6-7 week old sleep/nap problems

Kathleen - posted on 02/21/2012 ( 10 moms have responded )

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So maybe some experience moms can help me out - I have been having a horrible time trying to get my six-week old (today turned 7 weeks) to nap. I KNOW she's tired - she'll get up in the morning and I'll feed/change/play with her a little and her tired cues are really easy to read, so I'll put her down for a nap - but she won't sleep for longer than 30-45 minutes (if I'm lucky). I've tried all sorts of things - the swing, her bassinet, swaddled, unswaddled, newborn napper from Pack and Play, etc.



I thought it might be a growth spurt, as she's eating a big more frequently too - nothing major.



At night, she sleeps great for her first 3-4 hours in her bassinet, but then after midnight (it's always the after she's slept for so long feeding, even if it's the 11'o clock or 1'o clock, depending on when she finally goes to sleep (it's not a set time yet, but we're working on trying to find the best time for her) she will get changed if she needs it, eat, and I'll put her back in her bassinet still swaddled and for the past two nights she's been FINE for about 10 minutes, and then proceeds to grunt and kick her legs in the swaddle, and move her head back and forth like crazy until she wakes up and I have to comfort her back to sleep and then she does it again. I have no idea why this is, as the routine is pretty much the same as when we first put her to bed! Can anyone help - is this something that will probably get better with age, or am I doing something wrong?!

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~♥Little Miss - posted on 02/29/2012

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It will eventually. My daughter is 2 in April, and she is still a pain in the ass when it comes to sleeping. This morning, she woke up at 4am. Then went down for a 3 1/2 hour nap at 10:30 am which is usually way to long for her. Their little bodies are dealing with so much and adjusting. I also have to rock her to sleep, and her position changes constantly for what she prefers. She essentially did not sleep in her crib until she was older. I was BFing, and would HAVE to co sleep with her, or neither of us would ever have slept. It is tricky. You are still getting to know eachother, and figuring out what makes a baby happy is tricky.



The key?? Don't be so hard on yourself, and just do the best you can. Babies will not starve themselves, or sleep deprive themselves to the point of danger....we may think they are, but their little bodies will adjust.

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Kathleen - posted on 02/29/2012

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It's only recently that she has been sleeping longer during the day. Yesterday I managed to have her sleep around 3 hours...but I can't seem to have it happen in her PNP bassinet. We're moving to the crib really soon, since she's right near the weight limit and I'm hoping I can transition it to all naps, no matter how long, take place in the crib. I KNOW she's not getting enough sleep during the day, because for days she looked constantly tired.



We've got a semi-routine in the morning - she'll wake up around 5ish, sometimes to eat but usually just waking up and needing some comfort and that's when my husband takes her and lets me sleep. She'll get changed and he tells me she tends to just go back to sleep on her little napper on the couch with him (or on the Boppy - we've noticed she tends to sleep better while semi-upright, maybe because she likes to be held to sleep?) I'll get up around 8 or so and she's usually already up. But 8 is the most usual time for us to be up.



Problem is actually having her sleep for a long nap - it's pretty rare for it to happen lately, no matter how tired or how/where I put her down. But hopefully it will get better.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 02/29/2012

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Hmm....here is a thought. Is she getting more than 1 real nap per day? Like what time does she wake up officially? If it is like 7am, try giving her a nap around 11. Let her sleep for a while (about 2 hours) then another nap around 3 and have that be a shorter nap. She may not be getting enough sleep during the day and it may be screwing up her night. Many times, this kind of a schedule will not kick in til about the 3 month mark. Right now, she is doing the "power nap" stage which is totally normal, just hell on mom.

Kathleen - posted on 02/29/2012

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She seems to be sleeping slightly better during the day - yesterday she even took a 2 1/2-3 hour nap in the late afternoon. But her nighttime sleeping is still erratic. We're trying to set up a routine and get her to bed right around the same time each night, but last night it took 2 hours to get her to sleep. And she only slept for 2 hours, whereas before the change in sleeping she was heading toward sleeping 4 hours and then going straight back down. Still, maybe once the naps start evening out it will help at night...I'm hopeful. Thanks for checking back!

