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Change Nap Routine = Change Behavior

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  • Change Nap Routine = Change Behavior

    First time posting. Hope this is the right place.

    I hate my baby swing. I mean, seriously. I hate how it looks, I hate what it does, I hate everything about it. But it seems to be the only place my 13wk-old daughter can sleep without me.

    Up until two weeks ago, I nursed her to sleep and let her nap on me for as long as she needed, usually 2 hours. This worked fine, for her. She'd wake up happy, belly full and would happily play independently for15-30 minutes before she'd be looking for me.

    I decided to start getting her to take all her naps in the swing. She will fuss and cry and break my heart and eventually fall asleep, mostly for 30 minute cat naps four or five times throughout the day. However, since then, she despises being put down alone. She no longer likes to play independently at all and doesn't like to be held by anyone but me (and for short periods, her dad).

    I'm concerned that in trading in my freedom during playtime for my freedom during naptime, I have caused her to become insecure. Is this a phase or age-related occurrence that most babies go through? Or am I causing a problem for my girl?
    Last edited by MamaSheppard; 09-04-2010, 09:44 PM. Reason: Spelling error

  • #2
    As the API principle on safe sleep states, "They rely on parents to soothe them and help them regulate their intense emotions. Sleep training techniques can have detrimental physiological and psychological effects."

    For a long time I would nurse my daughter to sleep and she'd take all of her naps on me. I felt like I couldn't get anything done and would end up reading, watching tv, or on the computer. I know how hard it is to want to do the dishes or take a shower but feel like you're stuck!

    Do you wear your daughter in a sling or other baby carrier? Things got a lot better for us once I started using those around naptime. I even was able to lay her in our bed once she fell asleep.

    If she is used to co-sleeping it might be easy to lay down in bed with her, nurse until she falls asleep, and quietly creep out.

    I never really used a stroller but have started to lately, to take a walk around naptime when nothing else seems to calm her down and she falls asleep peacefully that way.

    I think some of the things you mentioned are also just developmental - they go through changes of wanting to play alone, needing you every second, only wanting mommy or daddy, etc. But I think there are many other ways to get her to fall asleep.
    Last edited by kasey; 09-15-2010, 08:25 PM.


    • #3
      I nurse my 21-month-old son to sleep and he naps on me. Sometimes it's boring and uncomfortable, but it beats dealing with a cranky sleep-deprived baby the rest of the day!

      It sounds like your baby is just a little sleep-deprived because the cat naps just aren't making up for the solid naps she used to get. If you can get her to consolidate her naps back to the 2 hour mark (either by just getting her more used to the swing strategy, reverting to co-sleeping, or by trying something else), I'm sure she'll be just the way she used to be. We try to give our kids all the sleep they need every day, but all kids are gonna have their tired and cranky days when they don't get quite enough... I wouldn't think a little bit of this experimentally, or as a transition, would do any permanent harm.