How can I get DD to self-settle for naps?

DD is 4 and 1/2 months old. She sleeps well at night and can self-settle with no problems. During the day, she will only fall asleep for her naps if I am holding her, (not necessarily rocking though). The minute she has fallen asleep in my arms, I then place her in her cot and she'll nap for about half an hour then wake up crying. Ideally I'd like her to sleep longer, but thats another issue entirely - think this may well be solved once she learns to self-settle!
The only other way I can get her to nap is to take her in the pushchair or car or put her in the swinging rocker chair - she self-settles fine in these and naps for longer too. These are all fine and well but not always practical and I just want her to self-settle!!!
Just wondering if anyone has any tips?! I asked HV few days ago and all she said was that babies get better at naps when they start weaning as they are more full than when on just milk. I get her point but I don't think thats really an issue for DD as she sometimes feeds before naps...

Ta! xx


  • we struggled with naps for a while too, and for us the key was black out blinds. We had pale coloured curtains so it was very bright during the day, while black out blinds don't quite do as they say they do make it darker. We also have a white noise tape which we play. To start with, like your lo, she was only napping for about 45mins and then when we got the blinds she started going for up to 2 hours, longer sometimes if I let her.
    If she can re-settle herself at night then she should be able to during the day.

    Also I always undress her down to her vest or top so she's not in any 'uncomfy' clothes.

    [Modified by: sarah-jb on June 24, 2010 08:31 PM]

  • hey mrs i'm watching this post as im the same ds 16 weeks, he will only go to sleep during the day in car or pram unless he falls asleep on me and like you will wake up after only 15-20 mins!!!

    What i have started to do is go out at 9am after dropping ds1 tp school so that he knocks over in the car i then park at a park and walk, he will sleep to 10 so that is one hour, then at 12:30 same again, he is fed at 12:00 put in car and then took out and then walked and he'll sleep for 2 hours doing this including during picking up my ds1 so stays asleep in and out of the car etc etc

    my theory is i'm 'telling' his wee body when to get tired so that hopefully in the next week (ive been doing this for a week and a half) he will be naturally tired at this time so it should make it easier for him to sleep longer when in the house as he will be tired, if that makes sense???

    i'll let you know if i have any success lol
  • I set up a mini routine so that he got to know it was nap-time and he had to self settle. We go to his bedroom, close the curtains, I put him in his cot, give him a dummy (he doesn't have this at any other time), I give him a muslin comforter, put a blanket over him, play some music and leave the room. He knows what to expect and it works, although he can sometimes still only have 30-40 minutes xx
  • Thanks girls.
    I have also been looking at the pick up put down method so will do a combo of some of your ideas plus this method and see what happens.

    Will let you know how I get on...!
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