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How to stop sling naps?

(21 Posts)
GuinessPunch Thu 23-Mar-17 13:17:56

My baby is 11 weeks. For the last week he has been going to sleep after a breastfed at. I transfer him to the sleepyhead/ chicco next 2me after about 30 mins. He is then staying asleep until 12.30/1.30. He will have a little bit of boob and go back to sleep until 3/4. After that he won't go back into his bed and will moan until I bring him into my bed where he will cat nap until 6. He will have a 30 mins nap between 7 and 8 and that's my only window that I can get showered and ready.

He gets very grumpy when tired and only manages to stay awake for a feed, nappy change and ten mins of awake time before he starts crying again. If I put him into the sling and put music on and dance he will go to sleep in 10 mins. I have to stand up and rock him which is killing my back.

He won't take a dummy.
He has only just this week started going in his bouncer for 5mins before crying.
He won't take a bottle.
He won't go into his pram.
He won't be rocked to sleep.
He won't go back in his bed.

I don't know what else to do. It is convenient for some things but I can't nap or shower or get ready. I can't even sit on the sofa!

Any suggestions ?

GuinessPunch Thu 23-Mar-17 13:20:09

He will have 4 sling naps a day which last between 30-60 mins.

FATEdestiny Thu 23-Mar-17 17:03:55

I don't know what else to do

From the list you mention that he won't do, there isn't much else you can do.

So perhaps your best options are:

- accept sling naps are going to be your way of life, at least for now, and make them work for you.

- pick an alternate method of independant sleep and work on it, even if it's being refused now.

If you are ultimately looking for baby sleeping independantly, you cannot beat a dummy for independant comforting. The window of introducing a dummy is not unlimited though and sometimes it does require some work to help baby "get it".

Otherwise, choose your method. Stick with it and be relentless about it.

GuinessPunch Thu 23-Mar-17 17:44:12

Ah Fate I was hoping you would have a miracle for me grin

Do you think if I can master the dummy (in the sling) it will be easier to try naps in the bouncer with the dummy? Maybe I can work on the dummy first.
I can accept slings some of the time but I can't do anything! Will persevere.

FATEdestiny Thu 23-Mar-17 20:39:19

It depends on the read on she liked the sling so much.

If it's the closeness she wants, then you could try cuddling in arms, rocking in arms, feeding lying down and cosleeping.

If it's the movement, things like bouncer or pushchair will be the way forward

If it's the tight, secure feeling, a swaddle and cuddling close while lying down could work.

In all of these, I think a dummy makes every option easier (but other people will disagree with me) so would work on it.

But the method of making progress towards independant sleeping involves having a clear idea of what you are aiming for and how, then making small tiny changes towards it.

The scattergun "try everything" route rarely works. Instead of listing this doesn't work, this won't work, figure out which is the best direction to go in* and be relentless an pursuit of it.

*the best direction to go in will be 80% determined by the temperament and preferences if your baby, rather than methods you would prefer to use. So be open minded.

GuinessPunch Thu 23-Mar-17 21:05:19

Thanks fate.
I think he likes the movement and height and being close to me.
I will start with the dummy. I don't mind the sling sometimes but I can't get anything done! It would be nice for him to go in the bouncer and go to sleep occasionally!

AntiHop Thu 23-Mar-17 21:13:06

Can you get to a sling library to get a better sling or check you're using it right? It shouldn't he killing your back.

At that age my dd would only nap in the sling or my arms. I'd swap her between her baby bouncer and activity station whilst I did a bit of washing up or something. She'd only tolerate being in either for 5 or 10 mins. Sometimes a bit longer if I sang to her.

helenfagain Thu 23-Mar-17 21:13:49

We did sling naps for ages as ds did not like sleep (reflux didn't help). Eventually we were able to put him in his cot for naps but it took a while. Don't stress to much about it, it will sort itself in the end.

GuinessPunch Thu 23-Mar-17 21:17:08

Anti I think it's more the length of time he's in it and that I have to sway and dance.
What age did things change for you?

Helen when did the sling naps stop?

juniorcakeoff Thu 23-Mar-17 21:25:09

One of mine was like this, I cut it off between 16-20 weeks gradually - so I picked the nap when he was most obviously tired and went to sleep quickest (was the first I think) and put him in the pram and pushed it back and forth (pretty vigorously) whilst I sat on sofa and watched TV, then swapped the others over gradually once that nap was securely changed. Also wrap up tightly so they feel safe.

Whilst still napping in sling, can you borrow a rocking chair? Was a lifesaver for me as I didn't have to jiggle and could sit down...bet you are much fitter than all the people with smug cot sleepy babies though!

juniorcakeoff Thu 23-Mar-17 21:26:23

PS mine used to let me perch on the sofa arm sometimes, but would notice if I slid sideways onto the sofa and wake up! Little horror.

dollarstodonuts Thu 23-Mar-17 21:32:59

I have a sling napper who also refuses the dummy/bottle. Now though at 20 weeks we are getting there and she's napped in the cot twice in the last two days. I too have to do the bouncy dance to get her to sleep.

