Naps Without CIO! 6 Month Old Baby That Wont Nap

Updated on April 15, 2011
T.D. asks from Syracuse, NY
14 answers

hi, im the mommy of a 6 month old baby boy. He sleeps really good at night, usually from 8 to 7 am but he wont nap! we have tried to let him tried for 15 min intervals and then come in briefly and calm him. But it takes sometimes 4 attempts! I really hate doing it and im hoping you can have some suggestions for me. He usually gets sleepy at 9 and i try to put him down by then but nothing. I have tried the swing, breastfeed him, classical music and when he seems really sleepy put him in the crib but as soon as i lay him down he starts crying...

what should i do??? he was also colicky for 3 months and im not sure if t his is impacting his inability to self soothe for naps

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answers from Washington DC on

Some babies just need to cry to self soothe. My sister cried herself to sleep for a solid year. Drove my mother crazy.
As long as he is safe, dry, and fed, sometimes all you can do is let them cry.

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answers from Austin on

Cuddle up and sleep with him. (People are gonna pound me for that one!)
That's what I have done with my son, (typically he calms enough and gets into a deep sleep and a quietly get up)

If you're home with him anyway, arrange your day, so there's just a nap time. You shouldn't feel guilty about it and don't think that he's going to do it forever! Sleep is SOOOOO important for a little person in particular.

If he's colicy and you suspect reflux, I know people have said medication can help, which I am sure it does for many. We avoided it because I didn't want my tiny person medicated and x-ray-ed. Instead I cut out all dairy for me since I was nursing and when I gave him formula periodically, I used soy.

Some babies need more soothing, holding, reassurance than others. Hopefully he starts getting some rest.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Rochester on

He may not nap. CIO is not good for him. Developmentally he may have ditched all his naps. That's hard on you but that may be where he is. If he is sleepy and not napping when he is sleepy, that may be TEETHING.

Trying arnica (crushed or dissolved in water if you give him a bottle) or other teething remedies may get you his naps back.

I know when my son gets sleepy or falls asleep in my arms and wakes when I put him down - it's TEETHING. it's an awful feeling bc he doesn't go back to sleep for an hour or more. sometimes not for hours. It doesn't help that older brother is BENT on keeping him awake at times.

A wooden teething toy is also a recommended pain-reducer. You can find them online; Rochester has a store that is online and on location: cloth diapers and a whole lot more. She's a Mom too!

He may never (as an infant/toddler) self soothe for naps. Not many babies do this naturally. Mine don't. I nurse them down every time. When I am asked isn't it inconvenient? I say hmmm, added immunity, consolation, warmth, cuddle time, and attitude adjustment: how can that be inconvenient? It is far more of an inconvenience to me if he is acting out (at whatever age!) and I know it is because he needs attention, not becuase he is BAD! No child is bad!

Good luck, and great for your baby that you are ditching CIO! so much more healthy!

PS: I can post here in the mamapedia world, but replying to messages has been cut off for me. I don't know what the problem or issue is/has been. for you and others who have been trying to contact me to say 'hey' , 'wanna be friends', or 'right on' or anything else, thank you. I'd be social and reciprocate but something is hanging up the works on the moderator's end.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Jamestown on

Your son is already training you to meet his needs. By coming in repeatedly, this is teaching him "negative" behavior gets getting the swing and breast feeding which puts him in direct contact of you.

Sometimes you have to let them cry and figure out for themselves how to self-soothe.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Modesto on

You probably cant force him to nap, the time you are spending trying to force it would be time that he might wear himself out on his own and actually be ready for a natural nap. If you need him to nap so you can do chores or shower or something just pop him in the playpen with some of his favorite toys. You cant force a nap, but you can train him to know that he will be in the pack and play for a time each day and he'll get used to that.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

It could be, my first had reflux and getting him to nap was harder. Do you have a rocker or glider? Totally saved me!! Maybe rocking him to sleep would help, I did that with my first all the time, I actually rocked him until he turned three or so, but by then it was just for some cuddle time :D Does he breastfeed. I have let both my boys fall asleep on the breast, and after they are weaned I have no trouble getting them to go to sleep or anything. Also, since your baby is 6 months and can move his head and probably roll himself around, you could lay him down on his belly to sleep, if you feel comfortable doing that. I did that with my second and had a very different experience with sleep with him, I never had to do any cio, he just slept peacefully, plus I think it is more comfy on their bellies to tummy sleep. But I do know some people aren't comfortable doing that, totally understandable. Anyway, good luck, thankfully he does sleep at night!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Milwaukee on

I napped w/ my baby. She slept. I slept. Win - Win in my opinion. :)


answers from Norfolk on

My first was like this also, and I just laid down with him and nursed him pretty much the whole time he was sleeping. He didn't take consistent naps by himself until he was well over a year old--but he was my only child, and I never look back and think "Man, I wish I cuddled him less and cleaned my house more". He's 2.5 now and hates having anyone in the room with him when he's trying to sleep, I never EVER see him sleeping and I really wish he would fall asleep snuggling again.