~♥Little Miss - posted on 02/29/2012

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How is she doing now??? Sometimes when they go through growth spurts, sleeping patterns change.

Emily - posted on 02/28/2012

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Nothing you're describing is abnormal... at that young, a 30-45min nap is very normal. As she gets older, those naps will get longer, but until then there's not much you can do but go with it. Babies' sleep patterns change IMMENSELY through the first year.

Carrie H - posted on 02/23/2012

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The best thing is too keep them on a steady schedule. I don't know what your everyday is like, but try to maintain the same routine daily. Even if part of that routine is not eating and sleeping but if it is daytime activities. With my 2yr old and 9mos old they know when their eating times, napping times and play times are because I try not to change them. I am a stickler to scheduling, however there are times that the schedules get jumbled but because they are used to a regular routine it is easy for them to fall back in line. There are times that they did wake up in the early stages 6-9 weeks but I tried to let them wait it out. This might sound cruel to others but sometimes they just need to cry it out. Now if it lasts more than 10 minutes and believe me it's a grueling 10 minutes then I would try to rock them in my arms for about 5 minutes until calm and them lay them back down. Sometimes they might balk for the first few minutes but they usually fall right back to sleep. I know it's nerve wrecking but as long as you know that the baby has had what he/she needs (food or a diaper change) than sometimes they just need to cry to sleep. Try to learn the babies cries. I know my 9mos old has a different cry for when she is hungry, tired, has a poopy diaper, is not feeling well or just wants attention. Both of them did not like the swaddling. My 2yr old liked to sleep on his side and my 9 mos old from the start liked to sleep on her belly. I was cautious at first but when I realized that she was most comfortable that way it was a breeze.

I know that this is hard for you and every baby is different but these are just some ways to hopefully help you get more sleep and maintain some sanity. Best wishes!!

Kathleen - posted on 02/23/2012

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My daughter went through a stage where she would wake up at almost exactly 45 minutes during her nap when she was very little. A friend told me to go in just before that point in her nap and put my hand on her as she started to stir ( i suppose to let her know I was there and she was safe) and that would help her go back into sleep. Apparently after the first 30-45 minutes of sleep we all wake up a bit and for the wee ones they are jarred and wake up more than they should. This worked for a few months until she got into a serious nap schedule. Worth trying...

Jones - posted on 02/22/2012

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My son was like that as well! He slept well for the first month then all of a sudden at 5 weeks refused to sleep day or night? For naps I was lucky if he would sleep for 20 mins and through the night he'd sleep a total of 4 hours....it's brutal! But I think it's all just part of them adjusting to their new world that they are becoming more aware of. Also for us for the longest time we were trying to force that he sleep on his back, but by the time he was 9 weeks and still wasn't sleeping more than 4-5 hours in a 24 hour period, enough was enough and we started letting him tummy sleep. I know everyone has their opinions about tummy sleeping, but some people just can't sleep on their backs, I'm one of them an apparently so is my son! He's 9 months now and has been sleeping through the night since 6 months from 10 at night til 8am and takes 2 2-hr nap, but all this only came about after doing the CIO method which only took him a day and a half do catch on and continued for about a month..we don't do CIO anymore as he now understands it's sleep time and that mommy and daddy will be there when he wakes up so he just snuggles himself to sleep on me

Heather - posted on 02/22/2012

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My son was the same way he's 9 months now and doing great takes at least two naps a day and sleeps at night, he still wakes up at night though but doing just fine, it'll get better with age, nothing to worry about =) We found the glider/rocker worked great for our son, we bought it when he was around 5 months old and he loves it now we've been putting him down to sleep when he's drowsy and he's actually putting himself to sleep now. so yea it gets better with age =)

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