Help! My 3 1/2 month old Won't Nap!

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What to do with a 3.5-month-old who won't nap...

baby1

As a PSP member asks...

So, until last week we were swaddling my young son, which helped him achieve a nap of approximately 30-45 minutes, sometimes an hour, twice a day. I should add that he goes to bed at 8pm, wakes up once sometime in the middle of the night, and sleeps until about 6:30 or 7am, so nights are not really an issue. But last week he began to kick of the swaddle altogether - completely out of it - so he seemed to be ready to try sleeping without it, and for safety reasons we decided to do it ASAP. He's struggling a little to get to sleep at night, but basically on the same schedule as always. However, he will not nap at all. Just starts to cry, kick his legs, chew on his hands, and never go to sleep. Any experienced parents out there with wisdom to help us? He will fall asleep on me after nursing, but as soon as I transfer him to his crib, it's all over.

 

Summary:

 

  • If he is able to roll over onto his stomach, let him sleep on his belly where he'll sleep more soundly.
  • Try swaddling in the Miracle Blanket.
  • Watch carefully for the first sign of tiredness, learn the signs, and get him down immediately.
  • Some babies just don't transfer well until they're older, so he may just need to sleep on you for a while.
  • Use a pacifier to help soothe/calm him and to help him sleep.
  • Give him a small security blankie to help soothe him.
  • Establish a routine for prior to napping, similar to a bedtime routine.
  • Read The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp.
  • If not swaddling, at least put him in a sleep sack to keep him warm.
  • Make sure he gets plenty of stimulation and fresh air to tire him out.
  • Keep in mind he can probably only handle 1.5 to 2 hrs. awake between  naps before getting overtired.
  • Let him sleep in a sling/carrier.
  • Try napping him on his side w/o swaddle, wedged against a sturdy rolled blanket, with a paci if you use one, and then pat his butt so that his whole body sort of moves with the tapping. The tapping lulls him back to sleep and because he goes on his side, it's not as jarring as being on his back.
  • Use white noise in his room.
  • Try putting him in the swing.
  • It could be teething.
  • Make sure the nap strike didn't coincide with the introduction of new foods for either him or mom.