Babies: 3 - 6 Months

This can't be normal, can it? (another nap/sleep issue)

Naps (and bedtime) have become a nightmare around here. My little guy HATES going to sleep. . . or something. As soon as we enter his room, he figures out that it is nap time and starts crying. I swaddle and start rocking him. . . SCREAMING, tears and everything. Sometimes giving him a boob helps, sometimes not. I have started wearing ear plugs while getting him to sleep. He does this whether I start nap time early (an hour after he has woken) or late (two hours). He has been consistently fighting naps for a while now, maybe a month, but this is a whole new level of baby nap tantrum. I have tried just putting him down, he still screams and fusses. Sometimes the crying lasts only a few minutes, sometimes for roughly 20 minutes or more before he settles down and sleeps. Most of the time 30 minutes later he is awake again. He also sleeps badly at night.

I don't plan on doing CIO anytime soon, but really, what's the difference if he is crying in my face or in his bed while I am safely in the next room?

ETA I know he is probably going through the 4 month wakeful. . . but nothing I have read about it talks about this crying at nap time issue.

Re: This can't be normal, can it? (another nap/sleep issue)

  • Mine has done this since he's been born. Takes hours to get him to sleep for maybe 30 minutes. Hopefully it's just the 4 month wakeful.

    Could be teething pain.

    Did he get vaccinations lately? Some women swear it changes things up with their babies.

    Or just a phase.

    Whatever it is, it's so tough. So sorry mama.
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  • I'm going something similar with naps only.  My LO is sleeping great at night, but getting him to nap is difficult.  I am trying to have him nap in the crib and I think this is part of the problem.  He falls asleep great in the car, if only that was the case for napping in his crib!
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  • I think around this time they can sort of recognize what certain things will "lead up too". For example-my LO, if shes hungry, start smiling and waving her arms/legs if I'm holding her while I make a bottle.  If she's tired, then when I lay her down she'll start crying but once I start putting her sleep suit on her, she calms down.

    So, what could be happening, is that your LO IS going through the wakefulness period AND because of this, doesn't want to sleep.  This leads to a cranky, OT baby who doesn't nap well. Usually, 30 min nap=Over tired. Which usually leads to bad night time sleeping OR he's just so stimulated by what he's learning/doing that he can't sleep.

     From what I know, it'll pass..give it 2-4 weeks. I will say if by 4 weeks this is still continuing, I would consider some form of sleep training, since most likely new habits that are preventing sleep have formed.

    BabyFetus Ticker Little Riley-our first little girl coming March 1st, 2013 (or sometime around there;)
  • Yup! Normal. DD went from putting herself to nap (in swing, swaddled) to a screaming banshee at naptime.  Don't you dare try to rock her to sleep because she knows what's up.  

    THey just recently starting figuring out patterns and at the same time don't want to sleep because they Miss Out on all the good stuff. So it can be a recipe for disaster. I am just now coming to terms that I still need to get her to nap Any Way I Possibly Can.

    It is frustrating to have them crying while you hold them, but at this age they don't have object permanence and don't know that when you leave you're coming back. So even though they are screaming, you are dong the right thing by showing him you're around and will snuggle him even when he is being a punk. 

    BabyFruit Ticker
  • the difference while crying while you're holding him and out of the room, is that he NEEDS to know that you are there for him. he needs your scent, your voice. dont stick a new baby all alone in room with no attention. right now you are building trust with your baby.
    TTC since May 2012; BFP July 31st, 2012; EDD April 13th, 2013 BabyFruit Ticker BabyFetus Ticker Anniversary
  • TTC since May 2012; BFP July 31st, 2012; EDD April 13th, 2013 BabyFruit Ticker BabyFetus Ticker Anniversary
  • image RussianMommy:
    For the record, I've found this to be pretty darn accurate..

    My LO is right now coming out of the 14 1/2-19 1/2 week Wonder Week, based on her EDD, not actual due date

    BabyFetus Ticker Little Riley-our first little girl coming March 1st, 2013 (or sometime around there;)
  • yea, wonder weeks are based on EDD, not actual birth date :) it's pretty accurate.
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  • My bub is down to two naps a day. Maybe 3. He might just not need to sleep as much now. He's awake way more than 1-2 hours at a stretch. Those are more newborn expectations. 

  • Our latest magical thing is an outdoor swing on our front porch. I put him in it when I can tell he's getting tired.  He smiles & laughs when I first put him there, then gets kind of glassy eyed & then he's out!  I have even been able to successfully transfer him sleeping in the swing to indoors for a longer nap.  I think he likes the change of pace being outdoors with different noises, smells, sights, etc.


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  • Around the three month mark, DS started to really fight naps like your LO.  He would arch his back and sob and cry himself to sleep while we walked him up and down the hallways bouncing him in the "sleep position", all while trying to get him to suck on a soother. And yes... All that work for a crummy 30 minute nap. 

    We chose to do Ferber. I know OP, you do not and are not ready for a CIO method. Ferber does say you can start his method at the 3-4 month mark and we employed it about a few days short of 4 months.

    Here is what has happened since: DS goes to sleep faster. Not all naps does he go down easily (some are rather peaceful and some he fights), but the ones he does fight I may do one check on him, if ever that. At most bed times he actually talks himself to sleep. He also sleeps longer. He is getting more 1 hour naps in. The other day he napped for 3 hours!

    If I am out somewhere and there is no place for him to sleep, he actually fights me if I try to rock him to sleep the way we used to. He really likes to go to sleep on his own now. I honestly believe all the fighting was him trying to tell us that he wanted to go into his bed to sleep. And if he does cry to sleep, it is usually because he is over tired and I missed his cues.

    If you do decide to do some form of sleep training, there is nothing wrong with making the decision to do it now, or continue to hold off. Do what feels best. I just thought to share my experience so if you consider to do something sooner than later, you know of a similar experience.  

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  • Thanks everyone, it is just good to know that I am not the only one losing my sanity a bit every nap time :) I feel like I am back in "survival mode" when it comes to naps and doing whatever it takes to get this kid to sleep. I held him for a 2.5 hour nap yesterday and popped my boob in his mouth every time he started to wake and cry. Gotta remember to get the ipad ready with some shows next time I do that.

    I was looking at that wonder week chart thingy and yeah, looks like we are smack in the middle of fuss fest phase. I plan on waiting at least a month or so before getting serious about doing Ferber if needed. Little guy and I will both be happier and less crazy when he gets this sleep thing figured out!

  • emd886emd886
    100 Comments First Anniversary 5 Love Its
    Man that chart wouldve been helpful a while back! Around 3 months my LO started screaming at nap and bedtime. When I would start rocking him and getting him ready to sleep he would scream and scream himself to sleep. It was awful. I dreaded nap time.
    It sucks but it is just a phase! Sometimes he fusses a little bit still at nap time but nothing like before. The only time he does the screaming thing is after his bath and im getting him dressed, but he stops when i pop a boob in his mouth.
    This too shall pass :-)
    BabyFruit Ticker
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