21 answers

6 Week Old Will Not Nap During Day More than 30 Minutes.

Our 6 week old baby girl recently (in the past two weeks or so) started only sleeping during the day for 30 minutes at a time. I exclusively breastfeed and keep her awake for about an hour after she's eaten or until she gets sleepy and fussy. Then, she'll doze off and we'll put her in her crib (swaddled). Like clock work she wakes up 25-30 minutes later wide awake. Nothing seems to work to get her to go back down. We've tried the swing, rocking her, walking with her, etc. The only thing that has worked is the Baby Bjorn, but I don't want her to think that's the only place she needs to nap. She sleeps well during the night - gets up once or twice between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. Any advise on how to get her to sleep longer during her naps?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

There really isn't anything you can do except find a solution that makes both you and the baby as calm and relaxed as possible. It its the baby bjorn or an electronic swing, then so be it. Lots of babies are like this, you are very lucky to have her only get up once or twice at night. Don't worry, she will start sleeping later. Its too early to worry about bad habits. I wish I had not worried about it like you. It would have made the first few months a little easier for me.

1 mom found this helpful

My son did the same thing--nothing really lengthened his naps until he started crawling and got more active. Some babies are just "short-nappers" we decided. We even did the ridiculous technique in the "No-Cry-Sleep-Solution" to try to help him sleep longer (sitting in there room while they nap and about 5 minutes before they wake trying to coax them into sleeping longer). The only thing that "fixed" it was age...but, the payoff is nighttime sleeping which is priceless!

More Answers

There really isn't anything you can do except find a solution that makes both you and the baby as calm and relaxed as possible. It its the baby bjorn or an electronic swing, then so be it. Lots of babies are like this, you are very lucky to have her only get up once or twice at night. Don't worry, she will start sleeping later. Its too early to worry about bad habits. I wish I had not worried about it like you. It would have made the first few months a little easier for me.

1 mom found this helpful

My son did the same thing--nothing really lengthened his naps until he started crawling and got more active. Some babies are just "short-nappers" we decided. We even did the ridiculous technique in the "No-Cry-Sleep-Solution" to try to help him sleep longer (sitting in there room while they nap and about 5 minutes before they wake trying to coax them into sleeping longer). The only thing that "fixed" it was age...but, the payoff is nighttime sleeping which is priceless!

I can relate! My (now 5 yr old) son was the same way. I think babies can sense when things are different, so she may like the way the Bjorn simulates being in the womb (the closeness to you, the pressure of it around her, the swaying movement when you're moving around). Since that was her "home" for the past nine months, it's what she knows. The crib is a new experience for her and she just may need some time to get used to it. Babies' nervous systems develop at different rates. This may affect her ability to stay asleep until her nervous system matures a little more. My son's six 30 minutes naps a day eventually merged into a morning nap and an afternoon nap over time.

I can relate to your concern about not wanting to condition your daughter to need help to go to sleep as you would like for her to learn to do this on her own. This is where it may be good to read various points of view on infant sleep needs to see which one is the best fit for your daughter and your parenting style. The advice that was the best fit for my son and I came from Dr. Sears (http://www.askdrsears.com/html/7/T070100.asp).

Hang in there. Hopefully her naps will merge in the next few weeks, so that you can get those much needed breaks!

She is still really, really little and figuring out this big, new world. I probably wouldn't try to keep her up that long after feedings at her age. A few minutes sure but watch her cues closely for sleep. And it's pretty normal for her to cat nap at this age.

She is still in the 4th trimester. Take time to look it up. It will help make sense of a lot of her behaviors and needs right now. She wants/needs/craves the comforts of the womb at this time. That's what she was so used to. There is nothing wrong with letting her sleep in the Baby Bjorn right now. It makes her feel secure and comforted like when she was in the womb and felt the constant movement with your movements. Sleeping longer will come with time and age. And some babies are just cat nappers their whole nap careers.

Could be any number of things....some innocuous and some requiring some work. My son slept no longer than 20-30 minutes at a time, for a comprehensive 3 hours daily until he was 6 months old. My son was on formula and was allergic to everything. He didn't sleep until I put him on Alimentum, a completely synthetic formula. Also, he had horrible GERD and reflux, colic, AND a hernia.

