Anyone else with baby that will NEVER sleep alone? At all?? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 32 Old 03-22-2010, 06:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My 6.5 month old dd will only sleep 1) in the Ergo or 2) right next to me in bed. We sleep facing each other and in constant physical contact. I cannot move away from her at all. Ever. She can be in the deepest sleep and if I roll away even slightly she wakes within seconds and cries. Dh cannot be a substitute for me, because she wants/needs the boob and me.

Needless to say, this makes some things impossible, like sneaking away once she's asleep to hang out with the rest of the family (who often stay up later than her necessary-due-to-crankiness 7:30 or so bedtime). It makes other things very difficult, like being intimate with dh.

I'm hoping some of you can relate and can offer words of commiseration or support!

Mom to dd (8), ds (6), and dd (1)

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#2 of 32 Old 03-22-2010, 09:25 PM
 
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I sort of know what you're going through, though it's not been quite as bad for me and ds (who is now 14 mos and still sleeping with us). If I try to roll over, he often wakes up. And it gets so uncomfortable sleeping in the same position! It used to be that I couldn't move him over at all or he would wake up. Now, after he nurses, I can slide him more towards the middle of the bed without him waking. It's easier now, but also harder, since he's bigger. He just takes up more room. Newborns are so easy to cosleep with!

If you move, do you try to pat her down again? That usually works for us, but sometimes we have to pat for a long time. We tend to use a kind of sing-song rhythm while patting, which seems to sooth her (hope that makes sense). When she gets sleepy at the boob, do you ever try to pull your nipple out before she's actually asleep (a la No Cry Sleep Solution)? That can help her to learn to go back to sleep on her own, and break the dependence of being asleep with the nipple in her mouth. It takes time and practice, but it has worked for us.

My only other thought is that she might be teething, which might make her sleep more lightly. Maybe some homeopathic chamomile tablets or teething tablets (like Hyland's) would help.

As far as intimacy, we've had to turn the living room into a makeshift boudoir on occasion once ds is asleep in our room. But if you can't leave your babe, even that won't work. I hope it's just a phase!

I should probably be doing something else right now.
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#3 of 32 Old 03-22-2010, 09:57 PM
 
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I have no real advice for you. Ds2 will stay asleep when we move, but he'll scoot himself right back next to me so that by the end of the night I've slept in the same position the whole night and have about half an inch of bed left before I fall off.

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#4 of 32 Old 03-22-2010, 10:05 PM
 
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DD is 4 and still sleeps in my arms. These days, I can sneak away once she's asleep and perhaps once a week she falls asleep without me, so there is hope at long last. That's probably not what you wanted to hear, is it? Seriously, I couldn't move away from her when she was sleeping at all until she was close to a year, and then only very briefly and only if she was in exactly the right stage of sleep. But, in the end, I wouldn't have traded all that nighttime cuddling for the world.
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#5 of 32 Old 03-22-2010, 10:13 PM
 
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Yes and she's 6.5 now and still in my bed lol. It took till she had night weaned for me to be able to sneak off after she had fallen asleep. We learned to have lots of intimate moments in the shower, while she was in her bouncer facing the OTHER way.

I have 2 in my bed currently and am unsure where in the world we are going to put the new baby!!! My oldest (the one who's always had to touch me to sleep) has offered up her place in the family bed, and i don't think she realizes what she's doing lol. But we just got a toddler bed and moved it into our room, right next to our bed to see if that will work.

Good luck!

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#6 of 32 Old 03-22-2010, 10:22 PM
 
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It will pass.

That's all I've got. I don't know when, I don't know how, but I can promise it will get better.
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#7 of 32 Old 03-22-2010, 10:33 PM
 
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My oldest was like this as a baby. She also didn't sleep a four hour stretch until she was a year old. It really does pass. She is almost 8 and goes to sleep beautifully in her own bed and stays there.

One thing that worked to give me enough time to get up and do a couple of adult things after she was asleep was to heat up a buckwheat pillow and slip out once she was asleep, putting the warm pillow in my place. That often bought me an hour or two.

