Baby wont sleep or nap without me - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 20 Old 07-30-2005, 12:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My daughter is 3 and half months old and we have been cosleeping since she was born. I love cosleeping, it makes everyone happy, bf is a breeze and i dont feel sleep deprived. My problem is that I cant get her to nap without me holding her or laying next to her. Also, when she falls asleep at night I have to hold her until I get into bed. If i get out of bed before my hubby, my bany wont stay asleep in bed with him. Needless to say, Ican't get anything done. Does anyone have any suggestions?
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#2 of 20 Old 07-30-2005, 01:30 AM
 
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Ha ha! Welcome to parenthood. I remember that time so fondly. :LOL

My suggestion would be to invest in some good baby carriers (there is a babywearing forum on MDC). She can nap in the sling or on your back in a mei tai or wrap, and you can go about housework or whatever you need to do, generally speaking!

My baby carriers were a HUGE lifesaver for me.

At night, until you go to bed, you could try the same thing for now. After a while, as she matures, she'll be more flexible about sleeping arrangements (although she'll probably go through a phase where she's LESS flexible) and then you won't have to do all of this. In the meantime, when this happened to me, I just threw my arms up in the air, gave up and put DS in a baby carrier of some kind.

HTH, I'm sure other posters will have some good suggestions.
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#3 of 20 Old 07-30-2005, 03:37 AM
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I would also add trying to put the baby in the infant car seat, if you have the kind that come out of the car, they baby bucket I call it. My back started aching from all the holding and putting my dd in her car seat was the only way she would stay asleep away from me. I never let her sleep there when I was sleeping but it helped me have time to eat and just rest my weary back and arms.

They do out grow this. Think of all the love you are giving her. Find some good books to read while you rock and hold her.
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#4 of 20 Old 07-30-2005, 09:21 AM
 
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Yup - describes our twins exactly. They would only sleep ON someone for the first 3 or 4 months . . . then next to someone. As the PP suggested, a car seat did help my daughter, if I could unload the sling directly into it, sometimes she wouldn't wake up. They do outgrow it.
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#5 of 20 Old 07-30-2005, 09:36 AM
 
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My dd just turned 5 mo and will now sleep occasionally without me! She is sleeping right now so I can check the lovely MOthering board forums - what a sweetheart! :LOL She has always been a high needs child but becasme REALLY clingy about three-three and a half months! She was working on rolling over and starting to teethe and now that she is rolling around it has gotten betterr. Hang in there and know that it gets better!

P.S - I second the carrier suggestion. I have a Maya wrap that she would snooze in when she was younger. Now she'll take a nap in the Kozy...
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#6 of 20 Old 07-30-2005, 03:43 PM
 
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Another vote for the sling here!

My dd is 13 weeks old and I'm wearing her right now as she sleeps. For a while, she would awaken if I even thought about putting her down. She's always gone down at night more easily though. She's gotten a lot easier to put down the last month. But I take her to work with me everyday and I couldn't live without the carrier I have right now. I traded a hotsling for it on the MDC trading post (thanks KyleAnn). I had a hard time using carriers at first because she didn't like having her legs confined but I figured it all out, let her legs free, and things couldn't be any easier!
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#7 of 20 Old 07-30-2005, 04:41 PM
 
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Dd didn't sleep well as a baby either - I had to carry her around whenever she napped, until I got a baby hammock.
http://www.ambybaby.com/Home/
They're expensive so you only want to get one if you're really desperate! For me it helped a lot and was worth it, but wasn't a miracle - I still had to bounce her in the hammock for a LONG time to get her to sleep.
Hope you find something that works and get some sleep!
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#8 of 20 Old 07-30-2005, 04:46 PM
 
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Here I thought i was the only one for the last two months!! I've taken a lot of flack from people too!! I'm so glad to know this is more common!

I also use the sling when there is something i feel I really need to get done or else dh will hit the roof!!

Good luck!
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#9 of 20 Old 07-30-2005, 11:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks everyone! just knowing that I am not alone is a huge relief. I felt like I was doing something wrong. Their arent't alot of peole that understand the way you all have. You know, People think you're crazy for not letting the baby cry. I will definately be back to these boards for mothering advice!!!
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#10 of 20 Old 07-31-2005, 01:05 AM
 
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I relate!! I'm 27 and during my daughters first months my mother, mother-in-law and grandmother constantly threatened that she wouldn't be able to sleep without me (I was spoiling her!) because we held her so much when she slept during the day. It started to make me less patient with my daughter because I felt the pressure of starting a "bad habit."

