her my hand to play with, and she'll toss and turn and play and sometimes fuss a little and then fall asleep. Usually takes about 30 minutes. She'll sleep anywhere from 1.5 to 3.5 hours. Usually 2 to 2.5. Then we're up for the evening, and around 8 we start her massage, and dh puts her to sleep in the sling, where he keeps her for several hours to give me a break.

(ETA, I have to stay in bed with her throughout the entire afternoon nap. If I get up she wakes up!! I take a book to bed with me, and am sometimes able to nap myself. I don't know how mamas with more than one do it. Or what if she was in daycare? Would they just let her cry? I'm glad I'm available to give her what she needs, but am also looking forward to her being able to sleep without me acting as a facilitator !)

It took trial and error to figure all this out, though. And also I think her getting older and a little more "settled', kwim?

GL, mama! You'll figure something out .

Mama to M (7/05) and S (5/08) my surprise !!!
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