Friday, July 29, 2005

Here is your chance

It won't happen often but right now I'm actually asking for advice. The boy won't sleep solo anymore. It is getting more and more difficult putting him in his co-sleeper or anywhere else for that matter and having him sleep, day or night. The ONLY place he seems able to sleep is laying on my chest curled up in a little bean ball, tummy to tummy (like right now). While so very precious and makes me feel so loved and needed, I can't sleep like this! I try to lay him down to sleep and he won't. So I pick him up and put him on my chest and he'll fall asleep. I wait until it seems like he's in a deep sleep and I carefully move him to his co-sleeper and within seconds he's awake.

He wouldn't even sleep laying next to us in our bed anymore (but I decided I don't want to do that anyway). Nope, because it's NOT ON MY CHEST. The only other place I got him to sleep was laying him on his back on a pillow in our bed. I'd never let him actually sleep like that I just needed to take a break for a minute and that actually worked. So I thought hey, he's sleeping on his back alone right now, I'm sure I can move him to his co-sleeper and he'll be fine but I was wrong! WRONG, WRONG, WRONG.

So what I've been doing to keep peace in the house at night is holding him on my chest and trying to stay awake. This isn't working not only because I'll have to sleep myself at some point but there was once or twice I've dozed off holding him like this and woke up with him around my waist. I didn't notice he slipped down and this scared me so I don't like to do it. There are a couple hours out of the night where I do get him to sleep on his own but it's like pulling teeth and it doesn't last nearly long enough.

He seems a little gassy or poopy which may be why he likes to be more upright and curled up. Because when I put him on his back he sounds like he's really struggling to push something out. And sometimes when he's fussy and is acting like he wants to eat, he won't because he's squirmmy and "pushing" whatever out. And his poop is like pure liquid so you'd think it'd come out fairly easily but I guess it still has a long way to travel and no help from gravity when laying down.

So let's have it, any advice on how to get him to sleep safely somewhere other than on my chest or is this the life of a babe?


Blogger Anne said...

Oh man, I co-slept with the girls but do recall that the first few weeks are pretty hellish. There is no resting or whatever rest exists only comes in short bursts. I'll be honest, with this second child, almost 8 mo. old, I STILL have not gotten a full nights sleep. She just won't do it. You just get used to shit.

9:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

have you tried putting a blanket between you so it's not such a temperature shock when you put him down? temperature changes wake me up.

9:31 AM  
Blogger Elaine said...

I'm sorry you're dealing with this.

Pick up Elizabeth Pantley's "The No-Cry Sleep Solution." It saved my ass.

Go. Do it now.

And get someone to come strap the boy on for a while so you can sleep.

9:35 AM  
Blogger RSM said...

Getting the sleeping habits right absolutely sucks. Have you tried getting him to fall asleep in a bouncy seat or a swing? That used to work for my daughter because the rocking would help soothe her to sleep.
I'm not against co-sleeping, but I think that you'll end up regretting it later on down the line because it's so much harder to get them to change sleeping patterns later on down the line than it is to start fresh. If all he's used to is sleeping on Mama's boobs, it'll be pretty hard for him to get used to laying flat... ya know?
But, I know it sucks 'cause you need some sleep too.
I say give it a few more nights. Try rocking him in a swing, or walking him back and forth up the halls for an hour or so... it sounds sucky, but whatever gets you a good nights sleep!!! If nothing works after a few nights, screw it, you need some damn rest too!
Good luck again!

9:48 AM  
Blogger KB said...

I swaddled both of mine for the first 4-6 weeks and it worked amazingly. Wrap him tightly into a little cacoon, baby burrito thingie. Niether of mine were summer babies though? So it may be too hot. It made the transition from holding him to lying him down smooth because he was already in his own cozy little zone.

9:53 AM  
Blogger RysMomma said...

We had to prop up the bassinet so that it was angled for Ry to sleep longer. Works amazingly! If he sleeps on a pillow this may be a great help. You can pick up those angle things at like target and stuff but you could do the cheap version and just tilt the co-sleeper with something under 2 of the legs.
Ry was like that but she was really into co-sleeping in bed with us, and still is when she wakes in the morning (before I am ready). G hates it but hey I will do anything for a few more minutes of sleep!

10:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had problems getting my daughter to sleep anywhere but on my chest as well. The only thing that seemed to work was to let her fall asleep while I held her then lay her down in her car seat(strapped in). I know it might sound weird but the more upright slightly crunched up position seemed to work. During the day I would keep trying to lay her down but at nights when I needed sleep too the carseat was the way to go. After a few months she did grow out of needing the car seat... Good luck!

10:32 AM  
Blogger dk said...

I was going to mention swaddling but KB already did. It was a miracle for my boy, though. He always wanted to be cuddled and the swaddling really helped at least make him feel comfort.

I used a car seat for my second child because she wouldn't stay in her swaddle but I don't know if I actually recommend that. Her head turned out kind of wonky...

I loved co-sleeping, though...until last night when my six year old managed to kick me in the head twice.

10:49 AM  
Anonymous Carol said...

Hmmm...welcome to Motherhood? LOL I have co-slept with all of mine for this *exact* reason (well this reason plus many more) but don't let people scare you (re: a comment above about changing their sleeping habits later will be harder if you co-sleep -- I've never had a problem). Do what feels right to you. And my motto was always "do what works for now & cross any problematic bridges later IF they even occur".

That said, my babies would usually sleep for a few hours in their infant carseats. In fact, I kept a 2nd one w/ the straps taken out on hand for my last 2. I'd lay a blanket in it so it was more cushy.

You might also try the swaddling. That might make him feel more secure.

Have you checked out/read Dr. Sears's "Nighttime Parenting"? That book really helped me when I was having issues with DS1. Turns out all he needed was just to co-sleep with me. Learn how to nurse lying down. Then Julian will fall asleep next to you & you won't have to move him.

I know you said you didn't want to co-sleep but maybe you could re-evaluate that. Seriously. Since you aren't getting any sleep.

Best of luck! You'll figure it out. BUT just know that "sleeping like a baby" usually means sleeping only while held and not for very long at a time, lol.

10:59 AM  
Blogger michaela said...

here are a couple of the places mia slept for the first few months. though i can't say any one thing worked better than the other because these babies? they change their minds a LOT.

1. carseat placed inside the co-sleeper.
2. swaddled and propped up in boppy inside the cosleeper
3. the swing. oh my god the swing. especially in the daytime. she wouldn't nap anywhere else for months.
4. the bouncing/vibrating seat. the best invention ever.
5. in our bed. after the first couple weeks i just started leaving her in our bed so that i could just roll over and nurse her and fall back asleep. it worked really well but when i went back to work i moved her into her crib so that i could get some sleep and get her used to not being near me all the time. and you know what? she didn't even notice. and slept more. but that was 3-4 months along.

good luck - you'll figure something out. :)

11:28 AM  
Blogger Kiki said...

Have you only tried putting him on his back? I know that is doctor recommended but my little boy slept best on his tummy. At about a week of no sleep, I was ready to try it. The first night was excruciating because I kept checking to make sure he was breathing but after that we were both sleeping better. He does need to be able to lift his head. Just a suggestion. Take it or leave it.

12:08 PM  
Anonymous mb said...

you're not doomed to this forever. Read Dr. Karp's "The Happiest Baby On The Block;" he's in Fourth Trimester snuggle stage. I second the above on swaddling, sling [on someone else while YOU nap], car seat, and bouncy seat.

I also had a lot of luck with a hair dryer for noise & warmth and the swing to keep him upright and moving. At this age, it doesn't matter what you need to do to get him to sleep, because he'll outgrow this stage. So don't worry that you're setting yourself up for danger down the road right now, just keep trying things a few times to see what works. By the time he's three months old it'll be completely different.

Good luck - i'm rooting for you.

12:17 PM  
Blogger dakotablueeyes said...

UhOh I went through this same thing with Kaylie, her being my first I didn't want to put her down and then when I had to just to get things done it was too late she was done spoiled from sleeping on my chest. Its a bad habit for a parent to do this but they are so dam cute how can we not. lol I didn't do that as much with the boy, not because I don't love him as much but because you learn from past mistakes so he's pretty good about sleeping in his own bed now. Kaylie still comes in my room sometimes. Ugh.

1:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

okay, maybe i am not the best one to give you advice ---
---since i am still rocking (in a rocking chair) my nearly 3 year old to sleep for naps -- then usually lying with him on the bed, with him LYING ON MY CHEST until he is dead asleep, then doing a sideways dump onto our bed?
And yet, I gave up on the AP thing because it just wasn't working for me-- he just goes right to sleep in a crib at night.
Anyhow, my thought is that you should nurse your baby to sleep on a mattress on the floor (or a trundle), but on your side, and then get up and move back to your bed, so that the baby remains undisturbed. Also try a bouncer, swing or swing for variation at naptime. Also they have those middle of bed cosleepers, which prevents you from rolling on them , but might not prove useful.

1:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I knew someone with a similar problem, and she had one of those sound machines, that made the sound of a heartbeat, and it really helped her child fall asleep (though I think her child was older)

2:11 PM  
Blogger dk said...

One more thing...

Your friend Carol summed it all up right here:

"do what works for now & cross any problematic bridges later IF they even occur".

3:29 PM  
Blogger Rachael said...

Have you tried swaddling him as tioght as you can? For the first month of life this is how we got Gavin to sleep. We'd wrap him like a burrito and rock him to sleep. Or feed him to sleep. Then he'd usually sleep in his carseat because of his reflux. But I have known a lot of new babies who love to sleep in the carseat or bouncer.
We had to go through a lot to figure out what made him happy. I suggest just trying different things until you find one that works.
Good luck!

3:32 PM  
Blogger Monkey said...

swaddling worked for me...but then i am a strong advocate of my son slept with me...and often right on my chest...

hope something works for you...

and i second the "do what works for you now, then deal with the consequences"...cause no matter what you do, there will be you might as well be happy now... :)


6:10 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Belle said...

My little guy was the same way and he eventually changed. I just kept waiting until he was sound asleep and tried putting him in his crib. I also tried to get him to nap in his crib.
Thr truth is that nothing you do now will become a permanent habit, so it will be ok!

7:07 PM  
Blogger Melinda said...

Ok I dont know if it was luck for me or if listening to my mom (mother of 6) is what did it for me but here is what i did. I don't co-sleep (its not for me, but i am not against it) But My evenings were VERY VERY routine for the first few months. Bath at the same time, Nurse at the same,Then i would swaddle ( I waited to swaddle untill he was done nursing to keep him from falling asleep b4 getting enough) then I would rock with some baby Mozart cd or sounds of the ocean (you know what i am talking about) in the back round however I would not let them fall asleep on me. Right Before they would fall asleep I would lay them in the crib/basinet and just with my hand on their chest and belly rock them for a few mins. Then they would be asleep. Swaddling was a big thing with my boys cuz they were both big babies and i guess were probably pretty tight in there. It takes a few times to get the swaddle thing down right. I highly recomend it. And truthfully letting them cry for a few minutes is not a bad thing. My Dr and mom both said it's the only way babies get out stress. Now i am not talking let the baby cry for hrs and shit but 5-10 mins i think is ok. I was a big one on getting my kids to be able to put themselves to sleep and it worked for me. The only times my kids sleep in My bed is when they are sick or scared. So know My Youngest after his book pretty much everynight climbs into bed (he is in a toddler bed now) grabs his blankie Kisses mama,shoves his thumb in his mouth says night night as i turn off the light and out i go. Now sure i have night where he doesnt want to go to sleep but they are far and few between (Thank God cuz i am a sleeper my self) But a routine, some swaddeling and don't let him fall asleep on you ( i know its so wonderfull tho!) Thats what worked for me and both My kids sleep Great! Infact Both of them were sleeping thru the night(8hrs) by 2-3months

9:47 PM  
Blogger KELLI BELLY said...

Cara, I have to go with the swing thing. Thats where Gianna took her naps during the day. Do you have one? You can borrow ours since she's too big now:0) Hailee slept in bed with me, but I didn't have a husband at the time. She went right into her own room no problem. We just made a big deal about it and picked out cool stuff. She was like 2 though. I tried Gianna in our bed but Aaron sleeps to heavy and scared me a few times. I just kept trying to put her to sleep in the bassinet. After I fed her I'd lay her right down. It's hard the first few months, your both adjusting. We tried a bunch of stuff, I brought the swing in our room, anything to get sleep. You'll find a solution, don't fret. :0) Oh, I did lots and lots of praying too it helped:0)

10:03 PM  
Blogger holli said...

My back is trashed after 11 ear infections in Faith's first year - the only place she would sleep was on my chest.. Now I try to pull her on after she's asleep and she gets mad. So I guess she outgrew it before I did.

