Babies: 3 - 6 Months

3 Month Old Sleep/Nap Troubles

Hi! My son has always had trouble with sleep. Lately though, it has been unbareabale for us both and I am desperate for any advice or help. 

He doesnt nap - hardly ever. If he does go down for a nap, it’s a quick 20-30 mins and usually only while being rocked, held, fed etc. He might take 2 of these a day if we’re lucky. As soon as he’s placed in a crib, he screams and cries rolls side to side. In addition to this, he is still waking up 3 times a night. We thought maybe his reflux was the cause, but he’s been on omeprazole for that for weeks and have seen no improvement in sleep pattern. We keep his room dark, use white noise - all that stuff. Pediatricians really haven’t had any successful suggestions (all suggestions have only been related to his reflux). 

I’m worried for his health with not sleeping and I’m slowly losing my mind not sleeping myself and spending literally all day doing nothing but feeding him and trying to get him to sleep. Has anyone gone through this who can offer advice?

Re: 3 Month Old Sleep/Nap Troubles

  • amc53539amc53539 Just Joined
    Hi I am sorry you are going through this. Are you following age appropriate wake windows for naps and bedtime? An app that helps with this I have used for my first and second baby is huckleberry.
  • I was in your shoes. And I wish someone told me what I'm going to tell you. Don't read text books and avoid sleep consultants. Your baby is unique and some babies need parent led sleep I.e need you or caregiver to sleep. 
    Once i accepted this and realised my baby is not a text book I was happier he was happier aaaaaand his sleep got better naturally. 

    So every nap I parent led. So nursed/rocked and held him so contact naps and every now and then I try to out him down. Not ready fine let's contact nap more. 

    Dr Sears and Dr McKenna and Pinky McKay saved my sanity. 

    Sleep is learnt not forced. You can't force anyone let alone a baby to sleep. You want your baby to enjoy sleep and know it's safe to sleep. It's hard being nap trapped BUT it doesn't last forever. And in doing so I was able to nap and relax with a book or video. Catch up on texts and emails etc. 

    My son suffered with silent reflux and we did baby Gaviscon what made a massive improvement to his mood and sleep was Cranial Osteopathy. It didn't make it 100% better but he improved massively. 

    He still had nights of waking every 45mins until he was 4.5 ni the old. 

    Also be kind on you and baby. Understand Sleep regressions / milestones / leeps / wonder weeks affect babies differently some babies go unscathed some suffer for weeks. My son started 4 month sleep regression at 3.5 months he was 14weeks and ended at 20 weeks.

     He is 24 weeks and I still nurse / rock / bounce him to sleep. Wait until he is in a deep sleep then transfer. Deep sleep happens around 20 - 30mins. Do the limp limb test and keep baby close - Dr Sears goes into details. 

    My son fights his naps he used to cry but now he has a whinge for 5mins. 

    If your gentle with your approach and nurturing your baby will eventually accept sleep as a positive thing and will stay asleep and even self settle. It will take time. 

    I don't reccommend CIO / Ferber etc etc Dr McKenna goes into details why. 

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  • lb5147lb5147 member
    Oh Mama, I have been you with my first. I tried everything and felt like nothing worked. I used Taking Cara Babies and that helped at the time. Looking back, I would change a few things:

    1. Accept contact naps and Baby wear. It’s a game changer.

    2. If baby sleeps in the car seat or stroller, get out and go for a walk for a nap or two a day.

    3. Look into safe sleep 7 and bed-sharing. I know it’s not recommended in the US by peds. If it’s something you’re not comfortable doing, then don’t. But if you are so exhausted that yours falling asleep in the middle of the night to tend to him, it’s worth a try. Again, only if you feel comfortable.

    4. Lastly, it’ll only be a little bit longer. This stage doesn’t seem like it goes by fast when you’re in it, but let me tell you. When you’re out of it, you realize indeed how fast it went.

    Good luck mama, this too shall pass.
  • rwhitacrwhitac member
    edited May 2022
    That’s so exhausting. Hang in there Mama! Don’t be afraid to try new things. Maybe the mainstream suggestions just don’t work for your baby. I’ve had to explore others options. My baby has only ever napped when held and only for about 45 min at a time. I’ve navigated this by baby wearing (she falls asleep fastest when walking outside), nursing to sleep, and bed sharing. I know bed sharing is a big no no in America currently, but internationally and historically it’s really normal. I’d recommend trying bed sharing and side lying to feed, especially through the night (she wakes at least 3 times each night). This has been much more restful for me. I’ve found positions where I’m not afraid of her moving and being smothered. If you’re comfortable, give it a try.

    If formula feeding and not breastfeeding then it could be your chosen formula causing sleep and digestion issues. My baby had reflux but I take her to a pediatric chiropractor weekly which has helped her a lot. With reflux and with sleep. We also have done CST (craniosacral therapy) to help release the tensions in the nerves of her diaphragm, stomach, esophagus that were causing her reflux. After about 2 months of cst she’s doing so much better. Both of these treatments are super gentle, but very helpful in my experience.

    Ive created a routine of nursing to sleep for first morning nap then transferring her to her snuggle me. She only sleeps in that for like 30min but just trying to expose her to sleeping alone in some form. Sometimes she goes for it and sometimes she doesn’t. But at least I tried. Next nap I wear her and go for a walk. Rest of the day whenever she’s starts her sleep cues, I either wrap her or nurse to sleep in the bed. Sometimes I leave her and sometimes I stay to rest as well. Wrapping is a game changer because you don’t get nap trapped. I have a solly wrap and ergo baby carrier that I alternate between and would recommend.

    Just try new methods and see what happens. It can be so exhausting trying to fit into what other people say your baby should do and how they should do it. If neither you nor baby is getting rest doing what mainstream methods say you should do, then it’s just not working. Don’t be afraid to try new things to find what works for you and baby to both get rest. If it works for your family, then it’s the right thing to do. Be confident, girl. You’re the best mama for your baby! Hope you can find methods that are more helpful and get more rest!
  • Sounds like you're having a rough go mama! Hang in there :)

    Do you have a consistent bedtime routine for your baby? Do you use a sound machine? Have you tried room darkening/blackout curtains? Are you swaddling? (If baby is not showing signs of rolling then you can still swaddle at this time).

    Also, how long are you keeping baby awake before you put him down for a nap/bed? Try to follow wake windows if you can. I recently came across something on the internet that said something along the lines of ... if your baby is waking at 30mins or less than they are probably overtired; if they wake around 45min then probably not tired enough ... so that may help to adjust how long/short you keep baby up for :)

    I use the Huckleberry app to track sleep, feeds, and diaper changes. If you're not using an app, it might good to use one so you can track trends and maybe that data will help you make some adjustments to his schedule as well.

    Hope that helps! Let me know if you have any more questions :)
  • Now this saved my sanity. Thank you 
  • Wake windows was a game changer for me! Granted she still only naps 30 minutes at a time but every once in awhile I get an hour or more. 
    Every baby is different I am realizing and I had to stop looking things up on the internet, it made me crazy. Also, it might not work for your baby. Each baby is unique. I would try different things and see what works for the baby and you! That might mean baby wearing, or pacifier with naps... you got this! It's incredible how we can function with such little sleep but I just remind myself that it will pass (and I will get to sleep one day)
    Also check out taking Cara babies, she has good information, I used what worked and didn't force what didn't work
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