"Sleep Crutches" ... your thoughts — The Bump
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"Sleep Crutches" ... your thoughts

I am wondering what everyone's thoughts are regarding so called "sleep crutches" and how, or if one should, break these habits. 

Reason: DD won't nap during the day unless she is swinging and the hair dryer is on in the background.  And, she won't sleep at night unless she is on me - the whole.darn.night (two weeks now).  At first, I was under the mindset of "whatever works to get her some good rest" but now I am feeling super frustrated that I am stuck with her on me from 6:30pm until about 8am.  I usually get up once to pee after I change her diaper and she cries the whole time. I try every night to get her to sleep somewhere else and she won't have it. Seriously, I try for hours and hours some nights.  Also, I can't turn the hairdryer or the swing off or she immediately wakes up. 

I am just wondering if I am forming some bad habits for her that will be harder to break down the road or if she will gradually become less reliant on these habits on her own.  I would like to wean her from these things but I don't know if it is too early... since I know she will cry the whole time!  And I am not about to let her CIO at 8 weeks.   What would you do?  

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Re: "Sleep Crutches" ... your thoughts

  • Wow, that's tough. DD isn't nearly that difficult and I wonder the same thing. DS was high needs and we had to sleep train him when it was appropriate. DD will sleep in her RnP or the swing so far (not consistently) but usually ends up on us sometime between 4-7am.  That alone is frustrating. I guess I should consider myself lucky.  I do wonder about the rocking, white noise, bouncing, paci, etc. and if we are setting ourselves up for sleep training i the future. I am perfectly fine rocking her to sleep now, but is it going to become what it did with DS...he wouldn't ever stay asleep when put down.

    I would say your DD is still too young to worry about it at this point. You can't "make" them do something they aren't ok with at this point. You may have to sleep train in the future, but I can tell you first-hand, it's not that bad when you have been through what you have.



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  • I kinda see it like I see a paci---I know we are in for a rough couple weeks when we take pacis away in the future, but if it buys us 12 months of easier times I guess I can handle the tougher week or 2 in the future....that being said my LOs "sleep crutches" are their carseats or napping on their bellies so they aren't affecting my ability to sleep (like sleeping on me constantly would...) if it wasn't making my life easier now I'd probably remove the crutches sooner than later...
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  • It's definately affecting my sleep and makes me so frustrated in the evening knowing that I will be tied down for 12+ hours straight.  What's worse is that I have Restless Leg Syndrome and feel the need to constantly move and change positions which I can't do with her on me all night.

    I just don't know how to change it...

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  • image SMJ1106:

    It's definately affecting my sleep and makes me so frustrated in the evening knowing that I will be tied down for 12+ hours straight.  What's worse is that I have Restless Leg Syndrome and feel the need to constantly move and change positions which I can't do with her on me all night.

    I just don't know how to change it...

    While you work on it can DH help with cuddle duty? Even if just for a couple hours?

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  • My first DS was like this and I so feel for you. He would only sleep on us (naps and night) for about the first 6 weeks until we were finally were able to get him to sleep in a swing.  Than he slept in a swing for a long time before we finally transitioned him to a crib.  It was tough and I dreaded nightime.  What did help at least a little was my husband took the "early shift" from about 9pm until midnight or 1am.  He has always gone to bed later so it wasn't a big deal for him and then I would go to bed early and get a few hours to myself.  Most importantly I could sleep on my belly!!  I'm not going to lie, it was really tough and he was a really tough sleeper for the first year but it does get better and this stage will end.  Keep trying, at about 10 weeks or so he started sleeping while swaddled a bit too.  Try the swing at night too, one day something else will just work.  Good luck to you!!
  • Does she spit up alot? My DD had acid reflux and wouldn't nap at all unless she was on me or in the swing because it hurt her to be flat on her back.  Just an idea!  I also find that my DD will fall asleep during a feeding and I think that she is full until I put her down...then she cries until I pick her back up again...so I have to make sure she is completely 100% full and burped until I put her down.

    Maybe instead of a hair dryer you could try setting up a fan? My DD won't deep sleep without a fan going...which is fine with me because I like cool air blowing on me at night...even in the winter!

  • I dont have it nearly as hard as you but I just wanted to give u a hug... I know it's hard to believe things will improve but keep your head up, don't be afraid to ask for help and keep trying different things. Good luck!!

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  • I don't normally post, but I thought I might be able to give you a couple of tricks that we tried and seemed to work.  Since it seems that your DD likes your warmth and smell, try laying a pillow case or t-shirt of yours down in the bassinet or crib.  We have king size pillow cases and it slipped right over the bassinet pad and we were able to tuck it nice and tight so there was no danger of it becoming a loose object.  We then used a heating pad and laid that in her bassinet for a few minutes before we were ready to put her to bed.  We took it out right before laying her down.  The combination of your scent and the warmth might just help her to fall asleep.  Eventually we were able to stop using both and even transition her to her crib without issue.  We also discovered that our DD likes to sleep slightly elevated so the Pediatrician recommended a 3 ring binder (about 2 inches tall) to slip under the sheet in the bassinet, and then we bought a crib wedge when we moved her to her crib.  She is almost 8 weeks now and we started doing this around 2-3 weeks old.  Good luck!!
  • Have you read the book Baby Wise?  It's an awesome book, and talks alot about getting on a schedule and how to deal with all different kinds of things with sleeping problems :)
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