When you first bring your new baby home, you may not have that many issues with her sleeping patterns. After all, newborns sleep quite a bit. But after a little bit of time, the novelty of getting up every few hours wears off and all you really want to do is get a little sleep on your own. If you have a child that will only sleep in your arms, you feel lucky at first, but eventually, all you feel is tired. Dealing with the habit can be tough for both of you but here are a few ideas to help you make the transition.
First of all, you will want to keep in mind that your baby is only going to be a baby for a short amount of time. Eventually, she will grow into a teenager and she will no longer want to have anything to do with you. The fact that she wants to hold her now at all times will not last. It is a phase and she will grow out of it. When you think of it that way, you might just be able to survive the time until she’s ready.
If you are not sure your baby will ever want to sleep alone, or at least that it will never be her idea, you might have to do a few things to help the transition occur. Try rocking her to sleep and then dumping her into her bed, her swing, or wherever else you want her to try to sleep. This will take some trial and error and plenty of finesse but once she wakes up in her new location a few times, she will feel secure being there alone without you.
Try to do things surrounding her nap and bed time in the same order. When she is little, repetition is not boring, it actually helps her feel secure. Look at the same book with her and turn on the same music CD to help sooth her. Rock in the same chair and sing the same lullaby. These things might get rather old to you, but to her, they will become cues that it is time to settled in and rest. Eventually, when she is older, she can pick her own routine and vary things a little when she wants.
Because babies feel secure when things are the same, do your best to keep a schedule alongside the nap and bedtime routine. Do not expect her to take her first nap at 10 in the morning one day and then wait until noon the rest. Figure out what schedule works best for her and then stick to it, no matter what you have to do to work around it. Napping can really mess with an adult’s life including getting errands and other out of the house ventures complete. But sticking to that schedule will only help your baby feel safe and secure about sleeping on her own and once you establish the schedule, you can create a few more flexibilities.
Babies are only small for a short amount of time, but sometimes even that short length can seem too long when you are not getting restful sleep yourself. Stick to these steps and your baby will sleep alone so you can rest as well.