First Time Mom Needs Advice on Sleep and Routine

Updated on August 29, 2007
A.G. asks from Minneapolis, MN
29 answers

I need help! I am a first time SAHM to a 3 month old little girl. I am really confused on making a routine. My baby goes to sleep and wakes up the same time each day, but during the day nothing is ever the same. Sometimes she takes really good long naps, and sometimes she take two or three ten minutes naps. Sometimes she doesn't take any naps at all. Is this normal?

I've read that I am suppose to try to put her down when she is awake, is that true for naps too? When I have tried she wakes herself up then cries forever, until she gets so hysterical that she gets sick. She likes to nurse herself to sleep.

One other thing, she hates her car seat. Has anyone else had this problem?

She is also going through this stage where she screams if she isn't being held. It is all so overwhelming to me right now because she didn't used to be like this! She was such an easy going baby at first and now she seems to be so demanding!

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B.L.

answers from Minneapolis on

Sounds like a normal household so relax breathe. They sleep all over the place, don't like being put down for sleep and don't like the careseat. When she's old enough try a toy in the back seat. Keep trying for the nap situation, she is young yet but it will get easier and she will soon understand that it's ok to fall asleep without mom holding her.

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L.O.

answers from Minneapolis on

My baby boy did the same thing for quite some time (from 3 months to around 9 months) but eventually he became more predictable. The books make the 3 month mark sound like the time every baby takes exactly 2 naps a day at set times and that definitely was not the case with my kid. Let me also say that just when you get into a nice routine and you think you have a schedule set, teething creeps in and messes it all up again :) You're doing GREAT, don't stress.

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B.

answers from Minneapolis on

Sounds normal to me. A three month old is too young for a routine, in my opinion. It is totally normal for her to want to nurse to sleep and not to like being put down awake. That is one of those things that sounds good in books, but rarely works too well in real life. I would encourage her to sleep in the most comfortable way possible. If she wants to nurse to sleep, let her, and then lay her down. As she gets older, you'll be able to get into more of a routine and you can work at helping her fall asleep without nursing.

Again, just my opinion, but don't let a three month old cry it out, especially not so much that she gets sick. She is not ready for that yet. She is crying because she needs you. Have you tried a sling? That is often a great way to get things done while still keeping your baby calm/sleeping. I wouldn't worry that your baby will get into "bad" sleep habits this early on. Work on putting her down when she is almost asleep and staying near her until she is fully asleep, shushing and touching her. She just needs you and that is normal. It is also totally normal for babies to dislike car seats. She'll eventually outgrow it, I would guess.

Get a sling and pick your baby up whenever you can - I think that will help her sleep sounder and be happier.

Best wishes,
B.
Momma to a toddler bundle of energy

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K.L.

answers from Minneapolis on

one thing to keep in mind is that, around 3 months they go through a growth spurt so they WILL want to nurse more frequetly. i Have noticed around that time my kids also liked to be held a lot and of course nurse more. I see nothing wrong with nursing to bed. I see it as " well, they'll sleep longer". I hate how doctors tell you, you need to be on a schedule, you need to put them to bed awake, and a bunch of other stuff. What I have learned is to not stress out about that stuff. And just go with the flow. there are more important things to worry about than making sure she falls asleep with out nursing. She is still very young too and keep that in mind.Both of my kids were odd like that during the day too but.....I just went with it. It makes it less stressful and less to worry about. Good luck..oh and as the car seat goes...thats too bad! she has NO choice and in that case...she has to cry. thats a personal safety issue.

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V.G.

answers from Minneapolis on

My biggest advice to you is not to sweat it. As soon as you think you get a baby's schedule down they have some type of huge growth or milestone that changes it all.

Personally, I never "scheduled" my son. The schedule should settle itself again into some kind of relatively predictable routine.

And he never liked to sleep unless I was holding him. Your daughter has known ONLY you for 9 mos, and once they're born we expect them to be all independent... it's not fair. Hold her. This time goes by SOOO fast (I can't believe my little guy is almost 2 already!). If it is driving you nuts, get a sling or a wrap. They are great for holding baby and still being able to move around the house. (I make and sell them for much cheaper than the ones you buy in stores, if you message me with your e-mail address I can send you color swatches.) Don't worry about what "they" say you should do... let the baby cry, don't hold her too much, be firm... your baby is a baby and needs to know that when she is distressed, there is someone there to meet her needs.

