How do you get your babies to actually GET to sleep? - Mothering Forums
View Poll Results: How do you get your co-sleeping baby to go to sleep?
Nurse baby until asleep then leave room 100 64.94%
Nurse/cuddle, then leave while awake & baby goes to sleep alone 9 5.84%
Nurse/cuddle then leave & baby 'cries it out' 1 0.65%
Baby stays up until I go to bed 28 18.18%
Other (please explain) 16 10.39%
Voters: 154. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 of 41 Old 06-14-2003, 10:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We've started having troubles (again) with getting my 12mo old dd to sleep. She was in a GREAT pattern, where i would nurse her, kiss her & leave (our bed is off the frame, so it's safe to leave her alone) and she would put herself to sleep right away ! A few weeks ago this radically changed. She cries & cries if I leave, yet she won't go to sleep if I'm with her (I think it's too stimulating). She goes down FINE for naps, it's only a problem at bed time.

I'm wondering what others do to actually GET their co-sleeping kids to bed? For the past couple of weeks, she's ended up staying up late & going to bed with us. I HATE this. I feel like I need a break at the end of the day, adn I can't go to bed at 8:00pm.

ANY suggestions would be appreciated!!
Thanks!
Amy
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#2 of 41 Old 06-15-2003, 09:58 AM
 
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I voted "Nurse/cuddle then leave" but that is not always the case. Sometimes Mary-Grace falls asleep while nursing and I just put her in the middle of the bed and then leave. Other times she nurses, pops off and then falls asleep after laying there for a while. She is very different than my oldest. Maddie would nurse and nurse and nurse for hours before going to sleep. She would never take a paci and only wanted the breast. Great for her but sometimes really tiring for me. Mary-Grace wants nothing to do with comfort nursing. She is a food only nurser and will take a paci at night.

Maddie actually did what you are describing at about 12 months. Those were really hard times for us and we just tried to be consistant with her bedtime routine without letting her CIO. She would nurse then I would put her in the bed and stay with her for a few minutes. Then I would leave. Sometimes she was fine. Others she would cry and I would start over or her daddy would go to her and comfort her until she was asleep. She is 2 now and goes into her own bed and falls right to sleep everynight. A lot can change in a few weeks so my advice is to keep doing what you are doing and it may all resolve in a short time.

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#3 of 41 Old 06-15-2003, 02:20 PM
 
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My DD is 11 months and I rarely put her to bed before I go myself. I will nurse or rock her to sleep, then I sit down with her in my arms or lap and I watch my movie/TV show, surf the Net, catch up on emails, whatever. When I'm ready for bed, I carry her with me. She doesn't usually go to sleep until around 10 - 11 so usually I'm ready for bed soon after she falls asleep, so it's not really a problem. Sometimes if she falls asleep early, or I have something I need to do, I'll lay her in our bed with DH (who goes to bed very early) and I'll stay up and do stuff, but that doesn't happen very often.

I can see how frustrating it would be for you, being used to having "me time" in the evenings and now you don't. But if your DD is not suffering for it, maybe you could just hang in there. I'll bet this phase doesn't last too long.

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#4 of 41 Old 06-15-2003, 03:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Piglet68 - I think the hardest part is I need to sew, and when she doesn't nap as much & then doesn't go to bed at night, I feel like I get nothing done! It's so hard! I also think she needs to get more sleep than she's getting, kwim. My dh doesn't see it as a problem, he thinks we should go with her flow & let her stay up, etc. I guess I'm just stressed by it, LOL.

SaraC - Isn't interesting how different babies can be. She's really easy in most respects & goes down for naps w/out a peep. Hopefully you're right & this is a phase & it will pass!!!
Amy
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#5 of 41 Old 06-15-2003, 03:59 PM
 
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I've found this to be hard w/my 7 mos. old b/c he doesn't use a pacifier. If I nurse him to sleep, he'll bite down hard. But, since I can't slip in a pacifier, I leave him just as he's starting to fall asleep and leave him w/my dh. He fusses for a couple of minutes and then falls asleep for 3-4 hours. If he falls asleep while nursing, he wakes right back up in 25 minutes each and every time.
Each one is so different.
Good luck
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#6 of 41 Old 06-15-2003, 08:36 PM
 
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We go to bed at the same time so that makes it easier. I nurse him and once a sleep I move him next to my bed in his crib.
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#7 of 41 Old 06-15-2003, 08:41 PM
 
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I said other. The second choice is our goal but the first is more of the reality these days. We are making more of an effort to help her fall aleep on her own.