Hang in there!
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#8 of 32 Old 03-22-2010, 10:44 PM
 
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I had no choice at that age but to move and just sooth from a different position. I have major back issues and really exacerbated them by putting up with uncomfortable sleeping positions for as long as I did (mainly side laying).

The good news, is that at 4 years old she shows no signs irreparable damage from crying while sleeping in my bed but not in direct contact with me or latched onto my breast with me uncomfortably laying on my side. I wish I hadn't suffered as long as I did, but I was so afraid of causing irreversible damage by not doing everything possible to prevent any and all crying.

Don't get me wrong, I am adamantly against sleep training, but I will never make myself suffer like that again. Once I let myself sleep on my back she got used to me rubbing her back and hair, and just generally talking to her and soothing her. She still sleeps in our bed most nights, but I have no qualms about moving her over or repositioning myself.

Long story short; I don't think you'd be doing anything wrong at all by transitioning to a different sleep position or another form of soothing instead of having to be in direct physical contact all the time. You'll burn out doing that.

Attachment parenting is about forming HEALTHY attachments, and if you end up feeling burnt out and full of resentment that's going to translate to her. I really bought into the whole "never let them cry" thing, when I should have concentrated on why she was crying. I really regret the way I didn't take care of my needs when she was a baby. I think I really missed the point of what attachment parenting was.

I never wanted her to think I wouldn't come to her when she cried, or that I wouldn't feed her when she was hungry, or wouldn't cuddle her when she needed it, but looking back, I really treated all crying the same - something that had to be prevented at all costs. Once I realized that even after nursing, with a clean diaper, and a cuddle, and a nap, that she could STILL cry, and sometimes needed to, even with me right next to her rubbing her tummy or stroking her hair, things became a lot less stressful. I think I transferred so much bad energy and resentment that even though I was RIGHT there, it was useless because I was in so much pain and didn't want to be there that I just oozed a "get me the heck out of this position" vibe. Once I stopped being a self sacrificing martyr she actually started sleeping better.

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#9 of 32 Old 03-22-2010, 10:52 PM
 
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I can totally commiserate, DS is 6 months old and we are in the exact.same.situation. So I have no advice to offer, just a great big

Happily married to my hero and SAHMama to 4 precious gifts from God
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#10 of 32 Old 03-22-2010, 10:52 PM
 
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I feel your pain, but they do grow up faster than you can imagine. Didn't want ot hear that, huh? My dd was a terrible sleeper. Now she's 9 1/2 and looks so old and it's so hard to remember her as that big baby that liked to sleep ON me. It really took til she was almost 3 or so to really start sleeping well. However, I could move away from her after she fell asleep until she woke up 45 mins-1hr. later, all through the night. I was crazy by the time she was 18 months. I night weaned by 2 and she still didn't sleep through the night. DH had always helped at night to the best of his ability, but he got night duty with dd from there on out. I was preg when she was just over 2 and had to banish myself out of the fb to an air mattress on the 2nd room floor for about a month to catch up on sleep. I then slept with ds until he was a year. he wasn't as bad as dd, but still woke up alot. Then dh got both of them in bunk beds, and I got my own room. He still sleeps in their room because they are upstairs, and we have been too nervous of then walking down the stairs at night. And he can't sleep on my soft bed any more. We have to bite the bullet and get a new mattress and just let them come downstairs to us when they wake up, which is still several nights a week.

Looking back I wish I hadn't been so rabid about the whole AP thing because sleep deprivation can mimic depression, and I had it BAD. There are so many parts I didn't enjoy because I was too tired and grumpy. I really feel I burned myself out and could have done it better some how. I am too hard on myself anyway. I was much harder on my dd when my ds was under one. I would love to change that. so my advice is do what you have to do that makes it work for both of you, all of you. Sacrificing you is probably not worth it. You can still be compassionate with your baby and attached in many other ways.
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#11 of 32 Old 03-22-2010, 11:17 PM
 
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I want to add a couple of things:

First, the mamas who suggest that you shouldn't let your desire to keep your DD from crying make you crazy are absolutely right. It's like they say, you can't take care of your baby if you don't take care of yourself. And you definitely have to do what you have to do to keep from feeling resentment.

