Cosleeping - problem with naps - considering CIO... - Mothering Forums
Co-sleeping and the Family Bed > Cosleeping - problem with naps - considering CIO...
whynot's Avatar whynot 10:42 PM 07-15-2010
How do your bed-sharing babies nap?

DS is 8 month old and we need some ideas!

We have been bed-sharing to varying degrees virtually since he was born. He was then sleeping in a bassinet in our bed and napping well during the day in the bassinet, then in his crib. Since we lowered the matttress in his crib (no drop-side), he always wakes up before even touching the mattress and cannot settle until I pick him up. I tried some simple things like breathing in his face so that he thinks I am there sleeping with him / keeping his back as supported as I can so that he doesn't feel a void that would wake him up / putting a nursing pillow in the crib so that he thinks that somebody's there by his side / keeping it very quiet when I put him down / since the latter failed, I also tried keeping a reasonable noise level (talking, radio, TV, etc.) - none of these worked. Putting the mattress higher is obviously not an option.

So he naps on our bed, but needless to say I cannot keep watching him instead of getting things done. We don't mind bed-sharing at night.

I should also mention that the only way to have him fall asleep is for me to nurse him.

I am considering ferberizing him to get him used to his crib hoping he would then also sleep in it during the day, but there's got to be a better solution.

thanks in advance for your ideas and suggestions!

LadyCatherine185's Avatar LadyCatherine185 10:46 PM 07-15-2010
Can you try side-lying nursing and then once he is asleep rolling away? That is what I did with DS for a long time and it worked really well. I just put pillows around him so he wouldn't roll off of the bed and kept a moniter on so I could hear him as soon as he woke up.
Artichokie's Avatar Artichokie 10:50 PM 07-15-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyCatherine185 View Post
Can you try side-lying nursing and then once he is asleep rolling away? That is what I did with DS for a long time and it worked really well. I just put pillows around him so he wouldn't roll off of the bed and kept a moniter on so I could hear him as soon as he woke up.
this is what we did/still do on the rare occasions she naps.
Degas's Avatar Degas 11:45 PM 07-15-2010
There are lots of other options!

If you're not totally comfortable with doing the bed with pillows around him idea, I understand. We have a really high bed and don't want to put it on the floor because our dog would get into bed with us.

A couple ideas for you since we are starting to run into the same issues. My dd is 10 months..0.


1. In a room where you've made it safe for the baby to be by himself put the crib matress on the floor and put pillows around it. (we haven't tried this yet - but it should work)

2. ditto as #1 but use kids or camping floor mat and a blanket instead of the matress and pillows. (works awesome - took a 1 1/2 hour nap for the first time in a long time)

3. wear baby while he sleeps in a mei tei, moby, or other type wrap or carrier that leaves your hands free. (works pretty well - but sometimes my daughter will wake up do to noise I or other people make. I have to modify the chores I'm doing so I don't wake her up bending down a lot, etc.)

4. put *your* matress on the floor with lots of pillows around it.
(I can't do because of our dog)

Hope one of those work for you!
jocelyndale's Avatar jocelyndale 11:53 PM 07-15-2010
They're only little for such a short time. Why "train" him into something so blatantly unnatural for him? (If it sleeping alone came naturally to him, you wouldn't need to train him.)

The house can wait. Really.

My son gave up naps when he was two. Until then, I stayed with him for naps. It gave me needed downtime, even if I stayed awake. I could read a book, cross stitch, or surf online.

The house waited. He was (and is) more important than the mess.
jellybeanmumma's Avatar jellybeanmumma 10:00 AM 07-17-2010
I found The No Cry Nap Solution by Elizabeth Pantley really helpful. She has a really wide range of solutions plus some great info on how much sleep babies need.

