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4 month old will only sleep in carrier or car seat, please help!

(20 Posts)
enchantmentandlove Wed 12-Oct-16 22:21:33

DD is currently chatting away to herself upstairs while I sit downstairs clueless as to what to do.

Until recently, I used to rock her to sleep in my arms then transfer her into her crib (chicco co sleeper). But then she realised what these cuddles with me meant, so whenever I try to she just screams and throws her dummy at me.

During the day she doesn't nap too much, but when she does it's either in a baby carrier or in her car seat (either in the car or attached to her pram, she has never liked the carry cot on the pram). But whenever she is moved out of these things she wakes up.

I try to have a good night time routine with her - bath, massage, stories, milk etc - and have tried various ways of doing things over time but nothing seems to work. Once we eventually manage to get her to sleep she sleeps really well (between 7 - 9 hours), it's just getting her down which is a nightmare and rarely seems to happen before 11:30pm. If one thing seems to get her down one night, the next night it won't work. She has always fought her sleep, but it's so much worse now.

We really don't want to leave her to cry. Dh works shifts so it's often just me at home. Please can anyone help? Thank you

enchantmentandlove Wed 12-Oct-16 22:27:25

Oh and none of these things seem to help:

White noise
Relaxing music
Leaving her drowsy but awake in the crib
Different levels of lighting
Bouncy chair
And more I can't think of right now!

She never stops kicking her legs all day, and seems to keep herself up by either doing this or throwing her dummy out.

I'm now next to her as she winges but smiles whenever give her attention.

enchantmentandlove Wed 12-Oct-16 22:29:27

Sorry to keep posting - but I just remembered she also won't fall asleep during a feed

NewlySkinnyMe Wed 12-Oct-16 22:56:09

I know its hard, especially when its 11:30 but if I were you I would go with tbe flow. You have years of difficulty with sleep ahead of you.

Lots of people swear by a consistent routine. Bath, massage, music, milk, bed or whatever. Do this everyday and it will trigger them. But it takes weeks of being consistent to do this.

I have a 5 month old and every night is different, like you he cries some nights when I try various ways of getting him down.

Having had 3 years of my dd1 being a shocking bad sleeper and spending so long wrestling with her, the best advice I can gice you is if baby is ready for bed and happy then just leave her and enjoy your evening. It will pass.

NewlySkinnyMe Wed 12-Oct-16 22:58:17

What I mean is don't leave her crying in cot but don't be concerned about bringing her down with you either. There is antime when you suddenly start getting a consistent bedtime but for me and most peolle i know it wasn't at 4 months. Unless you're willing to stay in their room for hours untol they sleep each night. Z

Purplebluebird Wed 12-Oct-16 22:58:35

For wiggling legs we had to swaddle tight! Helped loads actually for sleep!

enchantmentandlove Wed 12-Oct-16 22:59:55

Thank you so much. It's just she will only sleep in the carrier (not just in my arms) and she can't stay in it all night!

I appreciate your advice. I think I'm just feeling pressure from others who tell me not to let her sleep in the carrier, leave her to cry etc. I love her but it's hard.

enchantmentandlove Wed 12-Oct-16 23:03:26

We have tried swaddling but she's always hated it unfortunately.

enchantmentandlove Wed 12-Oct-16 23:05:25

I think you're right, maybe I just need to relax about it. I just feel like everyone has these perfect routines at 4 months, maybe they don't really.

WhoKnewSeamus Wed 12-Oct-16 23:14:13

The one of mine that has slept the best is the one with the shortest bedtime regime.
My best advice would be don't make it into something stressful that you both end up stressing about. Learning to sleep well is under your own steam is one of the most beneficial things anyone can learn in life. It should be a pleasant experience to enjoy not dread.
4 months old is tiny, I wouldn't expect a 4 month old to be able to do this anymore then i would expect them ti be able to read or swim. But just like reading and swimming I would want to encourage them to think it was something pleasurable and good to do.
At 4 months old I'd follow her lead and do what makes her feel happy and content. Putting in the work now will pay dividends in the years ahead.