Second, as Aka suggests, the shower is a great option. Also, I am totally opposed to loud, electronic toys and videos for kids...but I do think they're worthwhile when used sparingly to get a bit of alone time with your partner. Maybe not at 6 months. But if this doesn't end soon, please don't think that it means the end of intimacy. There are plenty of ways to distract a kid for an hour.
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#12 of 32 Old 03-23-2010, 12:12 AM
 
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That's very very normal at that age. It will pass.
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#13 of 32 Old 03-23-2010, 12:16 AM
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Yes, I remember DD being like that for a long time her first year. She then got better and better. I'd try it, and it would result in a five minute nap, which sucked, but eventually she'd do 20 minutes and then I'd get in bed and read/nap with her, and that was good, b/c I got rest too that way, or did something for me (I love to read). It just happened gradually, and now she naps all by herself, and has for a long time, and she has gotten way better about nighttime sleep (on her own with maybe a quick cuddle mid-night) the past several months. I hope it helps, just hearing, that a kid can be a sleeper like that and it WILL get better and it won't take that long, likely. I know it feels like forever but we would just tell ourselves, as soon as we are about to break and go crazy, or as soon as we figure out/make peace with the situation, it will change. Sometimes every few weeks! Hang in there. If you're really resenting it, keep trying different things. I know I was actually fine with it for as long as it lasted, just needed to remind myself to not accept outside expectations to cloud my view of it, but NOW I know I would be crazy, and when things get crazy it crowds out the love, and that's no good! Good luck!
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#14 of 32 Old 03-23-2010, 01:00 AM
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It will get better. I was able to roll out of bed easily at about 9 months. My DD started crawling forward and then cruising at about 7.5 months. As she got more physically active she seemed to sleep sounder. It was so nice being able to do stuff during her naps and for an hour or two in the evenings.
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#15 of 32 Old 03-23-2010, 01:13 AM
 
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My DD was like that too. It's a phase that will pass, I promise.

DD still sleeps right up against me at 3.5, but I can usually sneak away easily and slide my pillow sideways for her to roll up against. Sometimes she'll go for long stretches without waking up and looking for me, other nights she wakes up a lot and needs to be glued to me.

Once you get past teething and past the stage where baby *needs* to nurse a lot then it will get easier! And once your baby learns to be mobile, like a PP said, then sleeping will get more sound hopefully. (Though I always found that DD woke up/slept badly during periods where she was learning new major skills like mobility, so be prepared for that quick phase too...)

One last thing, that some may not agree with on here...if you are totally desperate for a few evenings spent out of the bed (because believe me I know how depressing that can get!) you can always try your pillow turned long ways and a pacifier for comfort sucking. I had the problem where DD would smell my scent then try to latch on and wake up because she couldn't find me. A few hours of the pacifier at night was like HEAVEN...I could get away from her and breathe! I always took the pacifier out of her mouth when I was laying there, and we never got it out during the day...so it never became an issue of paci addiction.

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#16 of 32 Old 03-23-2010, 06:24 AM
 
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My littlest was like that too when he was that age (he's 14m now). I had to master the art of moving away very, very sloooooowly when he went to sleep (actually with both of them, ds1 was the world's lightest sleeper!). It will get better, I promise!

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#17 of 32 Old 03-23-2010, 07:36 AM
 
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I'm there too! I have 2 in bed with me, and would not have it any other way (ok, talk to me in 3 months...). My only problem is also finding time to be with DH, and so far the only solution we've found is to send DS1 to a playdate (neighbor's house - we take turns hosting twice a month) and then distract DS2 for about 15 minutes. Doesn't always work, but as a PP said, sometimes there is value in those electronic gadgets... And this will be but a distant memory soon. (We realised that we desperately needed "alone" time when we actually considered dtd with DS2 sleeping in the Ergo - which is the only way he'll sleep )

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#18 of 32 Old 03-23-2010, 10:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yay! So many wonderful responses! So many things I want to respond to, but I have to finish helping the older kids get ready for school. I'll be back later. =)

Mom to dd (8), ds (6), and dd (1)

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#19 of 32 Old 03-23-2010, 01:42 PM
 
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Another mama btdt telling you it will get easier! DS is high needs and I think the sleep attachment thing to mama is pretty common with hn babes (is yours?). Once I understood more about ds's temperament, I was able to just accept and go with it. Ds was never quite as clingy as your LO sounds but I couldn't leave him for naps until about ten months. Nights are better now too.

