when to stop holding baby for naps - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 15 Old 01-02-2010, 02:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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DS is 8.5 mos. I have always held him or slept with him for his naps. I don't know why, it just happened this way, and kept going . . . It was always just easier to hold him, he would pop right up whenever I laid him down.
My question is, for others who maybe have btdt, is there a good age to start putting them down to nap? Will I be holding him forever?
Any tips or advice would be appreciated.

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#2 of 15 Old 01-02-2010, 03:23 AM
 
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I'm more of the opinion of if it's working for you, then by all means continue. But if you want to change it, then yes, the longer you wait to make the transition, the harder it might be. I would start by laying down with your DS and then seeing if you can slip away, leaving him to nap.
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#3 of 15 Old 01-02-2010, 03:25 AM
 
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I'm able to sneak out, been able to since dd was about a year old. If she wakes up though, and I'm not there, she flips. dd is 3

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#4 of 15 Old 01-02-2010, 11:38 AM
 
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I always did both after my dd was a newborn...if I could nap with her I did, if not, I didn't. Poor ds, I've hardly ever napped with him since dd is always awake when he's asleep.

I would just say that if you are ready to make a change, give it a try. I would recommend talking to your lo about it for a few days before hand. Tell him that you are going to start putting him in bed for her naps and that you will be nearby and that you will check on him.

I don't necessarily agree that the older he is the harder it will be. With night weaning, going to sleep without me lying with her, and sleeping in her own bed, I tried it a couple times before dd was ready. It was clear to me that she wasn't ready, so I let it go and tried again months later. When she was ready, the transitions went well. That is not to say that there wasn't any resistance. You should expect some resistance and a transition period, but children are very resilient and adaptable. Mine are constantly amazing me.

Good luck. Oh, and some white noise in the room might really help. Also, covering him with or wrapping him in a shirt or sweater that you have been wearing can help because it smells like you. I do that with my 3mo and it definitely helps him nap longer.
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#5 of 15 Old 01-02-2010, 06:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the input - I esp like the idea of letting him know about the change ahead of time.
Here's another question - is there anything wrong with holding him while he sleeps? Does it matter that he can't stretch out or always find the most comfortable position? Would he sleep deeper/be more rested if he was in a bed?

DS is doing well - I'm just wondering . . .

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#6 of 15 Old 01-02-2010, 09:01 PM
 
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I don't think there is a problem with holding/wearing a napping child...as long as you have the time and he or she isn't too heavy for you. I think if it is working for both of you, go for it.
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#7 of 15 Old 01-02-2010, 11:16 PM
 
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This is a great topic that I was thinking of starting. I'll tell you my experience, so at least you don't feel alone

My son is 9 months old. I started holding him for naps around 4 months, because he would not sleep for more than 30-45 minutes without being held. It was so much easier to hold him and get a solid nap than try to put him down and have him wake up cranky, so I just started holding him for every single nap. At first, it was such a pain, but now, I've gotten to the point where his naps are my down time. I go online, read, crochet, journal...it's great for me! I was just thinking that I should start putting him down for naps recently, but then I realized I've worked around the nap schedule so well, that I would really have nothing to do during his naps (my son is great at playing alone for a bit each day so I can get chores done, and goes to bed early so my husband and I have time together, so I really don't have anything pressing to do while he naps). Although some people have been pressuring me to put him down for naps so he "learns how to nap alone", I just don't think it's necessary. If I had other children, or had other things to do, then maybe I would reconsider. But it's working for us, so why change?

I just wanted to offer you that perspective in case you're in a similar circumstance. I agree with PP...if it's working for you, keep doing it! Good luck!

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#8 of 15 Old 01-02-2010, 11:38 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blumooned View Post
Thanks for the input - I esp like the idea of letting him know about the change ahead of time.
Here's another question - is there anything wrong with holding him while he sleeps? Does it matter that he can't stretch out or always find the most comfortable position? Would he sleep deeper/be more rested if he was in a bed?

