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For those whose babies would only sleep on them


14 replies to this topic

#1 Wacky Wobbler

Posted 31 January 2013 - 06:02 PM

My 3 month old will only sleep during the day if it is on someone's chest, he has been like this since the day he was born. I can get at least an hour out of him but if I put him down he wakes instantly. I have tried everything but this is the only thing that works.

I have been told that by 4 months I need to try and get him to sleep in his cot otherwise he will only ever sleep on my chest. Not too long go I tried to get him to sleep in his cot for day sleeps but it took so long to get him to sleep that he would only sleep maybe 40 mins and would constantly cry.
this then affected his night sleep which I wasn't too happy about.

How would I go about changing this? I really don't want his night sleep affected.

Thanks

#2 mavisandjack

Posted 31 January 2013 - 06:50 PM

My DD slept on us for the first three months. She then co slept at night next to me (still does at 16 months).

During the day she slept on my until 12 months. She now sleeps on a floor bed in her room but I stay with her until she falls asleep.

#3 Contrebasse

Posted 31 January 2013 - 06:59 PM

My DD was like this until 8 weeks or so, then suddenly grew out of it - one day I put her down in the cot and she stayed asleep.

She still needed to be fed to sleep for ages though - we have just started to change this at 8.5 months and it is very difficult. Now that she has learned to stand up, she will stand in the cot and yell at bedtime...

Sorry that probably wasn't very helpful for you!

#4 mandala

Posted 31 January 2013 - 07:09 PM

Honestly? I'd start worrying about it a little more after the 4 month sleep regression.  When people say that you need to do something by 4 months, what they really mean is that after that time babies can start to develop sleep associations, which can then take time and effort to change if they're not suitable.

If you're happy while your DS sleeping on you for the medium term, you can keep going with it. It's only a problem for you when it's a problem. And I've never heard of a 15 year old that will only sleep lying on their mother (although I suspect if there are any out there, they're not volunteering that information).

If you do want to make the change, you have plenty  of time to do so. The general suggestion is to do whatever works until around 6 months, and then try whatever sleep training method you are comfortable with. I think it's a good age since they're old enough that they can develop self associations but it's not complicated by trying to stand up in the cot. They can also handle a little bit more awake time so it's harder for them to get overtired if they struggle to get enough sleep during the day.

We used responsive settling to move to self-settling just before four months. It was the absolute earliest that I think it could have worked, and we only attempted it because DS wouldn't sleep during the day at all - not on me, not in a sling, not in the car - and we were all at the end of our collective tethers. Because DS was getting so little day sleep, he didn't get any more overtired than he already was, so night wakings weren't increased.

If I were trying it with a 3 month old baby who wasn't overtired to start with, I would be keeping a very, very close eye on tired signs, and making sure I was trying to settle for a nap at most 1h15min after the previous wake time. If you see a yawn or red eyes 30 minutes after they wake up, then it's time for a nap. That should stop the overtiredness creeping in and affecting night sleep.

But please don't change what you're doing just because someone says they'll be like that forever. Nothing babies do is forever!

By the same token, if you can't handle the sleeping on you, that's okay too. You're allowed to want your baby to sleep well without your physical presence. Just because other people are happy to cosleep doesn't mean you aren't allowed to try other approaches.

#5 xarley

Posted 31 January 2013 - 07:10 PM

I wound up using a Manduca carrier and after he was deeply asleep I'd transfer him to the bassinet/cot if I needed to. If you can baby wearing us pretty handy. Enjoy it while you can. Nothing feels  better than little one sleeping on your chest.

#6 rabbit hyde

Posted 31 January 2013 - 07:10 PM

My DD was having the same issue.  I found that if I wrapped her in a shirt or cardigan I had worn that she would sleep for a lot longer, also I think the bassinet was quite cold so I would throw a hot water bottle in there for a few minutes so when I transferred her she wouldn't go from lovely warm chest to cold blanket.