I'm not suggesting that your baby has any of these problems, and it may just be the only relation to sleep for her is your heartbeat. However, she may have some digestive issue that requires her to be upright to sleep comfortably. Or perhaps something you're eating is a sensitivity or allergy food for her. Or perhaps she is having ear or breathing issues while down....or perhaps she's just light/sound sensitive.

There are a million reasons a baby has trouble sleeping. Some are medical and some are not. Keep in mind though, (as it was hard for me to do in my sleep deprived state) that the baby is NOT out to get you, runs on instinct and thus is only doing what feels good to her, and she's not out to control you or anything else. I dont feel like you're suggesting it in the least, but sometimes it gets difficult to remember that baby can't help the crying and non-adherence to mom and dad's schedule! It is such a blessing for you that your little one sleeps so much at night! Sleep deprivation may not be an issue for you :)

I wouldn't worry too much if she's already sleeping through the night for so long, but just try trial and error changes to diet and routine, and bring up your concerns at the pediatrician's office (keeping in mind that sometimes they don't think of everything either)...

GOOD LUCK!!! God bless :D

my dd was the same way, I was just able to switch the laundry and she was up again she'd eat play for a bit fall asleep and i quickly folded then up again. it took her some time to get adjusted. when she is tired she will sleep then you will find yourself checking on her every 10 min thinking somthing is wrong cause she's sleeping...lol. just ride it out she will sleep atleast yours is getting some sleep at night mine was up partying. just give it time gl

Hi Mary,
Babies go through sleep cycles of about 30-45 minutes each, and come up to the surface of wakefulness in between times. A typical nap for a baby is 3 sleep cycles, or about 1 1/2 hours. They should be peaceful/ cheerful/ content when they wake. Between these cycles, my oldest son 'came up' well below the surface, and didn't show any signs of wakefulness. I could vaccuum under his crib when he was asleep! My second son, however, fully awakened every 40 minutes during his sleeping times. At night, this was remedied by keeping his pacie in his mouth until he settled back down into the depths of sleep again. I suppose the darkness and quiet helped him. Picking him up would alert him, and keep him from sliding back down into deeper sleep, though. During the day, when it wasn't so dark, and there could be sudden sounds (even slight sounds) during that 5 minutes 'above the surface' between cycles, we had to be very careful to keep really quiet so he wouldn't be alerted and not be able to go back to sleep. That was before I knew about sound machines, etc. He has always been very sensitive to sound... even to where he would hear a helicopter or airplane well before I could. Your infant needs more sleep, but seems to be one who 'comes up way above the surface' between her sleep cycles. Maybe a sound machine that stays on until you shut it off would be of help, to screen abrupt noises during that time. Some sound machines turn off after an hour, and to me, they are worse than not having one, as the sudden quiet is like an alarm going off. Also, you might try room darkening shades or liners for her curtains. Unless she's obviously in distress, (fear or pain), I would recommend not picking her up or alerting her in any way of your presence during that time, as babies are very responsive to momma, and that could keep her 'at the surface' longer, as well. As infants, they are still learning how to sooth themselves to go back into their deeper cycles. They are also prone to latching onto patterns and habits. Whatever you try, think about the habit it will become. The rule of thumb is that, good or bad, three days will cause the pattern to gain a strong foothold. So be careful what you choose for 'quick fixes', and be encouraged about what you choose for 'the long run'.

After rearing 4 children to adulthood, I'd say, 'just count your blessings that she is awake during the day and sleeping at night instead of the other way around!' Babies will set their own eating & sleeping habits, and all we can do is 'guide' them, not 'schedule' them. I know you probably feel that you're not getting enough rest, yourself, but it will soon settle into a routine that works for both of you. 6 weeks old is VERY young to be expecting any actual schedule. Again, I say, be glad she sleeps most of the night!

1 / 3
Required Fields

Our records show that we already have a Mamapedia or Mamasource account created for you under the email address you entered.

Please enter your Mamapedia or Mamasource password to continue signing in.

Required Fields

, you’re almost done...

Since this is the first time you are logging in to Mamapedia with Facebook Connect, please provide the following information so you can participate in the Mamapedia community.

As a member, you’ll receive optional email newsletters and community updates sent to you from Mamapedia, and your email address will never be shared with third parties.

By clicking "Continue to Mamapedia", I agree to the Mamapedia Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.