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Tired of him sleeping in my arms

Posted by on Mar. 26, 2014 at 12:48 AM
  • 15 Replies
Help! How do I fix this?

My youngest is 7 months old. Officially, he sleeps in a bassinet next to our bed. In reality, his mostly sleeps in my arms on the couch.

Initially, he would only sleep this way or in his swing (not swinging). I think he was 2 months old when he started being ok with the bassinet. Things were going mostly well for a while, but things have gotten worse lately. He wakes up MAYBE 30 minutes after we put him in the bassinet. He'll stay asleep far, far longer in my arms.

I think our current problem is a result of three things:

1. I was never good about "putting him down while drowsy," because it didn't work. He had to be held or perhaps bounced in his bouncy seat. I probably should have tried harder, but I have yet to figure out this transition.
2. I sometimes just fall asleep during late night feedings, resulting in a stretch of us both asleep on the couch. (Currently, with the way I sit and hold him, I believe he's perfectly safe from either falling or smothering. I know, of course, it's NOT the safest or most anti-SIDS situation! I'm trying to avoid it as much possible.)
3. He's teething. I'm sure it both wakes him up and makes him need more comfort.

Some things to know....

He's a pretty needy baby. Nothing like our 1st son who was SO easy to care for.

He still sleeps swaddled. Trying naps without a swaddle hasn't been very successful yet.

We don't want to move him to his crib until he's doing better sleeping through the night, because he'll share a room with his brother (2.5 years old).

He's currently bottle fed.

The length of his naps is pretty inconsistent, but he usually gets two decent ones (at least 30 minutes, sometimes up to 2 hours) plus a cat nap. It's a similar struggle.

Thoughts on how I can improve this situation?
by on Mar. 26, 2014 at 12:48 AM
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Replies (1-10):
The_Doodle
by Bronze Member on Mar. 26, 2014 at 12:52 AM
1 mom liked this

Personally, I would deal with little sleep for about a week to get him used to falling asleep in the crib/bassinet. I had to do that with my daughter...first few days, she sat in her crib with the light on. I sat beside it, holding her hand or comforting her if she cried but I wouldn't take her out of the crib...when she fell asleep, I cut the light off and left the room. When she got used to that, I stayed in there with her but sat farther away and turned the light off. After that, I started leaving when she was calm and lying down but drowsy. Then the last few days, I put her in the crib awake, cut the light off and left the room. There was still nights I would need to go to her but for the most part, that got her used to sleeping in her crib.

SadiasMomma
by Member on Mar. 26, 2014 at 12:53 AM
1 mom liked this
I wish I could help but my 10 month old sleeps so incredibly peacefully in my arms and I honestly would not change anything. Good luck with everything, bed sharing isn't for everyone. Remember though that this stage will pass and you'll miss it even though it isn't very comfortable now.
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JTE11
by on Mar. 26, 2014 at 1:44 AM
1 mom liked this

Honestly, just give him what he needs until he doesn't need it anymore. DD had to be held and swaddled for a little over a year before she could even go to sleep without nursing for a couple of hours or more- she didn't sleep in the crib until she was about 14 months old. Before then she would just scream, wasn't ready. I had to hold her through all of her naps or she couldn't sleep at all, for the first year. It was rough but it didn't last forever. I'd say you're already 7 months into it, just go with it for now and when he gets older he'll tell you when he's ready for something else. And if you haven't already read it, it might be worth it to pick up Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child. It is a wealth of information. Sorry, mama, that's all I've got. I hope it gets easier for you soon.

abra
by Abra on Mar. 26, 2014 at 12:54 PM
Yeah, I would do something similar to this, but not while he is teething. I had to sleep train 2 out of 4 of my kids. It is totally normal. Some kids need it and some kids don't. In my experience, the younger the baby, the easier it will be to train them good sleep habits. I waited until my 2nd baby was 9 months old and she didn't really start sleeping through the night until I had her older sister start sleeping with her in a full sized bed after she turned 3 years old! With my 4th, I started establishing sleep habits when he was 2 months old — he usually only wakes up once or twice a night since he was 6 months old!

Quoting The_Doodle:

Personally, I would deal with little sleep for about a week to get him used to falling asleep in the crib/bassinet. I had to do that with my daughter...first few days, she sat in her crib with the light on. I sat beside it, holding her hand or comforting her if she cried but I wouldn't take her out of the crib...when she fell asleep, I cut the light off and left the room. When she got used to that, I stayed in there with her but sat farther away and turned the light off. After that, I started leaving when she was calm and lying down but drowsy. Then the last few days, I put her in the crib awake, cut the light off and left the room. There was still nights I would need to go to her but for the most part, that got her used to sleeping in her crib.

expectantmom81
by Erin on Mar. 26, 2014 at 12:57 PM
Try using a shirt you have worn as a blanket cause it will have your scent on it.
Triksa
by on Mar. 26, 2014 at 7:00 PM
1 mom liked this
My daughted will be 1 tomorrow for her to go to bed i have to swaddle and rock her.. once she falls asleep i unwrap her and put her in her crib and shes ok for the night. Its hard i know it but you just havebto let him tough it out.

Put him down and sit by his bed so he k ows ur there,each night move further and further to the door til eventually ur out if the room.
TurtleMami
by on Mar. 27, 2014 at 2:06 AM

Just co-sleep.

lizzistardust
by on Mar. 27, 2014 at 1:38 PM
Thank you everyone for your helpful replies!!!
lizzistardust
by on Mar. 27, 2014 at 1:38 PM
How did the transition go when she finally moved to the crib?

Quoting JTE11:

Honestly, just give him what he needs until he doesn't need it anymore. DD had to be held and swaddled for a little over a year before she could even go to sleep without nursing for a couple of hours or more- she didn't sleep in the crib until she was about 14 months old. Before then she would just scream, wasn't ready. I had to hold her through all of her naps or she couldn't sleep at all, for the first year. It was rough but it didn't last forever. I'd say you're already 7 months into it, just go with it for now and when he gets older he'll tell you when he's ready for something else. And if you haven't already read it, it might be worth it to pick up Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child. It is a wealth of information. Sorry, mama, that's all I've got. I hope it gets easier for you soon.

lizzistardust
by on Mar. 27, 2014 at 1:42 PM
What kind of setup do you use? Do you sleep in bed while holding him? I've thought about trying that but am concerned it wouldn't me safe. The way I sit on the couch, the arm rest really kind of prevents me from being able to let go of him. I can't think of how to achieve that in bed.

Quoting SadiasMomma: I wish I could help but my 10 month old sleeps so incredibly peacefully in my arms and I honestly would not change anything. Good luck with everything, bed sharing isn't for everyone. Remember though that this stage will pass and you'll miss it even though it isn't very comfortable now.
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