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Getting baby to fall asleep without motion?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 



So my 9 month old is a big girl, at 23lbs and I've been walking/bouncing her to sleep her whole life (she doesn't like the rocking chair, no matter how hard I've tried!), and I have a bad back.  I'm definitely feeling that I'm going to have to stop walking and bouncing for every single nap and bed time,  but I'm perfectly happy finding some other way (that doesn't hurt my back) to assist her to sleep, ideally in the back-rubbing/cuddling department. Any ideas how to make this transition? I've tried just cutting the bouncing short then laying down with her but she pops her head up and squeals and crawls away etc.  Should I just keep at it until she gets so tired she is more likely to fall asleep?



post #2 of 11

Hi nj001. Welcome to Mothering! My babies always got rocked to sleep so I'm not the best person to give you some helpful advice. 


Anyone have suggestions for nj001?  

post #3 of 11

It will probably take some time & patience to get into a new routine. Tell your baby that your back hurts and that you'll lay w/her until she falls asleep instead of your normal walking around. Ask her if she would like her back rubbed or if she would like a song. If she doesn't give you any discernible reply do what you think feels good and soothing and if she doesn't like it she'll let you know. If she tries to crawl away bring her back & remind her that it's nap time and that you understand this is new and different, but it's time for sleep. Talk to her when you need to as you would another whole person, not like a baby. She does understand. 
I've learned a lot from and really appreciate Janet Lansbury's respect for babies. Check out her blog. This section I've linked has several articles on helping babies to sleep better http://www.janetlansbury.com/category/parenting/babys-day/sleep-babys-day-parenting/

post #4 of 11
As my son grew bigger, I recall putting him on my knees as I sat on the end of the bed and bouncing him, also lying down with him across my chest. As he nursed on me I would nudge his bottom in a rythem so he would rock across my chest.
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the responses! I've just slowed down on the rocking for now. I do like the idea behind RIE but there's a lot I just can't get on board with, about it. I do have to come up with something because our current situation is NOT working for my daughter. I love assisting her to sleep but she's really struggling falling back to sleep (even when I recreate the same assistance) on a regular basis. I know she could have the same struggles if she was falling asleep more independently, but I do get the feeling that is key by they way she seems turned off by my attempts to help her fall back to sleep when she wakes distressed. Sometimes she falls right back to sleep, but she often just cries more and leaps out of my arms. When I place her back down she cries more until she's wide awake for several hours! It's kind of a mess and I can tell she really WANTS to go back to sleep but can't.
post #6 of 11

nj-that's such a tough place to be! Have you looked at the no cry sleep solution? It's been a long while since I looked it over, but remember liking some of the points...Hope you can find some things that help soon!

post #7 of 11

I was also going to suggest the No Cry Sleep Solution. We used part of her pull-off method, basically you rock or nurse, or whatever until they are just asleep, then you stop and see if they stay asleep. If yes, you're good, if not, keep rocking a bit longer and stop a short time after they're asleep. Once you can do that several times, try stopping as they are just drifting off. Again if baby starts crying, etc. then resume for a little longer, otherwise you gradually stop earlier and earlier.

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the No Cry Sleep Solution advice!! I read that book early on, whilst bouncing a young infant to sleep in a wrap, when we were going through the age of 2-5 months which was quite horrific in the sleep department!!  The concept was useless then because she just needed to sleep on a warm body.  Then one day she just outgrew that need and napped all by herself for hours at a time. I can give it another look to see if that will help us. 


But last night was amazingly wonderful with an earlier bedtime and a little implementation of RIE concepts.  No, I didn't have her cry at all but I did use a lot of listening to her frustration while I got her ready for bed (as opposed to the usual hurrying and trying to make her happy asap) and when it was time for sleep I told her calmly that I wouldn't bounce much.  Well, she fell asleep calmly and easily while I nursed her and gently patted her arms.  She woke when I placed her in the side-carred crib, which she often does, and I sang to her until she drifted off.  As usual she woke up every 1-1.5 hours UNTIL she slept a 5 hour stretch!! Unheard of. She put herself back to sleep multiple times as could be seen by her wrangled positioning.  I feel so happy because I'm sure she's been struggling and wanting to be able to just fall right back to sleep, but hasn't been able to.  Perhaps it's because of the earlier bedtime, but I think it also has to do with the change in attitude about her struggling. Maybe she picked up that it's okay to struggle and doesn't need to be fixed? Perhaps.  We'll see how it lasts!

post #9 of 11

I got chills reading about your success last night, nj!! :joy I'm so excited for you and your girl to get better rest and for a new level of connection!! 

post #10 of 11

How about singing a lullaby? It always seemed to work for me :)

post #11 of 11
One option is putting her in a backpack to see if that helps your back. The backpack was the best piece of equipment i ever bought! Now that i have a 35 pound toddler, I still use it, just not
as often.
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