Is it okay to let baby sleep in the swing all night? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 02-11-2008, 02:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have discovered that my 8-week-old currently sleeps best in her swing. She's a dreadful co-sleeping baby - in the bed, she squirms and kicks and wakes up (and wakes us up) all night long. In the swing, she sleeps peacefully for 3-5 hours at a stretch. It doesn't have to be on or anything - I just wrap her up a little in a light blanket and tuck her in the swing, and she goes right to sleep and stays asleep until she needs to eat again. Last night I was alone - DH is out of town on business - so when she went to sleep in my arms, I put her in the swing and slept too. Then I fed her, walked her back to sleep, and put her down in the swing again. All totaled she spent almost 9 hours sleeping in the swing.

I sleep on the sofa and put the swing up next to me so that her face is only a foot and a half away from mine. I can hear her breathe and can touch her or rock the swing a little to settle her back to sleep when she stirs.

But is it okay to let her do that? I seem to be extra paranoid of SIDS these days, and check her a zillion times a night to make sure she's okay. I keep the blanket off her face and make sure her chin doesn't get scrunched down to her chest.

I would rather be a tired momma with a safe baby than a well-rested momma with an unsafe baby.

I also tend not to put her down much during the day except to play. She spends most of the day in my arms, nursing, playing, or walking around in the Moby.

She has a little reflux that's well controlled with Zantac and has no health problems that we know of.

Thoughts?
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#2 of 16 Old 02-11-2008, 03:16 PM
 
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I know a lot of people are anti-swings, but this is not an ideal world where there is a tribe to raise a child. I used to let my DD sleep in a swing for some naps and when she had a cold.

It might be difficult to transition her to a bed if she gets used to sleeping in a swing exclusively. I know it seems like 20-25# is very far away, but it will probably come sooner than you expect!

Also, remember that human infants are not designed to sleep for such long periods, despite what our culture tries to force and wants to believe. Additionally, they are not meant to go so long between feedings. Here is a good article written by an anthropologist: http://www.kathydettwyler.org/detsleepthrough.html. There are some indications that falling into a deep sleep increases the SIDS risk. Of course, you are right there beside her, but if you are not actually touching her, I would imagine that you, too, would fall into a deep sleep and not be able to notice if she has periods of apnea.

Good luck!
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#3 of 16 Old 02-11-2008, 04:07 PM
 
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My child slept in the swing or her carseat pretty much exclusively for about the first three months of her life. I would have definitely preferred to have her in the crib or the bed with me, but it was the difference between 1-2 hour sleep stretches or 3-5 hour sleep stretches. She was a terror at night (and continues to be), and I needed to get any sleep I could! The whole time she slept out of a flat bed, I worried and worried that I would have difficulty transitioning her to a different spot to sleep, but by about 5 months she was only sleeping in her crib, and had made the transition on her own - she just naturally outgrew her need to sleep in such a tight little spot. Now, we only leave her in the infant carseat if she has fallen asleep there during a car ride, and almost never use the swing any longer.
I agree with tubulidentata2 - it's not a perfect world. Just put your baby where she sleeps best, and the rest will work itself out.
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#4 of 16 Old 02-11-2008, 04:55 PM
 
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My baby would ONLY sleep in her baby bucket for about the first 3 months, or in my arms as long as I was upright. As soon as I tried to lay down, she was up. She's now 15 months and sleeps in her own bed until 3, then crawls up in bed with me. I think now she may have had some reflux? But anyway, I look at it like the joke about where does the 800 pound gorilla sleep? The correct answer is "anywhere it wants". . .
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#5 of 16 Old 02-11-2008, 05:03 PM
 
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My dd did, she wouldnt cosleep. For about 5 -6 months she slept in her swing. She sleeps pretty well in her crib on her own now. (with the exception of normal issues that anyone would have)

I dont know why it would be an issue. I trusted my instinct that my child was safe and healthy.
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#6 of 16 Old 02-11-2008, 05:10 PM
 
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Isn't a swing very similar to the amby baby, which is highly recommended by Dr. Sears, actually preventing SIDS?
It sounds like you are being as safe as possible to make sure you both get some rest.
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#7 of 16 Old 02-11-2008, 06:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tubulidentata2 View Post
Also, remember that human infants are not designed to sleep for such long periods, despite what our culture tries to force and wants to believe. Additionally, they are not meant to go so long between feedings. Here is a good article written by an anthropologist: http://www.kathydettwyler.org/detsleepthrough.html.
Is three hours at a go unreasonably long if she's doing that on her own? She often takes two-hour naps during the day. Sometimes she then sleeps for three hours at a go at night, sometimes she wakes every hour at night.

