My 3 month old refuses to nap! Any advice?

Mariah - posted on 11/07/2009 ( 32 moms have responded )

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she usually sleep great at night time, only waking once to nurse. During the day though she wont nap for anything. Even nursing her to sleep, she will wake up within 20 minutes and thats only if i let her stay latched on. she is cranky most of the day because she is not fully rested...

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Alexis - posted on 11/07/2009

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I HIGHLY recommend that you read "On Becoming Baby Wise" by Gary Ezzo and Robert Bucknam. I did/do it with my baby, and all my siblings have done it with their kids (my 13 other neices/nephews) and we all LOVE it. It's a little hard at first, but its amazing what a difference it makes! :)

Emma - posted on 11/07/2009

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My son is very similar. Although I don't recommend you taking a nap with her, I will say that I got my son to start taking a decent nap in the afternoon by lying down with him. It only took one try and now he naps for around 1 1/2 - 2 hour naps followed by a power nap around dinner time. In the morning however he just power naps and as long as he is having at least 3 power naps I'm not too worried. Silly things I'm going to suggest...is your daughter gassy? Maybe some gas drops or gripe water might help her settle down. Sometimes when my son is fighting sleep its cause his tummy hurts or he needs to fart. Other times its just that he is afraid to miss anything going on, but we tend to get company coming over in the mornings. As of that, he goes to bed around 7pm and doesn't get up til around 7am, minus waking to feed.

Kathy - posted on 11/07/2009

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We kind of had the same issue with our daughter. She was sleeping great throught the night but her naps during the day were only 30 min long and she would wake up cranky. I tried everything to get her to take better naps. Some of the things I tried: Holding her throught the entire nap, keeping her pacifier in her mouth, running in as soon as she made a noise after 30 min to pick her up and try to sooth her back to sleep, letting her 'cry it out'. Now she is almost 6 months old and is taking great naps. I think the thing that helped the most was letting her cry with out rushing in to get her. I would let her cry for 15 min then go in and reposition her/ put her pacifier back in. Then wait another 15min and go get her for her next feeding. *Sometimes if she was totally freaking out beyond my comfort I would rock her for about 3-5 min. Then put her back down.



It's super stressful to just let your little baby cry but I am convinced that it help in our case. I would just sit outside her room and listen in agony. I finally got to the point where I realized it was the best thing for her. It has taught her to put herself back to sleep. She now will fuss for about 15 min and then sleep for about and hour and a half. Sometimes she wakes up in the middle of her nap but will put herself back to sleep. This may come from just her getting older. At six months old she sleeps 12 hours and night, and takes 3 (hour and half) and 1 (45 min) naps. I wish you the best of luck!! I know it's very, VERY difficult.

Anne-Marie - posted on 11/07/2009

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this may sound like a real mean thing to do to a 3 month old baby but mine is 9 months and i am having to do the same thing at the moment. my son wouldnt sleep longet then half an hour during the day until i decided that i was going to stop puttin him to sleep. if you are still breast feeding this may be alittle harder for you but i put my son in his cot withhis bottle and if he doesnt go to sleep on it i let him cry to sleep. i go into his room every 5-10 minutes to make sure he isok and remind him that mummy still loves him but other then that he will now put himslef to sleep and he sleeps anywhere from 1-3hrs at a time. he also has a dummy which i give him wen i go into his room. it may sond harsh but a lot off people will probaly agree with me that they need to learn to put them self to sleep andd the sooner the better. hope this helps

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Samantha - posted on 06/24/2013

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My son is 3 1/2 months old and refuses to sleep during the day, maybe a 10-20 min cat nap a few times a day, by 6 pm rolls around he is so cranky and tired he wants to go to bed. I am lucky if i can keep him up till at least 7pm. He hates the swing, will not sit in it and will wake up if you put him down during the day when he is asleep. Tho he sleeps pretty well at night only waking up once usually to eat. Help me...any suggestions on how to get him to sleep during the day? I know he needs the sleep at his age. The problem being is he is very short tempered. So it takes him very little time from starting to fuss to full on screaming with no sound coming out....about a 5 min total time span. When he gets that worked up it takes me an hour at least to get him completely calmed down. I dont know what to do. My mom needs a break during the day and he is getting ready to go to a friend for a sitter and i dont want her to be overwhelmed either.

