Co-sleeping and never having sex - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 01-17-2014, 08:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't know what to do. My husband and I have been frustrated for months! We do sleep with our 14 month old and she always wakes up wanting to latch on (she nurses ALL night) even if we're quiet.we've tried moving to the floor, heck even another room, but it's like she senses we are gone and wakes up. Even if we try during the day and she is playing with toys, watching children's song videos, etc she gets so jealous of any attention I give my husband and tried to but in. She loves her mama and just wants to be with me all the time, but my marriage is suffering. We have no family nearby to babysit so 'dates alone' aren't possible. My husband has stopped asking to be intimate because it always ends up with baby crying and me telling him to just hurry which sucks all the romance and fun out. What do I do??? I've tried putting her in a crib to sleep but she wakes up every time crying.
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#2 of 9 Old 01-17-2014, 10:33 PM
 
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That's a tough one. We co-sleep and at 14 months, my toddler frequently woke up wanting to latch on, but she would pretty reliably give us a couple hours between wakeups, so sex wasn't a problem. My best suggestion is to help her learn to sleep longer (which I'm sure you've already tried). We chose not to let our kids cry-it-out, but I found some of the tips in the No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley helpful. They're fairly obvious, but if nothing else, I feel like the book gives you the patience to keep trying. I was able to night wean both my kids by about 18 months and once that happens, night-time sleep is much better obviously. My daughter is 22 months now and she sometimes fusses once or twice at night, but I just re-cozy the blanket around her and rub her back and she'll go back to sleep within a couple minutes. Good luck!


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#3 of 9 Old 02-25-2014, 10:41 AM
 
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I hear ya on that one.  Our 10.5 month old co"sleeps" with us, although he doesn't sleep very well.  Needless to say, it's hard to even feel like being intimate when you're tired all the time.  We put him in his crib at night initially, but he usually wakes up an hour or two later (bed time is around 7:00), so we have a small window.  But you never know when he'll wake up, so I'm always a little apprehensive.

 

There are a few things to consider.  How important is it to you and your husband that your daughter never cries?  Does your husband resent your daughter because she demands so much attention?  Do you resent your daughter because she demands all your attention?  It's important that you keep some joy and fun in your marriage.  It's no fun to have sex with a screaming child in the background, so is it even worth it?  That's something you and your husband need to decide.  However, I don't think that a few tears on her end will damage her for life while you and your husband enjoy some intimacy.  It will probably be easier on her if she's left alone for a few mins during the day rather than at night, but that's just a suggestion.  And your husband might appreciate the fact that you put him first, just once in a while.

 

I struggle with this one as well.  My husband doesn't really mind hearing our son cry as much as I do, so he gets frustrated sometimes (although he's become more understanding).  It's a delicate balance between being a "good" mom and being a "good" wife.  With a baby who's awake so often (and therefore needs your attention) it's important that you don't neglect yourself.  I have come to a point very recently where I have had to set my son in his crib for a few mins at nap time just to have a little while to myself.  This is of course, after the usual routine of nursing, rocking, nursing, rocking.  I have broken down a few times over the past week just from sheer exhaustion and frustration. You need to do what works for you, your husband and your baby.  It may not always work for everyone all the time.  I'm not saying to ignore her all the time!  But once in a while will not damage her, and if you don't take time for yourself and your marriage, it may damage you!  

 

This stage will pass, so hang in there!!  I hope you find a solution that works for all of you!

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#4 of 9 Old 02-27-2014, 10:45 PM
 
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We co sleep but also have sex a lot. (Not in our bed with the kids obviously haha) all over the house, sometimes in the car?

Some tricks we use are:
Nap times while kids are sleeping on weekends
Movie times while kids are occupied
Early mornings while kids are sleeping
In the shower together (multitasking)

We don't have long passionate sex-capades unless it's date night so quickies are our thing right now.

Make sure baby is fed, dry, and Put baby in another room in the pack in play 5 minutes each day with a bunch of fun toys and a movie on to get used to playing alone for 5 min. I know this sounds harsh but having 5-10 minutes out of a 24 hour day is not selfish. It might take 2 weeks but soon you'll be having quickies whenever! Everything needs to have balance including your sex life with your hubby. That is just as important.
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#5 of 9 Old 02-28-2014, 04:54 AM
 
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How important is it to you to continue to night nurse? I found night weaning around 1 year really helped save my sanity and helped my daughter aleep longer and more soundly.
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#6 of 9 Old 05-16-2014, 12:54 AM
 
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I don't think I'll be much help, but you do have my sympathy. DD was like that when we where ready to heat things back up after I had her.
I have a hard time enjoying it if she is fussing, even when I know she doesn't "need" anything.
Thankfully she stays asleep most of the time now. Or will play like crazy in her crib by our bed. Every now and then I just have to tune her out.

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#7 of 9 Old 05-16-2014, 06:29 AM
 
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My sympathies! This was us up until a couple of months ago. My daughter (15 months old) has always been a very fidgety, restless sleeper. She's high needs and has a few food allergies and overall, is a total mama's girl.  I NEVER thought I'd see the day that she'd be able to sleep for any length of time without my breast in her mouth!

 

TL DNR: try setting some gentle limits at night, have your husband play an active role in getting LO to sleep (as oftentimes, baby will have an easier time going down for dad than mom because dad has no breast!), and don't be afraid to try new things, even things you think your LO won't go for. Your LO might surprise you!

