Co-sleeping, but would like to be able to stay up after baby falls asleep... - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 28 Old 05-19-2011, 11:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi mamas (& papas?) -- Any thoughts on how to get back up after nursing LO to sleep? My son is 10mo. I nurse him to sleep in bed and either (a) can't get out of bed because he wakes & starts nursing again every time I move, or (b) stays asleep when I get up, but then wakes 20 minutes later crying. :( I would just LOVE to have an hour or so to myself after he goes to sleep, to read or watch TV or otherwise relax. Any suggestions?

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#2 of 28 Old 05-19-2011, 12:31 PM
 
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I'm also in this same predicament, so I feel your pain. So far, the only thing that I'm able to do after she goes to bed is read, or quietly research things on my iPhone. I hope someone else has a better solution to offer!

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#3 of 28 Old 05-19-2011, 12:49 PM
 
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subbing. I'm there, too, with my 15 month old. It's weird because during the daytime I can sneak away after he falls asleep. But at night time he's awake 20 minutes later.

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#4 of 28 Old 05-19-2011, 02:18 PM
 
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I have a sneaky trick....I turn a floor fan on high, so there is a lot of white noise in the room. Then, I nurse my baby to sleep. When it is time to leave, I have become a master at quietly delatching myself from her, and slowly sneaking away. The noise of the fan drowns out any noise from our living room, so  my husband and I can watch funny shows and laugh out loud. Speaking of laughing, there's a new Office on tv tonightorngbiggrin.gif

 

P.S. My dd went through a phase where she would wake up about 40 min after putting her to sleep. Soooo frustrating! I would just go back in and do it all over again, and usually it would "stick" the second time around. She was somewhere around 15 months like yours, PoetryLover, and thankfully she grew out of it (for now. We know how these phases repeat themselves lol!)


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#5 of 28 Old 05-19-2011, 02:39 PM
 
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I'll have to try the fan trick!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BeckyBird View Post

I have a sneaky trick....I turn a floor fan on high, so there is a lot of white noise in the room. Then, I nurse my baby to sleep. When it is time to leave, I have become a master at quietly delatching myself from her, and slowly sneaking away. The noise of the fan drowns out any noise from our living room, so  my husband and I can watch funny shows and laugh out loud. Speaking of laughing, there's a new Office on tv tonightorngbiggrin.gif

 

P.S. My dd went through a phase where she would wake up about 40 min after putting her to sleep. Soooo frustrating! I would just go back in and do it all over again, and usually it would "stick" the second time around. She was somewhere around 15 months like yours, PoetryLover, and thankfully she grew out of it (for now. We know how these phases repeat themselves lol!)



 

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#6 of 28 Old 05-19-2011, 04:28 PM
 
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We don't nurse to sleep lying down for this very reason.  I nurse DS to sleep sitting up in my comfy nursing chair and then settle him into bed.  DH often lends a hand and makes the transfer for me.  We found that once all snuggled up lying down ds really resents the person he's cuddling moving away, but if you can get him asleep and in bed by himself he stays asleep.

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#7 of 28 Old 05-19-2011, 07:53 PM
 
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aren't you worried about your baby rolling out of bed when you leave the room, or are your mattresses really close to the floor? I'm just trying to figure out how people make the co-sleeping thing work.  My daughter was in bed with me whenever she wanted as a baby but once she was old enough to roll out, I couldn't leave her there.


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#8 of 28 Old 05-19-2011, 08:51 PM
 
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luvymommy, I put a pillow next to my son when he naps in bed and he has never, ever rolled off the bed.

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#9 of 28 Old 05-19-2011, 10:08 PM
 
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I'm in the same situation.  DS3 is 20 months old, and it's almost impossible to get him down and then continue my night.  It's very frustrating, because I feel like my husband and I rarely spend any time together.  I miss being able to snuggle on the couch and watch a movie...  :(


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#10 of 28 Old 05-19-2011, 10:10 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luvymommy View Post

aren't you worried about your baby rolling out of bed when you leave the room, or are your mattresses really close to the floor? I'm just trying to figure out how people make the co-sleeping thing work.  My daughter was in bed with me whenever she wanted as a baby but once she was old enough to roll out, I couldn't leave her there.



We also put up pillows when our boys were little.  I've coslept with all 3 of my kids, and never had any issues.  Now that DS3 is older, I just put him up against the wall (I have my bed in a corner, to make co sleeping easier), and if he wakes up, he gets down and comes out of our room.


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#11 of 28 Old 05-20-2011, 07:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bubblette View Post

We don't nurse to sleep lying down for this very reason.  I nurse DS to sleep sitting up in my comfy nursing chair and then settle him into bed.  DH often lends a hand and makes the transfer for me.  We found that once all snuggled up lying down ds really resents the person he's cuddling moving away, but if you can get him asleep and in bed by himself he stays asleep.



