Hey there....I am returning to work in November and I work shiftwork so there are going to be times when I have to work overnight. I co-sleep and my DD nurses to sleep most of the time and I am getting anxious about what will happen when she wakes up in the night and I am not there (it will be my mom) and how can my mom get her back to sleep. Right now she wakes up about 2-3 times in the night and generally I nurse her back to sleep (sometimes she just rolls around and eventually falls back on her own). Anyone have to deal with this? Will she accept rocking or something else from my mom because it isn't me?
Second thing is that when she has to have naps at daycare (my friend's home), the same problem arises because she nurses to sleep for naps too. My friend has told me I should probably start some sleep training now so it isn't hard for her to nap at her house...but I don't like the idea of sleep training and would NEVER do CIO.
I guess my main question is, for those of you who nurse your children to sleep...what happens when you aren't there and they need to sleep?
Hi there. I'm an RN and work shiftwork as well so I understand first-hand at lot of your fears. I went back to work when DD was 10months old and at that time she still nursed to sleep for me as well. I am also completely against CIO and we still (now at 26 months) co-sleep. So it does work!
How old is your LO?
I know childcare is hard to find when your shifts are different each week, but I would have little alarm bells going off if my childcare provider asked me to sleep train so that it would be easier for them to put her to nap. To me that signals that she is willing to do CIO and might not be willing to do other forms of helping your LO to nap. That would be enough of a problem in our books to find a different childcare provider. We purposely chose a sitter who was willing to rock our DD to sleep and never leaves her to cry.
In my experience with DD, she is very resilient and willing to have different nap routines with me, her dad and her sitter. She doesn't nurse to nap with me anymore but we still all do things a little differently and she is able to understand (and she did even from a younger age) that different people do different things. We did work on getting some of the sleep associations the same. So she gets the same CD of lullabys played when it's naptime and up until recently the location of naptime was the same for all of us. Let me tell you we were very anxious about it, but she accepted the new person and different nap routine right off the bat.
As for nighttime, I avoided nightshifts (asked to be scheduled for as few as possible and traded off those I got) for a long time. By the time I did start doing nights, DD was nightweaned. But still nursing to sleep. Her dad and her have a bit of a different nighttime routine and that's been okay with her. And she does still have the occasional night waking and is able to be comforted back to sleep by dad when she does. I do think though that if I had to do nightshifts before she was nightweaned, that it would have been okay. But I still would have wanted to limit them when she was nursing so much.
Good luck with the transition back to work.
Thanks for your reply mamacolleen...
My DD is 10 months now, but will be 1 year when I return. I wish I had the option to not work nightshifts, but I am a police officer and we work a 35 day rotating schedule and it's just not flexible. I am also a single mother, so when I am on nights she will be with my mom, which is actually less stressful than daycare because my mom is AP and says she isn't worried and she and DD will figure out the nighttime thing.
Do you think I should at least start putting her in a crib for naps now, so she gets used to it? Right now she sleeps in our bed for naps - and I generally nap too.
My childcare provider is going to be a friend of mine who stays at home with her children. I know she won't let her CIO because she is against it, but when she mentioned sleep training I think she was referring to getting DD to fall asleep on her own (as if it were that easy...and she rocks her own 14 mth old to sleep...so maybe she is just worried she will have her hands full with rocking?). Anyway, I am going to have to trust that she and DD also figure out their nap thing.
I'm not really sure when babies nightwean...from what I have heard and read, some nurse through the night for a long long time and I am not sure how that stops...or how you encourage it to stop when they are too young to understand that "milkies go night night" kind of thing. How did you nightwean?
My suggestion would be not too worry about it too much, I think she will adjust just fine. :-) My babies always acted differently with other people. I think it ended up that my DCPs rocked them to sleep or wore them to sleep and when my husband or even my mom/sister have had them overnight they made things work - the first time with each of them was a bit rough (once they woke up and realized I still wasn't there) but after that the were ok - they slept in bed with my parents/siblings and if they woke up some extra snuggles and/or a bottle (I'm not sure if your child takes a bottle sicne she is older, but, if not snuggling will probably be enough or maybe a cup in case she gets thristy) was enough to get them back to sleep. I think when it comes down to it your mom, DCP, and DD will find there little groove and things will go great - though probably a bit differently than at home. :-)