And he hated his car seat. Particularly at night. If you can, stay close to home and try to do most of your traveling during the day. I think he would get frustrated because he couldn't see anything so he'd just cry.

Best of luck to you. It's an amazing ride!

~V.

(Oh, and I still nurse my 22 mo old to sleep. Sometimes he falls asleep on his own, but often he nurses. It's comforting - why take that away?)

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T.B.

answers from Minneapolis on

please save your sanity and purchase the book: Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. My daughter when she was 17 months old would wake 20-40 times a night. My husband and I would take shifts getting up with her, plus I had just had my son. I bought the book while I was on leave with my son, and it took 3 nights to get her to sleep through the night. Plus I used the techniques on my son and he's 6 now--sleeps 10 hours straight. Good luck.

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T.A.

answers from Minneapolis on

Abbey -
As a mom for the past 16+ years, let me start out by saying you are doing the most important thing for your baby that you can do... you love her so much that you want to be the best mommy you can be. This is the challenge at this stage and there will be more. There will be advice for all challenges (sometimes conflicting) and you will learn to take it and then trust your gut as the person who knows what is best for their child(ren). YOU are the expert but never stop asking questions.

Hang in there -- we know it's tough. Make sure you are asking your husband for help and support. He most likely knows less than you do which is an awful scary place for a man to be so they sometimes don't "come through" as we would like them to.

You are a good mommy.

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A.R.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi Abbey,

Step back and take a deep breath... motherhood is a challenge at times. We have all been there, and sorry to tell you this but it gets more interesting as they grow...LOL!
As for naps, my daughter Montanna (4) used to ONLY nap when she was nursed to sleep, and often would only stay asleep as long as I held her, at the beginning I could lay her down in the bassinet, but if I tried the crib... nope that didn't fly for very long. I don't know if it was because the bassinet was usually right next to me or at least in the room with me or it was just more cozy than the crib or what. But Montanna never really liked her crib. As for crying until she threw up, yes that is what Montanna still does when she gets upset, I have yet to figure out what to do about that!

Have you tried her in other carseats? Is she in a carrier carseat right now? My only suggestion would be to go to Babies R Us or Baby Depot or some other baby store that carries baby carseats and try putting her in a few different ones, maybe she just isn't comfortable in the carseat you have. Montanna loved her carrier carseat, when all else failed we could put her in there and rock her back and forth and she would usually go to sleep at least for a little while. I think she was so snuggled in there that it made her feel safe, almost like being back in the womb where nothing could hurt her. She was like that when we swaddled her too. Just a few suggestions to at least try..

Good Luck, Hope to talk to you again soon! Would love to go out for some adult time sometime!!
A.
[email protected]____.com

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R.

answers from Minneapolis on

I agree with Bridget's comments. It's actually going to be easier for you and less overwhelming if you go with the flow and not think "routine." Ignore books, trust your instinct, and just cherish this precious time holding her and nursing her to sleep. I miss those times!

My son didn't like his car seat until he was in the car and it was moving. Have you tried attaching any toys or something to divert her attention?

Good luck. It does get easier.

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S.F.

answers from Minneapolis on

I highly recommend two books. One is Baby Wise. It saved my sanity with my first daughter. She sounded the same as yours, hardly took naps, nursed to sleep, etc. She was not sleeping through the night at 5 months old. I read the book, and by the 2nd night, she was sleeping all night! And I attribute it to getting her on a schedule during the day. The other author is Kim West, aka the Sleep Lady. I have one of her books and it was helpful as well. Good luck!

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T.S.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi Abby,

First Congratulation!

Second, on the car seat thing...My oldest was the same way. I found, for him, classical music especially piano music helped calm him down in the car. You could try it, it might work.

For the sleep thing, I had trouble with my first on sleep too....it took me a few months to get a good routine down and that's probably because my daycare provider was had LOTS of experience setting up routines and my son was her only client at the time (she was coming off maternity leave herself.).

She gave me some great books to read (I wished I had them earlier.) The first one is "Secrets of the baby whisperer, how to calm, connect and communicate with your baby.) Since you are a SAH mom, you might get through it quicker than I did...but I found some great help in establishing a routine in that book.

