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Tummy sleeping and sling napping!

(14 Posts)
Sawadee1234 Tue 04-Nov-14 13:39:40

DD2 , 9 half weeks old now, never slept more than 20 mins on her back so after 3 weeks of sleeping on me someone suggested putting her on her front, so I did, and she slept v well, so now she sleeps on her front. She suffers from terrible wind and cries a lot because of this and I think it provides some relief for her. I,m happy for her to do this and she has good head control and basically looking for some advice from any mums who have babies who tummy sleep!!..
At night she sleeps v well waking twice only.
During the day though I am struggling with naps. She will only fall asleep on me or in the sling. If I lay her down, after 5 mins she starts squirming n wriggling n wakes up, and then I have to spend a lot of time getting her back to sleep. I have waited till she is in a deep sleep and tried lots diff methods but she won't stay asleep. I think wind wakes her up. So she naps in sling which has been ok up till now and I am happy to do it until bout 3 months as hoping wind issues will calm a bit by then but she's 6kg already and I have DD1 who is 21 months and I need to be able to put her down in day. DD1 slept in buggy in day at her age and we go out a lot so I want to know if your baby tummy sleeps how do you put them to sleep when you are out and about? Strange question but do you lay them on their tummy in buggy or not? Am I making rod for my own back by napping in sling? I don't want a 5 month old who naps in sling only. Does anyone who baby only naps in sling in beginning end up napping elsewhere?
She also hates the car seat n screams when she's in it.
She is EBF.
Any suggestions?
Sorry for long post

eepie Tue 04-Nov-14 15:31:07

My DD is 4 months old now and she was the same - reflux/wind and startle reflex meant she never slept on her back - in the pram flat she screamed, in the car seat she screamed, if I put her down in moses basket she screamed ! From newborn she only wanted to sleep on me (preferred upright) or in a sling in the daytime and in the night time she had to be nursed to sleep, held upright for ages, then swaddled in a straight jacket style velcro swaddle and be next to me in the bed, on her side with rolled up blankets wedged holding her on her side - that is how she wanted to sleep! At the beginning in the day time she wouldn't even sleep on me if I was still, I had to be constantly bouncing on a pilates ball or rocking her/walking around etc.
I was tearing my hair out & so exhausted because I was recovering from a 40 hour labour and the pilates ball bouncing was hell for my stitches ! So my MIL suggested I put her on her front as that was how all her babies were put down 30+ years ago and she said she thought it would be relief for her tummy problems and solve the problem of her arms always waking her up. So I did and she slept SO much better...but then I had the problem of in the daytime like you said when I tried to put her down, as soon as she knew she was being put down in her Moses Basket or pram or anywhere (on her front) her little head would pop up and her legs would wiggle and she'd be doing tummy time AWAKE ! I tried everything like you said...waiting until she was super deep asleep etc...then sometimes she'd stay down for 10 mins then up her head would pop again and she'd be awake crying for me !
So I just held her...and put her in a sling and picked her up when she cried and hoped hoped hoped she'd grow out of it....I kept trying to put her down though every now and then to see if she would take to it...and it did start working slowly but surely...first she would sleep in Moses Basket and if she stirred we'd pat her bum quite firmly which made her sort of 'bounce' on the mattress and that soothed her back to sleep. She did these good sleeps in the Moses Basket for a while until she decided NOPE never doing that again and it was back to a few weeks of holding her for naps....But she slept so well at night (slept through at 6 or 7 weeks I think once she was in a dropside cot next to me) So I thought, well if she wants me to hold her in the day, that's what I'll do !

Then I realised that maybe she needed to be put down in the same place she sleeps at night for day time naps so I started putting her in her cot once she'd fallen asleep on me and patting her ...then I'd slow the pats down...then just have my hand on her bum...then leave her altogether and she'd stay asleep!

