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Fourteen-month-old only sleeps in pram overnight. We need him out, but how?

(16 Posts)
stopgap Fri 09-Nov-12 00:54:35

DS co-slept for three months, and then, on doctor's orders, was moved to a pram, on an incline, as he had severe silent reflux. The reflux ended at around 7.5 months, but due to various factors--ill health for me, major resistance on part of DS--the pram is where he has remained.

He hates his cot. Currently we use it to store laundry. I need help getting him out of there and into a cot/toddler bed, but he is a fiery, energetic soul, and I'm not sure where to begin.

Currently we:

Do a bath
Quick baby massage
Read books in low lighting
Rock back and forth in the pram until he drifts. Sometimes we get up to 600 rocks!

I am exhausted. DH works long hours, so the bedtime routine is solely down to me. DS rises at 6.15am, naps at 11.15am for two hours, then falls asleep anywhere between 6.45 and 7.30pm, depending upon the efficacy of my pram rocking. DS rarely wakes overnight (once every three weeks, if that) and has slept through the night since his reflux ended.

Any ideas?

TodaysAGoodDay Fri 09-Nov-12 01:29:46

I completely understand why you would post this at 1am! At least you're not on AIBU, you'd get slaughtered.
IMHO your son should have been in a cot months ago. My friend made the same mistake - she put her daughter to sleep in her car seat for the first 6 months. It is probably not the best place for your son to sleep, he needs to know about beds/rooms now, not when he's 2 and will throw a tantrum. It will take him a week or two to get used to the bed not rocking, but he will get used to it! Seriously, stop with the pram please, what are you planning to do when he grows out of it? He does not need rocking to sleep, and if he screams for a while because you're not doing it, then let him.
Please, please do not pander to him any more like this, it will only get more and more stressful for you. Oh, and it wouldn't kill him to not have a midday nap either, it will almost certainly help with getting him off to sleep at night.

Iheartpasties Fri 09-Nov-12 01:50:48

I wouldnt stop the day time nap - I find a small nap to be helpful for my dd. But there is probably no easy way to transition from pram to cot but you'll just have to try. Where does he go for naps? Can you start by putting him in the cot for all naps and then build on that?

DragonI Fri 09-Nov-12 02:03:11

I think you 'just' need to be consistent and determined about no more pram. Bedtime routine as usual then into cot not pram. Yes he will be extremely angry and upset and the first night will take hours to go to sleep probably but if you are consistent he will get it. He might surprise you and take to it more easily than you think as its got to be way more comfy for him. Maybe it will take days, maybe weeks, but he will get there. No need to leave him to cry, stay with him, comfort him pick him up and cuddle but ultimately he must go to sleep in cot. As someone said earlier the older he gets the harder it will be as he will become more determined. Be strong, take control, you can do it x

jaggythistle Fri 09-Nov-12 02:03:45

can you get him used to sitting/playing in the cot a bit first? just so he sees it as an ok place to be.

then maybe rock to sleep and transfer to cot when sound? can he be cuddled to sleep after bf then transferred at all? just kind of do it gradually. we used a mobile/light show thing for DS1 to watch as part of his bedtime routine when he stopped bf to sleep.

sorry a lot of question marks!

DS1 is 3 and still naps most days. he does fall asleep earlier if he doesn't sleep, but is quite hard work all afternoon!

14mo seems little to not nap.

stopgap Fri 09-Nov-12 02:26:34

Jaggythistle, light shows wind him up and he starts kicking and dancing. We tried the cot transfer--I tried this for over three months, starting with naps--and he either woke up straight away, or did a 20-minute nap in the cot and wouldn't re-settle. We have a white noise machine blaring, blackout shades etc.

He also screams as soon as he goes in the crib, even with his favourite toys.

I'm afraid he takes after me when it comes to sleep. It still takes me an hour to nod off, with the aid of pills, a mask, earplugs etc. and there are many tales of me being driven 100 miles as a baby to fall asleep.

Also, he's way harder to get to sleep at night if he doesn't take a decent nap.

I am so opposed to cc, but I feel like we've reached a hopeless juncture, and this may be the only way forwards.

Which Fri 09-Nov-12 02:35:17

Is he strapped in? What if he wiggled and got his neck caught in the straps? Or if he isn't strapped in, surely he will be able to get out? What a worry for you.

Put him in a low (novelty?) bed with a safety gate on the door and ditch the cot altogether to get him past the mental block of being in a cot maybe?

Breast feed him in his new bed perhaps?

stopgap Fri 09-Nov-12 03:14:23

Which, I actually ordered a toddler bed this evening (one at ground level). He is strapped in the pram, but only with the bottom straps, so no danger of strangulation.

If baby-gating the room, do I leave the bedroom door open or shut?

Any opinions on these strategies?

BF until drowsy
Tell him it's time to sleep, pat and shush until he nods off.

BF until drowsy
Pat for a short while
Sit in corner. When DS gets out of bed, gently lay him back down, tell him it's time to sleep, go back to chair. Rinse and repeat.

lisa0264 Mon 13-Nov-17 06:43:39

Hi I'm new on hear I have an 8 month old son n he sleeps in his pram sometimes whn he's asleep I do take him in his cot n other days he don't sleep or carnt settle him bk in so thn he's bk in his pram I really wnt him out n his cot any ideas on how I cn settle him in it without rocking him xx

crazycatlady5 Mon 13-Nov-17 08:57:40

Why don’t you ditch the cot altogether and go with a floor bed?

wetsnow Tue 14-Nov-17 01:32:34

I know you don't want any crying but I'm afraid this will involve up set... it won't be for long though so bite the bullet.. big girl knickers and go for it.
I would do brest feed... bed.. then sit in the corner returning until asleep.

lisa0264 Tue 14-Nov-17 05:41:28

smile I'm guna try tht thank u x

Grayfig Tue 14-Nov-17 05:52:01

I think this is like any sleep association and it can either be changed suddenly with lots of upset and possibly long term negative emotional effects, or more gradually with patience and love. In your position I would wean him from rocking in the pram combined with bedtime fading. I.e. firstly only try bedtime when he is clearly tired (bedtime can be gradually brought forward to get him back to a 7.30pm bedtime for example). I would then add in a new sleep cue such as a lovey or lullabies that you can keep as you wean the rocking. Then I would start rocking each night but when he is settled stop, only start again if he is upset. Gradually he will learn to fall asleep in a still pram. Once he can do that you can try transferring to the cot. Then you can try transferring to the cot while gradually more awake. These techniques are explained in several books in more detail. If this failed then I would try camping out where you stay in the room with him in the cot - he would be upset but not be crying uncomforted, which is where the potential harm can be done. Good luck OP.

LalaLeona Wed 15-Nov-17 10:05:01

Agree with the above post. First things first try and get him to fall asleep in the pram without rocking, you must wean him off the movement before you attempt to put him in the cot.

FATEdestiny Wed 15-Nov-17 17:45:44

Another voice saying wean of the rocking first. Move to the cot once used to going to sleep stationary.

Mrsyorkie Wed 15-Nov-17 21:14:58

Search "What worked for us" someone posted a step by step method that they used. May help you.

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