View Full Version : I'm seeing cues, but he still won't nap!

01-20-2007, 12:16 AM
I just want to know if this will get better. DS is 8 weeks on Tuesday, but is 8 weeks past his due date. I read through most of Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child and started trying to put DS down earlier for naps. I usually talk, do tummy time, etc. after a feeding. He's all smiles and then - BAM. Suddenly his face turns red and he is crying. Today I watched him more carefully, noticed when he started to zone out a little, and started to do what we usually do at night. Swaddle, cuddle, and a few kisses/sleep well wishes. He went down ok for 1 nap, poorly for 1, and flat out refused to sleep for the 3rd. He's yawning, dark circles, etc. I know he's wired, but won't nap!!

Of course this means he doesn't go down well at night also. Usually he fusses for 5-10 minutes and falls asleep. Tonight took an hour! Heck, I'm not even sure he's down for the night. He may wake up at 10 or 11pm.

I know he is younger than the seemingly magical 3-4 month mark. I'm just wondering if there is any way to make this better. DS rarely goes down with no crying no matter preemptive we are with putting him to sleep, so no chance we can hit a homer with Weissbluth's advice on that one.

There might also be another issue that is amplifying the problem. I go back to work on Monday. It's only part-time and DH is "working from home" in the morning. We practiced with me being out in the morning for a few days mainly to get DH used to caring for DS. But DH noticed that DS wouldn't take a bottle even though he was hungry. He kept rooting for a breast! That made him cranky and irritable and he wouldn't sleep.

I think DS falls into the intermediate to extremely fussy range depending on the day. He was very high maintenance for the first 6 weeks and miraculously was laid back for a week. Now he seems to be reverting!

01-20-2007, 01:45 PM
I wouldn't expect an 8 week old baby to tak e regular naps. I think at that age most still sleep after being fed or in a swing/ bouncy seat or while you have them in the car or stroller.

At this point, imo, if he is willing to fall asleep in one of those scenarios I would let him sleep then. An over tired baby does sleep worse at night.

And remember, during ths first year (and even beyond) sleep is always going to be morphing and changing. Just when you think they and you have it figured it out things change. Good sleepers go through bad sleeping phases when they are teething and hitting new physical and emotional milestones. It's great to try the strategies but there is also merit to going with his sleep preferences. By 4 months the nap thing will fall into place. Until then, take the sleep when you can get it. I just don't think you are going to be causing some long term "bad" habits by not following the books to the letter at a mere 8 weeks old. Most "sleep training" things are meant for 6+ months. At 8 weeks they are still adjusting to life on the outside. :)

I honestly believed my ds would never take a "crib nap" (that's what I was calling a regular nap, in his crib that lasted a decent length). But, in that 4-5 month window everything fell into place. And he turned out to be a great napper! Hang in there and just kep doing what you can to make sure everyone is rested.

Good luck with work on Monday!!


01-22-2007, 11:46 PM
I could not agree with you more, Beth. DD was exactly the same way and she was certainly in the "extremely fussy/colicky" category. I think it is Harvey Karp in The Happiest Baby on the Block who says that pregnancies should really be 4 trimesters (shudder) so the poor child is really just trying to adapt to a totally unfamiliar environment for the first three months (or longer if you have a preemie).

If you can get the crib naps before 4-5 months, fabulous. If not, I would do whatever works to get the baby to nap (and try to catch one yourself if you can). For DD, it was the stroller. I walked for MILES with her multiple times a day.

I really never thought DD would become a regular napper, much less a crib napper, after all of the "bad habits" I indulged her in until about 4 months, but she did. (I also thought I would never be able to leave her because she was refusing a bottle when I was supposed to go back to work and then suddenly that clicked too!)