How do you parent your babe to sleep? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 17 Old 09-03-2003, 11:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have reached my frustration thresh hold with nursing my dd to sleep. On average it is taking 1.5 hours to get her down. I need another strategy. She has also been waking up 10 times a night to nurse (teething) the last few nights.

I have more to add but I am so exhausted by tonight's battle...I really could use some advice, stories, or reassurance etc. I am hoping I'll find some golden bit of wisdom to get me through tommorow's routine.
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#2 of 17 Old 09-04-2003, 01:26 AM
 
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Sounds really rough! Hang in there and remember that this will pass eventually.

Usually I nurse ds until he is almost asleep and then dh puts him in the sling and takes him for a walk until he is fast asleep. Then dh transfers him into the car seat (which is indoors of course!) where he sleeps for much of the night. The sling is a BIG night time soother for us. We also have a nightly routine that begins at least an hour before 9:00 (when dh takes ds for a walk) that involves LOTS of nursing, a break for books and diaper change, and a bath or face/hands cleaning. This seems to help too.
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#3 of 17 Old 09-04-2003, 01:51 AM
 
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Grian, how old is your dd?
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#4 of 17 Old 09-04-2003, 08:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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O.k. I feel a little better this morning, dd seemed to sleep a bit better so I am more rested...

Dd is 8.5 months. For the beginning of her life I would nurse her and then carry her around the kitchen letting her listen to the exhaust fan on the stove and she would fall asleep quite quickly.
She would then sleep in a moses basket untill she would wake to nurse again and then I'd move her to her the family bed. I actually enjoyed this routine.

Well she got too long for her basket and we went on several trips this summer and as a result I resorted to nursing her to sleep. I never wanted to get into a nursing routine, selfishly I didn't want to be the only one to be able to do bedtime with her. We were able to rock my ds to sleep untill transitioning him to falling asleep on his own. I was hoping to find a similar solution for dd (we don't have a rocking chair any more).

So now I'm at a loss, she won't sleep in the sling and I'm afraid to put her in a stroller to sleep because I won't know what to do when it gets cold out. I have tried to walk her in the house like before but that doesn't seem to work either. I'm almost ready to drag the crib out of the attic. Maybe I can just let her play to sleep in it (I know probably not the best idea).

The part that I'm so frustrated about is that I feel like I can't read my dd signals. I have tried to move naps around in the afternoon, to skip them entirely, bath before bed, no bath, solids as a bedtime snack, no solids...you get the picture. I can't get a read on any of it.

Maybe there is something I haven't thought of?

Sigh, thank you for letting me vent a bit here. I know this will pass...
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#5 of 17 Old 09-04-2003, 09:36 AM
 
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s mama, it will get better!

With Kaeleb, I usually give him a nice lavendar bath around 8:00. After that I usually let him determine when he is ready for bed. Sometimes it's 9:00, sometimes it's 10:30, sometimes it's immediately after bathtime. When he is ready, I take him to our bed (we do a family bed all night) and lay down with him. I do nurse him to sleep, but it's usually only about 5 minutes. We have a system of pillows and rails on our bed that won't let Kaeleb roll off. I have found that if I don't set a schedule for him to go to sleep it's MUCH easier for him to fall asleep. His cues that he is ready for bed, he rubs his face and get's kinda cranky. Sometimes he falls asleep in my lap while we are watching tv, those nights I don't get to nurse him to sleep

Good luck, hun! It will all work out!
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#6 of 17 Old 09-04-2003, 10:10 AM
 
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We have never had any kind of routine and have done about every kind of parenting to sleep as long as it worked! With both boys this has been the regular pattern--For the first few months one or the other of us would wear them to sleep, then they usually nurse to sleep for the next few months, then for quite a while around a year dh drives them to sleep (until they are about 2!) then we are back to nursing to sleep (my oldest is going to be 4 in a coulple week and still nurses to sleep). With lots of nights of backrubbing or rocking to sleep thrown in there.

I love nursing my boys to sleep because I read. I have a book light. When I first got it, they just wanted to push the buttons, make shadows, and play, but now I guess it is our only night time routine. In fact if they fall asleep in like 10 minutes I feel like I should get up and do something. We also just wait until they ask to go to sleep (they are 2 and 4), and at 8 months they probably stayed up until they nursed to sleep in the living room or at the computer.
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#7 of 17 Old 09-04-2003, 05:28 PM
 
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When you are up nursng your little baby back to sleep for the millionth time you can think of me...I"m doing the same thing. You are not alone. Some nights are just rougher then others...good luck to you!