After a while of trying this (not always successful...if it didn't work one day I'd just pick her up and let her sleep on me) she started to 'accept' that she was going into the cot ...I would kneel on the bed next to the cot and slowly ease her down onto her front... sometimes she would open her eyes and realise she was going into her cot but she'd accept it and fall back asleep. Some days she'd scream bloody murder and would not let me put her down but I just held her and then tried again the next day!
Suddenly around 3 months she started resisting being nursed to sleep...so I had to only rock her...took ages...exhausting ! Then around 3.5 months she started resisting being rocked and cuddled to sleep too !! Bringing her knees up and bucking on my shoulder and crying when I took her into her room and started swaying with her on my shoulder. So I thought ok, she knows we're in her room & she knows I'm trying to get her to sleep and she's crying because she's tired..she won't respond to anything I usually do to get her to sleep, maybe she is ready to try and fall asleep on her own.
This was pretty scary for me as she used to be the sort of baby that as soon as she was put down ANYWHERE, ANYTIME she would scream as if she was dying, she was a proper velcro baby and just wanted to be on me and with me all the time ! I totally thought she'd just do that head popping up tummy time thing again and cry...never before had I put her in her cot awake but sleepy before...so I did a mini-version of what I do at bedtime (she has had a strong bedtime routine from 8 weeks) ..nappy change...draw curtains...dim lights...leg massage...take jumper or cardi off...put familiar music box on (Such a strong sleep cue for her now!) lay her down on bed and put her sleeping bag on...then cuddle and sway a bit to music box (now she doesn't resist she puts her head on my shoulder and starts falling asleep as she knows it's nap time) then as music box starts to slow down I put her in her cot on her back (I think this is KEY in getting a tummy sleeper to sleep in cot as she can see me & sees familiar surrounding of cot,bedroom etc rather than just seeing a big white mattress looming into her face haha!) then I gently turn her over onto her front, making sure her arms aren't caught under her tummy.
The first time I did this she wiped her face back and forth on the sheets, wiggled, fussed, cried a little bit and wiggled her arms around stroking them on the sheets...then I did shhhing and patting on her bum to soothe her but letting her fuss & cry a little bit cos I could she her eyes closing and she was trying to fall asleep so I didn't mind that was crying a bit, I could see she wasn't in distress. Then I just kept trying this at nap time...It didn't always work..especially not when she had a cold ! But after about a week or two...she now hardly cries at all (sometimes couple of mins, sometimes not at all) when I turn her over. She usually just goes right to sleep, even if she was awake when I initially lowered her into cot. It's taken 4 months but finally I can put my velcro baby down and she is learning to self soothe for day time naps...when I see she is tired (usually 1 hour ish after waking) then I start the short nap time routine..close curtains, dim lights, music box, sleeping bag, light off, cuddle, put down and it's been working really well !!

She is a catnapper though and has started to only have 30 or 45min naps which is a whole other issue in itself!!! But in terms of being able to put her down and her settle herself she's made amazing progress and I'm chuffed !! It just took patience, time, persistence and lots of reassurance and letting her fall asleep on me when she needed or wanted to...it didn't spoil her and I didn't create a rod for my own back. She just started self settling when she was ready and I kept giving her the chance and it started working.
Good luck and keep trying, it may take time but she won't be like that forever I don't think. Keep her close and hopefully it'll help her feel secure enough that when you do keep trying to put her down every now and again, soon enough she will feel comfortable to stay there !

Sorry about long message - typing quickly whilst baby is asleep !!

nello Tue 04-Nov-14 16:54:49

Brilliant post eepie.

This could have been written by me. We have followed exactly the same path to getting our baby into the cot. Also, it is hit and miss with us, but more often than not it works.

I was so frightened at first with tummy sleeping and watched him like a hawk. He now rolls well so I no longer worry. He napped in the sling until about 3 months and then I gradually moved him over to the cot, with exactly the same bottom patting (pretty damn firm to make him jiggle in his cot) as eepie mentions.

Sawadee1234 Tue 04-Nov-14 19:56:44

Ah thanks so much for the reply... Some great advice there, I reckon I can crack the naps in cot,, but what about when you went out?? I simply can't stay in all day! We are out and about a lot and having a toddler I go out a lot so she needs to sleep in buggy!! How do I do this with a tummy sleeper??? Just sleep sitting up in buggy ? But I know naps are most restorative lying down!!!

