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Am I doing the right thing? (long, sorry)

(19 Posts)
tillymama Thu 15-Oct-09 10:16:10

Am I being a bad mum?

My 11 week old DD has just spend the last 30 mins crying.

She was fed, clean, warm and very very tired. I'd already walked round with her to get her to sleep this morning, and then popped her in her bouncy chair. It took so long, that she woke after 30 mins as she was due her next feed.

So this time I put her in her chair, rocked her, shhhh'd her, sung to her and generally reassured her. But she to all intents and purposes cried herself to sleep I'm pleased she's sleeping, but racked with guilt that she had to cry to get there.

The only way to guarantee she gets a good nap during the day is to carry her round in her sling. She will not sleep in her cot, even though she sleeps fine there at night. I'm worried that she will never sleep anywhere other than in the sling/buggy, which is why I'm trying to help her sleep in her bouncy chair.

I've tried getting her to sleep in her cot during the day, but we both ended up stressed out, angry and sad. So I gave up. However, I feel myself getting the same way again about getting her to sleep in her bouncy chair.

I'm a 1st time mummy, and I'm just feeling overwhelmed with "good" advise and warnings from books/websites/people about making a rod for my own back...etc etc.

Please be gentle with me, but I think I need some perspective. Am I right by trying to help DD sleep by herself during the day? Is there a better way to do this that doesn't involve her crying? Or should I be doing what she wants and walking around with her in the sling at every nap time?

If you think the sling is best for her now, at what age should I be trying to encourage her to sleep elsewhere?

I'm so confused as to the best thing for us both

kreecherlivesupstairs Thu 15-Oct-09 10:19:10

It's hard isn't it? I have no advice for you I am afraid, my dd slept really well, but at odd times until we established a routine. Does she sleep well in the dark? our girl did much better if she couldn't see her surroundings.
Good luck, it does get better.

Tillyscoutsmum Thu 15-Oct-09 10:23:31

Firstly, you are not being a bad mum smile

Everyone does things differently and the "advice" out there can be confusing and can make you doubt yourself. How do you feel ?? This is your baby and you need to trust your instincts.

For me, I would forget the rod for own back arguments. You baby has spent 9 months being carried around inside you, sleeping when she wants, eating when she wants, feeling lovely and warm and secure. She's only been "out" for 11 weeks and needs time to adapt.

Is there any reason why you don;t want to carry her about in a sling (other than the rod for own back thing ?).

Just go with the flow a bit. Do what is easiest/most relaxing for both of you and try not to worry about what other people are telling you. They are this small for such a small time and its lovely to be able to snuggle and enjoy them. She will "learn" to sleep on her own in due course - but you really don't need to force the issue. In no time at all, she'll be rampaging around and you'll have to beg her for a cuddle so enjoy it while you can smile

FlamingoBingo Thu 15-Oct-09 10:26:36

1. You're not a bad mum

2. She will learn to go to sleep in other ways and stay asleep in other places as she gets older. If she were any other mammal, she'd still be tucked up inside you now - humans are born too soon and need to be kept close for much longer than other mammals.

My four have all been fed or carried to sleep. They all now get to sleep on their own and stay asleep in their own beds. DD4 still feeds to sleep but she's only 1, but she will be put down easily now once she's asleep.

I have done no 'training' or 'encouraging' at all, just waited until they were ready and able, which they will be one day because otherwise the human race wouldn't have survived - we'd all still be needing to feed to sleep and be carried by our mums to stay asleep!

Acanthus Thu 15-Oct-09 10:26:56

Nothing wrong with a bit of tired crying, IMO. Look at your watch next time - it always seems like an age when they're crying but it's probably a lot less than you think it is. And when it's not your first child you're busy, so you're not even listening so much - it's only the first that gets this treatment!

mrsjammi Thu 15-Oct-09 10:27:26

Message withdrawn

tillymama Thu 15-Oct-09 10:40:44

Thanks you for the advice and understanding so far

I'm just so torn. It is lovely having her snuggled up in the sling, and I know that won't last forever.

(Some days I do just want some personal space though blush)

I am worried she'll get more and more dependant on me and stop sleeping so well at night. We've got it good in that department at the moment and I don't want to jeapodise that.

FlamingoBingo, it is reassuring that your LO's learnt how to be a bit more independent by themselves. I just feel so much responsibility to make sure she develops into a happy, healthy little person! I'm not used to that feeling yet!

Merrylegs Thu 15-Oct-09 10:55:12

I sometimes think the more dependent and secure a child is in the day, the better it sleeps at night.

Also, you could do sling for daytime and cot/basket for nighttime to help distinguish the two sleep periods.

If, as you say she was fed, clean and just tired and then cried herself to sleep - that's OK! Tired crying is REALLY normal.

