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Can I let my 13th month old work it out while we co-sleep?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

I want to start this message on a positive note… this forum truly is the only place where I can be completely honest and not be judged for my nighttime parenting decisions.  All of my other friends with babies (and there are a lot of them) have “sleep-trained” their babies… and I’m sad (and totally jealous) to say that all of their babies sttn.  Of course, how much of this is the baby crying and them ignoring… no one wants to say.  But they are rested and functioning… and their babies seem to be happy. 


Our family, on the other hand, has sleep shared with DS since day one.  He is now almost 13months old.  And although I love having him in bed with me – it seems as tho it’s getting harder not easier.  DS has never been a great sleeper.  And we are not the type of family that has ever stuck to a consistent routine.  We do manage to get him to bed everyday at around 830, but there is the odd night where he would rather stay up until 10 playing.  I work fulltime and so does DH.  We take DS to my mom and dad (such a blessing) and then pick him up at 5 where he has the best power nap ever in the car from 5-6.  And honestly, I would rather him sleep in the car than cry the whole way – because he does have the tenacity to do this.  Then its dinner, bath, play and off to bed.  I have always nursed DS to sleep and nothing has changed.  I have tried rocking, bouncing etc but now he literally just pulls my top down and goes for what he wants.  If DH tried to put him down then it’s just screaming and protesting… so it all falls on me.  And nursing to sleep is just so much easier.  I have read all the sleep books from Weisbuth to Pantley and I am fed up with them all.  Too much info and it’s causing my brain to overload. 


So here is my problem.  Since 7 months old DS has gone from a mediocre sleeper to a horrible sleeper.  I know he is teething but he still has no teeth!  So how long can I really use the teething rationale?  He now wakes up at least every 1.5 hours and I am exhausted.  And I’m sad.  DH and I have been arguing because he says that I made him like this.  If it was up to him DS would be sleep trained and sleeping in his crib in his own room.  So needless to say that I am pretty much fighting this battle solo.  DH usually sleeps on the sofa anyways.  DS wakes up yelling and full of beans.  He flips around and around, bangs on me, yells and won’t stop this until I put him on the boob.  But every hour is ridiculous.  I don’t mind nursing say twice a night – but I don’t see how I can communicate with a 1 yr old that I will nurse him sometimes when he wakes up but not all the time?  Is night weaning my only option?  Because I was hoping to at least nurse until 2 years old… but at this rate – my mind and body will fall apart way before this. 


Has anyone been in this situation before?  Is it considered cio if I roll over and let him work it out on his own?  Could it really be teething? And if so, once he gets teeth will things get better? 


We would love to have more babies but at this rate – I’m honestly afraid too because DS is so consuming of me…and DH is not as supportive as I would have wished for L.


I appreciate any advice.   Thanks mammas…

Edited by tdot mama - 12/22/11 at 5:21am
post #2 of 12
Thread Starter 

After reading my post, I realize that I did a lot of rambling and totally over shot my question! eyesroll.gif


So my question is, has anyone had experience with nursing your LO and then rolling over to let them fall asleep on their own?  Even if this means that they fuss and protest?

post #3 of 12

If he is in pain from teething, you might have some luck if you give him motrin or tylenol before bed. That helped my son TONS (they do not contain sleep aids - just relieve the pain and allows the baby to relax and fall asleep). Teething for us was HORRIBLE, and I mean HORRIBLE. There was no sleep to be had without pain relief.


I know some parents are against using tylenol/motrin, but honestly it made life so much easier for us!


Also, he might be on the verge of some big developmental changes. Those make sleeping horrible as well.

post #4 of 12

I'm sorry I don't have any advice, but I wanted to say that I feel your pain.


We also have a 13 month old who is a rotten sleeper - waking every 1-2 hours.  We did see some improvement -when he was about 11 months he would sleep a 3,4 or 5 hour stretch each night but now it has regressed back again.


I too feel incredibly jealous of the moms in my mom's group, most of whom have sleep trained their kids or are just lucky to have good sleepers, and they say they kids mostly sttn.  I feel so jealous that I am working twice as hard as a mom and it burns me up to think how relatively easy they have it.


