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Welcome To The Members Area! Forums Baby Sleep Help Rolling phase and difficult naps Reply To: Rolling phase and difficult naps

  • Emma H

    May 7, 2024 at 11:04 am

    Hey Vivian,

    It’s great to hear that your little one is adjusting to sleeping on his tummy, though I understand the scream-crying before naps and sometimes during the day can be quite worrisome.

    Firstly, if he is scream-crying throughout the day and this is a new behaviour, it’s important to consult his doctor to ensure he is healthy—perhaps check his ears or for other common issues. While it’s normal for babies to go through phases of fussiness, they should also have times in the day where they are happy and content to play. So, if the crying is constant, a visit to the doctor can help rule out any underlying problems.

    If the scream-crying isn’t constant and occurs only at certain times during the day, it might be his new way of communicating to you his needs. For example he might do it to let you know that he is bored, hungry, tired or uncomfortable.

    If the scream-crying isn’t occurring all day, it usually happens at sleep time for a couple of reasons:

    • He might not be tired enough: If he continues to scream-cry for a prolonged period while you’re trying to get him to sleep and it takes more than 20 minutes to fall asleep, he may not be ready for sleep. You might need to extend his wake window slightly to ensure he’s tired enough to fall asleep.

    • It could be his way of saying he is tired: If he calms down and falls asleep within 20 minutes, the crying is likely just his way of signalling that he’s tired.

    To help him through this stage you just want to continue doing what you have been doing:

    • Maintain a calm sleeping environment: Ensure his sleeping area is cool, dark, and free from sudden loud noises.

    • Stick to a consistent nap and bedtime routine: Predictable nap and bedtime routines will signal to him that it’s time to wind down.

    • Continue using the settling pyramid: At this age, he might be more aware of his surroundings, so it could be helpful to try putting him down in the crib and then leaving the room to complete the ‘Watch and Listen’ step outside the room. You can use a baby monitor to keep an eye on him, similar to what I demonstrated in the “Live Example – Reading Cues at 5 Months of Age” video.

    • Give him the space to fall asleep: It takes time for babies to fall asleep, and in that process of falling asleep they might move around (trying to get comfortable) and call out. If he screams out and then pauses, just give him some space to try and fall asleep. But if he screams out and there are no pauses, then he is telling you he needs your help. At this point, you would go back into the room and start to move up the pyramid.

    • Try to reduce the rocking: If you need to pick him up to calm him, try to put him back in the crib when he’s calm and then step down the pyramid to encourage self-soothing.

    • Regular wake-up times: Keeping a consistent wake-up time each morning helps regulate his sleep patterns.

    At this age, short catnaps are normal, but consistently using these strategies will help him develop the ability to link sleep cycles as he grows.

    I hope that helps!