when/how to wean off of cosleeping? - Mothering Forums

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Old 02-12-2011, 08:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've been co sleeping with my baby since she was born. She is now 6 months old and I'm wondering how and when to wean her of cosleeping. By now I'm pretty sure the only reason she's still waking up every 4-5 hours is because she smells me or wakes up from me moving, and the whole sleep deprivation thing is really getting old.I don't think I will put her in her own room till I know she is sleeping through the night but I would like to switch her to a pack n play in my room. 

 

 

I loooove sleeping with her, and it really kills me to think of kicking her out, but it's gotten to the point where I really can't deal with the tiredness any more.

 

Any experience/tips of how to go about this? Thanks.

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Old 02-12-2011, 08:54 PM
 
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I'd pay a lot of money to get 4 or 5 hours of undisturbed sleep... haven't had it for almost 9 months. We go about 3 hours occasionally, usually closer to 2.

 

You're lucky! 

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Old 02-12-2011, 09:40 PM
 
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When my boys were little (they're now 9 and 7), here's what we did. Ds1 got moved from our bed to a crib mattress on the floor by my side of the bed about 2 weeks before ds2's arrival. So ds1 was 26 months. Then we were all in the same bedroom until the boys were 4 and 2. Now dd is 3 months old and i honestly haven't thought through how we'll do it with her.

Wishing you luck in this transition!


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Old 02-12-2011, 11:07 PM
 
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At this age, an infant is still waking at night due to hunger!  Co-sleeping or not really won't matter if your baby is hungry.  Also, I think our expectations can sometimes be skewed. My oldest child woke up to nurse every 45-90 minutes until he was nearly two years old.  He moved into a co-sleeper attached to my bed at 2.5, a toddler bed in my room at 3.5, and his own bed in his own room at 5.  My second child nursed every three hours around the clock until he weaned at 2.  He is now in the co-sleeper attached to my bed (and will turn 3 in two months).  My 4 month old sleeps with me and goes one 5 hour stretch at night without nursing, which is very different for me, having been awakened much more than this with my older children.  I think that if you ask many mothers, getting a 4-5 hour stretch of uninterrupted sleep each night is fabulous with a baby of any age.  smile.gif

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Old 02-12-2011, 11:58 PM
 
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I agree with you that some babies can sleep through the night at that point--my DD was like that. We had an Amby Baby Hammock in our room, but we would have used the crib at that point if we'd needed it. My DD preferred to sleep in her own space, so she was next door, but my DS stayed in our room longer. (I mean that DD slept next door to our bedroom, not next door to the house!)

 

I helped my DD sleep longer at night by giving her a "dream feed" in the glider right before I went to bed, around 11:00 p.m. She didn't wake up all the way, but got a good nursing in. Then I'd tuck her back into the hammock, and she would usually sleep through until 7 a.m.

 

My personal view is that babies develop mature sleep habits at different ages--the same way that they learn to walk and talk at different ages. My DD turned out to be a lot like me as a sleeper--needs a lot of sleep, relatively speaking, was a good sleeper once she got to sleep, and couldn't stand to be touched while she was trying to fall asleep. My son was a more cuddily baby who woke up during the night for a longer time period. In my view, nighttime parenting is about meeting YOUR baby's needs, whatever they are. If your sense is that your baby might be happier and sleepier if she slept in the pack-n-play, then by all means, give it a try.

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Old 02-13-2011, 07:11 AM
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i second the notion that some babies sleep better away from you. that was my experience at least. we moved dd out of my bed around 3 months when she could go for slightly longer stretches and then around 6 months and when she was only waking once or twice a night to nurse (so it wouldn;t be too much of a PITA for me) i had the hunch that she might sleep better in a different room. i had always thought the idea of a seperate room for a tiny baby was kinda obnoxious and unnecessary but it really did matter in our case. yes, she still woke up if she was hungry but she wouldn't just wake up to convenience nurse. 

i really did notice a difference because when we've travelled and all stayed in the same room (which we do fairly often), she would be back to waking, sometimes every 2 hours. even now at 16 months if she sleeps with us she wakes more frequently. 