If the sling is working and you don't mind carrying her, then why not keep with it? There will soon be a time when it won't work - when she is more active, when she wants to arch away from you. The sling phase won't last forever.

You do not have a rod for your back - you have a lovely snuggly baby who sounds perfectly happy and normal.

You are doing exactly the right thing in ensuring she develops into a happy, healthy little person, by keeping her close and loved and safe now.

Her sense of security at this stage will give her the reassurance and confidence she needs to go out into the big wide world later. (And then you will be longing for the days of the sling and she will be 'Whatever mummy. I'm a big girl now!")

Stigaloid Thu 15-Oct-09 11:10:18

You are not a bad mum!

My son always needed a whinge before going to sleep. Used to make me feel horrendous too until i realised he just liked to grumble before he went down. After a couple of minutes he was out like a light and woke up happier for sleeping for longer. She may just be a grumbler before sleep.

My friends DC's also liked sleeping on their tummy. Have you tried giving her tummy time? She may wish to sleep on her tummy. When my son would do this i never left the room so always watched him to make sure he was okay - but again, sometimes he just felt more comfortable that way. When he learned to roll over himself he always slept on his tummy.

She will grow out of it - 11 weeks is still very young, so there is light at the end of the tunnel - promise xx

tillymama Thu 15-Oct-09 11:14:07

She woke up crying...so is now in the sling.

I look down, and can see this...

It suddenly all seems so simple!

Tillyscoutsmum Thu 15-Oct-09 11:28:52

Awwwwwww smile She is beautiful.

Don't feel bad if she has a little cry/whinge.
Don't feel bad for wanting a bit time to yourself.
Don't feel bad for "giving in", "building rods for own back" or other such guff.

Just don't feel bad .... It looks and sounds as though you are doing fantastically well

FlamingoBingo Thu 15-Oct-09 11:34:22

Keep her close. This time rushes by so quickly - hold her as much as you can.

Read this that I posted a couple of weeks ago.

It isn't good for babies to be left to cry - there is lots of scientific evidence for this now. You are not a bad mum for doing it - we all do it from time to time. But you do not need to do it. You are loving cuddling her because your body is telling you that that is what you are meant to do. You hate hearing her crying because your body is telling you it's not good.

See if you can get hold of What Every Parent Needs To Know or, if you want something with fewer pictures Why Love Matters.

Merrylegs Thu 15-Oct-09 12:51:16

lovely pic, tillymama! <sigh>

notasausage Thu 15-Oct-09 13:09:58

Second the Why Love Matters book although it will possibly make you feel more guilty about letting her cry - which you shouldn't btw. My DD changed where she liked to sleep every few weeks/months for daytime sleeping - on me, on her play mat, in the pram, in bed with me and finally in her cot. I loved her sleeping on me or cuddled up in bed but she won't do either now so as others say, relax and go with the flow.

mumofoliver Thu 15-Oct-09 13:31:16

I think the important thing is that she does sleep in her cot at night which is amazing and I know of a lot of babies who won't do that.

My DD is 19 weeks this week and will now sleep in her cot during the day - she self-settles after anywhere between 30 seconds and 3 mins of crying. I have learnt to distinguish her tired cry and know to leave her. But she has only been doing that for about 4 weeks so it may take time

Ewe Thu 15-Oct-09 13:34:42

You never see a ten year old sleeping in a buggy or sling! Just relax, I know it's hard but it won't be forever that she wants to be close to you. It's natural, you're warm and safe, why wouldn't she want to sleep against you!?

Tee2072 Thu 15-Oct-09 13:43:15

My god do I hate the expression 'rod for your own back'! Name me one grown up who still needs mummy's arms to fall asleep!!!

Of course she wants to sleep next to you! You're lovely and warm and you smell nice!!! She's 11 weeks old! Mr four month old is asleep in my arms right now, after waking from his cot. Guess he wasn't quite rested enough yet! grin

tillymama Thu 15-Oct-09 13:47:45

Thank you all.

Combination of this thread, and the fact DD has just had a bath and NOT screamed blue murder for the first time since she was 4 weeks old, has made me feel a lot better

EllieG Thu 15-Oct-09 13:51:52

You are NOT a bad mum, is very hard to know what to do. My 'advice' for what it's worth, is to use a sling if you both like it. Mine was similar in that she was only happy being carried, so I slung her everywhere for the first bit of her life, and it did not create a rod for my own back, quite the opposite, I think it made her a very happy and secure child, who was perfectly happy, once she got bigger, to get off mummy and be comfortable in the world around her. But you know your baby best, so do what YOU want to do, and ignore anyone who tells you otherwise.

Best of luck!

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