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Using the pushchair to get 14month old to sleep

(20 Posts)
magicstars Sun 12-May-13 20:33:59

I am in need of some advice from the MN oracle, please help...

DD (14m) will not fall asleep in her cot; she never has slept in her cot during the day (in my arms or sling only for the 1st 6 months). For naps we now take her out in the pushchair til she falls asleep, and then park her in the house once she's asleep. This is working fine for us and I don't think it's a battle worth taking on as she won’t need to nap forever.

The problem is bedtime - she used to be able to fall asleep in the cot until we went on holiday when she was 10 months. She was probably excited by the change of scenery or something and couldn't fall asleep by herself. From then on we've had to take her out for a walk at bedtime which can take anything from 10mins- 1hour+. We don't mind this, but worry about her needing motion forever in order to fall asleep.

We've tried getting her to re-learn to fall asleep in the cot a few times; it has worked well on rare occasions with me lying on the floor next to her. Most of the time our efforts result in her having a total meltdown, she gets really distraught and over-tired and then we have to revert back to the pushchair (wishing we'd not tried in the first place).

I feel like I am creating a sleep problem for her, but I don't know how to best help her. I have tried rocking her in the pushchair in her room (as an interim), but she just screams.

I've always been against sort of CC because I'm scared of doing her psychological damage, but I think I'm just creating another problem because I don't want her to scream! We transfer her to bed after once she's deeply asleep and thankfully she's been STTN for a couple of months.

Any advice would be gratefully received flowers

Russki Sun 12-May-13 21:21:21

Not sure if I can offer much advice, but we also rely on the pram to get our 11 month old baby to sleep during the day, and she used to go down like a dream at night. But in the last month or so -- since learning to pull up -- she has refused to go to sleep in her cot at bedtime, and so what works for us (but is NOT a long-term solution) is to sleep with her on the spare bed (in the same room as cot). She wears herself out for about half an hour before falling asleep, and then we transfer her to the cot. It's tedious, and i wish we could just put her in the cot as before, but it does work, and might be a half-way house from the pram to the cot.. good luck!

PoppyWearer Sun 12-May-13 21:27:06

We do this with our DC2.

As the veteran of two children, I am firmly in the "do what works and don't mess with it" camp. This too shall pass.

If it's becoming a problem and you have the energy to change it (personally I don't and need to preserve DC1's bedtime because she goes to school so can't have DC2 screaming in the next room).

PoppyWearer Sun 12-May-13 21:27:41

Sorry, that should read "if you have the energy to change it, then do."

redwellybluewelly Sun 12-May-13 21:35:47

I flatly refused to do any kind of CC/CIO with my DD, she never even so much as took a nap in her cot before 18months old. Always slept on us.

By her second birthday our marriage was on the rocks. We did a very very gentle and long winded version of something called gradual withdrawal, now at 2.9 she is happy to go to bed, settles there if she wakes in the night and we did it all with no tears at all.

redwellybluewelly Sun 12-May-13 21:37:15

Oh and she woke every 2-3hours as well until Christmas, until 20months it was often hourly. Horrendous.

RandomMess Sun 12-May-13 21:39:59

Can you start by pushing her until she is drowsy but not actually asleep so she can learn to get to sleep without actually being in motion at the time and then slowly wean her off it that way?

I bit like pick up put down, walking along until drowsy, then stop, if she gets upset start walking again until she's calmed down and then stop etc etc

Shakey1500 Sun 12-May-13 21:44:02

Oh I clearly remember the days of walking miles with DS in the pushchair to get him to nap during the day. At night I used to rock him to sleep then transfer to the cot. It did get too much for me though and I, like you, was conscious that I might be creating a problem. So tried the gradual withdrawal which worked but to be honest, it took ages.

magicstars Sun 12-May-13 21:52:20

Thanks for your responses - I will look into gradual withdrawal (think I have an idea what it is).
I too am in the 'if it ain't broke...' camp; I just worry that she will have problems falling asleep as an adult because I have created a pushchair dependence!!!
I’m reassured to hear that we aren’t the only ones who's DC doesn't fall asleep un-aided.
I really don’t want to try CC/CIO as I can’t see it working and it would break my heart to think of her losing confidence in us being there when she needs us.

magicstars Sun 12-May-13 22:56:25

Random- good idea, similar to the GW that others have suggested so will give it a go!
Red- sorry to hear about the pressure on your marriage. Hope things have improved in all ways now.

