Settling 18 week old to sleep for daytime naps. - NCT


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Settling 18 week old to sleep for daytime naps.


Hi all, just wondered how you all settle your babies for daytime naps. I feel like I have tried everything and my baby just won’t fall asleep. I would list what we have tried but the post would be really, really long! So it’s probably easier to ask what you all do? And what do you do if baby won’t settle for a nap?

Baby settles at night very well and usually sleeps 11-12 hours with one feed.

(For info I have tried the little ones sleep schedule and the huckleberry app as well as responding to baby’s sleep cues).


11 Replies

I found I was trying to do too much and was over stimulating her before a nap. I thought I would be tiring her out but it was almost felt like it had the opposite effect. We'd have every toy or, music, books etc. It was all a bit too much, when I stopped and did some calmer days naps improved.

Baypony in reply to Seb9

Thanks for the reply. Did your baby need help to fall asleep? Or did they just fall asleep by themself?

Seb9 in reply to Baypony

We've all had to find ways that work, for dad he rocks her and then pats her bum when he lays her in the cot, I breastfeed her to sleep and my mum pushes her round in her pram.we've all had to find our own way to get her to sleep.

Baypony in reply to Seb9

Thanks 👍

Hi, my baby is 21 weeks and I struggled to get him to nap, but he is much better now (sometimes!) He does not have set nap times, I just go by him and I have gotten to know his tired signs really well. I think it's so important to learn these, otherwise you might be trying to get a baby to sleep when they're just not ready!

When my son gets tired we do an abbreviated version of his nighttime routine. This involves giving our guinea pigs a treat (at night we feed them), going to his room and I rock him while singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (our sleep song).

I then put him in the cot and if he rolls on his side and starts sucking his thumb, I know he is ready to sleep and will drift off with no further help. If he doesn't do this, I sit on the floor beside the cot and sing the song again and make a "shushing" noise until he does roll over and suck his thumb. Then I can leave the room and he will fully go to sleep.

If he won't settle then I may have to rock him for longer while singing the song repeatedly, with some shushing.

Naps really improved for my baby once he could roll and find a more comfy position to sleep in, and when he learned to soothe himself (from sucking his thumb).

I also found sticking to one method helped a lot. I had been trying lots of different things but then decided to just stick to rocking and singing/shushing, no matter how long it took to get him to sleep! We had a few occasions where it just really didn't seem to be happening, and then I would take him back downstairs for 20-30 minutes before beginning the routine again.

I'm glad I stuck to the same method as it made things much simpler. It also allows for different "levels" of helping him get to sleep if needed (sitting beside the cot, more rocking). I encourage my partner to use the same method as I think consistency helps.

Sorry this is so long. I hope some of it is helpful!

Baypony in reply to Prosopon

Thanks for the reply. I think, like you, i’ve tried so many things i’ve lost count. Maybe I just need to stick to one method. The tired signs thing we have tried. Looking for eye rubs, ear pulls, yawns, when she puts her hands on her head etc I take her to her cot and as soon as she is put down she giggles, coos and grins at me and is awake again 😂

It’s difficult to know what to do as what works one day doesn’t work the next. Hopefully she will get into a routine soon!

With our 18 month old I put him down for his afternoon nap at the same time each day unless he has woken up early and then I might bring it forward by 15 mins. Before his nap I change his nappy, put a vest on him (sleeping bag if it’s not warm weather) give him a largish cup of milk (he also gets one before bed) then I put him in his cot

With his teddy and leave straight away - 95% of the time after rolling around for 10 mins he goes to sleep on his own. occasionally he has a little cry and I leave him and usually after a few mins he is asleep. We had a period of early waking and learnt that with our boy when he wakes sometimes he has a little cry to go back to sleep. I have now learnt the difference with his cries and feel I know if it’s a cry where he really needs me or if it’s just him wanting to get back to sleep. Not the way for everyone I know but we are comfortable with it... I feel that he thrives off routine and I don’t need to do to much to get him to nap so after over complicating thing when he was little I now keep it simple. Jut go with what works for you and your baby. You are clearly an incredible mum for trying so many things to find the best for him but try not to let it stress you out (easier said than done!) x

We are very lucky and our little one falls asleep not long after putting her down. We put her down, say goodnight & walk out and within minutes she’s asleep. It took a long time to get there though. When she was about 5 months old I would rock her asleep and slowly get her used to being in the cot. We started by her falling asleep on me then gentle tapping on her back when she was in the cot, then standing by the cot, then easing out of the room. I’d always pick her up if she cried and settle her again and now she settles herself down to sleep without any fuss. I always stick to the same routine of closing curtains, cuddle and putting her down as well. If she won’t settle then we just forget the nap for the day and try and have a calmer afternoon with cuddles on the sofa. Hopefully things will start to improve for you.

Sounds like you have nights nailed! We use age appropriate wake times for naps. At 18 weeks I think we were on 5 naps a day during sleep regression hell! Basically from wake up time we had the twins back down for the first nap within 1.25 hours at that age. As we have 2 we’ve had to be strict at making sure they go down for naps. We put them down 10 mins before the end of their wake time to help them learn to fall asleep on their own. Then we’d record what time they wake up and put them back down for their next naps within 1.5-1.75 hours of waking up. We’ve been doing it for about 6 weeks and they mostly go down for their naps unassisted now, occasionally we need to go back to them and put a dummy back in. We add 15 minutes to the later wake windows every 5 days or so and their naps are starting to extend a bit in length so I’m hoping they will be on 3 naps by 6 months.

I found Lucy Wolfe articles useful:

Thanks everyone. You have fiven me some other things to try 🤞

quick shower and put baby on jumperoo helped me sometimes

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