 

I am passionate about attachment mothering and in meeting my little's needs, but at around one year old I noticed my daughter was not just a baby anymore- she was able to understand simple concepts, as a toddler would. And I noticed that I, as mama, needed to pay attention to my own needs, too, to be a good mother. The first year was utterly depleting and exhausting (in addition to being wonderful, of course), and I needed to recoup from that.  So, around the time she turned one, I decided I really *needed* to have time to decompress in the evenings. 

 

My husband was on board with that because we were both feeling a little lost and sad and disconnected from having such limited time to DTD. We'd try to DTD on the other side of the bed from LO, and she would almost ALWAYS wake up within 5 minutes of being dis-attached from my breast. CRAZINESS. 

 

We thought, well, maybe she needs her own space for the first part of the evening. So, we revised her evening routine. We now  have a relaxing lavender bath, then lotion/massage, then storytime, then prayers/family meditation, then nursies until she's VERY VERY sleepy, then I tell her "it's time for sleep, sweet girl. dada's going to help you go to sleep in your big girl crib. I love you. night night!" I say the same thing every single night as I place her in her crib and pull the covers over her and kiss her.

 

At first, she resisted a bit, but not as much as I'd expected. (I'd spent a few days prior telling her about the changes we were making in her routine. When we moved her crib from the nursery- which she'd NEVER slept in, haha- to our bedroom, I explained, "this is your crib! it's a nice place to sleep in! soon you're going to sleep in there like a big girl, and dada is going to help you"). She cried off and on, really just fussing a little, for about half an hour while my husband sat on our bed, opposite hers, reassuring her and helping her lay back down and saying things like "I love you, baby. It's time to relax your body and go to sleep right now. I'm right here for you. Shh, shh. Sleep."

 

The next few nights were similar, until something clicked and she stopped crying at all. My husband stays with her until she falls asleep, and she wiggles around in her crib for about twenty minutes usually while my husband lays on our bed and studies (he's a student). Then, she falls asleep and we both have time to ourselves (or together! :joy) downstairs for a chunk of time. Usually she stays asleep for about three hours, but it varies as she goes through developmental leaps, growth spurts, teething, and the like. 

 

Another revelation for us happened about two weeks ago. We had to travel out of town for a race I was running. We were staying with my great-aunt and all my second cousins. My second cousin just had a baby three months ago, and has her on a very strict routine, and the baby sleeps independently. I was feeling the pressure not to look like a weirdo who had to lay with my 15 month old for every single nap. (I know, I know. Lame of me. But still, I didn't want them to judge me.) And I also wanted to spend as much time as possible with my family, instead of being isolated for a few hours during nap time and also having to go to sleep at 7:30 pm while the rest of the family had fun! So, we tried something altogether new. We brought the pack in play, which we'd never before used successfully. At home for naps, I would usually have to hold my DD and nurse her throughout her nap, and we'd sit in a pitch black room with white noise blasting. But, at my great-aunt's, we sat on a couch in a brightly lit room and I nursed her until she was very sleepy, then told her "we're going to have a nice rest time now. it's time to sleep, and you're going to sleep right here. I'll be right here for you". Then I placed her in her pack in play, playing a bit of white noise, and stayed right next to her, amazed as she curled up right away and went to sleep! We followed our usual night time routine of dada-time at night, and the same thing happened. I had the amazing experience of being able to put my baby down for a rest, and being able to ACTUALLY LEAVE THE ROOM and have a glass of wine, laugh with family, watch a hockey game, etc. Revelation. haha. 

 

I gathered from that, that DD was ready for a bit of independent sleep. And she was CAPABLE of it! And I saw that she slept more deeply in her own space than she does right next to my boob. 

 

We're still not at the point of night weaning, so when she wakes up around 10 or 11, she moves into our bed and has free access to the breast. But I'm thinking that we'll night wean soon, as I want her to get the deep sleep she now needs as a busy toddler. And I'd love to regain my fertility and start TTC #2.

 

Anyway, that's just my experience. I hope you find any of what I've said helpful. 


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#8 of 9 Old 05-17-2014, 12:54 PM
 
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I've been there!  A few tips:

 

1) At this age, I was getting my co-sleeping son asleep while nursing, but putting him down in a crib beside our bed. He'd sleep for a few hours in there (sometimes only 2 or so) and then wake up and spend the rest of the night with us. But meanwhile, we'd already had sex. See if you can figure out how to latch her off and keep her sleeping. Then she might sleep for a few hours away from you.

 

2) My son was also attending a home daycare a few days a week at this age. I wonder whether there is one near you who is willing to take your daughter even one morning a week (say, Saturdays, if your husband and you are both home them).

 

3) The next time your daughter wakes up and cries while you're having sex, don't think of it as stopping the sex. Think of it as a pause. You have to put your sexy times on pause, go comfort your daughter, get her back to sleep, then resume, maybe in half an hour or so. This might work better than telling your husband "hurry up!" Instead, say, "To be continued!"

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#9 of 9 Old 05-20-2014, 12:59 PM
 
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What time does the baby go to bed? Often, if we're lucky, our twins are in bed by 9pm, giving us at least a little bit of time together in the evenings. I do like to head to bed around 10 when I can, but that still leaves us some time. We have sex on the couch. We actually usually had sex on the couch before the babies, so that's not a problem for us. Of course we don't have the sex we used to, but we make it work 1-2 times a week.

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