how/when were you able to help your babe learn to sleep not being worn? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 20 Old 03-22-2012, 07:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm willing to wear this baby (DD2 for me), which is pretty much the only way she'll nap for more than 20-30 minutes. But my body gets tired from wearing her so many hours a day (she's 3 months now) -- and I know that she'll only get heavier! It'll be a little easier when I can put her on my back, but we're not quite there yet.

I know I'm not the only one who has survived this "style" of baby. For those of you who have kids who used to need to be worn to nap (or have you lie down with them), but can now sleep without being held/worn, when/how did the change happen? I guess it's really two different issues: the ability to fall asleep without being worn, and the ability to be put down and stay asleep (for more than a few minutes) when she falls asleep nursing.

I've never appreciated DD1 so much -- I could lay her down for a nap and take a shower or reach down into the washing machine! Bliss!

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#2 of 20 Old 03-22-2012, 08:37 PM
 
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Just writing to say I'm right there with you!  My little baby boo (4 months) prefers to only nap while being worn.  I've talked to several mothers who babies were the same way and they all said the same thing... baby will eventually grow out of it.  When, I'm not sure.

 

So just wanted to give some empathy and for now I will continue to wear him :)

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#3 of 20 Old 03-22-2012, 08:58 PM
 
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We went through that for the first 3 months with our son (he's 4 months now).   My dh finally had it one day because his back and knees were killing him.  He revisited the swaddle and we haven't looked back since.  We have an entire routine now...I darken his room, turn on THREE noise makers - one in the room, one on his swing and one in a stuffed giraffe hanging from his swing.  They aren't loud...they just surround him with water noise.  Then I swaddle him, nurse him to sleep and then gently place him in the swing. I cover him with a blanket too.  

I have to admit that I had given up on swaddling and thought we would be wearing him forever.  Now that he's more aware of his surroundings, he wakes up easily, so I'm glad he's in his own room.  We don't have to tiptoe around and whisper anymore.  


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#4 of 20 Old 03-22-2012, 09:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Interesting! We swore by swaddling with DD1 -- it made a HUGE positive difference in her sleep. For DD2, we tried it a bunch of times in the first 2 months and it made no difference at all, so we haven't been doing it. But you've inspired me to experiment with it some more.

Keep the inspiration coming! I know they will grow out of the need eventually -- my question is, when did it happen for you? Or what did you do to encourage it?
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#5 of 20 Old 03-22-2012, 09:34 PM
 
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We had a similar experience. Could only get him to nap in our arms, the swing, the moby, or the stroller until his first day of daycare at 4 months old. He liked to be curled up a bit and moving. But at school, everyone sleeps on a mat in the nap room. I laughed at this idea (yeah, right for Alex!), and wished his teacher luck. But she busted out the swaddle, and he fell asleep within five minutes and does that twice a day for a 1.5 to 2.5 hour nap. We've been able to do the same at home, if we swaddle and lay him down at the first sign of tiredness. Now, at 7.5 months, and on the verge of crawling, they're working on unswaddled naps.

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#6 of 20 Old 03-23-2012, 06:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ooh, I'm so inspired to hear of all these babies (well, two) who STARTED with swaddling beyond 3 months and it worked!

When the day care started with it, did they swaddle and then feed or jiggle/rock until he was asleep, then lay him down? Or just swaddle and lay down awake and he would fall asleep?
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#7 of 20 Old 03-23-2012, 07:28 AM
 
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Swaddle and lay him down, then sit next to him and pat him or stroke his hair until he fell asleep. He would eat when he woke up. At home, the key was swaddling when he was happy and just a teeny sleepy. He'd often giggle as we swaddled him. Then we'd dash out the door, and he'd babble/sing/hum to himself for a few as he fell asleep. We were shocked the first time we copied daycare and it worked.
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#8 of 20 Old 03-23-2012, 07:55 AM
 
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notbot to be a downer but our DS (11.75mo and currently sleeping on my back in the Ergo) never learned to sleep alone. :/. we have tried everything... eyesroll.gif

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#9 of 20 Old 03-25-2012, 06:55 AM
 
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My little guy was like that for his first 4 months -- he couldn't fall asleep unless he was worn or in someone's arms. But at around 4 months, we tried more seriously putting him down on his own in his basinet, and it only took a few days before he was able to fall and stay asleep on his own. I think for him it was something that he just outgrew.

 

Good luck!

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#10 of 20 Old 03-31-2012, 06:49 PM
 
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My 2 month old DD is the same.  I'll get her to sleep finally and then I lay her down and her eyes pop open.  eyesroll.gif

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#11 of 20 Old 03-31-2012, 06:51 PM
 
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My older one napped in my arms until she got big and then she'd want to bring a blanket into whatever room I was in and nap on the floor at my feet. She never did or would nap alone. The second one was always happy napping alone. It's very individual, but hopefully you'll find a solution and things will go better than with my first! Although I grew to love that snuggly nap time. I'd rest in my chair and read a book while she was snuggled against me.
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#12 of 20 Old 04-03-2012, 11:44 AM
 
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I am very interested in these answers. My 8.5 month old doesn't even nap well in a carrier anymore. He doesn't sleep enough and is fussy much of the time. I resort to car naps frequently because crib nap and carrier naps just don't work, and if he doesn't nap he is miserable. Does anyone have suggestions for me with my 8.5 month old? It seems too late to start swaddling.
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#13 of 20 Old 04-03-2012, 06:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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For an older baby, I found some of the techniques in The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems really helpful for DD1s nap challenges (naps that were way too short, didn't know how to fall asleep without sucking on my finger forever, etc). Warning: the author is not an attachment parenting person, and I definitely don't agree with everything she teaches (for instance, I think some of her breastfeeding advice is just plain wrong). But she also does not believe in leaving one's baby to cry, or ignoring cries. I found it was the kind of book that I could use some techniques from, and ignore others. And DD1 became a beautiful napper!
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#14 of 20 Old 04-11-2012, 12:12 PM
 
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I'm do happy to have stumbled upon this thread. DS is 5 months and it's only been within the last week that I've been able to finally put him down to sleep. I thought I was wong to have won him so much because my friends with babies the same age ( within weeks) had no problems with napping alone. I finally learned that his am naps are only about 20 mins each, if that.