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#20 of 32 Old 03-23-2010, 03:57 PM
 
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I know what you're going through. My DS isn't so bad that I can't move away from him but he only sleeps with me in the bed to start at night (in the morning once he's had some sleep cycles already he will sleep for about an hour without me) or in his swing. The NCSS book talks about getting a separate mattress and putting both your mattress and babies mattress right on the floor next to each other. So baby has his own mattress and you have yours so when you are done feeding and can hopefully move your arm out from baby without waking you each have your own mattress to move on without waking the other. This is something DH and I have been wanting to try but we have to save up for the other mattress first. I think that's about all the help I can lend, everyone else seems to have covered everything else I know. But it does feel good to know you're not alone! Hang in there!

Julie

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#21 of 32 Old 03-23-2010, 06:12 PM
 
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YES x 2.

both my kids were like that. I managed to get two!!

earth.gif trottin', pole dancing, Norway and Sweden lovin' , hippie.gif,WOHM Kiddos born waterbirth.jpg 12/11/06 and 08/09/08 
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#22 of 32 Old 03-25-2010, 04:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katmann View Post

If you move, do you try to pat her down again? That usually works for us, but sometimes we have to pat for a long time.
I try to pat her down, but it usually doesn't work. I pat gently, but she just turns towards me and starts vigorously searching for my nipple with her head/mouth. Like a baby bird! It's really cute, actually, but I do wish the patting worked!

Quote:
Originally Posted by katmann View Post
When she gets sleepy at the boob, do you ever try to pull your nipple out before she's actually asleep (a la No Cry Sleep Solution)? That can help her to learn to go back to sleep on her own, and break the dependence of being asleep with the nipple in her mouth. It takes time and practice, but it has worked for us.
I do try this frequently, and it sometimes works, but usually within 20 minutes she's seeking out the nipple again.

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My only other thought is that she might be teething, which might make her sleep more lightly. Maybe some homeopathic chamomile tablets or teething tablets (like Hyland's) would help.
I don't think it's teething because it's been going on for months.

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#23 of 32 Old 03-25-2010, 04:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TEAK's Mom View Post
One thing that worked to give me enough time to get up and do a couple of adult things after she was asleep was to heat up a buckwheat pillow and slip out once she was asleep, putting the warm pillow in my place. That often bought me an hour or two.

Hang in there!
A buckwheat pillow, huh? Did you make it yourself? Where can I get one? I imagine it will be easier to get ahold of than a clone of myself, which is what I sometimes think i need!

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Originally Posted by North_Of_60 View Post
The good news, is that at 4 years old she shows no signs irreparable damage from crying while sleeping in my bed but not in direct contact with me or latched onto my breast with me uncomfortably laying on my side. I wish I hadn't suffered as long as I did, but I was so afraid of causing irreversible damage by not doing everything possible to prevent any and all crying.

Don't get me wrong, I am adamantly against sleep training, but I will never make myself suffer like that again. Once I let myself sleep on my back she got used to me rubbing her back and hair, and just generally talking to her and soothing her. She still sleeps in our bed most nights, but I have no qualms about moving her over or repositioning myself.

Long story short; I don't think you'd be doing anything wrong at all by transitioning to a different sleep position or another form of soothing instead of having to be in direct physical contact all the time. You'll burn out doing that.

Attachment parenting is about forming HEALTHY attachments, and if you end up feeling burnt out and full of resentment that's going to translate to her. I really bought into the whole "never let them cry" thing, when I should have concentrated on why she was crying. I really regret the way I didn't take care of my needs when she was a baby. I think I really missed the point of what attachment parenting was.

