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<p>I have a 6.5 month old and I like to hold her every time she cries, even if I just put her down.</p>
<p>Sometimes she cries when I put her down for her nap... so I just pick her up and let her nap in my arms.  This makes me so unproductive.  But, I like to do it.  At night, she sometimes cries a few minutes after I put her down from sleeping.  I used to pick her up, but now I try to leave her in her crib (which is right by our bed) and just touch and and "rock" her to sleep.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>My questions are:</p>
<ul><li>Will holding her too much during the night when she cries affect how she sleeps... will she become dependent on me and not fall asleep on her own?</li>
<li>For naps, should I teach her to fall asleep on her own (i.e. not hold her for her to fall asleep)?  This may result in more crying.</li>
</ul><p> </p>
<p>Semi-unrelated question:  Should I start a nap time routine and bedtime routine now (at 6 months)?  When is a good time to do this?  I'm really not interested in doing a routine now... and would rather not later... so, how important is it?</p>
 

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<p>I think a lot of it depends on how your family works-- some mom's /families thrive on routine; and some (like me) don't. Having a set time for this and that creates a lot of stress for me.</p>
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<p>As for holding her-- I think babies should be comforted when they cry. Have you looked into baby wearing? It might help you feel more productive while still holding her. (even if it just frees up a hand for the remote!</p>
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
<p>My baby doesn't like to be worn inside the home.  :(</p>
<p>Thanks for the advice.  For some reason, I just thought that babies "had to have" a routine.  I am letting DD set her own nap time routine and bed time routine.  I just hope DD won't be up until 11P some nights.  :)</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Thanks.</p>
 

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<p>I do think that older kids-- e.g. over 2-3-- often do better with a set routine because it makes them feel more secure (this is most, not all, I know there are exceptions). But babies, to me, are another story. I don't really think little babies need to be scheduled, I think their bodies are good at doing that naturally. Most babies, over time, fall into their own rhythm. I just go along with my girl's natural tendencies.</p>
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<p>As for the holding while napping, I say enjoy it while you can. When you have more than one baby or when your girl is older, you might not have the luxury of snuggling her all the time and napping together. I miss those days myself; my 9 month old prefers to nap in our bed now.</p>
 

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<p>NAK - well,. actually, I'm typing with a 6-MO alternatingly nursing and grabbing at my hands, so excuse the typos.</p>
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<p>My now-5-year-old was held probably conservatively 90% of the time before he was ~9 months (when he started walking).  I NEVER put him down for naps or bedtime or anything, because if he wasn't attached at the boob he was awake screaming for it.  We attempted the "routine" thing for all of about 3 days before I gave up (we're not routine people).  We let him decide when he was sleepy, and sometimes he was up until 12-1:00.  But even then, he went to sleep in my arms, and usually stayed there- although sometimes I'd get an hour or so with him down in a bed before he woke and had to have me.  Was I exhausted his first two years?  YES!! Would I trade a minute of it?  NO!! When he was a little older (3ish, I think), we started enforcing a bed time of about 10:30.  Then we moved it to 10, then 9:30, just gradually.  It's still 9pm at 5.  He goes to sleep in his own room with no problems, just a story and tucking in, and he's out.  He usually comes to our bed some time before we wake in the morning, around 4am most days.</p>
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<p>All that being said, my now-6-month-old will go down to nap or sleep by himself about 40% of the time, if I make any effort (although we bedshare).  He seems to be more of a routine kinda kid, so we'll see how that plays out.  I think that you should let the baby decide what she needs- she'll tell you.  As PP said, routines are fine if that's your thing & if the child will allow it, but I don't think it will hurt the child at all if you just go with the flow.  Do what feels natural and don't sweat it.  The only real expert on what your baby needs is your baby. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>Oh, and as for babywearing, have you tried different styles of carriers?  My first DS loved the pouch sling, but DS2 hates that and loves the Mei Tai.  Maybe try a different style or different carry to get her more comfortable so you have some hands.  And remember that in 5 years, you won't remember that the dishes weren't done, but you will remember all the beautiful smiles and coos you got from holding your beautiful baby.</p>
 

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<p>I agree with the PPs about holding and comforting her. I believe that it is so important for little babies to have that closeness and reassurance.</p>
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<p>As far as the routine goes, you can have one and still be baby-led IMO. We never try to put J to bed/sleep when she's not ready but we still have a routine in the evening. When she starts to show signs of tiredness DH takes her and baths her. When she's bathed and dressed for bed I take her and we lie down together. She alternately feeds and practices her rolling/sitting up/ rocking on hands and knees until she falls asleep. Sometimes I read aloud to her while shes rolling around. So I call that our routine because it looks the same every night, just that sometimes it happens at 6pm and sometimes it happens at 7:30 or 8pm <span><img alt="smile.gif" height="16" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/smile.gif" width="16"></span></p>
 

