Feeling Crib Guilt. - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 15 Old 08-13-2010, 03:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I hope this isn't too long and convoluted, but I could really use a little insight, please.

Lately we've been putting 14 mo old DD to sleep in her crib (nursing to sleep.) She will sleep 1-4 hours for that first stretch, and DH and I are in the living room, watching TV together, etc.

We recently moved, and our room is at the other end of our (average/small) house. So DD being so far away is new to me. Previously her crib was in our room, but we thought she woke up because we came into the room, and DH wanted to try it this way, so...

When she wakes up, DH gets her and brings her to me. For the last few nights she has been really upset, can't settle, etc. A few nights ago I had to walk her in the Ergo for two and a half HOURS before nursing her to sleep, and placing her in her crib (where she slept 3 hours until morning, thank goodness.)

Last night, she slept in her crib from 8:45pm-12:30am. Then she woke up again around 2 (in our bed). The poor thing was trying to sleep, kept laying on me, flopping around, making ticked-off-almost-tantrum sounds of frustration, crying, kicking us when we'd try to rub her back, etc. We got three Hyland's into her, in case it was her canines coming, and she just cried. (I had to hold her mouth open.

Finally I had enough and picked her up and walked up to her room, turned on her music (Rockabye Baby-- The Cure). I swayed with her for 10 mins or so, and put her in the crib. She slept there from 2:40am-8:30am!!!

So, I figure it was a fluke. Or maybe she really does sleep better in the crib?!? If you've seen any of my past posts, you'll know sleep is NOT easy in our house. So this development is kind of nuts...and awesome...and soooo disappointing on the nights when it doesn't happen.

But I read Jay Gordon's book, and he says the very LAST thing he recommends is the baby in a crib in another room. So I am feeling immense crib guilt. My baby is not very cuddly during the day, and it makes me upset a little that she doesn't seem to want to sleep with me.

Do you think it sounds like she'd prefer her own space? Am I a bad mama for trying to go with this "trend" and seeing if the crib in her own room actually works better?

Crib guilt is awful!!

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#2 of 15 Old 08-13-2010, 03:17 PM
 
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Does Jay Gordon really say he recommends against a crib in another room for a toddler? I can see it being a blanket recommendation for a baby under 1 (heck, even the AAP is in favor of bassinet-in-the-same-room for under 6 months), but a 14-month-old is a little individual with strong personal preferences! Let her sleep in a crib if it's what she wants.
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#3 of 15 Old 08-14-2010, 10:53 AM
 
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Does Jay Gordon really say he recommends against a crib in another room for a toddler? I can see it being a blanket recommendation for a baby under 1 (heck, even the AAP is in favor of bassinet-in-the-same-room for under 6 months), but a 14-month-old is a little individual with strong personal preferences! Let her sleep in a crib if it's what she wants.
I agree wholeheartedly. Why feel guilty about choosing the option that lets your child sleep better? It might not fit into the AP "playbook", but IMO the first goal of AP should be responding to the cues of your child. If she's trying to tell you that she wants to sleep in her own space, don't be afraid to try it out.
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#4 of 15 Old 08-14-2010, 02:46 PM
 
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Don't feel guilty, your DD is letting you know where she prefers to sleep! Each kid is different, just follow their needs. My DD1 liked to sleep in the crib (until she first woke to nurse) from 5 months on, she liked that better than sleeping in my bed by herself or having me hold her until I went to bed. She liked to spread out and not have anything touching her. DS2 (8 weeks) will start off the night in the Pack-n-Play until he first wakes to nurse, which right now is about 3 am. Sure, it's different than my other kids, but it's what works for him.

There are enough other things to feel guilty about, I would take this one of the guilt plate!

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#5 of 15 Old 08-14-2010, 10:33 PM
 
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I can totally empathize. My DS is 10 months old and has slept in our room since birth. I started to notice that he would always wake shortly after I came to bed (which was initially at 11:30, then, as I stayed up later to "wait" for him, he started waking within 10 minutes after I shut the light off). My DH works midnights, so it was just me in there. No talking, no unnecessary noise. But he would wake up. And then he'd wake again at about 2:30. And again every 2 hrs until he was up for the day. For the heck of it, and because he was continually trying to crawl out of the cosleeper and kamikaze off the side whenever he woke up, we started putting him to sleep in his crib, in his room.