Thank you

Eileen - posted on 11/09/2009

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Quoting Jessica:

Also wrap her each nap time so she knows this means sleep! this was another thing i did that helped!


Swaddling is a great way to put your baby to sleep :) A lot of people say to stop swaddling them early but my baby likes to feel like she is being held so i swaddle her  before bedtime and she knows it is bed time and falls asleep fairly quick by the time i put her in her bed she is still wrapped all snug so she doesn't even notice i'm putting her down. so that worked for me :) great advice.

Eileen - posted on 11/09/2009

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Quoting Alexis:

By the way EILEEN TERCERO .... Babies/kids NEED their sleep during the day ... and not just for the parents sake! Do you not understand how much their body does when they sleep!? It's medically proven that babies NEED naps ... and if you do it right, your baby (like mine) will start sleeping through the night at 7 weeks AND nap during the day.


OH well good for you i'm happy for you haha MY baby Started sleeping full nights at seven weeks as well and she is super healthy and growing perfectly, only thing is i don't force her to do what she does not want... you make it sound like i don't let her nap during the day at all?? that would be stupid! if she is tired yes she will fall asleep and she will have her nap but if she is not tired and wants to stay up all that day and she is happy and not cranky then i don't see a need to force her into a nap. Yes babies Grow and Brain development happens in there sleep. Just because my baby sleeps when she's tired and not when forced does not mean she will be any less developed than your child ALEXIS... plus i was just giving my opinion on making your baby sleep during the day when they dont want to especially if they are happy. You are making it sound like i am not good at my job and the only right way is your way. OBVIOUSLY you havent done enough research. If you'd like i can give you the number of the Head lady at La Leche League Canada (i know her she is very wise) and you can talk up your methods with her before passing judgment at another mothers parenting ;) ** Just because a doctor recommends something doesn't make it right thats like "YOU MUST BREAST FEED YOUR BABY EVERY 3- 4 HOURS!! IF THEY EAT MORE THAN THAT SUPPLEMENT THEM!!"   such B.S your baby does not want to eat when they are not hungry... do you like being forced to eat?? when you are not hungry??... well same thing goes for sleeping... if you are not tired and someone is forcing you to sleep, are you going to like it? i don't think so.

Firebird - posted on 11/08/2009

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I've never heard of any legitimate claims that cio is responsible for sids either. I don't believe that it causes emotional problems either. I have 2 siblings and we all cried it out as babies.... actually, I was a really good baby so mom never had to let me cio. Out of 3 kids only one of us has emotional issues.... Me. The one that didn't cio. Go figure. It's not at all related, I've got issues because ever since I was 10 being me really sucked. The point is cio won't cause sids or emotional health problems. You'll be able to tell if your baby's crying because something's wrong or if she's just crying because she's fighting off sleep. Good luck

Kelly - posted on 11/08/2009

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my little girl was the same there a few things to try like playin sum music and singin to them of if you have a bouncer bounces her to sleep and like sumone said earlyer same times you do have to let them cry and they will give in i know it sound mean but it aint she will learn that mummy aint goin to pick me up everytime i cry just try the over two ways first if that dont wot the go to lettin her cry her self to sleep but dont let get cry for more then 20 mins xx

Iris - posted on 11/08/2009

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WOW yu guys are strong, I could not let my baby cry I figure he will sleep when he needs to, wheh he gts fuzzy he falls asleep eventually, he wakes up very happy and refreshed even if its only 30 minuites

Iris - posted on 11/08/2009

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MY SON DSNT REALLY NAP EITHER AND HE WAKES UP AT NIGHT 3 TIMES OR 4, BUT HE DS USUALLY FALL ASLEEP RATHER EARLY, MAYBE HSE NEEDS TO BE BURPED OR NEEDS MUSIC OR A SOUND THAT IS CONSTANT, LIKE WAVES

Rachel - posted on 11/08/2009

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Quoting Kelly:

I have previously never hear about the link between the CIO method and SIDS. This surprises me given it is a method that is recommended by many child health workers (including Government employed ones) and they are usually the main advocates of safe sleeping guidelines to help prevent SIDS. As such I would of thought that if there was even the slightest bit of evidence to suggest that this was a risk, that they would no longer be able to advise this.