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#8 of 41 Old 06-16-2003, 02:53 AM
 
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ctdoula - just noticed your sig!! that must be doubly hard when you have a business to run!

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#9 of 41 Old 06-16-2003, 11:05 PM
 
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I voted other. I just started trying to get dd to fall asleep on her own. Other wise she would nurse herself to sleep and it would take up to a hour, then when I would try to lay her down she would wake up and we had to start all over. So now I nurse her untill she is nice and relaxed(and her nursing slows), then I lay her down and talk to her and pat her bum untill she drifts off. That actually takes less time then just nursing her to sleep.

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#10 of 41 Old 06-17-2003, 12:32 AM
 
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I voted for nurse/cuddle and then allow dd to settle herself down. This process has taken a loooooong time however. We started off with letting her fall asleep on the breast, then moved to sleeping with me after nursing and finally, to nursing and falling asleep on her own.

Some nights, I still lay next to her while she goes to sleep. It just depends on what kind of day she has had and how much cuddling she needs. Usually, however, I can nurse her and cuddle on the bed and then I place her in the crib and she will go to sleep. I make sure that she gets to bed as soon as she starts feeling tired. I'm really into following a toddler's natural rythms of sleeping. Those rythms do not coincide with an adults. That's why, in our family, we do not believe in allowing dd (or any other future children) to stay up until we go to bed. We don't go to bed until 11 or 12 p.m some times. Whenever dd falls asleep too late (like when we visit family on the weekend), her sleep is consistently disjointed and she has a lousy day. When I watch her closely, however, and start the wind down process AS SOON as she starts getting tired, she goes to sleep like a champ. Sometimes, this is at 6:30 at night, depending on how long and when her last nap was. Also, I do not let her fall asleep on the breast. We did this for the first 5-6 months and then I realized I was doing more harm than good with that. She would stir and wake every 25 minutes sometimes rooting for the breast. Even though she cried the first few times I didn't let her fall asleep on the breast, she adapted very quickly. Sometimes, if she seems to be falling in the habit of waking just to nurse, DH will go in and soothe her. She rebelled the first couple of times, but now she goes back to sleep a lot faster for him than for me. With me, she expects to be nursed right away.

DD started falling into some bad sleep habits around 12 months too. I totally remember stressing and reading Pantly and Gordon then. That's when we started working on helping to self soothe. The key, for us, was moving her bedtime earlier and sticking to the same routine every night. Good luck to you!

Libby
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#11 of 41 Old 06-17-2003, 06:14 PM
 
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Same-every single 25 minutes he'd wake up. I remember reading that's their natural sleep/rouse cycle. If he fell asleep nursing but then half roused and realized he had an empty mouth, he'd wake right back up.
It was simply killing me.
Now, we all sleep together and only wake up 4x/night.
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#12 of 41 Old 06-17-2003, 06:18 PM
 
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My ds stopped nursing to sleep around 10 months so I had to come up with another plan. I started walking him to sleep and then put him down. Usually he would wake when I put him down, but I could nurse him to sleep at that point. When my son moved into his own bed I started wearing him to sleep and that is what I still do. Now I can sometimes put him down partly awake and rub his back and he will go to sleep.
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#13 of 41 Old 06-18-2003, 12:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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It's so nice to know we're not the only ones going through this. The last 3 nights have been a lot better (KNOCK WOOD) So i'm hoping we're heading back into a better pattern. The down side is she's not napping as much (only 1 nap/day for past week or so), so it's almost a trade-off. Oh well, this too shall pass, LOL.

Thanks again!!
Amy
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#14 of 41 Old 06-18-2003, 12:56 AM
 
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I voted nurse/cuddle to sleep, but lately nothing's working
I posted on the toddler board about how we're going through major sleep struggles these days. My dd is 21 months and has never been much of a cuddler besides nursing, which she does constantly still, and now when she refuses the breast and won't be held I don't know what to do.