Also another book is "healthy sleep habits, happy child", but I'd read the baby whisperer one first.

They don't have the exact frame of thought, but I found differnet things from each book worked with my son at various stages he hit.

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A.G.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hello- I have been reading everyone else's responses and I agree with what most of these smart ladies have said! Books actually made me nuts. I read every sleep book under the sun and finally my husband took them from me and hid them. I had been convincing myself that my son (who really is a good boy) was a horrible sleeper, because he didn't take exactly three naps, and didn't sleep for the exact amount babies his age should have been sleeping for and so on.
Finally, I started going with my gut. At three months she is still so little and still needs to feel secure. Do with what YOU feel is right about getting her to sleep. My son would NOT go to sleep without his nuk, and for months it was awful- it would fall out of his mouth and he'd wake up every two hours. However, it was helping him sleep, and now that he is nearly ten months, he's not really getting up at all during the night.
Also, kids that young don't tend to have a real day time routine. Since you're staying at home with her, just enjoy her and don't stress out about what she should and shouldn't be doing. Babies are programmed to survive. She knows what she needs and will get it when she needs to.
As far as the carseat-I think 99% of kids don't like them. She'll deal eventually.
Just be patient and love every second of the little person she is, and who she is becoming. These next months will go so fast- then you can worry about schedules.

Good luck!!

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A.R.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi! I have an almost 5 month old and an almost 2 1/2 yr old. My first child was in a rountine and sleeping through the night by 3 1/2 months. My second????Not the same at all. She is still not sleeping through the night and is just getting into a "rountine" somewhat. With both of them, I started doing naps at the same time everyday. 9 am, 1 pm, and 4 pm (at 2-3 months.) I would feed them downstairs, and then take them into their rooms, read a book, and place them into the crib. I have a fan (for white noise) in the room, and I turn on the mobile. I say goddnight and walk out. Both of my girls fall asleep within 5 min from when the mobile stops. This worked great with baby 1. Baby 2 is just starting to fall into a routine. She cries more than my 1st did. I have had to let her "cry it out" several times. I do my little routine, and from the time she starts crying I set my timer for 5 min. After 5 min, I go in (don't pick her up) and just rub her tummy. I go back down (she starts crying again) and I set the timer for 10 min. Then 15 the next time. I haven't ever had to let her cry longer than 10 min b/c she falls asleep. If you put them down at the same time everyday, in the same way everyday, they fall into a rountine and are tired at the same time (everyday.) I don't know if this will halp, but its worth a shot. My 2nd always need to be held until she was about 4 months old. I could put her in an exersaucer then :) I do daycare-so its impossible for me to hold her all the time. There were a lot of times when I would just have to let her fuss in order to care for the other kids. Its so hard, though. You could always try a front carrier to hold her in, too-but it hurts my back . i think if you just let her fuss (as long as everything else is fine...not hungry, wet, cold, tired)eventually she will realize you don't pick her up everytime she cries. i hope this helps somewhat.

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S.H.

answers from Minneapolis on

Abbey-
It is a hard thing to do but will make things alot eaiser on both of you in the end. Even though she wont like it you should lay her down awake and at the same time everyday to get a routine going. She is probley putting nursing as a way to fall asleep and you don't want that unless you always want to do that (but when you stop nursing or stop with bottles she will have a hard time going to sleep then too. When she is getting tired hold her and get her relaxed and calmed down then lay her down, she will probley cry but just let her every 10 min go in so she knows your there but don't pick her up tell her it's o.k. and leave again, keep doing this until she falls asleep! It will be hard and will probley feel like it will never work but after a week or so she will learn to put herself to sleep and the crying will stop. I have done this with all 3 of my kids and yes others did better but it was so nice to not have a fight at bedtime. My son hated his seat to I think they feel restricted. Good Luck!

