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Why do babies sleep so good in our arms but wake when they touch the crib mattress?

Sleeping on the changing tableWhat is is about our arms that can put a baby to sleep in no time, but as soon as you put them down in the crib, their eyes pop open and they’re wide awake?

I just spend the last half hour trying to get Lily to sleep. She usually goes down well, but not so much tonight.

She was tired, we could tell. When I held her and bounced her, she’d fall asleep in 5 minutes or so. Then I’d put her down in her crib and as soon as she touched that crib mattress, her eyes would pop open and she’d be wide awake and crying. I’d then pick her up and have her alseep in my arms less than 5 minutes later.

I did this four or five times before she finally decided to stay asleep in the crib. As I write this, I’m hoping she doesn’t wake back up. I’m also hoping she’s down for the entire night.

Now I know that the comfort of mom or dad is unmatched compared to any crib, but she seems so out in my arms that it amazes me how easily she wakes when I try to put her down.

Why is it babies sleep so good in our arms but wake when they touch the crib mattress?

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5 Responses

  1. SPOC says:

    Mommy does the “bed time” thing in our house 90% of the time. She has the touch.

    • Thomas says:

      Mommy does do it best, but when she wakes up after a 1/2 hour or so, then it’s dads turn.

  2. gml4 says:

    It’s hard, but she has got to learn to fall asleep on her own. One method that has worked for most of the kids that come to my daycare is this…

    1. Be sure she is tired (but not sleeping), a clean diaper is on, and everything is ready in her room to sleep (music, comfort item, pacifier)
    2. Put her down in her crib on her back, do the sign for sleep, and say something short and soothing (Good night dear, go to sleep) and walk out of the room.
    3. If she does cry, don’t go in the room. Wait 5 minutes.
    4. After 5 minutes, if the crying doesn’t stop, go in, don’t pick her up, but briefly try to comfort her, fix her pacifier, tell her she’s ok and to go to sleep, do the sleep sign again, and then walk in the room.
    5. Repeat step 4 over, except wait 10 minutes, then wait 15 minutes, then 20.

    It tears your heart to hear them cry, but if you stick with this _everytime_ it’s naptime or they go to sleep at night, everyone will benefit. She will learn to sleep on her own. You will be able to get things done while she sleeps. I strongly urge you to try this.

    For the kids that I have used this on, they have learned to sleep on their own usually by the 3rd day… 7 days at the most. I did have one kid who took over a month, but he had reflux issues which didn’t help.

    I should add that this process should be used by everyone that puts the kid to sleep.

    The sign we used for sleep…
    http://www.signingsavvy.com/sign/BED

  3. SPOC says:

    I’m certainly going to try this method. Thanks gml4

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