11:34 PM  
Blogger Tinker said...

I also wrapped mine up like a burrito,and the swing was my life savor for sure. And my 1 year old is still in our bed and screams if I put her in crip and its not good,so be careful on that one.Good luck and try and get some sleep

2:58 AM  
Blogger Brandi said...

OK here is what I did. J hated to be swaddled. It worked for the first few weeks but by the time she was 3 weeks to a month old she couldn't stand it. J co-sleeps now but started that when she was about 11 months old when she got sick. I had a child that hated to sleep on her back. She would not due it and was up all the time. One day when I was out my husband laid her down on her tummy for a nap. She never turned back and slept soooo well on her stomach. Now I am the 1st one to admit it scared the shit out of me. But she slept so much better that way! She still sleeps on her tummy everynight!

5:46 AM  
Blogger KELLI BELLY said...

I forgot to add that music also helped both my girls! Baby Einstein's mixed music box. I'll get it for you.If you would like:0)

8:21 AM  
Anonymous Mel W. said...

I highly recommend you check out the book "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" by Marc Weissbluth, MD. We discovered this book when our first daughter was 7 months old and still not sleeping through the night or taking regular naps. We had her sleep trained in less than 2 weeks. She's now 2 and still goes to bed without a fight for naps and bedtime (sleeps 12 hours and night and takes 2 two hour naps per day). We're using the same method with our 3 month old now. It's been about 4 days now and she's developed a regular pattern of 3 one to two hour naps per day, and she sleeps for an 8-hour stretch at night. We just moved her out of the bassinet and into her crib in her room this week and have our bedroom all to ourselves again. This book is a godsend. The method involves having to listen to your baby cry for a bit in the beginning while they're learning, but if you tough it out for just a few days I'll promise you'll be happy you did, for years to come. The most important thing for him right now is good, solid, uninterrupted sleep, so it's well worth a shot. As long as you're consistent, there's no reason it shouldn't work. Good luck!

10:41 AM  
Anonymous ceri said...

i remember well being so tired and so frustrated and feeling like owen would never sleep for more than 1.5 hours at a stretch. it got better but very gradually. in fact, he still sleeps in the bed with me (not my ideal, by the way). as a newborn, owen seemed to sleep best in a car seat--i think the upright position was better for his spitting up, as well. good luck!! maybe you could invite a family member to come over and clean up your house, do some dishes, and laundry; that's what they are there for.

7:33 PM  
Blogger Jenny said...

I actually put lina in the sling and slept on my back with her on my chest and propped myself on the couch. if you are tried enough you can sleep anywhere:) and he will be ok in the sling.(the hotsling looked great today!!btw)
I co-sleep though too, so i have never slept away from lina in 14 months. her sister used to go into her own room bed and all and kick me out! but now we all sleep together like a wolfpack:)
anyhoo, i know that isn't for everyone and can be VERY scary when they are wee, so i am not telling you to do that.
i am always tired...i wish i had real advice.
but for now i will repeat my mantra"I will sleep and have a clean house when i am old"

9:46 PM  
Blogger Mama C-ta said...

Thanks everyone, you rock w/the advice. Now I just have to try it all.

2:05 PM  
Blogger krissy said...

take this advice with a grain of salt, as i'm not even a mom...but my step-sister has a 2-month-old and she got a dvd called "the happiest baby" (i think it's what mb recommended above). there are 5 steps in the dvd that help soothe babies when they cry. the doctor theorizes that the 1st 3 months of a babies life they are still basically fetuses that have a calming reflex. the trick is to "turn on" that reflex. one step is swaddling, which lots of people have mentioned. my s.sister says it works for her baby because he no longer wakes himself up from moving his arms around.
also, try WHITE NOISE (also in the dvd). she turns a radio on to "in-between stations" or the baby monitor so it has static and puts it on quite loud in the room. she says it works like magic.
finally, the video talks about holding the baby on his side and softly jiggling his head/body. this mimics the movement in the womb and when i held her baby this way, he stopped crying every time (except when he was hungry).
i really hope some of this helps. i swear after i saw this dvd a couple of weeks ago, (and seeing how the steps worked for her baby boy) i said every new mom needs to be handed this video before leaving the hospital!

good luck, mama c-ta!

12:22 AM  

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