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Exhausted by having to rock/walk baby to sleep

(7 Posts)
KentishMaid1977 Wed 03-Aug-11 11:59:25

My 6 mo will only fall asleep the following ways:

1. Being breastfed, but this doesn't always work, esp during the day
2. Being driven in the car, but only DH drives, so this is limited to when he's not at work
3. Being pushed in the pram - has to be outside, going back and forth indoors doesn't cut it
4. Being held in my arms whilst I sway, with the addition of white noise.

I'm getting exhausted by the sheer amount of physical effort I have to put into helping her go to sleep. This is compounded by the fact she generally only does one cycle and I can set my clock by her waking 40 mins later. I've been trying to extend her naps by playing white noise/pushing pram with limited success.

I'd love it if she could spontaneously fall asleep (in my dreams!) or just be cuddled to sleep as I'm getting exhausted by all the walking/swaying I have to do! Any tips?

narmada Wed 03-Aug-11 14:08:39

OH I so know what you're going through. DD was like this and DS is only marginally better.

First things first, she may just be one of life's short nappers. I found trying to extend naps with DD was just frustrating and time-consuming.

Re the rocking etc, what happens if you put her down in her cot and just comfort her by patting, etc? does she just cry?

You could try the pick up put down method maybe? As it sounds, pick up when get cross, put down when crying stops, and repeat, with the aim of getting her to fall asleep in her cot without motion.

If all else fails, and this is what I did with DD, how would you feel about putting her in her cot and staying with her (no pick-ups) until she is asleep? There could be lots of crying though... it took an age with DD the first time I did this, less time t he second time, and third time about 10 minutes. After this (and barring the 9 month sleep regression) she was actually a fairly good sleeper. Have to say though I just don't have the stamina or inclination to do it with DS (now 9 mos)!

KentishMaid1977 Wed 03-Aug-11 16:37:38

Thanks for your response narmada.

I think DD could certainly benefit from longer naps as she rubs her eyes/yawns again not long after waking up and soon gets rather cranky again. Also her night time sleep isn't brilliant - doesn't go down properly until about 9.30pm at the earliest (anything before then is yet another 40 minute nap!), wakes up at about 6.30am, with about 2-3 wake-ups in the night... but that's for a different thread LOL.

What happens when I try to put her down depends on how tired she is. If I catch the tiredness signs early and put her down, she'll just chatter to herself/play with her hands and feet etc. She'll then either get a second wind and start moving her legs up and down quite energetically or rolling over, so not much chance of settling herself to sleep or she'll start crying which escalates very quickly. Once she starts crying, no amount of cuddling/shushing/rocking/white noise will stop her and that's when the pram comes out and it's a walk around the block for me.

I guess I could try putting her in the cot and staying with her until she's asleep, but I don't like leaving her to cry, even if I am in the same room, IYSWIM. Maybe if I'm still in this situation in a few months I might try it...

fotheringhay Wed 03-Aug-11 16:47:17

DS was the same at that age. Not long after, it changed so that he'd stay asleep once I brought the pram inside after 10 mins or so walking.

Then he progressed by about 8mo to falling asleep by just being rocked backwards and forwards indoors (and stayed there). Also his naps just got longer by themselves.

Hopefully your dd will do the same. Incidentally, if ds ever has a nap while being pushed along outside, he never does more than one cycle, because of the noise I think. That's probably why he naps for longer now he's sleeping indoors.

Best of luck.

KentishMaid1977 Wed 03-Aug-11 19:03:55

Ooh, that does give me a ray of hope, fotheringhay.

I should add that I only need to walk for as long as it takes for DD to fall asleep (sometimes before I've reached the end of the road; other times 20 mins or so), then I can bring her indoors and she'll sleep for her one cycle, so I don't have to be out for the entire nap.

I guess it's a developmental thing and her naps will get longer soon enough.

fotheringhay Wed 03-Aug-11 19:52:32

Yes I think that's very likely.

nethunsreject Wed 03-Aug-11 19:55:01

Just to say, ds's naps improved a great deal at around 8 mths and once asleep, I could stop walking/rocking/feeding/whatevering. It just happened - I didn't change anything.

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