I never wanted her to think I wouldn't come to her when she cried, or that I wouldn't feed her when she was hungry, or wouldn't cuddle her when she needed it, but looking back, I really treated all crying the same - something that had to be prevented at all costs. Once I realized that even after nursing, with a clean diaper, and a cuddle, and a nap, that she could STILL cry, and sometimes needed to, even with me right next to her rubbing her tummy or stroking her hair, things became a lot less stressful. I think I transferred so much bad energy and resentment that even though I was RIGHT there, it was useless because I was in so much pain and didn't want to be there that I just oozed a "get me the heck out of this position" vibe. Once I stopped being a self sacrificing martyr she actually started sleeping better.
I'm not against a little crying if she's fed, changed, etc. and I'm lying next to her but, maybe, not letting her comfort nurse all night long. But she goes from zero to hysterical in seconds. The kind of can't-breathe-through-the-screaming crying that is just too much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by enfpintj View Post
Looking back I wish I hadn't been so rabid about the whole AP thing because sleep deprivation can mimic depression, and I had it BAD. There are so many parts I didn't enjoy because I was too tired and grumpy. I really feel I burned myself out and could have done it better some how. I am too hard on myself anyway. I was much harder on my dd when my ds was under one. I would love to change that. so my advice is do what you have to do that makes it work for both of you, all of you. Sacrificing you is probably not worth it. You can still be compassionate with your baby and attached in many other ways.
I have to say, I actually feel really well rested. I think it's because a) I have to go to bed early because the baby does, so even though we wake multiple times, it's over lots of hours! and b) since I don't have to physically get up, I can sort of doze through all the nursing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rzberrymom View Post
That's very very normal at that age. It will pass.
This is so good to hear!

Quote:
Originally Posted by St. Margaret View Post
Yes, I remember DD being like that for a long time her first year. She then got better and better. I'd try it, and it would result in a five minute nap, which sucked, but eventually she'd do 20 minutes and then I'd get in bed and read/nap with her, and that was good, b/c I got rest too that way, or did something for me (I love to read). It just happened gradually, and now she naps all by herself, and has for a long time, and she has gotten way better about nighttime sleep (on her own with maybe a quick cuddle mid-night) the past several months. I hope it helps, just hearing, that a kid can be a sleeper like that and it WILL get better and it won't take that long, likely. I know it feels like forever but we would just tell ourselves, as soon as we are about to break and go crazy, or as soon as we figure out/make peace with the situation, it will change. Sometimes every few weeks! Hang in there. If you're really resenting it, keep trying different things. I know I was actually fine with it for as long as it lasted, just needed to remind myself to not accept outside expectations to cloud my view of it, but NOW I know I would be crazy, and when things get crazy it crowds out the love, and that's no good! Good luck!
I'm not really at the "resenting it" phase just yet. But I'm definitely looking for ways to maybe slowly change things.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pepper44 View Post
One last thing, that some may not agree with on here...if you are totally desperate for a few evenings spent out of the bed (because believe me I know how depressing that can get!) you can always try your pillow turned long ways and a pacifier for comfort sucking. I had the problem where DD would smell my scent then try to latch on and wake up because she couldn't find me. A few hours of the pacifier at night was like HEAVEN...I could get away from her and breathe! I always took the pacifier out of her mouth when I was laying there, and we never got it out during the day...so it never became an issue of paci addiction.
Let me tell you, I have tried at least 5 different kinds of pacifiers. Cassidy loves to play with them and chew on them, but doesn't suck on them at all. I've tried sneaking them in instead of my nipple while she's sleeping, and she starts grumbling and waking up. :

I DO use the early bedtime for reading, so I am getting some alone time for literature. After she falls asleep, I turn on my headlamp (the kind spelunkers use - really!) and read for an hour or two.

