I'm the only one who can get my baby to sleep - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 10-14-2010, 11:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My DS is 4 1/2 months old, and I've always nursed him down for all naps and at night. It works like a charm! He'll go from fussy and tired to fast asleep in 5 minutes or less every time, and I really enjoy that time to relax myself.

The only problem with this system is that sometimes I have or want to do other things ~I have the chance to work very part-time and I love my job and would like to be able to go back like one evening a week or so, and DH is very good about taking his share of baby care. My MIL and SIL also come sometimes and love being with DS and I love getting a little break.
Whenever any of them are taking care of him, they usually have a hard time getting him down, and it often involves crying or sometimes outright screaming before he falls asleep. At first I thought they'd each find their own way with getting him down, but so far that hasn't exactly happened. He naps 3-4x a day so I can go out for very short times and leave him with DH/MIL/SIL only when he's awake, but practically this is a pain because I can't go to work or get anything else done.
They all do the same routine I do (rocking, lights down, singing or soft music), and they've also tried other things like lying down with him and/or having him sleep on them, all of which have some success. He will sleep while going on a walk in the carrier, but with winter coming this is not going to be practical anymore. Sometimes it helps if they give him a bottle w/breastmilk, but sometimes he refuses it unless it's for hunger feeding. He also refuses a paci.

Anyone else BTDT and have solutions, short of me being here for every single nap and bedtime for the next 2+ years? I realize the AP approach might say I should always be the one to put him to sleep and rarely if ever leave him, but he's a high-needs baby and I feel I deserve a break sometimes and don't see why I shouldn't take one when I have loving childcare from family available. I know some babies just need to fuss before falling asleep, and honestly that doesn't bother me so much as long as he's in the loving arms of someone, but when it's outright screaming that is what we want to avoid. Any ideas? TIA!

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#2 of 16 Old 10-14-2010, 02:45 PM
 
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I am right there with you. DH has gotten her to sleep twice this week, and they have been the only two times since she was a newborn. We have noticed that its eaiser for DH to get her to sleep if he lays down in the bed with her and feeds her a bottle (well, for us its a sippy cup) of warm breastmilk. When she starts to drift off, he turns her over on her belly and pats her back (like trying to get her to burp...which we havent done for months). After over 250 pats, she fell asleep.

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#3 of 16 Old 10-14-2010, 09:56 PM
 
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I am in your same boat. Haven't found a way around it yet but I was comforted by a blog post on Ask Moxie. She asked her readers to share at what age their children stopped nursing to sleep. The answers were all over the place, but I read several (we're talking probably close to 100) of the responses and seemed to notice a theme that this stopped for a lot of folks at 8 to 10 months.

So I guess if you can't solve the problem, maybe be comforted by the fact that your DC might stop in a few more months?

And don't feel guilty about this feeling. I think it is totally normal to feel a little frustrated that you are the only one who can get your baby to sleep. I love my son dearly but knowing that I will need to be home at bedtime for what feels like the rest of my life can be both isolating and terrifying (I 'm a WOHM, and though it's not likely, it's totally possible that I could be asked to take an overnight trip).

BTW, did you used to hang out in the TTC forum? Your name looks familiar. If so, can you believe how far we've come?!

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#4 of 16 Old 10-14-2010, 11:11 PM
 
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I'm the only one who can get Cecilia down, and to be honest, I really like it. It's our very special time that only she and I share.

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#5 of 16 Old 10-14-2010, 11:27 PM
 
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Same here and frustrated as well. Baby is 6 months. I bought a soother today to experiment with that.

Our rainbow baby, Anna Beatrice was born April 11/2010 after 4 m/c. She joins 4 brothers and sisters.
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#6 of 16 Old 10-14-2010, 11:43 PM
 
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P.J., you definitely do not have to be a martyr to your baby to be "AP." Every mama needs some off time, even if that means their baby may miss their mama. As long as there is a loving caregiver available to meet baby's needs as best they can, I don't see a problem with having there be more crying at bedtime without you there. Yes, nursing her to sleep may be the BEST way to put her down, but sometimes he can get second best which could be grandma or dad's way to put him down.

Do your caregivers know about any soothing methods like the 5 s's? I know that really helped my husband learn to soothe the baby. I would also recommend a soothie style paci, something with a nipple, that could help with the sucking before sleep.

