My daughter has been sleeping with us in the bed since day one. Up until six months or so I had always nursed her to sleep at night. Eventually I learned I could sneak away once she was asleep, though she would usually wake up 20 minutes and I would go back in, nurse her, and then have a struggle in getting her to detach. This was driving me crazy! Well one night she was sick with a stuffy nose, and since she was becoming prone to ear infections we decided to have her sleep in her car seat. She went to sleep beautifully in the seat being rocked. I couldn't resist continuing this night after night, and a pattern had begun. And here we are close to 13 months and she still goes to sleep in her car seat! I'll add that she doesn't stay in there very long. I take her into the bed when I go to bed, or take her out and nurse her to sleep and then leave the bed if I'm not ready for sleep. Some nights she will wake up after 20 minutes, sometimes a couple hours.
I have tried to nursing her to sleep in bed, but it no longer works with her. She will be tired and ready for sleep, but once I have her lying next to me she will nurse for a bit and then it's suddenly playtime. I tried last night and she became so hyper and it turned into a big game for her. This is how it has been each time and I lose patience after some time and pop her in the seat. I have also tried having her go to sleep on her own in a pack and play, and that was a big disaster. I would LOVE for this to be successful, but don't know how to do it without a lot of crying.
So here I am, 13 months along and I have no good way of putting my baby to sleep. The car seat thing needs to end. For the obvious reasons, but also because it no longer works well at all. I will also add that she still wakes up several times in the night to nurse and I am just plain exhausted, but this is whole other thing, and one I can still tolerate for the time being. I just need a successful way of getting her to sleep!
Any advice or insight? Thanks :)
Oh please someone respond to this post! I was just about to post an almost identical post but thought I'd look to see if there were already some answers and suggestions. I am now at a point where I need to ask, how do I get my son to fall asleep? How do people do it?
DS is almost 13 months and I've always nursed him to sleep. Sometimes it wouldn't work and then we'd drive him or walk him (takes more time) to sleep. Now, he won't fall asleep for nap time or night time by nursing. He nurses, then like the OP said, he's up and having a great time, and sleep is not happening. Off to the car we go.
How do I get my child to fall asleep? We may not have a car in couple of months.
Mama to Chu born July 2010
Excitedly expecting somebody new in August 2012
I never did any kind of sleep training or anything. Both my kids nursed all freaking night long for exactly 24 months and then one day magically STTN. Some nights I thought I would lose my mind! But one thing I learned with more mama experience is that sometimes it's not wrong to let a baby cry. Nurse her and then lay down and try to snuggle with her and if she cries and fights, so be it. Just be there with her and talk softly or pat her or what have you, but let her settle herself down in the safety of close proximity to mama. It may take a few nights but she'll learn to go to sleep eventually.
You may also need to figure out if she does better with a late afternoon nap or if being kept up in the late afternoon/early evening is better. I've hear people say that an over-tired baby has more trouble going to sleep at night but that wasn't true for my kids. They had to be slightly sleep deprived to recognize that they needed to close their eyes and give in.
Oh, and the one year mark is a perfect time to start a really consistent bed-time routine. You know, bath, massage, story, nurse, lay down, etc...in the same order, starting at the same time, every night. GL!