In terms of research in regards to the long term effects of using this method, a lot of this is very emotive and making conclusive findings is very difficult as a persons overall emotional wellbeing is influenced by a number of protective/resilience and risk factors.

Also I'm a little confused about the contridiction in regards to recommending away from the CIO method and the recommendation for reading Save our Sleep. Are you referring to the book by Tizzy Hall? Because it's my understanding that she actually advocates a really rigid routine and letting babies fall asleep by themselves including letting them cry to achieve this.



Is CIO another method similar to "Save our Sleep" by Tizzie Hall? If so I agree with what Kelly is saying. In this book Tizzie also teaches the babies to self settle including letting them cry. She also teaches the parents to watch out for certain cries...so you know which cry is the one where you have to watch out for. Alot of people that I know have used Tizzie's book and it has worked for all of them. I wasn't very strict on her routines which is why in some ways it did worked and others not. My last resort was the crying...I do ADMIT though that I was so NOT a huge fan on it but I was desperate as I was just so tired. With a 6 month old and a 2 and 1/2 month old I needed all my energy and sleep. Speaking to alot of mothers before I even started on the controlled crying to hear their views, they all did it and recommended it. Nothing is wrong with their children. Nor the older ones....I guess people just have different views and ways of doing things...

Kelly - posted on 11/08/2009

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I have previously never hear about the link between the CIO method and SIDS. This surprises me given it is a method that is recommended by many child health workers (including Government employed ones) and they are usually the main advocates of safe sleeping guidelines to help prevent SIDS. As such I would of thought that if there was even the slightest bit of evidence to suggest that this was a risk, that they would no longer be able to advise this.

In terms of research in regards to the long term effects of using this method, a lot of this is very emotive and making conclusive findings is very difficult as a persons overall emotional wellbeing is influenced by a number of protective/resilience and risk factors.

Also I'm a little confused about the contridiction in regards to recommending away from the CIO method and the recommendation for reading Save our Sleep. Are you referring to the book by Tizzy Hall? Because it's my understanding that she actually advocates a really rigid routine and letting babies fall asleep by themselves including letting them cry to achieve this.

[deleted account]

I tried to walk away, really I did! But this really concerns me. So many mothers responding with the same advice:- Cry It Out. One of the ladys was right, CIO is believed to be one of the main contributers to SIDS. It is dangerous and can be damaging to the babies emotional health (i know your all thinking 'my babies fine' but I am talking long term effects that we wont see for many years to come) . Please do some proper research on this subject befor using this method.



Some Good Suggestions

-Swaddeling

-White Noise or Sleep Time Music

-A Relaxing Bath (with lavender sleep soap)

-A Definate Routine That Suits The Baby

-Start a Bedtime Ritual

-Begin Bedtime Ritual BEFOR the baby is tired to avoid her becoming overtired

-Let Her Have Short Naps More Frequently

-Avoid Being Stressed Yourself, Bedtime=Calmtime

-Read some Good Books = Save Our Sleep. The No Cry Nap/Sleep Solution. The Happiest Baby On The Block. Baby Bliss, to name a few.

