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Today's the day- reducing naps in the sling

(21 Posts)
Wootiful Thu 09-Nov-17 12:11:21

My 10 week old has only ever napped in the sling. Hasn't bothered me so far but she's getting heavier and while it's great to be hands free would be great to have my whole body back to myself for a few hours. I co-sleep at night and happy with that, we both get a lot of rest.

So I have been trying this morning to put her down for a nap, much fighting sleep and screaming. Then the only thing that will settle her is a feed, she falls asleep and then repeat. Trouble is she's exhausted and I'm starting to feel guilty because I know she would sleep in the sling.

How long would you keep trying for? Any advice or moral support would be appreciated

Wootiful Thu 09-Nov-17 12:20:25

Sorry she will nap in arms too so out of the sling but still on me

BellyBean Thu 09-Nov-17 12:49:02

DD is 12 weeks and in the last 2 weeks has gone from every nap in sling/on me/moving car or buggy to all naps in cot unless not convenient.

We started with just the first in the cot 1 hr after wake up, rocking and shushing until she was asleep, patting her bum if she stirred on put down, with white noise on app.

If it didn't work after 20-30 mins I'd resort to sling nap to avoid her getting overtired.

We then all got a vomiting bug and I wasn't well enough to sling, and we were pretty much housebound for a week. I went from rocking to a quick bum pat in that week!

FortheloveofJames Thu 09-Nov-17 12:50:02

My DS was exactly the same. Untill about 15 weeks he wouldn’t nap anywhere other than in the sling or in my arms. I used to pretty much wear him 24/7- one day my gran was like are you going to take him into th bathroom with you in that- and I replied yes because trust me it’s no worth it to put him down wink. He was (still only slightly better) a terrible night sleeper too so I was literally exhausted having him strapped to me all the damn day. Like you, I just wanted my body back for a small amount of time! It wasn’t easy, but he went to napping like a pro in his next to me cot, and we have recently transitioned to his cot in his room.

One day I’d just had enough and at every nap time I rocked/bounced to sleep and then placed in the cot. At first he would only nap for 20-30 mins at the time but then that extended to 45 mins. Then one day after a VERY bad night I’d bounced him for 25 mins to get him to sleep and placed him down. I went for a shower for literally 5 mins and when I came out I could see he was awake. I went over to resettle but just as I got there I noticed his wee eyes closing. I’d clearly missed th crying in the shower. So the next nap I just went cold turkey and put him down awake. He cried for literally 7-8 mins and conked out. At first he still only did 45 mins but then gradually they extended because he learned to resettle himself and if he does wake during naps now he always goes back to sleep. Leaving baby to cry isn’t for everyone And is a personal choice but it literally changed everything for me. Now at bed/naps I put him down and he on off cry’s down for 5 mins tops, half the time just babbles. I know the difference between his I’m tired and going to sleep cry and I’m in distress. Before I was going to him at the first snuffle so I was never giving him the chance I self settle.

How are you putting her down? My best advice would be keep an eye on wake times which at that age was about an hour for my DS. We also swaddled at every sleep till 4.5 months and played very loud white noise from the IPad. It was just a case of persevering.

It may be difficult but it’s so common for them to want to be close to you all the time during the first 3 months- but I 100% know how draining it can be. You’re doing a fantastic jobflowers

BellyBean Thu 09-Nov-17 12:52:03

I totally feel your pain. Some days I would walk for every nap just to avoid wearing her as I needed my body back. I think you've picked the right time for it though, I tried at 8 weeks and she just wasn't ready to be alone for naps.

Does she have a dummy? DD doesn't, and her finding her thumb at 10 weeks has definitely helped a lot.

Notlostjustexploring Thu 09-Nov-17 13:02:32

That sounds exhausting. I'm mostly bumping for someone more knowledge to help, but here's my tuppence worth.

Not sure if you're trying to put them down "drowsy but awake" but I ended up giving up even trying as it was just upsetting everyone.

When my son was small I often ended up feeding him to sleep, waiting until he was properly asleep then transferring him to his carry cot for him to continue napping. I got very stealthy!

The bouncer also worked, and I walked miles putting him to sleep in his pram.

Mostly, good luck!

Wootiful Thu 09-Nov-17 13:03:12

Thanks for replies, will read properly and respond later as DD is so overtired. Fell asleep there and is now inconsolable again just when I've put her down. Not the kind of cry I could let her keep going with

Thanks so much though, i will come back

Wootiful Thu 09-Nov-17 13:28:03

Yea the drowsy but awake is a no go it seems for me notlost!

Update - I am sitting looking at a sleeping DD. Not a sustainable approach but I was just about to put her in the sling when I thought what if I could feed her to sleep and not move her like in bed. So I brought down the sleepyhead (which she never sleeps in, thought this would be my saviour)

I then proceeded to lie on the floor next to her in the most uncomfortable way and sort of hang a boob over the side so she could feed until sleep. It's worked! It wasn't easy and not sustainable and I couldn't exactly do it with visitors in BUT she's not sleeping on me so surely it's a start!!!

