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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi mamas! I accidentally disappeared from MDC when my DDC moved to facebook. But then I remembered that there's a huge pool of mamas with tons of collective wisdom to draw from here...so here I am! It's nice to be back.

Those of you with spirited babies: how do you help your baby fall asleep and stay asleep at naptime? Ours is 20 weeks old and is a champion nighttime sleeper (we cosleep), but she is not a good napper. I think she is just in the process of learning how to sleep with a baby brain instead of a newborn brain, so I am prepared to be patient with the process. But at this point, she is requiring us to pace her down for every nap, and it takes a long time. She is a heavy girl, and my body is breaking down from all of the pacing.

Plus, if we don't have her in the carrier (I need her to take a nap or two outside of the carrier because I'm wearing out), she wakes up after that first sleep cycle (30 minutes) and won't settle back to sleep. She is AWAKE. Actually, she does the same thing in the carrier unless we start walking at the first sign of stirring.

Basically, she can't fall asleep without being walked down. Swaying or bouncing with her in the carrier doesn't work. Rocking doesn't work. Putting her down in the bed drowsy after pacing her almost to sleep doesn't work. Lying down with her in the bed drowsy and singing or shhing doesn't work. Laying her down in the bed at the first sign of sleepiness doesn't work. Staying in the room with her doesn't work. Leaving the room doesn't work.

In all of those cases, she pops her eyes all the way open, is fine and calm for a while, plays with her feet and entertains herself for a while, then starts to fuss, then starts to cry. Fussing never leads to settling. She is not the kind of girl who will resign herself to the circumstances if she's not happy with them.

So mamas with curious, active babies who also feel their feelings, what do you do to help your baby nap? I'm especially interested in hearing from mamas who cosleep but don't use the carrier for every nap.

Thanks for your help!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Oh, yes, I should have mentioned that! She is EBF. her bedtime routine (after a bath and PJs) is to nurse in bed for like an hour, expertly spacing out the letdowns as much as possible so she can maximize comfort nursing time. I have oversupply, so the only time she really gets to comfort nurse is at night when my supply is lowest. I'm happy to let her do that. She does not need to be nursed in order to fall back to sleep in the middle of the night unless she's actually hungry (she wakes to eat only once). Any other time, giving her a little squeeze and shhhing her gently is enough to put her back to sleep very quickly.

She will occasionally fall asleep while nursing during the day, but usually my supply is so high that it keeps her too stimulated. When she does fall asleep on the boob, she wakes up within a half hour like with everything else. Sometimes popping back on the nipple works to get her back to sleep, sometimes it doesn't.

I should also mention that she has reflux that hurts her throat, so we keep her upright for a half hour after eating. We also have to nurse upright. As much as I wish I could just go lay down with her and stuff my boob in her mouth until she falls off of it asleep, I can't. :(
 

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i feel like your baby is really wise. You said that you cosleep and during the night she sleeps well. You also say that she sleeps if you walk her down. She feels your body and this may help her to settle down..it gives her the closeness she needs and probably helps her with the reflux. It takes a lot of energy and maybe would help you to think which is her nessage to you, so which are her needs and which are yours. a big hug to you mama.
 

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I have no great advice, but I just wanted to chime in to say I totally understand how you feel. My 23 week old daughter sleeps well at night (we co-sleep) but naps are a challenge. I basically either wear her for naps or nurse her down and let her sleep in my lap, which means that I am holding or wearing her all day, and the only time to myself that I get is when my partner's home and can hold her or wear her. I try to keep an attitude of cherish-this-time-because-it-won't-last, but day to day and hour to hour, it gets really exhausting.

My daughter fights naps, too, because she is getting more and more curious about the world around her and doesn't want to miss out on anything. I used to be able to wear her and take a little walk around the neighborhood to get her to sleep, but that doesn't work any more because she just wants to look at and experience everything. Which is great from a baby development standpoint, but less great for a mama who needs her baby to nap. So I can wear her around the house or nurse her down and that's the only way she'll sleep. Nothing else so far has worked. And she also only sleeps for 30 minute increments; the only way I can extend that is if I nurse her down again after she wakes.

