A.V. asks from Big Arm, MT on October 24, 2008
3 Month Old Not Napping Unless I'm Holding Him
I need a little advice on how to get my 3 month old to nap.
Right now, he is not napping during the day unless I'm holding him.
He's not like most babies who like to rock or be in the swing. He hates both. His preferred method of soothing is me holding him while bouncing on an exercise ball....which I'm sure you can imagine gets tiring after a while.
Anyway, I can't bear to hear him cry it out (I personally think he's too young for that at this point), so I was looking for any advice on what has worked for you other moms. I keep trying to put him down & it works for anywhere between 5 and 45 minutes....but he's not REALLY getting a good nap during the day, and shouldn't he be taking 2 naps at this age each day?
Any advice on this issue will be greatly appreciated. I'm also open to reading books that you may recommend.
S.M. answers from Fort Collins on October 25, 2008
I agree with not letting him cry it out yet. 3mo seems too young for that to me too. As for getting him to nap I would say try laying him down on his tummy in a crib after he is asleep. I KNOW that they don't advise letting them sleep on their tummy but my daughter wouldn't sleep any other way. Also you could try swaddling him... I'm so sorry this is so hard for you! good luck!
C.S. answers from Salt Lake City on October 25, 2008
He may not be getting enough to eat. I've noticed that my 7 week old will stay awake when he's hungry, but will be appeased if I hold him and may fall asleep; that is, until I put him down. This is my third baby, so I've had many different situations to deal with! Good Luck!
K.W. answers from Boise on October 25, 2008
Go for the NOJO SLING and try reading "The Baby Book" by Dr. William Sears and his wife (a nurse and they have 8 children). I have never seen a reason to let a little baby "cry it out." It only make me cry too! I always rocked, walked, held, sang to and strollered them to sleep. Whatever it took. I think my oldest was probably held (either by me or by his Granny) for the first 18 months of his napping life. My older two (almost 7 and almost 5) have a championship bedtime routine that works like a charm. I still rock the baby while I'm reading to them, sometimes we sing a little. But we don't have problems with what the bed is for or going to bed (outside of normal age appropriate behavior). By the way, I also had them all sleeping with me until they were several months old...breastfeeding at night was so much easier that way and I actually got rested!
So I'd advise the NOJO SLING and reading Dr. Sears to help you find the balance you're seeking. Best of luck!
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K.H. answers from Denver on October 25, 2008
My daughter was a finicky napper too. She did finally settle into a swing it took some major effort on my part. First at three months your baby should be napping as much or as little as he wants. dependable schedules don't show up until MUCH later. For sleep I would try a Nojo baby sling. Wearing him has SO many benefits and it will lull him to sleep by your movement & the sound of your heart beat. I would get a copy of 'The Baby Book' by Sears. They have a baby sleep book too but most everything is covered in the big purple baby book and they really go out of their way to base their recommendations on experience & science. It was a life saver to me. ( I tell my friends it's the baby owners manual:) Good luck and don't let naps stress you out or neither of you will sleep
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A.H. answers from Colorado Springs on October 25, 2008
Have you thought about wearing him in a sling? I have a moby wrap and we both love it.
I'm was always looking for the first cues like yawning or rubbing eyes. Now I never let her go longer than 1 1/2 hours between naps. She really needs this routine.
M.J. answers from Salt Lake City on October 25, 2008
My daughter was the same way. She NEVER napped unless I was holding (i.e. nursing) her. I also felt like she was too young for the cry-it-out method. I just did whatever I could and never really found the answer. Once she was 5 or 6 months old, I finally felt like she was old enough that I could do some sleep training with her.
I used the book "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" by Marc Weissbluth. It took about three days (and some agony, I'll admit) and then she started sleeping through the night, napping during the day, going down easily, etc. It was amazing.
Just hang in there for a couple of more months. Then she'll be old enough to learn to sleep on her own.
C.J. answers from Colorado Springs on October 24, 2008
Hmmm...have you tried putting him in one of those baby carriers that you wear? (like the bjorn or something) Maybe he would fall asleep if you are carrying him around like that while you do whatever needs to get done? Or maybe a bouncer that vibrates since he seems to like the bouncy motion? We had one of those, but our daughter was the opposite of your little guy - she loved her swing and hated the bouncer. I don't think it was all that expensive and you can usually find them at the baby consignment stores even cheaper yet. Hope you find something that helps!
J.N. answers from Salt Lake City on October 25, 2008
I agree - he's too young to gain anything from crying it out.
Try getting one of those sling-style baby carriers. Maybe being snug and close to you, and feeling your movements, will help him rest, and will free your hands up for other things.
A.S. answers from Denver on October 24, 2008
At 3 mos babies pretty much sleep, eat, play on demand. They typically don't start settling down into a routine until 4 mos. And then it will more likely be three distinct naps that will shorten to two at 7/8 mos or so.
For sleeping, he may be a tummy sleeper. Its not PC to say, but many babies just will not sleep unless they are on their tummies. My DD slept anywhere and everywhere. My DS would only sleep on his side in a infant carrier or on his tummy in the crib. He just would not sleep on his back at all.
The only thing I will warn you about is to get the falling asleep by himself squared away now, otherwise you'll be bouncing him for a nap when he's 35# and a toddler. GL!
K.J. answers from Salt Lake City on October 27, 2008
i co-nap with my son. lie down with him until he's asleep, sleep with him, or read a book