But I thought about it and realized that I didn't think that theory held water (and now that my baby is 7.5 months old, I know that it doesn't!).

If you're enjoying holding her and looking for some supporting rationale, there's a great article by Mothering magazine editor Peggy O'Mara called "The Nature of Dependency" that I read on the Natural Child Project website: http://www.naturalchild.com/peggy_om...ependency.html.

Another similarly themed book I enjoyed was Penelope Leach's "The first six months : getting together with your baby."

However you work it out, have fun with it!

Angela
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#11 of 20 Old 07-31-2005, 10:12 AM
 
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It sounds like you're describing my baby. She is the same way. aAt 7 months she will sleep about 40 minutes with out me no matter what I do. If I hold her or wear her she sleeps maybe ten minutes longer ( plus at 7 months I need a break form holding her non stop.lol) I have tried all knids of things and have finally in the last few months just accpeted that she is a lousy napper and I just can't get things done unless I have some help. It took a lot of tears on my part to accept this b/c I feel like I truely never get a break however, letting go of it has been theraputic.

Mom to Iris and Henry
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#12 of 20 Old 07-31-2005, 08:11 PM
 
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My little guy is like that as well. He is now old enough that he will play for a while on his own, so I can occasionally do other things. But when it comes time for nap/bed, I'm stuck there beside him. We go to bed at 8:30-9:00. Sometimes it takes me a while to fall asleep. If I'm tired in the early AM when he wakes up, I sleep with him during the morning nap. Otherwise, I read. I've read several books in the past few months! On the occasions when I've tried to get him to sleep without me, he never lasts more than half an hour. (He normally wakes at half an hour, and then he usually goes right back to sleep if I'm there, especially if my eyes are closed). When he falls asleep in-arms, he will wake up if put down. But if I'm right there and nurse him, he'll go back to sleep. I tried a sling for him when he was about a week old, and he hated it. He has occasionally slept in a Kozy carrier, but only when I was doing a lot of walking (around the mall or something like that). Like some of the other posters, I've just accepted -for now- that this is how my son sleeps, and there isn't much I can do about it. I'd rather have him well-rested than do other things. Clearly this system won't work if the difficult sleeper is DC #2 or beyond (a prospect which makes me nervous...).

I keep waiting for that maturity that everyone talks about to kick in.

Mama to Marcus (1/05) and Arianna (3/10). hbac.gif

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#13 of 20 Old 08-02-2005, 07:37 AM
 
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I too thought I was alone! My son is now over 4 months old and he will only stay asleep during the day if I keep him in the sling. Initially I also had to continuously move and stand or he would wake up. Thankfully he now often lets me sit down for a while – but lying is still a big no-no. If I attempt to lay him down (when he reaches a deep sleep) he wakes up either immediately or after a couple of minutes. We have tried the ‘moving vehicle’ approach – car seat/buggy/pram/hammock. He does quite easily fall asleep but it doesn’t seem to be so deep and he normally wakes up as soon as the moving stops. Of course, no matter how ‘successful’ the nap location is, he usually only sleeps for 45 minutes at a stretch – none of this 2-hour rest for my boy! I am delighted to learn that this napping behaviour is not unusual and that my son will grow out of this dependency by himself.

What’s strange is that he has always behaved quite differently when we put him down for the night (and also sometimes for a nap in the late afternoon). Then I can nurse him to sleep and put him into bed without too much difficulty. At about 3 months I also attempted this approach for day-napping (i.e. nursing him to sleep) with some success. But it seemed to interfere with his feeding schedule – he became a constant nibbler, unable to have a proper feed. At the same time, his night sleeping got worse. Where he would consistently have one stretch of 5-6 hours, we now have numerous and irregular night wakings.

So I am now back to the sling and more regular feeding pattern (driven by his hunger needs and not his napping needs) but I still have some concerns/issues that I would appreciate comments on. I don’t mind wearing the sling to put him to sleep, but he is getting too heavy to carry for the full 45 minutes. I have developed shoulder and back discomfort. What’s more I won’t mind a nap myself sometimes;

1) I plan to return to work in a month and am unlikely to find a carer that will wear the sling for him to get enough napping (he is not the kind of child to eventually fall asleep if tired enough – he will keep going until over-tired and hysterical). When asked, they comment on how it goes against ‘health and safety regulations’. From your experiences, what are the typical timeframes for children to lose this need? If it is unlikely to continue much longer, maybe I could investigate the possibility of postponing my return to work. If not, how have other working mothers resolved this??
2) Because I have such difficulty in helping my son nap during the day, I find it almost impossible to provide any kind of consistent sleeping/feeding routine for him. He usually needs to eat once every 3 hours, but one failed/shortened nap means that he screams for a snack much sooner as a means to provide him with some energy. How important do you consider such daily schedules (even if not very rigid) to be for a young child? Any suggestions on how to keep one going?