There is so much new science out there about how damaging it is for developing babes to ferberize them that as tempting as it is at times I've resisted and am so glad. DS is 1 and was very very high needs for the first 8 months and still kinda is. I've found that a regular routine helps. OUr first nap we go for a walk in the stroller. The second nap I rock him down in the sling and nurse and then wait till he is in deep sleep and sneak away or just bring laundry etc into the bedroom and also am sure to be there about 40mins in as if he nursed down he expects that and then will sleep up to another hour. At night we just lie next to each other till he drops and he nurses sporadically.

I'm with jocelyndale they're only little for such a short time. I am a neat freak and its hard to let go of having a clean neat house, but our time is the most precious gift we can give our children and in the first two years they are laying down synapses in their brain at a crazy rate - they may not remember our sacrifices in the early years but each time we meet their needs we strengthen their roots and help them build their lives from a solid foundation.
friskykitty's Avatar friskykitty 06:06 PM 07-17-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyCatherine185 View Post
Can you try side-lying nursing and then once he is asleep rolling away? That is what I did with DS for a long time and it worked really well. I just put pillows around him so he wouldn't roll off of the bed and kept a moniter on so I could hear him as soon as he woke up.
This is what we do as well.
D_McG's Avatar D_McG 02:32 AM 07-18-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by jocelyndale View Post
They're only little for such a short time. Why "train" him into something so blatantly unnatural for him? (If it sleeping alone came naturally to him, you wouldn't need to train him.)

The house can wait. Really.

My son gave up naps when he was two. Until then, I stayed with him for naps. It gave me needed downtime, even if I stayed awake. I could read a book, cross stitch, or surf online.

The house waited. He was (and is) more important than the mess.
I think this is really great if it works for you but not practical for everyone. For me now I have 2 kids so I can't do that. And even when I had one kid. I craved that nap time to decompress by myself. I really couldn't lie with DS while he napped. I'd have gone mad.

To the OP - we have our mattress on the floor so that our kids can nap without risk of them falling out. I don't love it but it facilitates the aforementioned down time
clemrose's Avatar clemrose 03:36 AM 07-18-2010
We have our son's crib mattress on the floor (but blocked in by the bed and two walls and a piece of furniture at the end. I can nurse him to sleep then move w/o waking him. Is this an option.
ssh's Avatar ssh 03:56 AM 07-18-2010
I'm posting just in case you aren't familiar with why CIO is so bad. Here are two articles http://www.naturalchild.org/guest/li...n_palmer2.html and http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/...enNeedTou.html .
SubliminalDarkness's Avatar SubliminalDarkness 11:17 AM 07-18-2010
The only way I could get DS2 to nap at all(aside from me holding him the whole time) was to nurse him on the couch and then roll away from him. He was in the same area of the house as me, but that was ok.

I wouldn't do CIO. I think it harms babies.
LCBMAX's Avatar LCBMAX 11:21 AM 07-18-2010
There was a long period of time when my son was taking 3 naps a day, and I had to be there for all of them, often with nipple in mouth. I tried everyone's good suggestions, and nothing would work. I hate to nap, myself. It makes me more tired, somehow.

For me, it was a moment where I submitted once again to my son's needs over my own. At 8 months, his needs were still number one for us, and I couldn't believe how many times I had to hit a wall, weep, and submit again. But it was worth it for his good sleep and for my mamamind to know I was doing the most gentle attentive parenting that I could do.

What got me through those naps was an iPod. Seriously. Movies, podcasts, TED talks -- keeping myself entertained kept me sane while I lay there not doing the dishes, laundry, dinner, exercise, phone call, bill paying, whatever.

I know it can be torture. I'm not downplaying that at all. I wept often and hard. But at 8 months, it was more important for me to get deal with my own discomfort using my adult skills than to torture that innocent little being with loneliness using something like cio. Ultimately I had to ask myself - peace of mind as a housewife or or peace of mind as a mama?
Mommy2Haley's Avatar Mommy2Haley 05:43 PM 07-18-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by LCBMAX View Post
There was a long period of time when my son was taking 3 naps a day, and I had to be there for all of them, often with nipple in mouth. I tried everyone's good suggestions, and nothing would work. I hate to nap, myself. It makes me more tired, somehow.