DS is doing well - I'm just wondering . . .
I think if it's working, then you're fine.
I have three kids - 7.5, 3 and 18 months. I held them all for naps and sleeping. They still co-sleep with us for the most part.

I found that I couldn't leave them sleeping and have them wake alone and be comfortable with that until they were at least 3, even for napping (in the bedroom). I Have been able to set up a little bed on the living room rug and put the little one down for a nap while still doing things with the older ones. Having more than one changes the dynamics a lot.

I would think that you'd be able to gauge whether he's well rested or not. Does he sleep soundly with you? I think some babies move a lot in their sleep and some don't. I wouldn't worry one bit about him stretching out.

My littlest is a night owl and stays up with me. I've recently gotten sucked into a series of books and have spent a lot of nights reading on the loveseat in the living room. Ds wanders around, plays with stuff then comes to nurse. We repeat this routine til he decides he's really ready to fall asleep and he nurses to sleep sort of on me/beside me. I've fallen asleep many times with him there and just spent the night on the couch. It's amazing how aware I am of his presence and his every move. The second he starts to wiggle, I'm completely aware of him, sometimes fully awake and sometimes not, but still very responsive to his movements.

The American culture does not support close bonds with children in general. There is the urge to make them independent and push them away. I can think of no other mammal that gives birth and does not bed down with their baby. It makes sense on a biological level, an emotional level and a physiological level. If your the research/science type, do a search on James McKenna. He's a sleep researcher and has done some very interesting studies on mother/infant sleep. Mothering Magazine did an entire issue on co-sleeping which covered his work. Very good reading.

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#9 of 15 Old 01-03-2010, 02:40 AM
 
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Puppy Fluffer that was a great post , thanks for the reference on James McKenna. I bookmarked to read a bit later, but from what I read so far it's very interesting.

DD is almost 8 months. When she was born I used to nurse her to sleep and sometimes doze off with her from the lack of sleep. I've never really been a napper, but I would enjoy just watching her sleep. I discovered that if she had enough sleep she was ok waking up alone, but if she woke up before she was fully rested she would get (and still does) get mad. I just find it really difficult to stay put , I've always been kinda hyperactive.

I think I accidentally got dd used to be walked/rocked to sleep, Im not sure if it was the babywearing or one of those bad nights. I dont really mind doing, to be honest I kinda enjoy it. I sing to her as I walk her and she drifts to sleep in my arms, then I transfer her to the bed... she usually wakes, so I lay with her and nurse her. I do leave her alone, but come back at the first sign she's awake.

My only concern with our getting to sleep routine is that sometime after her first birthday I have to go back to work. I hate the idea, but our financial situation requires it and I dont know how will the transition be for us. How do I get her ready to be in daycare? How will she handle naps there? The whole thing stresses me out and makes me sad to think about it. It's just something I have to do. I dont know what steps to take to slowly change the routine. She has lately fallen asleep other ways. She fell asleep last night on me on the couch while me and DP listened to music. Today I went out and DP babysat and he said she took a 15 nap (not enough but at least something) on the couch, resting her head on his lap.
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#10 of 15 Old 01-03-2010, 02:53 AM
 
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For us it was just a natural progression. I don't remember exactly when I started to be able to leave DS asleep but I guess it happened at some point because I don't nap with him anymore typically although probably once a week-ish he'll still nap in-arms (which I totally love BTW )

I think if it works, don't worry about it. He is happy being close to you
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#11 of 15 Old 01-03-2010, 12:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Auraji View Post
Puppy Fluffer that was a great post , thanks for the reference on James McKenna. I bookmarked to read a bit later, but from what I read so far it's very interesting.

DD is almost 8 months. When she was born I used to nurse her to sleep and sometimes doze off with her from the lack of sleep. I've never really been a napper, but I would enjoy just watching her sleep. I discovered that if she had enough sleep she was ok waking up alone, but if she woke up before she was fully rested she would get (and still does) get mad. I just find it really difficult to stay put , I've always been kinda hyperactive.