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Old 02-13-2011, 09:06 AM
 
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Wait, you get 4-5 hours of sleep in a row consistently? Count me among the jealous!

 

I do think that some babies are still genuinely hungry at night at 6 months; my girl certainly was. She still gets up once a night to nurse at 10 months old and I don't think she does it just out of comfort, as I have a low supply, and if she was just nursing out of comfort, she'd be fine with bare nursing-- but she's not. She wants the SNS full of milk.


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Old 02-13-2011, 10:41 AM
 
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No advice...I can count on one hand the times my 10 m.o. has slept for 4 hours.  He is in a lovely phase now where he wakes up every hour...if I am lucky, he will sleep for 2.  I am exhausted, believe me, and do try to nap when I can during the day.  However, I don't drift off too easily, so sometimes a nap for me just doesn't happen.  I agree with PP that babies have wildly different sleep/night feeding needs and that all we can do is meet their needs as best as we can and try to patch together some sanity for ourselves.  IMO, the sleep thing is far and away the hardest thing about early parenthood.  Whew.  Good luck.


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Old 02-13-2011, 11:03 AM
 
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I agree with some of the others that it IS normal for some babies to sleep through the night at that age. It used to be the "norm" that mothers shot for, in my mom's early-parenting days and that era. Anyhow, what we did is we went from co-sleeping in the bed to having our daughter in a bassinet (or it could be a co-sleeper or a mini-crib or a mattrss on the floor, etc.) next to the bed. And I'd pull her into bed to nurse the few times she'd stir and cry at night. Then slowly transition to the baby staying in the bassinet/mini-crib/whatever in your room for the entire night.

 

If she is waking from hunger, you could also try what we did (advice from my MIL here) and start "cluster-feeding" in the evenings. We just feed her extra at night so it'll hold her through the night. And yes, the teaspoon of rice cereal in the milk COULD work and it won't do any harm. It's not like you're using it for nutrition. We've never used it but I can see why a lot of mamas do. Our main issue is rigging up a diaper that'll hold the baby through so many hours of uninterrupted sleep after feeding her so much at night. We cloth diaper so it's been a "fun" challenge lol.

 

Another thing, is we started putting her in her own crib in her room for periods of time to sleep while we were still co-sleeping with her at night. That helped her become familiar with sleeping in her crib/room....if you do that, then when you make the eventual transition it might not be traumatic or uncomfortable at all.

 

And I agree that a lot of babies sleep better on their own, without the normal disturbances of having a sleep partner(s). Babies cycle through the night and tend to be light sleepers a lot during the night, so it makes sense.


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Old 02-13-2011, 02:14 PM
 
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And yes, the teaspoon of rice cereal in the milk COULD work and it won't do any harm.


Rice cereal does not help babies sleep better. That is an old wives' tale.


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Old 02-13-2011, 02:38 PM
 
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Yes, but at six months, it won't do any harm. Apparently, there's now a recommendation that babies be fed more "normal" food, instead of specially arranged low-allergen diets, since the new theory is that THIS will prevent food allergies.

 

Stay tuned for the next 180 degree reversal of feeding advice!

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Old 02-13-2011, 02:49 PM
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And yes, the teaspoon of rice cereal in the milk COULD work and it won't do any harm.


Rice cereal does not help babies sleep better. That is an old wives' tale.



i dunno. it may not be the healthiest choice and is definately extremely unpopular here but i've met enough people who swear it works (including the most recent woman who is a super natural shmatural reiki healer) that i don't go around saying it's 100% bogus anymore. it might work for some kids. while i've never done it per se i did start giving dd yogurt thickened with oatmeal as a late snack after she started solids. she was already sleeping fairly well by that point so i can't say if it "worked" or not. 


