Should I re-swaddle my 4.5-month-old so she sleeps better at lunchtime?
My daughter is very active in the night. She rolls everywhere, so we have put her into a sleeping bag. She used to be swaddled. She still sleeps through the night but has begun to wake up at the lunchtime nap. For the last week she has refused to go back to sleep after 45 minutes. She doesn’t have a dummy and is very good at getting herself to sleep. Before this she had rarely slept a full two hours but would resettle herself when she stirred. She also seems more unsettled at bedtime too.
I have tried cutting back the morning nap to 30 minutes, but this has not worked. I want to be consistent and not go into her. She is teething and has seemed more settled when I put something on her gums, although even that is not working so well now. She is not hungry as I have tried milk and water but I am wondering if it is because she is unswaddled (not rolling over in her sleep).
She is happy to go from 7am to lunch (11am) so I don’t really want her to move lunch yet. She is definitely tired as she is having another short nap at 4pm. Should I re-swaddle her?
She feeds at 7am 8oz, 11am 7ozs and 2oz vegetable puree combined with potato, 2.30pm 6ozs, 6.30pm 8ozs and 2ozs fruit and rice, 10pm 3ozs.
She was on Aptamil 2 before weaning at 14/15 weeks (she weighed 17lb 6ozs 2 weeks ago) but during the day is now on Aptamil 1. I give her Aptamil 2 at 6 and 10pm. This seems to suit her better.
At present she sleeps from 9-9.45am, 12- ? and 4-4.30pm.
As your daughter has been able to settle herself at lunchtime it would seem better not to go back to swaddling her. If you are using a lightweight sleeping bag, tuck her in securely with a cotton sheet used lengthways across the cot. This could well prevent her from disturbing herself if she moves in her sleep.
To eliminate the possibility of hunger, as she is still in the early stages of weaning, split her lunchtime feed. Offer her 3-4ozs of her milk feed at 11am followed by her solids and then give her a break before offering her the rest of her milk, and settle her at 12.00. As she begins to take more solid food this feed gets pushed nearer to 11.30/11.45am.
Giving her something soothing for her gums just before going down should rule out teething pain being a problem, as it would still be working after 45 minutes. Most pain relievers take 20 minutes to become effective so they should see her through her nap.
Until you have got the lunchtime sleep back to nearer 2 hours, let her have a nap in the afternoon to prevent her from becoming overtired by bedtime.
Have a look at the article by Gina on the website about the lunchtime nap and the problems sometimes encountered.