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Baby prefers sleeping in a carrier?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

My 8 week old daughter loves sleeping in a carrier.  I get it -- it's warm and cozy and right up against mom.  During the day, when she starts acting tired, I pop her in a carrier, she falls right to sleep, takes a good nap, and I get my hands free, so it works pretty well for both of us. Walking with her in the carrier almost always settles her down.  


At night, we'd like her to sleep in the co-sleeper next to the bed.  Sometimes she ends up there, but when she's super fussy, she ends up in bed next to me.  In the evening, putting her down in the co-sleeper is a challenge. Usually we walk her, bounce her, or nurse her to sleep and then try to move her to the co-sleeper, where she quickly wakes up. (Although she'll transfer easily after being nursed to sleep between 1am and 3am. ) After a few rounds of walk/nurse to sleep, put down, wake up, it's harder to help her get back to sleep. 


I'm worried that letting her sleep in the carrier during the day is creating patterns that don't work for our family at night.  On the other hand, I love wearing her,. Letting her sleep in the carrier let's us get out and about, and go for walks, and occasionally out to lunch.  Should I be concerned that the only place she falls asleep easily is the carrier? Should I be more worried about sleep associations and putting her down at night?  Or at 8 weeks is any sleep good? I'm a floundering first time mama, so any thoughts are appreciated.

post #2 of 8
I would say any sleep is good. Besides a carrier is a natural place for baby to feel safe and want to sleep. Plus gives baby time off her head, which helps against flat spots. If you are really worried you could try transferring her to a crib once she falls asleep.
post #3 of 8

My baby was very similar.  He would only nap in the carrier or in my lap after nursing.  I was worried he would never nap in a bed.  The carrier is great because you have your hands free and you can do things like go out to lunch and eat.  I gradually tried putting him in his bed, and he would sleep for half an hour, then it increased to 45 minutes, sometimes an hour.  He also got fussy and woke up in the co-sleeper.  I could get him to sleep in there when he was deeply asleep so it took a long time of nursing to get him that asleep.  He slept in a rock 'n play until he was 3 months old because that worked better than the co-sleeper.  When he was a little older he liked sleeping on his side.  When he learned to roll over, we stopped swaddling him gradually and then he started sleeping on his tummy and was much happier.  Your baby may be getting older and realizing she doesn't want to sleep a certain way.  It can be tricky to prop them up on their side but it might work.  It might be a matter of making the bed more comfortable for her.  Like lovemylab said, you may want to try getting her to sleep in the carrier and then transferring her to the bed.  Don't worry too much about sleep associations at this point. My baby is almost 5 months old now and he is sleeping well in his crib and napping in his crib.  They change so much in the first few months and they learn a lot about sleeping.  At 8 weeks she is still a newborn and it's too early to try to fix sleep problems too much.  I read the no-cry sleep solution and nap solution books and they have some good ideas about things you can do to make sleeping better.  Good luck and congratulations on your new baby!

post #4 of 8

Will she nurse to sleep in bed with you at night?  If so, I'd not bother with the co-sleeper at this point.  My kids all napped on me, and that seems to work for you and your baby.  I wouldn't worry about "sleep associations" and all of that.  Honestly, I think all of these "sleep solutions" and expert advice is sort of silly.  My first four kids slept on me during the day and in bed with me at night.  They all weaned around 4 years old, and at 21, 18, 15 and 13, have no sleep or attachment issues.  :)  My current baby (our bonus baby) is 7 months, and is following suit.  


My advice:  do what works for you and your baby, and don't stress.  :)  Good luck

post #5 of 8
My daughter has completely different needs and patterns at night than in the day. I mostly carry her during the day, and she sleeps in the co-sleeper or in bed with us at night. However, she was only ok in the co sleeper after about 8 weeks, so give it time.

As long as you have a distinct nighttime routine and minimize artificial light, you may just be waiting for a developmental shift.
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the responses.  It's so nice to feel like I'm not the only one who's baby won't nap in a crib.  And that napping in a carrier is fine (since I also enjoy having her sleep on top of me, at least some of the time.)  Sometimes she nurses to sleep and sometimes she nurses and is wide awake. At night, she often nurses to sleep and spends at least part of the night (or all night) in bed with us.  (I just wish we had space for a bigger bed.) We definitely have differences between night and day and with time things will change.

post #7 of 8
I think babies go through phases with the places they like to sleep... My first child went through a phase where he wanted to sleep in the car seat (helped with reflux), then he went through a phase where he wanted to sleep on me, and then he went through a phase where he wanted to sleep in a swing (for about a month), and then he went through phase we wanted to fall asleep in the carrier like you describe. I can report now he's perfectly fine sleeping in the bed all by himself... So in the scheme of things I wouldn't worry about it too much. At any rate anything that results in your child getting sleep is probably just fine. These things tend to run their course, them you move on to bigger and better challenges. So yes I think this is perfectly normal.
post #8 of 8
Absolutely do what works. My 4 month old naps exclusively on my lap or in the carrier. I think she's be fine if I nursed her to sleep on her mattress and then rolled away but I have a busy and loud 32 month old who doesn't give me a chance to really get baby down for a formal nap. At night I stopped trying to move her (she always woke up) so we just got her a double mattress and put it on the floor. I sleep next to her all night but aim to go back to my bed sometime in the future.
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