My baby won't nap unless he is being held. Any sugguestions?

Ragen - posted on 07/08/2009 ( 30 moms have responded )

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My baby doesn't nap well. 20 mins here ...10 mins there. Every time I try to put him down he starts crying 10 mins later if that. The swing only works occasionally and he will fall asleep in the car but as soon as it turns off he is up. He is 4 months old.

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Sabrina - posted on 07/08/2009

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My son is about 3 and a half months and has the same problem. He sleeps in his crib at night but will not sleep in it during the day. He wakes up as soon as I put him down for a nap. I have tried sleeping next to him which works sometimes but then others its like I cant even flinch without him waking up. My son has never liked the swing and never really fit well in the bassinet so this has been an ongoing problem. We finally broke him of his night habit of sleeping in our bed at about 2 months. So I'm hoping this too is a stage that he will out grow. Any advice for me would be appreciated as well.

Sally - posted on 01/10/2014

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I know this isn't what you want to hear, but babies aren't supposed to be put down. Until very recently in human history, a baby whose mom put him down and walked away would very quickly be dead. Millenia of species survival doesn't sit down and shut up because a few decades of social conditioning tell it to and for most of (at least) the first year, being held most of the time is an actual physical need. Babies who are held more sleep more and cry less--both of which create less stress and more sleep for mom--making both of you healthier and happier.
If you want to get things done, get a comfy carrier and wear him while he sleeps. That way you both get what you need.

Grace - posted on 08/28/2011

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First, I understand what you're feeling. And you kind of have a deadline. My daughter was miraculously sleeping through the night at 1month and continued until we drove across the country when she was nearly 6 months. Then I had to start over like it was the first time. I had the same issue she was abviously sleepy but after i put her down asleep, she would only sleep for 5-15 minutes then wake up crying and lookong for me
The first thing I decided to do was designate a "special" nap place, which happened to be her crib. I noticed the time she would normally get sleepy and decided to initiate naptime 30 mins. before that. I would take her to her room, change her diaper while whispering her to her or singing softly. Close the blinds to get it as dark as possible and sit down in the rocking chair and read a short book quietly. Then I'd rock with her until I could see her getting sleepy. Before she would actually fall asleep, I'd place her in her crib and rub her tummy or caress her little fingers for a minute or so and then I would leave. She was usually still awake at this time. It was hard at first because she would call for me and cry , but I just walked back in calmly, lay her back down( if she was standing up) and rubbed her tummy without saying a word. I just wanted her to get used to falling asleep without me. It took about a week or so. The same routine worked with bedtime. It really helped when my husband was in on it.
Even if you don't get it done by the time you go back to work, you should get your child's babysitter in on whatever method ou choose, so you child is getting the same standard at all times. He'll conform to consistency.
You'll make it! I always remind myself at every stage of change that mothers all over he world have done this for centuries, and they made it. In fact most decided to start over again ( have more children) and have had a rewarding life as a result.

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Put your baby in the crib while tired but still awake. Sit on a chair next to him and talk him to sleep. If he fusses, let him alone to fall asleep while you are still there. Only if he starts crying then pick him up and comfort him for a little while, then back in the crib to sleep. Trick is baby must fall asleep in his crib, not in your arms. I believe the problem is just habit, baby accustomed to falling asleep in your arms. A little patience and baby will be able to sooth himself to sleep in his own bed.

Karrie - posted on 07/08/2009

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My son who is now 8 months old was like that when he was little. He had to be held and had to have a fuzzy blanket around his head. Which of course I caught was cute. Then it got to the point that nothing was getting done during the day because of his need to be held to sleep. I started breaking him of this by laying on the bed with him in my arms and over a period of a week or so I slowly got him to where he was laying beside me and not on me. Then I started scooting farther away. As soon as it got to the point he wasnt touching me I would wait about 15-20 minutes then moved him into his crib. The first few times he would wake up and we would start over. It finally got to the point that he was not waking up for about an hour or so. But of course I am a stay at home mom and had time to do this. I understand it may not work on most peoples schedules these days but it is something you may want to try if you have time.