Hmmmm...good point! I haven't really tried sitting & nursing him, because he's not generally into that ever (it's always lying down or walking w/ him in the carrier...or just walking w/o a carrier while I try to hold onto him as he nurses!!). But maybe I'll reintroduce the chair & see how that works.

 

On a sidenote, I think part of the problem is taking away my body heat...that must be really noticeable to him!

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#12 of 28 Old 05-20-2011, 07:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luvymommy View Post

aren't you worried about your baby rolling out of bed when you leave the room, or are your mattresses really close to the floor? I'm just trying to figure out how people make the co-sleeping thing work.  My daughter was in bed with me whenever she wanted as a baby but once she was old enough to roll out, I couldn't leave her there.



We recently moved our mattress from a bed frame to the floor for this reason. I also surround him on all sides with pillows. I still worry, though! But at least now he's only a few inches off the floor, so if he were to fall, I think he'd maybe get a little rug burn at worst....

 

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#13 of 28 Old 05-20-2011, 06:30 PM
 
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I stopped nursing laying down for this reason too.  Even at night I usually sit up now.  When I was nursing sideline at night my daughter started waking up more.  I think when I would hear her start to stir I would move in to nurse while still partly sleeping - and she didn't need to nurse all those times, possibly she just needed a change of position.  Then she got used to it and wanted to pacify at night.

 

Now when if my 5 month old daughter wakes up withing 30 min after nursing to sleep I'll walk her instead of nursing.  The first time took about 10 or 15 min (5min of crying) for her to be totally ok with not nursing back to sleep.  When she'd get really calm and sleepy I set her back down to finish falling asleep her self.  If she starts crying or is too frustrated I pick her up and walk her until calm again.  The first night doing this I probably picked her up 5 times or more.  After the first night it was less times of picking her up.  It's only been a week of doing thing... though already yeilding great results!  She more likely to fall asleep and stay asleep on her own.  She doesn't need me so much to go back to sleep either, Love It!

She's sleeping longer periods too- about 3 hours between feedings though sometimes more .. it used to be 1.5-2 hours for feeds.

 

During the day I try to have at least one nap where she doesn't fall asleep while nursing.  Instead falls asleep during a walk or a drive, then we nurse when she wakes up.  Really focusing on helping her be able to get herself to sleep when she's tired.

 

Hope this helps.

 

 

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#14 of 28 Old 05-21-2011, 07:53 PM
 
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We moved our mattress to the floor when DS really started moving/ stopped needing to be swaddled at about 6 months.  After about 2 months of that we changed things a bit again, we put the crib mattress ( a crib he's never been in! ROTFLMAO.gif) on the floor next to our bed. So that the crib mattress is in the corner and then our bed is snugged right next to it.  DS naps and starts the night on the crib mattress and then moves into bed with his first feed of the night.

 

*For us* it works best to still nurse side lying during the night. I've always nursed DS back to sleep in the middle of the night and we've been lucky in that he streached out between feeds naturally.  I think it's a pretty awesome set up orngbiggrin.gif .  DS has gotten the feeling of sleeping without always being snuggled up next to mama or daddy, we get to snuggle together for the start of the night, and yet when DS wakes up he can nurse right back down and he's never alone or scared without us. 

 

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#15 of 28 Old 05-21-2011, 08:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nm7300 View PostOn a sidenote, I think part of the problem is taking away my body heat...that must be really noticeable to him!


Slip in a hot water bottle wrapped in a thin blanket when you leave?

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#16 of 28 Old 05-21-2011, 11:00 PM
 
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My 12mo nurses to sleep lying down in the family bed (his 3yo brother falls asleep nursing, too, but in his own room and joins us later).  We use an air purifier for white noise in both boys' rooms and I carefully position myself while we're nursing for easy extraction.  I get out slowly, body part by body part.  He has foam bumpers on all sides and we use a video monitor to keep track of him. 

 

He always wakes up about 45 minutes after falling asleep.  I've read it's the first wakeup in a normal sleep cycle, so it's no biggie.  I go up and nurse him back down and then he almost always stays asleep for a pretty long stretch.  Just because your LO is waking that first time doesn't mean it will be like that all night!  Although, your mileage may vary--some babies just need to physically be with someone when they sleep.


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#17 of 28 Old 05-22-2011, 02:42 PM
 
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we have the same issue: only at bedtime, not at naptime. 


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#18 of 28 Old 05-22-2011, 05:04 PM
 
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I learned to gradually roll away, very very slowly heh... and that often did the trick.  

