How can I get my 10-week-old to settle better at the lunchtime nap?
Using previous advice you gave about getting my son to sleep without being held, he now settles well at all his naps and sleeps. However I have a problem with him remaining asleep for two hours at the lunchtime nap. He is happy to sleep for 30-45 minutes, but will never return to sleep after this. Sometimes he will be content to lie there for another 30-45 minutes sucking his thumb; at other times he will cry. I have tried the controlled crying method and just leaving him when he does suck his thumb but to no avail. He settles well at 7pm and does usually wake in the night, but will settle himself by sucking his thumb until 7am when he wakes for his feed.
He is normally quite grumpy in the afternoon but has been more so lately.
My son has 5 feeds of 7ozs at 7am,10.45am,2pm,6.15pm and 10.20pm. We have never been able to wake him for his 10pm feed, as he is deeply asleep but still takes his bottle. I am about to increase his feeds to 8ozs to see if it improves his grumpiness. He weighs 18lbs.
He naps at 9-9.30am, 12.00-12.45pm, 2.30-3pm.
I cannot understand why he will settle himself back to sleep at night but not in the day. His room is pitch black with blinds.
At his weight your son will be ready for 8oz bottles. One of the main reasons the lunchtime nap goes wrong is hunger. By changing the timings of his feeds slightly, you can offer him a small top up before going down, to help eliminate this cause. Bring his morning feed back to 10.15/10.30am. Before settling him to sleep at 12.00, offer him another 2-3 ozs so he goes down with a full tummy and is less likely to stir himself awake after 30-45mins.
Have a look at the website for Gina’s in depth article on the lunchtime nap: http://www.contentedbaby.com/members-only/Lunchtimenap.php
At his age babies do often need some help in returning to sleep at this time, so they become used to having a 2 hour sleep in the middle of the day.
Controlled crying is a technique used for older babies. Younger babies should not be left to cry for longer than 10 minutes before you go in to reassure them. If they continue to cry it is better to resettle them and then go in every 10 minutes rather than leaving them for longer and longer periods, as one does with controlled crying.
If your son did wake after 30-45mins and not return to sleep, let him have a 30 min nap at 2.30-3pm and then another short nap from 4.30-5pm which would help him be less grumpy in the afternoon.