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Baby Only Sleeps While in Motion

Berkeley Parents Network > Advice > Sleep > Baby Only Sleeps While in Motion


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11 week old only sleeps/naps when held and jiggled

April 2008

I have an 11 week old son who only sleeps when he is held and jiggled/rocked - sometimes up to 30 minutes! No matter how tired he is or where he is, he must be held and jiggled before he falls asleep or else he cries ( he's had meltdowns in every store in town if he wants a nap - not one to just fall asleep in his car seat or stroller.) He also has been waking up from naps every 5-10 minutes, or waking up early ( after 30 -45 minutes). Sometimes he can be rocked back to sleep, other times he can't. I've heard it is better to put a baby to sleep drowsy, but awake so they learn to fall asleep on their own. However, as my little one cries when he is drowsy unless he is held, how can we use this method to teach him to fall asleep on his own? Ann


I have 2 small children. One has always been a great sleeper, the other one a terrible sleeper. I bounced and marched all over town, while it seemed everyone else's baby slept peacefully in their stroller. By 6 or 8 months old, he didn't need that, but to this day is a light sleeper and resisted sleep til he was three. The other one did everything the way all the books say they will! By then I had thrown away all the books. I tried everything, and you probably should too, just so you know you have! It's nothing you did, some babies just need that extra something to sleep. Parenthood is all about survival and you need your sleep, too! I was never very good at using a sling hands-free, but you may want to try one. keep on jiggling
I have 2 kids 3 1/2 years old & 8 months old. My best suggestion is to just let your baby cry it out. I know this can be hard for some parents but i had to do it with my first and it worked. in the beginning he would cry about 30 minutes than it would taper down over time. But i always put the baby down for a nap awake, so he learns to fall asleep on his own. My second baby always wanted to nap on his stomach. So i would keep him in my family room with me and he would nap on the couch for 2 hours on his stomach. if he was on his back he would nap for 30 minutes. Doctor's don't want babies to sleep on there stomach's- but my baby wanted to . And well our parents put us on our stomach's and we are alive to tell the tale. I suggest you let him cry it out..... hope that helps. anon
Unfortunately, 11 weeks is WAY to young to sleep train (put down drowsy so he can learn to fall asleep). My daughter hated her crib/bassinet at that age and we let her sleep in a side to side swing. Worked like a charm - 2-4 hr naps a few times a day. You could also try a wrap or sling when you're out instead of a stroller. Around 12 weeks, babies start to have a little more consistent nap times so be on the lookout for that. But for now, just rock/jiggle him if he needs it. He's so young, you've got a long way to go. Try the 5 S's as well (Happiest Baby on the Block) to sooth him and don't worry about him falling asleep on his own yet. My daughter is a year old and still doesn't do it on her own all the time yet either. I know it's a lot of work but that's part of the deal. Congrats on your new baby and be patient. Rockin' Mama

18 Month Old Still Naps in Swing! Help?

April 2008

My almost 19 month old (!) ''baby'' still naps in his swing (the poor, old creaking thing!), and I'm wondering where we can go from here, other than him soon giving up naps altogether unless driving. I've tried nursing him to sleep on the bed, but once he's had his fill he's up and ready to play. And, he has only been nursing at night for a while now, so I don't really want to go back to day nursing at this point. Yes, he will fall asleep in the car sometimes but then wakes back up if I try the transfer, and I'm so done with 2 hour nap rides in the afternoon (which were all too regular with his older sib!!). He doesn't have a crib, we are co-sleeping until he's ready for a big boy bed, and he has an older sibling who's 3, who gave up naps by the time he was 2 for the most part, so I can't lay with the younger one to help keep him coralled for long as the other will be unattended.. Has anyone else been in this predicament and found a solution that included an afternoon nap? (I know all you parents who wrote in about their five month old still napping in the swing must be cluck-clucking at this one!!) If they sold bigger swings, believe me, I'd buy one!! Need the nap fairy