But it depended on her age and stage... sometimes she was just more needy.  And yeah, sometimes that first wake-up just needs a 'top-up' (or a pee, since we EC'd) and then she was good for hours.  

 

As for falling off the bed, we had a bedrail on one side and the other side was too far away from her.  ;)  When she was old enough that she theoretically could have woken up and crawled off before we heard her, we used a baby monitor.

 

But my other suggestion -- if the stuff you want to do to relax is just read or watch TV, and not stuff like athletics or loud board games with hubby or whatever, then have you considered just wearing him?  That's we did most of the time with my daughter... ESPECIALLY the phases where she absolutely wouldn't let us leave her alone.  I'd just strap her in with a pouch or wrap sling and go about my business.  She'd drift off to sleep, and stay comfy cozy while I did my thing.

 

In fact, we often found it easier to get it down by herself this way, rather than nursing then rolling away.  One of us would wear her to sleep, then carefully set her down -- sling and all -- just unwrapping whatever we needed to to get it off, and leaving it down on the bed with her.  She'd usually settle just fine like that.  

 

So yeah, I understand the need to sometimes have baby OFF your body, but if your options are 1) lie in bed all evening with him, annoyed that you can't do anything else, or 2) wear him and be able to go read your book, then I'd pick #2 most of the time.  :)  The days when they prefer to be off your body all the time anyway come far too fast!!


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#19 of 28 Old 05-25-2011, 10:59 PM
 
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DD was like that at that age too, and having white noise really helped (we used a white noise CD). I also would put a pillow next to her, by her torso and legs, that had something on it that smelled like me (usually the shirt I was wearing to bed the night before). We used bed rails on our bed to keep her from rolling off. 

 

And yes, she would wake up 45 minutes (or sometimes 20 minutes!) later and we'd repeat the process, and then she'd be good for 2 or 3 hours.

 

But this was a gradual discovery process, and it didn't get totally refined until she was 14 or 15 months. My DH and I used to trade off lying with her and watching shows on the laptop on the days when she just wouldn't settle without someone there. And yes, we used to wear her sometimes too, though we were really trying to associate the bed with sleeping, and not the Ergo. And yes, it used to drive me bananas. 


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#20 of 28 Old 05-29-2011, 09:42 AM
 
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wow. I was in exaaact same situation described above but in the last 2 weeks it just got worse...he is 10 m old, and since 8 m old had been sleeping through the night except for one diaper change/nurse session at around 4 am. Now we have entered the 7th circle of hell as he wakes up crying 30 minutes after falling asleep at bedtime (this is with me being in bed next to him). I nurse him back to sleep/ comfort him...and he might sleep an hour maybe an hour and half....then wake up crying and nurse again. repeat cycle. he went from nursing once maybe twice at night for 2 months to nursing at LEAST 6 times at night and often waking up crying and sometimes waking up altogether and wanting to play in bed and talk loudly. (not worried about him falling as we have 2 queen beds on floor, off frames or box springs, and pillows around floor off the bed as well). He did recently break another tooth through, but even when we give him teething tablets right before bed it seems to not make a difference. We have trialed him being too hot, or too cold, and I always feel for wetness in diaper when he wakes...I really am sort of out of tricks. I am hoping this is jsut a phase as I am as exhausted as the newborn days. At first I wished I could keep him asleep so I could get up and spend time with DH or just read or something out of bed...but now I am just wishing we could all sleep! Please tell me this is a (short) phase or theres something I am not thinking of?

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#21 of 28 Old 05-30-2011, 12:41 PM
 
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Get your arm out from under the head before baby is asleep. Wait until baby falls off the breast and then 5 more minutes before moving an inch (that way if they aren't fully asleep you are ready to stick that nipple back in). Move away slowly. Tuck a pillow beside baby so it's like someone is there. I cant always get away from him. Some nights hes out in 10 minutes, other nights hes up 4 times in a half hour.

 

As for falling off the bed, I never worried about this. After reading some comments on it, I asked my DH if I should be worried. Children have the same ability as adults not to fall off the edge. Unless your child is a BIG restless sleeper, I wouldn't worry. I keep him in the middle as well and never go  out of ear shot (if I'm in ear shot I can get there fast enough to stop him from crawling off the edge).


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#22 of 28 Old 06-09-2011, 09:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Update from OP...

 

I tried nursing him in a chair, but that didn't work, unfortunately. So I am still either nursing him in bed or while walking. (I used to have him in the Ergo during naps, but he's gotten too heavy, and anyway, I could never sit down w/o waking him up...and boy, do I not want to have to stand for an hour after a long day at work!)

 

The advice above about just nursing him back to sleep after the first wake-up was actually really helpful! The other night, he woke up after about 20 minutes, I ran in & nursed him, slinked out when he was asleep again, and he slept for several hours!

