My DD is almost 6 months and always nurses to sleep at night and for naps. Until recently, she'd easily go down and stay asleep in the sling for her naps. Or sometimes I'd just hold her. We co-sleep at night, and I can nurse her down and then sneak away for maybe 20 minutes. Same for naps. I'm finding that now she either won't fall asleep, or wont sleep long enough in the sling and seems a bit grumpy for it. It's like there is just too much happening to sleep if she's not in a quiet room with me. If I stay with her in bed she'll nap for 1-2 hours in the afternoon, nursing on and off.
I have a 3 year old DS also, so the long naps with baby don't work. I've tried sneaking away from dd but she is up in 10-20 minutes. DS is energetic and curious and, well, three, so needs supervision - I get nervous even as I'm nursing down the baby, let alone staying with her too long. Last week, DS managed to undo a deadbolt and the lock on our door and let himself outside, and i had to quickly unlatch baby, grab her, and run after him! So much for a nap after that! DS does not nap, so I can't take advantage of his nap time at all!
Anyways, are there any gentle ways to get my baby to sleep on her own for a longer time? Ways that are achievable while keeping up with a 3-year old!!
It's hard to juggle a baby who is a light sleeper and an active three year old - especially one who doesn't nap. It seems like having a quiet room will keep baby sleeping, so maybe try some ear plugs for baby? I;ve not tried it but that's the only thing I can think of. Here are some suggestions: http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1231885/infant-ear-plugs/0_100
I do a dark room and white noise from a fan (or you could try a radio tuned to static and turned up loudly - that's what my sister did with her kiddos)... that seems to help. I'd try that before I'd try sticking something in my kiddo's ears. I can't imagine he'd ever tolerate it. Then again, I don't have a three year old either. But the white noise is worth a shot.
Thanks for the replies. We've tried white noise and a quiet room, though I've not tried blackout shades. The other issue is that often it's too late for a proper nap routine - she's already mad and I nurse her and she's asleep. Things are trickier with that older child to look after, I can't necessarily get her to sleep right away if there are tired signs, or even notice tired signs, if DS is into things.
It's making me feel really bad, as I'm kind of torn between them. Do I sleep with DD and put that as a priority? But even then DS can get into things and I'm not sure it's safe. We do quiet time with him, but he definitely won't always stay in his room! He's wandered outside before and he can reach everything in the kitchen with his stool and is fascinated with playing with water (which worries me with hot water taps). Also, for some reason, he usually needs to poop during his quiet time and needs help going to the bathroom, so I obviously need to help him there. So, should I work on convincing DD to go to sleep alone? I don't know where to start! And probably once I figured anything out she'd just change it up again!