Has anyone had luck getting LO to nap alone? — The Bump
Attachment Parenting

Has anyone had luck getting LO to nap alone?

DD is 8 months old, and to this point, has pretty much only slept on us, in a carrier or in our bed (when we are in it with her). I have been able to get things done around the house while she naps in an ergo, and until recently, she has slept pretty well in it. Now that she is getting bigger, though, she is really excited to try and see everything, and I'm having a hard time getting her settled in the ergo unless I'm in a dark room, walking around with a noise machine on. Carrying her while she napped was once something I truly enjoyed and treasured, but now, it is becoming a chore as I stumble around in the dark!

We are still bed-sharing at night, and plan to continue indefinitely. Yesterday, I nursed her to sleep, then crept away. 30 minutes later she woke up, I nursed her back to sleep, and then she was out for almost 90 more minutes. She woke up well-rested and was such a fun girl to hang out with for the rest of the afternoon!

Today, I laid her down, nursed, and let her fuss (she wasn't crying - I could tell she was more angry that I was changing the game on her) for about 20 minutes. When the fussing turned to real crying, I went back up. At this point, I realized she had pooped, so I changed her, nursed for 3 minutes and then she was zonked and has been for about 30 minutes now.

My two main questions are:

1. Has anyone had any luck with getting LO to nap alone but still bed-share at night?

2. Is letting her fuss, then going up when she is really crying, just confusing her? I absolutely don't want to let her cry it out, but I also realize she is a pretty stubborn kid (not sure where she gets that from...) and I am definitely okay with her getting mad when things don't go her way. For comparison, her crying gets to about an 8 out of 10 when I take a phone or power cord away from her which I find acceptable when protecting her, but not for getting her to sleep. Her fussing is more of intermittent yelling and whining, about a 3 out of 10. I don't want her to think that I'm abandoning her, and I also don't want her to think that she needs to fuss for 20 minutes, then I'll come, then she can go to sleep.

If you made it this far, thank you!!!!
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Re: Has anyone had luck getting LO to nap alone?

  • we bedshare with our DS and also have had issues getting him to nap by himself (although he does nap on a toddler cot at daycare). DH held him for a lot of naps when he was little, and still holds him sometimes now. however, we have had success getting him to nap in his infant car seat. even now that he is way to big to actually use it as a car seat, he still fits in it and i think he finds it cozy to nap in. he will also nap alone in our bed. i will nurse him and then get up, but one of us stays in the general area. lately i've also been able to get him to sleep on the sofa-- i nurse him while lying down, and then ease him off and get up (again, while staying in the general area).

    you might want to take a look at the no-cry nap solution (by the author of the no-cry sleep solution) for more detailed info. the author also has some suggestions for resistant nappers on her webpage (and here is even more info).

    it could be your DD is getting to that separation anxiety phase, too. it is kinda tough when you are bedsharing IMO, because then they expect the same setup for naps. it has definitely gotten easier for us as DS has gotten older, though.
  • My 11.5 month old naps alone in her crib (usually two 2hr naps) and starts the night in her crib (7:30pm-1amish) then bedshares with me.

    She's had periods where naps where hard and I had to do the floor bed and sneak away but we're back to just nursing and plopping in crib and she zonks out quickly and calmly.

    It took a lot over effort over her 11.5 months of life to get her to be able to.  Helping her get past a sleep cycle etc.  But totally do-able. Babies don't like changes so pick a plan and try to stick with it...keep it gentle but it will take time.  it rarely happens overnight!


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  • Thanks so much for all your replies! I really appreciate how supportive and helpful everyone on this board is! She is definitely in the throws of separation anxiety, but this plan has worked for two naps and just now to get her to sleep today, so I think we might be headed in the right direction! It is definitely not as fast as "cry it out" fans say it could be, but it seems to be working really well for us :)
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  • Around 12 months we just put DS on a mattress on the floor in a completely childproofed room--outlets covered, furniture secured to the wall, safety bars on the windows, baby gate at door--and laid down with him while he fell asleep. He loved it and started sleeping longer stretches. We did this at night and for naps. No tears ever. He didn't STTN until he weaned at 21 months though.
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