WhoKnewSeamus Wed 12-Oct-16 23:15:27

Sorry for the typos, distracted by TV!

WhoKnewSeamus Wed 12-Oct-16 23:21:48

WRT a shorter bedtime routine, I mean don't faff about with baths and stories and candles and massage. It just overtires them and over stimulates them, the adverts are lying. At four months old they really don't need all that going on. Follow their cues and once you see they're getting close wet wipe, change, feed/cuddle, pop into bed. If they wake and want more don't fret, she's 4 months old she'll get there.

enchantmentandlove Wed 12-Oct-16 23:44:32

Thank you for your reply. Dd doesn't really show cues for anything, sleep or milk, so I just have to guess when she'll need something.

I think you're right about a simple routine, I'm aware that our current one is a bit silly -
She has a bottle, then I/we have dinner and clear up
She has bath time, massage
A few toys, stories and quiet songs
Sleeps in baby carrier while we watch tv
Change her nappy and another bottle
Try whatever we can to get her to sleep

WhoKnewSeamus Wed 12-Oct-16 23:54:25

How much time does she spend awake? That doesn't sound like a bad routine for a 4 month old apart from the toys, stories I'm not sure they need it. Bath time doesn't need to be long for a 4 month old either, about 5 mins to get clean is enough. Massage as you dry and dress is good just again don't make it too long.

zombiemum123 Wed 12-Oct-16 23:59:28

REALLY agree with whoknewseamus with regards to painfully long bed times it's just not needed! Imagine you doing all that before bed, well it would piss me off any way, with my lo I have just consistently given dinner at about 5.30 about 6 go up stairs play on the bed for half an hour to tire him out then bath creamed dressed kiss cuddle bottle then bed, I think once he has his bath he knows and begins to unwind... sometimes if he's over tired it all goes out the window but I always bath him and this is the trigger he recognises for bed time x

zombiemum123 Thu 13-Oct-16 00:00:41

Don't expect it to work soon be patient and when your lo begins to recognise the routine your winning grin

enchantmentandlove Thu 13-Oct-16 00:06:48

Thank you, I think it's just mil recently visited I think she was a bit flabbergasted at it all haha!

She has finally just gone down after a bit of co sleeping and stroking her cheek bless her. In 24 hours her sleep can vary - if it's just her an I all day I'd say about 12-15hours, if we are busy or seeing people though she may only have about two 30min naps, so in total 9-13 hours a day. Everyone keeps telling me not to let her sleep in the carrier or co sleep, but its often all that works.

enchantmentandlove Thu 13-Oct-16 00:09:31

Oh yes - on busy days I still try to get her to nap but she's so nosey and likes to join in I think, so she often won't go down!

WhoKnewSeamus Thu 13-Oct-16 00:21:28

If sleeping in a carrier or safe co sleeping is what she is comfortable with (not a car seat for extended periods mind) go with it. She's 4 months old, you're not setting up a 'rod for your back', 'spoiling her' or any other such silliness, you are simply caring for your baby. It's a phase, she'll happily grow out if it at her own pace just like everything else. Let her and do whatever you can to make it easy and enjoyable for both of you. Your needs are probably fairly inline right now, eat, sleep, cuddles. Don't be hard on yourself, you actually sound like you're doing very well, just doing what we all do and second guessing yourself and worrying about what you 'should' be doing.

enchantmentandlove Thu 13-Oct-16 10:53:15

Oh thank you so much, I really appreciate your reply. I know mil means well, but she told me only let her sleep in the carrier as a last resort, and that if I'm with her to get her to sleep she'll still need me when she's ten. I feel like everyone is trying to advise different things than what work for us, and I've felt like I'm going it wrong.

I think perhaps co sleeping to begin with, then transferring dd to co sleeping crib once she's in a deeper sleep. As I said, once she's properly down she sleep really well.

I think I've been feeling like I'm doing it wrong that she spends the evening downstairs with me/us and isn't sleeping upstairs (not that I would even want to do that yet as I worry).

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