Is it possible to get a co-sleeping baby to nap separately? - Mothering Forums

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Old 09-12-2010, 02:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DD is 5 months old and so far, she will sleep only one of two ways - nursed to sleep cuddled next to me, or in a carrier (DH uses the ergo, I use a sling or mei tai). She's actually a very good sleeper, and for that I am SO thankful. We are finally starting to be ready for a tiny bit of alone time though, and I don't really know how to do it. What I would really like to do is be able to put her down for a nap (not every time, just some times) in her bassinet, or crib, or in the bed, or wherever as long it's not physically attached to me or DH. It's just so hard to get anything done when physically attached to her - if she's awake, she doesn't want to be in a carrier unless we are taking a walk outside, and if she's asleep, we are afraid to do much because she is a light sleeper. Also, it would be AMAZING if we could put her down to sleep alone and then take her into our bed when we are ready to go sleep. A tiny bit of grown up time each night would work wonders for us. The problem is that she WILL NOT sleep away from us for even a second. I can very very rarely get her to sleep in bed and then slip away, but not usually. If she falls asleep and we try to transition her to anything she wakes, and she will not fall asleep ever unless it's one of the two ways mentioned.

We are prepared to not have any alone time, but it sure would be nice. Any help from mommas who have BTDT?

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Old 09-12-2010, 02:30 PM
 
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I nurse mine to sleep in the chair, then ever so carefully transfer him to the swing and turn it on. Otherwise he's usually up in a few minutes. I don't have to be so careful transferring him when he's not teething.
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Old 09-12-2010, 02:37 PM
 
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OP, that is why X and I got okay with doing it with a nipple in the baby's mouth. Maybe that's no help, but that's my BTDT. Good luck!

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Old 09-12-2010, 02:51 PM
 
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I've always nursed mine to sleep, then put him in his crib (which is beside our bed). He sleeps by himself until we are ready to go to bed. If he wakes up before them, I just nurse him back to sleep again.

Caveat: I always put DS to bed on his tummy. This prevented him from waking. He woke up instantly if I tried to put him to bed on his back. I know this is contrary to medical advice but, well, he was and still is a light sleeper and would never have slept otherwise.

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Old 09-12-2010, 03:07 PM
 
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Well I am no help...my almost 7 month old has never napped alone. He's either attached to my boob, in a lap or carrier, or just cuddled against me. So we have yet to have any alone time!! Yup, a bit of a problem...
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Old 09-12-2010, 03:28 PM
 
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Our guy (now 10 months) was a baby barnacle for about his first 6 months, was basically never out of physical contact with an adult, you all know what I'm talking about.

We do family bed, but he almost always naps alone at this point, and he goes to sleep earlier than we do (8pm vs 10pm). Here's how we do it (although I do want to say that I think that a lot of this is just LUCK, we happen to have a guy who's a great sleeper, I don't delude myself into thinking that he's a good sleeper because we're just that awesome):

*I started around around 6 months: I could occasionally get him to nap alone for short periods, but ONLY if swaddled, so I'd do that whenever he'd allow it just to get some time to take a shower or whatever.
*he almost always nurses to sleep. I find it works best if I go lie down with him and he falls asleep while nursing and then I wait until his sucks slow down and poop the boob out of his mouth. At this point, he will almost always stay asleep. (Was previously not always the case, but I was willing to try.)
*it's much harder to get him to fall asleep and then put him down - he usually wakes up when he touches the mattress. his dad is more successful at this than I am. his dad can get him to sleep without nursing if he wraps him in a blanket and rocks him in the colic hold.
*if I miss his sleep cue and let him get too tired, it's ironically much harder for him to get to sleep. Like last night he was exhausted (I should have put him to bed 30 minutes earlier, but I was, selfishly, eating dinner) and it took 30 minutes for him to fall deeply enough asleep that I could get up. Usually it's pretty quick. So I watch the clock a little bit - he does the 2/3/4 sleep thing, where he needs a nap two hours after waking in the morning, another nap three hours after that one, etc. If I can stay in step with his internal schedule, it's easier for him to sleep.

Of course, we only have the one baby, so that's easy for us to say!

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Old 09-12-2010, 03:51 PM
 
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We don't have this particular issue here, but I was reading The No-Cry Nap Solution today and she offers several solutions to get your baby to sleep somewhere other than on or next to you. It's a very handy book and I would recommend it for just about every mama. GL!