The first rule of homeschooling: water the plants! :
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#8 of 17 Old 09-04-2003, 06:06 PM
 
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I'm right there with both of you grian and hipumpkins. Ds is also 8.5 mos and sometimes I wonder if it will be years before he falls asleep on his own. Most of the time this is ok with me. Anyway one night (nap etc) at a time is my motto these days. Last night he nursed 15 times!!! Hang in there mamas this time goes sooo fast and before you know it they'll be wanting to be with their friends rather than mama and you'll be looking back at these nights with nostalgia.
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#9 of 17 Old 09-04-2003, 07:20 PM
 
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I tandem nursed two girls and slept with them both until they were 5 and 4. I never thought of using a pacifier. I thought I would go crazy when they just wanted to suck on something and I just wanted to sleep. I have a son now five years later and when he just wants to suck and I know he's not hungry he loves the paci and goes right to sleep. He also will only sleep on his tummy next to me. We extended our bed by using the crib as a toddler bed against the wall and my side of the bed is shoved completely against his. Only some cribs are made like this. I pull him into bed with me and nurse him a couple of times a night put the paci in his mouth if he doesn't stay asleep and go back to sleep. He stays in our bed if he's still fussy or goes back into his little section. I wish I had at least tried a paci with my girls. If they liked it I would have been a little more sane.

Mommy to Ryah 12, Reanna 11, Parker 6 and Cooper 3 months
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#10 of 17 Old 09-04-2003, 09:03 PM
 
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My son was rocked to sleep until he was 2 years 4 months and then he got a big boy bed and started going to sleep alone. It just happens in time. My DD is almost 10 months and I nurse her to sleep, that is the only way she has ever gone to sleep and I assume she will for many years to come!

Shawna, married to Michael, mommy to Elijah 1/18/01, Olivia 11/9/02, and Eliana 1/22/06
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#11 of 17 Old 09-04-2003, 09:41 PM
 
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I feel for you-oh how I feel for you. Just a quick thought. Can you let your partner help. Maybe just put the babe down the first time at night. I always nursed my babes down, but I don't think that's best. I did turn resentful of the responsibility always being mine. But that was how I had taught the boys to get to sleep. Now I include dh. Ds3 goes down easier with all of us. Even has with aunts and grandmas a few times. Of course they can't nurse, but walking and rocking work great. Slings are fabulous at all ages when arms get tired, but some kids don't like them in the heat. I can understand that. All kids are different. And sleep is sooo important for the whole family.
Love, Kendra
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#12 of 17 Old 09-05-2003, 09:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you all for your warmth and support. I do appreaciate it!

In a momemt of compassion for her dm, my dd nursed to sleep in a short 15 mins. last night. I was so grateful.

I'm still on a search for a better "routine" but I am chalking this up to yet another lesson in letting go and acceptance.

Solsticemama... gotta ask was your ds born on winter solstice this year 12/21? My dd was born in the evening on w. solstice.
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#13 of 17 Old 09-05-2003, 10:16 AM
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Sometimes I nurse, sometimes I sing and rock, sometimes I dance with him in my arms (we have one particular slow song -- i think it's called Otoño porteño performed by the Eroica Trio). Pretty much i do whatever it takes.

I did read somewhere that if they eat more in the afternoon (whatever they are eating -- bm, cereals, other solids) rather than right before bed that they will sleep better and it seems to work for ds.

tug
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#14 of 17 Old 09-05-2003, 10:56 AM
 
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Grian my ds is now 23 months old and has finally starting sleeping regularly moreorless through the night. It has been a long time...

When he was 6-10 months was the hardest time for us - marathon nursing sessions for an hour or so before bed - waking an average of 12 times a night to nurse... What made a real difference for us was starting to have a bedtime routine and following a loose 'sleep plan' - we used many of the ideas from Elisabeth Pantley's No Cry Sleep Solution. We were determined to teach Mac to sleep in a gental way with no tears. There is also a yahoo group of parents who are all working on helping their babies learn to sleep for longer stretches without resorting to CIO methods. Feel free to pm me if you want to chat or more info on the group.

Good luck

EMma

ps As many mums have said, it is funny, but you do look back on the nighttime nursing sessions with fondness when they do stop...
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#15 of 17 Old 09-06-2003, 12:50 PM
 
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Are you putting baby to bed too early? Is she having extended naps?

Also, what I have found that WORKS is lights off, I mean pitch black. Not even a night light and no sound what-so-ever. We've been doing this for months and it works great. Life is very exciting and new at that age and any stimutation can keep these little ones up.
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#16 of 17 Old 09-06-2003, 05:42 PM
 
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We've got a strict nighttime routine. bath, say night-night, walk a little, and then bounce with music on. she falls asleep best when cradled in arms while I bounce on an exercise ball... it's gotten so much use!
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#17 of 17 Old 09-07-2003, 01:07 PM
 
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We've been mixing it up lately. Sometimes I nurse, sometimes I walk dd in the sling, sometimes dh walks dd in the sling, sometimes I bounce dd on the ball.

The only routine we have is that dd puts on her pj's and her nighttime diaper. We don't bath at night because dd is often fussy then.
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