I currently co-sleep with my 7.5 month old daughter. We started this because at around 5 months or so she started waking every hour and I got no sleep so into bed with mom she went. She still doesn't give me that magical 5 hour stretch of solid sleep and I don't know why. I know she is capable of it because she did it for a week back when she was about 4 months old. Usually we get into bed (6-7pm), I rub her legs if she seems a little unsettled and she nurses on one side, starts falling asleep and I switch her to the other side at which point we lay down. She'll fall asleep and I just stay there with her because I know within the hour, she will stir again, looking for me (or my breast I should say). Sometimes I can rub her back and just whisper "It's time for sleep" and she will continue sleeping but other times, it's a no-go. I would love to know what I am doing wrong here? She also wakes anywhere from 5-5:40am. I know this is because I get up at 5am to get ready for work. If I didn't get up then, she would sleep in much longer so I feel like she needs more sleep. She has started solids (pureed foods) and still gets breastmilk/formula for her meals. I believe she is not hungry when she wakes through the night because she will do the quick sucking motion or only nurse for a minute or two. I've read "No Cry Sleep Solution" but I didn't find it helpful or maybe I didn't try hard enough. Guess I just want to hear what other mothers have tried. I also think I want to move her to her own bed. I believe she would sleep much better there too. Any suggestions?
Is she getting teeth? Having a growth spurt? These could also be reasons for waking more frequently at night. I think babies change their sleep patterns so often, and that what you're experiencing with your LO is totally normal. I don't have any ideas for helping her to sleep a longer stretch though. If you're worried you might be disturbing her, what about a side car crib or mattress on the floor next to you? Then she's still close enough to nurse at night without you having to get out of bed, but with enough distance to not feel you getting up in the morning or through the night.
Also wanted to say that my 2 and a half year old has always been an early riser. Anywhere from 5-7 am. I never imagined that 7 am would feel like sleeping in! I think that is also quite normal for little ones.
Hopefully someone else can offer advice on transitioning baby to her own bed!
Just giving an update on this. My DD is now a little over 9 months old and (I'm afraid to type this), she has been giving me a good 6-7 hours of straight sleep! I may have just jinxed myself but oh well. It also coincides with us trying to transition her to her crib for naps. Could all be coincidence but could be that she is learning to just sleep or that momma is there overnight & she doesn't need to check every 2-3 hours....lol!
Ao411, transitioning was not easy but she was outgrowing her swing & it was not safe. She was familiar with her crib because we would have playtime in there everyday for a few minutes. So basically, I started with the first nap of the day which is always the easiest nap. One Saturday, I took her into her nursery, turned on her white noise machine, turned off the lights & nursed her. She fell asleep in my arms and as I was moving her to the crib she woke up but I still placed her in the crib. I told her it was naptime, that I loved her and that I would be back then I left the room. She protested (cried with no tears) for at most 4 minutes (seemed like forever) and then proceeded to sleep for about 1.5 hours. The second nap was about the same with a little more crying (again no tears, just more mad than anything). The next day I decided I would stay with her until she fell asleep in her crib. I did this more for myself than for her. I figured if I was there she wouldn't feel alone or scared or whatever. Well, 50 minutes later she finally fell asleep. She did sleep for over an hour but it took her 50 minutes to settle down with me in the room. So for my little girl, it is better for me not to be in the room. Now when I put her down for her first nap, she usually just wakes up a little, kind of moans and rolls to her side and is asleep before I have even left the room. As soon as she hears me say "It's naptime", I get the little protest whine but once drowsy and in her crib, sleep takes over. If she wakes up before an hour has passed, we give her time to resettle herself which she usually does in a few minutes but if not, we go in, pick her up, calm her down but place her back in the crib to finish the nap. It was recommended to work only on the first nap of the day but I did all naps like this and if the naps weren't great, then I know she needs to get to bed earlier that night. Right now we have taken a few steps backwards only because she is teething (her top two incisors are coming in). Motrin really helps but she is still uncomfortable. Mind you, I didn't do this all on my own. I visited babysleepsite.com and actually paid for a sleep plan but they have alot of good ideas on their site. I am like you and can't stand to hear my baby cry but when I watch her on the monitor, I know she is ok and she is just upset that she is awake (i've read that that is why babies wake up crying...they're still tired and want to be sleeping). I watch her and make sure she doesn't get too upset. If I see she is sitting up & crying with no signs that she calm herself down, then I will go and pick her up and just calm her down, get her drowsy again and back in the crib she goes. I really believe that it is because she is learning to settle herself back to sleep during naps that I was getting 6-7 hours of straight sleep. I should also mention that I have noticed that if she is too hot, she wakes up a lot more during the night or if she didn't eat that well during the day. So now no more footie pjs for her. She sleeps in a long sleeve t-shirt and some leggings and if she didn't eat that well that day then I know to make sure she nurses really well before going to sleep. We also attached a crib with the side rail removed to our bed (I saw a diy co-sleeper on pinterest) and I will put her on that sleep space and nurse her laying down so when she drifts off to sleep, she is on her own sleep space and I can move freely & stretch out a bit. Eventually she will end up on our mattress because I have to nurse on the other side but I get a break while she is on the crib mattress. I hope some of this helped. If I can answer any other questions, I will be more than happy to give you my experience. Just know that you are not alone and it will get better. I never thought it would get better but it did....sloooowly but we're getting there.