Just put the swing away. I just did for my 4 month old. I didn't think he'd nap without the swing, but he does! Get a pack-n-play (you can get them cheap on craigslist) and set it up near your bed but not so close that he could climb out. Get a stuffed animal and tell him that it's only for sleeping and leave it in the pack-n-play. Put him down ever afternoon at the same time. Put a blanket over the window so it's dark in the room. Play some quiet music. Tell him it's nap time. Shut the door and leave him in there for an hour, even if he just plays or even if he cries the whole time. You might want to take him to the park or zoo in the morning so he'll be really worn out by the afternoon the first few days. Believe me, he will sleep eventually. Driving around for two hours to get a kid to sleep is too much, especially with the price of gas these days and the environmental impact. Naps are important, don't give up on them. anon

4 Month Old Sleeping in Swing

April 2008

I'm curious if anyone else out there has successfully transfered an infant from sleeping in a swing for night sleeping to the crib. Or had significant trouble with transferring from swing to crib sleeping?

We started putting our 4.5 month old in a sideways swing at about 6 weeks for night sleeping when he had serious acid reflux and would wriggle in pain if set down. Now, months later, he is still sleeping in the swing becuase he loves it and sleeps a good long time (5-7 hours) during his first stretch at night. I'm trying to figure out how aggressively we should move to get him into the crib...it seems like there are two camps -- he'll get addicted to motion and we should stop ASAP or do whatever it takes to sleep. So, I'm curious what acutal experiences people have had with this scenario.

We have started weaning him off of of the swing slowly by turning off the swing for the majority of the evening and also putting him in the crib for naps. He'll sleep for 30-90 minutes in the crib for naps.

Thanks for any reports from the field! Swinging For Now..


Our daughter slept in the Amby Baby Hammock (which is suspended from a giant spring, rocks & bounces gently, similar to swings) from the time we brought her home from the hospital until just recently. She is now 8 months old.

We've successfully moved her into her crib in the past several weeks. I believe a major factor in her transition to the crib is that she naps in a crib at daycare during the week. Try moving your baby over to the crib just for naps - use a sleep positioner to mimic the incline of the swing he's so used to. There are also vibration devices that hook on to the underside of cribs that might give the crib the same ''mechanical'' feel that the swing has.

For us, it took a few days of letting her cry it out in the crib to really get her adjusted to it. She's now sleeping 100% in her crib, through the night (7pm to 6am, no night feedings), wakes up well-rested, and happy as can be.

Whatever method you choose to make this transition, commit to it. Wavering back and forth will only confuse your baby, prolonging the inevitable and making it harder in the end. Good luck!


My now 2 year old sleeps through the night in his big boy bed with no problem, (ok, no problem until 5:00am, but that's a whole other issue!) had a serious swing sleeping habit until about 7 months old. He took his entire 3 hour afternoon nap in the swing and slept some of each night in it as well. In retrospect I really think I spent much too much time worrying and feeling guilty about this, time I should have spent sleeping! I would wake up in the middle of the night and try to transfer him into his crib etc. Which was pretty much a waste of time. He was so happy in the swing we really worried what we would do when he grew out of it. All this angst was unnecessary. Right around the 6 month mark is slowly stopped working for him, and we transitioned to the crib. Happened naturally, just like he grew out of needing to be swaddled around 4 months or so. I know many babies our done with being swaddled after a few weeks and done with the swing by 3 months or so, our little guy happened to need the ''creature comforts'' a little longer.

You're so lucky they have those plug in swings now. We spent a mint on batteries at Costco!

I say let him sleep where he is most comfortable, you'll all be better rested and happier during your waking hours. Jenny Jenny


Our daughter (now 17 mo) slept in a swing until around 4.5/5 mo. as well. She is our only child and I was very anxious that she would never transition to her crib, as I didn't know anyone whose baby slept in a swing. She had her rough patches for several months, but feel that between now and then much of it had to do w/all kind of developmental issues (teething, learning to crawl, then walk, etc.). We tried some crying it out mixed w/other methods, but her sleeping honestly was never great until after she turned a year & learned to walk. She now sleeps pretty good most of the time and enjoy it while it lasts. Good luck.... anon
Our daughter slept in the sideways/cradle swing from about 6 weeks to 4 months. We then transferred her to a crib for night-time, but she napped almost exclusively in the crib until she was about 8 month and so darn big that even on the highest setting, she barely budged!

