Nap help please!

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Nap help please!

Post  amylou on Wed Oct 08, 2008 11:49 am

I am really struggling with Maggie right now and her naps. She turns 4 months old on the 20th, and I have an extremely hard time getting her to take a decent nap. Most of the time she will nap for about 30-45 minutes tops, sometimes less. She often wakes up after like 5-10 minutes, and I spend alot of time soothing her back to sleep only to have her wake again 5 minutes later. Sometimes it takes like 3 times before she will sleep "for real". I really don't want her to cry it out either, I just think she is still young for that whole approach and from everything I have read infants under 6 months need some help falling asleep. I don't mind the soothing part at all, because she will go to sleep-its just the staying asleep part we can't seem to do. I am still swaddling her too because I have found out if we do have any hope of staying asleep she needs to be swaddled because otherwise she will wake herself up immediately. Because she naps so short I end up putting her down like 5 times a day and I am exhausted- I feel like I spend an hour getting her to sleep for whole 30 minutes or less.. and I know that it really isn't about me, but I am going a little nuts with this. I know that she needs more sleep because she wakes up crying and does not seem all that rested, and will also get sooo incredibly cranky after being awake for about an hour. I have really tried everything- checked out every book from the library that they had, so I know that this isn't that unusual for infant of her age, but will she ever sleep longer???? Every once in awhile she will pop off a nap of 1-1/2 hours but it is so random that I can't figure out how it happened. Any advice here?
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Re: Nap help please!

Post  kat on Fri Oct 10, 2008 1:14 am

Ah naptime....yes naptime has been the cause of much angst at our household too! Jake was the 30 minute napping king - he would seriously wake up the moment 30 minutes was up. 40 minutes was a long nap. He was the classic 'need to nap 30 minutes every two hours' baby - we were doing around four naps a day.....so tiring!! Back then J would nap a lot in the sling because we were out and about and didn't worry too much about trying to get him to nap at home, and carrying him around for 30 minutes wasn't too bad.

Do you ever feed her down to nap? I know we talked about not creating a suck to sleep association, but if you are tired then it can be a much nicer way to spend your time - you can lie down together and nap at the same time. If she wakes you could just feed her back to sleep. I'm lazy though so maybe if you persist (without the boob) it'll eventually be easier to get her to nap without using any aids.

The good news is that the moment he turned nine months old, his sleep consolidated all on its own. We didn't do anything and now he sleeps around 60 to 80 minutes in the morning and between an hour and two hours in the afternoon.

I'm probably not the best person to answer this though as we rely heavily on babywearing and breastfeeding for sleep - it is what has worked for us best though. I would mention though that the short naps won't last forever - what I've realized is that babies go through a whole bunch of different stages and eventually most of them end of their own accord.

Anyone else with better advice???
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Re: Nap help please!

Post  amylou on Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:24 am

You know I have been thinking that maybe I am over analyzing the whole nap thing- you know trying too hard to force it. I hope that it will consolidate like you said Kat. Over the last couple of days I have tried something a little different- from one of the gazillion books I have looked at- I have been laying her down when she is just sleepy and not completely asleep, staying with her, picking her up when she cries, and laying her down again when she is calm and letting her fall asleep there on her own instead of on me or in my arms. She has started sleeping a little longer and not waking up immediately. Who knows if this will continue to work but I thought it was worth a try. You know I love a good lazy "nurse n' nap" too-and we do that sometimes day and night. She has however stopped falling completely asleep while nursing! She used to lay with me and nurse and then we'd both fall asleep, but now she will nurse, and nurse, and nurse, and if I take her off she will wake up- same thing for her night nursing too, she wants to nurse for like forever and not fall back to sleep. In part that is what has lead me here, finding an alternative to nursing to sleep cause it ain't workin' (unfortunately)!
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Re: Nap help please!

Post  kat on Mon Oct 13, 2008 8:01 pm

It's so easy to become obsessed and worried about every little detail about your baby's sleeping/eating habits especially I think when it is your first baby. I'm sure we'll all be much more relaxed with number 2 (if there is a number 2). It sounds like you've got a good thing going with Maggie and I'm sure the extra work/effort you are putting in now will pay off big time later!!
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