Sorry that this turned out to be much longer than I planned!
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#14 of 20 Old 08-02-2005, 10:06 PM
 
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eleanorm,

Your description sounds a lot like dd! She would only stay asleep if I was walking around with her in the sling. It started getting better at about 6 months when I was able to bounce her in the hammock for naps, and by 1 year, she went to 1 nap and that was a lot easier. I had the same problem you did with the sling, it got uncomfortable holding her for a long time. Can you go to a LLL meeting to get some in person advice about babywearing?

I'm a SAHM so haven't had to worry about naps in daycare. Hopefully you can find someone willing to put a lot of effort into getting your son to sleep.

Dd was not on a regular schedule at that age since her nap length varied so much. What I focused on was the amount of time in between naps - for us, at 4 months, about an hour before the first nap, 1-2 hours before the second nap, and sometimes a 3rd nap depending on how short the first 2 were. The most important thing is to watch for the baby's tired signs and put them to bed when they are tired.

And I think feeding on demand is fine, I never worried about a feeding schedule personally.
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#15 of 20 Old 08-02-2005, 11:14 PM
 
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My ds probably started being able to sleep without me right by him around 9 months. I think it is just one of those things, babies like mommy right beside them! It is hard to get anything done though.
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#16 of 20 Old 08-03-2005, 02:26 AM
 
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My daughter is a little over 7 mnths old, she doesn't nap w/out me either, luckily I love to read and although I don't get as much done as I could if she napped without me I look foward to the time I get to lay down next to her, snuggle, and read, often I end up taking a nap too. She plays on her own a lot now so I get more done then when she was younger. I imagine it will get even better as she gets older b/c she will be able to enertain herself even more.
The best thing to remember is that this time you have together is so short, soon enough your child will not be a baby anymore, and you will want to snuggle and your child will want to run off and play with friends. Try to cherrish every moment.
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#17 of 20 Old 08-03-2005, 09:20 AM
 
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Eleanorm-Have you considered or could you afford a nanny over day care? As a nanny-I can tell you I would do whatever (barring it be illiegal or immoral of course) whatever my boss wanted me to do to help her kids sleep. Another possibilty you may want to look at is that scheduled feedings aren't working out and your baby is hungry more than every three hours and that's why he is waking so often when you try to put him down. Good luck.

Mom to Iris and Henry
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#18 of 20 Old 08-03-2005, 12:33 PM
 
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Thanks nannymom - in fact we are currently searching for an in-house care solution. It's certainly worth a try, if only for a few hours a week.

Your comment about his need to feed more often was also interesting. However, even those times that he goes for a nap on a full stomach (nursed to sleep), he doesn't seem to stay down any longer. Quite often he nurses irregularly - this afternoon being an example as he wouldn't go for a nap any other way. In your opinion, should I be trying harder to get a more consistent nap and feeding pattern in place (even if I am not sure how!). It seems logical to me that having a daily routine would make him feel better??
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#19 of 20 Old 08-03-2005, 12:42 PM
 
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My dd also needed me to sleep with her to nap or sleep at night. We still cosleep, but she'll nap by herself now (although I sit with her until she falls asleep). We found swaddling to be a lifesaver. I think it gives the baby a cuddled feeling, similar to a sling or your arms. Dr. Harvey Karp (http://thehappiestbaby.com/) gives some great swaddle techniques in his book and DVD "Happiest Baby on the Block," and we found the "Swaddle Me" made by Kiddopatomus to be the easiest way to swaddle.

Most of all, know that this won't last forever. These early months feel like an eternity when you're in them, but later it will seem like the blink of an eye.

Wife to a wonderful dh and mom to four beautiful kiddos, dd (3/04):, ds1 (1/06), ds2 (10/08), and ds3 (7/10)
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#20 of 20 Old 08-03-2005, 10:13 PM
 
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eleanorm-I just want to wish you the best in your hunt for child care that will be understanding to this need. My baby is so simillar to yours and nothing really helps us Good luck!!!

Mom to Iris and Henry
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