Now, my 6 month old is different. She only slept in my maya wrap for the first 4 months and when I would lay her down she would sleep for MAYBE 10 more minutes. Around 4.5/5 months I started to let her CIO for naptime, because she was taking about 5 20-minutes a day and it was a pain in the butt. She didn't like when I would come in and check on her/reassure her--it just made her more mad. So I decided that she had to be in her crib for at least an hour, and it only took two days for her to start napping on her own. I put her down drowsy but awake (after nursing her) in her bed with white noise around 9 (or two hours after she wakes up), and at first she would cry and cry but I didn't go in to soothe her because it just got her more worked up. Now she takes a nap at 9, 1, and sometimes a short one at 5 then is in bed by 7.

Do you think maybe if you just left him for an hour (or just try half an hour the first day if you can't handle a whole hour) without coming in?


answers from Columbus on

My baby was like that, too. My other kids would fall asleep nursing, but this one didn't . I tried something different that might work for you if he isn't crawling, yet.I did this with my, then, 4 month old. Once she learned to nap, I could lay her down completely awake, and she puts herself to sleep.

I would lay down with her. We would lay on my bed and she would cry. But, instead of it being in her bed and me leaving the room, letting her cry it out was less traumatic (for me), because I was right there with her. She would fight it for awhile, but eventually fell asleep. She was young enough that I could let her sleep there, without the fear of her rolling/crawling off. If you little guy is really mobile, this may not work for you. Once he's asleep, you could also try to transfer him to his own bed after he's asleep.

You could also look into the book, "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy CHild" by Marc Weissbluth. I never had any issues with my older kids, but that last one.....threw me for a loop! LOL! I wish you luck!



answers from Milwaukee on

I used to drive my DD around for her morning nap to get her to fall asleep. It sucked when gas prices started to climb! We finally decided to do the CIO method that you guys did, but we would let her cry for 5 minutes, come in and soothe, then 10 minutes, and then every 15 minutes until she fell asleep. Sometimes it does take 4 or more attempts, but that's better imo than them skipping their nap.



answers from Pittsburgh on

Does it matter to you where he naps? At that age DS set his own schedule. We would be out, doing whatever we were doing (shopping, going for a walk, out at a restaurants, at a museum, etc). When he was tired, he fell asleep. Since we always had the stroller and /or car seat he could sleep anywhere. At daycare (he went 3 days a week), he would fall asleep on a mat when he was done eating and 'playing'.



answers from Pittsfield on

He doesn't sleep at all during the day? Or it just takes a long time to get him asleep? I think if he's not sleeping at all, he may only be sleeping ok @ night from exhaustion, and that something must be bothering him. I'm wondering if he's got reflux. You mentioned he was colicky for the 1st 3 mo.- that sort of reinforces my suspicion to me. The new theory about colic is that it is actually reflux.
My first child (almost 12 yrs. ago) was very colicky. My 2nd also- it was horrible- only this time he was diagnosed w/ reflux and given a script (different doc). Really, it was like night and day. He slept better, and seemed much happier. My 4th had it also, but she didn't spit up, so we weren't sure at 1st. Turned out, the acid was coming up, it just wasn't coming out her mouth. There's a term for that, but it escapes me at the moment. Anyway- again the medicine made big difference. They were on it until they were about a year old when they out-grew it.
Not sure if that's what's going on here, but it might be worth looking into.
Good luck :)



answers from New York on

The No Cry Sleep Solution is a great book to check out. Sometimes it took a while for my kids nap. I did this with my first, and now it also works for my second; I nurse him in bed and if he doesn't fall asleep I'll let him stay up about 20 minutes before trying again. On days where its really not working and we are both miserable I put him in his bouncy seat and let him bounce it out. He falls asleep almost instantly and I can usually transfer him to his bed if I wait about 1/2 an hour.

Not the best solution, I know, but it works when nothing else will.

Good luck,



answers from Denver on

Is his room too light during the day?

I, too, am a big fan of Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. If you don't have time to read it right this second, one of the main points is that you should try to start putting your baby down for a nap right BEFORE he is tired. Lots of times when babies are too tired, they can't self-soothe because they are already too tired! (duh!) Rubbing eyes, getting cranky, etc-- those are all signs that your baby is already tired. It's sort of like the old saying that if you wait until you feel thirsty to drink water, you're already dehydrated... haha!

I nurse my daughter right before she goes down for a nap, and then I put her in her bed, tell her I love her, and walk out of the room. If she cries, I let her cry for a few minutes, and then try again. (Rocking, nursing, anything that is soothing and gives her the signal that it is still time to go to sleep.) She has black-out shades in her room and I know that helps.

I know people say you shouldn't pick them up after they are already in their beds, etc, but I am NOT a fan of CIO, and it works for us. There are lots of times she goes in her bed just fine, and other times when I have to go back in. But I'm not trying to achieve a medal for having the perfect baby or anything, so I do what I feel is best in the moment. :) And I don't stress about "ruining" her.

I do feel that it is VERY important for my babies to consistently nap in their cribs- I try really hard to limit car-naps as much as possible. I also feel that babies need to learn to self-soothe, but there is a HUGE difference between self-soothing and "giving up" (aka CIO and crying themselves to sleep) because they are crying but we are not coming...

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