Hello there, newbie here. :)
My problem is getting my 26 month old to sleep on his own in his crib. I co-slept with him up until about a month and a half ago.
I'm not positive but I think the reason why its going so terribly for me has to do with the fact I have 50/50 joint custody with the father and the father is refusing to work with me in getting him to sleep on his own and helping him learn to self-soothe. I've spoken to him numerous times and a lot of times he lies and tells me that he sleeps perfectly fine on his own there and then a week later admit that he's still sleeping in the bed with him. I think that has to be so cruel and painful for my son to go through having the comfort of his father all weekend and then come home to me only to be put in his crib to cry and sleep alone.
I enjoyed bedsharing with my son. It wasn't always great but while he was a newborn (also a preemie) I found it to be very comforting and benefical for us both. When it came time for me to get out of a bad situation, I still have the comfort of my baby to sleep beside on those rough nights. Its really painful for me to give up sleeping with my son but due to poor sleep on my end I felt it was time to put him in his own bed.
I approached this very slowly because my son is extra clingy but I guess its the "ferber" method is what I used initially. Tried to get a good bedtime routine going and hope for the best, checking in every so often to let him know I'm still around. By the third night there was lots of improvement and he slept easily through the night till 9-9:30 in the morning! But then its back to his father's and back to the other routine and when he returns home its like I'm starting from day one.
I feel like I'm going insane. I'm so depressed and most of the time running on zero energy from waking up at all hours to my poor boy crying. I wish I could just run in and snatch him up and let him sleep with me but I know that'll go against these past several weeks of getting him to sleep on his own. I haven't given in a single time (aside from a couple naps where he wouldn't sleep in his crib and ended up nodding off on the couch with me).
Someone please help me. I want my baby to be okay with sleeping on his own, not miserable and sad. We both would get such a better nights sleep...
Don't worry, you'll get answers :) It's just pretty slow here on Sundays, but it will ramp up today especially as the other time zones arise.
Are you side-carring the crib? That is, is it right next to your bed, or is it placed away in the room, or in another room?
I can deeply sympathize with sleep desperation and agree that mothers need adequate sleep. My own solution wouldn't apply to you (I had DH take over the nighttime parenting, which worked very well).
I think it would be helpful to narrow down what specifically it is that is disturbing your sleep (when cosleeping). Is he waking up to nurse? Is he waking up and crying? Is he sleeping ok but you are just waking up at every move, trying hard not to toss in turn for fear of waking him up, not able to get comfortable? The best solutions will probably vary depending on the specific issue, but I would be tempted to sidecar the crib so you are close, you can reach out and offer a comforting hand, but you have your own space.
Homeschooling mama to 6 year old DD.
Thank you for a response! :D
I tried having my son sleep on the crib mattress next to my bed for a bit but that simply wasn't working. Either he was very upset that he has to sleep on a separate mattress or I'd wake up with him sleeping next to me. Needless to say, I kinda gave up on that idea entirely pretty fast. I was suggested having the crib beside the bed before however my son knows how to climb out of a the crib especially if there is anything close to its height beside it. I have the clear the whole area around the crib in hopes he doesn't climb back out. Its kinda funny, he'll crawl into his crib and then lay down and whimper thinking he can't get back out (but we all know he can).
I stopped BF at 10 months due to the custody battle, a temporary kidnapping, and stress. So its not a night feeding problem. Which I'm actually quite grateful for because I notice a lot of people having night-time weaning trouble and I don't need that on top of everything else :P
As things are right now he will not take naps (at all. its no use trying without some better advice because its just a really long screaming fit). I put him down for bed at 8:30pm or 9, never later than that. First night back he'll cry for up to an hour before falling asleep and subsequent days the time tends to shorten to only half an hour of crying. He sounds heartbroken to me. My current partner is not a parent and sees how my son acts (while in the crib) as simply anger induced crying and in some ways I think he is right. I would be right pissed if I had things one way for my whole life and then someone changed it overnight. But at the same time I feel like he's sad. He's sad his mommy isn't holding him tight as he falls asleep. And I miss him too which makes it so much harder to just listen to him cry, checking in on him only to intensify his sadness.
My sleeping problems.
I personally have insomnia and wake easily and when you throw a baby into that mix...its not so fun. My boy used to BF to sleep everynight (and wake up several times throughout the night to feed). I actually started to feel very uncomfortable with this because he would half asleep chew on my nipples which really hurt. So sleeping wasn't going well when my nipples were being nommed off. And then when he stopped BF he would still pinch, grab, release my breasts while sleeping/falling asleep. I'd asked my doctor and BF nurses why he does this to no avail. I assume he just found it comforting to scratch and pinch me as he fell asleep....and I knew he never meant to really hurt me but sometimes I almost felt like he did it on purpose to hurt me. In fact, a lot of the time I felt (and sometimes still feel) like he hurts me intentionally. There is some question as to whether he might be autistic (if so, only slightly).
So I'd say one of the main reasons I wanted to stop bedsharing is because he was hurting me. I simply couldn't handle it any longer. I wish I knew why that was the only way he could fall asleep but I don't really know and have had no success finding something as a replacement to soothe him.
Also, now that he's sleeping in his crib, he usually sleeps through the night without any problems but I'm constantly waking up thinking he's crying...
If I left out anything, just ask again and I'll write another novel :P
I'm not experienced in this yet, my DD is only 9 weeks but I thought I would just chime in some stuff that my instincts brought up. When you put him down at 8:30, 9, how is this accomplished? Is this on the mattress that is next to your bed? Is he deeply asleep? If so, if you can get him into some kind of going to bed routine (bath, books, etc) and wake to find him in your bed at some point in the night, maybe you can just keep that up for awhile. Let him stay with you. Then progress to putting him, while he is deeply asleep next to you, back onto his mattress. Stay with this for awhile and just keep incrementally increasing the time he is in his mattress. HTH!
Happy Wife Since '05 and NEW MOM! in '12
Om'ing to Peace
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