Naps: the new bane of our existance — The Bump
February 2016 Moms

Naps: the new bane of our existance

WTF baby. Just go to sleep!

For the past *two months* or so (!!), my little guy has been hardcore fighting his naps. We'll have a day here or there where he does them without much of a struggle, but in general it's an ordeal to get him down during the day. He's 13 weeks old, but already well into leap 4 according to the Wonder Weeks app. Luckily he goes to sleep for the night pretty easily, though not always for as long as I'd like. It's the naps that are really killing me. I don't think it's part of sleep regression, since this has already been happening for so long.

We do have a nap routine. I close the curtains, put white noise on, nurse, then try to put him in his crib drowsy but with his eyes open. I've tried some other variations (like moving nursing up a bit so that he associates it less with sleep), but this seems to be what does the trick most often. Sometimes it even works, and he'll put himself to sleep. But he often wakes up screaming after 30-40 minutes, or starts crying 5 minutes after being put in the crib. I try soothing him by touching his tummy, singing, rocking his bed a little, but usually need to pick him up and nurse him again to get him back to sleep. Again and again. And again. And then again. Again. And again. He rejects pacifiers completely, by the way.

How are your babies doing with their naps? How many naps a day do you get? ...Do you have any special tricks?

Re: Naps: the new bane of our existance

  • We've been usually getting two good 1.5-2 hour naps and one smaller 30 min or so cat nap a day . Some days she really fights it but for the most part she does pretty good. We close blinds go into our sleep sack nurse and lay down drowsy. She usually fusses some going down but doesn't scream cry hardcore. I do allow her to fuss some on her own for a few before I go back in 
  • Good to know, @mrsc12414 . It sounds like the routine is about the same, except maybe you're better at judging when to go in and when to wait. Or maybe my baby is just not as good at putting himself to sleep. I really don't know! Trying to just go with the flow and remember he's still a little baby. I don't want to get too freaked out/obsessed about sleeping habits yet, but sometimes it's just...really hard.
  • Sounds like my baby! Haha. Except we bedshare so usually if lay there with him he'll sleep longer. My guy doesn't like the actual falling asleep part. There have been days where he's gone 7+ hours with no nap and he's still in a fabulous mood. Trying to force it is tiring and an annoying waste of my day so I've just been toting him around doing what I need to do. I'll wear him in a wrap at home or walk to the store with my stroller and he eventually gets tired enough to really conk out. The more tummy time/exercise and fresh air he gets the easier it seems for him to sleep. I think it's probably very easy to get obsessed with what a baby this age "should" be doing and trying to keep them on a schedule when maybe it's just not working for you or them. 
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  • Honestly we just go with the flow too. Zoey will be 17 weeks tomorrow she's really only been doing the sleep thing consistently for the past four weeks or so. We have some great days and some not so great days. It will get easier !!! Remember they are just finding their "voices" my little is very vocal but she has a big difference from her wine to her cry. I also really try to watch her cues when she's yawning or fussing we go try for nap. She usually gets about 2 hours awake time between naps anymore and it's near impossible to get her down because she's over tired . Good luck mama 
  • My baby does not nap good at all either- never really has. She takes about 3- 4 cat naps during the day 30 minutes to 1hr at a time usually, but sleeps like a champ at night (ever since we brought her home- 10hrs straight). Her bed time is 7pm though. We start our bed time routine around 6:30 or so. ( seems so early and it's not fun for me who has to make supper but she does so well with it). Honestly, I used to really care about how much sleep my little one got but this is my second child I know that they will sleep when they are ready. Does he/she seem content while awake? I would go by that. Maybe he/she doesn't fit the exact mold they say they should at this age.  Some of them fight it more than others I guess. I drove myself crazy with the first making sure she slept a long nap during the day (btw she always fought me on that). My approach with the second has been to just watch her cues and let her tell me when she is ready to nap? She refuses to nap in her crib though. She will however sleep her 10 hrs there at night. Weird but it suits me so we allow her to take her naps in her pack n play or rock n play. I know that baby sleep is crazy and us as parents are exhausted.  
  • My little guy naps really good. He has several naps a day lasting 2-4 hours each just depending on how awake he was before. With three older children there is going to be noise constantly and we are usually on the go. But when home I just nurse him and put him straight into the swing. But he's not fussy if he doesn't get a nap in. As long as he's fed he's great. 
  • This post is my life right now. Every nap (in the crib) is a battle. So we go on so many walks since he will sleep in the stroller.  I know it is not good to do that, and he needs to learn how to fall asleep on his own, but I literally don't know what to do.  We can put him down drowsy at night and he falls asleep, but for naps he will just scream if we do that (he will be 14 weeks tomorrow)

  • I feel your pain. We've been dealing with short naps since LO was about 6/7 weeks old, he'll be 18 weeks tomorrow. Naps were often a struggle and would only last 20-40 minutes unless maybe he was in the swing. He would wake up crying and still tired but I could not get him back to sleep. I tried lots of different things but I finally started getting him to sleep initially and back to sleep during naps with the Baby Whisperer's 4S wind down and shush/pat methods.  There's info online that details the steps.  I started using shush/pat at bedtime about a month ago and now LO falls asleep on his own most nights but occasionally may need a little help.  Naps are still a work in progress but I've had success with getting him back to sleep during naps and they also started getting gradually longer in just a few days once I decided to really stick to using that method.  I was amazed because nothing else had worked for us to get past that 40 minute mark in all this time.  Maybe it's worth a try, hang in there!
  • I have no idea how many weeks old my LO is - I just counted on the calendar (15 for the record). With my first I knew exactly how many weeks old he was and probably hour many hours/minutes too! 
  • Have you tried just letting him cry for 10 minutes or so? DD almost always wakes up about 40 minutes into her nap (she doesn't cry though) but if I leave her there she falls back asleep about 80% of the time and will sleep at least another hour.

