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Bouncing baby to sleep, need alternatives

26233 Views 14 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  Aka mommy
Ok dd#2 is going to be 6 months old in 10 days. Since she was born the ONLY way to get her to sleep has been to bounce on our yoga ball in my arms. No one elses arms suffice and ends in a screaming match so we quickly learned to just have me do it. Well my back has been having some major pain lately and I cannot stand to bounce on the dang ball. We DO NOT CIO and will not even try it. Is she in the habit of bouncing now and am i basically screwed at getting her to sleep on her own? Does anyone have a baby who falls asleep on their own in the crib or bed without ever having CIO? Anyone have any other suggestions? We've tried walking, rocking, driving, singing, humming. Basically everything save short of standing on our heads and singing the abc's backwards. Thanks mommas
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Yikes! I don't have any really good ideas, but I couldn't not offer a hug!

You said that she'll only sleep with you holding her, bouncing on the ball...maybe try one of those little bouncer seats (if it's the bouncing that soothes her?). Or have your partner bounce her on the ball before her normal sleep time to perhaps soothe her and wear her down a little so she'll fall asleep with a different technique?

Have you tried not putting her to sleep? I mean, if you put her in a sling (or considering your back, have your partner sling/carry your dc) and just go about your evening will she eventually fall asleep? Perhaps not quickly (or by the time you'd like her to sleep) but at some point she'd have to snooze, right? Maybe do that for a few days to break the bouncing habit while replacing it with a more adaptable soother?

My own dd (12mo) likes to nurse to sleep, but she's gotten used to having her daddy put her to sleep for naps so she's willing to suck on a finger if the "booms" aren't available. We went through something similar around 4 months when I went back to work, but after a few days of fussing with her daddy at nap time she seemed to figure out that his fingers were almost as good for chewing on.

Good luck mama...and I hope your back feels better soon!
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mama! i really liked the "no cry sleep solution" book. it advocates a gentle transition to falling asleep without whatever methods they are relying on. bouncing on the ball sounds very tiring for you!

OT- love your stash picture!
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That was my situation, three months ago. I'd bounced my dd to sleep while she was in the mei tai since she was about five weeks old and was stuck bouncing an increasingly heavier baby! I started looking around as to how to wean her from it as I did NOT want to be bouncing a three year old to sleep

First we cut out the mei tai and just bounced her in your arms, like you do.

Then, one day, as we were bouncing, the ball burst! We got a non-pop one, so it deflated rather than exploded, but there we were, without our ball. So we decided to go cold turkey. I was a little hesitant to do it as it didn't seem the gentlest of transitions but I knew that if I bought another ball we'd be using it forever.

We still bounce her to sleep - now we just do it standing up, a little jiggly dance. It still kind of sucks but it is easier on my back than doing it on the ball was. Our routine is this: nurse, if she doesn't fall asleep then we bounce til she's asleep, if she wakes up when we lay her down, I nurse her again, usually that's good enough but sometimes she requires a second bouncing.

Sometimes we can bounce her almost all the way asleep and then rock her the rest of the way there... but usually not. she doesn't like rocking... just bouncing. *shrug*

So that's my bouncing to sleep experience. Good luck to you mama.
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I too have a baby who won't go to sleep without bouncing on the yoga ball - we are trying to get her to start sleeping without it - with no luck yet - interested to hear if any other mamas have other suggestions...
We're bouncers too... actually we do it exactly like fuzzypeach. I too am wondering about if I'll be bouncing a 5-year-old.
Yup, we're bouncers here, too. Ds goes to sleep (probably about half the time) either in a wrap on my front while nursing, or in a MT on my back post nursing. I work on the computer while bouncing him, so I really don't mind, actually. We're starting to get into more of a bedtime routine, so it's really not hard to get him to sleep at this point.

Have you tried doing a routine and then going on a walk with your baby in a carrier? It zonks mine right out, and at least you get the benefit of fresh air.
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We mostly nurse to sleep (And I do mean we since I often fall asleep too!
) But when that fails, which is rare, I put her in the MobyWrap and rock from side to side in a kind of swinging motion. Or if I definitely need some baby's-asleep-momma-time, I will hold her bum at my tummy and hold her head in my hands and rock her from side to side and she'll get pretty sleepy... Can you visualize that? I don't know if I explained it properly...
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Well what a relief that there are other bouncaholic babies on board lol! So sorry for you fellow momma's!

I still dont understand what exactly she likes about the yoga ball. But the bouncy chair we have she HATES and will only sit in it for about 10 mins at my eyelevel while i prepare dinner. And she always gives me the cue around 6:30 that shes ready for our bedtime routine. This consists of story time with older sis, bath time, nursing (i try everynight to nurse to sleep, even lay down with her but that has only worked about 2 times in 6 months) then I bounce and sing the girls to sleep. Her older sis is on our bed, Kayleigh is in my arms. They both usually pass out fairly fast, so i guess i shouldnt be complaining. But i just now spent 30 mins of bouncing her, laying her down, her waking up and bouncing again and i know she will be up in 30 mins on the dot. She only takes three 30 min naps. I suppose on the plus side im burning a whole boatload of calories on that blasted yoga ball. My other huge problem is she is not a sling baby
We spent about $150 on various different ones over the first 4 months before I finally tossed in the towel and sold them all. Im not hoping to try an ergo as I hear they are comfy and she might prefer it. So i will have to try the ergo and walking her to sleep maybe???