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Tricia - posted on 02/12/2014

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I also have the same issue that you all are having with my son not sleeping outside my arms. It has gotten to the point where i sleep in the rocker so i can be sure my son doesn't get smothered in the bed. But i found that routen is what really works well. If they know that around this time in this order things will be happening then they tend to sleep better. My son now sleeps in his crib, but only at night.

Polette - posted on 02/12/2014

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My son is 2 months old and he use to be able to stay asleep in his crib without being held for about three to four hours day or night but it isn't until recently that he only wants to be held and won't stay asleep in his crib anymore. Every time I set him down he last only two mi uses than he cries, what should I do, I will start working soon and I also attend college
What can I do to get back to how he was before?

Michelle - posted on 07/11/2009

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it is so good to read this my son is 3 mnths and will only sleep being nursed...its so hard as soon as i go to put him down he wakes straight up and starts crying...there has been the odd occasion were he has fell asleep in his rocker watchn tv...

Allicia - posted on 07/11/2009

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it wont hurt them to cry trust me its good for them to cry alittle bit only if theres nothing wrong with them. i had a little problem with my girl. shed fuss alittle bit when i would lay her done to sleep but now shes doing better. never let them sleep with you in your bed because it will be hard to break in the future.try not to hang on them to much cause trust me they will look for it.another thing is when their about to fall asleep lay them in their crib so thats the last thing they remember.

Allie - posted on 07/10/2009

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I have 2 and had the same problem. With the first I just held him, and can I tell you he is 11yrs and is still attached at the hip most of the time and while that i comforting sometimes...OMG!!!! Now with the lastest he was great about going to sleep on his own until he hit 6 months, and then he would not sleep only scream and I mean scream ALL OF THE TIME unless I held him or I laid w/him. I knew that I could not let it just keep going so I decided that he would have to self sooth. It was really the hardest thing I have ever done, and can I tell you I attended and finished the Police academy!!! It took 2 days but I will tell you it was totally worth it. Now if he gets a little grumpy and he seems tired I just take him in and put him in his crib he does not even cry anymore. The times of his naps vary but its just a much more pleasant time. Good luck!

[deleted account]

short on time to read your replies but have you tried an item of your clothing or something that smells of you?

Leslie - posted on 07/10/2009

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My son was like that, he was held too much for the first two months while he was sleeping. Everytime I put him down (After rocking him till he fell asleep), he would wake back up and want to be held and every two hours through out the night. My brother bought him a mobile that turns and puts stars on the ceiling. I started putting him in his crib before he fell asleep and turning it one. he watched it until he fell asleep, and if he woke up in the middle of the nighht I would turn it back on and he'd fall back asleep. Now at 5 1/2 months he wants to be in his crib at 8pm to sleep. He wakes up and cries if you hold him while he's sleeping now. He also sleep through until about 6-7 in the morning wants to be fed and goes right back to bed until 9ish. then goes back down for a two hour nap around noon. He's happier and so am I. At first stay close by so they know you are there until they are asleep. If they wake up and want to be held pick them up but when they are about to fall asleep again put them back in their crib. It will be hard at first but then they will understand that this is where I sleep. Hope everything works out for you.

Megan - posted on 07/09/2009

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I had the same problem with my second child, I layed her in the little thing that keeps them from rolling and that worked, or I would put pillows at her side so that she felt something against her. I found that she wouldnt sleep unless on her side, anytime I layed her on her back she would wake up, so I bagan putting her on her side and she slept much better.

Carlson N Maricar - posted on 07/08/2009

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i have the same problem.my 5 month old baby boy does not sleep during the day, he's just taking "power naps". he will sleep if i am holding him and once i put him down in the crib he's wide awake, he's like that since birth!i try to sleep beside him during the dayi so he will have long naps.i am hoping it will get better soon.

