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Thread: Help! I've created a monster!

  1. #1

    Default Help! I've created a monster!

    Hi all!

    I need some ideas on getting my 5 month old to take better naps! I EBF & we co sleep. I am a SAHM. During the day lo will only sleep if I hold him. Sometimes he nurses to sleep & other times I have to walk him around & pat his back until he falls asleep. Either way as soon as I try to lay him down he wakes up. Lo takes 4-6 short naps a day. I would like to get him to take 2 or 3 longer naps so I could get some housework done!

    Thanks for your help!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Help! I've created a monster!

    Oh dear, I could have written that post when my son was 5 months! Would not nap unless in my lap, waking up the moment I put him down, never getting a break to do any housework. I didn't like the suggestion to wear him, because it killed my back, even in the ergo.

    If you want to try a gentle method, try swaddling him before he falls asleep, wait until he is in deep sleep, and then move him to a sleeping area (whether it's a crib, swing, or wherever you want him to sleep). If he is swaddled up tight and in a deep sleep, he might not notice the transition. But, when he drifts out of his sleep cycle, he will surely notice you're not there and wake up. He probably won't nap more than 45 minutes at a time with this method.

    I was recommended The Sleep Lady book. I really didn't want to do "cry it out" but I was desperate so I tried the method. The Sleep Lady method is supposed to be a "gentler" form of sleep training, where the parent is in the room to comfort the child. You start out by placing him in his crib and patting him, then you gradually reduce the patting and comforting until you are half-way out the room and comforting the child intermittently. Personally, I didn't get through the whole method because it didn't seem to work with my son. My presence in the room just seemed to make him even more upset and agitated, so I ended up just leaving the room. Amazingly, he only cried for about 10 minutes before he fell asleep, which was about as much as he cried when I had to rock him to sleep anyway. I think starting out with the Sleep Lady did help him learn how to settle himself a little better, before I tried leaving the room.

    The one thing the book taught me that really helped me was to pay more attention to his sleep habits. After reading the book, I noticed that my son was actually tired long before I thought he was, so part of the problem was that he was over-tired. I got into the habit of putting baby down for a nap every 2 to 2.5 hours, where before it was very willy-nilly. Now he takes consistent naps and sleeps for an hour and a half at a time.

    I don't know what you're comfortable with, but I hope you find a solution that works for you!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Help! I've created a monster!

    Sorry, I'm not going to be able to give you any good advice, because my LO was the same way! She really didn't tolerate being put down for naps until she was well over a year. I'm talking, like 14 months or so. Sometimes I could put her down in the crook of the couch while I was in the same room, but the longest that lasted was usually 1/2 hour (I'm not saying the couch is necessarily a safe place for an infant - use your judgement). Do you have a baby carrier that you can use? That's pretty much what I had to do if there was something I absolutely had to get done. Pop the baby in the Ergo, and she'd pass out and I could get stuff done.

    Otherwise, just get comfy when it's nap time, and enjoy the snuggle time. I always tried to get grocery lists/meal planning done, answering emails, etc. Things that I could do on the laptop.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Help! I've created a monster!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*carm3 View Post
    Sorry, I'm not going to be able to give you any good advice, because my LO was the same way! She really didn't tolerate being put down for naps until she was well over a year. I'm talking, like 14 months or so. Sometimes I could put her down in the crook of the couch while I was in the same room, but the longest that lasted was usually 1/2 hour (I'm not saying the couch is necessarily a safe place for an infant - use your judgement). Do you have a baby carrier that you can use? That's pretty much what I had to do if there was something I absolutely had to get done. Pop the baby in the Ergo, and she'd pass out and I could get stuff done.

    Otherwise, just get comfy when it's nap time, and enjoy the snuggle time. I always tried to get grocery lists/meal planning done, answering emails, etc. Things that I could do on the laptop.


    I just wanted to add, YOU didn't do anything to "create a monster." Babies are all so different, some of them truly are much higher in the sleep needs department than others. I know, I have one of those babies, too! You've done a wonderful, wonderful thing by responding to your infant's needs.