houseoffallenwomen Mon 13-May-13 19:01:06

We also had a baby that would only sleep when on the move in the buggy. People didn't believe me, but when I stopped pushing his eyes would open! We ended up rocking him to sleep in the buggy at wasn't ideal! Even when we stayed over at people's houses we would have to drag the buggy up to the bedroom and rock him in it until he went to sleep - then we would transfer to the cot. I would put something down to protect the carpet from the buggy wheels. It was a right pain but worked so we did it. Now he sleeps in a bed and goes to sleep after two stories and a little bit of singing. He is four though! He adapted as soon as he was in a bed, so we probably could have made it happen sooner! Though at the time I didn't have the confidence.

magicstars Mon 13-May-13 20:02:19

House - relieved to hear your DS now manages to fall asleep by himself. I'm feeling shit as we tried grad withdrawal tonight and it was a nightmare! DD got in a complete state, screaming her little face off and trying to climb out of the cot. I felt like such a cow just sat there ‘ignoring’ her pleas and wimped out after 20mins. DH is currently out in the wind and rain walking her round the block!!
Anyone else not bothered with any sort of sleep training and their LO’s just learnt how to fall asleep anyway?? Will it harm her if we just stick with the pushchair til she's a teenager …?
I just wonder if when she's a bit older and able to understand that we're just downstairs and can hear if she wakes, she'll be more relaxed about falling asleep and it will happen naturally?

lljkk Mon 13-May-13 20:06:24

Mine mostly fell asleep in pushchair at that kind of age, either that or in the car!
It worked for us.
They fall asleep well enough now on their own. Some better than others.

BranchingOut Mon 13-May-13 20:26:57

I fed my DS to sleep until he was nearly 2 smile

He now gets himself to sleep in his bed and we have never done CC, so it can be done - you just have to be happy with what it entails.

On the other hand, 'if you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always got' iykwim. So if you do want a change then you will need to be ready to try something new,... but small steps are best!

Short version is that we transitioned via getting him to sleep beside us on the big bed with a lullaby CD, then used the same CD while sitting beside him by the side of his toddler bed. But this was a gradual transition over quite a long period of time.

The big breakthrough was changing to a bed and him enjoying climbing in and out by himself, plus the CD.

BranchingOut Mon 13-May-13 20:27:56

There are also all sorts of tools, devices that might help. Maybe a light show?

KatAndKit Mon 13-May-13 20:57:56

I am teaching DS 13m to fall asleep in his cot by gradual withdrawal. Previously it had been bf to sleep and then cuddle and rock if bf didn't work. It is going well but I have had to put a mattress on the floor next to the cot. This is working though, tonight was the fifth night. All 5 nights he has been asleep by 8.30, the last 3 have been before 8. There has been very little crying (a bit of whining but that is not the same as being distressed). If he stands up in his cot I largely ignore it but I pat his pillow to encourage him to lie back down. I put my hand in through the bars so he can hold it. I breathe deeply and shusssh nice and slowly pretending to be going to sleep myself. If he gets wound up I pick him up give him a quick kiss and lie him back down again, stroke his back a few times and then lie back down on my mattress. Staying calm yourself is really important. Once we have this cracked I will be on a chair next to his bed, but the mattress is handy as it means that I can fall asleep on it when I see to him during the night.

magicstars Mon 13-May-13 21:58:13

Glad it's going well for you Kat... the difficulty we have is that DD will scream and scream, despite me being there. I tried lying her down, saying 'it's time to go to sleep' and leaving my hand on her back, but it didn't soothe her.
I started off calm but got stressed quite quickly as she was distraught and it felt wrong not to pick her up and cuddle her.
We did make some unexpected progress though, as she ended up falling asleep by herself tonight, in the pushchair. DH gave up on walking her in the rain and she chatted to herself for a while, then... went to sleep! So a step forward and she's proved that she can fall asleep without motion smile .

ariane5 Mon 13-May-13 22:03:15

I do this with dd2 (3) and ds2 (12mths) and also did it with dd1 and ds1.

They would only go to sleep in the buggy but ds1 and dd1 are now absolutely fine and I'm sure the younger 2 will be at some point.

I would just do whatever is easiest for you at the moment. If the buggy is where she will nap then that's fine smile

BranchingOut Mon 13-May-13 22:17:45

Ok, well that's a start. Maybe you can build on that tomorrow?

magicstars Mon 13-May-13 22:27:20

Yes, plan for tomorrow is to forget the cot, walk her for a bit, but not to sleep, then park her up & let her fall asleep by herself in the pram, as tonight! As quite a few of you have LOs who have grown out of this I'm less concerned about her needing this forever. We'll go at her pace, far less stressful all round!
Thanks all wine

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