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Old 02-13-2011, 02:57 PM
 
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I firmly believe that it's more coincidental than anything else. And pretty much everyone I know who tries it prior to the 4-6 month recommendation for starting solids finds that as soon as the baby hits the age of the next regression (generally the 4 month one), they're right back at square one.


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Old 02-13-2011, 06:23 PM
 
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I've always heard the definition of sleeping through the night was 5 hours consecutive! I was always happy to get that for those key hours, like midnight to 5am, makes me thrilled! I would not expect moving her to her own bed would make her sleep longer, but then, we all know our own babies best. I love co-sleeping, and it's made night nursing much easier for me. I'm too lazy to get out of my warm bed to nurse! That said, I don't think it's harmful to try if you feel you are both ready, as long as the transition is peaceful and gentle. Best luck!


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Old 02-13-2011, 07:06 PM
 
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No advice, our kiddo's are the same age and co-sleepers. My guy has been a big comfort nurser, so likes to stay latched on while sleeping. I got some great tips from Dr. Sears website: 10 Tips for Easier Night Nursing. Hope that helps, good luck momma.


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Old 02-13-2011, 07:23 PM
 
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I thought what OP thought at one point and switched DD to a crib (which was hell) and even 3 months later she was still waking every hour or 2 in the crib! We started co-sleeping after 3 months of hell and "sticking it out". (we did not use CIO)

She sleeps about 3-4 hrs even now at 16 m/o but she sleeps better with us than in the crib.

 

For me also the benefits of co-sleeping for her are very important and even if she doesn't STTN I think it's still worth it.

 


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Old 02-13-2011, 09:18 PM
 
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Quote:
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And yes, the teaspoon of rice cereal in the milk COULD work and it won't do any harm.


Rice cereal does not help babies sleep better. That is an old wives' tale.



Well...I know more about it now since we're talking about it on the other thread. : ) And I read your reply to the other mama. But I can't agree with a blanket statement that "it's an old wive's tale". It worked for my MIL and her 4 kids and for my mom and her 2 kids. Funny, we were just talking about this at dinner tonight. I don't believe thath they're all lying, you know? Not rational to me. Even if it was just a coincidence that it was the rice cereal that worked....if it works, it works. It could just be that something more substantial in their stomachs helped their sleep, not necessarily only rice ceral. And like I said--- can't hurt to try. :)

 

We haven't tried it because I don't think my baby is ready for solids, but when we start I plan to try mashed vegetables and possibly some grains, like rice ceral and/or oatmeal.  


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Old 02-13-2011, 10:25 PM
 
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To answer your question: Have you read "The No Cry Sleep Solution"? She details how to move a baby from co-sleeping into their own bed without crying. I can't remember the steps but I know she talks about it.   

 

Good luck OP.........although it depends who you ask, some say at 6 months they are waking because of genuine hunger.......I think this is the case for my YDD but my ODD was sleeping 12 hours on her own by this age. Depends on the baby I think.


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Old 02-14-2011, 06:46 AM
 
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I have an 8 mos old who is nowhere near sleeping through the night ( at least it feels that way ;) ) He was sleeping either in our bed or in the cosleeper attached to our bed, but he is now too big for the cosleeper so I sidecarred (sp?) a crib to the side of our bed, because some nights he just won't sleep with us in bed but I need him close so that I can nurse him more easily. In a dream world I would like to sleep with him all night (ie we both sleep lol) but with 4y/o ds also getting in and out of bed and our bed just not being quite big enough,  I just try to go to bed earlier at night.


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Old 02-14-2011, 02:20 PM
 
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To OP; does your LO have to be touching you to sleep? If she's just in your bed, I would do your normal routine and put her in the PNP. The "No cry" book does have some good ideas in it. I plan on trying some myself soon. My 7 mo old is up every 2 hrs and it's killing me too.

 

As for the rice - gotta say that it might work for some babies but grains are HORRIBLE on my baby's system. Oatmeal cereal and wheat (pizza crust) made him terribly gassy and uncomfortable at night.