    I also don't really think there's much you can do to overhaul a baby's nap patterns. Some of them are just naturally going to be short, frequent nappers. My daughter was ALSO one of those babies. Up until she was 9 months old, nothing on earth would have kept her napping longer than 20 minutes at a stretch. That's just who she was. So what helped me was to just figure out how to do certain tasks while baby was awake--that was infinitely easier than planning to do it while she slept. Mostly, I just asked my husband to pick up the slack, if there was something I couldn't manage while I was with the baby. I am not a SAHM, but I did have a longer than average maternity leave, and I did this while on my leave and ALSO when we were both back to work. This time is so, so, so short. You'll make it through!
    Apologies for the short responses! I'm usually responding one-handed on my smartphone!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Help! I've created a monster!

    Your baby isn't a monster, and it's not your fault that he naps the way he does. Some babies are long-nappers, some are cat-nappers, and there's not much you can do to change a child's nap patterns.

    Have you tried having your baby nap in a swing, stroller, or sling? Some babies will nap longer when they are in motion or in contact with mom.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Help! I've created a monster!

    My DS was such a terrible napper, too! The only time he took really long naps (like 1-2+ hours) was when he was laying ON me. Wearing him helped some, but there is only so much you can get done with a baby strapped to your chest.

    Here are few things that worked, sometimes:
    Nurse him to sleep side-lying on a blanket on the floor then sneak away
    Nurse him asleep or sleepy them immediately put him in the swing, he would either sleep or scream
    Walk him in the stroller until he fell asleep, then roll the stroller into the house

    If we were both tired I would just let him take his long nap on my chest and I would either read or also nap, then when DH got home from work I would hand DS over to him so I could get my stuff done.
    My little man was born 12/17/2010.

    Baby girl was born 4/30/2014.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Help! I've created a monster!

    http://evolutionaryparenting.com/gen...p-resources/My first thought is try a sling or carrier if it's putting him down that wakes him up. Prioritize your household duties. I didn't get a lot done without my husband ' s help that first year. After that ds was much easier to involve in chores or set up an activity near by while I cleaned quickly. He went through a phase of doing dishes at least 3 times a day with me.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Help! I've created a monster!

    My suggestion is to lay down with baby, nurse baby to sleep and sleep yourself, or if you don't want to sleep, read a book or whatever. When baby stirs nurse baby again baby will probably fall back asleep and get a longer nap stretch.
    When your child is heading off for college or off to get married or take a job out-of-state, will you look back on his baby hood and wish you had spent more time on housework? I doubt it.
    For the stuff that absolutely needs to get done can you do at least some of it while holding baby in a sling or other comfortable baby carrier., baby would probably enjoy it.
    My third child is 18 months old and I still adore the nap times. As we got into bed this morning to nurse and nap I said to her "this is my favorite time of day!" She has two older brothers with crazy schedules with lots of driving them around and figuring out how to get them fed etc. it is so nice to have those few minutes Each day when I can just relax and concentrate on her and give her everything she needs while lying down and resting myself!
    For trying to help baby have longer naps, I also suggest darkening the room as much as possible, and using some white noise like a fan or inexpensive white noise machine.
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; March 5th, 2014 at 11:23 PM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Help! I've created a monster!

    Thank you all for your thoughts! Since I have made this post my Lo has decided he doesn't want to nurse to sleep! He will get his tummy full & pull away. Then he gets fussy and cries until I carry him in our special way (doesn't work for daddy). When he falls asleep its such a light sleep any little movement I make wakes him! I have never tried a sling. If you have any ideas or reccomendations for a sling I would appreciate it. Thanks!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    Default Re: Help! I've created a monster!

    I used (and loved) a Karma Baby sling from the time that DS was about two weeks old until we switched totally to an Ergo (which I love even more). Www.karmababy.com for the sling... Though I think mine came from target. BTW my baby naps well in the ergo carrier too, I just put the little sleep-hood thing on so his head is more secure. www.ergobaby.com.
    Mama to 1 amazing DS born 12/23/12! proudly for 1 year and counting! Still although he sure is getting heavy...

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