Sawadee1234 Tue 04-Nov-14 19:58:21

Plus the thing is at night she goes down fine ! I can put her down and she doesn't wake up! What's that about??

eepie Tue 04-Nov-14 21:31:44

I know I never figured out why she went down so well & stayed asleep for so long at night and was such a weird clingy sleeper in the day... Maybe cos I had a good predictable relaxing night time routine or maybe to do with nursing to sleep.
As for the pram I have only just started to crack this (maybe) ... She wouldn't go in the pram until I let her sit up in the pram like an older baby. (on a slight tilt so she wasn't bolt upright). She loved being upright so much, had strong core strength and could hold her head up from birth that I tried her upright in the pushchair at maybe 8 or 9 weeks maybe earlier! (we have a Nuna Pepp so you can zip it into a lying down or sitting up position) - she loved the pram from this moment - phew ! Cos she could see out & fell asleep upright in it. No different than letting your baby fall asleep in a car seat or baby swing IMO. She wouldn't sleep for long in it though as she'd wake up if it stopped moving ! But still an improvement on the screaming in pram before that. Now she's 4 months and she seems happier on her back (she had cranial osteopathy for her reflux and it definitley helped!) so I've been trying to get her to nap lying on her back in the pram whilst we're out by using musical pull toy sleep cue. Worked a few times so far ! I would say if you have a flat lying pram with a carrycot mattress type thing that they don't need to be strapped into then put her in the pram on her tummy and she should fall asleep like that ? Good luck !

eepie Tue 04-Nov-14 21:43:10

nello thanks good to hear you had a similar experience ! It was so hard to be patient though.. At times I was just in tears as no-one prepared me for be possibility of a baby that needs so much input & that you can never put down for days on end. But once I trusted my baby that she would when she was ready and just accepted that there wasn't anything wrong with her, it was just he sort if baby she was, I felt better about it. Also I was scared at first about tummy sleeping too but when I saw how strong my baby is with her head and twisting onto her side etc even from quite young, I just had a feeling that she will be ok... That is how she wants to sleep, it's more natural for her & it's taken me a while to trust but I really think it was safer for her than on her back swaddled. She did a lot of mini vomits and spit ups cos of her reflux and I'd rather she do that on her front so she didn't have the risk of choking. Plus when she was swaddled on back she would sometimes wiggle onto her front and so be swaddled on front with no arms - dangerous! Kept having to roll her back onto her back.

Sawadee1234 Wed 05-Nov-14 20:06:29

Thanks for your response eepie...
I am still baffled by what other mums do with their tummy sleeping babies when they go out?? I Have a phil n teds double buggy so not a flat carry cot thing.. But as she is still bit young to be sitting up in I will wait till 3 months and then try see if she.ll nod off in it sitting up I guess!!

addictedtosugar Wed 05-Nov-14 20:19:52

My tummy sleeper was ok once he was in a stroller rather than a baby pram. But then he was my first, so could be slung or trips out fitted round sleep when tiny. Sorry.
We did it because i was at my wits end with him only sleeping on me. He was never a brill sleeper, but at least I could get a couple of decent hours before he woke again!

SellMySoulForSomeSleep Fri 07-Nov-14 05:12:19

Does he lie on his side? I sometimes put my DD in the pram as she doesn't like being on her back. Also my pram isn't perfectly flat so I think that helps. Can you get a wedge to tilt his head up like we would be on a pillow? Also being on their side you can rub their back easier which comforted my DD.

SellMySoulForSomeSleep Fri 07-Nov-14 05:16:37

Sorry, not sure why I decided your DD was a boy. I think i'm asleep still.

icklekid Fri 07-Nov-14 05:26:34

Ds is 4 months, sleeps well(ish normally) at night and on me in the day! All sounds a bit familiar doesn't it! In last month he has become much better in carrycot and pushchair. He normally falls asleep but will wake if stop moving. If we are in the house I put him down in his cot he only sleeps 15-30mins where as on me he will go for over an hour, sometimes 2! As he is ds1 I'm letting him sleep on me but if I had other children that wouldn't work. I keep trying to put him down in the day as would mean I can get more done/rest but like all things I keep telling myself it will pass and get better and just to enjoy the closeness for now!

icklekid Fri 07-Nov-14 05:28:15

Meant to add he rolls onto his side to sleep, would be interested to see if he went for longer on his tummy but no idea how to put him down asleep on tummy/roll him over without waking him too much. Have tried. ..Thanks in advance

Iggly Fri 07-Nov-14 06:01:47

Have you ruled out tongue Tue? This caused my ebf dd horrid wind. She couldn't manage more than 20 mins sleep at a time. Lying on her back was a no but she did well in a sling.
Also silent reflux is another option - ds had this - triggered by dairy in my diet.

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