It can feel really claustrophobic and frustrating when your are confined to a position just so they can sleep.

Maybe using a sling or a carrier could help as well?

#7 axiomae

Posted 31 January 2013 - 07:36 PM

Ah I remember this... at about 3 months I started to help DD fall asleep in the cot, eventually leading to self settling. If you do want to change and have your LO sleep in the cot you can do it - it's daunting, and does involve crying, but for me it was the most wonderful thing - I felt liberated to have some time to myself during the day again! Don't feel you have to carry your LO forever or co-sleep to change things because you don't. You do have to be consistent and accept that you LO will cry in the process though.

I watched tired signs carefully. When DD was showing her signs I would wrap her in her sleep sack (Love to Dream zip up swaddle at that age), close the curtains, then cuddle her and sing Twinkle Twinkle. I would put her in her bassinet (she was still in it at that age) and then rock the bassinet while shhhing. She would cry, but I was there. At first it took 30+ mins, but in a few days it was down to under 10mins. Another week and she was asleep in under 5 mins every time, and it wasn't crying, just grizzling. I phased out how much I rocked and then eventually just put her down and left the room (at the point when she would only grizzle for a few mins. Now (7 months) she sings herself to sleep and plays with her comfort teddy for a few minutes before drifting off happily. Well worth the hard work!

Oh, she still only catnapped for 45mins multiple times a day, but those naps lengthened at about 6 months.



#8 Spring Chickadee

Posted 31 January 2013 - 07:52 PM

Mine is 12 weeks old. try to very gently and slowly transition him. I will have him try to fall alseep chest up in my arms so the transition doesn't feel so different. I then lean into the cot when i place him down and stay holding him- whilst he is also laying in the cot.

or putting light pressure on his chest if he was laying on my chest rather than in my arms.

If you can, wrap him before he falls alseep in your arms if he is starling when you place him down (arms being thrown in the air)

Also, Sometimes what actually wakes them is the sudden change of tempurature, going from your warm chest to a cold bed. Try to have a blanket around them that stays around them when you transfer- I've found this helps.

Also, Wait until his limbs are limp when you lightly lift them. he will be less likely to wake when he is in this deeper sleep. this usually takes 20mins for my boy.

Or if it is that they simply need the security of feeling you close during the day and will cry if you try all the gentle methods then provide that for them. I see security and comfort as a need. Just as they cry out when they need food, warmth ,nappy change. We as parents need to meet their needs, so if being held on your chest is what your baby needs right now find ways to make that manageable for you rather then ignoring their needs by letting them cry and cry. They were in your belly for 9 months, they time a gentle transition to being on their own.  

I have found the Hug-a-bub and ergo carriers brilliant for keeping your hands free to get things done.

Edited by Spring Chickadee, 31 January 2013 - 07:56 PM.


#9 tick

Posted 31 January 2013 - 08:11 PM

He will 100% definitely grow out of sleeping on your chest!  No matter what you do!  But I can see why he would like it at 3 months old - it's probably pure bliss.  

Like others have said - if you're happy to do it then there's no need to stop.  If you'd like to change, you can work towards that too of course.

My 7 month old doesn't sleep in a cot, she never has.  We have one, but she hates it!  She slept on me for the first probably 3.5 months and then I started being able to lay her beside me on the bed, right up close.  I moved myself further away a little and after a while I found I could feed her to sleep on the bed and get up and leave and she'd stay asleep.  She has a double mattress on the floor of her room and has all of her sleeps there!  At night when she wakes for a feed I sleep on it with her.  It works well for us, so much so that I've even dismantled the cot.  In hindsight I wish I'd done this with my first child, I was so hung up on getting her to sleep in a cot because it's the done thing, but it doesn't seem to suit my children at all.  

One thing I know for sure is that babies change all the time.  Just when you think you're doomed for eternity, they change!  All on their own too, if you let them ....

