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3 month old nap wars
any advice please.

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6 replies to this topic

#1 Chief Pancake Make

Posted 21 February 2013 - 10:34 AM

In the last few weeks my 3 month old has decided she no longer wants day times naps.  She sleeps about 11hours at night with a feed at 2am and 5am.  Prior to now, in the mornings we used to have the "feed play sleep" routine wher i would wrap her up and rock her for 5 or so minutes and she would drop off to sleep and would sleep in her cot for 2 hours or more.  

In the last couple of weeks if she doesnt nap at all she just gets grumpier and grumpier though out the day and the screaming starts at 3.30pm and goes til bedtime at 9pm because she is so over tired.   I have tried my 11am (or when she starts yawning) nap routine and just keep settling and putting her down every time she wakes  (which if she falls asleep is about 20min max) this can go on til 2 or 3pm when she will finally fall asleep.  I have tried self settling - it worked for a couple of days but now she will start screaming before her head hits the bed.  

Today I wrapped her up after play time when she started yawning. Agains she started screaming as soon as I put her in the cot - I put her down a couple of times and sat and patted her - no luck.  In the end she was screaming in the cot, screaming if I held her, screaming if I put her in the rocker.  I ended up putting her in the cot andd leaving her to cry for 5 min.  When I picked her up she fell asleep in my arms after a few minutes so I have put her down in the cot asleep now.  I dont really consider this success becuase she only fell asleep becuase she was worn out by crying.  

I dont want her to develop bad associations with her cot or ruin her night time sleeps (which are soo good) but all the previous techniques that used to work no longer work and she just fights sleep and gets over tired.

I would love some advice on what to do  - and please tell me this is just a phase  biggrin.gif

#2 Kay1

Posted 21 February 2013 - 10:41 AM

It is just a phase. I think you've been unusually lucky to date with her naps. Many babies don't develop reasonably long daytime naps til around 4.5 months. I would say she is going through a Wonder Week stage (google it if you want to know more). Personally I'd recommend just getting her to sleep any way that works for now and avoiding overtiredness as much as possible. Then hopefully at around 4.5 months her longer day naps will return. FWIW my son's day sleeping was terrible at that age. I did whatever I could until he was 6 months and then did a couple of days of cc and now he settles beautifully for long naps. Good luck.

#3 SpaghettiMonster

Posted 22 February 2013 - 12:51 PM

My 3 mth old sleeps every 90 mins or so for only 20 mins at a time. When 90 mins comes about at the end of the feed, play, sleep routine I just cuddle her quietly, usually just after a feed (when she is at her sleepiest......carbs will always do it) and I walk around while cuddling. Within 10 mins she is asleep. I transfer her to bassinet, she cries, I fold her arms across her chest and gently rock her to simulate being in a pram. This takes about 5 mins or less before she returns to sleep. I put a fan on for white noise to disguise the sound of me creeping away, plus she likes it.
20 mins later she wakes up and the 90 min feed play sleep begins all over again!

Lots of stimulation for play helps wear mine out....songs, different toys, play areas etc.
Yesterday I used the pram in the house to get her to take her late afternoon nap, which is the only nap where she goes longer than 20 mins and lasts more toward 45 mins if I am lucky.

I see this as just a phase and am happy to roll with it. By 6 months it will be a whole new story, and then 12 months another story yet again. Babies seem designed to keep us mums on our toes!
Mine is like yours and goes to sleep easy at night. I just put her down awake, walk away and she coos at her mobile toys for a short while before falling asleep for 10 hours. If only day naps were that simple.

#4 benjamin18

Posted 22 February 2013 - 01:18 PM

I had a similar problem with my son when he was around that age and I found out from a suggestion from a girlfriend that he was potentially over stimulated during play time. I used to put him on his jungle gym mat thing (the one with the toys that hang over the top of them). Once I took him out of this and placed him somewhere safe to kick around after his feed he became much easier to put down for his sleep. He also used tofight his afternoon sleep as well. So whenever I had the energy and the weather permitted I would bundle him up in the pram and take him for a walk and this generally did the trick. Another thing I discovered were these baby wraps (see link below) they stopped him from getting his arms out and waking himself up. I bought the biggest size and found that they were great winter or summer. So whenever or wherever we were when it was sleep time I zipped him up in this and he nodded right off. He's now 2.5 and we are expecting baby #2 so I am hoping that this will work again :-)


#5 cuddlebud

Posted 22 February 2013 - 08:35 PM

Yawning could be one of her later tired signs, maybe try putting her down a bit earlier and not more than 90 mins awake time. My 7 month old sometimes only lasts an hour in the mornings.

Agree with pp's that it could be a wonder week. You could also try rocking her till very dopey and putting her down then and slowly increasing the level of wakefulness when putting her down. I found that the over tiredness became a cycle and sometimes I'd just wear dd in the ergo so she got some sleep and then try again the next day.

#6 minidiamond

Posted 22 February 2013 - 08:37 PM

sorry didn't read other posts but I had these issue, and tried feed/play/feed/sleep.  We didn't do it for too long but it worked for a bit.

Another thing that worked for a bit was a sling at this stage (although he's not so into it now).

#7 orangutan

Posted 24 February 2013 - 07:16 PM

I had exactly the same issue at that age. Right about 12 weeks or so my DD started fighting naps like they were the enemy. Our already exhausting rocking/bouncing routine to get her to sleep became even more elaborate, until eventually it stopped working. The folks at the other end of the Tresillian phone hotline said that at 16 weeks (when I called in desperation) she was just old enough to learn how to put herself to sleep in her cot, so we might as well start teaching her - she was going to cry whatever we did! It was hellish, and there was lots of crying (though we never left her and usually held her through all the tears) but eventually we got there. She is now 5 months old and knows how to put herself to sleep for daynaps, though she won't always do it original.gif

So yes, it is a phase, and I think you just have to battle through it until she is maybe a bit older before you can start trying to teach her to self-settle.

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