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Want to get 4 month old out of our bed

(2 Posts)
ginting Thu 29-Aug-13 22:34:56

It wouldn't be such a big deal but we have a particularly high bed (built by carpenter DH to fit our chests of drawers under it) and baby is just starting to be able to sit up on her own. We have a rail on my side which she sleeps on but I'm worried about when she starts crawlling. Also she will only nap in bed and I don't want to leave her unsupervised on it.

At the moment the only way I can get her to sleep is if I am lying down next to her, feeding her to sleep in bed. Then when she is asleep I can usually sneak off until I am ready to come to bed myself / she wakes up from her nap. In some ways it's great, she sleeps through the night (for about 12 hours, though she sometimes wakes for a feed at about 6am but goes straight back to sleep), I sleep better than most of my friends who don't have babies, but it is obviously very restrictive. I've tried feeding her to sleep sitting up and then putting her into her cot but she just wakes up the second I put her down. I really don't know what to do.

In addition to this in 3 months I will be going back to work and she will be going to nursery but I am worried that nobody else will be able to get her to sleep - she is breastfed and absolutely refuses to take a bottle.

Any suggestions?

CityDweller Fri 30-Aug-13 13:24:59

I'm just about beginning to manage to put DD (4.5 mo) into her cot for some of her naps. She'll also sleep in pram and on the rare occasion we're in the car. She was previously a baby that would only nap in her sling or on a body (although, like you, I could sometimes transfer her from me onto the bed and leave her there, but the nap would tend to be very short). I despaired of ever getting her to sleep during day for more than 20 minutes not on me.

These are the things I've been doing, that may or may not be helpful:
- Let her have some playtime in the cot before we introduced it for naps. So, pop her in it with some toys, wind up the mobile, lots of smiling and laughing to establish it as a happy, safe place.
- Started using a white noise app on my phone (set to the ocean sound) at all naps, so it would become a sleep association. I pop my phone in the pram when she's due a nap too. I only use this for naps though, not at night.
- Established a pre-naptime routine. This one struck me when someone pointed out that we have a very clear bedtime routine, but no naptime one. So, if she's napping in the cot, I change her into a sleepsuit, zip her into her sleeping bag, shut the blackout blind, turn on the ocean, sing her a very short song

She now regularly takes her morning nap in the cot (we tend to be out and about for the others so she takes them in the pram) and sleeps for about 45 mins. Which compared to a few weeks ago is amazing. However, I do sometimes have to feed her to nap (because naptime coincides with a feed being due) or I have to gently rock her in my arms, patting her back and, in both cases, I put her in the cot asleep. Tackling the self-settling/ putting her down asleep thing is my next to-do.

Oh, and re. the nursery napping concern - I've read on lots of posts here that babies tend to nap totally differently at childcare, often requiring far less intervention, than at home. Apparently they succumb to napping peer pressure quite easily!

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