I had the same fears or concerns--that she'd never adjust or other problems would grow from it. Instead, we just put her in the crib when WE were ready for her to be there, and it ended up working out fine. And we let her nap in the swing until it just wouldn't move anymore--milked it! And spent a fortune on D batteries (we couldn't get the rechargeable ones to really hold their charge).

I ran it by our pediatrician who didn't have any concerns about allowing it to continue. Hope our feedback is helpful and that you choose whatever feels best for parents and baby. Another Mom of a Swinger


I missed the original post, but my daughter would nap ONLY in the swing or the car or attached to my body (moving, usually) until she was clearly too big for the swing (around 2 yrs old). I spent a lot of time fussing about how I'd ''ruined'' her for napping, but in retrospect I think I did just fine. Like her mother, she was truly a lousy napper, very stimulated by everything around her, and able to stay awake indefinitely if there were people around or interesting things going on--but she really needed a nap. It was absolute pure torture for her to nap in a crib, which she did no more than a dozen times, and never after 4 months old. But that swing! I could schedule conference calls, and be confident that she would sleep if I put her in the swing just before the call. She slept great, she was a fabulous night sleeper. Bottom line is this: if it works for you and it works for your kid, it's the right thing. And you'll know when it doesn't work. I know there are those who swear that they can train a kid to sleep in a crib, but it really didn't work for us. And I will add that my non-napping daughter napped at daycare in a crib or on her nap mat, but she NEVER did this at home, and she NEVER went back to sleep once she woke up, even from the car or the swing, and even if it was a 2-minute nap. And if you can't find anything that works for you, then keep in mind it's not forever, even though it seems like forever at the time.

8-month-old only naps in stroller or baby carrier

Oct 2007

My 8 month-old has never had a problem sleeping in her crib at night but she has never once taken a nap in her crib (or her bassinet before that.) The only way to get her to take naps is in the stroller or in a baby carrier. (She used to nap in the swing but now she is just too big!) I don't get a break all day because I have to hit the pavement for her two nap times. I am just exhausted. We have let her ''cry it out'' at night but we just can't do that consistently during the day because grandma takes care of her in the mornings and just doesn't have the heart to hear her grandbaby scream. It just isn't fair to ask grandma to do that. Does anyone out there have any other suggestions? desperate for nap breaks


Oh, I could have written your question 6 months ago! We had the exact same problem with our son - nighttime was fine, but he would only nap in the stroller or the car, never in his crib. It was tough, but we finally resolved this by letting him cry it out for his naps when he was 7 months old. The first day, he cried for 8 minutes, and then he napped for 2-1/2 hours! so we realized that he was more than ready to make this change.

The key to making this work is consistency: everyone who took care of our son knows the system and sticks to it. If the grandma can't handle crying it out, that's going to make it harder. Could you start the sleep training on a weekend, so that you'd get a few days under your belt by the time your daughter stays with her grandma again? The grandma would probably be happy to see the end of all those long walks herself.

I also had (and still have) a hard time listening to my son cry while I'm trying to get him to sleep. This is my technique for getting through it: when I put him down and he starts to cry, I set the kitchen timer for 10 minutes. Then I do a chore like dishes or laundry, so that I'm not hovering outside his room feeling worse and worse about his crying. If he hasn't started winding down after 10 minutes, I go get him, and we try the nap again in an hour. Would your mother be willing to try this?

