My girl is almost 11 weeks old. She sleeps pretty well—she'll do 6-8 hours each night, which makes for very happy parents and a bright-eyed baby in the morning! Our eat-wake-sleep cycle is a blast; bottle (can't bf due to medical issues), play/chat, then a 1-3 hour nap, depending on what's going on.
Overall, she's a great baby.
But here's where my concern is: she can only sleep well on me, in a carrier, or in a swing. And she's constantly spitting up.
I don't mind her sleeping on me; if I am sitting quietly somewhere, like by the television or finally putting my feet up, I let her do it. I know these days won't last forever and I don't want to look back and regret not holding my girl enough. Usually I'm up until midnight/1am prepping baby items for the next day so I like to have some rest after her first feeding when she wakes up (between 7-9 usually), and I don't mind letting her into bed with me. Sometimes she sleeps on the mattress but usually she will wake up after 20 minutes, so I just let her recline on me and I just sleep lightly.
Putting her in the carrier is great as long as I'm moving; I live way up north so going outside and walking isn't an option in the winter due to how chilly it is, and if I am doing chores I am pretty much up, down, up, down, which wakes her up. Pacing/bouncing is the best thing while she's in the carrier.
But the swing—if I have her swaddled, binkie'd, and in a swing when she's ready to nap, life is grand!
I just worry about when she gets older. Laying her flat is a challenge since she spits up frequently. My pediatrician says that spit-up isn't going to hurt her when laying flat, and I don't think it will either, but when she spits up in her sleep, especially if she lays flat, she starts coughing and wakes up. Poor baby!
The swing is great because it keeps her head up, she's cozy and rocking and sleeps longer than she would either in arms or a carrier... and she's learning how to sleep independently, it getting a start. (We can't co-sleep; my husband moves around in his sleep all the time and I don't think it's worth the risk.) but I worry about the future when it's time for her to sleep in her crib.
Does anyone have experience like this? What did you do? Could you transition to a crib eventually? When? I'm hoping I'm not screwing her up for life, here?
I know it's a long-winded post; I just wanted to be thorough!
Anyone have any advice?
Both of my kids were pretty refluxy.
And they both grew out of it after awhile. One persisted until about 8 months, the other grew out of it around 3 or 4 months.
Until they do, laying flat won't work for you. Things that worked for me: baby slept on me propped up on recliner (months 0-2), we used a wedge in the bassinette so it was inclined, and often when the baby was older naps took place in the bouncy seat, swing, or carseat.
"My pediatrician says that spit-up isn't going to hurt her when laying flat" No, it won't "hurt" her per se, but you're not going to get very good sleep results because that WILL wake her up. You'll probably have to find some sort of solution that works for you but involves NOT laying flat.
I can't speak to transitioning to a crib since I have always coslept with my kids, but I am sure it won't screw that up any worse than any other approaches.
I also have my LO (same age as yours) sleeping in a reclining swing. Although my LO doesn't sleep well on me; it seems like each time I budge he wakes up, so swing it is. It's really been a huge help to us. I have heard that babies usually grow out of the need for so much motion by 6 months or so. I'm just periodically lowering the speed and trying without the motion to test the waters. Consider, a lot of swings have a 25lb weight limit, so you really have some time!