How I got my 3 month old to nap 3+ hours per day
As a mom, when your baby isn’t sleeping all you do is google ways to make your baby sleep.
My google searches looked something like: “3 month old fighting naps”, or “3 month old sleeping at night but not during the day”, “3 month old not napping more than 30 minutes”… you get the point
So I turned to you, my lovely friends & followers for some tips & tricks.
Low-and behold getting my baby to nap 3+ hours per day has actually become so fun!
You know when you finally figure out how to use a math equation and you keep getting the answer right.
Well that’s how I feel about putting Gabriella down for naps.
She was also pretty good about napping, but then suddenly her naps turned anywhere between 20-40 minutes only twice per day. I used to consider my self lucky if she slept 45 minutes, and the whole time I would be on pins & needles waiting for her to wake up knowing that she would be cranky since she didn’t nap long enough.
This is what worked FOR ME & MY BABY. Please no judgements. I’m also not going to take credit for any of this because you guys gave me a lot of these tips.
- Babies are a product of their parents, obviously, so think about how YOU like to sleep, it is very likely that is how your baby prefers to sleep too.
- Start writing down what time your baby wakes up, and around what time they start getting cranky or showing sleepy cues. This will help you determine their wake-windows which is how long your baby can be awake and happy. For Gigi it is exactly 2 hours before she loses her mind.
- Just like adults, babies can’t just suddenly go from being in an over stimulated environment to their crib and be expected to go to sleep. They need to wind down.
15 minutes before the 2-hour wake window expires, I start prepping her for nap time.
- go into a dark room
- I play soft rain music on my phone (Happiest Baby Play list on Spotify)
- Change her diaper
- Put her in the Zen Baby sleep sack
- Beginning feeding session (about 10-15 min)
- Turn on her Lulla Doll
- I lay her in her crib or bassinet drowsy but awake, and gently pat her back for a couple minutes before exiting the room. ( Note: During the day I put her in the Crib to nap, but at night she sleeps in the Snoo beside my bed in their sleep sacks)
Does your baby start screaming the second you put her/him down?
Gabriella used to do this ALL the time! But, hold your ground! Once you gently placed the baby down keep rubbing their back or chest. Do not pick them back up, just keep soothing them in a gentle circular motions.
Keep in mind: “Persistence Beats Resistance”.. They are JUST little humans; you are the adult. You can do this!
The first day she resisted. But, Immediately the following day she knew that it was time for a nap. It just kept getting easier and easier.
So remember tip # 1, I said that babies usually like to sleep like their parents. Well I LOVE sleeping on my stomach. Dun Dun Dun….
When it was suggested to me to try it, I was extremely hesitant but desperate. I put her down for the nap (on her tummy) then I laid beside her writing emails and watching shows during her whole 2-hour slumber!
She woke up fresh as a daisy and so happy!
The following day, I tried it again, same thing. Passed right out and slept for an hour and a half.
Of course this is a controversial sleep method, but I felt that for her to continue developing accordingly she needed to get as much sleep as possible which she wasn’t getting on her back.
Products I recommend (that were recommended to me):
- Zen Baby Sleep Sack ($45)– it has a little weighted egg on the chest that mimics mom’s hand on the baby. If you want the baby to sleep on their tummy, then you turn the sleep sack so that the egg is on their back. This makes them think that their parent’s hand is gently placed on the back. It is made from super lightweight, soft, and breathable fabric. (I ordered 2, in case one is in the wash)
- The Lulla Doll– This doll is basically a sleep aid. It has a heartbeat (that you can turn up or down). I place the doll close to my self while I’m feeding Gigi so that it picks up my scent, and that she associates the doll’s heartbeat with me. Once I lay her down to sleep, I put the doll close in her proximity so that she can still hear it. There is a Velcro strap that you can use to attach the doll to the crib so that it is not directly inside.
Overall, I think everyone knows what is best for their baby and how to go about it. I feel that when I try to follow a strict schedule and rules it never works out for me. However, by reading her sleepy cues and learning how she prefers to sleep, it has given me a happier more rested baby who is more willing to interact & learn during her awake time.
Hope this helps some of you tired mamas.