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Old 09-12-2010, 04:09 PM
 
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DD used to just nap on me or on the floor in whatever room I was in. Once she became more of a busy body (around 5 months) that didn't work anymore. We got a crib more recently and she will take short 20 min - 40 min naps in it. At night we try and put her down in it until we go to bed (crib is in our room) but it doesn't last longer than a nap and she's up again. I have *never* been able to nurse her back to sleep after waking up in the crib...even though I go to her as soon as I hear her stirring. Oh, and she always nurses to sleep. She will nap for a couple of hours if I nap with her....or just sit beside her in the bed while she naps (which is what I'm doing right now )

I find it really hard some days not having an time alone with DP but mostly I just try and enjoy it and remember it won't last forever. She's growing up so fast...

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Old 09-12-2010, 08:46 PM
 
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I had 1 out of my 3 that would nap alone. The other way I was able to achieve that one is to nurse him to sleep on the mattress and then roll away. I always tried with the other kids but they woke up in such a short time that it was never was worth it. DS was a little more independent sleeper and would sleep sometimes 20m but sometimes 2 hours alone.

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Old 09-12-2010, 09:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hehe, nice to know I'm not alone. I will check out the No Cry Sleep/Nap Solution, I've seen it mentioned a lot here. Unfortunately, the swing and swaddle are not options as she HATES them both. She hasn't tolerated either in about 2 months, and before that only tolerated them for short times.

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Old 09-12-2010, 09:52 PM
 
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About that age I realized I could lay ds2 down to sleep and he'd stay asleep... *IF* I layed him on his tummy. On his back he'd wake himself up almost everytime. But on his stomach he'd stay asleep.
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Old 09-12-2010, 10:38 PM
 
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DS used to be exactly like that and he still prefers to nurse down but over the last couple of month he got better and better at staying asleep on his own. He naps in the middle of the family bed (king size mattress on the floor) and I have the video monitor on to keep an eye on him. He also gives me a little more room at night (he used to sleep on the boob). So for us it got much better as DS got a little more independent. Hang in there mama.

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Old 09-13-2010, 04:57 PM
 
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wrong spot!

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Old 09-14-2010, 01:33 PM
 
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i nurse ds down on our family bed like many pp mentioned and then roll away. i found that he sleeps much better when i surround him with pillows. lately i have been putting him to sleep for naps on my back in the ergo, as i clean up or whatever. then i transfer him to the bed. there are you tube videos to see how to do this. best of luck.

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Old 09-14-2010, 01:45 PM
 
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Until my DD was 7mo the only way that she'd sleep away from me was if she was swaddled. Otherwise she'd wake up within minutes. Starting around 3mo I started putting her down for naps and at bedtime, so long as she was wrapped up tight it was fine. I also second nursing in bed and then carefully rolling away.

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Old 09-14-2010, 02:52 PM
 
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We have a similar issue, though she's only 2 weeks old. She doesn't actually nurse to a deep sleep. Rather, she's "drunk happy baby" after nursing and then will either fuss or will have to be rocked, swaddled, and "moved" to sleep. She requires so much movement. And we never know if she's going to wake in 10 minutes or 2 hours. This has been so difficult and yes, very hard to have alone time! I am so impressed and amazed by all these moms on the forums, doing what it takes and keeping your babies close to you. I'm determined to keep her close to me as well, while trying to learn how to meet her needs. If she's in a deep sleep, she can be laid in the bouncy chair (while turned on) and sleep for 20 minutes or more, which is great. Otherwise, her deepest sleeps are in the wrap (didymos) while I'm moving - not helpful at night or for alone time!

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Old 09-14-2010, 03:57 PM
 
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Until the baby can roll over by themselves and hold their head up well, I recommend, instead of putting them on their tummy, try putting them on an incline with their legs bent, but on their back, like in a car seat bucket or a swing.
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Old 09-14-2010, 04:22 PM
 
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It depends on the baby somewhat. DD2 can be laid down sleepy, and sometimes fall right to sleep on her own. When she's napping, she sometimes wakes up, looks around, and goes right back to sleep.
DD1 was totally different at this age.

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Old 09-14-2010, 05:04 PM
 
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My 4.5 month old has gone through so many nap changes! The first 2 months he would *only* nap if nursed to sleep and me snuggled next to him in bed or on the couch, or on one of our chests. We could never put him down! Then there was a period of him staying asleep if he was swaddled and nursed to sleep. Then out of the blue he decided that swaddling=torture. Then he went through a period of being rocked to sleep and napping in the playpen if I rocked him till he was completely out and layed him down carefully. Then for awhile he would only sleep on his stomach. Now all I have to do is put him in his crib when he's wide awake but showing signs of being tired and he just lays his head down and falls asleep, or talks to his mobile for a few minutes then drifts off to sleep. No fussing or anything and he'll nap for hours. Usually I put him on his stomach (he'll sleep longer that way), but sometimes he rolls over and sleeps on his back or side. I think it just depends on the kid.
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Old 09-14-2010, 05:18 PM
 
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My oldest didn't sleep alone until he was 4. Years, not months. It was crazy.