I, too had tried everything -- white noise, hammock, bouncer, bassinet, bed...it seems like he finally just decided one day that he would do it. Hang in there!
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#15 of 20 Old 04-11-2012, 07:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've tried the swaddle / back patting technique a few times over the last few weeks with mixed results. She will fall asleep -- naps usually last 20-40 minutes this way (compared to 1-3 hours being worn!). However, today I tried it and got a 1 hour 20 minute nap -- no complaints there! DD sleeps MUCH better on her side than her back, so I've found that putting her on her side helps her fall asleep. I also used a bit of the Pick Up/Put Down technique of the Baby Whisperer book -- pat her back, pick her up if she cries, hold her and pat until she's calm, then put her down again. Repeat as many times as necessary. At least with DD1, she learned to go to sleep on her own using this technique -- I like that I never had to leave her to cry, and could do the natural thing of picking up and calming her EVERY time she cried. So far it usually takes 7-20 minutes for her to fall asleep this way. Then I stay with her, patting, for 10 minutes after the eyes close, to help her get into a deeper sleep before I step away.
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#16 of 20 Old 06-01-2012, 01:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm the OP and just wanted to post an update for anyone who may be reading this in the future. A little past her 5 month birthday DD made a big shift, and the naps in her crib started working much better. I've experimented a lot and concluded that this combo works for her:
- a simple pre-nap ritual (diaper change, shades down, white noise on, short lullabye in the rocking chair, laying her down in the crib)
- white noise -- makes a huge difference in how fast & easily she falls asleep
- no swaddle -- I'm a HUGE believer in swaddling and have seen it help so much, but over and over, it doesn't seem to make much difference for this baby
- being on her front -- just started doing this at 5 1/2 months now that she can roll so well. I think it's legal once they can roll, since they can put themselves on their bellies anyway?

With that ritual and a couple days of the Baby Whisperer's pick up/put down technique, she reached the point that she was going to sleep in her crib with me patting her back for all naps, falling asleep within 5-10 minutes. Then for the last three, I tried it without patting (just sitting in the room) and she's fallen asleep all by herself, no patting, within 2 minutes, no tears! Her naps are mostly lasting 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours now. (For a while I was doing a "soothe-through," going into her bedroom 35 minutes after her eyes first closed, and patting her back for 10 minutes to get through the light sleep period, so she'd sleep another hour or more. Now she doesn't seem to need that anymore.) She's still co-sleeping with us at night.

Amazing! After wearing her for nearly every nap for the first 4 months of her life, I never imagined we'd be here at 5 1/2 months! I can shower again -- woo-hoo!
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#17 of 20 Old 06-02-2012, 08:44 PM
 
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I never swaddled Little, it didn't work for us, but I lay her down for naps on her stomach. I know this is controversial and not everyone is comfortable with it. It always kept her from startling awake though. Her eyes might pop open for a second when I lay her down after nursing her to sleep, but I can usually pat her back for a few minutes and she'll settle right down. 


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#18 of 20 Old 06-03-2012, 02:28 PM
 
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I just found this site today and am so blessed by it! I have been perusing all the posts and found such great suggestions for the various questions I have been having.  I have an 11 week old and he loves sleeping in his sling or Ecosash, but I too, am having trouble putting him in his pack and play or crib once he falls asleep.  I have to say we started with "preparation for parenting" book by Ezzo's but abandoned it quickly because it was so counter intuitive to me. Being a new mom, I really had no idea what to do and my sister used that method.  She gave me the book and, having no relationship with my own mother, I only had my sister's guidance.  But, for me, it was terrible.  I thank God I can hear his Spirit because He was telling me all along that this was not good for my newborn son.  So I found Attachment Parenting and we haven't looked back.  Now, we are definitely attached.  I would like, however, to put him down for at least 1-2 hours a day so I can exercise or work in the yard.  We stopped swaddling because he would kick out of it but after reading some of these, I am going to try it again to see if that will help him.  We also have a special pillow for him to sleep on his side and I have pulled that out again.  THANK YOU to all the mama's that are replying and helping me with my situation!

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#19 of 20 Old 06-04-2012, 11:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hang in there, MRubio! Even if your little one really needs to be worn right now (I feel your pain -- I just wanted a shower!), and the various "tricks" like swaddles and side-lying don't work, don't give up. Maybe try putting him down for a nap once a day or even once a week, either to "practice" or to see when it seems like things are changing a little. And keep experimenting! I highly recommend experimenting with LOUD white noise -- a radio tuned to static, or you can download white noise MP3 and burn a CD with it. For us the real change happened around 5 months, with occasional improvements/breakthroughs at 4 months. You're more than halfway there!
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#20 of 20 Old 06-08-2012, 08:14 PM
 
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thanks!  the swadding is working like a charm and he will take at least 2-1 hour naps in his bed during the day.  I love wearing him and don't want to give that up and he will sleep the longest then.  He is so sweet that I don't mind it and the time I have been able to "find" has given me time to exercise, even briefly, and shower before my hubby gets home from work!  I have used the white noise from day 1 and have a fan in his room too.  My husband likes to sleep in silence and didn't understand it at first but now, he totally gets it! I appreciate the support and will keep experimenting!  I have used the swing more too and he is loving it.

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