Does it have to be all or nothing? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 04-12-2003, 11:26 AM - Thread Starter
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I am new to this board-I am glad I found you all! I have spent the past few days browsing the posts here and feel I have a lot in common with you.

I have a dd who is 4 months old. For the first 3 months of her life she slept in her carseat by the side of our bed, or whereever we were. She got up once or twice to eat and went right back to sleep.
When she turned 3 months, it was clear that her carseat was no longer comfortable for her. We started the transition to her crib slowly-she HATED it at first and would cry the minute we put her in it. We tried making it a sidecar and still no luck.
After a while of trying she got so that she would tolerate it, but still not really sleep (this whole time she ended up sleeping in bed with me).

To make a long story shorter (sorry!)...I started trying the No Cry Sleep Solution. After about 2 weeks of it, she was starting to get a bit better, but I was a wreck-it was so stressful for me to follow a schedule, to be home when she showed her first tired signs etc and she was still ending up in bed with me. It would take upto an hr and a half to get her to sleep and sometimes she would get so frustrated and tired she would end up crying in our arms.

So, now, here I am. She has been sleeping in my bed for the past week-dh is in the guest room. I can't leave her for a minute at night-she wakes right up. I

I am not sure what to do...I need for her to be able to sleep at least for naps and part of the night without me...I would LOVE for dh to be able to sleep with me again and I want my baby to be rested.

She is addicted to her paci, or my breast-she doesnt realy care which as long as she has something to suck on...

So, after a long post here are my questions...

Have any of you had success with No Cry Sleep Solution? Did you follow it exactly?

If I cosleep now, will she end up in my bed for 3 yrs?

What do I do with her when she is tired and ready for bed, but I am not ready for bed? She is too interested in things and easily distracted to have her downstairs with us or in a sling.

I LOVE being an AP mommy and wouldn't have it any other way, but I do want a few moments to myself each day...

Thanks so much for your help and support!
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#2 of 4 Old 04-12-2003, 01:20 PM
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One of my biggest revelations with parenting was that it does not have to be all or nothing. So liberating! I realized I didn't have to night-wean to be able to leave for a night...that ds would find his way with daddy, and could return to nursing the next night (at least when he was old enough to take other food to satisfy hunger) and other such revelations. What is more dangerous is if you start to develop feelings of resentment and of being trapped.

What I wanted to suggest is that if your baby's needs have been met, she has been fed but wants a pacifier (or breast) she may have a need to cry, as a release of pent up tension. I think after the crying (while held and supported) she will relax and sleep better. Here is an article about babies and crying by Aletha Solter, who promotes AP.:

Her books are very good too.
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#3 of 4 Old 04-12-2003, 06:49 PM
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Originally posted by Acugirl
If I cosleep now, will she end up in my bed for 3 yrs?
Not necessarily, IMO. My friend has two girls, 4 and 2 who have both coslept in their big king sized bed. At about 2 years, she has been able to transition them to their own beds and rooms by the girls' choice. They simply started asking if they wanted to sleep in mommy & daddy's bed, or their own. The girls are always welcome in mom & dad's bed, however, and sometimes do end up there in the morning when they wake up before everyone else. But they now both go to bed in their own rooms as per their choice.

My son is 11 months and has been sleeping in a toddler bed scrunched up next to our queen for about a month now (he has been in our bed from the beginning). He now prefers his own space and I think feels he's crowded between us. But he still needs me right next to him through the night. He naps fine there, but won't stay more than a couple hours at night without me with him. So, I either have to go to bed when he does, or take occasional breaks from what I'm doing to lay with him when he wakes unhappy because I'm not there.
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#4 of 4 Old 04-12-2003, 10:03 PM
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First of all, welcome to MDC!

It sounds like trying to get your DD to sleep on her own has been a big stressful hassle for everybody concerned. So it would take a lot of pressure off you and yoru dd if you just resigned yourself to cosleeping for a while! I think you will discover that when you accept this is what you need to do, just accepting it will be a big relief. Because to me it sounds like trying to do something other than what works is just creating stress for all of you. Why not just go with what works?

So, if you are going to take that step and decide to cosleep there are many things to consider. First, why is your DH in the guest room? Is your bed too small? You might want to invest in a bigger bed, or add a mattress beside your bed, or put your bed on the floor. This way you don't have to be away from your DH at night, which I agree must kinda suck! Second, no your DD will NOT necessarily be in your bed for the next three years. It's up to you to decide when it's not working out, but it would be alot easier on you and especially your DD if you waited until she was alot older, and able to understand what you are doing and why. There are many gentle ways to wean, like Pantley, but I believe even she says to wait, doesn't she? Four months is too young, IMO, to wean or try to sleep-train.

Also, you want to know what to do when she is ready for bed and you aren't. Well, have you considered having her sleep in your lap until you are ready to go to bed? I do this sometimes if DD goes to sleep before I'm ready, and it's really relaxing to just sit and read a book, watch TV, or surf on my laptop with no interruptions. Or sometimes DH and I will watch a movie together. As for naps, you might have to do the same: have her nap in your lap or in your arms and resign yourself to the fact that, for the next little while, things you "plan" to do when DD is napping will have to go on the backburner. I accepted this and did not plan to do things when DD napped, and now that she is older (9 months) I am able to easily lay her down for naps and get things done.

I'm saving this next bit for last, but really it's the most important thing I have to say: Four months is pretty darn young. I don't know what your expectations were regarding infant sleep, but I think you need to recognize the reality of infant sleep and that you might be expecting too much. I can also tell you that your dd will almost certainly change her sleeping habits and so things will not always be this way. "This too shall pass", as they say. In the meantime, be there for your DD and give her what she needs, to the best of your ability. One day you'll look back on these days and wonder where they went. I suppose the best thing you can do to convince yourself to "let go" is to recognize how much stress and trouble you have gone through in your efforts to get DD to sleep the way you want her to, and how much easier it would have been to just accept it and go with it.

Well, I hope this helps and doesn't sound too preachy!

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