I have been trying to resettle my 13 week daughter after 45minutes at lunchtime, but with no success
Everything with the routine is going fantastically apart from the lunchtime nap for my 13 week old baby. I follow the routines to the minute almost, every day and have tried all the strategies including a top up feed before noon, ensuring she is tucked in well, clean nappy etc, but every day she wakes between 35 – 45 minutes after noon. I have been using the crying down method and this works really well at the start of her sleeps – within usually a minute she is quiet now. But at lunchtime when she wakes after her first cycle she cries and cannot re-settle herself – a few times after 45 minutes of crying she has settled back for another 1/2 hour, but most days she will cry for an hour or more (sometimes intermittently but often almost non stop) and I am really concerned that none of this is working – I have been sticking to this for over 4 weeks now and there doesn’t seem to be any improvement. I do go into her every 15- 20 minutes to try to soothe her. Please can you provide any help? I hate to leave her crying when I can’t see that it is making any difference. Equally, I don’t know what to do if I do get her up instead, because I want to stick to the feeding times and not feed her earlier than 2:30pm. I am worried about upsetting the rest of the routine (including night time which is working perfectly at the moment and has done so for a long time). The reason I get her up at 7:30am instead of 7am is because I can’t keep her going beyond 1.5 hours at that time in the morning. Everything else I have read says not to leave a baby to cry under 6 months old.
My daughter is fully breast fed. At 7.30am,30 minutes, both sides, 10.30am 25mins, empties one side and most of the second, 11.55am 5 minute top up feed, 2.30pm 30minutes, both sides, 5.30pm 25minutes, one side and most of second, 6.55pm 5 minutes top up feed, 10.30pm 15-20mins, empties one side and takes as much as she needs from second before getting sleepy.
My daughter weighs 14lbs.4.5ozs.
She naps at 9-9.30am, 12-12.45pm and 3.30-4.30pm.
Getting the lunchtime nap into place can take time and persistence. As the way you are trying is not working it would be a good idea to change her feed times a little so you are sure she is not waking through hunger.
If your daughter is able to wait until 10.45/11am for her feed then let her do so. Offer her one side only at this time and then encourage her to have a spell of kicking. If you are able to get your daughter to wait until 11.30/11.45am before feeding from the second side she may be more able to settle herself back to sleep when she stirs after being asleep for 45 minutes.
If you find that your daughter is not happy having a split feed in this way feed her a full feed at 10.30am and offer her a top up feed of expressed milk, so you know she has taken enough for her needs. If you prefer not to introduce her to a bottle at all then offer her a longer top up feed at 11.50am.
As your daughter is sleeping until 7.30am she may need some slight adjustments made to her morning nap. At present you say she is ready to go down by 9am. Do you wake her after 30 minutes or does she wake herself? Letting her have 45 minutes at this time could help her at lunchtime. She may well be going down at 12 midday exhausted. If she gets up at 7.30am and she does wake after ½ hour of her morning nap, try moving this nap on a little. Do this by putting her down 5 minutes later every few days until she is settling at 9.15/9.20am and so waking around 9.45am.
Take a look at the Lunchtime Nap article on the website which gives several more ideas, such as taking your baby out at this time of day and getting her to settle for a longer sleep whilst in her pram. If you decide to try one of these ideas you must carry on doing exactly the same thing for a week to ten days in order to break the pattern of stirring after 45 minutes of sleep. Still offer her a longer top up feed or split feed at 10.45/11.45am, when trying one of these ideas.
Once you feel that your daughter is better at sleeping for a longer time you can move her back to her cot for this lunchtime nap. It may take two or three days of letting her “cry down” should she stir but this should take no longer than 20 minutes. For a full description of “crying down” see The Complete Sleep Guide, page 39.
Leaving your baby to cry for long periods of time, even whilst checking her, is not to be recommended. If you feel you have persevered will all the methods suggested, or the ones appropriate to your situation, and still your daughter finds it impossible to settle back to sleep, then get her up. Set yourself a time limit of about 15-20 minutes to see if she is going to drop back to sleep when she first stirs. If her crying does not stop, or show any signs of decreasing, within that time then get her up.
You may need to feed her slightly early, at around 2.15pm, if she is getting tired with having a short lunchtime nap. Then let her have a short nap of about 30 minutes as soon as she has fed. Your daughter will probably still need another short nap before 5pm so she is able to enjoy her bath and bedtime routine without becoming over tired.
Getting the lunchtime nap in place does take time and persistence. Check through every reason why she may be stirring. Make sure that her room is totally blacked out and then work your way through all the other possibilities.