All my girls have done naps fine after a month or two. I don't know if it is because they are more mellow or I did things slightly different or what.

With the youngest I lay her on the bed and nurse her to sleep and then gently move away from her. Sometimes she will only get a cat nap before the other kids wake her the other day she slept three hours straight. Usually it is somewhere inbetween.
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Old 09-14-2010, 05:48 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TreeRose View Post
We have a similar issue, though she's only 2 weeks old. She doesn't actually nurse to a deep sleep. Rather, she's "drunk happy baby" after nursing and then will either fuss or will have to be rocked, swaddled, and "moved" to sleep. She requires so much movement. And we never know if she's going to wake in 10 minutes or 2 hours. This has been so difficult and yes, very hard to have alone time! I am so impressed and amazed by all these moms on the forums, doing what it takes and keeping your babies close to you. I'm determined to keep her close to me as well, while trying to learn how to meet her needs. If she's in a deep sleep, she can be laid in the bouncy chair (while turned on) and sleep for 20 minutes or more, which is great. Otherwise, her deepest sleeps are in the wrap (didymos) while I'm moving - not helpful at night or for alone time!
If you swaddle her before nursing rather than after you might find the transition easier. And a swing might help if she needs movement. Although, thinking back, my Cecilia (who also loves movement and sleeps better that way) didn't actually like sleeping in her swing until 2 months-ish. Before that it was on me, or in the wrap so I could do stuff. I did everything wearing this baby!

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Old 09-14-2010, 07:00 PM
 
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My guy only slept on me or DH until about 3 months old, then I was able to nurse him to sleep while laying next to him on the bed and carefully roll away. For awhile he would not sleep as long as I knew he would have on/with one of us, but I stayed consistent with it and now at almost a year he takes all of his naps and does his first couple hours of night sleep alone. He will not be transferred though. . .if he falls asleep anywhere other than the bed I can't move him or he will wake up.

When he got mobile we put a crib mattress on the floor next to our bed and now that's where he naps and falls asleep at night. When DH and I go to bed he *always* half-wakes up and wants to get into bed with us, no matter how quiet we are. Fine with me as I like sleeping with him, but anything that we want to do together must be done in another room. So we do get a couple hours of adult time these days, which is nice.

You may just have to experiment a little and find out where/how your LO is willing to sleep alone.

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Old 09-14-2010, 11:53 PM
 
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We do it all here..
Typically
AM nap - in her crib I nurse her down then lay her in th crib and she typically naps 2 hours

Afternoon nap- cosleep if she clearly needs to sleep jsut abotu the only way I can is to cosleep with her which is fine with me I can use the rest around 4pm..

The other thing is she sometimes needs a little break from everything but not necessarly sleep I'e found putting her in her pack N play which is in our living area with a few toys and some music seems to work she'll play around 30 mintues and its jsut enough to not over stimulate her and she rests..

Sleep- 95% of time in her crib I nurse her and lay her down ussually awake and she jsut puts her self down the rest of the way.. Sleeps typically around 80% of the night them we cosleep the rest untill moring. On days she having trouble falling asleep I jsut bring her into bed with me and often fall asleep before shes does

I'm pretty consistant in our sleep rountinue as far as when but how I play out by the situaton..


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Old 09-15-2010, 12:55 AM
 
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BTDT!!!

Our DD wouldn't sleep anywhere but next to me in bed or on DH or myself for the first three months of her life. We would have to wear her or just hold her for all her naps. If we put her down, she would wake up within 7 minutes (I timed it numerous times). I remember when she was around 2.5 months old, she fell asleep in her swing and she slept in there for a good two hours and we were so relieved. But that didn't last long. She still woke up every time we put her down and I couldn't even get out of the bed to go to the bathroom at night without her waking up. Then, one day, at around 5.5 months, I nursed her to sleep in our bed and slowly got up b/c I had to go to the bathroom really bad and she stayed asleep. I was shocked! And she has been nursed to sleep in the same fashion every since (She is now almost 10 mos). She now naps twice a day on her own and she goes to bed at around 8....she still wakes up every two hours, but at least I can quickly nurse her back to sleep and slip out of the room.

I think the hardest thing for me during those beginning months was not knowing if things were ever going to get better...so I just wanted to mention to the OP that it can be hard, but it will get better and you will get your alone time sometime soon!

Now I miss having DD sleep when we wear her....she still does every once in a while, but I can tell her sleeping on me days are limited! Enjoy it while it lasts!!! Good Luck!

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