My son is 6 months old and I'm a first time mom who is loosing her mind from lack of sleep and taking it out on hubby. We used a combo of cosleeping and bassinet (while I was breastfeeding) until he was about 3 months old. I'm not BF anymore (long story) but we have continued to cosleep with the crib attached to our bed with one side down. I dont sleep at all because any noise or movement wakes me up, then i move which wakes him up (rinse and repeat all night). He usually ends up as close to me as he can (feet, head, or hands) because of course he loves his mommy (and his mommy loves him!) but its starting to really wear on me and my hubby (who is getting the brunt of my mental breakdown caused by sleep deprivation). I just dont know what to do. I do know i made this situation what it is because i held him to sleep for a long time (he was in the hospital for a week with a UTI that needed IV meds and he wouldnt sleep in the crib at all, so that was it for any progress i had made) Then my hubby was in the hospital on and off since May 24 weekend and needed his sleep so again, yep, bad mom held baby downstairs while hubby tried to recover.
I feel like hes ready for his own sleep area (or maybe its me thats ready) but I just dont know how to do it. I miss him already. He falls asleep okay and will sleep in his crib for the first part of the night but around 2 am the rocking and rolling and partying starts. I am now fearful that he will get too close and i will crush him, not that i sleep that soundly but when you are exhausted you sure can pass out!
He naps in his crib okay, for about 30-45 min but he hasnt learned to fall asleep by himself (add that to the list of things this first time mom has done wrong). I don't mind the nap situation, its the nighttime that is making me /cry. I have a bedtime routine of bath, bottle, snuggles, rocking, reading, his eyes close, then i put him down, and that seems to work most nights. I know that development milestones do cause sleep disruption (he is rolling over and thinking about crawling) so its hard for me to separate the effects of that from the effects of the problems ive created.
sorry for the long post and garbled madness. The mind doesnt work well these days.
So my question(s).
How do I go about getting him to sleep better by himself without looking for me? I cannot stand the thought of him CIO, so I wont go there. I've read many books and posts and suggestions but its just so much info and Im having trouble applying it (Mush brain!). I was thinking of putting the crib back in his room and putting a bed in there for us to sleep in to make it easier to transition. Im "hoping" that within a week or so he will "get it" that mom isnt there and thats okay and boy is it great to fall asleep on my own, but hey, maybe im delusional more than i realize?
Any thoughts tips ideas words of wisdom comfort anything?
From a lost first time mom who doesnt know what is right but knows she loves her baby and cant stand to see him or hubby suffer because shes a lunatic.
So sorry you are suffering from your lack of sleep. It really can wear on you, can't it? I co-sleep partly because it helps me sleep better as I don't wake up worrying about the babe, but I know everyone is different, and you need your sleep! I wanted to assure you, however, that you are not a bad mom for holding your LO to sleep. Many babies need that and it sounds like you did just the right thing for him when he was in the hospital. Usually, the only way I can get my LO to sleep by herself for any period of time is if I trick her. I lay down with her, nurse her, cuddle her, then sneak away. She is still very young, but my older daughter was the same way. I figure that we are still are primates, and it is kind of natural for our babies to want to cling to us. However, there are plenty of methods to get your baby to sleep better on their own that are not CIO. I think most do involve a bit of sleep training that may initially mean even less sleep (shushing them and patting them back to sleep every time they wake up). Also, It is very unlikely that you will crush your 6 month old. We are tuned into our babies. Wish I had better advice.
Me College Literature Professor (36) and DH (35) married 7/05, together since 1/99; Mom to two lovely and fierce little girls: DD1 2/06 and, after 18 months TTC (and a couple years NTNP), DD2 born 7/3/12! Dedicated AP parent who is for selective (most) vaccination.
No Cry Sleep Solution is a great book that's very supportive of co-sleeping and has a chapter about getting your co-slept baby to transition to a crib. Very non-judgemental too.
DD Seraphina born at home on 2/21/2012!"Childbirth is more admirable than conquest, more amazing than self-defense, and as courageous as either one."
6 months was when my son started being able to fall asleep "on his own" (me in the room, but not being nursed or rocked, and not because I stopped wanting to do either, but it just stopped working and often he didn't want more milk). We started with naps. I would lay in my bed while he laid in his co-sleeper next to me and I would give him his pacifier and a blanket and I would close my eyes. If he fussed, I wouldn't pick him up, because I knew he was super tired and wanted to go to sleep (he just needed help, and he was fussing, but not crying a lot). Eventually he would realized that Mommy was sleeping and he should sleep too; he would get a far-off look on his face and nuzzle his blanket and fall asleep. This changed my life, because until he was 6 months old, the only way he would take naps was WHILE nursing. His self-initiated naps in the co-sleeper went from 20 minutes to 40 to 60 and eventually one day I woke up and realized that we had both been asleep for 2 hours! We slept like that, with him in the co-sleeper and me in bed, for about a month. We have never done any kind of cry-it-out (nor would I), so the only time he was crying in bed was when I knew he was super tired and I was right next to him until he drifted off. Then he got to the point where I could lay him down awake and leave the room, and he would fall asleep without me there. I would hear him talking to himself and making cute little noises until he drifted off; no crying.
At 8 months we put him in a Pack N Play at the end of our bed (naps and night) and that was fine with him. He started to associate sleep with his blanket and pacifier and stuffed monkey, and he was comfortable in his bed. Then one night when he was 9 months, I moved the Pack N Play into the next room after he fell asleep - the plan was to have it there just for one night while I could clean our room - and he only woke up once that night!! I had NO idea that he would actually sleep better in his own room than in mine. So .... at 11 months he's in his own room for naps and nighttime, but it was a gradual move.
He still wakes up to nurse 2 or 3 times a night, but compared to what it was like at 5 months, this is totally manageable. I am VERY anti-CIO, but there is a big difference between a baby crying in your arms or in a co-sleeper with you right there, and leaving a baby to cry alone in a room. My son had just moved to a point where he no longer wanted milk or rocking, so he had to lay there and fuss until he was ready to sleep - but I was right there the whole time. It worked for us and I'm now getting some sleep without ever leaving him to cry. I would be fine with him being in my room still, but my husband and I were moving around and waking him, so I think he sleeps better now in his own space.
Sorry, I sort of digressed - point was, the move to a different room was WAY less difficult than I anticipated, and you can always try it and move him back.