Backtrack 4 1/2 years to our dd, who we held and wore almost constantly from birth. At about 2 weeks, she began to fuss whenever we put her down, for any reason, even for just a moment. Very quickly, this developed into a pattern of sleeping about 20 minutes at a time, only if in arms and in motion or attatched to the breast. Both she and we were exhausted and miserable. She even had little dark circles under her eyes.
This went on for 16 months, with dh and I feeling like we were in a living nightmare. We had tried every way imaginable (except cio type appoaches, of course) to transition her to sleeping longer stretches of time and not always in arms. Finally, at 16 months, we knew we couldn't go on, and finally put her in her crib, and sat up all night long with her, in shifts, patting her back constantly and comforting her verbally while she cried. It was horrible, but the only thing that worked, although it took about four months straight.
I always assumed it was purely dd's sensitivity that were the root of this situation.
Fast forward to today, in which I have an almost 3-week old, adopted at birth, ds who over the last couple of days is begining to do the exact same behaviors as dd. Once perfectly able to transition to the cosleeper after being rocked, worn or nursed to sleep, he now wakes up instantly when you put him down, and when being held, must be in motion to stay asleep. No wearing the babe and folding laundry! Must be moving! He was up the entire night last night, only dosing for short stretches and only if we were pacing the floor.
I cannot do it again. And I fear, since these children are not biologically related, yet beginning the same pattern at almost exactly the same age, that it has something to do with the holding and babywearing. I do not want this to be so, but I cannot see any other common factors!
Has anyone experienced this? Do you heave any advice? Please help!
Do you swaddle or use white noise? We had to do 4 of the 5 S's to help our LO sleep (without motion). I swaddled him first (tightly!), put on white noise, then nursed until asleep, then tried to transition him to the co-sleeper. If that didn't work, I would hold him between side/stomach and do the jiggle and sshh. Then slowly put him down, removing my hands very slowly. It took a while to perfect this technique. There were days spent bouncing on a yoga ball, with DS swaddled and patting, patting, patting. I watched videos of Dr. Harvey Karp doing it (and doing swaddling) and that was very very helpful. I also did the jiggle/side-stomach/sshh while leaning against the co-sleeper so there wasn't much ground to cover before easing him down. Sometimes nudging the co-sleeper to create the jiggle (and saying sshh) helped when he would almost wake up.
The 5 S's aren't a long-lasting miracle, but coping tools you may really benefit from. I think there are also devices that will vibrate the crib/co-sleeper. Or you could use a vibrating swing. I say screw the "sleep association" worries and find ways to get your time while your LO sleeps. If DS had to sleep in the vibrating bouncy chair with ocean waves on full blast, I was happy, because I had time to do things that did not involve constant and repetitive motion.
Such a hard job!