#10 SnazzySass

Posted 31 January 2013 - 08:13 PM

DS was like this and at the time it was very annoying. I used to sit in reclining rocking chair with my laptop on a side table with head phones and watch TV. I still got a rest of sorts and didn’t raise my stress levels trying to put him down. By about four months he was happy to be transferred.

We still co-sleep and rock him to sleep for night but at 12 months he started grabbing his blanket at nap time to let me know he was ready and shortly after that started crawling into his cot and putting himself to sleep (most of the time).  DP and I can’t deal with the crying so for everyone’s mental wellbeing we will rock him until he tells us not to.

Just do whatever works for you. if it is not working, work on changing it but don’t think that if by 4 months your bub is not putting themselves to sleep that they will need to sleep on you until they are 18.

#11 Guest_Sunnycat_*

Posted 31 January 2013 - 08:16 PM

Mine slept on me until 13.5 months. Then I made the concisious effort to take him into our bedroom where he half slept on me and half slept on they'd for his naps.

Now he is 15 months old and has one big day nap where I feed him to sleep and then put him in the bed.

I thought he would be sleeping I'm my arms forever, and the only thing that got me through was knowing that one day he would stop having a day nap.

#12 ImpatientAnna

Posted 31 January 2013 - 08:20 PM

QUOTE (tick @ 31/01/2013, 09:11 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
He will 100% definitely grow out of sleeping on your chest!  No matter what you do!  But I can see why he would like it at 3 months old - it's probably pure bliss.  

Like others have said - if you're happy to do it then there's no need to stop.  If you'd like to change, you can work towards that too of course.

My 7 month old doesn't sleep in a cot, she never has.  We have one, but she hates it!  She slept on me for the first probably 3.5 months and then I started being able to lay her beside me on the bed, right up close.  I moved myself further away a little and after a while I found I could feed her to sleep on the bed and get up and leave and she'd stay asleep.  She has a double mattress on the floor of her room and has all of her sleeps there!  At night when she wakes for a feed I sleep on it with her.  It works well for us, so much so that I've even dismantled the cot.  In hindsight I wish I'd done this with my first child, I was so hung up on getting her to sleep in a cot because it's the done thing, but it doesn't seem to suit my children at all.  

One thing I know for sure is that babies change all the time.  Just when you think you're doomed for eternity, they change!  All on their own too, if you let them ....


This is us pretty much. First 4 months DS slept in a hugabub on me, then one day he just wouldn't do it so we snuggled up for a feed in bed. Now at 14 months he sleeps in a single bed against a wall with our queen pushed up next to it.

#13 Flutters

Posted 31 January 2013 - 08:22 PM

I could have written your post word for word - it did my head in. We failed sleep school twice, then after 9 months & 1 week (not that I was counting) she fell asleep in my arms, I put her in her cot and she stayed there. 6 weeks later she self settled, and since then hasn't gone to sleep in my arms for her day sleeps (she'll be 1 on Monday)

Something that helped us was taking her to a chiro, and he actually treated both of us which helped hugely. Good luck, I know how exhausting it is - my solution was going to be to go back to work and let childcare deal with her. Not my finest idea...

Don't listen to books - just do whatever works for you.

#14 Wacky Wobbler

Posted 01 February 2013 - 06:06 AM

Thanks for your replies.

I don't mind too much if he sleeps on me but I have an old back injury which is playing up so it's making it a bit hard to lie in the one spot for any great length of time.

He has decided that waking every 1-2 hours overnight is fun so I guess I will let him sleep on my chest during the day for as long as neded as he cannot be getting much sleep overnight.

#15 Stoked

Posted 01 February 2013 - 07:31 AM

Mine had a cot allergy (would wake up 5 mins after being placed in the cot) for the first few months of his life. He'd sleep for up to 2 hours in the Ergo, in my arms, on my chest - everywhere but not the cot. Suddenly, at 4 months he was happy to go to his cot for naps and he even connected sleep cycles himself and slept for up to 2.5 hours there. It all went to pieces with the next round of wonder weeks but it was good for a while nonetheless original.gif



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