I think I accidentally got dd used to be walked/rocked to sleep, Im not sure if it was the babywearing or one of those bad nights. I dont really mind doing, to be honest I kinda enjoy it. I sing to her as I walk her and she drifts to sleep in my arms, then I transfer her to the bed... she usually wakes, so I lay with her and nurse her. I do leave her alone, but come back at the first sign she's awake.

My only concern with our getting to sleep routine is that sometime after her first birthday I have to go back to work. I hate the idea, but our financial situation requires it and I dont know how will the transition be for us. How do I get her ready to be in daycare? How will she handle naps there? The whole thing stresses me out and makes me sad to think about it. It's just something I have to do. I dont know what steps to take to slowly change the routine. She has lately fallen asleep other ways. She fell asleep last night on me on the couch while me and DP listened to music. Today I went out and DP babysat and he said she took a 15 nap (not enough but at least something) on the couch, resting her head on his lap.
I'm glad my post was helpful to you.
McKenna's work is very interesting! I hope you enjoy it. If you're the science type, it will give you concrete info to reassure you that sleeping with your baby (or in very close proximity) is natural and safe and beneficial.

As for a new sleeping situation coming about due to a change in routine, it might not be as bad as you think. Babies don't make the same demands on others that they do on "mom". My babies all have only gone to sleep with me by nursing or being on my back in the Ergo carrier. My husband can get them to sleep because they can't nurse from him so they don't make that demand upon him. If the nursing is not an option, they don't expect it. That has been my experience once they got old enough to know that daddy doesn't have milk. Maybe you could remove yourself from the house at bedtime so your dp can get dd to sleep when you get closer to returning to work. If you are not there, things might go really smoothly. Babies are really smart. You might not be able to tuck yourself in another room. You might have to really just leave the house.

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#12 of 15 Old 01-03-2010, 05:08 PM
 
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This post really couldn't have found me at a better time. DD (10mon) has almost always napped on me and I LOVE it but my mom and DH think she should nap alone. I have put them off but the closer she gets to a year the more they are pushing. *sigh* I just love holding her and being close and smelling her breath while she sleeps. shhhh I know that is kinda weird
So what I'm trying to say is Thanks. It makes me feel so much better that there are mama's with more than one baby still doing what feels best.
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#13 of 15 Old 01-03-2010, 07:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the support & info!!
I will definitely look into the McKenna research.
To all the other Mamas who hold their sleeping babes: it is nice to know we're not alone! I agree that it is nice to keep them close.
We really do get along well doing it this way - I also plan my day around his naps. I read, check email, visit MDC & other websites, etc, while DS naps and I enjoy the "down time." The main reason why I posted was because of other people's ideas. We spent the holidays at families' homes and I was asked several times, "Are you sure you don't want to lay him down!?!" I had to smile & nod & say we were just fine. But it made me wonder if I was doing something wrong. But I know - there's nothing wrong if it works for us. I'll just keep telling myself this and ignore the questioners!!

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and my sweet baby, born July 12  babygirl.gif

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#14 of 15 Old 01-03-2010, 09:44 PM
 
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The strongest guiding voice in parenting is what my own intuition tells me. We are in a culture that pushes and pulls us in so many different directions, each professing to be THE way. When THE WAY does not resonate with you or your child - it's not YOUR way. I think that the more one listens to their inner voice and the voice of their child, the easier it becomes to smile at those who would sway you in a different direction. You can smile and listen to someone without ever needing to actually take their advice or engage them in a debate over it. The more confident you are, the easier this is. I think that confidence comes with experiencing listening to your own truth and watching how your children blossom!

"To err is human, to forgive, canine." - Unknown
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#15 of 15 Old 01-04-2010, 09:28 AM
 
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We go when it's needed and based on his mood during the day. Just last night he spent a majority of it on me because he was really restless and I think he has an ear infection (we'll find out today). He starts his naps on me and usually when he's solidly asleep we transition to the crib (crib for naps). But it varies, sometimes I lay him in there to put him to sleep because being on me leads to a big fight over not wanting to sleep.

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