But on the bright side, she did fall asleep at 11:30pm tonight
So that's at least a little improvement
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#15 of 41 Old 06-18-2003, 05:29 AM
 
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We usually nurse on the couch and she falls asleep, then when I'm ready to hit the hay, we go upstairs, change diaper, etc which wakes her up a little, then nurse again (not for very long) and she falls asleep and I go to sleep too. However this is the witching hour for 'relations' with DH, so if we're up for that we leave her sleeping and go in the other room.
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#16 of 41 Old 06-18-2003, 09:10 AM
 
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We nurse to sleep, then I get up. With my older kids, this transitioned into me just laying down with them for about 20 minutes while they fell asleep (after they quit nursing to sleep).

I just wanted to add that my son, at 14 months, went to only one shorter nap a day about the same age. That took most getting used to for me. Having less time to do things while he was asleep has been a difficult adjustment for me.

He also had some difficulty with sleeping around then, only now seeming to settle down. I think part of it is separation anxiety, and part is developmental, as they begin to walk, talk and cut molars. By about 18 months my older kids were back to being more consistently settled, but the span between 12 and 18 can be rough on and off.

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#17 of 41 Old 06-20-2003, 12:42 AM
 
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DD is only 5 months old, but has rarely nursed to sleep. We dance her to sleep...she likes country!
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#18 of 41 Old 06-21-2003, 01:22 PM
 
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I voted other because I nurse her, then her Daddy (or me) takes her to the bed and lays down with her until she's asleep. So, she doesn't nurse to sleep, but we also stay with her until she is asleep. Up until a couple of weeks ago, we rocked her to sleep. But, she's doing great going to sleep with us just laying next to her.
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#19 of 41 Old 06-21-2003, 01:29 PM
 
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Well.

Both our kids went onto the front basket of the shopping bicycle, and got cheufeured around the park untill they dropped off (not out!).

For 2 years, from a few months to 2.5 or so, it was the only way, daily, come rain or snow!!!

a

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#20 of 41 Old 06-22-2003, 01:04 AM
 
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Both our kids went onto the front basket of the shopping bicycle, and got cheufeured around the park untill they dropped off (not out!).
And the transfer from basket to bed didnt wake them?

Our girls fall asleep in the car and we try to get them to bed without waking but in nevers works, I am so jealous of anybody who can move their children once asleep and not have them wake up.
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#21 of 41 Old 06-22-2003, 03:28 AM
 
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Well, they were just so contented, if they stired, they soon drifted back to sleep. Also, the bedding in the basket just came out, baby and all, onto the futon.

a

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#22 of 41 Old 06-23-2003, 02:46 AM
 
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Used to be I'd nurse and cuddle and wait and nurse some more, and ds would finally fall asleep!

Do you have a husband/partner who can help you out? My ds who is 3.5 goes to sleep REALLY fast for dh! He also stays down better, and the few times he's slept through the night, dh has usually been the one the put him down.

If you can start her out by nursing and then trade off to your partner/dh, maybe she will go down. Lots of times my baby thought it was playtime to have mommy in bed with him.

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#23 of 41 Old 06-27-2003, 12:32 AM
 
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Nurse and cuddle/rock, then lay her down in her crib awake. I leave my hand on her back (no rubbing) until she is asleep. Some nights I can leave beofre she is asleep, some nights I can't. Her crib is right beside our bed.
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#24 of 41 Old 07-03-2003, 10:13 AM
 
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Sometimes I nurse my ds (4.5 months) to sleep, but lately (when he isn't hungry, but tired) , I've more often slung him to sleep in the cradle position. He sucks on my finger while we walk around the house or up and down the street and is usually out in about 10 minutes. Then I lay him and the sling on the bed. If he stirs a little during "the transfer", I let him suck a little more on my finger.

Oklahoma Mama, how do you sling your older baby? I am starting to experiment with sitting up positions, because my ds is getting too long to be in cradle position. When I use cradle position now, he usually ends up curled up like a "U". Any suggestions? What kind of sling do you use? (I have a didymos and a kissaluvs sling that is like a over the shoulder baby holder with no rails.)
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#25 of 41 Old 07-03-2003, 11:37 PM
 
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Since my babe was born he's really only fallen asleep while nursing for the most part. There are some exceptions.

He is such a cuddle-bug...and for the last few months he's been particular about where he nurses: mostly he just wants me to lay down with him to nurse. Even during the day he will want to nurse laying down....if he's tired, he'll fall asleep and nap, if not he'll nurse and then want to play with me. But the bed is his favorite spot. So since I mostly nurse in the bed, naturally I voted the first option, nurse and cuddle.