I know she wont go down with my dh cuz he's on the road too often. Shes one of those babies that is VERY set in her routine and any change to it throws her for a loop, including daddy trying to let mommy have a break by putting her to bed.
Poor guy, cant say he doesnt try. But it only results in blood curdling screaming, you'd really think she was being hurt.

Anyone still swaddle their older babies? A friend suggested that but im warry of it as she rolls and is big on eating her hands and toes.

Spiritmomma I can visualize it perfectly, we use to hold our older dd that way and kinda bend her towards us for her colic. I will have to try that tonight!!! Thanks for all the input mommas!
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My ds is 7 months and is the type that just can fall asleep on his own. We have a routine that works out really well which is basically dinner 5- 5:30, bath at 6ish, play around until he's really rubbing his eyes, then I nurse him and he either falls asleep while I'm nursing or I'll just put him in his crib and he plays until he passes out. That really works for the evenings that I'm not around.
So, I guess try letting your dc play till they fall asleep?? Does that even make any sense? It works for us. He never cries, he just gets really tired, yelps once and then is out for 11 hours.
I think there's a HUGE range between what you are doing and laying her down in her bed while she's awake and having her drift off on her own. That's my goal with dd, and my plan is to take four months to get there. No kidding.

I recommend reading the No Cry Sleep Solution and making a plan that includes baby steps like, when you lay her down, she doesn't cry for 10 seconds, then 20 seconds, etc...

Starting at about five months, I started nursing my baby to sleep. My goal now is to be able to lay her down after nursing while she's awake and have her go to sleep on her own. Like I said, I hope to accomplish this by her first birthday.

For now, we're working on getting her back to sleep when she wakes up in the night without nursing. No, I'm not nightweaning her. She's typically hungry every 3.5 - 4 hours, so if she wakes after 45 minutes for example, I pat her and say "shhhhh" and she'll go back to sleep about half the time. Her short wakings are getting less and less frequent. This is all a big improvement after her nighttime sleep seriously degraded over time.

So, I think these things require a detailed plan that you can stick to with small progressions that don't include crying of any kind. Good luck and let us know if you come up with any great solutions.

BTW - one of my sisters had a bouncy baby who got really big really fast and that petite one had a really bad back soon. So she transitioned to laying him in his crib on his belly and his dad would literally lay is hand on his back and bounce him against the mattress. Can't you just see it?
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Thanks ladies! Im laughing at the mental pic of bouncing on the mattress as ive often times wondered what contraption i can rig up to make the crib bounce. "Um honey, can we put hydrolics on the crib???

" I have also read the NCSS and used it with my older dd, but even following it to a tee it didnt work for her. But she was also a high need baby. I read it this time around but by 3 weeks Kayleigh had been sleeping through the night and was putting herself to sleep. I thought i mentioned that in my first post, but just read over it and realized i didnt. But instead noticed i only wrote about how as an infant she would only fall asleep by bouncing, when that was for naps and calming her colic but i didnt say that part. I swear my brain is not attached some days. At night time I would nurse her, she'd be quiet and then i could lay her in her crib and she would pass out after making sweet little noises or just looking up wide eyed and content, wouldnt wake up for 7 hours. I dont know when we had to reinstate the bouncing i think maybe by the time she was a month or a month and a half old? Time is so blurry in the infant months lol. But somehow it did creep in and by 3 months she was no longer sleeping through the night. Hmm maybe there is a connection.
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I know it's going to sound like I'm nuts:
Try gently, with the back of your finger, stroking the bridge of her nose, right between the eyes. It's instinctive for babies to close their eyes when this happens (try it yourself, honest.) Cuddle her close whilst you're doing this. Then, when she's drowsy, put her back on the flat surface that she's going to be sleeping on, with your arm around her, and keep stroking her nose. Then take your arm away. Then take your nose-stroking hand away.
My dd won't nurse to sleep, because she gets overtired, but she'll accept some combination of the above. (we swaddle her as well, but she needs the stroking.)
I wouldn't expect a baby of this age to sleep through the night, necessarily. They're growing so much faster (developmentally, I mean) than they were at 2/3 months, and need lots and lots of calories to help them in this.
You just reminded me of my age old question. Why do the tricks i used on other friends babies BEFORE i had my own, NEVER work on my own children???
That trick worked like a charm for my nieces, nephews and all my friends babies. It is JUST now working on my toddler. She loves when i go down the bridge of her nose.

But i havent tried it while shes nursing, so i will try the combo! Maybe it will be the magic trick
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