For me, it was a moment where I submitted once again to my son's needs over my own. At 8 months, his needs were still number one for us, and I couldn't believe how many times I had to hit a wall, weep, and submit again. But it was worth it for his good sleep and for my mamamind to know I was doing the most gentle attentive parenting that I could do.

What got me through those naps was an iPod. Seriously. Movies, podcasts, TED talks -- keeping myself entertained kept me sane while I lay there not doing the dishes, laundry, dinner, exercise, phone call, bill paying, whatever.

I know it can be torture. I'm not downplaying that at all. I wept often and hard. But at 8 months, it was more important for me to get deal with my own discomfort using my adult skills than to torture that innocent little being with loneliness using something like cio. Ultimately I had to ask myself - peace of mind as a housewife or or peace of mind as a mama?
This.

When my first daughter was 8 months old I succumbed to the pressure of what I was "supposed" to be doing. I couldn't take the negative comments and the feeling that I was doing it "wrong". And I was tired. Sooooooo tired.

I had a breakdown and ran out of my house crying (sobbing) during a snow/ice storm. I walked for an hour and during that time my daughter cried. Alone. (My husband was home)

The next day she was a different child and unfortunately, it made her sleep issues WORSE. She was clingy and terrified I would leave her. She feared her crib and just bringing her into the room sent her into hysterics. I took me quite a few weeks of gentle parenting to get my little girl back and I very much regret doing it.

Now she's 3years 3 months and it has gone by SO FAST. I can't believe it's been such a long time since that horrific night but here we are -- going to preschool, taking dance lessons, and riding a "big girl" bike. Where is my baby?

My second daughter is 8 months now and I'm tired again. I want her to sleep longer but I refuse to let her cry. It feels wrong to me, and anything that goes against my motherly instinct is the wrong choice for our family.

Weigh your choices. THey really do grow fast and you know what? The dishes will be there in an hour. The bathroom will still need to be cleaned. Bills? They come every month so if you wait another hour to pay it, that's fine.

Suggestions you've gotten so far are great. We really have to find what works for US and OUR situation though. What I do does NOT work for my friends (they're of a different mind set) but since it works for us it's the RIGHT decision. Whatever you decide to do will be the RIGHT choice for YOUR family and YOUR situation, even if it's to Ferberze.
bklynem's Avatar bklynem 05:53 PM 07-18-2010
I just want to say that when mothers say they'd like their baby to nap independently so that they can "get things done," it doesn't always mean they are talking about things like housework, which can be put off until later. Maybe they do some work from home, or maybe they really do have to pay that bill or make that phone call to the insurance company today, or perhaps they are just trying to prepare food for the family or other children. I agree that we should let go of what we can to make time for our babies' needs, but I think we should try to talk about that without assuming that there are no other needs in the household. If there are other things that a mother in her wisdom thinks need to get done, we should support that.

Having said all of that, I struggle with the same problem as the original poster. It's rough! I just keep telling myself that this is only temporary, and I accept help whenever I can get it.
LCBMAX's Avatar LCBMAX 05:55 PM 07-18-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by bklynem View Post
I just want to say that when mothers say they'd like their baby to nap independently so that they can "get things done," it doesn't always mean they are talking about things like housework, which can be put off until later. Maybe they do some work from home, or maybe they really do have to pay that bill or make that phone call to the insurance company today, or perhaps they are just trying to prepare food for the family or other children.
Really valuable comment. Thank you for adding that.
Mommy2Haley's Avatar Mommy2Haley 09:10 PM 07-18-2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by bklynem View Post
I just want to say that when mothers say they'd like their baby to nap independently so that they can "get things done," it doesn't always mean they are talking about things like housework, which can be put off until later. Maybe they do some work from home, or maybe they really do have to pay that bill or make that phone call to the insurance company today, or perhaps they are just trying to prepare food for the family or other children. I agree that we should let go of what we can to make time for our babies' needs, but I think we should try to talk about that without assuming that there are no other needs in the household. If there are other things that a mother in her wisdom thinks need to get done, we should support that.