When he goes through teething spells that is an exception, the nursing aggravates his gummies and it takes a lot of singing, silly noises, walking, rocking, etc, to help him fall asleep.

Usually there is a feeding between 9-10pm, and this is the one where he is down for the night. Then, I get to go on the computer, do some dishes, etc, etc. He will usually sleep until 12:30 or 1:30am. Generally there are 3-4 hours stretches for night feedings, but they are very short, and co-sleeping has allowed me to get very decent sleep since day 1.

 

 
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#26 of 41 Old 07-04-2003, 01:09 PM
 
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#27 of 41 Old 07-04-2003, 10:54 PM
 
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I voted other because even though he does nurse to sleep. he naps in arms and sleeps in arms. so i just do whatever i'm doing with him. he's used to it so he sleeps through. usually i use his naptime to get on the computer
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#28 of 41 Old 07-04-2003, 11:45 PM
 
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My son is 14 months old. I used to nurse him to sleep laying beside him at his place (he sleeps on a mattress on the floor next to our mattress).
At 9 months when he started to crawl, he wouldn't stay still for nursing, so I started to use a sling.
I am very consistent with his bedtime and bedtime routine (he goes to sleep at 7). I nurse him to sleep walking while he is in the sling in wraparound position (it's like the cradle position, only he is facing me and his body is wrapped around mine). He is 26 lbs so I get tired very soon, then I sit down and rock. When he is asleep or almost, I lay down with him (while he is still nursing in the sling). At this point I relax and wait until he is sound asleep (a few minutes). Then I can take off the sling, pull it out from under him. If he wakes up during this action, I just nurse him a little more.
Despite nursing him to sleep all his life, he never got into habit to wake up just for comfort nursing. However I have had lots of trouble figuring out the right combination of temperature/humidity/clothes/blankets. This is the most frequent cause of his wakings.
I also realized that when he was switching to one nap (quite recently), it was much-much harder to put him down in the evening if I was letting him to have a second nap (it actually took more extra time than the length of the nap). So I have been doing anything to avoid a second nap. And it seems to work.
However I am never able to leave while he is awake. He cries in panic whenever I go out the door even if he is in his Dad's arms. This only happens at night.
I wonder how long did you need to actively help your baby to fall asleep? Do they start falling asleep on their own by themselves any time or you have to train them somehow?
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#29 of 41 Old 07-06-2003, 01:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all your great replys! I guess I have to make peace with the fact that my dd is only taking 1 nap a day now! I'd been in denial until I read all your posts. Things are going better lately, although she still has her nights! I've given into laying down w/her again until she's asleep. It works for now, so I guess we just go with it. Now my next question is how to transition her into a toddler bed next to our bed (for the day that I'm preggo w/the next one, LOL)
Amy
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#30 of 41 Old 07-11-2003, 11:11 PM
 
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I chose nurse to sleep and then leave, but often I nurse to sleep and then end up falling asleep myself, or else me and dh just lie there and read and talk.

I am absolutely loving co-sleeping, which is a good thing because my ds really seems to need to nurse to sleep (or he can be worn to sleep but as soon as he's put down he will wake up and want to nurse). I feel better seeing that lots of other people have similar experienes - most of the people I know don't seem to have to nurse to sleep and I know some people (my mom, even dh though he is supportive) who think I've created this dependency by the way I nurse ds to sleep. Anyways, I have a question for people out there who nurse their babies to sleep - do you ever go out and leave baby with dh/sitter/relative? Most of the time when I go out I bring ds with me, but occasionally I do go out for the evening (for a wedding etc) and leave ds with my mom. He's okay for awhile but mum/dh tells me that once he gets tired he starts crying and escalates to screaming and eventually passes out, but then will sometimes even wake again half an hour to two hours later and then cry again. Is this going to totally traumatize him? I'm happy to stay with him most nights but as I said occasionally something comes up that I need or really want to do so then I'll leave him (didn't leave him alone for more than two hours for the first six months, since then have left him alone for 3-6 hours probably three times - he's now nine months). Also, I feel that I'll want to go out a bit more as he gets older. However, I don't want to stop nursing him to sleep just so that he can cope better when I'm out. Any suggestions or ideas out there? DH also feels really helpless if he's left alone with ds all night and he can't help him fall asleep. It's a source of a bit of tension for us.

Thanks!
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