The first night he slept til 4:30 am. He's been sleeping in his crib for about 2 weeks now, and he's never woken earlier than 2:30. And his wakings after the first one are spaced farther apart, and he's begun to accept a few pats on the bum instead of nursing back to sleep.

I don't know if it's all related, but it's working for us. I feel a little guilty, but mostly I just miss having him in our room... But he sleeps better, so I think that if I tried to keep him in our room would be silly (even if it made me happier!).

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#6 of 15 Old 08-14-2010, 11:13 PM
 
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I agree to listen to the needs/desires of your babe. Really that is one thing that attachment parenting is all about!

Different situation but I love to cuddle my babies to sleep and then DS came along...I would rock, bounce, nurse and he would.not.go.to.sleep! One day I tried just laying him in the cradle and he fell right to sleep! He just needed to be in his own space. He was only like that for naps and quickly outgrew it but just wanted to share to hopefully make you feel better.

~Katie~ married to J, mom to DD- A 13 yrs ,DS- L 7yrs , and my little nursling DD2- R 5yrs.

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#7 of 15 Old 08-15-2010, 02:41 AM
 
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We moved DD into a crib in our room just after a year, and then to her own room around 15 months. She immediately slept much much better, as did we. Last week she had a couple of nights in a row waking up screaming with, I think, her first nightmares, and I brought her into our room to sleep with us. None of us slept well at all. I thought we'd be co-sleeping for years, but this is what she needs, so we're going with it.

Wife to great guy and mama to 2 beautiful girls S Oct 15, 2008 and Z March 22, 2011
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#8 of 15 Old 08-16-2010, 04:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OP here. Thanks, all, for the encouragement. I guess since Jay Gordon says he doesn't recommend his night weaning method until at least 12, 18, 20+ months...I sort of lumped the "crib as a last resort" advice into that age bracket, too. I am a tired mama and read VERY fast while she naps

Well, an update on the crib. She is NOT sleeping longer stretches in the crib. It's just that now she totally will NOT settle in our bed. Getting her to fall asleep (around 9pm) at night is not a problem. She nurses right to sleep, usually. It's the night wakings!!! Last night I found myself getting almost angry. Not at her. At the situation. I just want her to STAY asleep, and I feel like I am just not cracking the code on the perfect combo of what she needs (white noise, no noise, music, humidifier, crib, co-sleep, more blankets, less blankets, cotton sleepwear, no socks, footie PJs.....ARRRGGHHH!!!!!!)

I *think* she is getting canines. Last night I got mad and would not nurse her (since I had JUST nursed her 30 mins prior) so I held her in the rocker/recliner. While I was holding her (her eyes WIDE open...sigh) I felt a drop of drool land on my arm. Poor baby, I am assuming teething. We are giving Hyland's teething tabs before bed and naps, though, and Motrin doesn't seem to do anything better than Hyland's. That drop of drool made me feel so bad for her and I rocked more gently and rubbed her back.

I feel so bad for how I reacted last night. I am also just so frustrated. I suppose I will keep up the crib efforts, since she doesn't seem to like being in our bed right now. It's just so darn tiring to get out of bed to go to her so often. I thought by this age she'd be sleeping better.

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#9 of 15 Old 08-16-2010, 05:00 PM
 
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The goal here is to listen to your child and do what you can to meet her needs to the best of your ability. AP books are full of good ideas that work for many families, but they're not a "shopping list" of things you "have to do or else you're not a real AP parent"!!!!

Some kids are easily overstimulated and need their own space to sleep. You're not "denying her cuddles at night" but "responding to her need for calm, quiet space at bedtime."

There's nothing to feel guilty about.

