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Baby straightjacket..or mummy one?

(15 Posts)
LionsnTigersnBears Sun 07-Nov-10 17:04:47

Help!Please!I've created a monster!

my dd, now 4.5 months old has always had to be swaddled to go to sleep. To try to get her to nap & to get her to go to sleep of an evening, we swaddle her, pop her in her moses basket on top of a bed, lie down next to it and pretend to snore. Sometimes she can get straight to sleep with no crying. Other times we stay with her and comfort her until she goes to sleep. Then when we go to bed we take her up, feed her, pop her in her cot, swaddled. The trouble is we can't swaddle much longer- she's getting too big, and when she gets an arm out that's it, no sleep. Then she'll chatter on to herself, keeping me awake (dh somehow can sleep through this) until distressed and then starts crying. At which point I usually breastfeed her to sleep as I'm so knackered. Also her day naps are tiny, 20 mins maybe, and she'll be going into daycare after x-mas and I can't imagine a childminder doing the whole snoring thing. What can I do? I've really screwed this up!

Any advice please I'm at my wits end!

JazzieJeff Sun 07-Nov-10 18:32:46

Hi OP, have you tried swaddling and leaving one arm out, switching arms for each daytime nap? Fully swaddle during the night though so you get some peace! But if she's upset during the day, it's somehow easier to deal with than at 3am isn't it?! You'll have more patience as well to try Pick up put down during the day too. It doesn't take long for children to learn a new behaviour, when you can swaddle under the arms and settle her fairly easily during the daytime, then you can work on the night time as and when you're ready. Cracking things like this is harder for us than it is the babies! It's so so soooo hard to be consistent!

JazzieJeff Sun 07-Nov-10 18:43:20

Also OP, have you considered using a dummy? I started using one to resettle my DS. I tuck him in, let him quiet down and go out the room so he's aware I'm leaving; if I stay until he's asleep, if he wakes up I'm magically gone and I think it really frightens him. Anyway, if he doesn't settle within a few minutes, a dummy usually does the trick. If I'm creating a rod for my own back, pass me that rod and I'll deal with it at a later date! For now, I'm up for a quiet life! As for the pretend snoring, could you replace it with White noise? Or a story tape? Look on the bright side, at least she doesn't need total silence to sleep!

LionsnTigersnBears Sun 07-Nov-10 20:04:30

Hi Jazzie,

Thanks I'll try the one arm in, one out idea, that's brilliant!. I've offered DD a dummy a few times recently but she just looks at me like I've gone mad. Maybe I left it too long to give her one? The fake snoring is kinda stupid I know - and the fact that she finds it comforting means that DH is right and I guess I do snore grin- but I'm getting worried about her. I thought that all babies did nap during the day and some days she really doesn't at all. In the meantime I'm grey with tiredness and making the most stupid mistakes all the time. So everyday I think to try without a swaddle but I'm so very barely functioning that I don't dare riskit at night. Strangely though she'll snooze int he car as long as its moving, or in a pushchair as long as its moving or in a baby bjorn as long as I'm moving. But as soon as the car/chair/mummy stops, even for a few sesconds she snaps awake. What the %!$*???????

JazzieJeff Sun 07-Nov-10 20:35:55

Well I was told that 'sleep promotes sleep' by my mum and I think she's right. My DS definitely sleeps better at night if he's napped well in the day. He is one month old so only a tiny tot but he has about 4.5 hours a day split into an hour in the morning, 2.5 at lunch and another hour in the afternoon absolute minimum. He also has a bath and massage before I put him down at night and that really helps like I cannot say.

Until I gained confidence though, he napped in his bouncy chair downstairs with us and I decanted him into his cot late at night (DH v. bad snorer so our room not an option). He seemed to enjoy the company and I'd often catch him open one eye and scan round the room to check we were still there and then fall back asleep, which he'd not have been able to do from a Moses basket.

I've just started putting him in his cot a bit more because he keeps waking up from us talking/the tv etc but if he was fussy I'd have kept him near me in the evenings until he was happy. If your DD would sit happily in a bouncy chair/swing/vibrating chair or whatever, I wouldn't put too much emphasis on soothing her to sleep. We found our DS was better when we left him sat next to us in his chair to drop off on his own all cosy.

By the way, if your DD will sleep in the buggy, get her to take her daytime naps in there; it'll make you get out the house a few times a day be it walking or driving and there are your daytime naps sorted; no swaddling needed in the pram, the movement will rock her to sleep!

JazzieJeff Sun 07-Nov-10 20:45:44

Well I was told that 'sleep promotes sleep' by my mum and I think she's right. My DS definitely sleeps better at night if he's napped well in the day. He is one month old so only a tiny tot but he has about 4.5 hours a day split into an hour in the morning, 2.5 at lunch and another hour in the afternoon absolute minimum. He also has a bath and massage before I put him down at night and that really helps like I cannot say.

