How do you teach a young infant to nap independently?

Any tips for getting a 12 week old to nap during the day? She nurses approximately every 3 hours and gets clearly sleepy between and during nursing sessions, but every time I try to put her down to sleep she instantly wakes up and starts crying. The only things that work is if I let her fall asleep on my chest or in the bjorn, or putting her in the car for a long drive. She needs sleep but seems to fight it at every instance!

Yes, sounds about right for 12 weeks! She knows what she wants and when she’s not getting it. We love practice in the crib but not at the expense of sleep. bottom line: don’t be afraid to soothe her. We don’t want to see you trying the crib all day and then she is miserably overtired! That said – a nice swaddle (if no rolling), a white noise machine, lots of snuggly wind down time, perhaps even some recreational nursing, and getting her nice and sleepy may help with the transfer down into the crib. Try crib sleep earlier in the day which tends to be more predictable. By the end of the day she may ONLY sleep in a soft carrier or in a stroller at this age. She does need sleep and that’s why you want to offer it to her frequently and continue to try the crib, but she’s too little to “force” anything so if it’s not working – don’t be afraid to soothe her (Safely)!


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