My only advice--and it's not much--is this: Have you tried wearing her on your back? I feel like that's more comfortable for me as my daughter's gotten bigger. Or maybe try a different carrier? And if it's taking a long time to get her down, are you sure she's ready for a nap? In the past week or so, my daughter just started extending the amount of time she can stay awake between naps, so now we are having to rework our daily routine.
 

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My daughter didn't sleep well during naps until about 8 months. Then we found our routine and she started to do well sleeping in the stroller. She still needed to be pushed around for a minimum of 15 mins and sometimes up to an hour but this way she did go to sleep. She has always fought sleep both at night and during the day and does still at 3. She cut out naps at 2 and still has a long transition to sleep at night but sleeps well and always has been once she has gotten through the falling a sleep part. I don't have any miracle cure but to me acceptance helped. "My child is this way and while there are some things I can do there are also aspects that are out of my control. She doesn't like falling asleep and I can do what I can to help her sleep when she needs to but I cannot make her fall asleep."
 

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same,try to keep an attitude of cherish-this-time-because-it-won't-last, but day to day and hour to hour, it gets really exhausting.
 

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Ah, the Spirited Ones. Mama, this is the beginning of what is sure to be many situations in which you realize that your child isn't much like her peers. If she is anything like my two, especially my first, she will do things according to what she feels is the best way in which to do them. All basic advice is pretty much useless w these intense beings of ours bc they are very special and so unique. However, I agree w what many moms here are saying. I am IN LURRVE w my Deuter backpack carrier as it took the pressure off my shoulders and back. I would be broken in all areas of my body w this second ginormous baby whom wishes to be held a ton if it weren't for my cranial sacral chiropractor. If you can, get regular adjustments, mama. Also, I reccomend adjustments for your baby. Our intense kids are so open and perceptive to all around them pretty much constantly, so it's good for them to have chiropractic relieve (again, I am big into cranial sacral chiropractic or any other gentle form). It's just so difficult and I am sending big hugs....HOWEVER! Be at peace knowing this child of yours will be a force to be reckoned w and that spirited kids are the trail blazing remarkable, unforgettable humans who will truly get this world back to where it needs to be. :thumb
 

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I have no great advice, but I just wanted to chime in to say I totally understand how you feel. My 23 week old daughter sleeps well at night (we co-sleep) but naps are a challenge. I basically either wear her for naps or nurse her down and let her sleep in my lap, which means that I am holding or wearing her all day, and the only time to myself that I get is when my partner's home and can hold her or wear her. I try to keep an attitude of cherish-this-time-because-it-won't-last, but day to day and hour to hour, it gets really exhausting.
I have to second this. My very spirited daughter (who is nearly 2 now!) was very much the same. I wore her in the Moby or in the Ergo for pretty much all naps until she was at least 8 months old. When I wasn't wearing her, I would nurse her in the rocking chair and sit and hold her just so that I could get a few moments peace while she slept. I couldn't get much done, or have much time to myself, but I did use the time to rest, read, journal, reply to emails, online shop, whatever I could do from my iPhone. Eventually I was able to put her down for maybe 30 min at a time, but it was never predictable and I only put her down with the expectation that she COULD pop back up awake. It was highly frustrating when that happened, so I just had to adjust my expectations. I learned to make/take time for myself when my partner was home, and to vacuum and do chores while wearing her or having her playing nearby. It DOES get better though, she dropped to one nap at 12 months almost exactly (on the early side, but I could always tell when it was time to drop a nap) and not too long after that she would sleep for 1.5-2 hrs on her own. Even to this day I am still amazed that she can do that, and she loves her sleep! I know it feels like you'll be walking her to sleep for the rest of your life but I promise you won't. Take care of YOURself when you can and remember to stretch out those arm muscles. Lots of love mama.
 

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Sounds like a struggle! have you tried rubbing her back at all when you go to put her down? I know that this worked really well with my daughter. We would put her in the crib and soothe her with back rubbing when she was on her side. Hope this helps!
 
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