It just doesn't seem normal or healthy that she would sleep for ten minutes, kick and squirm and come awake, be awake for twenty minutes, sleep for ten minutes, then repeat the whole cycle over again, which is what she does if she's in bed with me at night. I feed on cue, and usually offer the breast every time she wakes at night, and she is not waking to feed, but really seems restless and exhausted many nights with this behavior.

I'm not interested in having her sleep through the night for my convenience or comfort. Despite what I might mutter in the moment, I don't mind feeding her four or five times a night. But I am interested in having her sleep well for her own health! It can't be good to have a night full of catnaps rather than a few hours of more solid restorative sleep, can it?
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#8 of 16 Old 02-11-2008, 07:54 PM
 
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DS slept in his swing all night, as well as for naps, from about 2mo to 5mo. We tried many times to get him to sleep in our bed or in a crib, but he would wake up as soon as we put him down, and wouldn't sleep well at night. We did have the swing moving - he needed us to walk him to sleep and then transfer him into the moving swing. Otherwise, he woke up immediately and was not happy! I had the same mentality as you - I didn't mind getting up at night to feed him as much as necessary, but I wanted to make sure he was getting adequate sleep. Also, he really wasn't waking up to nurse most of the time, he just couldn't get himself back to sleep. The swing seemed to avoid this problem.

At around 5mo, I noticed that he fell asleep better while nursing, and I could actually transfer him into the bed without him really waking. So we started co-sleeping at night, and it was actually a very easy transition, I think because we just waited until he was ready. Naps have taken a bit longer to improve without the swing - unfortunately, the swing motor died a few weeks ago, and so we had to go cold turkey. He can get through one sleep cycle on the bed during a nap, but sometimes wakes up and I can't get him back to sleep again. But it is improving...

Anyways, I was like you several months ago - trying to find any information about the safety of sleeping in the swing. While most "experts" don't recommend it, I think as long as you're making sure that the swing is fully reclined (so that baby's head won't fall forward), and that no blankets can smother her face, and you check on her periodically, it should be okay. Just keep trying occasionally to put her down in your bed or her crib, and see how she does. She'll let you know when she's ready to transition out. Also, I was worried about the weight limit - DS was almost 18lbs at 4mo, and I thought we'd hit the 25lb limit in no time. Now at 9mo, he's only 20lbs :P I could have even splurged on the Amby Baby if I'd wanted, since I thought he would outgrow it too quickly!
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#9 of 16 Old 02-11-2008, 08:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tubulidentata2 View Post

Also, remember that human infants are not designed to sleep for such long periods, despite what our culture tries to force and wants to believe. Additionally, they are not meant to go so long between feedings. Here is a good article written by an anthropologist: http://www.kathydettwyler.org/detsleepthrough.html. There are some indications that falling into a deep sleep increases the SIDS risk. Of course, you are right there beside her, but if you are not actually touching her, I would imagine that you, too, would fall into a deep sleep and not be able to notice if she has periods of apnea.

Good luck!

I love stuff like this!! So funny...

My daughter slept at least 10 hours a night since the day she was born. She was born that way. I did nothing to get her to sleep for that long, she just did it. Unless a baby is ill, I don't support the idea that you need to wake them up to eat. They'll wake up when they get hungry.
We are designed to survive. We need to eat. We'll wake up when we're hungry. I think its bad idea to teach a baby to wake up to eat unless its necessary.

I think if its safe its ok for your baby to sleep anywhere you're comfortable with!
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#10 of 16 Old 02-11-2008, 11:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Sage_SS View Post
I love stuff like this!! So funny...

