View Full Version : Naps and Fussiness

08-01-2005, 11:32 AM
Hi, my baby is six weeks old and doing okay on a demand schedule. We are having problems getting her to nap in the daytime. In the early morning she sleeps lovely and feeds every 3 hours, but often without an awake "play period". Then in the afternoon she is on demand about every 2 - 2 1/2 hours and sometimes skips her naps between feedings. Do the missed naps increase her fussiness? Often I have to hold her for her to nap, and if I put her down, she sometimes awakens immediately. Before I put her down for the night, she often has an extremely fussy period when nothing calms her (colic?) for 2-3 hours. When she finally calms down, she sleeps from 4-6 hours straight at night. Did she just tire herself out? Will she grow out of this "colicky" type behavior, or is she tired from the lack of naps??

Also, the "colicky" periods are wearing on us, and my husband is considering the "Babywise" method. This forum seems mostly against this style. Any further comments or other book suggestions?


Louise, mom of baby Maya

08-08-2005, 12:45 AM
We're dealing with a bit of the same problem. My DD has trouble napping during the day unless she's being held. She's 17 weeks now and we've just resigned ourselves to this since we haven't been able to change it. She is on an on demand schedule as well which has been wonderful and also goes back to sleep in the morning after a bottle. I wouldn't worry about your six week old sleeping through a "play period". She's only six weeks old....she sleeps A LOT still. I think the missed naps are definitely a problem, we struggle with it as well and my PED said that she gets fussy in the evening not because of colic but because she is over tired. The only thing I've found so far is that she seems to be able to nap in MY bed. Which is odd, but doable. You have to keep her surrounded with pillows(not too close) and keep her in the middle of the bed, but it's better than being handcuffed to her while she naps all day. I don't know what makes my bed better...maybe my mattress is more comfortable (poor thing) or it's more snuggly, but it works for us most of the time. You might try it???

08-08-2005, 09:45 AM
My DD does nap in my lap or in bed with me. Sometimes she gets fussy in the daytime, and I still have to walk with her. I have not tried having her sleep in my bed alone, but I guess that's a thought as long as it's the bare mattress without blankets (and pillows to prevent falling, but not too close!) Actually I'm planning to try a sling next so that I can let her sleep "with me" and still have my hands free.

On the brighter side, the fussy periods are becoming more manageable. Now they are down to <2 hours and between 6-9pm as opposed to 9-12pm. And you are right, she is fussier if she has not gotten her naptime during the day. I am also trying a few sleep books. I'm currently reading the "No Cry Sleep Solution." Most of these books are geared toward getting a baby to sleep through the night as opposed to napping in the day, but I figure it is worth a try. I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks for the input! :-)

Louise, Mommy to Maya 6/19/05

08-09-2005, 10:51 PM
Oh....getting a baby to sleep and nap........sometimes somthing we want so much as adults is so hard to get little ones to do. My preferred book on baby sleep is "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" by Dr. Marc Weismuth (?or something like this). He advocates that whenever your baby makes the signal for sleep (rub eyes, cry, etc.) that you put them in bed. He also has a cycle of eat, play, sleep (or something like this)which is geared to help the child sort out when sleep should happen. I followed his method for my younger two daughters and it worked well. The key is to put the child down as soon as they act tired and to remember the "sleep begets sleep." (THe more quality sleep they have, the better they will sleep overall). I encourage you to try this approach for a few weeks to give it a chance to work. You have to do it more than a few days in order for the child to get the hang of it - however it worked wonderfully for my girls who were excellent sleepers by the time they were 10 weeks old. The key is to be consistent and persistent - and it is much easier to set up a sleep cycle now than in six months when they will be more set in their ways.

Good luck!

08-27-2005, 09:34 PM
I like the Weissbuth book and have read the chapters for up to4 months. My DD is now 10 weeks old. My problem is my DD still requires a lot of rocking before naps and being put down at night (sometimes over one hour). Dr. Weissbuth recommends getting her to sleep before two hours of wakefulness. How do I get her to sleep faster? He does not recommend "Crying it Out" before 4 months. Would you try it sooner? Did you let your daughters cry when you put them down for their naps?

08-27-2005, 11:08 PM
Hi there - yes, I did let my daughters cry when I put them down for naps, even at about 10 weeks. (with four children at home it was a point of survival for me). I was especially vigilant at nap time - when they gave the nap signal I literally ran them into their cribs. I didn't nurse them before nap or sleep because I didn't want to associate this with sleep. They did cry a bit at first, but it didn't take long to sort this out. I also did not rock them for long periods - again I just didn't have the time. Now at night I might let them stay up a bit longer, but by that time I'd have my husband around to play with the baby a bit, too. Just be a bit persistent and it will all come together. there really isn't a magic formula - just finding a pattern you can live with. Good luck to you and your sweet baby!

08-28-2005, 11:03 AM
Thanks! I think we may be ready to try the CIO method soon. For now I'm working on the "eat-wake-sleep" two hour cycle. My DD usually naps from her 5-6 am feeding to 8-9 am (probably a 3 hr night sleep extension) and then really has no set pattern. We've been trying to get her to nap by rocking when she shows her sleepy signs and she still nurses on demand. I think we are getting ready to be "more strict" with the day schedule, because it is currently controlling my life! Would you recommend starting CIO at bedtime first? Will it work at naptime if I haven't done CIO at bedtime yet? When did you start? I know there is no set formula, but since your girls are such good sleepers, I thought I'd ask!

08-30-2005, 10:30 AM
One more question: I've been reading Weissbuth, and there are not any real "steps" on what to do for CIO. I've heard that some babies take over 2 hours of crying! (But most less than one hour). Is there a suggested time limit before CIO could be too stressful for the baby? Or do you just let her cry until she eventually falls asleep regardless of how long it takes? I don't know if I could do more than two hours! Also,I know my DD would not do well with "graduated extinction" or a more Ferber style, it would just make her more angry if she saw us and we didn't pick her up (noticed that at nap time). I think we need to do something soon. I really think my DD is becoming chronically overtired from lack of naps and a late bedtime. Thanks again!

Mommy to Maya
born 6/19/05 :-)