You can breath a sigh of relief today. When your baby won’t fall asleep without you, it can be hard. I have been there, too, and it DOES stop. Eventually, they do just fall asleep, without needing you right there to pat them, rock them, nurse them, feed them… All four of mine are now falling asleep all by themselves and yours will, too.
It may start by accident. You nurse or bottle feed your baby, just to get a few extra minutes of sleep yourself, and then it becomes a habit. You bring your baby into your bed so you can get the sleep that your body is craving and you both sleep well, so you do it again. When you try to stop, your baby cries and cries. What do you do now? Take the advice from these real moms… who have been where you are right now.
My baby will only sleep in my arms. Real solutions to help:
- Remember that this is very normal and natural for your baby to want you.
- You may be in “survival” mode right not- trying to get sleep where you can. If you aren’t comfortable co-sleeping, remember that it only takes three days to break a habit.
- Try making the crib warm by placing an electric blanket on his sheets for 10-20 minutes BEFORE you put your baby into his crib. Remove the blanket right before bedtime (you never want to leave it in the crib). It will warm the sheets, which will make sleep come easier. (Think of it like this: you are a warm body, so if he is resting on you and moving to cold sheets, a drastic change in temperature can be startling)
- If you want your baby to sleep on his back, hold him on his back when you are snuggling him. It will make the transition easier.
- Try putting a crib beside your bed and hold your hand in on your baby’s belly until he/she falls asleep.
- Try a co-sleeping bed or crib (many stores sell these)
- Listen to this mother’s story... “I couldn’t even get out of bed to brush my teeth and he’d start moving & crying! At four months it was becoming challenging because he would wake up every 30 minutes all night and all day I also have a three-year-old and it was very hard to co-sleep and also get her to bed! My husband and I decided it was time to get him out of our bed at 4 1/2 months… a few rough nights of crying and going in to comfort him to show him that his crib is where he sleeps and he’s been doing wonderful!! He’s now almost six months old and sleeps 11 hours in his crib!!! You have to do what works for you and not worry about it!! I thoroughly enjoyed cosleeping but it was definitely our time to end it.”~Sherry McQuay
- Try placing the baby in their crib while you are awake, to avoid them temptation to co-sleep due to YOUR sleepiness. A good way to do this is by starting at nap time.
- Start as you mean to go on. I read this is a book that I loved (The Baby Whisperer) and it holds true for every situation. Don’t do something that you don’t intend to keep doing. You are training your children one way or another.
- Put him down for naps and bed at the same time each day. You may need to wake them in the morning to try to keep this schedule.
- Keep a structured routine, so his body becomes used to sleep at the same time.
- Lay him in his crib when he is drowsy, but not asleep, and place your hand on his chest until he is sound asleep.
- Try making a “sh, sh, shhhh… sh, sh, shhhh…” sound as you keep your hand on his chest. This sound reminds them of being in the womb.
- If he cries when you try to put him into his crib, pick him up until he is calm and then immediately place him into his crib again.
- “Just do what feels right to you, feed to sleep, cosleep, do what you can to get the most sleep and least crying… They are only babies for 365 days which will pass in the blink of an eye. Do what you can to enjoy it while it lasts” ~Rebecca OngThis too shall pass, my friend. I remember going through this with each of our four children. I remember it like it was yesterday, but it does get better and easier. You are tired now, but you will get sleep again. You can find more solutions and ideas on our Facebook page, where we talk about parenting issues every day.