Impossible to nap without being in arms. (and mommy standing up to rock!!!)...

by Nina

Question: Hello ... So thankful to have found this website!!! My almost 5 month old daughter will O-N-L-Y take naps in my arms...(which is the way I wanted it to be in the beginning, but now, it's becoming a little tiring)...

I have read Pantley's nap-book and the night-time book and we're currently working on night time sleep and seeing good progress there. (but doing the transition-technique from arms to crib, or moving to non-moving nap isn't anywhere near working for nap-time).

However, napping is complicated. I know she needs good naps, and so I'm willing to hold her, but I know I can't do this forever...I have gotten her on a really good nap schedule, she sleeps for about 90-120 minutes from ca 8 am and again from 12 (noon) and then a shorter, 30-45 minute nap at around 4 pm. She goes to bed a 6:30 pm (and after having worked on it , she can now be put down drowsy). She wakes up a few times a night, but it's fine and quick. In the morning she's up at around 5:30-6 am. (Fine with me.) Back to the naps...: I know about the sleep cycle, catnappers and difficulty in self-soothing. But she defies all these, and basically will wake up every 5-15 (!!! yes, I know) minutes in the first hour of her nap (especially) unless I get up and rock her again. I sit with her on my lap, or lay down next to her, but I've tried just rocking her in bed, right next to me, but she'll wake up completely unless I stand up and rock her back to sleep.

Good thing is that I can "control" her naps and make them really long if I keep standing up and rocking ( or nurse her) every time she wakes... Bad thing is that this is quite tiring to do three times a day. Once she's beyond the first hour of her nap, she seems to enter a deeper sleep and sometimes she'll sleep for 30 minutes+ without me having to stand up and rock her.

I will not let her "cry it out"...and I'm willing to do alot to make sure she gets good this something I should just deal with, and carry her in a sling until she gets a bit older, or do you have magic advice that could help us at least take a nap together?

Heidi's Answer: Hi Nina, First of all I want to congratulate you both on the good results you are getting with the no cry sleep solution, especially for the nights, well done.

For the naps, yes my first answer is a baby sling indeed. It will keep your hands free and you'll be able to move around the house, or go out for a walk, ... But most of all, it will help prevent her regular wake-ups in the first hour of the naps. And that is exactly what you want: to get her body used to sleeping on, and not waking that frequently.

So when you have her in the sling, and you feel her waking up a first time, make sure you're on the move before she does.

As an alternative, you might consider taking her for long walks in the stroller, or drives in the car. But a sling would still be my favourite: it gives you most flexibility. If you haven't already, check out the different types of baby slings to help make your choice.

Stick to this for one or two weeks. Then start putting her down for naps, with the exact same routine you use for nights. If it does not work yet, stick to the sling for a bit longer.

Take courage, you are nearing the 6 months, where naps, and sleep in general, very often starts quieting down. For further help on setting up the ideal nap routine, consult the "Nap in a Snap" guide.

Let me know how it goes,
Take care,

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