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K.B.

answers from Minneapolis on

Wow our babies wound exactly alike! Mine is 10 months old now. First off the sleep thing...Olivia has now got a pretty good routine during the day but isn't a good sleeper at night anymore. I am not sure what to tell you! Olivia loved nursing to sleep too at that age, but now I feel like I have gotten her into a bad habit and while she doesn't have to be nursed to sleep now, she still wants to be held. I guess my advice on that is whatever you are going to do (cry it out, stand by her and help her fall asleep on her own, etc.) do it now! It only gets harder to "train" as they get older.
Olivia also HATED the carseat. She screamed from the time you would put her in until you took her out. Once in awhile she would sleep. My husband and I were worried it was the seat and it was uncomfortable or something, but we had a friend put their baby in and she was just fine. It's just a phase. She grew out of that and learned to like the carrier carseat and now likes her upright one too. It sure makes going anywhere miserable doesn't it?
And lastly, the having to be held thing. This too is a phase. Olivia went through that and I just had to get through it. One thing that helped us A LOT was a bouncy chair. Not a baby papasan, but the kind that bounces when they kick their feet. It vibrated and had a toy to look at that played music...it was a LIFESAVER!! We got it when she was 3 months old and we used it until she was too big for it. It got us through the holding stage.
Hope this helps! Good luck :-)
K.

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L.M.

answers from Minneapolis on

Like any phase this will pass.
Yes, you should put her down to bed while she is awake. However, that never worked for my boys prior to them being around 7-9 months old. At this age she still needs you to respond to her cries quickly. I am not a believer in the let them cry it out method until they are at least 9 months old. I think they need reassurance at this age. If you are trying to establish a routine then try to determine what nap times you want her to have. At this age they typically take 2 (a morning and afternoon). Pick a time that she typically gets tired around and then set to work establishing that as nap time. You can always move the times once the routine is in place to work better for your schedule. Take her to her room, pull the shade, rock/nurse her to sleep, put her down. If she wakes up, go to her & try to get her back down. Don't talk or make a lot of eye contact during nap times. Keep going with that pattern. If she wakes up and won't go back to sleep try again at the next nap time. Slowly she will get into a routine and sleep for longer periods by herself.

My 2nd son hated his carseat (and still doesn't enjoy it much at 15 months). We had to distract him. If you don't already have them, get soft toys that you can hang from the handle of the carseat. As she gets older you can give her stuffed animals or other toys to have in the car. We also tried to get him in his carseat while sleeping. If we could get him in and in the car before he woke up he would usually stay asleep.

I think they all go through the phase where they want to be continuously held. The more they become aware that the world is big (for example they start to see farther) the more they need to be comforted and reassured. A baby carrier is great for walking around with her to do little things. We worked my son down to less time being held by playing with him on the floor. He eventually started playing on his own a little. Another idea is to put her in a high chair or vibrating chair and place her near you if you need to get things done. She might be fascinated enough with what you are doing that she doesn't realize she isn't being held.
Good luck!

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E.V.

answers from Minneapolis on

I would check out the book "Babywise". I bet you can find a used, inexpensive copy somewhere. That really helped us in the beginning to get her on a flexible, but stable eating and sleeping routine. I think a routine is really important, for her sanity and most importantly, YOURS!

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B.

answers from Minneapolis on

Abbey, these are wonderful responses - go with them. My daughter hated her car seat until we were able to turn it around to face forward. Then she was just fine. I know that if I travel looking back instead of forward I get really car sick. Maybe that is true for your little girl. There isn't much you can do for her I am afraid, other than not spend too much time in the car! Cherish this time, love your daughter and hold her as long as you can. all too soon she will be wanting to be independent!

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M.C.

answers from Minneapolis on

The glorious 3 month mark. I remember both my kids being angels until around that time too. I'll touch on your questions but not in any order:) My child didn't like the car seat either but what can you do? Nothing in my opinion so I put her in there and let her cry. Try giving toys to see if that'll help.

As far as sleeping I went with what they wanted for the most part. Both kids seemed to be on the 9am nap, eat at 11 or 12, nap by 1pm, and bed by 7pm. My 11 mo. old is on this schedule and my 3 year old skips the morning nap and goes to bed by 9pm. My kids nursed to sleep and I was usually successful at laying the first down without her waking. If she did wake up I rocked her to sleep. This second time around she usually nurses to sleep and wakes every time I lay her down. I let her cry herself to sleep. The one thing I ran into is my first would cry and cry and come to find out she would poop herself and wanted to be changed. I heard to put your child to sleep in an awake state and maybe that'll make bedtime easier but I didn't follow that advise and they are doing fine. It'll get better in time.