Lately I have been wondering if it is all worth it to go the non cry it out route - sure we are supporting him though the night time but at what cost? During the day I'm exhausted and cranky.  I feel like I don't enjoy being a mom as much I could or "should".  I sometimes feel so resentful towards my son for "doing" this to me. 


I remind myself that every parent has "something".  Some parents had a hard time conceiving, others had a difficult pregnancy, other parents have special needs kids with their own challenges. 


Some nights when I'm lying next to DS and he won't settle I do just lie there and he cries.  My DH then hears and comes in and rocks him to sleep.  But honestly sometimes I just lie there and think "cry all you want, I'm too tired to help you".


Sorry this is so negative. 

post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 

There is no need to apologize for being negative – I completely understand how you feel.  And people can’t understand how we feel until their have btdt for 1 year and counting… guilty.gif


It seems as though we defiantly choose the rougher road in choosing not to “sleep-train” our kids.  And I’m sure that it will pay off as we will have confident and loving children… but do we really have to sacrifice our health and sanity for it?  And I have to wonder how rested our kids are if they are waking up so often!  I know that they say that co-sleeping is only good if it suits the whole family – but the alternative is just so harsh. 


I will try the Tylenol for teething… right now I am constantly giving him homeopathic remedies – but I am sure they are really gentle and probably not as effective as Tylenol would be.  And yes it could be (and probably is) another phase… but is one bad sleeping phase supposed to lead right into another one?  That’s how it seems to be for us…


I’ve taken him to the chiropractor and I did see a slight improvement but after a few days its back to the status quo.  help.gif


post #6 of 12

Motrin is longer acting than tylenol and tends to work better IMO, and just so you can hope..our DS slept like crap until around 14 months...then things improved immensely!  

post #7 of 12
Originally Posted by Ameerah View Post

I will try the Tylenol for teething… right now I am constantly giving him homeopathic remedies – but I am sure they are really gentle and probably not as effective as Tylenol would be.  And yes it could be (and probably is) another phase… but is one bad sleeping phase supposed to lead right into another one?  That’s how it seems to be for us…

My ds was a TERRIBLE teether - he had so much pain when his teeth were coming in, and it was torture. Pure, complete, torture. I even had to alternate tylenol and motrin at 3 hour intervals several times because he was in so much pain it was just inhumane to just let him suffer (yes, it is safe - I've had several doctors tell me to do it when the going is really bad). The homepathic stuff didn't help at all. Ever.


post #8 of 12

I'm another one that homeopathics didn't help us.  Neither did Tylenol.  It had to be ibuprofen.  We could use a low dose even when he was big enough to move up the dose scale, he just had to have some help with the pain.


In reading your post, I'm wondering if that nap in the car is contributing to your night-time problems.  I know if my DS takes a nap within 4 hours of bedtime, it will be a nightmare to get him down.  I have to make sure he's up from his afternoon nap by no later than 4 if I want to get him to bed at 8. 


As for the actual question, yes, I do do that.  Because if I didn't, he'd take hours to go to sleep.  As long as he feels like I'm interacting with him (even if I'm pretending to be asleep), he will not calm down and sleep.  I lie down facing him until he's done with his bottle, I give him a few minutes to calm down, and if he's fighting sleep (has a period of quiet and then starts being active again), then I roll over and present my back to him.  He does complain about it (screams, in fact), but I verbally reassure him that mama is right here and he's okay until he calms down (after about a week of doing this, I think this takes about 30 seconds or so now, but we still do it every night and it's been months).  Then he goes to sleep much easier.  I can shush him if he's talking/singing to himself, but for some reason presenting my back to him makes it easier for him to sleep.  I wait until I'm sure he's asleep, and I get up and go about my night. 


As far as the waking every 2 hours, I think your options are to either put up with it or night-wean.  I don't think a child that age can really understand not now, but yes an hour later.  But be prepared for lots of screaming, and it's not always a short process.  And without support from daddy, it's even harder, because he knows the boobies are right there and won't understand why he can't have them.