Anyway, hope this helps, and good luck! Kristine


Neither of my girls were crib girls for naps until about 9-months. I would lie down with them, take a nap, and then at some point get up -- the girls would finish naps while I sat across the room working on the computer, folding laundry, etc. At some point they just started sleeping in the crib for naps without fuss. Can't tell you why, but they did. They are two and four now. The younger still naps wonderfully. -been there

2-month-old only naps while in motion

August 2006

My two-month old son sleeps very well at night (in a co-sleeper or our bed), but will only sleep during the day while in motion (Ergo, stroller or, grudgingly, the swing). The moment the motion stops, he wakes up. Even if I'm holding him, if I sit down, he starts crying. I'm grateful for the nightly rest, but it's hard to get anything done during the day. Does anyone have any suggestions for getting a young child to sleep while still? Is that realistic at this age? anon


Oh, you are not the only one. Isn't it hard to believe that some babies fall asleep all by themselves when set down in their cribs? My son has never done that. He used to sleep pretty well at night in the co-sleeper, but during the day he would not stay asleep if he was set down. So for the first five months during naps we either held him in our laps or wore him in the sling. Finally I felt like I was ready to make a change and I began setting him down in his crib after he had fallen asleep nursing. At first he woke up almost every time, but gradually he got used to it. It was a slow process; it probably took six weeks, until he was seven months old, before I had a 75% success rate. (I wasn't rigid about it; on days when I felt like he really needed a nap, I'd keep holding him so he could get the sleep.)

You asked if it's realistic for a two-month-old to sleep without motion, and I think the answer is yes -- you can train your child to do anything, but it takes time, patience, and persistence. I sometimes wished I had started setting my son down sooner than five months old, but now I do cherish the memory of him napping milk- drunk in my lap during those early months. Also Nap Challenged


this is a really tough age - i feel for you as i will be experiencing it again soon myself! they just aren't in great nap patterns at this age and it is extremely frustrating. we ended up letting him nap on his tummy (the only way we could get him to relax). but he wasn't a big motion sleeper. one recommendation i have for you, the book ''healthy sleep habits, happy child.'' i felt like reading even the other parents stories in it helped me cope with this age. my son is a great sleeper for following the book and ever since his naps were well established (7 months) things have been really easy with sleep. but, it also has hints on how to handle stuff like this by a guy who really knows his stuff anon
Two months is so young, itUs totally normal for your baby to need motion (re-create the womb and all that). My boy was like that, and IUd just rock/bounce/walk him to sleep then gently lie him down while still jiggling him. IUd keep my hands on him for a little pressure. A lot of times heUd still wake back up and then IUd try again a few times. Even if it worked one-third of the time, it was worth it! I waited until between four and five months to sleep-train him because I felt he was ready. He wasnUt sleeping well because he relied on motion and couldnUt put himself back to sleep when heUd wake up from a nap and at night. It took some crying at first, but he got it and now sleeps REALLY well. Good boy! anon
my only advise is this, if your baby will only sleep while in motion then let him sleep while in motion. he/she is only 2 months old it won't last forever. do what works! what ever it takes really. our now 6 month old would only sleep in his vibrating chair and now he sleeps fine on the bed. they change so much and really who cares he/she will be fine sleeping in the swing. good luck friend
Have you tried The No Cry Sleep Solution? (author Elizabeth Pantley) She helps set up a routine for naps as well as nighttime sleep and after about a month's concerted effort, my 6 month old now takes pretty regular naps. She would not nap at all during the day before that unless she was in my arms or on my nipple. Good luck! Jenny
Our daughter also had a hard time falling asleep without motion. What ended up working was playing a white noise CD (she liked ocean sounds) while she was sleeping. We used that for naps until about 4months, which was when she started sleeping easier (this is what the book, ''Healthy Sleep Habbits, Happy Child,'' said would happen). I recommend this book - it's a good reference to have around.

