Need Bed/Sleep Ideas! — The Bump
June 2015 Moms

Need Bed/Sleep Ideas!

So, if I had this all to do over again, I'd do it differently...but I need help with this whole putting the kid to sleep thang for naps and bedtime.  I haven't had a lot of help in parenting, was never around kids growing up, and do not have family nearby, so I also recognize and own that I feel very insecure and inept about all of it.

After being pretty certain we wouldn't co-sleep, we co-slept for about a year.  We are in a small living arrangement right now so the baby doesn't have her own room/space yet (we're looking), so she's currently sleeping next to the bed.  We tried a lot to get her to sleep in the crib but it was bloody murder and a ton of wakings.  Ultimately, when it wasn't comfortable for any of us in the queen bed we're in, I moved the pack-n-play out and made baby a little nest of comforters and pillows.  You can imagine the first few weeks of this was "holy shit, it's still playtime!"  Since then, she's been better about staying in the "sleep nest" but she often takes an hour to sleep.  This has included getting her laid down, resting, and then leaving the room and letting her cry.  I have a feeling it'll be more of this.

In general, I think she doesn't sleep well or long enough.  She's going to bed around 9 and gets up around 6.  She has several wakings and we still have two naps where she naps 3-5 hours total between the two.  My thought is that she should be doing more night sleeping (as should we) and less day sleeping.

I really try not to feed to sleep, although there are some nights we do.  The conundrum for me in this whole thing is that she naps well *in her swing* /cringe.  Now naps in anything other than a swing were dismal.  She's a large baby and she doesn't really fit all that well in a swing - but my god, she is out like a light on that thing. And here's the thing, we never even turn the swing or its mobile/sounds on. I put her down, give her her giraffe/lovee, give a pacifier and then she decides if she wants it in her mouth, and a light blanket.  I close the shades, turn on the crickets (her sound machine), close the door, and leave.  She never makes a sound.  Sleeps for 2-3 hours.  I feel like part of it is that she just knows she can't move around, so I'm just wondering if anyone knows of a bed or sleep surface that could replicate some of this "cradling" effect that the swing seat has.  Again, its not the motion, it's really just the seat and possible being off the ground.

I've been the only one to put her to bed since she was born and it's a process that's taking 1-3 hours every night, so I'm just ready to set her up for success in this whole process.  I appreciate any thoughts you have. :)

Re: Need Bed/Sleep Ideas!

  • edited August 2016
    I don't have a specific answer, but we have struggled with sleep forever, too. And we were just able to get him a crib (vs a Pack n Play) this week, due to several moves for work.  We are on night 2 of him going to sleep without crying and without taking an hour. We had tried the "sleep nest" idea but it was too hard to keep him contained, like you said.

    What we did was get him used to a certain lovey (doll and blanket, both), and we talked to him many times a day about how he needs to sleep alone in his own bed. Then we started both DH and I being there for bedtime, because until a week ago, it was only me putting him to bed.

    We have a sound machine with two sounds that we use - one to wind down and one to signal actual sleep time. 

    We have spent the week really talking through each phase of pre-bedtime ("now we are winding down...now we are putting jammies on...now the lights are out, so it is time to nurse and then it is time for you to sleep in your own bed...") I nurse him and then hold him for 10-15 minutes, then say, "It's time to go to sleep. I love you." And we put him down, walk out, and set a timer for 10 minutes.

    The first few nights he cried, but we stayed consistent. Now he's been ok.

    Naps are a different story. He screams for an hour or more (we go in, in intervals) and he just will not nap. Or he will nap for 30 minutes. We have decided to focus on bedtime first, and then worry about naps.

    My suggestion would be to get him in a bed that contains him. Talk him through it. Maybe lay with him in your bed until he's very tired (even if it takes an hour initially), then transfer him into the PnP. Sounds great that he has those loveys already, so make a show of putting them in the PnP so he can sleep with them.

    Good luck!! I hope you find something that works for you. We are in the same boat, and it feels like such a failure. But honestly, every kid and situation are different, and it is what it is. You sound like a kind, loving, attentive mama who is doing the best she can for her baby. Hang in there!!
  • Awww, thanks lady mama friend!  It's always a little surprising how naps vs. regular sleep tend to go.  Best of luck to you, too!  I realize this isn't a linear process, so I'm always cautious with progress.  I know a year from now, this will be a non issue, it's just the fuzzy gray area at the moment.  Thanks again for taking the time to comment!
    virginiaunicorn11
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  • This sounds sooooo much like my son! He won't sleep in his crib, we have Co slept for several months now. I'm trying to get him to at least sleep in a travel crib in his room. Naps are on the couch, our bed or the floor on a mat. I have hired a sleep consultant Bc I can't take it anymore. He's up at least 3 times and is using me as a pacifier all night long. We start this week. Fingers crossed this works. 
    virginiaunicorn11Kalu05
  • ^^ Smart idea using the air mattress, glad it is working
    @virginiaunicorn11, love, love, love the way you talk through everything for LO. I think that habit is going to help you avoid a lot of toddler frustrations.  
    We were away from home most of the summer, so are having to readjust LO to his crib. I'd been having to rock him to sleep and that's getting old. So I won't lie, I actually got in there with him a couple times. (never thought I'd actually resort to thatthankfully it didn't break!) Then, we've been putting him in there just to hang out with his stuffed animals. No pressure, just relaxed play and story time. He's gradually getting to where I can put him down mostly asleep, then finish by patting his back. 
    Me-37, DH-38
    Married in 2006, TTC #1 since Jan 2012

    Baby Boy born June 1, 2015

    He settles her in her home as a happy mother of children, praise the Lord! (Psalms 113:9)
    And the peace of God, which surpasses all understand, will guard your heart and mind in Jesus Christ (Philippians 4:7)

    virginiaunicorn11alcrimmins
  • @mindaa I used to put lo in her crib to just look around and get used to the space when we first transitioned from the pnp bassinett. I would stand and talk to her while putting her laundry away. I really think it helped the transition. 
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