Co-sleeping mommies...PLEASE HELP!!! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 12-31-2009, 12:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi!

Can someone please help me out! I need some advice. My DS is 8 1/2 months old and I am getting very worn out with his nighttime routine. My baby has been co-sleeping with us since the day he was born. I have always nursed and rocked him to sleep since day 1. From about 5 months on, he has been becoming much more difficult to get and stay asleep. He naps twice a day for a total of about 2-3 hours. He used to sleep about 12 hours a night (nursing about 2-3 times per night), but for about a month now he only sleeps 10 hours. We stopped swaddling him tightly (kiddopotamus) about a month ago as well, and now is swaddled using a muslin wrap, so he gets his arms comfortably free in the middle of the night.

The problem is that the only way he falls asleep is being bounced on the edge of the bed. It usually takes an average of 15-20 minutes to fall asleep, but then he needs to be held for at least an additional 30 minutes before being put down or he'll wake up soon after. I then place him in the middle of our bed with pillows around the bed. This hour plus nighttime rocking is beginning to get tiring for me and my DH because he is already 21 pounds and my DH feels that he is too big to rock himself and should be going to sleep relatively on his own. We have never allowed him to cry, and refuse to ever try the CIO method.

Can anyone out there who co-sleeps/slept with their babies tell me how they got their little ones to sleep, and what seemed to work/not. I feel like I am the only one out there with this sleep routine, which everyone we talk to thinks is crazy. Please help me! Is this normal for co-sleeping babies?

Thank you soooo much!

-Eva

AP, stay at home Mama (31) to DS 4/09, DD 11/11, DD 8/13 and wonderful DH (31) and my angel1.gif 1/11 who grew wings at 9w 3d 
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#2 of 8 Old 12-31-2009, 01:22 PM
 
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Sorry you are going through this, mama. My son just turned 9 mos last Saturday. He, too, is a big guy - almost 23 lbs at his appt on Monday. He will go down fairly easily for my mom for naps, but not so much for papi and me. For night-time, he nurses to sleep with no problem. I actually lay down next to him until he's out. Then do the pillows as you've described. He'll wake up from this after about an hour, though. If I lay down with him and don't get up, he's good for a couple of hours, nursing 2-3 times.

You may want to try altering your night time routine and sticking to it for a couple of days to see if you can change the pattern for him. I'm not suggesting CIO at all, because we don't/won't do it. What I have done with his 4 year old ds (when she transitioned out of our bed at 14 mos), and with him for naps, is pick baby up, soothe baby, lay baby back down. Dd's transition took almost an entire month, but, I think that is because she was much older. And I think I was holding her hand through the crib slats towards the end of that, if I recall.

She also went through a phase where, no matter what stage of sleep she was in, if I went to lay her down, she woke up. That started around 6mos when I went back to work full time. That's when I just decided to go to bed with her every night and then get up after she was down.

Also, other tricks you may try are putting him down with your night shirt, so that he has your scent right next to him. Or laying him down in a pre-warmed spot. If you don't have a lambskin, try warming the bed with a hot water bottle. The baby can otherwise also detect the change in warmth from being close to your body to the cold sheets.

Good luck!

Mama to add 10/05; ds 3/09, and two angels
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#3 of 8 Old 12-31-2009, 02:43 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eva0897 View Post
Can anyone out there who co-sleeps/slept with their babies tell me how they got their little ones to sleep, and what seemed to work/not. I feel like I am the only one out there with this sleep routine, which everyone we talk to thinks is crazy. Please help me! Is this normal for co-sleeping babies?
When nothing else worked to help DD fall asleep, we usually put her in a carrier and went out for a little walk (or walked around the house if the weather was terrible).

I think it's normal for many babies to have trouble winding down and falling asleep--I'm not sure it has much to do with whether they sleep in a crib or in a bed.
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#4 of 8 Old 01-03-2010, 02:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much! I will definitely try some of your suggestions!

AP, stay at home Mama (31) to DS 4/09, DD 11/11, DD 8/13 and wonderful DH (31) and my angel1.gif 1/11 who grew wings at 9w 3d 
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#5 of 8 Old 01-04-2010, 03:03 AM
 
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Also, your baby will go through many changes and what works now may not work in 5 months... and on and on. My advice to any parent who is navigating through co-sleeping night nursing is to be patient. Maybe your child can learn to fall asleep at the breast while you dose next to them. Maybe this will take more than a week of restlessness to even begin to work.... maybe longer.

ONe thing that I know is that NO ONE before pregnancy ever even mentioned 'nighttime parenting'. THis is such a huge, real thing. I am not suggesting CIO at all (we did not go that route) but I so totally know why people do it. Nightime parenting is exhausting and it goes on and on and on.... for us anyway. I finally was free of nursing and night waking when my DD was almost 4.....

So again.... be patient.... share the load with your partner.... take naps with your baby..... good luck.... it is so worth it.
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#6 of 8 Old 01-04-2010, 04:31 AM
 
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Have you tried the No Cry Sleep Solution? It has some ideas for helping your little one transition to falling asleep on his/her own. My daughter used to only fall asleep nursing and some ideas in this book really helped with that, so now she usually falls asleep on her own, at night anyway (naps are a whole different story!). Anyway, good luck!

Mama to Ella, 6/23/08
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#7 of 8 Old 01-04-2010, 04:59 AM
 
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I found that, for my kids, I had to let go of the idea that bedtime should only take 10, 15, 20 min... I have a friend whose kids go to sleep in their cribs with their little Fisher Price aquariums - she puts them down, turns them on and her kids go to sleep. Not my kids. Only now is her 3-year-old starting to resist this and it's taking her 2 hrs to get him to bed. I have nights where it takes 2 hrs and I have nights where it takes 20 min or less. Things got easier once I let go of expectations.... For some kids I really don't think it's a valid expectation that they'll go to sleep on their own - especially not at 8 months.

I second the idea of wearing him down - an ergo is great for this, IMO.

The other thing I have found most helpful is a dark, quiet room. Ds2 will not go to sleep unless he's in a dark quiet room - he even shuts the door himself.

"So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world." - Jack Layton
 
 
 
   

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#8 of 8 Old 01-05-2010, 04:09 PM
 
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I'm in the same boat. The only way dh and I can get dd to sleep is to bounce on a large exercise ball. Sometimes it takes 15/20 min to get her to sleep, sometimes a couple hours. At night she wakes several times and wants to climb all over the bed...so I end up getting up and bouncing her several times a night. I don't end up getting much sleep even though we've transitioned to cosleeping and I had hoped that would help...

Looking forward to hearing some other advice. Btw, what is a lambskin?

Rachel: cding, bfing, babywearing CO mama to my darling Sadie Caroline (2/18/09). Also..geologist, cook, mandolin picker, and wife to my banjo playing BP.
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