I also bought a crib vibrator from OneStepAhead.com, but ended up returning it since she started sleeping with the CD, and also because we use the Angel Care monitor that detects movement. But that might be an option for you Alex


Use a swing with the highest setting and don't feel guilty about it. They will grow out of it eventually. Until then, there's nothing you can do to put them to sleep without the constant motion. My now 4&1/2 month old still nap in the swing but now she can do it without the motion (she just like the cradle seat of the swing). grateful mom

14-week-old wakes up when swing stops

Nov 2004

Has anyone else been in this situaiton before.... and resolved it?? My daughter is 14 weeks old, but was born 4.5 weeks early. So technically she is only 9.5 weeks old. She needs LOTS of movement to stay calm. She has been a very colicky baby, confirmed by my doctor, my doula, as well as my own sanity (or lack of it). The only way to get her to sleep at all for naps and all through the night is her swing. As soon as she is deep asleep and we stop it from swinging, she wakes up screaming. I am aware that she isn't getting the restful sleep she needs because of the motion, but I don't know what else to do. She is constantly exhausted and overtired, even though it seems like she is sleeping a ton, she isn't getting the QUALITY sleep she needs to wake up rested. Any suggestions?


We were fanatics about the book HAPPIEST BABY ON THE BLOCK. We are the only ones in our circle who followed it to the letter the only one without a fussy baby. I recommend you buy it and follow the instructions exactly. We have no way of knowing if our baby is a ''good'' baby or not, but we do know if we followed the ''5 Ss'' the longest he ever cried was 30 minutes and he was sleeping through the night by 3 months. We eventually were able to not swaddle anymore but on occasion through his sixth month, we would still swaddle if he seemed to work himself up into a tizzy.

People are very freaky about the method. My mom felt we were stifling his freedom. Friends would say ''we tried'' it didn't work, but when we asked further, they were not following the method. It stems from ancient parental wisdom. It completely makes sense.

In a nutshell, if baby sleeps while swinging, baby is getting good sleep. You need to keep her moving. I think eventually she'll be ok, but keep her moving or get a vibrating seat. Also, first and foremost, swaddle, swaddle swaddle. We even had blankets especially made because the ones on the market were too small.

I think this method is especially effective with premies. You can't do enough to swaddle, ssssh, swing, ah, hell, i forgot the other two. Just do it.

Also, buy the cd called ''FOR CRYING OUT LOUD.'' Our baby really loved, as we called it, ''the dishwasher song'' and the ''hairdryer song.'' We also would swaddle and jiggle under the hood of our stove and he'd go to sleep. At one point, we just kept it on all the time.

And, start a routine asap. Even if it isn't successful at first, we pretty much do the same routine every night and our 8 month old goes right to sleep. Good luck. Sleep is important. A Sympathetic Mom


We haven't had your problem with our baby, but Dr. Sears promotes swinging/motion as a good way to help colicky babies sleep. Perhaps a bed designed specifically for this purpose would help? Dr. Sears recommends the Amby Baby Motion Bed. Check it out at: https://www.askdrsears.com/amby.asp
If you can shell out the dough (or get one on ebay....) try the Amby Baby Motion Bed. Your situation is exactly what it's for. It really works. well-rested mom
My daughter was also about a month early and had bad colic as well -- I think it goes with having an underdeveloped digestive system -- for the first couple of months she could only nap on me, though luckily she slept in the bassinet at night. At about 9 weeks she had one of the screaming colic attacks at the doctors and was prescribed colic medicine. (Previously I kept saying that the baby was crying a lot and seemed to be in pain, but until the doctor actually saw her in the middle of the attack, I don't think she trusted my judgement.) In any case -- your baby because of the prematurity is more like 10 weeks (or maybe even 7-8 weeks). The good side is that it does get better. THe colic medicine allowed her to sleep better. By the time my daughter was 6 or 7 months she caught up developmentally (i.e. eating, sleeping, etc. -- she caught up cognitively around 3 or 4 months, but digestion took a long time.) By the time she was a year she had caught up in size and was indistinguishable from kids who were full term. So good luck & have a lot of patience for yourself and the baby -- the solutions for full term infants don't always work for premies. Carol
No worries. Our child slept exclusively in a swing for several months. It was the only way we could get her to sleep for more than 1-2 hours. We just invested in rechargeable batteries and a recharger and changed the batteries every other day. Eventually she grew out of it and started sleeping in the crib. Honestly though, the swing was worth its weight in gold for us. fisher price aquarium wonder fans
Both of my sons slept in their baby swings from the age of 6mo until they were around a year old. (Our swing was bigger and rated for a higher weight limit than a lot of the currenct ones on the market.) They slept really well in the swing... much better than in their beds at that point. I think it was the combination of the rocking motion and the ticking of the swing. They were/are good car sleepers and I think the swing was a lot like that. With my first I felt guilty the nights we let him sleep in the swing. It seemed like cheating to put the baby to sleep that way since it was so easy, but it was the only way we both could get a good long stretch of sleep in at night. By the second time I decided that if we both were sleeping well, then the location/position didn't matter... giving up the guilt and getting more sleep made me a better parent. Sure, they eventually had to learn to sleep in beds. Sure that was a little hard, but those changes would have happened anyway because crib or swing, eventually they had to move out... at least we were all able to sleep longer during the teething months. I love the swing
oh- I was in your shoes once... my daughter slept in a swing for naps until about 4 or 5 months, then we started putting her in her crib to sleep, with very little drama. your baby is so young- really my advice is to do what works for you & your baby. you are not engraining habots that will never be broken. we were told by many many people that letting our baby sleep in the swing for naps would set us up for a childhood of rocking her to sleep, lots of waking up, etc. but found that to be totally untrue.

