20 answers

Can't Get My 4.5 Month Old to Sleep Longer than 20-45 Minute Naps

My baby has had a hard time sleeping since birth. She was colicky, but now is much better. I have let her cry it out for naps for 3 weeks and she still won't sleep longer than 45 minutes in her crib. For a while she would take an hour nap in the morning...but now the nap is becoming later than it use too and shorter. I notice her tired signs at 2 hours of wakefullness. She use to show me sleepy signs at 1.5 hours, such as rubbing eyes and yawning, but now only shows me fussiness. She will take up to three naps in a day, but all very short ones, never quite an hour. She does sleep wonderful in her crib at night though, starting inbetween 8pm-9pm and lasting usually 7 hours for a quick feed and then back down till 8am. She is very hungry at her night feeds and I will never stop feeding at night if she is hungry. She is also exclusively breastfed, extremely gassy (tummy gurgles a lot), I do not eat dairy in my diet, and she has been teething for a while now, won't take a bottle (but I do offer some water by dropper and a bottle of water daily to see if she'd eventually take it). She is constantly asking for the breast...and I know I make more than enough milk...most times she isn't even finishing the breast. She always seems to take different amounts from my breast at each feeding too, sometimes she is on for a long time, others it is just short (5 minutes). I am afraid to give her rice/breatmilk at the very thin consistency because I have done it twice and she has become very constipated. The doc says to try oatmeal and breastmilk at the very thin consistency, but I think I may just wait till 6 months. She did like eating the rice/breatmilk though, even though it didn't agree with her. She is though a very happy baby since colic ended and constantly has a smile on her face even despite the lack of naps and gas. She is a cutie patootie. Anyone have any suggestions?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Well my baby girl got her dreaded 4 month shots a week ago and her naps and bedtime have ever since been broken up again. She is now getting better, and I've been wearing her in a body baby wrap and it has helped to get her to sleep for naps before I need to transition her to her crib. 20-45 minute naps I found aren't the worst things in the world, as long as I keep getting her to take them..in in more frequency throughout the day if possible. The convential wake, eat, play, and sleep formula doesn't typically work for my daughter. Everyday is so different than the one before it...yet I love her and cherish every smiley and giggly moment we have together...and yes even thecrying/fussing while mommy is tired moments too. Kudos to moms everywhere who love their children enough to help them to take naps! (Boy it isn't easy!)

More Answers

she sounds just like my son. It's ok to take sort nap. It u force her to sleep more she will get upset.mY son is the same age. He will sleep for 20-45 mins. He doesn't like the rice cereal. This week I tried sweet potatoes. Huge fan. He is only breast feed as well.Hates the bottle. Just let her guide you. She will tell you what she wants and needs when they need it. As far as gas mailcon works best. she will start passin gas in 10 mins. hope all works out well. you can email me if you have more question. sorry my son is waiting to type.fjjlk x ,f mjknnnbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb

1 mom found this helpful

Hi M.,
I found with my daughter that her naps did not lengthen until she was about 7-8 months old. Until then it was just a quick 30 minute or so nap a three times a day (like you said, she was up for 1.5 to 2 hours and then would take a cat nap). Once she reached about 7 months we were able to transition to a 9am and 1 pm nap that last anywhere from 1-2 hours each. If her naps were short she would sometimes take a third late afternoon nap, but has since phased it out. During growth spurts she will sleep longer, other times naps are shorter. I think you need to go with her schedule a little bit. Don't worry about lengthening her naps yet, she will do this on her own once she is a bit older. I also breast fed exclusively and did not give my daughter any cereals until 6 months. They get all they need from BM and the cereals can be rough on their tummies.
Best of Luck with your little girl!


1 mom found this helpful

Hi M.,

My little man doesn't like to miss a beat, and his naps have gone from 4 (AM, Noon, PM, evening, then sleeping at night) to maybe 1 nap.

My nap extenders are:
I sometimes lay next to him when he is tired, and just rubbing his back, and letting my eyes close - and letting him see it. Sometimes he drops off. Sometimes he just rests quietly, and I get a few moments of rest, if not sleep.

Other times, he naps in the swing, and when he stirs, I rock it and shush him, and he goes back to sleep.

Other times, when he wakes fussing, but his eyes are still closed, I'll shush him and nurse him, and he'll drop off again.

I would stop the water - if you're breastfeeding, she doesn't need it, and yes, she will eventually take it (*Maybe not as much as you'd like but she will, honest!) Not knowing if you are using tap, boiled or bottled, it's one factor you can eliminate safely.

Not sure what your diet is, but my DS (until roughly 7.5 months) had a VERY STRONG reaction to my eating garlic, or any other of the other no-nos for breastfeeding (cruciferous, onions, nuts are the other things I avoid). The gas would tie him up in knots. Caffeine is out - and chocolate. (I thought I'd go nuts with those two! but you can do it!)

You are SO blessed she will sleep through the night. My DS stopped that about a week after Christmas. He is looking to eat sometimes 2-4 times a night. (I don't count last night - he slept through 6 hours - it is certainly not the norm!)

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi M.,
My daugther is 8 months and she started staying up longer after she woke up at about 3 months. She is also only breastfed but at 4 months I went back to work so she take a bottle with breast milk. You should try to keep giving her a bottle because you will want to get out sometime alone with a girlfriend or even your husband. We have a sleep sheep which makes ocean sounds it helps her sleep for an hour or 2. But 45 mins is okay as long as she is not tired when she wakes up. You can get the sleep sheep online at babycenter.com. Also try a swing my daughter slept there for 6 months at nap time. Good luck it gets easier.

1 mom found this helpful

I would try feeding her just 5 minutes on one breast then switching to the other breast as they get the most milk during the first 5 minutes. Maybe she will be more satisfied in the day and sleep better for her naps.

Also, she could still be a little colicky -- I breast fed exclusively for 6 months my 3 daughters and one was restless until passed 5 months and then like a miracle it went away over the course of about a week.... hang in, she will be fine!!

1 mom found this helpful

Hi M.

I exclusively breastfed all 4 of my kids- great job on doing that for your baby too, she is gettin the best.

The only thing I could recommend to you right now is to just wait it out - she's 4.5 months old, sometimes kids are not long nappers. I have many friends who have kids that nap 1 hour here or there.. I can tell you that it will get better sweetie, so keep up the great work.. :)

All my best,

L. A.

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Going green while working from home

1 mom found this helpful

Just wanted to correct some advice below - babies get mostly water in the first few minutes at the breast. The hindmilk comes after, so nursing longer means more fatty milk and a fuller baby. Also, research is showing that filling a baby up with cereal or rice does NOT make them sleep better/longer - especially if it causes constipation or gas as it sounds like it's doing to your little girl. This is a huge myth to try to dispel in the mothering community. All the best - enjoy the short naps she takes and follow her lead.

1 mom found this helpful

a 40 minute sleep cycle is VERY NORMAL for this age! And sleep cycles are regulated by the maturity of a person's nervous system, not their stomach! So you are doing fine. Also, know that when the teeth start coming, the pain can often make sleeping soundly difficult.

1 mom found this helpful

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