6 month old won't nap and is so unhappy :(

(13 Posts)
MillionPramMiles Tue 04-Dec-12 15:20:24

Thx all for the advice and support, it helps smile
I've tried various timings (I've had six months to try things out smile but nothing has worked. I've tried:
- making the morning nap later. She still only sleeps for 30 mins but wakes very grisly (whereas she wakes on good form if I put her down earlier). I also felt bad for making her stay awake when I know she's tired. I also felt she wasn't getting out and doing fun stuff and seeing other babies etc.
- doing away with the pram nap. I tried this several times as a Hv had advised it. It was a disaster every time. Dd was very tired by 11.30-12 so would be grisly over lunch and not eat much. Then she would sleep for her usual 30 mins and then we had several grisly, tired hours to get through before bath time. A few times she managed to sleep for an hour but was still grisly by 3pm.

With the timings I'm currently doing (and as long as dd gets that little oram nap) on most days the only difficult hours are usually 3/4 pm to 5/6pm. Dd is on good form after her lunch until around 2-2.30. Maybe I'm expecting too much? I do worry about how she will cope when she starts nursery...

On a positive note, yesterday I managed to get dd to sleep for 90 mins in total but going up every 15 mins over the first 45 mins to give her the dummy. She was a much happier baby as a resultsmile

Ps Puff pants: yes have tried singing and music etc but it just seems to stimulate her and wake her up. She loves singing and music generally though!

teacher123 Tue 04-Dec-12 12:09:19

I agree that the late morning nap isn't helping. DS 7mo has 30-45 mins in the morning, then about 1-1 1/2 hours after lunch. He has never had a late pm nap, just goes to bed at 6pm.

beyoglu Tue 04-Dec-12 10:35:10

Yeah what bobby said - I think the 11am impromptu nap is messing things up. Could you either get her home earlier from classes etc so she doesn't sleep between the morning nap and lunch? It looks like she's awake for most of the key sleepy time of 1-3, having refreshed herself with the buggy nap. (Happens to us on a Thursday when we go to Babyzone - I have to get the girls out of there by 11am and I have to keep turning the buggy round to make sure they're awake on the 10 min walk home!)

And fwiw I think that sitting in the dark holding your wee one makes you a great mum! You're really willing to go the extra mile...

My nearly 7mo only sleeps for 30mins in the morning, which suits us fine (also have groups to go to). He naps after lunch from 1-3 though so makes up for it then.
So I wouldn't automatically assume 30 minutes isn't enough...maybe try working on the lunchtime nap first, that might help her being happier in the afternoon.

PuffPants Tue 04-Dec-12 10:00:01

Ok, just read your routine. Why don't you try skipping the morning nap and putting her down as late as possible in the hope that she will be exhausted and sleep longer? Sounds like she is completely over-tired. I realise this may impact on your morning activities but sleep matters more - for both of you!

Once she is sleeping better at night, the days will get better. But poor you in the meantime, it is very hard. Make the most of your MIL's visit to take an hour out. Get her to take baby out for a long walk so you can go back to bed or have a bath or something. Although, whenever my ILs did that, I used to rush around doing housework instead! grin

PuffPants Tue 04-Dec-12 09:52:35

I know it sounds basic but have you tried singing? Unless we were out in the pram, DS would only nod off if one of us was holding him (standing up) whilst rocking and singing at the same time. It drove me nuts but it worked. Slow, steady, rhythmical songs - and use the same ones every time so they get used to the cue.

I know it's a bit basic and perhaps obvious but you want to try everything.

MillionPramMiles Tue 04-Dec-12 09:46:05

Thanks Obama. Our routine is currently:
Usually wakes cooing at 6.30 but I don't take her out of the cot till around 7 ish to give her a chance to fall asleep again (as if...);
7.30 Milk (3oz) then porridge
8.45 milk (4oz) then straight down for nap. Never sleeps more than 30 mins.
Morning spent at classes etc
Anytime between 11-12pm - short nap in the pram (20-30 mins is usually all she will do)
12.30 - lunch then play at home
2-2.30 (depending on her tired cues) milk then nap
Then the next two hours can be 30 mins of whinging in the cot, then 30 mins sleep then crying then just holding her in a dark room sad
5-5.30 - tea
6.30 (or earlier if dp gets home earlier) bath then milk and bed straight after.

It's impossible to get her down for a nap unless its straight after her milk feed (other than the short pram nap she will do in the morning). I tried taking her out in the pram late afternoon but she cried till she threw up sad

It doesn't help that her nights are quite often still broken, maybe 4 or 5 wakings. I don't usually have to go in more than once or twice (either to shush pat or give the dummy if that doesn't work) as she self settles in a few minutes and it's whinging rather than crying (unless she's ill etc). It does mean she's even more tired during the day though and definitely needs proper naps.
She had given up the dummy for her naps and bedtime but in the past two weeks I've had to start giving it her again, for daytime naps especially.

