How do you put a 4 month old down for a nap?

Shannon - posted on 02/23/2010 ( 13 moms have responded )




Rocking him to sleep stopped working this week. He's 4 months old now and more aware. He screams if I hold him/rock him at naptime or if I put him down in the crib. He's missing his naps due to crying through the whole time! Any suggestions? I feel like I've tried everything! = (


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Does he take a pacifier? Unfortunately you just have to put him down and let him figure it out........I know it sounds harsh and I had the exact same problem and to this day I'm sooo grateful that my mom told me what to do when my daughter was about 2 1/2 months! My now 17 month old daughter LOVES her naps and bedtime......she will even go and climb the side of her crib when she's tired! Very cute and besides the point...LOL! When she was ur sons age I would lay her down in her crib/ basinet/ my bed..... the couch etc. and make sure she was surrounded by blankets, nice and cozy like the womb and I would give her a soother which she hadn't used up until that point......she cried but I would go in every 5 mins or so and eventually the 5 mins turned into 10 and then 15mins.......when you go in it's to comfort them and let them know ur still there but don't pick them up.........self soothing is VERY IMPORTANT for them to learn and helps build things like self esteem and confidence! After about 3 days my daughter would go to sleep without any fuss and about a month after that she was sleeping exclusively in her own bedroom in her crib! Believe it or not it gives them a sense of pride and accomplishment! Hope this helps......sorry bout the rambling! LOL! Good luck!

Bethany - posted on 02/25/2010




I make sure we do the same thing each time Charlotte has a nap or goes to bed for the night, these cues help her recognise it's sleep time soon, and lets her brain make the seratonin and oxytocin she needs to go to sleep (we all do actually)

I watch for tired signs, which is practically by the clock now, as we've had the same repeated routine since birth really, just at longer intervals as she got older.

We feed after sleeps, as per Tracy Hoggs "Baby Whisperer" book so I know she's not expecting food.

We go into her room, shut the curtains, turn on her fan, turn on her classic lullaby music, close the door over and I hold her with her head on my right arm, and we sit in our rocking chair and I say nigh-nee-nigh over and over, or sh sh sh, sh sh sh.

She wriggles around sometimes, and she just shuts her eyes sometimes, depending on how far away the next sleep wave is. Once she's more asleep than awake, I put her in her cot and walk out and usually don't hear from her again. 11 hrs over night, 1 and a half hours every morning once she's been up for 2 hours, and half to one hour in the afternoon. If she cries out for more than about 30 seconds, I go back and hold her again and she usually will only need this once, every now and then, if she missed the wave. If she disturbs more than that, I know there is something wrong as she's not much of a cryer, either needs pain killer for teeth or a drink of water.

If she's a bit overtired, or more wriggly than usual, she needs a good hard rock, or if I'm standing up I get some good thigh exersizes in with really pronounced up and down movements. Think of the great cardio work out you'll get. This seems to help her settle then it's back to the rocking chair.

Have a read of Margot Sunderland's The Science of Parenting for reasons to never leave your little one to cry alone. It's one thing to wait a second to see if they'll sort them selves out, it is entirely another to give up on ourselves and on them and choose to ignore their prolonged cries. It's downright abuse. If it does eventually work, it will be because they have given up on you, and their immature, primative brain will still be as stressed as if they were still crying even if they're asleep. This has been emperically proven. Don't be fooled. It's not for long in the scheme of things. This is what we signed up for, warts and all.

If we're out, she sleeps fine in the car or pram or whereever, no need for all the theatrics, but they do speed things up when we're home.

Melissa - posted on 02/23/2010





1. She may not be tired. As she gets older her body won't need as much sleep and she'll be able to stay awake during longer periods of time. If she may not be tired, just try a little later, maybe 30 minutes.

2. She may be over tired, she could be going through a growth spurt. In these cases she will want to sleep more, so if she looks tired before a normal nap time, try then. If she gets over tired, it will be much harder to get her to nap.

3. Try putting her in her crib w/o any other nap routine. At six months I started putting my son in his crib, rather than rocking him. He seemed to fall asleep much quicker and with only a little bit of whining.

But being that she is only 4 months, I would say she is able to stay awake longer, or she is overtired due to a growth spurt.

Stevie - posted on 02/23/2010




now is the time to teach him how to self sooth and learn to fall asleep on his own when my son was 3 months was when we did it and we used the ferber method you can look it up on yahoo for better detals but lay him down in his crib and let him cry for 5 min go up and you can touch him but try not to pic him up and let him know you love him and your there when he needs you and leave again this time for 10 min and do it again and then 15 min easy to do well its hard at first it was hard for me the first night but after tthat it got easier and he learned it in less than a week good luck sweety

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Tinker1987 - posted on 09/09/2012




is he sleeping all night or waking up late in the morning? I would try waking him up early even though it might be hard for you to get out of bed before he wakes up at least by waking him up he should get tired enough too nap easier at noon.

Monica - posted on 09/09/2012




Whew, I'm going through this at this moment. He has no problem with me rocking him to sleep or even falling a sleep in the outside swing. But when I go to put him in his bed, he cries and cries.

Aileen - posted on 02/25/2010




You could try putting him to sleep in his stroller, wheel him up and down.When he gets a little older put him in his cot, it worked for me.

Shannon - posted on 02/23/2010




Thank you so much! That was what I suspected... time to let him learn to self-soothe.

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P.S. She's also without a soother now! We weaned her off that around a year once she had established a good sleeping routine!

Brittany - posted on 02/23/2010




I am a first time single mother and i know how you feel wether or not you are a single mom, what i did was i made sure my baby had a clean diaper i fed her and i layed her in her swing gave her a binki put a light blanket on her and turned it on high your baby might cry for a few minutes but its ok but if it takes about 10 minutes for him/her to stop crying maybe try putting the swing infront of some baby cartoons or something he/she might fall asleep better that way...

Tania - posted on 02/23/2010




first make sure that he's not hungry... i only say that because with my first child,i always wondered why she didn't sleep well it was because she was hungry. with our second we didn't rock but put her in her bed with a dummy attached to a chain, we also give her a blanky and she sleeps in a sleeping bag. we first fed her properly, then gave ger a bottle of formula, put her in her cot, let her cry for 5 min, then 10. then 20, going in after each interval to reassure her. the first night it took 20 min before she settled, the second 10 and the third no crying... i know it sounds hard, it is. but what a difference. we still struggle with a 3 year old because we did not sleep train her but with our 10 month old its easy as pie.

Susannah - posted on 02/23/2010




I bought my DD a music box that played soft lullabys. She'd lay there and listen to it until falling asleep. It worked for naps and bedtime. Now I read to her until she falls asleep.

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