Oh, and I would encourage you to start teaching him that he's not allowed to pull your shirt down/up on his own.  I made that mistake, and it's led to some embarrassing situations (and lots of tantrums). 

post #9 of 12

I know how tough that can be, my son woke up every 1 1/2-2 hours for a long time to nurse.  I found as he got older it was easier and he slept more and more.  I know when they are hitting mile stones it can be hard for them to sleep cause their brain is so worked up.  And with teething, teething can take months before you actually see any teeth, it all depends on the baby.  Have you tried changing your nighttime routine?  Ive seen amny do this with success, but have to be very persistant.  Do you think playing before bed could maybe be too much for him?  I'd try bath time, then story time, or just quiet time to calm down and relax.  You could even try to add lavender essential oil to the bath to help promote restfulness.  I think sometimes our day to day lives can just be very over-stimulating to babies and it can interfere that way.  I know when we've had a long day or napping was off or things like that its really hard to get my daughter to sleep.  I understand your frusteration though, your doing the right thing!  

post #10 of 12
I had the same problem with DD2. I thought it was never going to get better because at about 20 months old she was still a horrible sleeper and nursing all the time! It made me crazy sleep deprived.
She's now 2 years and 1 month and over the last few months, I've noticed a huge difference. It happened so slowly that one day I realized that she had only woken up once and i felt so rested. Then it happened again and now (unless it is a bad night), she will wake up very briefly when I get in bed and then maybe one time early in the morning but will go back to sleep and get a total of about 12 hours of sleep. It's heaven! smile.gif There is hope!

As for co sleeping and doing a less frequent nursing but still allowing some nursing, I don't think that would work. I can't imagine DD doing it at that age because it would be too hard to get her to understand when it was ok. I considered night weaning but couldn't figure out how to do it because DH works overnight and also has kind of the same attitude as your DH when it comes to nighttime parenting. I know how it feels to be solo on this issue.

Definitely try Motrin! She had horrible teething which led to even worse sleep and it only got better with Motrin. (I have to admit to using orajel also)
We have amber necklaces, Hyland's teething and the night time homeopathic one, I forget what it's called.
Nothing really helped except Motrin. The orajel was the instant relief kind of thing to help until the Motrin worked. Honestly, I think tooth pain as an adult is horrible and it really does feel a thousand times worse at night so I hated to think that she was dealing with that and no pain relief. I really wanted the other stuff to work but after seeing the difference with Motrin, I used it with no qualms when she needed it and it was only for a short time period not like you have to use it for years. Hopefully his teeth will come in soon! DD's would look like they were going to pop through and then like they were going back in, it must have hurt!

Good luck and I hope you get sleep soon!!!
post #11 of 12

My first DS was not sleep trained but slept through the night from 4 months on. I mean, ROCK SOLID, through the night. No crying. Nothin. He didn't get any teeth until 1 year, and then he got like 6  in a few weeks. He didn't even fuss about that too much.


My DD is almost 11 months and has slept through the night exactly twice. Most nights she is up 4-8 times/night. She got her first tooth at 4 months and then pretty much got one every 2 weeks and now has 10 teeth. She fussed and fussed and fussed and FUSSED for every new tooth. Even nursing seemed to bother her teeth, and made pacifier use completely impossible. So YES, around 8 months I did some nights of roll-over-and-she'll-work-it-out after I'd nursed her. 8 out of 10 nights, she'd climb on me, climb on DH, sit up, roll over, and then lay down and sleep. The other 2 I'd have to roll back over and sort of start the soothing process over again but at least we got some more sleep sometimes! And at the worst of it, we used motrin too. The nights when I'd offer nursing and she'd softly touch her gums and then start sobbing because it hurt - yea, motrin! 


She's still not a GREAT sleeper, but at 9 months we started doing half the night in her own bed and it does give her a 5 hour stretch. She sleeps from 8pm-1am in her bed, and then comes in with us. We didn't really do anything to make her sleep longer, I think just being in an undisturbed bed helps her do that. We've all started gaining some sanity since we did that and I figure in the long run, it will eventually make nightweaning easier. HTH!

post #12 of 12

I haven't read all the responses, but this caught my eye. My son is the same, and I put it down to separation anxiety (kicks in around 12 - 13 months from what I've heard) and a leap in development as outlined by the Wonder Weeks:


Originally Posted by Redmom View Post



We also have a 13 month old who is a rotten sleeper - waking every 1-2 hours.  We did see some improvement -when he was about 11 months he would sleep a 3,4 or 5 hour stretch each night but now it has regressed back again.



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