also, it sounds like you read happy sleep habits, healthy child with your comment re: ''movement = not restful sleep'' please remember to take what weissbluth says with a grain of salt- these are his IDEAS, not the gospel. if your child seems overtired, maybe try putting her to sleep earlier, more often, etc. or it could just be a byproduct of the colic. once the colic clears you will have a new lease on life, which might be a better time to try some new techniques. hang in there mama! virginia


Two messages in one week about babies only sleeping in a swing! Music to my ears, actually. My second daughter, now eight months old, was eleven weeks premature. When we brought her home from the hospital, she was colicky and still had some trouble breathing and only slept comfortably and for longer periods in a swing. That went on for some time and I was assured by the doctor and nurse practitioner that it was okay to continue to use the swing. Then at some point I discovered that she slept even longer and more peacefully in her car seat!! So there she sleeps to this day ,much to my guilt and embarassment. Every time I have attempted to get her to sleep on her back in her cosleeper, she fusses and frets until about three a.m. when I finally give in to exhaustion and put her back into her carseat where she happily falls soundly asleep. I think I would have probably bitten the bullet by now and endured a week's worth of sleeplessness to cure the problem except I also have a three year old who wakes twice a night and keeps me pretty ragged even with a full night's sleep! All four health care professionals I've confessed my guilty secret to have shrugged their shoulders and seemed pretty unconcerned about the long term effects on my daughter. One said to be sure she got plenty of time on her back and stomach during the day, which I try to do. Another said, ''Eventually she'll outgrow the car seat and then you'll have to deal with it.' I empathize with your concern and your dilemma. I guess I'm either waiting for her to outgrow the car seat to face the music or I'm waiting for that mythical low maintenance week when I can afford to go without sleep until she finally learns how to sleep all night on her back. Best of luck. I am eager to read other responses. anon

Transitioning 4-m-o from sleeping in swing - hates back!