Having said all of that, I struggle with the same problem as the original poster. It's rough! I just keep telling myself that this is only temporary, and I accept help whenever I can get it.
I work two hours in the morning with my children with me, work ANOTHER job from home, wear my baby for naps so I can get something done and have another child at home with me. I was trying to get the point across that if the need to get things done dealt with chores to let it go. If it's something else then yes, we need to look for a solution but Ferberizing is not the answer in anycase.
cyclamen's Avatar cyclamen 11:19 PM 07-18-2010
I second the NCSS.

Another anecdote:

I noticed with my daughter that around 6 months, she stopped crying in her carseat. She hated the seat before that, and I wrung my hands over her discomfort because she had to commute with me to school. Then one day I turned to her very calmly and said, "Dear, we are heading home now to see daddy. I understand if you want to cry because you don't like being in your seat, but we cannot avoid it if we want to go home. It just would not be safe. I love you. Try to sleep."

Well, she stopped screaming as she normally did and rode quietly home the whole way. Since then, the car was the one place she could go to sleep without TOO much trouble. (She also nursed to sleep, but it was HARD on both of us. She couldn’t get into a deep sleep. Her latch was bad. My nipples sore. So we worked on separating nursing from sleeping.)

Anyhow, this later made me think that perhaps she needed a nest like place for her to sleep. Something that would allow her to focus on sleep since she couldn’t just crawl away and start playing.

So we did something similar at 13 months. Set up white noise, gave her lots of cuddles and a routine, then laid beside her while she angrily let us know that she was tired, MAD and WANTED TO CRAWL! She actually started to doze off while standing up!

I felt a great deal of guilt listening to her cry while I "did nothing" about it. But it was really the right choice for her. It took three days, (45min first night, 10 the second, and none the third… now sometimes she giggles), and it was about the same amount of crying that she would have done anyhow. She sleeps so much better now, no dark circles under her eyes, and I feel so much less stressed out about completing my work from home tasks that I am able to be more engaged with her during the day and before and after naps. She also cries so much less than before in the day to day because she is more well rested. She cries less at naps and bedtimes.

Bascially, and I posted this on another thread... if it is right for your family, if it is right for your baby, if you do it with love... it's not cry it out. It's meeting needs. You'll know when too much crying is too much. One thing that helped for me was staying very calm and loving as I explained things to her. We'd anxiously tried "CIO" - just walking away - at stressed out moments in the middle of the night twice, and yes, the next day she was so clingy, and I felt awful for being so weak.

But I think that had as much, if not mostly, to do with OUR anxiety which she picked up on, as well as possibly her not being ready, and us not doing it in a setting of comfort, consistency and routine. If you are going to make a crib transition, I think it’s FAR FAR better to come at that transition from a loving and rational place, than from a frustrated, overwhelmed and sleep deprived place.

Finally, I come from a bedsharing culture. I grew up sleeping in my parents' bed, and my daughter will always be welcome in mine. But there's a season for everything, and this seems to be her season to sleep in a crib. My mom told me I was doing something valuable by teaching my daughter how to fall sleep, by giving her space to do it. She reminded me that being a parent is hard, and that sometimes we have to do something that isn't easy, but is right.
whynot's Avatar whynot 07:01 PM 07-23-2010
I wanted to thank you all for your replies and valuable comments, stories and ideas. I couldn't manage to do it earlier as our nàpping problem escalated into a generalized sleeping problem for both of us, and I have somehow slipped into complete chaos! I am on my own, as DH is away for another 6 weeks. As much as I love the idea of a co-napping farniente and could spend my entire days just looking at my son, with DH gone there is nobody to help me out in the evening so not everything can "wait". I must find a way to use his napping/sleeping time efficiently to keep being a good mum to him. I am becoming more and more overwhelmed and this is not good for him.