My daughter slept at least 10 hours a night since the day she was born. She was born that way. I did nothing to get her to sleep for that long, she just did it. Unless a baby is ill, I don't support the idea that you need to wake them up to eat. They'll wake up when they get hungry.
We are designed to survive. We need to eat. We'll wake up when we're hungry. I think its bad idea to teach a baby to wake up to eat unless its necessary.

I think if its safe its ok for your baby to sleep anywhere you're comfortable with!
yeah, i agree with this poster. my DD was a good sleeper in the beginning, too--not 10 hours good, but 5-8. just enjoy the sleep!!! that phase has since passed and DD NEVER does a 5 hour stretch anymore

if you think the swing is okay, then i would think so, too!

dissertating wife of Boo, mama of one "mookie" lovin' 2 year old girl! intactlact:: CTA until 7/10 FF 1501dc
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#11 of 16 Old 02-12-2008, 01:26 AM
 
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I think the swing is safe, as long as you observe that she is able to breathe well at that angle. Dr. Sears reccomends the Amby for babes with acid reflux because of the positioning which is like a swing. Nearly every parent I know used a swing for the first few days with a newborn, although they didn;t plan it that way. A swing didn't work for us, we used a bouncy seat. I chose to be a compasionate newborn momma over being up literally all night. The bouncy seat bought me a 2-3 hr pm stretch- the same amount she sleeps in the sleepy wrap, etc. I don't think these tools can change the sleep cycle, just help them feel more comfortable. FYI- we learned that baby hates being swaddled and sleeps happily in the cosleeper if she can raise her arms over her head. Ended bouncy seat addiction. Duh...
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#12 of 16 Old 02-12-2008, 09:34 PM
 
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Dr Karp mentions that it is a good option.

If ds would have slept there for more than 30 mins, I would have let him. He has been chronically overtired since he was 6wks. He is a very sensitive sleeper. Always has bags under his eyes. He is now 6mo, and I make his sleep our top priority, or he becomes a horror to deal with.

Leigh, mama to Rostislav homeborn Aug 9 2007, and Oksana homeborn Feb 24 2011.
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#13 of 16 Old 02-12-2008, 10:04 PM
 
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I did this for the first two months of DS's life. It was the only place he'd sleep, other than on my chest, which I didn't think was nearly as safe. I would swaddle him and then buckle him into the swing. I'd swing it for a few minutes til he fell asleep and then turn off the swinging motion.

At his 2 month well-baby visit, we discovered that he had torticollis, so we were off to see a pediatric PT who said that the swing was not going to cut it anymore, since it would actually encourage his head tilt. So we had to make a drastic move and switch him from the swing to a flat surface.

I did a modifed cosleeping arrangment. I would put him down in a bassinet, which had a rocking feature. I would nurse him, then put him in the bassinet and rock him to sleep. When he woke up at around 3 am to nurse, I'd nurse him in bed with me, and we'd cosleep from that point on until morning.

I am a firm believer that at 8 weeks, it's too early to create bad habits, and it is so very important that you get as much rest as you can. When she gets a little older, you can work on transitioning her out of the swing, but for now, I say let her sleep there and try to catch up on your own sleep.
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#14 of 16 Old 02-12-2008, 10:15 PM
 
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I am all for lettng them sleep where they will sleep! Sh's not gonna be 12 and still climbing into the swing! At best, you'll get a few months out of. Enjoy it while ya can!
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#15 of 16 Old 02-13-2008, 12:00 AM
 
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Yeah, it only lasted for about 4 weeks. We got the swing when he was 9 weeks, and it stopped helping him fall asleep at around 13 weeks. But the rest it gave me was soooooo worth it. Before the swing, I was sooooo exhausted rocking him vigorously all day just to keep him from screaming.

Leigh, mama to Rostislav homeborn Aug 9 2007, and Oksana homeborn Feb 24 2011.
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#16 of 16 Old 02-13-2008, 12:07 AM
 
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As a newborn, my DD spent a LOT of time in her swing, and took most of her naps in it. It was our saving grace, and the ONLY time we could get anything done because otherwise we were holding her. I remember worrying too if it was ok for her to be in there so much, but she is a healthy happy rambunctious toddler now! If it works for you, go for it.

Amy, mommy to Ava, 6, Gavin, 4, Lila, 2, and Baby #4 due in early November! joy.gif
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