Hello. I'm new to the forum and had a question for those with experience. My 8 month old has slept with us, swaddled, in the family bed. The swaddling days are numbered, and normally when I put her down at 7 I nurse her to sleep lying down in the bed, then leave her in the middle (surrounded by pillows so she is safe) and she sleeps for a few hours (usually until I come into bed around 9 or 10). We have a pack n' play that she's slept in a few times, and I would like for her to start the first part of the night here. The problem is, when she falls asleep after nursing and I gently carry her to the crib and put her down, she wakes up and starts crying. My mom, sister and some friends say it's fine to let her cry it out, but my husband and I do not want to do that (they also tell me she "needs to learn to sleep in a crib"). Any suggestions on ways to help her stay asleep in the crib? (it's in the same room as our bed). Any resources you may have on avoiding CIO would also be helpful. I work 9-5 M-F so I really value the time we have together at night, but sometimes I need to get a few things done around the apartment before going to bed for the evening. Thank you kindly!
Don't want to CIO
Try putting her down when she is not 100% asleep so she gets used to falling asleep on her own. If she wakes, calm her down, get her almost asleep, and do it again. Or if she wakes don't get her up and pat her on her butt until she goes back to sleep. This may take a few days / tries.
I think she needs to start to self-comfort. To be in her crib kind of awake and know that this is OK, and that she can just go back to sleep.
Have you tried a pacifier?
You don't have to cry it out. Or use a crib. I would work on one issue at a time. Unswaddling or starting in the pack and play not both simultaneously. Maybe nurse her down for the night and have hubby put her in the pack and play and pat her or sing gently if she stirs. You could also try putting a blanket ( or pack and play fitted sheet) that you sit with for a few days on the mattress, so that she smells you when in the pnp.
Start a night routine that is pretty basic now and she will get used to the new way. When you think about it, you have been 'tricking' her to sleep for 8 months and you are changing up the routine, she is likely to notice and be wakeful as a result. Just keep trying and you will both work something out!
Also remember that CIO is unattended crying. If she is crying or fussing it's ok with you there, she is just communicating to you. If you are patting or singing or have you hand on her belly or back, she's not CIO. You are there with her and she will be ok! Good luck mama!
Thanks for the tips! She does use a paci, but spits it out when she gets upset (which is usually as soon as I put her down). I like the idea of knowing that attended crying is not CIO. As much as it breaks my heart to hear her cry, it seems better if I am in the room. I don't want to traumatize her! I will try putting her down while she is still awake, but drowsy, and sit in the room with her until she falls asleep. I think I'll keep swaddling her, and once she gets comfortable with the pack n play, make the transition from swaddle to sleep sack. Our pediatrician told us we should start doing this at 6 months, but it just didn't seem right at the time. I feel more comfortable with this now.