We use white noise as a sleep cue. I pop it on my phone when she's getting sleepy in the sling so she makes the association. I also found putting her ins fluffy fleecy sleepsuit helped to get her into the cot as she couldn't feel the transition as much. I hold her in my arms and do the shush pat bouncy dance while the noise cranks away then slowly transfer into the cot after 10 minutes. I also found some success with taking her out in the buggy and when she starts to fuss putting my phone in with her with white noise on. Then I wheel her inside still in the buggy.

Has your baby been checked for reflux? Only when we got our meds right did we make any progress.

GuinessPunch Thu 23-Mar-17 22:11:32

Junior I will look into the rocking chair. He hates his buggy also. If it ends in a few weeks I will manage but I don't want to create a bad habit where he won't sleep anywhere but the sling in 6 months time!

Dollar how have you managed to get your baby into the cot? I play music on my phone when he's in the sling so he must have that association. Thank you I will use that when attempting to put down somewhere else.

The relfux is another issue. Health visitor said he had it. The doctor said he has colic. I have taken him to a&e and also the NHS walk in centre but they think I'm a neurotic first time mum. He has gaviscon and I give him 2 sachets a day. His sleepyhead is propped up and also I propped up his carry cot (although he doesn't go in it). I have also taken him to a cranial osteopath.

TheABC Thu 23-Mar-17 22:23:34

Don't worry about them developing a sleeping sling habit. I carried, fed (and occasionally slept) DS for two years in the sling. Where possible and convenient, I just put him down in his cot whilst sleepy but awake. This only happened after the wonderful 4 month sleep regression, though. By six months, he was on my back and eating solids, so a) I got a lot more done and b) it really broke the feed to sleep association.

DD is 10 months and still prefers the sling. I have her in a toddler mei tai that has saved a lot of backache and trouble. 11 weeks is tiny and he probably prefers the upright position because of reflux.

jessplussomeonenew Thu 23-Mar-17 22:33:01

I'd second a sling library, there should be a way for you to carry him without hurting. DS is 31 months and had an hour's nap on my back today and it really wasn't uncomfortable - I hasten to add he does nap in other ways too, it was just convenient today!

helenfagain Thu 23-Mar-17 22:52:21

Probably about 16/18 weeks. Hang in there!

dollarstodonuts Thu 23-Mar-17 23:34:13

I started doing the sling naps in the nursery only so she started to associate that room with sleep. Started stuffing a bunny comforter down in the sling too so it smelled like me. Then I tried for a schedule of sorts so I could predict when she'd truly be sleepy. That first nap of the day seemed the most predictable at about two hours after waking. Sat in rocking chair for a feed while she held comforter. Then stand up and hold her across my body, belly to belly if that makes sense. Do the whole jump around shush pat. After 10 minutes of sleep try for the cot transfer into sleepy head. If it fails put one hand on tummy and shush/pat shiggle. This seems insane but it's working. It's all about sleep associations. Oh and there's no such thing as colic!

Go back ask for Ranitidine. If your baby is in pain you're scuppered and nothing will work. Do try blasting white noise instead of music. Seems to work better.

GuinessPunch Fri 24-Mar-17 07:35:06

I just screamed inside at 2 years and 31 months in a sling nap!
I will ask for Rantidine. I hate how they say colic as if to shut you up.
All the suggestions are great thank you.

Redkite10a Fri 24-Mar-17 08:04:34

Dd is 20 weeks. We are still struggling with her tummy amd reflux so she still has a lot of sling naps. She also won't take a dummy. However, I can now feed her to sleep for at least one if not two naps a day - either on my lap or cosleeping. I still can't get her down in a cot or pushchair, but not having to carry her as much means my back is much happier. She also falls asleep in the sling more easily, with walking not bouncing, so again much better for my back.

DS was really good at self settling at this age but completely lost the ability when teething and moving kicked in at 6.5 months and he seemed to go off his dummy. We had to teach him from scratch again without a dummy, so although I'd much prefer it if DD would self settle I'm not too worried about it yet. Based on DS I think the important thing is to keep trying different baby steps towards self settling (e.g. trying moving away after I've fed DD to sleep on the bed) and at some point when she's more comfortable in herself hopefully one of the baby steps will suddenly work and then with DS we could often go through several little steps towards self settling quite quickly.

juniorcakeoff Fri 24-Mar-17 13:59:47

Guiness I threw my sling on bonfire when youngest grew out of it as payback for four months of sling nap hell. Good luck, consensus on here is looking a lot like you'll be alright round the 4/5 month mark.

jessplussomeonenew Sat 25-Mar-17 18:21:19

Sorry to make you scream - as I say, it works for us!

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