My baby is almost 4 months and we've got a month to go before I return to work. My husband will be staying home with her during the days. She's a great night sleeper, but not such a great napper. She needs 4+ hours of naps during the day in order to be happy. I've been able to transition her from sleeping in my arms to sleeping in our bed. I can also get her to extend her naps by nursing her when she partially awakens. But she will never, ever fall asleep without either nursing or being walked in the sling/carrier. I'm trying to implement additional nap time routines like holding a lovey, reading a book, background music. But I don't know if I should try and teach her to fall asleep without nursing or just let my husband figure it out. DH is wonderful, but he's currently working 70+ hours a week so he doesn't spend much time with our baby and he's a first time dad, so he's got no magic tricks for sleeping. I feel like there's absolutely no way that the baby will accept not being nursed if I'm present without a TON of screaming. Any tricks or advice?
Going back to work - how to get my baby to nap without nursing?
DH "invented" a homemade "nursing routine" using a bottle and boppy that worked. He also had a trick for using a swing.
Other goodies: bottle out or in sling; bounce on excercise ball or rock in chair; walk in stroller; ride in car
The best thing you can do is have a fairly predictable routine for naptime, even if the exact method DH uses is difference. A lot of ebf babies and moms play it fast and loose with naptime. DH will have a much easier transition if there is routine/schedule in place and if can follow more of a schedule/time frame so he hits the right times.
Your baby is so young, and they change so much at this stage - what she needs next month might be very different then what she needs now, but babies are fundamentally pretty adaptable. I think your family should be prepared for a rocky first week while your DH gets a good routine down, but that ultimately everything will be fine.
I wouldn't mess around with loveys, books, music, etc. at this stage. I'd focus more on a predictable routine, where she either naps at certain times, or goes down for a nap after she's been up for a set amount of time. If she'll fall asleep being walked, make sure DH knows which carrier, what kind kind of walking seems to help, and all of that. And then I think you're best off trusting him to figure something out. His naptime routines might look just like yours, or might not.