3 month old fighting naps PLEASE HELP!
am i driving you crazy yet? this is my 3rd thread on the BFing forum in a week!
DD is 12 1/2 weeks old and went through a growth spurt at 11 weeks which just seems like its tapering off. she was fussy from about 2 weeks to 8 weeks and from 8 to 11 weeks she was pretty much easy-going! napped twice a day - first time on a stroll through the neighborhood and the 2nd time would be sometime in the middle of the afternoon and she would sometimes nod off early at night and then id nurse her and put her down around 9. the fussiness started back at 11 weeks and i attributed it to a growth spurt. now she's almost 13 weeks though and the fussiness is getting worse. i've figured out finally that she is overtired because she's been refusing to nap.
her sleep patterns are definitely changing. she no longer will nap during the stroll so i cut it out, thinking that maybe by this point she had gone too long without napping and needed to be put down earlier for a nap so we tried that. sometimes it would work sometimes it wouldn't. i know its a timing thing. if i wait too long its really hard to get her to sleep but too early and she won't sleep for long.
so i'm thinking she's maybe ready for regular naps - morning and afternoon. but there are 2 different schools of thought on how to go about that - put her down drowsy to let her cry it out mid-morning and early afternoon for a few days to get her in the habit of sleeping or nurse her to sleep and comfort her when she awakes crying to try to get her back to sleep. i'm sure there are more ideas about this but these are the two i am wrestling with right now.
FYI she sleeps GREAT at night! she goes to bed around 830 and sleeps until 630! but daytime sleep is a battle. and if she doesn't nap she gets so overtired and fussy that it breaks my heart - she screams bloody murder a few times a day. and i know she needs that daytime sleep. plus it makes me super on edge and in a terrible mood by mid-afternoon.
this morning i tried putting her down when she looked sleepy - around 815. she had woken up at 630 and nursed for 45 minutes and then i ate bfast, talked to her while she was in her swing and gave her a bath and got her dressed for the day (our usual routine) and then we went outside and i had my coffee and talked to her about her surroundings (trying to provide lots of stimulation so she would be tired). i thought she might be ready for a nap before her next feeding so i rocked her a little and she drifted off with a paci so i put her down in her crib and quietly left the room. she woke up 10 minutes later crying but i let her cry while i showered and dressed. 30 min passed and she was still crying so i got her and fed her and she fell asleep after nursing this time so i tried putting her down again since she didn't sleep the first time. this time we had more success. she stayed asleep about 15 or 20 minutes, woke up crying and i instantly went in to soothe her (put the paci back in her mouth and rubbed her tummy - didn't pick her up) and she nodded back off pretty quickly. she is still asleep now and it has been about 15 minutes since i checked on her last so i'm thinking maybe this is the way to go for now - to keep nursing her to sleep during the day?
what has been successful for you? i want her to be able to self soothe but i also want her to get the rest she needs during the day. should i continue the nursing to sleep schedule or try to gradually start an eat/wake/sleep routine with her? i want what's BEST for her but i also need to consider what i can handle - CIO is tough for me. i keep wondering if maybe she's hungry instead of too tired to sleep. i nurse her to sleep at night so i know she's used to that. i want to know how you worked it out! i want to nurse on demand but i also want to get her on a schedule as much as possible to help us enjoy our time together more because right now, we're both struggling!
Christ-loving SAHM to
Zoey (4/11) and wife
to my best friend Randall