Kelly - posted on 11/08/2009

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I had the same problem with my oldest child. Fantastic at night, sleeping through from 8 weeks, but getting him down for day time naps was next to impossible. I tried the comfort crying method but after two hours (of going in to resettle him at 10 15 min intervals) he would still be no closer. In the end all I could do was feed him to sleep and let him have his 20-30min catnaps. Then one day when he was about 6-7 months, I tried putting him down for a nap and even feeding him wasnt doing the trick. In the end I just had to put him down in the cot because i had an appointment and needed to get ready. Funnily enough when I got out of the shower he was fast asleep and it had been less then 10 mins. The next day when it was his nap time I put him down, he cried for 10 mins before falling asleep and the next day only 5. After that he stopped crying all together and started sleepin in 1 1/2 blocks. Not sure what happened, something just clicked. I know other mums that have experienced the same thing (just not necessarially withthe shower part). Now that I have another child, looking back I think we started a bad pattern because I used to miss his tired signs and thenhe just got used to having to be rocked and fed to sleep. Luckily the 2nd time around I'm more aware and it's been much easier.

Sammy - posted on 11/08/2009

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My daughter was the same except she wasn't cranky during the day!
She is now 4mths old and has grown out of not napping, she will now have 1-3 naps (20-1.1/2hrs) during the day. I think now she knows when she is tired and that she can go to sleep!

Rachel - posted on 11/08/2009

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I was having trouble in this department also. But now my daughter who is now 7months old is sleeping from 7am until 5:30am. During the day, she doesnt like to sleep either...I am still workind on this. She has about 40minutes on the morning but has a good 2-3 hour sleep in the afternoon. I started using the book by Annabel Karmel..Save our Sleep. She has routines in there for you child from newborn right through to toddler.
I few people I know used this book and it has worked for them but you have to be very strict on it. It didnt really work for me and I was at my last resort and tryng to think of things to do about the sleep issue. Speaking to alot of mums, they all said to me do the control crying. Works with in 3-5 days. As much as I didnt like the idea of it being the last option I tried it. Started on the Friday night and By Tuesday she was sleeping right through. I am also doing this during the day and it is working. I place her in her cot swaddled, left the room and went back in every 5 mins or so. You dont speak, look or pick them up. Just place your hand on there chest so that they know you are there. and then leave the room. Increase the time every time. So 5 mins, 7 mins, 10 mins. etc
If a child sleeps under 40 mins this is classed as a nap, not a sleep. If it is over 40 mins it is classed as a sleep. They go through different cycles. Usually 40mins (light sleep) then the next 40 mins is their deep sleep..This is all in the save our sleep book. Let us know how you go.The earlier you teach them to self settle the better it is.

Jessica - posted on 11/08/2009

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Also wrap her each nap time so she knows this means sleep! this was another thing i did that helped!

Jessica - posted on 11/08/2009

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i'm also having the same problem a the moment with my 3 month old son up until 2 weeks ago i had taught him to self settle without using the CIO method and just the past week he has decided he will fight and cry to go to sleep and will only sleep 1 sleep cycle (40 minutes) and not put himself back to sleep despite still being tired. what i can suggest is to try and get her to self settle like i'm going to have to do all over again. it is stressful but its more unfair to help them to get to sleep by rocking or patting when you know there will be a day they will be too big for you to do this and it will be much harder for them to learn to self settle then.

just listen to the type of cry she is doing when you lay her down, if its a constant waa waa waa with no breaks in between then this is a cry you should not ignore and go in and sooth her any way you can. if she is crying like waa waa pause waa pause waa waa then this is just a protest cry and wont hurt her to keep crying like this, give her about 8 minutes then go in and pat her a few times but dont pick her up, repeat until shes asleep.

When i first tried this self settle method my son fell asleep after 3 minutes i was so surprised and he slept 2 hours!! then his next nap he took 5 minutes and again slept 2 hours!!

good luck its hard i know i feel your pain! an over tired baby is soooo not fun to deal with!

Copa - posted on 11/08/2009

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i give my three mo old a bath and after her bath i feed her a warm bottle and i play with her for about 3o mins or so and i take her to her bed basanet and lay her down with the sounds of the ocean playing she goses right to sleep and will for about an hour enogh time for me to get a little house work done or even a napp myself good luck

Sandra - posted on 11/08/2009

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Maybe you could try to put soft relaxing music at nighttime when she goes to bed and then put the same music on for her nap. Then she can relate the two as being 'sleeping time'

Colleen - posted on 11/07/2009

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my 15 week old went through the same thing not too long ago... I can't really give much advice because nothing I tried ever worked... I just had to ride it out and now he takes a couple naps a day plus is still sleeping through the night with maybe waking up once depending on when his diaper fills up, lol.