Nov 2004

My now 4-month old baby had problems since birth with gas and spitting up when laying on his back. He would spit up and choke and writhe and get milk up his nose, no matter how long I held him upright after breastfeeding nor how successful I was at burping him. At 6 weeks, it got so bad that he could only sleep 20 to 40 minutes at a time AND he couldn't even play comfortably on his back for more than about 5 minutes (e.g., while enjoying his mobile, etc). At that point, desperate for sleep, I put him to sleep in a bouncy seat, and kept his play time on tummy and back limited to 5 to 10 minutes at a time (although he was clearly uncomfortable with this play time, really). Elevated, he could sleep for 1.5 to 2 hour intervals in the bouncy seat at night. Two weeks later, we discovered that he would sleep 6 to 8 hours straight in a swing (which held him in an even more comfortable position semi-reclining position, and the swinging was probably soothing, too). So, for 8 weeks now (half his life!), he has slept beautifully in a swing. For the last 3 weeks, it doesn't even swing any more (he cries if he is trying to sleep and it is swinging!), so it is not the swinging that is keeping him asleep and enabling him to get back to sleep through his sleep cycles for 6 to 8 hours. At 4 months old now, he is all of a sudden clearly much more comfortable laying down when awake, so that difficult part of reflux/choking seems to have passed finally, and it seems it would be wise to transition him to sleeping laying down. Also, I think he is probably getting too big to sleep long hours in the swing safely [The swing is about 1 foot from my head and my bed so I have felt it is safe enough, as I hear every peep from him through the night and I know when he is starting to wake up and stir; but he is getting bigger and stronger and I worry about him getting strong enough to catapult himself out of the swing, even though he is of course belted in with the 3-point harness.] So, now we have the problem of getting him used to sleeping laying down. Any one with any experience making such a transition? Any suggestions to help? Just this week we have been able to get him to take a 1/2 hour to 1.5 hour nap in the crib during the day, and he has slept up to an hour at night for two nights this week. However, after that, he is quite inconsolable, and I find myself just putting him back in his comfy swing. Some nights this week I have not been able to get him down at all in the crib. For several nights, I have also tried getting him used to sleeping laying down in our bed (so I could pat him back to sleep, etc.), but all he wants to do is nurse and he doesn't settle down into a deep sleep (I have experience co-sleeping with our first son, who didn't have these reflux problems, but I really don't like nursing all night long -- I can't sleep well that way at night even though it makes for a great daytime nap). So, am I up for a big struggle? Am I putting my baby in danger still having him in a swing? Will this transition go more smoothly than I am worried about? Words of encouragement one way or another would help, in addition to any specific advice, as it's difficult to anticipate starting to lose a lot of sleep again as I ponder this transition! a worried mom


I don't know if this will help, but our baby couldn't sleep on her back either. She had a floppy larynx and when she lay on her back it flopped over her airway and made breathing difficult. So the doctors said, you know what? Forget the back sleeping. Put her on her side or her tummy. I was so freaked out about putting her on her tummy I couldn't do it, so we put her on her side, helping her stay in place with rolled towels or one of those store bought holder gizmos. She slept fine. A four month old may get up every hour or two anyway, though. And whenver they transition to a crib or new sleeping arrangement they have to adjust, so it may not have anything to do with the former issues (even once she was sleeping okay it took awhile to get her into a crib at 4 months). Just do the transition slowly. Start with naps or with the part of the night where the baby sleeps the most deeply and gradually work your way towards full-time cribbing. If you can find a cradle that rocks it might help too (or jiggling the crib). Good luck. It will happen. a mom
try buying one of the foam sleeping blocks and having him sleep on his left side on an elevated (head end) mattress. this helps reflux problems quite a bit as there's pressure on the sphincter. also, lying down may be exacerbating the reflux so you may need to try medication--we did, and then my son slept fine.
Our daughter started sleeping in a swinging swing all night. Then we weaned her to a still swing. And I was convinced she would be in that swing well past the recommended weight limit of 25 lbs. She was six months and 20 lbs. and still couldn't sleep in a crib for more than an hour. What we did and learned: she transitioned when she was ready. About once or twice a week we put her down to sleep in the crib (already asleep in our arms) rather than the swing. And usually she was up crying inconsolably after an hour or two. Finally, one night she slept for four hours. Then we just started putting her in the crib more and more often until she was a regular crib sleeper who woke up only 2x night. Now she sleeps in teh crib (she's 17 months) and wakes up 1x night. You can't force it, but need to just keep trying to provide the opportunity to learn to sleep in the crib. no longer a swing state
I know no pediatrician would ever tell you officially that you could do this...but what about putting your son to sleep on his tummy? We started to do this around 10 weeks with our son...we just made sure he had a warm enough sleeper and put *nothing* else in the crib with him. He *immediately* started to sleep for much longer and also he slept more soundly. Jennifer
[Editor] see also: Baby sleeping on stomach
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