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Why won't he nap???

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Old 09-14-2009, 09:32 PM   #1
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Why won't he nap???

Hi all,

My almost 4 month old is an awesome sleeper.... at night. He generally sleeps for nearly a 10 hour stretch before needed to nurse again. However, he is a TERRIBLE napper. Most days, he doesn't nap more than 1/2 hour in one stretch. And that's after I've spent almost 3 hours just trying to get him down.

I try to pay close attention to his cues when he's tired - yawning, eye rubbing, fussiness, calmness, etc. As soon as I think he's sleepy, I swaddle him, rock him, and nurse him. He will sleep for only 20 minutes or so and then he's up again. It wouldn't be a problem, except that he is absolutely miserable in the evenings. He just SCREAMS until I can get him down for the night. You can tell he is so overtired, but he refuses to just let himself go and drift off for a nice nap.

Anyways, has anyone had a bad napper? Is there anything I can do to help him sleep longer so that he is actually rested? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

All the best,

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Old 09-15-2009, 03:43 AM   #2
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Re: Why won't he nap???

Hi Kitten,
How are things? Sorry to hear about your son. My son is also one who does not tend to nap for longer than 20 - 30 minutes at a time, which I find difficult because its hard to get a lot of things done during the day. I have come to accept that he likes to cat nap during the day and theres nothing I can do about it. Luckily I dont have any trouble getting him down at night time, but he still wakes up once or twice during the night, so it is good your son sleeps for 10 hours straight!

The only way I can get my son to sleep is by cradling him in my arms with his passifier in his mouth and then I put him down once he is in a deep sleep. We are still trying to transition him into the cot (he is still in bassinet, but slowly growing out of it) and he seems to be more restless in the cot. Sometimes when he becomes overtired during the day and just screams, I put him on the breast for 5 minutes and this usually gets him to calm down and he falls asleep afterwards.

Sorry I couldnt be of any help. I hope things work out for you.

Take Care,

Old 09-15-2009, 12:12 PM   #3
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Re: Why won't he nap???

Hi Bec,

Thanks so much for the support... you help more than you know! Sometimes just talking or messaging other new moms makes all the difference. None of my friends have babies yet, so it's hard when you don't really know what is normal or not.

I guess I am going to have to come to terms with his erratic napping. I just feel bad that he seems so tired and miserable later on. My mom said that "little boys don't want to miss anything", so who knows?

Thank you again for your feedback. I hope you and your LO one are well!


Old 09-15-2009, 07:26 PM   #4
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Re: Why won't he nap???

I think it's fairly normal for them to cat-nap at this age. It's frustrating, but he will grow out of it. The only thing I could do with mine at that age, was to just hold them. I used a front pack carrier all the time with my 3rd, and it worked wonders! I didn't have a choice at the time, because I had to be able to deal with my other two girls! I'd put her in so that she was facing me, shove a binky in, and she'd pass out within minutes, and then stay asleep for hours! I would just wear her around whenever it was time for her to nap, and boy did she nap! I hiked with her, played outside with my kids with her, cleaned house with her, did the laundry, cooked, vegged out.... whatever I needed to do, I did wearing her! I think she was probably 7-8 months old before she finally started napping on her own.... and that was after we finally let her CIO one day. But I couldn't do that to her at 4 months old!

Even now, at 13 months old, she LOVES when I carry her around in a sling! I made a couple of ringslings and they're fabulous! But she hated being in a sling as a baby, so that's why we went with the front carrier thing.

Anyway..... before you resort to the desperation of wearing your baby.... lots of other things to try first! Have you tried white noise? Could he be teething? Is he too hot or cold? Could he be ready to start cereal? Have you tried laying him on his side? Have you tried the other side? Is he in a crib or a bassinet? If he's in a crib, could it be that the crib is just too big and empty feeling for him? Maybe try putting him in a smaller cozier bed?

Just some random thoughts off the top of my head. Lots of distractions going on around here at the moment! If I think of anything else, I'll be back! Hope things improve for you!

(oh, but be grateful you at least get the sleep at night! That part is awesome!!!)

Old 09-16-2009, 08:14 PM   #5
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Re: Why won't he nap???

Try napping in the swing, in the bouncyseat, in the carseat placed in the crib, propped on his side or on his tummy if you're comfortable with that.


Old 09-17-2009, 12:43 PM   #6
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Re: Why won't he nap???

Hi gals,

Thanks so much for all of the suggestions. I will definately try some of them.

As we speak, he has been snoozing for about 25 minutes... cross your fingers that it stays that way!

All the best,

Old 09-17-2009, 07:24 PM   #7
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Smile Re: Why won't he nap???

We have been stressing over this too for a bit now. He's 5 1/2 months. He sleeps 11 or 12 straight through the night, just set up a little routine...eating, bath, massage and loving and maybe a bit of a bottle then just laid him in easy. so I wasn't complaining too much.

I should mention that at one point he did sleep in his swing quite often and he slept good. But he is starting to move around a little better and I don't trust the swing for lengthy sleeping anymore.

But talk about never getting anything done because of his short daytime naps is crazy. So I've been trying different things. I set a fan on low or medium for background noise and a little breeze (I also heard that it cuts SIDs by 75%) Not sure how much truth there is in that but I always have one running. and turn the radio on very low on an oldies station. I close all curtain and turn off all lights. He sleeps with my incredibly soft housecoat so I give that to him for napping too. He's all about comfort.

At his last dr. appt last week. They give you a newsletter on what to expect, what foods to introduce, etc. And it mentioned that between the ages of 4-6 months is the perfect time to have your baby learn self comfort. It says to lay him down, if he cries, let him cry for 5 mins then go to him and pat his butt or stroke his hair or whatever comfort he likes for only one minute. Then leave again, if he is still crying, wait 15 minutes then go back to him for a minute again and comfort him. I had to go sit outside on my deck the first time I tried this at nap time. I was afraid of hearing him cry and he never did. But the next time he does or wakes up within a half hour I will try it. Anyway you're suppost to use this whenever they are sleeping...middle of the night, or nap time.

Anyway to make a long story a little bit longer...the thing that worked the best was the background music because I sing to him and he loves that. Also try to wear em out as best you can before naptime.

good luck
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