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Old 02-14-2011, 05:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the advice everyone. To those who were wondering, DD can now sleep 5-7 hours at a stretch on a good night, (usually the nights DH and I are, um, using, another bed ;) ) which is why I think she is just waking up from me. On the other hand, I firmly believe that babies should be sleeping with their mothers, so I haven't decided whether or not it's too early to put her in a pack in play. Any thoughts on that?

 

I've heard of the no-cry book, but never read, I'll have to check it out!

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Old 02-14-2011, 09:02 PM
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i also thought that at least my baby would be in the same room with me for at least a year. but the fact is that she slept better away from us. for me, getting her the healthiest sleep she could get was more important than my notion of closeness. others may put priority on the closeness factor, it's a personal thing, i guess.

but my bet would be that if she's sleeping great without you there while you're um...."away"...ahem...then it;s not too early.


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Old 02-15-2011, 08:32 AM
 
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Thanks for the advice everyone. To those who were wondering, DD can now sleep 5-7 hours at a stretch on a good night, (usually the nights DH and I are, um, using, another bed ;) ) which is why I think she is just waking up from me. On the other hand, I firmly believe that babies should be sleeping with their mothers, so I haven't decided whether or not it's too early to put her in a pack in play. Any thoughts on that?

 

I've heard of the no-cry book, but never read, I'll have to check it out!

I am confused, so she sleeps really well in the PNP? If she does than of course there is nothing wrong with that. I thought you were having trouble getting her to sleep somewhere else OP. If she is good in the PNP go for it.
 


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Old 02-15-2011, 11:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Sorry, didn't realize that was confusing. She sleeps with me in my bed every night (DH and I have separate beds) and usually wakes up every 4 hours. On the nights I sleep in DH's bed ;-), she sleeps alone in my bed and only wakes up after 5-7 hours. That is why I am considering moving her into a PNP, so she can sleep longer. But I;m wondering if 6mos is too early for her to be sleeping alone, and also, how to painlessly make the transition.

Thanks.

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Old 02-15-2011, 11:50 AM
 
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She is likely hungry, I think it is still too soon. I am amazed though that she sleeps those long chunks without nursing. My son is 15 months and nurses very frequently, he only went that long one night when he was a newborn. I hope you find a good solution though that works for you and for baby.

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Old 02-15-2011, 12:04 PM
 
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Is the 4 hours too short of a block for you? There are plenty of night that I beg Cecilia to sleep for 4 hours straight... lol.gif
 

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Sorry, didn't realize that was confusing. She sleeps with me in my bed every night (DH and I have separate beds) and usually wakes up every 4 hours. On the nights I sleep in DH's bed ;-), she sleeps alone in my bed and only wakes up after 5-7 hours. That is why I am considering moving her into a PNP, so she can sleep longer. But I;m wondering if 6mos is too early for her to be sleeping alone, and also, how to painlessly make the transition.

Thanks.

 

 


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Old 02-15-2011, 07:36 PM
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Sorry, didn't realize that was confusing. She sleeps with me in my bed every night (DH and I have separate beds) and usually wakes up every 4 hours. On the nights I sleep in DH's bed ;-), she sleeps alone in my bed and only wakes up after 5-7 hours. That is why I am considering moving her into a PNP, so she can sleep longer. But I;m wondering if 6mos is too early for her to be sleeping alone, and also, how to painlessly make the transition.

Thanks.



seems like she's already very comfortable with the situation if she sleeps better without you, no? 

sometimes it's just more painful for us! ;)


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Old 02-15-2011, 08:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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tzs, I guess so. I'm sooo not ready mentally to take her out!!

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Old 02-15-2011, 08:36 PM
 
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Well, if you're not ready, and you're cool with nursing her every 4 hours, stick with it! smile.gif


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Old 02-16-2011, 06:47 AM
 
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I mean every 4hrs is what my DD does at 16 m/o. I really think benefits of co-sleeping out weigh the cons sometimes. It's not like either of you are suffering with the every 45 mins and no one is sleeping KWIM?


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