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<p>holding our lil' ones when they cry will make not make them too dependent, but make them more secure.  I agree with PPs that trying out other carriers or other holds might be worth a try.  Youtube is a great resource for different carries.</p>
 

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<p>So, I had a revelation the other day, about Robert Munsch and how I never truly understood his books until I became a parent.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>(Background: DS, also 6 months, good sleeper when I'm in bed with him, never a great napper. He's just about crawling and teething a bit too so sleep is not our friend right now. He had been napping ok on his own but lately, I've gone back to holding him while he naps because I am more productive when I take 1hr or so to let Finn nap and then wrangle a happy awake baby while I'm doing housework than I am when I try to spend those 20-(maybe)45min of naptime desperately doing whatever I can and then spend far longer trying to soothe a cranky, still tired baby....)</p>
<p> </p>
<p>If you've never read "Love You Forever" by Robert Munsch, you should really get it. Basically it's about a mother and her son and it follows him from birth until he's an adult and ever night the mom would wait for him to be asleep and then crawl across the floor, pick him up, and rock him back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. And as she rocked him she sang:</p>
<p>Love you forever,</p>
<p>I'll like you for always,</p>
<p>as long as I'm living,</p>
<p>my baby you'll be</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Even when he's all grown up, she would drive across town at night and, well, break into his house, but in a really sweet way. And then one day she calls him and says she's old and really sick and he should come see her and he does and he rocks HER and sings the song and then goes home and rocks his own new baby girl....</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Anyways, I was holding my baby while he was sleeping the other day and all I could think about was, "WHAT am I going to do when this is over?" and I just GOT IT. I will totally be sneaking into my teenage son's room at night and rock him back and forth while he sleeps!</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Basically, I figured I should just REALLY appreciate this while I can...</p>
 

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<p>I'm not into routines with babies, unless the baby seems to want a routine. Mine did not. Mine wanted to eat when they felt like it, nap when they got sleepy, poop whenever the need arose(lol), and so on. I think I would have had really unhappy babies had I tried to push them into a set routine! And definitely, if something you're doing(or not doing) is making a baby cry, well, that's an unhappy baby IMO. </p>
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<p>It doesn't last forever. Sometimes I get really sad that DS2 is almost past nursing entirely and he sleeps in his own bed and can take himself to the bathroom and brush his own teeth and.... *sigh* What happened to my baby? While at the time it was SO HARD sometimes to deal with him being sooo needy, now I look back and, well, I can only be glad I attended to his needs. </p>
 

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<p>I agree with the other posters.  I held DD to sleep for naps until she was almost exactly 9 months old.  Then all of a sudden she started acting uncomfortable and trying to roll off me to lie next to me in bed, instead.  In those early months of holding her for several naps a day, I felt very frustrated and like a failure that she couldn't nap on her own but then after a while I just accepted it and realized that it had nothing to do with my parenting skills but it was just who she was.  I chose some library books, made sure I had the TV remote and some water near me and caught up on my sleep as well.</p>
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<p>Now at 2y2m I still lay down with her to nap, but it's more my own choice than something she necessarily needs.  She doesn't instantly wake up if I get up while she's sleeping.</p>
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<p>Babies change so quickly - if she needs you to hold her right now and you are OK with it, just go with it.  There will be a time where she won't need that anymore.</p>
 

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<p>Oh god this thread makes me feel better this morning. I'm holding a 9 month old while he naps, and I surf/type with one hand.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>We did the same with my daughter. i held her until she was too big, and then I would lay with her until she fell asleep for a few years. She's 8 now and goes to bed just fine. So I know it doesn't last forever. I'm just feeling pressure from family from Christmas who gave me crap for holding him a lot (there was no where safe to put him down!! The few times I did he hit his head on varios pieces of furniture) and nursing him when he was whiney. I still get urges to call my mother and ask her what amount of time is appropriate for him to cry.</p>
<p>She said I was letting my kid dictate my life, as if I were a horrible parent for seeing to his needs. We got in a bad fight.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Anyway,. I'm happy with my choices most of the time. It's hard not to let outside pressure get to you sometimes.</p>
 

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<p>I'm glad you're happy with your choice! When people give me flak for holding Cecilia while she naps (which is not every nap these days; some days she really seems to prefer being in the bed by herself), I just say (calmly), "She won't be tiny forever. I'm cherishing the time while I have it," and I leave it at that.</p>
 
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