C.B. asks from Long Beach, CA on April 10, 2009
My Baby Won't Nap Easily
My baby is 3 months old and we are having a hard time with his naps. He naps really well if we hold him. He does pretty well in the car or in the stroller and sometimes, in his swing. But these naps only last 20-40 minutes. If we try and put him in his crib, he gets really angry. I haven't let him cry it out because I worry he is too young still. But, he is starting daycare in about a month and I'm worried that his difficulty with naps will be a big problem! What's strange is that he sleeps fine in his crib at night...Any advice is appreciated!
2 moms found this helpful
T.C. answers from San Diego on April 11, 2009
good luck! i had the same exact problem-my daughter would not take naps! just the cat naps you are talking about! i tried every method and NOTHING worked!!! my daughter is now 9 months and since she's been 6 months she started napping. i just really paid attention to her moods, she would start getting cranky and i would try. before 6 months she never got cranky. now she naps from 11-1 and from 4-530. i've been lucky so far-she sleeps with a 6inx6in giraffe blanket now i just give that to her, she will go to her side and go to sleep. when she first started napping, when she got fussy i would go downstairs rock her or breastfeed her then put her in her crib. now she goes to sleep without any of that!! it was VERY difficult for me but she just eventually put herself in her own schedule. (she wakes up at 830-9, naps 11-1, naps 4-530 then to bed at 830)
J.M. answers from Los Angeles on April 11, 2009
You've received some great responses here. I especially enjoyed the one from SH. I don't have much to add,however,as a mother and Grandmother,let me simply say,that there is not any one set way,to care for your child.Every baby is different.Their genetics,their personality,are a mirrored image of you and their father combined.They will possess familiar traits of you,and those of their father,but they have their own special identity. A blanket approach,in treating each and every child exactly the same,would almost appear we're attempting to dictate what their personalities SHOULD be,when in reality,we should be permitting these children to spread their wings and be that individual they were intended to be..or yearn to be.If you have plans to have another baby,that child will be completely different than your first. He or she will have different needs.Lets put it this way. It would be much like treating a thousand patients all with different ailments,with the exact medication,at the same dose.Your son is a special little person,so you treat him (special) At 3 months old,when he cries ,he needs to feel you are there for him.This is the only way he has to let you know when he needs you.Even if its as simple as he wants to feel that closeness with you.Use your motherly instincts.You,better than anyone in his life, know his different cries,his needs.If hes sleeping good at night,hes doing well.If hes restless at nap time,as SH said,it sounds like he may be (over tired) try to better recognize when he is getting tired. Fussy,or rubbing his eyes.That way,you get him down before he gets over tired. I wish you and your (special boy) the very best.J. M.
2 moms found this helpful
S.H. answers from Honolulu on April 10, 2009
Here's a great link for you, from Dr. Sears, per sleep problems in babies.
I would make sure, about HOW the Daycare puts babies to nap?
Do THEY let them cry it out? Do they comfort the baby? Do they pick them up if there is crying?
YOU as the Mom, should find out, and inform them that you do NOT want them to cry it out. Yes, for a young 3 month old baby... you should not do this.
Next, for his daytime naps... try and make everything dark, quiet, and calm. Do not do anything hectic or busy or too stimulating prior to his nap. For my kids for example, it takes me about 1/2 hour just to wind-down/calm them down for naps. This is called our 'pre-nap' routine.
BUT for a baby only 3 months old.. they can't just be trained or scheduled for naps, much less be regular about it.
For my kids, for example, it was not until about 6 months old that I introduced real regularity and routine to their naps. But, prior to that when they were younger, I KNEW when they were tired and needed a nap. I cued into them and them sleepy cues. I did not wait until they were 'over-tired' to then put them to nap. Over tired babies/children actually have a harder time to sleep and wake more.
Next, at 3 months old, they are changing developmentally and the awareness of their surroundings too, and it is a "growth-spurt" time where they need extra intake and get hungrier... which is in tandem with their changing development. THIS does put a kink into their sleep ability. It's normal. But not easy for the parent.
