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Also known as Walks of Desperation. 

I think Sabine is hitting the four month sleep regression. Her naps require either the lamby swing or that I load her up in the stroller, swaddle her arms down, turn on my white noise app as loud as it will go and cover the car seat with a blanket. And then I walk. And walk. And walk. Some days I walk 2 hours or more just to get her to take two decent naps. And by decent I mean a 90 minute walk often yields a 45 minute nap.

W.O.D.s require a meticulous attention to terrain, making sure the ride is bumpy enough to be soothing, but that no really big bumps jostle her awake. They also require I avoid excessive noise, like a bus huffing by, a child screaming on the playground or a dog barking. And it is preferable that I maintain roughly the same speed the entire walk and stop at minimal cross walks.This leaves exactly nowhere in NYC to walk. Instead, I have found the few areas that are meet as many criteria as possible, dodge pot holes and sprint by a playground like a ninja.

I have learned that the park down the hill has a gravel track that has the right amount of bounce. If I go between 8 and 10 a.m. it is largely empty sans the other desperate mother walking her child into oblivion or the elderly person taking his or her walk for health. The Fieldston neighborhood is a good afternoon option, but the roads are less than ideal so it requires I stay extremely alert. Broadway, the main drag of my neighborhood, is a good bet early Sunday morning, but God help us if we venture there Sunday late afternoon. Sabine also naps fairly well on a empty train. I have considered plunking her in the empty car with the smelly homeless guy* more times then I should admit in hopes she will conk out. I have yet to actually sink to this low. Tomorrow is always a new, sleep deprived day, though!

The upside is that the W.O.D.s are hopefully off-setting the massive amount of toast and carbohydrate stress eating that sleep deprivation causes. The bad side is that I am in a constant state of sweaty and that my feet are killing me. I just ordered four pairs of prospective walking shoes for our W.O.D.s Hopefully one of them will make these labors of love more comfortable.

How do you get your babes to nap? Anyone got tips for making it through the 4 month sleep regression? This mama is already tired and her hair has not been washed in…crap, four days. I am going to skip looking for a photo to run with this and instead go bathe!!

*I have learned that the empty train car during rush hour is not harboring good fortune. Instead it is home to a very smelly, often passed out, homeless guy. BUT the car is quiet… how desperate for naps are we?



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  1. October 23, 2013

    Ugh, sorry to hear that sleep is rough right now. Stella only napped (and night slept) in the swing around that time – often with the vacuum running next to it! If you’ve tried the tips on, then my only advice is to hang in there – you’re not alone – and it will get better as she continues to change and grow…

  2. October 23, 2013

    Ugh. The dreaded four month sleep regression 😦 we hit that one hard, and with teething. Advice for napping…well D boycotted napping yesterday and he’s 8 months. He was awake from 11:30 am until 7:15 pm, no joke. After letting him cry, feeding him, trying to rock him, rubbing his back (this all took over an hour, actually closer to 2 hours) I finally just got him up and let him be. I know it sounds crazy, but they do go back to normal. I have no tips on actually getting her to nap, unfortunately, more than just go with her schedule. That’s what my mom keeps telling me. And every time, D has gone back to normal, it just takes a while. I guess I’m not much help other than to say you’re totally not alone. 🙂 tips for getting through it…knowing it ends! One day, it just stops. and your normal sleeping baby is back. Weeks 17-19 for us were bad bad bad. I felt like a zombie a lot. Hubs and I took turns getting up at night to put the paci back in and that helped a little bit!

    And, if she’s about to master a new skill (maybe rolling over?) that could also be why she’s not napping. Her brain is gearing up for big shifts!

    • October 23, 2013

      thank you for the above encouragement. We are hitting teething at 4 months too (though she is almost 5 months). I definitely can’t see through the fog of ever hour wakings!