Have you tried nursing her to sleep and let her sleep for awhile on you so she gets into a deep sleep? Maybe then lay her gently down in the crib and slowly raise the railing.

My 11 month old started screaming a month or so again and wants to be on my all the time. I have to ignore her because I have an older child plus I think it'll give her some independance. I heard you can't spoil a child until after a year so hold her if she wants to be held or you can hold her and give her some time on the floor. I think splitting it up is best just because she'll learn she can't have you when she wants you and she becomes more independant and less needy.

Another thing is you can buy an Ellaroo hip mei tai which is awesome. For an older child it'll offer you forward facing yet she'll be able to see out since she'll be on your hip. I do have a mei tai front carrier and she doesn't like it as much. This way you can hold her hands free! I had a Baby Bjorn and it hurt my back. The active one may be better and it'll be cheaper than the Ellaroo. Good luck to you. Let me know if you have questions for me.

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L.M.

answers from Minneapolis on

Hi Abbey -

I'm the mother of 3 wonderful children, ages 5, 3, and 10 months, so please believe me when I tell you this - don't worry so much about all that you read about routines and putting them down when they're still awake! When my kids were only 3 months old, they didn't have very regular schedules during the day either, but eventually things evened out. I loved nursing all 3 of my kids to sleep (and sometimes still get to with the littlest one), and let me tell you, they all now are able to put themselves to sleep without any issues. I always found it was much better when they were this little to help them fall asleep feeling all warm and loved, and not let them work themselves up crying, just because some expert wrote in a book that I should let them learn to self-sooth. When they get that worked up, it just takes them longer to calm down, and it stresses out everyone in the meantime. So my advice is to ignore most of what you have read about putting babies to sleep, and go with your instincts. They are much more reliable, because only you know your baby well enough to help her get to sleep.

As for the car seat, my kids have gone through phases where they aren't thrilled with them either, but they get over it eventually. Maybe there is something about how tightly she is strapped in that's excessively uncomfortable? Or a strap that's rubbing on her leg or neck? Sorry, I don't have much for you on this one.

I had phases also with the babies wanting to be held constantly. It really makes it hard to do anything, even go to the bathroom, but it doesn't last forever. Have you tried a sling or baby carrier? I have done things like laundry and cooking with a baby carrier strapped to my front. Your daughter just wants to smell you, feel your warmth, and hear your heartbeat. She'll grow out of it.

Let me know if you'd like to hear more of my experiences, and good luck in the meantime!

L.

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M.K.

answers from Minneapolis on

We loved the book The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems by Teaching You to Ask the Right Questions. We read lots of scheduling/ sleep help books and found this one made the most sense to us, and with some work, was most effective for my little guy. She seemed to be really reasonable, somewhere between let them cry and always go to them. This book really helped us get our guy to sleep through the night. Best of luck!
:) M.

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R.H.

answers from Minneapolis on

First of all-congratulations! It really does sound like you are doing a great job and, give yourself a pat on the back for nursing. I just wanted to say, I totally agree with most of the other responses. Around 3 months, I started using the baby bjorn for my daughter and it was a dream come true. She never did like the sling. At 3 months, definately hold her when she wants and like the other mom said, you cannot spoil a baby. Around 5 or 6 months you can start more of a routine. I know all the other moms said to ignore books and routine but for me, a routine worked the best because I was able to plan things around her naps. My daughter took 3 naps until she was almost 1 and took 2 naps until 1.5. Now she's 2 and takes 1 nap a day for between 2 and 3 hours. It's wonderful! And, when she's awake, she's such an amazing, ,easy going toddler. Anway, if you are interested in starting a routine in a few months, Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child is an amazing book. It is written by Dr, Weissbluth who runs a pediatric sleep institute in Chicago. It is informative and lets you make the decisions about what will work for your family. Good luck and enjoy your little girl! And remember, just as you get used to one phase, they are on to something else. Keeps you on your toes :)

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A.K.

