I read about the people who are able to easily get their children to nap in their crib and I long for Edith to do the same. Instead I am lucky if once per month I get her to nap in her crib for more than 10 minutes. Honestly, some days I am lucky to get Edith to nap at all.
Most days Edith will take about 2-4 short naps. These naps are on me 99% of the time and are always after she has nursed herself to sleep. As much as I love the time to cuddle with her and hold her, because I know that this won’t last forever, it makes getting anything done during the day difficult. I end up sitting on the couch trying to work one-handed on writing blog posts or articles or read but most of the time I just end up watching Grey’s Anatomy or The Office (once Edith is passed out).
Some of you are probably saying I need to sleep train her.
Others are shaking your head at me saying see that’s what you get for always letting her nap on you since day one.
And I hope some of you are nodding to say you are or have been in the same boat as me.
Well let me tell you I have tried:
- Putting her down for a nap in her crib as soon as I see signs of sleepiness (rubbing eyes, yawning, etc.)
- I have put her in her crib and done some controlled cry it out
- I have nursed her to sleep and then put her right in her crib (only to have her wake up EVERY time she touches the mattress)
- I have nursed her to sleep and then held her until she seems to be in a deep(ish) sleep but then just like above I try to put her in her crib and she wakes up.
- I have nursed her on my bed until she falls asleep and let her sleep there (most successful)
- I have nursed her on the floor of the nursery until she falls asleep and let her sleep there (second most successful)
Ultimately I have given up. Unfortunately the only successful way I can get her to nap is if she is on me, so the dilemma is no nap or nap on me. I choose nap on me. I know this isn’t ideal but it’s what is working. That being said I am still longing for crib naps so that I could get work done during the day and not have to get up early or stay up late to get work done. I would love any tips or suggestions that you might have on how we might successfully get Edith to nap in her crib. Or at least tell me it’s a lost cause so I can just come to terms with it.
Does your baby nap in their crib? What is your technique, routine, etc to get them to do so?
My husband and I were totally there with our little girl just a few months ago. We had let her sleep on us from day one and never worried about putting her in her crib. It totally backfired on us and she became a horrible night sleeper and would never dream of napping anywhere except on her papa’s shoulder, let alone her crib. While I was completely against any sort of crying-it-out methods, my husband, who stays at home with her, took matters into his own hands. He read Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child one day and started sleep training her the next. After about a day or so, she was successfully sleep trained (which is crazy because she was a HORRIBLE sleeper). He puts her down for naps at very specific times (9AM, 1PM and around 4:30PM) and has a little routine (like a mini bedtime routine) to prep her for nap time. She now gets excited for naps and is thrilled when we zip her in her little sleep sack and hand over her lovey. So while I was originally completely against the methods he used, I understand that it was what Harriet needed. She is now a much, much, much happier baby. She also nurses better and sleeps wells at night. She was kind of a high needs, anxious little baby that was starting to slide off her growth curve. But she is now an incredibly low-key, easy going, well-rested and big, happy baby. I know every baby is completely different and that you will find an approach that works best for Edith. But this is just what we have done and I am forever grateful for my husband for doing this.
My daughter is only 10 weeks old, but has never napped in her crib. She slept on top of me during the first 6 weeks! Then I got a fisher price snug bunny swing, and she takes a 5 hr nap there every morning. And at night she sleeps next to me, swaddled, with a pacifier. I dont know how to get her to want to nap in a crib. If I put her there, she wakes up immediately…
We had the same exact problem. We can get Michaela to sleep in her crib at night no problem but during the day she was not having it. After the same issues as you, while I LOVE LOVE LOVE the cuddling, sometimes you just have stuff to do.. I figured we should try putting her down in our bed. I hold her in our bed until she falls asleep and is out for about 5 minutes, then transfer her to our mattress. I usually get 1.5-2 hours out of her. It’s amazing, I put pillows around her just in case. Sometimes I lay down with her, sometime I do other stuff in the bedroom or gasp.. clean! I like having the option to lay down with her if I want, but sometimes you just need some you time. Try it out and let me know how it goes!
I totally get it. And I don’t have an answer. And I believe you’re doing the right thing. Sleep is such a personal thing but as long as you’re doing whatever works best for your family, that’s what is right. It’s tough, but I think these little ones will figure it out eventually. Hang in there!
It’s usually hit or miss here. But a couple of things that may help are:
Is the room she naps in dark? Is the white noise on? Is the humidifier on? Is the nap always at the same place?
Can you create a nap routine to signal naps? Look for sleep pressure signs, she most probably needs to sleep every 2-3 hours.
Maybe you can nurse her in a dark room and put her down in that room so her naps are longer. HTH!
Ugh. We’ve dealt with this on and off, too. When Ada was about 7 mos old (she’s 10 mos now), I started working on her falling asleep for naps on her own. It first started with me putting her down, sitting by her crib and singing, patting her (and she cried…but only for 10 minutes…and I figured I was still there comforting her). Then, I’d put her in her crib, she’d be content, and I’d do something in the room for about 10 minutes, like fold laundry, and she’d just zonk out on her own. It did get to the point where she falls asleep on her own, although sometimes I do have to hold her, like when she’s teething, having separation anxiety or going through a developmental stage.
Now…if you can help me out with figuring out how to put her down at bedtime while she’s still awake…that’s my next challenge!