  3. October 23, 2013

    My daughter had trouble napping as well, still does, and she’s 6 months old. I nurse her to sleep, after the rocking and shushing and putting her down awake but sleepy (how does that work? She just wakes herself up and cries!!) failed. I fear the day it stops working. It doesn’t always work, especially if she’s too agitated or overtired. Then the hubs steps in to shush her while walking around our house until she falls asleep on him, then passes her on to me so I can nurse her then put her down. Why can’t he put her down? Cos she wakes up when he does. Gahhh. The no-napping was especially bad during her teething, and nearly brought my husband and I to our knees, we were so freakin exhausted. She’s started sleeping through the night once in a while now, has only taken her 6 months. Good luck, I have nothing to offer except kisses for your cute cute Sabine.

  4. October 23, 2013

    Oh I feel you, but our problem is bed time. Will NOT sleep in crib at all, sleeps in rocker for 2-3 hours then won’t go back to it until 4-5 AM. Sleeping in bed with us = no sleep for me.

    Naps are OK. I forced a nap in the crib yesterday for 20 minutes. Gah! I think he sleeps too much for his second nap – its been 2.5 hours but with a break between car and rocker (still no effing crib!) and he’s still out. So then that means a too rested baby who has no interest in bed time sleep.

    I swore I wouldn’t mess up again this time around with sleep, but it appears I have. Ugh. I feel like a failure.

    Going to troublesome tots now.

  5. October 23, 2013

    I always used walks to get to sleep starting around 4 months. But I pretty much always transferred to the crib. I realized that if I transferred within the first 10 minutes or so, it would work, but if I was anywhere near the 30 minute mark, the nap was over. I remember sleep getting really bad for about 3 weeks and then it evened out again into usually being ok.

  6. October 23, 2013

    Yuck. I remember being SO stressed out about napping right around that time. Especially when I read they weren’t supposed to be awake for more than 2 hours at a time before 6 months……as my child was going on 6 hours!!!
    What I finally ended up doing to teach her to nap was to nurse her to sleep in my bed then sneak away. It worked and she learns to nap….only a couple months later I had to wean her off that which SUCKED.
    If I were to do it all again I’d like to think I wouldn’t freak out about it too much until about 6 months when I’d get a real schedule. But, obviously, much easier said than done.

  7. October 23, 2013

    Have been reading troublesometots. Bryson is sleeping in his swing tonight!!!!! Just had to say it!

  8. Jillian #
    October 23, 2013

    Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Baby by Dr Weissbluth. I have 4 kids and it has worked for every one of them!

  9. Esperanza #
    October 24, 2013

    Oh naps. My daughter was always shit at them. I wrote a post once about what I learned at a sleep solutions seminar and it was mostly about naps. Here is the link in case it’s helpful.

  10. October 24, 2013

    That sounds like misery. This little lady is making you WORK for it. I second your comment about stress eating. 1 brownie is the equivalent of 15 min of sleep right? =D I think she’s going to improve in her napping ability. I really do. It’s going to happen!

  11. karaleen #
    October 24, 2013

    I had a terrible time getting either of my babies to nap well or regularly until 5-6 months old. And then just like magic…they settled into the 2 nap a day routine and we were good until about 12-15 months when they were struggling to drop one of those naps. And I know so many other mamas who had this same problem. Luckily for me…I also had great baby contraptions that kept them happy while I squeezed in a shower…and sometimes…I just showered while they screamed their bloody head off. I considered it their lung excersize for the day. But a little bouncy chair outside the shower was a life saver….OR…maybe put her in the bouncy chair with the baby einstein on and then sneak off to your shower…..As a parent…you find what works for you and your baby and go with it. I also did do a lot of walks like you but we lived in a pretty quiet neighborhood. Keep trying mama…..she will eventually fall into a really good routine…..and then she will start teething. tee hee.

  12. arbrefleur #
    October 25, 2013

    Yup. All I can say is that we nap exactly the same way. Some days it works too well, and she cat naps all day and up all night. But most days we only nap in the stroller at a constant speed (acceleration being preferable to deceleration) and with the right amount of soothe-jostle bumps without jarring and desperately avoiding the areas with sharply yipping dogs, etc. I know it doesn’t help, but I’m glad to know it’s normal and it sounds like the other wise mamas are saying it will pass soon! 😉

  13. jak #
    October 25, 2013

    if its any consolation, i’ve never been able to sleep in nyc either……

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