My MIL (who is really lovely) is coming to stay this weekend and I'm dreading what she will think with dd crying and me sitting in a dark room with her. I just feel its my fault and I'm not doing a good enough job as a mum sad

beyoglu Tue 04-Dec-12 06:56:26

We have close to omama's routine here with 6m 3w twins - still got a bit of a 4pm catnap going on as well. I find that round here all the baby groups are on 1 till 3 so we don't socialise much(!) What can I do, I have twins, you can deal with one cranky overtired baby but not two...

omama, what's the timing for feeds with the 2/3/4 routine?

omama Mon 03-Dec-12 23:06:38

million -
She does sound very overtired bless her, but there are definitely things you can do to help. Firstly, if you feel she sleeps better in her cot, put her in there for her naps. My DS also always slept much better in his cot & still does at 2.3!

As for her naps, if she is only napping for 30 mins in the morning, how long are you waiting before you put her down for her next nap? It might help if you could post what a typical day looks like for her i.e. wakeup time, morning nap time & length, afternoon naptime & length, teatime catnap (if she has one) & bedtime

If she is awake for more than 2hrs between that short morning nap & her afternoon nap, I'd say that will be your starting point for dealing with her overtiredness. Put her down for her 2nd nap sooner & it will likely be longer. If that nap is also short, get her down for a 3rd nap a couple of hours later & she will handle the rest of the day better. Once she overcomes the OT, her morning nap should lengthen too & she may end up doing something like the 2,3,4 routine:

Up: 7am
Nap: 9-10am
Nap: 1-3pm
Bed: 7pm

Nightmoves Mon 03-Dec-12 20:23:57

Oh dear, that really sounds tough. Is she still sleeping ok at night? Maybe teething like you say or developmental reasons perhaps? From your username I take it you have tried the pram! Sorry but those really are the only things that work for us. Take it too you have tried different types of white noise? I hope it is just a phase and that it passes quickly. It really is horrible to watch them soldier in refusing to sleep.

MillionPramMiles Mon 03-Dec-12 16:00:17

Thanks night moves. I do put dd down for her morning nap within two hours of waking but she never manages more than 30 mins, no matter what I try. She wakes from that nap in good form though and I like to take her to playgroups, classes etc in the morning as she likes them, so i dont push it. The afternoons are a nightmare though, she's just so tired and unhappy. I tried co sleeping but she just expects me to play with her etc. If I'm there it just isn't sleep time to her.
Part of the problem is the slightest noise wakes her up....difficult in London!

Nightmoves Mon 03-Dec-12 15:50:36

It is so horrible to see them tired and needing to sleep so badly but refusing. I have been there. DS is not a great sleeper at all and we had a phase after 4 month sleep regression where napping (or lack thereof) was a real problem. I find the morning nap crucial for us. If we miss it, it's doubly hard to get him down in the afternoon and any naps he does have then tend to be very short. The only things that work for us really are lying down with him or the car. I tend to lie down with him in the morning and then he will usually take an afternoon nap when we are about and about. It also used to be critical that he be asleep no more than 2 hours after waking up in the morning. If its hard to decipher sleepy cues I would put DC down no more than 90 mins after waking. With mine, leaving it later used to make things much, much harder. Now he is older he stays awake a bit longer, but the morning nap is still very important. He has gotten used to it tho and 9/10 times will nap successfully now. Good luck!

MillionPramMiles Mon 03-Dec-12 15:06:10

My 6.5 month old dd has never been good at napping during the day, gets overtired easily and spends large amounts of the day grisly. I started to see an improvement in her napping when I switched from ebf to formula at 5 months and again when I started dd on solids at 6 months. The difference was amazing, dd was so much happier and wanted to play, smiled and laughed etc.

However the last couple of weeks it's been back to being awake and grisly all day. I make sure I look out for her tired cues, yawning etc (which at the moment is all the time...), make sure she is well fed, winded, clean nappy, sing lullabies, dark room, warm enough etc. I've tried co sleeping, pram, car seat, sling but she won't sleep in any of these ( some times in the pram for 15 mins or so and most of the time not even that). The only place she was ever able to have a proper nap was her cot.
I think she's teething so have given calpol but it made no difference.
The mornings are ok-ish as dd can survive on no sleep but by 2pm she is so tired. Every afternoon in the last two weeks has been spent either doing shush/pat in the cot (using the dummy) or, when that doesnt stop her crying, holding her in my lap in a dark room till tea time. Neither makes her sleep but doing anything else produces a meltdown.
I feel I'm failing her and find it so upsetting. Where am I going wrong?

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