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Daytime sleep advice
4 week old


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#1 äirly

Posted 07 January 2013 - 07:45 AM

My 4 week old DD is sleeping ok at night however during the day she will only sleep well while being held - when she gets put in her bassinet she'll either wake instantly or within 20 minutes.
Her routine is settle-bassinet-wake-re settle-bassinet - all up takes an hour or more and then she's hungry or over tired. I get worried she's not getting enough sleep (and sick to death of settling) so I have her sleep on me and she gets a solid 1.5-2.5 hours!
At night she goes in her bassinet fine (usually first try) and she goes from 9.30 to 6.30am with just 1 feed (and usually I have to re settle her once or twice close to morning but its relatively painless). I get 6-8 hours a night, no naps during the day.
I'm seeing the health nurse this week and plan to bring it up with her then. The situation at the moment is certainly survivable, I guess what I want to know is; is this a common problem? Any solutions to getting her to sleep in her bassinet? And if I keep having her sleep on me am I setting myself up for some massive sleep problems further down the track?
Fwiw she's otherwise doing well - big baby (98 percentile) and feeding well.

#2 AntiBourgeoisie

Posted 07 January 2013 - 08:05 AM

Absolutely normal, OP.
Day naps are harder than night sleeps as your baby is less tired, so they need a lot more 'help' going to sleep. They only have 20 minute sleep cycles which is why they wake every 20-40 minutes. And they need to feed frequently so they are 'programmed' to wake often.
Do not waste your life trying to get your four week old to sleep in a cot, or to sleep longer than 20 minutes. I suggest a good sling so that you can pop bub to sleep in there and otherwise go about your day (a little pat at 20 min should give you the extra 20 minutes of sleeping time). Feed her every time she wakes - that way she will get used to getting most of her calories during the day. So you'll be feeding her every 2 hours. This is hard work, but in the next few weeks she will get faster at the feeds. She should not be awake for longer than 1 hour 15 min at this age - so wake, feed, nappy change, little play (no more than 20 min), then pop her in the sling and give her a quiet 'wind down' and then some patting/shushing to sleep.
She will start to consolidate the first segment of the night first - put her to bed at 7, an she will delay her waking for a feed later and later (10 pm, 11, 12, 1, 2 etc) ways get her up at the same time (usually 6-7) to start the day, always put her to bed at the same time.
Around 4-5 months she will probably get happy to sleep in her cot during the day, and around 6 months babies magically consolidate their day sleeps (so her day naps will go from 5-6 40 min naps to 3 1.5 hour naps, and then around 7-8 months she will go to 2 two hour naps or 1 two hour nap and 2 1 hour naps (often parental choice). Around 10 months she should have 1 45-60 min morning nap (at 9 am) and a 1.5-2 hour nap from about 12:30 pm, with a 6:30-7 pm bedtime. She will need this until about 15-16 months when she will drop the morning nap, and should keep the midday nap until age 3-3.5 or longer.
The put your baby to bed drowsy but awake rule really only applies from about 4-6 months. It rarely works in the younger group because they are not developmentally ready for it, and catnapping is the norm in this age group.
So if you have a baby that wants to be held, don't go insane hovering over a cot for 30 min to get a cryin baby a 20 min nap. Just pop them in a sling and go for a walk. The six walks a day will do you wonders, and you can even do housework, sit an read a book, or anything else with bub in a sling.

ETA - it's not a 'common problem', it's utterly normal and common infant behaviour

Edited by AntiBourgeoisie, 07 January 2013 - 08:07 AM.


#3 ScarfaceClaw

Posted 07 January 2013 - 08:15 AM

At 4 weeks old I don't know that I bothered that hard to help DS sleep. I would pop him in the pram, or the sling, or have a cuddle with him, as he'd often want to feed again after his short nap.

You are unlikely to get 'long' sleeps from a baby of that age.

Sounds totally normal, enjoy.


#4 äirly

Posted 07 January 2013 - 08:20 AM

Thanks for the replies. I've found the day settling very frustrating so its a relief to just sit on the couch with her and not worry that I'm ruining her future sleep habits original.gif

#5 axiomae

Posted 07 January 2013 - 08:24 AM

AB has great advice. I spent so long trying to get DD sleeping in her cot at that age when all she wanted was to be held close. I did persist with her settling in her cot at three months though which was wonderful, although she would still only catnap. At 6 months, bam, 2 hour naps, all on her own original.gif

I know six months seems a long way off, but it does come quickly. Enjoy those newborn cuddles!

#6 Feral Alpacas

Posted 07 January 2013 - 09:00 AM

AB thanks so much for your post. My DD2 is 4.5mo and we have had a rotten time with her day sleeps, I thought it was just me. I'm glad to know it's a development thing.




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