  • I don't usually let him cry because... :(

    I do let him fuss but it almost always leads to crying. Once in a while he will fall asleep on his own when I leave him, but it's not anything I seem to be able to replicate predictably.

    However...since just about EVERY nap time (failed or successful) involves crying lately, I might have to just let him cry. It's getting absurd. Today he only napped for a total of maybe...2 hours?? Broken up into smaller segments. And those 2 hours were in the stroller. It was the only way I could get him to sleep without a meltdown.

    I did notice that he usually cries in the car before falling asleep. Like maybe 3-5 minutes of screaming and then *conk* he's out. Also, I sometimes have to snap him out of it when he's scream-crying by blowing or whistling in his face - then he kind of startles and will often flip to happy smiley baby. Not sure what's that about. Is he crying in his sleep or something??

    So. Not sure yet what I'm going to do about this. It's starting to look like I will need to try some form of CIO. For the sake of his sleep and my sanity.

  • Anyone trying a Merlins sleep suit? A friend dropped hers off today to let me borrow and am thinking I'm going to try it to tomorrow for naps and bedtime. 
  • My DD, exactly. She was a morning nap champ for a long time.. Sleeping 3+hrs in her car seat after running errands. Now? The eyes pop open within 5 minutes of getting home. Sometimes she'll take a little longer nap around noon if I nurse her to sleep, but even that has gone by the wayside the last few days. I don't know what to do, so apparently I'm just going to do nothing. This is my second crappy-napper kid. I stressed a TON with DD1 about doing the "right" thing, getting on a schedule, etc. Now? Eh. I don't have time for that. 



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  • We've really struggled getting our little one to nap for any more than 40-60mins during the day as well. She's fine at night but in 18 weeks, she's only ever napped for 3 hours twice. Getting her to sleep is no problem, but staying asleep is tricky as she often wakes crying & still tired.
    I recently learned that a baby's sleep cycle is 20-40mins (hence the cat naps!) When she cries/wakes, I've started to wait 10mins before going in as I've found she often goes back to sleep for another 30-60mins. Not always, but it's better than nothing!
    Hang in there.. Be consistent & bubs will get there.

  • jarob747jarob747
    100 Comments 100 Love Its Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited June 2016
    Hallelujah we had a break through, I'm so excited!! Jacob has not been napping but a few mins here and there maybe a total of 2 hrs a day but today I put him in his bassinet cosleeper and closed the curtains and put him down drowsy but still awake a bit. He fussed just very minor for a couple mins and I'd sooth him but then on the 3rd soothing attempt he went right out and on his tummy which is a first too! So happy!!! He slept for 1.5 hours. Normally when he rolls to his tummy he wakes up crying but he appears to love it today. I got so much done during that nap... it was awesome!!! Oh how I hope this continues.  Guess I just need to start setting the tone and having a nap routine. 

  • =caenis==caenis=
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    edited June 2016
    That's fabulous, @jarob747

    Naps have improved greatly here over the past week. My mom is visiting and when she saw how desperate things were and how tired the baby was, she recommended letting him cry it out. It had gotten to the point where my efforts to soothe him (breastfeeding, singing, rocking, etc.) were not getting him to sleep anymore. He would start this horribly sad wailing out of pure frustration and exhaustion. It was soooo stressful and difficult, but my interference wasn't helping and he needed to solve the sleep problem himself. 

    I'm happy to say he learned really quickly how to put himself to sleep. Leaving him to cry wasn't easy, but it worked. He now just fusses 5 min or so but manages by himself almost every time. At first he'd cry a good 15 minutes, but now that only seems to happen anymore if he is overtired. Every baby is different of course. Mine seems to need the space and chance to cry a little in order to get to sleep.

    ETA: He wakes up happy and gets two 2-hour naps in!!!!!
  • Congrats guys!  I'm so glad to hear LOs are napping better!  It's an amazing thing to have that time for yourself to recoup or get stuff done and know they're going to wake up happy and rested.  
  • My LO is fighting his naps, but once he cries for 5-10 mins, I check on him again and he's zonked out. I know when he's tired because of the time and also because he makes these whiny grunting noises. I just lay him down and walk away. I'll go back in after 5 mins, replace binky since its fallen out, shhhhhh him, give him a kiss and walk away. The next time I check on him he's always asleep. Naps and bedtime he's been crying it out for the first few minutes. He never got like this before, so it's a first for us! He's still a good sleeper at night and that is so important to me! 
  • I know naps are important when they are young but might I make a suggestion try not to stress about the nap if she/he takes one great if not then you know they will go to bed easier.but son is 6 now i lucked out he was a great napper.
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  • Bad naps do not equal getting to bed easier. Good naps make getting to bed and getting a good night's rest more likely. On the days my LO refuses naps, she's so overtired that she's just cranky and mad instead of peacefully drifting off to sleep.
  • Same @middy411. If my LO refuses to nap, it's hell to get her to sleep at night! 
  • LO skipped nap last evening and I had to rock a screaming baby to sleep! Usually I lay him down and he goes right to sleep. Skipping his nap really screwed his schedule up! 
  • My lil one only had 2 30min naps today and went to sleep an hour later than normal  it fell asleep super easy..(we had company and he refused to sleep.BUT last time he skipped a nap he screamed for 3hours while I did everything I possibly could to comfort him until he finally fell asleep and then continued waking every hour to scream for 2more hours.I think tonight he just couldn't take it anymore I'm sure tomorrow will be another story if he skips naps the next day is always a horror story.
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