answers from Minneapolis on

I think it's easiest if you follow your baby's lead. 3 months is pretty young to be a good napper. At this point just let her sleep when she's ready, and at any age for that matter. It's so much less stressful. My daughter is 11 months, and she just naturally fell into kind of a schedule as she got older. But probably not until 6 months or so, and even still it varies a bit. Putting them to sleep awake is great but again, follow their lead. If you want to force it and you're willing to go through the crying, then you should. But if not, I think if you just wait your baby will give you signals that he is ready for this step and then it's a lot easier to do. Still some crying but not as much. I could see my daughter getting ready to do this gradually starting around 8 months, and we gradually worked towards it. Let him nurse to sleep if he wants now, he's still young and the comfort is good for him. Just make sure to start weaning him from that habit before he's too old. We did it around 6 or 7 months and she was naturally not falling asleep with the nursing so we felt it was a good time to stop that. We've had problems with the carseat, the stroller, you name it. Every child does. Babies are full of little phases for no reason and it's just easier to accept them and deal with them and realize they will one day surprise you and pull out of it. It is very hard I agree, but changing how you think about it and changing your expectations is in my opinion the best way to deal.

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J.

answers from Minneapolis on

Dear Abbey,

You are getting good advice, I read every comment so far! Our child now a Second Grader taught us as much as we taught her. Focus on the different cries a baby makes. It took practice but there are differences you can learn to recognize, which we did read about in a book.

Our child was very challenging to get to sleep "early" and still is to this day! But what we did to survive: At sundown or later take the child on car trips. It was the number one thing that helped her naturally fall asleep! Since yours does not like her carseat, which ours did you might try this new sensational carseat addon toy when the baby is old enough. Also start detaching gradually yourself if can by introducing a quality bottle. For us this was a necessity as getting back to work was the second/first priority. We did have a great daycare to help but even then... Since Mom's milk usually is the best we rented a Medella pump to get this precious milk into sterile bags that we quickly froze so that then the baby starts to get the same milk but from the bottle. Why is this important? You will start to allow the baby to associate to a bottle versus requiring your presence all the time to provide sustainance. Make sure is it a qualty one that is easy to care for! Especially that it mimics the nipple which some have been modeled to do. Eventually a Sippy cup with be a Sanity saver also. The Sippy cup will be initially help her to like more her Carseat along with a favorite plush toy. For example an under 3 year old, Teddy Bear is good to introduce about then also. Also attaching clipon toys was a great help to keep our young one distracted in the car while in her carseat. Also have her listen to nursery rhymes or sing them to her till she gets to sleep. Then introduce a cassette or cd with similar songs for her to FALL asleep to and to use while she is in the Car and maybe fall asleep while in the carseat/carrier. We used a Stroller that the carseat carrier would detach to be carried aroung and not wake up the baby! Then it could be transferred into the Carseat while she is Sleeping. Kindergarteners and First graders get Naps during the day so it is important She learn to have at least one Daily nap. We uses a Swing toy that the baby can be swung in, a bouncer that the child sits in and is surrounded by fun activities. We got this as a gift from a group of friends who already went years back through what we were going through then as older parents. We also got as a gift, a detachable plastic walled in floor crawl area later as a safe place for the toddler to play in as gift from a brother whose child was challenged by ADD for when She was older.

It is also good when She is crying to sleep to use a timed method but do it every 5 minutes since that is simpler for a very young one then 5 minutes, 10 minutes etc. They have little sense of time anyway so they won't know 5 minutes from 30 minutes till older. Either you or somthing or someone else is there, or not. We got for our tough sleeping child a Ride-On carseat toy which was a New product but we wish we could have had it when She was much younger!
I am going to look for that ride-on and give you the company's name if I can! It is a hot new product just about a year ago! If the product has this age in mind it might be the perfect thing as a Plush toy and a Carseat toy She might not want to be without!
P.S. Every Child Is Different, so what works with one may not work with the other or work differently!

You are doing Great so far and Good Luck!

These changes never end as a Parent now of a seven year old! What the parent said about Teething deserves its own conversation! But is definetly worth learning about soon also as a next challenge. Let us know if any of this advice did or did not help Your Baby! I look forward to your email! Type "Moms Club Minneapolis (or your city)" in Google

Sincerely, Steven & J. and the BabY-CooP CluB, a future Online Specialty Children's Mall.

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P.K.

answers from Minneapolis on

Sounds like you have a bunch of worries. Ease your mind. If she nurses to sleep...who cares. I did it too, even though other moms think it's Taboo, she won't be going to college like that so do what feels comfortable for you and what works.

The carseat thing, my daughter always fell asleep in it and sometimes, it was the only way to get her to nap, so naptime...we went for a car ride. Oh well...taboo again I guess.