Shena - posted on 11/07/2009

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here are a few ways i use 2 get my kids 2 nap....1 a nice warm bath b4 nap time with a shampoo with lavendar in it, its called bedtime wash or sumthin along the lines of that they also have a lotion 2 use that after the bath so it soothes ur child 2 sleep, 2 get 1 of those toys that sound like the ocean or the mothers womb n play it 4 naptime, 3 something with motion and easing noises during naptime, 4 use a vibratin rocker or swing (that was the best 1 for my kids), 5 if u are nursin by nipple or even by bottle put warm milk along with a tiny bit of oatmeal (gerber baby oatmeal) in it alot of time this calms em down and lets em sleep longer....hope these help

Alexis - posted on 11/07/2009

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By the way EILEEN TERCERO .... Babies/kids NEED their sleep during the day ... and not just for the parents sake! Do you not understand how much their body does when they sleep!? It's medically proven that babies NEED naps ... and if you do it right, your baby (like mine) will start sleeping through the night at 7 weeks AND nap during the day.

Hanna - posted on 11/07/2009

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Can you take her for a walk? the stroller motion usually puts them to sleep. my brother was like that, the only way you could get him to fall asleep was rolling him in a stroller back and fourth. he grew out of it pretty quickly though.
and if i were you, i would switch some of those feedings for bottle. that way you don't have to pick her up, you can feed her in the crib or wherever you want her to sleep. they say that the deepest sleep starts around 10-15 minutes after they fell asleep, so maybe you could wait until then to take the bottle out of her mouth and it won't startle her. good luck!

Eileen - posted on 11/07/2009

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did you know that using the CIO or Cry It Out method... is one of the most responsible methods for SIDS. if your baby doesn't want to nap during the day then that just means that he/she is going to start sleeping nights much sooner and you will get your sleep then... unless they are unhealthy just let them stay up if they want to... you shouldn't force your baby to nap and you shouldn't keep your baby from sleeping when he/she is tired.

Kathy - posted on 11/07/2009

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Pase yourself with her naps. Give her like 15 min then go in and comfort her, DO NOT pick her up. Then another 15 min. Then another. It took me probably a month to realize that she wasn't going to cry herself into an injury. :O) She'll catch on. Just form a plan beforehand and stick to it! Sometimes even now if my daughter is totally freaking out I will pick her up for 1-3 min to comfort her then put her back down.

Tavi - posted on 11/07/2009

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thats usually b/c she wants u with her, thats how my daughter did and still does as a 4year old,lol

Mariah - posted on 11/07/2009

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thanks! i had a feeling thats what should do but it is SO hard to hear her cry. when we started trying to establish a bedtime she would only cry for MAYBE 5 minutes and fall right to sleep. i've only given her a chance to cry to sleep at nap time a couple times (a couple weeks ago) and both times she cried for over a half hour before i finally broke down and went and got her. im too the point where i might have to try again and stay strong! after all, she NEEDS to nap!

Whitney - posted on 11/07/2009

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My 8 month old does the same thing and has for a while now. Whatever you do, do not lay down with her to get her to sleep. It is the worst habit to break!

Jessica - posted on 11/07/2009

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Maybe you should try taking the time to just take a small nap with her. Just to see if maybe that helps then gradually stop taking naps with her just to see what it is that is making act like that. Also what you can do is while she is laying there next to you, you can try to give her a pacifier an see what happens.

Sarah - posted on 11/07/2009

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My two month old does the same thing: he doesn't want to miss a thing, and fights to stay awake during the day. I took him to a chiropractor who specializes in babies, and with a few minor adjustments, he's doing better. I'm just thankful he's been sleeping at night!

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