J.P. asks from Chicago, IL on March 10, 2009
8 Week Old Will Only Fall Asleep in Bouncy Seat
Being a first-time mom, I did not initially understand my 8 week old daughter when she got fussy and just wanted to sleep/nap.
Last week, I started helping her 'nap' by placing her in her bouncy chair with vibrations, then rocking the chair for a few minutes. This worked like a charm and still does.
Previous to this, especially during the evenings, she seemed to sleep fine in her pack n play, crib & bassinet. She even strung together some power naps. Now she can only fall asleep in her vibrating bouncy seat and only sleeps 1.5 - 3 hours.
I've tried to work with her i.e. place her in her crib, she cries, take her out, check to make sure she has a clean diaper, has been burped, is not longer hungry, etc. and I cannot seem to get her to sleep in anything but her chair, unless she is 100% sleepy.
Does anyone have any advice?
If I go back farther, I would say that when she was smaller, she fell asleep alot in our arms & on our chests and then we placed her in her crib... but during night feedings I did not have any issues with placing her back in her crib after waking.
Also, I looked into the sleep positioners (reviews were not the greatest for safety reasons, so I will return) and purchased a Gentle Vibrations crib soother, hoping the vibrations will help her.
My husband thought we should do whatever it takes to help her sleep. Then when she is old enough (I am hearing 4 months) we can transition her and let her cry it out.
So What Happened?™
3.23.09 - After 2 weeks in the bouncy seat, then about 5 days with the bouncy seat in the crib, my little one successfully slept in the crib throughout the weekend. She pulled a few 6 hour straight thru shifts in the chair and some 4 hour shifts in the crib. I am very pleased with her progress. I ended up placing a towel under her mattress to elevate her head a bit so she is not lying flat. Thanks again for all of your tips.
Thank you all for the great advice... I did notice that my little one doesn't burp at night and her doctor said it was because she was most likely more relaxed during feeding and was not taking in air.
What I've discovered is that after she is placed in a flat position (crib or pack n play) she is fine for a while, then starts fussing. After 20 - 30 minutes she cries, I pick her up and she lets out a loud burp or spits up. I think the flat position & lack of burping are affecting her digestion and making her uncomfortable.
I have started using the 3 b's (bottom, burp & boredom). I also elevated her mattress slightly and tried soothing her last night, then placing her in her crib. She was fine and almost asleep and then she spit up and started crying (even after I burped her).
I will take all of your advice into consideration, embrace the fact that she prefers the bouncy seat and place in her crib so she can get used to her surroundings...
It is comforting to know that other moms have experienced this and that it is okay to have her sleep where she prefers for now and not to force her to do something she is not ready for.
J.P. answers from Chicago on March 11, 2009
No worries. I have an 8 year old daughter who spent the first 5 months of her life in a bouncy seat. She was colicky and would only feel comfortable in her bouncy seat. Eventually we transitioned her. We would put her to sleep in her bouncy seat in her crib. This got her used to her crib. She just was not ready to lie flat. Eventually we took the bouncy seat out of the crib but it took awhile and the pediatrician assured us it would be okay. She is now a thriving 8 year old without issue. Good luck!
J.T. answers from Chicago on March 11, 2009
As long as she is sleeping you are good to go! Anything that works as long as it is safe is fine for baby. My kids slept in the bouncy chair for hours, like the others said she will grow out of it before it's an issue. You're doing great.
T.L. answers from Chicago on March 11, 2009
4 months old is NOT old enough to let them cry it out...I would do more research on that before you go that route. But I would also pannick at that age about my daughters sleep and thought what she did would be that way forever...and it wont. Do what you can do (safely) to get her to sleep and st some point you will get her out of he bouncy seat. My daughter used to put herself to sleep at 2 months of age (VERY rare) and when she stating crawling that ended and had to fight her to sleep. When they atart their milestones everything changes...teething too. Your child will sleep someday!!!
A.M. answers from Chicago on March 11, 2009
I agree with your husband and yes about 4-6 months is a good time for CIO as babies don't have enough memory before that. Little ones are often quite averse to a crib as it is so vast and so different from the womb. The book "healthy sleep habits, happy baby" is great. I know that at 8 weeks I wasn't letting my baby sleep enough - never let baby be awake for more than 2 hrs at a time. after 1 hour of being awake, look for signs of tiredness and get baby to sleep. 8 weeks is the height for what we call colic ie unexplained crying. This can frequently happen at the end of the day due to built up stress and is exacerbated by too few naps. Do whatever works to get baby to sleep - rock, put in car seat, swaddle - the amby bed at www.amby.com works great. Whatever it is, try it as sleep is very important - just as important as food. Good luck
M.H. answers from Chicago on March 11, 2009
We put our son on his back for the first 6 weeks, but then he had such a gas issue that we start putting him on his tummy for naps so I could watch him. and because he could look up and move pretty well. I put him on his tummy in the crib and he slept all night from 10pm -6 am and has been on his tummy ever since. If he is on his back he wakes up, because the gas bubbles moving in his tummy. This is the only way he will sleep.
But you can only do this if you feel comfortable.
C.B. answers from Chicago on March 11, 2009
I am a mother of 4 (15,12,8 & 5) My second child was a big baby (10lbs-5oz) and the first month he was fine in his crib, but then came month 2. I had put him on formula to help supplement me and he was miserable and fussy when we would lay him down. I would put him in his vibrating seat and he would sleep so well in it I hated to bother him. So for his naps and bedtime he slept in his bouncey/vibrating seat. I did, however, keep it in his crib with the side of the crib up just in case he could somehow slither out. He never did and by 4 months he was sleeping in his crib without the seat in it, but I did have the mattress on an angle just up one click from the foot side. He stayed like that until he was about 6 months old. By then he was such a mover a level bed was, I felt, less dangerous. He was the only one who had a fussy spirt like that. Good Luck!!!
P.S. I also had all of my children in a side sleeping position with a wedge I bought at Babies R Us. You would put the baby on their side and a long wedge was at the back and a smaller wedge was in the front from the hips up to the chest.
K.M. answers from Chicago on March 11, 2009
Our son slept in his swing or vibrating bouncy for months. It was the only place he would sleep! After a few months we were able to get him to sleep in his crib at night, but nap time was still in the swing or bouncy. At 6 months it seemed like a switch went off and he just decided he liked the crib best. My daughter did the same thing with nap time until she was 6 months old.
We did let him cry it out by 4 months at bed time. He caught on pretty quickly. So, I have to disagree with the person that said 4 months is too early to cry it out.
C.G. answers from Chicago on March 11, 2009
Hi J. and Congratulations. We went throught the same thing with our first daughter and being a mom to new baby brings a lot of questions. Here is what worked for us. Our daughter would not sleep in the bassinet/pack and play. It seemed as if it were too big for her because she could fall asleep in the car seat, bouncy, swing or on us. Our fear was shed never sleep in her bed. we wanted her to get used to sleeping in her crib so that eventually we didnt have a big transition when it was the only place she could sleep. On the advice of our ped. we put her in the car seat to sleep but put the car seat in her crib so she became familiar with the surroundings in her room. It worked like a charm and as she got bigger and the crib didnt seem so big and the car seat was not as cozy she transitioned out of it with no issues. The dr. said many newborns need closer quarters than a bassinet/crib provides as they are used to being so close in the womb and that sleeping on the incline of the bouncy,swing or car seat helps them digest their food better which is another reason they are more comfy in that position. Good luck. Sleep is so important for all of you!