At this age though... they typically get tired after about 2-3 hours of 'awake' time. So look for your baby's sleep cues as well. ie: rubbing eyes, yawning, fist-ed hands, fussiness etc.
How many times a day do you try and get him to nap?
Being that he is only napping for 20-40 minutes.. he is probably still tired even after he wakes. This is a real short cat nap only... not a deep slumber which is restorative. Probably.
Each baby is different though.
Lots of babies hate being transferred to a crib after falling asleep and they do like just being in their parents arms. So its a hard transition... it will take time.. .maybe not until he is much older.... like at about 6+ months old.
Make sure you give him a good feeding before nap, burp him, change diaper, make everything calm. Maybe use some 'white noise" in the room for naps. (we put on a fan on low, when my son goes to nap. He likes it). Make the room nice and dark.
Also, a baby does not necessarily know how to self-soothe. Some do it no problem, others don't. My daughter was more high-needs we had to rock her & hold her etc., but my son just self-soothes on his own. Each baby is different!
there is no real 'formula' to this... but the link above is great and it will give you ideas and suggestions.
I don't know.. there is no one way... all Moms do things in various ways. Just some ideas on my part.
2 moms found this helpful
D.D. answers from Los Angeles on April 11, 2009
most babies are like this..i wish i had had the kind of bassinet that rocks on it's own..i used to put my son in the stroller and push him back and forth on the porch facing a wall..so he had nothing interesting to look at ..sometimes i would do this for 30 minutes..til he dozed off..then i would wheel him into his room..which is blackened out w/ black out curtains and i have soothing sound machines going..man those days were rough..i didn't do cry it out til he was 9 months..but wished i had done it at 6 months..don't do it before 6 months..
The thing is ..they don't know how to fall asleep..that's why it's so important to nap them at the same exact times every day..and have a routine so their little bodies get used to sleeping at those times..
my son dropped to 2 naps at 6 months and down to 1 at 11 months..he is 3 now..and i think b/c i stuck w/ sleep training so hard that he is a great sleeper now.
still naps ..but now he wants to nap out of the crib..i kept him in the crib til he was 3. U should get "Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child" if u don't have that book already..it really helped..
i think the first 3.5 months are the toughest! so you're almost out of that zone..it does get easier..good luck.
1 mom found this helpful
K.H. answers from San Diego on April 11, 2009
Check out Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Weissbluth. It is a great resource.
Also, I believe that 3 months is too young to let the child cry it out, Have you tried swaddling?
A.P. answers from San Diego on April 11, 2009
sounds completely normal. My little guy took a couple of naps a day...I don't think they convert to OUR schedule too easily. Good luck.
D.M. answers from Los Angeles on April 11, 2009
Have you tried swaddling? That's what they're used to from the womb.
M.R. answers from Los Angeles on April 11, 2009
You have just described my exact problem as well! If I put him down he wakes up in 5 mins. At night I can put him down for 4-6 hours. At least he has his days and nights figured out. Thanks for posting, I can't wait to see what people suggest.
K.M. answers from Reno on April 11, 2009
A friend of mine had much the same problem, she is also a psychology major. Children at your son's age are beginning to realize their abilities to move about, even rolling over is a big deal for baby's. He will wear himself out if you let him play, or explore. His need for naps will vary from time-to-time until he gets used to his new mobility and his curiosity has been settled. Allow him to crawl around, turn over and play with simple toys when you put him down for his nap, he will become used to the fact that the time you put him in his crib for a nap, he will settle down and put himself to sleep eventually. Keep the nap schedule, don't deviate from this schedule. This will become routine soon enough. Remember, each new ability or should I say mobility your son learns he will be more likely to explore more and more. Be sure to baby-proof your house. He may begin to get into more than you knew he would. He may even find things you didn't know you had. Please remember using the television to keep his attention is not a good thing either, limit the tv time to one hour. good luck, next comes teething, this will keep him from sleeping too.