Wootiful Thu 09-Nov-17 13:29:45


She's just woke up screaming. Too good to be true. Think I'm going to regroup, put the sling on and try again tomorrow with some of the suggestions

Wootiful Thu 09-Nov-17 13:50:35

She's asleep in the sling. On the verge of tears for being a failure and upsetting her so much. It's good to have people in here who have had this experience because virtually everyone I know puts their baby down to nap.

Rainatnight Thu 09-Nov-17 13:53:33

You're not a failure! You tried something and it didn't work this time. It sounds like she got cuddles from you straight away so no harm done! I have no advice as we adopted our DD so I missed the very little baby stage but just wanted to give you flowers

crazycatlady5 Thu 09-Nov-17 13:57:48

Have you tried feeding to sleep lying down in a dark room with white noise on?

FortheloveofJames Thu 09-Nov-17 14:04:07

I second, you’re in no way a failure! I remember thinking it would never get better, but honestly it did. Babies change so much, often very fast. One day something just works that never worked before.

Is this your first?

Wootiful Thu 09-Nov-17 14:24:38

Its my 2nd. My son who is a lovely happy boy has regressed and is also a nightmare sleeper at the moment. He was so good for so long.

It's made me think what I did for him hasn't worked either. Sorry for pity party. I more or less did the same with him except the sling because I didn't use one. So he would either fall asleep on me or in the pram but he could be transferred when sleeping so it didn't feel as full on if that makes sense.

He moved from co sleeping to his cot at 1 and slept mostly pretty well. He's 2 and I know it's natural for him to be playing up at bedtimes etc and pushing boundaries but it's making me question everything! I think that's why I'm putting a lot of pressure on myself to 'get sleeping right'

Thanks for the kind words. They pushed me over the edge and I welled up but in a nice way flowers

FortheloveofJames Thu 09-Nov-17 15:37:46

Okay well the fact this is baby number means you’re doing even more amazing. Coping with 2 little ones is never easy, regardless of how they sleep. I only have one and I honestly don’t know how people do it, feel like I just wouldn’t cope. I’m already a zombie and feel like a shadow of my former self these days!

It’s a nightmare when they won’t transfer. My DS has to stay asleep where he goes to sleep. Soon as car stops moving he wakes, same with pram. Even then he only naps 30 mins max in both so I’m pretty much in the house and life revolves around the naps.

This too shall pass! That’s what I just keep saying

RebeccaNoodles Thu 09-Nov-17 15:43:46

I think you’re v brave ... I’m going through this now with my DD who is nearly 5 months blushconfused feel like I’ve left it waaay too late so 10 weeks seems perfect timing! I’m sure you will get there.

Notlostjustexploring Thu 09-Nov-17 15:44:23

I'm no expert but I've decided I hate all the pressure parents put on themselves to "teach babies to sleep". I've come to the conclusion that babies either sleep, or they don't. And all the sleep books and all of the Internet are responsible for a lot of my tears in the early days.

My breakthrough came when I realised that my husband is a rubbish sleeper as an adult, so my son has clearly inherited that, and that people fall asleep when safe and that's what cuddling babies does, makes them feel safe.
Didn't get me any more sleep right enough, but I stopped stressing that I was causing untold sleep problems for the future!

Be kind to yourself, and good luck!

crazycatlady5 Thu 09-Nov-17 20:12:32

Notlostjustexploring yup!

Lovingtyrells Thu 09-Nov-17 20:24:16

Just wanted to say that I feel your pain, my son is 10 weeks and has never slept in his cot or more than 2hrs. Lots of new mums I have come across just put their baby down to sleep and I felt like something was wrong with me!

m33r Thu 09-Nov-17 20:25:57

I could literally have written this post. I am also trying to ditch the xo-sleeping too and have no idea quite how to do it either. My plan is to try to do morning naps in the sleepy head (literally exactly the same as you!) as my two year old is at nursery so I have some ‘spave’ And carry on sling sleeping when my boy is home so as not to disturb his day.

I am trying to put him into his next to me in sleepy head at night but if it gets to 3am, I just give in for the sake of sleep.

I feel exactly the same about ‘failing’ as my two year old was a horrendous sleeper and whilst he sleeps well now, he takes ages to do down and needs myself or hubby to cuddle him shock

I suppose I wanted to say you are not alone and I really do believe deep down, they are sleepers or they are not!

Kudos on the BF-Ing into a sleepyhead!!

Good luck. Will keep you updated if I come across a miracle solution!

teaandbiscuitsforme Thu 09-Nov-17 20:49:03

Is your DS at nursery? Because if not, sling naps are great if you’re trying to contain them both if you can ride it out a bit longer until the it DD can be left for a nap. I appreciate it gets a bit tiring always having one on you though!

And if your DS is at home, does he still nap? Because cosleeping lunchtime naps have saved my sanity with 2 under 2. Everybody has a nap after lunch!!

(I also sometimes do cosleeping naps with DS and give DD some CBeebies time on the iPad in her bed for DS’s morning nap - but that didn’t come from a baby sleep book! grin)

Good luck, it does get better! flowers

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