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#7 of 16 Old 10-15-2010, 01:00 AM
 
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This is my 4th baby that I can only put down to sleep :

All of my other kids couldn't really be put down by anyone else until closer to 2 years-old.

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#8 of 16 Old 10-15-2010, 02:06 PM
 
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I wonder if it's the same with breastfed and bottle fed babies... I sometimes think it's easier if you bottle feed a baby to get someone else besides mom to put her down to sleep as an infant. People tell me it's because I am creating a monster by nursing her to sleep. I just wonder if I do want to go out for a night without my baby (who is 8 months old) would my parents or DH or whoever is babysitting her be able to put her to sleep without me there to nurse? hmmmm.... When could that occur?

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#9 of 16 Old 10-15-2010, 05:18 PM
 
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It isn't uncommon. My first liked to nurse to sleep. SAHD had to figure out a different technique which he called "fake nursing."

LO#2 can be put to sleep by anyone but it takes four times as long. DH now says how awesome nursing to sleep is...
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#10 of 16 Old 10-15-2010, 06:00 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Lauren31 View Post
I wonder if it's the same with breastfed and bottle fed babies... I sometimes think it's easier if you bottle feed a baby to get someone else besides mom to put her down to sleep as an infant. People tell me it's because I am creating a monster by nursing her to sleep. I just wonder if I do want to go out for a night without my baby (who is 8 months old) would my parents or DH or whoever is babysitting her be able to put her to sleep without me there to nurse? hmmmm.... When could that occur?
Speaking from experience, it's not easier. We're bottle-fed, and I'm the only one that can get my LO to sleep, too. She generally won't take a bottle from anyone else at any time of day, but especially if she's tired, she only wants me.
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#11 of 16 Old 10-15-2010, 08:26 PM
 
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newmamalizzy, I have always wondered that actually. It must be the smell or sense of mama, and her touch, not just the nursing.

To the OP, this is baby#3, and I have always put my kids to bed by nursing, until they stop nursing, and the nightime is usually the last to go.
Sorry I don't have any suggestions for you, but good luck

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#12 of 16 Old 10-15-2010, 10:29 PM
 
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My 10 month old was very similiar to that at your LO's age. I was basically the only one who could get him to sleep and to top it off, I was completely unable to put him down for naps. So if he wasn't in his wrap when he fell asleep, I was stuck sitting with him for hours on end. Sometimes it was a real pain but mostly I just rocked with him, did what I could and enjoyed the sleeping baby snuggles. Eventually he outgrew it. Truly, as long as someone who is loving on him and caring for him is around while you aren't, its ok for him to cry and be upset. You do need down time and if you are starting to feel frustrated, stuck and cranky about it, its not good for you or baby. Healthy mama equals healthy baby. AP is not about being a martyr and AP doesn't work perfectly for everyone. Adapt it so it fits you and yours best. Good luck!

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#13 of 16 Old 10-15-2010, 11:59 PM
 
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So if he wasn't in his wrap when he fell asleep, I was stuck sitting with him for hours on end.
This is what I am doing right now. Sometimes I can put him down, but mostly I just work or am here on mdc mmmmWHAHAHAHAHA! Holding a sleeping baby.

I can transfer him sleeping to the ergo or the stroller and keep him sleeping if I have to bug out, but he has to be moving after the transfer, most of the time.

Occupational hazard.

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#14 of 16 Old 10-16-2010, 11:23 AM
 
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moved to FBNP...

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#15 of 16 Old 10-16-2010, 08:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by carmel23 View Post
This is my 4th baby that I can only put down to sleep :

All of my other kids couldn't really be put down by anyone else until closer to 2 years-old.
This has been my experience as well - with my three. For me it's normal...
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#16 of 16 Old 10-17-2010, 02:25 AM
 
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My Mum used to get the kids to sleep by taking them for a walk in the stroller. Now DS2 is 2yo and he still only really likes me to lie down with him but if he's with my parents and really tired he'll often just fall asleep while sitting on one of their knees.

Funnily enough, when DS2 was a newborn I could. not. get him to sleep! For the first two weeks of his life I ended up calling my Mum everyday to come over and get him to sleep because for some reason he'd fall asleep (and stay asleep) for her but not for me!

It's complicated.
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