 

Of course, we've had lots of other nights when he woke up every 30 minutes all night long (like last night, ugh) & so there was no staying-up (or sleeping, for that matter) for me. But even with the occasional night "away," I am feeling a bit less frustrated, which is good.

 

Thanks to all...and keep those tips coming! :)

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#23 of 28 Old 06-09-2011, 03:18 PM
 
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My husband also got me a second-hand i-Pod Touch so that I would have something to do in the dark in bed (once DD was asleep, but not ready to unlatch. This is usually 20 mins or so) This had helped me stay sane. 

 


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#24 of 28 Old 06-09-2011, 03:56 PM
 
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As long as my 9 month old son has something to hug that smells like me he'll stay asleep, for a while at least. I usually give him a hoodie tied up into the hood so it's like the size of a small pillow or I put one of my tanktops on a teddy bear like a dress. If I just give him a pillow or stuffy he will wrestle with it and wake up but if I give him something that smells like me he stays sleeping. My dd, 3.5 yrs, on the other hand is in her own time zone and if she wants to wake up she wakes up no matter what, I just hope she doesn't wake up my son at the same time!


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#25 of 28 Old 06-12-2011, 12:21 AM
 
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touch.  when my baby wakes often when i leave, i stay in bed and make sure he's touching me somehow.  even if it's my arm, leg, his foot against my leg or something, it seems to help him know i'm there.  also, being close by allows him to go back to sleep if he happens to wake and look for me.  he wakes up fully i he opens his eyes and i'm not around.  but he only gets like that once in a while.  hope that helps. 

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#26 of 28 Old 06-15-2011, 06:29 AM
 
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i don't know when i would clean the kitchen if i couldn't get up when dd went to sleep!  eep! 

i've been getting up after she dropped off since before she was 10 mos old.  it's not as easy for my dh to do. 

what helps us: 

-the white noise machine

-waiting until she's in the "limp limb" (sears term) phase of sleep.  if you can move your little one's arm and it's pretty limp, then you are good to go.  if there's resistance/movement, the babe isn't sleeping deeply enough to get away.

i kind of will move away in small increments.. move my upper body away slightly, then wait a minute or so and then move the rest, scooting over a bit, and waiting.  if there's not a reaction then i'll roll away and am up and out! 

the waking after 20 minutes will eventually stop, but just repeat the getting away cycle till then...

and dd never fell off our (high) bed except the one time i accidentally pushed her.. we have a thick rug beside the bed for that reason, too...

 


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#27 of 28 Old 06-15-2011, 10:25 AM
 
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Hello EarthBirthLady,  Our son sounds a lot like your child, except he's 17 months and has NEVER slept through the night.  He still nurses and we co-sleep.  Maybe 2 months ago, he went from waking once or twice a night to nurse to every 45 minutes or so and crying loudly.  We found that he was getting all four first molars as well as 6 other teeth, simultaneously!  Awful for the poor thing, I think.  He has since pulled through and has all those teeth now and is back to sleeping better!  This too, shall pass ;)

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#28 of 28 Old 06-17-2011, 01:20 PM
 
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My son goes in phases. Until he was around 7 months old, he had no problem at all sleeping alone for long stretches in our bed. I'd even unlatch before he was totally asleep, and he'd suck his thumb to sleep. Or sometimes (this was when he was around 3-4 months old), he'd want to play with me rather than sleep, so I would just leave him -- and he'd babble to himself while staring at his hands and actually fall asleep! Then he developed separation anxiety when he turned 7mo... and nothing has been the same since.

 

Now I just creep away slowly, bit by bit. Also, I start to move my body away (like my legs) before he's asleep, so I'm not all snuggled up against him when he does fall asleep. Then I just go in at 20 minutes, 40 minutes, 1 hour, whatever, and nurse him again -- it's usually just a quick top-up and not difficult like putting him down in the first place. These days it's about 60-90 minutes. The days of every 20 minutes until I come to bed are over, thank goodness.

 

On the other hand, getting him to go to bed in the first place has become a nightmare now that he's 9mo. We'll be nursing lying down, and he'll flip on his front and try to stand up, pushing on my chest&stomach as support -- while trying to stay latched! If I lay him back down, he throws a tantrum. Fun times.

 

He's more clingy for naps than nightsleep. I can hardly get away. Sometimes I just nap with him or read a book.

 

P.S. I have a Snug Tuck pillow on his side of the bed, and I put my head pillows on my edge when I'm not there. When he wakes, he either lies there and waits for me, or he crawls to the edge of the pillows and waits. I don't know if he has a sense of the edge, or if I just respond quick. I've been trying to teach him about edges -- I don't know if he really understands. Anyway, he's never rolled off the bed or crawled off.


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