You might, however, find it easier to move her out of a crib and into a low bed (mattress on the floor perhaps?) that she can get out of by herself, so she can come to you when she wakes up at night.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18, and Jack, 12
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#10 of 15 Old 08-16-2010, 09:13 PM
 
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Have you tried a super-early bedtime? Like 6 or 7?
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#11 of 15 Old 08-17-2010, 12:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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You might, however, find it easier to move her out of a crib and into a low bed (mattress on the floor perhaps?) that she can get out of by herself, so she can come to you when she wakes up at night.
She doesn't come to me. When she wakes up (whether in the crib or our bed) she lays there or sits up and cries pretty hard. But she doesn't seek me out. When she wants to nurse, she doesn't come to me, or root, or anything. She waits for me to come to her, and gets upset if I don't.

I am struggling with the fact that she doesn't seem very cuddly. Even during the day. For example, if she bumps her head, she backs away from me, bats my hands away, etc and cries. She'll say "mama" while she is crying, but seems like she doesn't want me to touch her. She doesn't voluntarily hug or kiss very often.

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Have you tried a super-early bedtime? Like 6 or 7?
Curious...why? What would this do? She doesn't seem ready then. She's pretty wide awake, usually eating dinner around that time.

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#12 of 15 Old 08-17-2010, 01:21 AM
 
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Sometimes babies and children sleep for longer stretches when they have a super-early bedtime. It's one of those things you can try for a few days and switch back if it doesn't work (it won't work the first time but it might the third or fourth time), no harm no foul.
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#13 of 15 Old 08-17-2010, 01:50 AM
 
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Have you tried a super-early bedtime? Like 6 or 7?
That might be the trick of you find it isn't her teeth. If she is eating then but goes to bed at 10 normally try like 8. (you will have to see what works with her schedule) but if I wait till my kids show me they are tired they sleep terrible.

Don't let it eat you up that you got upset at the situation the other night, we have all been there (or will be at some time in parenting) it is normal and unfortunatly our mommy guilt just eats us up about stuff like that.

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#14 of 15 Old 08-17-2010, 01:52 AM
 
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At around the same age my DD stopped sleeping very well in bed with us. We had been doing the same as you - starting the night in her crib, and then bringing her in with us when she woke up - but all of a sudden it just wasn't working anymore. She flopped and fussed, and tried to climb our head board and just wouldn't settle down. So I took a bit of extra effort and started to resettle her back in her crib, and she slept much better. But about 18 months she started to reliably sleep through the night.... bliss.

My girl is the opposite of most other AP'd kids, and I have no idea why. She needs her own space. Now she can't even fall asleep if I am in the room. I have to tuck her in, and leave. She hasn't fallen asleep in arms since she was an infant. She will very rarely fall asleep in her carseat if she is really tired, but other than that she will only sleep in her crib. I have tried a few times to bring her back to our bed when we are having a rough night, but I always end up taking her back to her crib because she can't sleep.

We recently went camping and I tried sleeping with her in my sleeping bag. Not a chance. She couldn't settle down, started to get hysterical, and I ended up driving home at 12:30 in the morning to put her to bed in her crib.

And no, we haven't ever done any sleep training, CIO, ferberizing, etc. We have just always followed her cues and responded to her needs. And she needs her own space to sleep. That is what AP is all about.

So don't feel bad, Mama. Just follow your daughter's cues, and if she sleeps better in her crib than let her sleep there!!

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#15 of 15 Old 08-17-2010, 03:51 AM
 
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I am struggling with the fact that she doesn't seem very cuddly. Even during the day. For example, if she bumps her head, she backs away from me, bats my hands away, etc and cries. She'll say "mama" while she is crying, but seems like she doesn't want me to touch her. She doesn't voluntarily hug or kiss very often.
Just popping in on this -- my DD has always been like this, too. She's 3 now, and if she bonks her head or toe or something, she'll either refuse to admit that she did it, refuse to admit it hurts, or refuse my offer of hugs and kisses. It's just her personality. I've found a few things I can do, like offer her a cold pack. She doesn't really NEED a cold pack, she only holds it on for a few seconds, but it's a little routine we've worked out for me to provide some comfort that she'll accept.

Hugs and kisses have to be requested, but we've got other things she likes -- like an elaborate fist-bump routine (fist bump, blow it up, make it rain, clear it out, make the sun, make the clouds, make the moooooooon). Kids!

And, yes, she was also happier by herself in the crib.

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