Tuesday, September 24, 2013

hey mamas out there

Ok, this one's a question for the mamas out there.  Or the aunties.  Or the big sisters.  Or the nannies.  Or heck, let's not be gender exclusive.  If you're a guy with some great insight, have at it.

My little girl has gotten approximately 110% happier since those fussy newborn days.  It's great.  She smiles, giggles, babbles excitedly, and just enjoys life.


At least...she enjoys life...as long as she gets her naps.

Sounds like most of us, doesn't it?  I mean, I know I can be cantankerous when I don't get enough sleep.

But what do you do when your little one will only fall asleep in your arms...and has to stay in your arms for her entire nap?

We've had days where I try to put her little grumpy self down in her crib for naps all day long.  We have a routine, but I don't think it makes one iota of difference.  On the one hand, if I try to set her down after she goes to sleep, she almost always wakes up, but only during the day.  She'll usually let me put her down at night.  But on the other hand, if I try to just set her in her crib to fall asleep on her own, she practically has a panic attack.  Ellie is not the "cry it out" kind of girl.  She just cries, cries harder, and then cries so hard that she's practically hyperventilating.  And my mother-heart can only stand that for so long.  Usually I just let her sleep in my arms because it's easiest for both of us.  We're both happier that way [even though it feels like I never get anything done].

And you guys.  Her nighttime sleeping?  Spotty at best.  Sometimes she'll sleep for 2-3 hours at a time, and sometimes it's only 30 minutes to an hour.  And she's almost seven months old!  She slept for 4-5 hours at a time for about two weeks when she was about two months old, but it's been all downhill ever since.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm doing her a disservice by not letting her cry it out.  But I feel guilty when I do, and I feel guilty when I don't.  Motherhood is funny that way.

Have any of you had/known kiddos like this?  What did you do?

8 comments:

karajean said...

Oh, naps. Naps are so hard. The hardest. For me, I only got Owen to take proper naps once I figured out his specific "sleep window." It felt like it took forever, but once I finally figure out the EXACT right time to rock him to sleep and put him in his crib, he started taking real naps. If I put him down 10 minutes early or 10 minutes late, we were toast.

Other than that, I have no advice. Sleep training is SO HARD. Hard when you let them cry, hard when you don't. Do you still have her in your own room? Owen only started sleeping for long stretches when I moved him out of my room.

Sorry- I'm sure most of that advice is not helpful. Good luck Mama!

jonnybandfrishalee said...

What I did with Eden was made sure she ate no less than every three hours all day and then cluster fed before bed. So if you want her in bed for the night at 8, I'd feed her at 6, then 7, then top her off at 8. She gradually slept longer and longer at night until now she sleeps 9-10 hours. And it wasn't hard at all to do, so it's worth a shot.

She also wanted to nap in my arms all day at first, but if I took her for a walk in her stroller right before nap time she would fall asleep. I'd just let her nap in the car seat so I could get stuff done, and then gradually it got to where she would nap in the crib too. Sometimes I'd have her sleep on my bed while I sat next to her and that helped too. She still sleeps longer if I'm holding her, but I at least get a few naps a day where my hands aren't tied.

jonnybandfrishalee said...

Forgot to say good luck. It is so hard to listen while your sweet baby cries it out, I haven't been able to yet. But it's hard to live on no sleep too. If she's got to nap in your arms during the day I hope you take advantage of the chance to nap with her!

Katie Elizabeth Hawkes said...

I wish I had any kind of useful advice. When I'm cranky I usually have to cry it out and take my own naps and deal, but I guess we can hold Baby Onus to a different standard because....infant or something...

kirsten.knight88 said...

My daughter started sleeping tons better when I stopped feeding her right before bed... I think she is teething right now, but on a normal night, if I feed her before the bedtime routine, she will sleep for 8 hours! For naps... if she wants you to hold her, do you have a Moby wrap or other carrier? Sometimes Avery will only nap in her swing, or in my arms.
Personally I really disagree with the cry it out method, but ti each her own.

kirsten.knight88 said...

My daughter started sleeping tons better when I stopped feeding her right before bed... I think she is teething right now, but on a normal night, if I feed her before the bedtime routine, she will sleep for 8 hours! For naps... if she wants you to hold her, do you have a Moby wrap or other carrier? Sometimes Avery will only nap in her swing, or in my arms.
Personally I really disagree with the cry it out method, but ti each her own.

The Muse said...

Link wouldn't take naps in his crib, but he did like his swing and slept a lot better when he was swaddled (we used the velcro swaddles) or in a Moby wrap-- I LOVE those things! But we only used the swaddles until he was 6 months old, because he was getting too big for them... it took him a while to get used to not having them anymore, and we ended up letting him sleep in our bed for our own sanity, though that's not my ideal (we were both working full-time and didn't have another room to put him in).

That being said, when we finally sleep-trained him out of our bed, we did a modification of the "cry-it-out" method. Instead of letting him just cry and cry (which we couldn't handle), we'd let him cry for 5 minutes, go in and comfort him and hug him (without taking him from the crib), then leave for 10 minutes, then 15, etc. After about 2 nights, he was fine.

Don't know if this helps... good luck!

Ariana said...

So Mili started doing the I-will-only-nap-in-your-arms deal at around 4-5 months. After some total desperation, I was given some advice that worked for me. It took about 1-2 weeks for it to work and that was a looooong time, but she naps in her crib now!

I started every time she fell asleep in my arms putting her in her crib after about 5 minutes. Yes. She totally would wake up. And then I'd pick her up, play or whatever, and when she fell asleep again, repeat. Back in the crib. The first 2-3 days, I was sure nothing was working, but I just kept it up. Every time she fell asleep, I put her in the crib. Gradually she started sleeping for longer and longer in her crib, until she started doing full naps! That was the best day ever. THEN I started doing a similar gradual approach thing with falling asleep once she was already taking real naps.

Now I usually put her in her crib for a nap/bedtime after I rock her for a primary song or two. Sometimes she cries and I go outside her room for a few minutes at most, come back in, comfort her (I used to pick her up and then put her back in, but she's gradually let me comfort her in her crib - most days) and she'll usually fall asleep. Mili still prefers me to be there while she falls asleep, but I don't have to rock or hold her, just sit by her crib for a few minutes.

Did this even make sense? I hope maybe a little piece of it helps - sleep problems are SO STINKING HARD. And I have no help for the not sleeping through the night part. You are in my prayers for that one girl. (P.S. Is it weird that I think we should skype? I think you are awesome-sauce and I'd love to catch up.)