Until I gained confidence though, he napped in his bouncy chair downstairs with us and I decanted him into his cot late at night (DH v. bad snorer so our room not an option). He seemed to enjoy the company and I'd often catch him open one eye and scan round the room to check we were still there and then fall back asleep, which he'd not have been able to do from a Moses basket.

I've just started putting him in his cot a bit more because he keeps waking up from us talking/the tv etc but if he was fussy I'd have kept him near me in the evenings until he was happy. If your DD would sit happily in a bouncy chair/swing/vibrating chair or whatever, I wouldn't put too much emphasis on soothing her to sleep. We found our DS was better when we left him sat next to us in his chair to drop off on his own all cosy.

By the way, if your DD will sleep in the buggy, get her to take her daytime naps in there; it'll make you get out the house a few times a day be it walking or driving and there are your daytime naps sorted; no swaddling needed in the pram, the movement will rock her to sleep!

CoteDAzur Sun 07-Nov-10 20:48:28

It sounds like you are well aware that there are some unhealthy habits there. These habits need to be changed, of course, which will be a bit painful for a couple of days.

If your DD will start nursery in less than two months, you don't have to do anything just yet. Wait until nursery starts, and she learns to nap on her own. Then it should not be too hard to teach her to sleep the same way in the night.

TheSkiingGardener Sun 07-Nov-10 20:49:00

We also had a wriggler and chatter, although we had never swaddled him. He is now 5 months and we were knackered 2 weeks ago and desperate as he was waking up to 5 times a night for between 5 minutes and 2 hours at a time.

So we have tried controlled wriggling. First night was tough. I spent 2 hours holding his hand, singing lullabies, stroking his back etc. as he worked his way up and down the cot, but NOT picking him up. Second night DH spent an hour and a half with him, by the fifth night he slept through apart from a couple of 30 second wakes where he would just need a hand or a stroke.

It's saved out sanity to be honest. Good luck and I hope something works for you.

CoteDAzur Sun 07-Nov-10 20:50:56

"controlled wiggling" grin

ToysRLuv Sun 07-Nov-10 21:25:20

We swaddled our DS until he was over 9 months old. Just had to swaddle tight enough, so he couldn't escape (even though he often did, but there wasn't a better alternative in his case). First used the miracle blanket (truly a life saver for us and our "unputdownable" baby) and then Kiddopotamus SwaddleMe and Woombie - now he is in a Peke Moe shortly to be transferred to a "normal" sleeping bag (he is 13 months old). Leaving alternate arms out etc. never worked for him (he'd just scream until fully swaddled), but he also had a dummy. I'm wondering whether your DS would like the Woombie, because I don't remember my DS ever getting his arms out of that, although it is different to a traditional swaddling blanket (it allows a bit more freedom for the arms). Certainly would recommend it as a step when you're weaning from the swaddle. But I wouldn't be in a hurry to do that.

ToysRLuv Sun 07-Nov-10 21:26:46

I mean your DD, sorry! blush

ToysRLuv Sun 07-Nov-10 21:34:25

Forgot to say: even if your childminder won't do the snoring thing, she might hold your DD swaddled in her arms until she (your DD goes to sleep, or do as DS's nursery did and just rock her in a bouncy chair until asleep. This would never ever in a million years work at home, but did in the nursery. I guess they'll sleep if tired enough :P

Cosmosis Mon 08-Nov-10 09:28:41

my sil swaddled her two till they were a year old each - just used bigger and bigger sheets grin

LionsnTigersnBears Mon 08-Nov-10 09:49:18

Thanks everybody. I'll have a look at the woombie for sure, Toys. Last night dd got her arms out and after 2 hours of 'singing' segueing into crying, then back in cot, and repeat she spent the night in bed with me and dh spent it in another room. She sleeps great then, but of course I barely sleep at all because I'm worried sick about rolling onto her.

Jazzie your ds sounds like an angel! congrats!!!! I don't know why my dd wont nap in the day. I think she is just a nosey b****r. But if I put her in her bouncy seat she'll watch the world go by happily - and horrifyingly will watch the tv for ages (not my idea I stress)- but sleep, no. Then when she does get tired or wants to play with her feet, etc, she screams to get out.

Skiinggardner- controlled wiggling grin brilliant!

Cotedazur- do you think that'll work? I mean I guess she'll be more tired with the other kids around (she's an only child and unless we can crack the sleep thing soon, she's probably going to stay that way), I just worry that I'll get a phone call going 'Lions...come and get your daughter NOW' when I'm back at work.

thanks everyone!

ToysRLuv Mon 08-Nov-10 11:18:29

There is a newish type of Woombie called the "Lil' Houdini", which I used, and would probably be most suitable for you just now. It is less stretchy as the original one, so you can transition from the tighter to the looser while weaning (some time in the future - again, would not rush it! ). Good luck! I know exactly how you feel - but there is absolutely no shame in using a few props if they guarantee a better night's sleep. In fact it's very clever and shows consideration for the baby's needs (to be held tightly etc.).

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