As far as a routine...this is what I did. At 3 months, they still need alot of sleep, but at around 4-5 mo's, she can probably go to 2 naps a day. I'd shoot for 10 am and again at 2 pm. Get dressed in the am when you wake up and eat breakfast, then play and read, etc. Nap at 10 am. wake up and do lunch. After the 1st nap, we would eat lunch, and then play, cuddle, go for a walk, etc. Then, it was soon time for a 2nd nap. I always did my outings after the 2nd nap. More play, reading, errands, outside time, etc. Then, fixing supper for you and downtime, or individual play. When I was fixing supper, this was my daughters time to sit and watch sesame street, or a short video. Also, many people experience a bad mood from their kids at supper time because the child didn't get any wind down time, and this elimimnated her supper time temper tantrums. Then, eat supper, play, bath, reading, bedtime. Of course fit in the nursing whenever you want...depending on your schedule. Hope this helps with a basic outline. This worked great for us and we are now on a single nap right after lunchtime. Good luck.

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M.B.

answers from Minneapolis on

You are doing awesome and deserve a great big hug, pat on the back..whatever. All these Moms are giving great advice. They're right, love the time you have to hold the baby, you won't spoil her!!! And soon enough she'll be running and will squirm until you let her down! Also---at this age there are so many sleepless nights so do what you need so you can get some sleep too. We did all of it, I nursed both my daughters to sleep, I let them sleep in our bed, whatever...I got sleep though. It is totally family dependent and a personal choice! What works for you is what you need to do! My daughters are 2 and 4, both sleep in their own beds, gave up breast feeding on their own. I nursed my first daughter only 4 1/2 months---but I quit making milk and nothing seemed to help. My second I nursed until 12 months. She just started to not want to nurse and then my supply started to dwindle. I never had to wean--it all happened on its own. So nursing them to bed didn't do any damage(that was the point of my little diversion there...) Anyhow, great job nursing. That's a tough job right there. And the rest of it, don't doubt yourself, being a mom is very personal and different for everyone. Just enjoy your little girl! Everything else falls into place sometime. Remember---if you don't get some sleep you won't enjoy it as much and then being Mom will be harder so do what helps you get sleep too...that may mean, you nurse her to sleep and lay with her for awhile too...just experiment.

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J.C.

answers from Minneapolis on

My son was exactly the same with his sleep patterns and didn't really get into a good sleep routine until he was about 6 months old. My pediatrician had told me "you can't spoil an infant" so I just took each day as it come and gave him what he needed to sleep. He did eventually fall into a great sleep patttern of two naps of 1-3 hours per day and kept this up until he was almost 18 months.

Hope this helps.

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A.B.

answers from Minneapolis on

Yeah, kids are challenging, because once you figure out a routine, they seem to change it. (The same is going to happen with food later, so don't stock up too much on the "favorite" because once you do, that will change.)
Have you tried wearing her with a Baby Bjorn or sling? That might help her feel that she is close to you, but you can still get some things done. (not everything)
I am the worst person to give advice on daytime routine. I sent mine to daycare and that is the place they actually got routine. I am a firm believer that the child will tell you what they need by there behaviors. Also, if your child is becoming "difficult," there may be some sensory things that she is responding to. Kids are more sensitive to things than adults, and some kids more than others.
Good luck. It is all worth it! This is just a phase that will pass to another one. (Is that a good thing, or a bad thing?)

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J.R.

answers from Minneapolis on

Abbey -

You've already gotten great advice! It's really hard not to stress about doing things "right" when you're a first-time mom. The most important thing to do is trust your instincts. You know your daughter better than any book, doctor or other person, for that matter.

I absolutely second the idea of a sling/wrap/carrier so her need to be held is satisfied & you can still get some things done if you wish. I also second the idea of trying to get yourself into a routine with naps - around 10am is good & just after lunch is good for nap #2 for many kids. At least it would give you a starting place.

It's likely she's going through a growth spurt & she needs extra attention from you. Really though - trust yourself. Remember you cannot spoil a baby, and you only get this short opportunity to enjoy her at this age. It gets better, but the challenges are different as they get older too. :)

It sounds like you're doing a great job! Take care of you...

J.
Mom to Chase (3.5)

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