Christi - posted on 07/08/2009

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I have been wondering about the same thing my nine month old sleeps great in his crib at night but not dureing the day his naps are short becuase he only wants to nap close and attached to me, but I have other kids and it's not always possiable for me to nap with him.

Christine - posted on 07/08/2009

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I had the same problem with my 3 month old. Now I rock and nurse her to sleep, once she is heavy limbed and has stopped sucking, then I swaddle her and lay her in the pack and play. She's out for 3 hours now.

Ragen - posted on 07/08/2009

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Sadly, it's nice to know that I am not the only one who is going through this and slowly going crazy. Thank you for all the words and advice. Hopefully something will work! I am glad that I joined this group!!!!

Ragen - posted on 07/08/2009

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You definitely don't want that. Lucky for me mine will sleep in his bed at night. Did you try a bassinet next to your bed? That's what we did for the first 3 months. Godd luck going back to work, I know I am not looking forward to it!

BRITTNEY - posted on 07/08/2009

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My baby also won't nap unless held. My son is about 2 months old. He starts daycare this week so I am dreading it. We co-sleep because he refuses to sleep in his bed, unless he lies on his stomach...and that only lasts a couple hours. Hopefully it will get better as he gets older. I cant have him sleep with me forever.

Dorlisa - posted on 07/08/2009

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My son is 3 months old and I am having the same problem. He will only sleep in his swing at night and being held during the day. I have tried letting him cry it out in his crib with no luck and it is just to hard to hear him cry. It's funny though cause when someone else it watching him he has no problem being laid down in the day to sleep.

Karrie - posted on 07/08/2009

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I'm sorry I forgot to add that shortly after he was sleeping his full nap out, I could lay him down and he would sleep in his crib with out me even having to be in the same room.

Danielle - posted on 07/08/2009

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I'm dealing with the same thing right now. He'll be 11 weeks old tomorrow, and it amazes me how keen his senses are to know that I am not lying next to him anymore even. We've tried letting him cry it out but even after 45 minutes of sobbing he wasn't giving in and we were heartbroken from listening to him cry. I've tried laying with him until he is asleep then getting up and within minutes he's awake crying. I just keep trying every day hoping one day he'll take a good nap in HIS bed! From talking to friends it almost seems that 5 months is a magic number that the different ideas have worked for! Good luck with naps and returning to work!!

Janie - posted on 07/08/2009

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My baby wouldn't nap unless held and the public health nurse had us put him down when he was getting tired (watch for signs) and not talk to him. just put a hand on him or rub his belly till he settled etc. It got him used to settling in the play pen or crib, We even started laying him on the bed and just being beside him. Easier than standing at the crib to start. Hope this helps.

Ragen - posted on 07/08/2009

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Thank you! I can't let him cry it out either. I am just concerned cause I go back to work the first week in Aug. and don't won't him giving the daycare ( who is a friend) a hard time. :)

Kelly - posted on 07/08/2009

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I had the same problem with my daughter. She is now 10 months old and naps well in her crib! It sounds like you are doing all you can. I used to take long walks to get her to sleep for an hour. Than around 5-6 months I rocked her in her room to sleep and started putting her down in her crib once asleep. It was a slow process but she now sleeps for 1-2 hours during nap time. The other is you can let her cry it out. I personally couldn't do that. Good luck with what ever you do. It will get easier as he gets older. :)

BRITTNEY - posted on 07/08/2009

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My baby also won't nap unless held. My son is about 2 months old. He starts daycare this week so I am dreading it. We co-sleep because he refuses to sleep in his bed, unless he lies on his stomach...and that only lasts a couple hours. Hopefully it will get better as he gets older. I cant have him sleep with me forever.

Janie - posted on 07/08/2009

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My baby wouldn't nap unless held and the public health nurse had us put him down when he was getting tired (watch for signs) and not talk to him. just put a hand on him or rub his belly till he settled etc. It got him used to settling in the play pen or crib, We even started laying him on the bed and just being beside him. Easier than standing at the crib to start. Hope this helps.

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