Mom to dd (8), ds (6), and dd (1)

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#24 of 32 Old 03-25-2010, 05:36 PM
 
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Op...my dd is 10mo and I am in the exact same position as you. She only naps in the ergo and has to sleep in my armpit on my boob all night long. Everyone keeps telling me to get her to nap on her own...duhh I would if I could. I have tried pacis which work for a few mins until she comes into a light sleep cycle and then she gets angry. I am right there with you. Most of the time I try to just be in the moment and go with her needs, but there are many evenings that I wish I had some time to myself. I do feel claustrophobic at times and my back hurts from side nursing all night long, BUT I really just don't know what else to do. I have only commiseration no answers.
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#25 of 32 Old 03-29-2010, 05:34 PM
 
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My 4.5 month old DD is this way too (sorry, no answers...only responded to commiserate as well!) She is asleep on me right now in the Maya wrap. If I tried to put her down, she would wake up as if an alarm went off (arms and feet flapping, head tossing)! We were able to get her to sleep for about an hour or so in her car seat at night. This was really great and DH and I would take advantage of our alone time. But this lasted only a month and now DD has regressed and is back to sleeping in arms only or next to me in bed. But now it is even worse...she kicks her arms and legs so much through the night now (never did this before). It's strange b/c she seems to stay asleep while doing this. I'm just not sure what is causing it. Anyone else have their LO do this and know of a solution to it? It's always comforting to 1) know I am not alone and 2) know that it will get better....at some point! Thanks everyone!!!
-Nicole, mama to DD (11/09)
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#26 of 32 Old 03-29-2010, 06:07 PM
 
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My youngest was like that - she slept only in my arms or touching me until she was 15 months old or so - and then she slept for like 1-2 hours at a time. She'd occasionally sleep on her dad/grandma/auntie/in her swing - but she she didn't like it one bit and let you know it. Then, at about 15 months, she started sleeping better. By 18 months she was sleeping through the night, and in her own bed - by then not only didn't she need me to sleep by her, she didn't want ANYONE to sleep by her. She's the best sleeper in our entire family now, as long as she has her space to sprawl out. LOL.
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#27 of 32 Old 03-29-2010, 08:10 PM
 
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me, too. and this is my 3rd touch/hold to sleep. dd1, dd3 and now dd4. she will not sleep anywhere but on me/on my boob and you can forget naps in the sling because she only like ffo!

dd3 still has to touch to sleep. it's a wonder we got pg at all! i had a tubal in dec and we have ddt 3 times since sept

Jen-loving Bill, mama to Teryn 18, Kalyn 16, Ricky 13, Natalie 5, Angel Zoe '07 and rainbow1284.gifAmelia Rae 22 mos bonus kids (dss) W 14, W 13 NEW grandbaby due 10/10/11

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#28 of 32 Old 03-29-2010, 10:06 PM
 
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My two girls were/are great sleepers. Then we had our boy almost 6 months ago. He loves to use my breast as his pillow. He will not sleep in the crib. He will occassionally sleep in the co-sleeper but not for long. He would rather be next to me. Since he's my last one I'm trying to enjoy it but it can get frustrating at times (the whole sleeping on one side numbness thing). I too wonder if it will go on forever. Reading the replies here gives me hope he'll be out of my bed before he's off to college lol.
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#29 of 32 Old 03-31-2010, 06:40 PM
 
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Ack, so glad I stumbled on this thread! I get all kinds of subtle judgment from my parents and ILs because my 2-mo DD naps on me in a wrap. I think THEY think that I'm turning her into a HN baby, but really, she's HN all on her own. She also does the 0-60 thing with crying--she becomes hysterical really quickly. Both my parents and my ILs have SEEN her do this, and yet I think they expect me to sleep train her. Right.

Thankfully, because we BW, I am still able to get things done without being chained to the bed. I really don't mind it so far, although I might change my tune in a few months! Anyway, no advice really, just wanted to commiserate a little.
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#30 of 32 Old 03-31-2010, 08:19 PM
 
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with my ds i didn't even try to not be right there with him/touching him when he was asleep until he was 14 monthsish.

however he was/is my only child so it was easy....i'm not sure what it will be like next time!

me, dh and 2 boys = our family (oh and a cat...who is also a male...lol)
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