In fact I am now stuck in a vicious circle that I cannot seem to break. Worrying and self-doubt have kicked in.

For instance, it's been too hot here to keep wearing DS in a carrier, and since I cannot leave him alone in the bed (nap or night - he's too quick for the pillows idea as he can be very quiet sometimes yet very active), nothing gets done. He does have a playpen but he's pulling up and throwing himself and banging his head way too much for me to think it is safe for now (the mattress is thin and kinda hard). I'm trying to teach him to gently come down without throwing himself but he's full of energy!

So with this heat I cannot keep him in the kitchen while I cook (carrier or otherwise) so basically I haven't been eating well enough for my intense BFing needs. I am exhausted.

I also haven't been feeding him as much solids as he should be eating to get his iron and other nutrients. I feel like a complete failure and it's all very stressful and I have been struggling with insomnia. Naps are making it worse. I am completely sleep-deprived and can't see a solution to my complete exhaustion, while I need to stay alert!

I am too tired to wear DS out during the day, so he's not tired in the evening and doesn't fall asleep for hours. Lately, we have heen going to bed at 8, but he doesn't fall asleep until 2 a.m. or later! Which of course leaves me even more exhausted.

We haven't finalized childproofing a room or space (I know, it's ridiculous, but DH had to leave on short notice and I told him it's okay as I was hoping to be able to go along with Ds's development, but there's not enough time and energy for me to do it) so the mattress on the floor idea (great idea!) could not work until DH retunrs or I regain my energy AND can somehow leave DS.

So until DH returns, I would love to be able to have DS nap in his crib...

Ultimately, I think the crib would be best anyway as DS will be in daycare in a few months.

Anyway, all this to say that I hope to be able to use your great ideas soon. I got my copy of the NC Nap Solution today, so hopefully we'll be making some progress soon. I'll try staying as far as possible from ferberizing, but I guess my situation is a great testimony to one of you writing that it's better to act from a rational place where you can still rely on your resources!
poppan's Avatar poppan 07:16 PM 07-23-2010
I don't know if any of these things would work for you, but they are things that worked for me...

I used motion, but not my own motion. First it was swings (the one that goes side-to-side was the best). When they outgrew that, I transferred them to a walk in the stroller. If I got the timing right they usually fell asleep within 10 minutes or so and then I could park the stroller and get stuff done.

When my babies were 15 months old I went back to work and got a nanny. She started out with my stroller method but eventually transitioned to rocking/singing them to sleep and napping in the crib. She did a version of baby whisperer with the patting and shushing and decreasing contacts as baby allowed, with the goal of letting the final stage of falling sleep happen on its own, but not leaving baby to CIO.

Good luck mama! The 45 minute stretches of naps gave me about 30 minutes to do whatever I needed to do--take a shower, heat up lunch, pay some bills, get some time to myself on the computer. It saved my sanity, I really feel I couldn't have done without them.
poppan's Avatar poppan 07:18 PM 07-23-2010
Oh forgot one more thing that worked for me... although I tried not to use this one. DS readily fell asleep without crying if I put him in the play pen at the right time, with a kids TV show on softly to give him something to look at that wasn't overly stimulating. I discovered this one by accident--I put him there because I was nursing DD down for her nap first, and when I went back to get him he was already sleeping.
reezley's Avatar reezley 11:18 PM 07-23-2010
Haven't read all replies - looks like a wealth of ideas there.
What we did (because ds1 was exactly like you describe and I nursed him to sleep on our bed and sneaked away) was invest in a video monitor at that time. We wished we had done it earlier! It was about $100 (Summer Infant brand, we still use it 5 years later and love it) but the peace of mind of knowing he won't roll off etc, along with the chance to enjoy the few minutes of his nap time was well worth the price.
Up