Mothering Forum banner

Any suggestions on helping dd sleep alone *a little bit*?

588 Views 16 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  Meg_s
Hi all, our daughter just turned 10 months old and we absolutely love co-sleeping! We have no intention of stopping anytime soon, but I would like to know how you all handle the time before you go to sleep, but your baby is already asleep?

For instance, our dd almost always falls alseep on one of us still, she still needs that which is totally cool with us... but she may fall asleep say, at 8pm and we don't go to bed until midnight... but one of us *has* to hold her until then or she wakes up and freaks... CRYING IT OUT IS NOT AN OPTION for us, so please, please, dont suggest anything like it...

The thing is, we don't even have a crib or anything and she used to sleep on our bed for naps during the day, but I transitioned her to her pack n play during the day for naps because she is a mover and shaker and I was scared of her falling off the bed --- (we were thinking of moving our bed to the floor but we use under the bed for storage due to limited storage space)....

The weird thing is, she totally *knows* the difference. In the day when she falls alseep on me for her nap, I can *usually* transition her to the pack n play without any fuss or even her waking up, but if I try to do that at night --- even for the few hours dh and I are still awake before we bring her to bed with us--- eyes wide open as soon as I transition her, starts to cry etc... and I won't let her cry...

Wow, sorry this has gotten too long! Any suggestions? We love co-sleeping but dh and I would love those few hours in the evening together before bed when she is alseep without one of us holding her....TIA
See less See more
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Well Ds has his own room set up that he uses for naps and bedtime while DH and I are awake. He naps in his crib and starts off there in the night (after I nurse him down) but comes in to bed with us when he wakes for the first time to feed. Granted some times this is 2am some times 5 am but he ends up with us none the less (which I love). He really was the one who started it all though. He would just randomly fall asleep places (on the floor, etc) and so I started having him nap in his crib. He actually really seems to like it in there quite a bit. He never really protests going down for naps for more than a minute or two. Wish I could tell you the trick to it, but I am still not sure.
I was totally in the same position you are in a few weeks ago.

This is what worked (is working? it isn't totally fixed...) for us... First of all, we have her nap in the middle of the big bed. I would lay down and nurse her down and then carefully get up. At first, I had to pretty much stay in the same room as her (I read, or did painting projects) and if she stirred or made a sound, I had to jump over there and soothe her or she would wake. As time went on, I was able to move out of the bedroom, and her number of wakings has also gotten fewer. I'm still in the place of leaping up the stairs every time I hear her make a sound, but at least she's mostly sleeping by herself for that gap between her bedtime and mine, and it really is leaping up less than I used to be.

Good luck finding something you can use! Have you read NCSS, by the by? I found it pretty helpful, actually.

See less See more
We, too, have been there. My guy is 14 months and just went back to nursing to sleep sometimes. Other times DH or I "dance" to music to get him down. He used to NEVER sleep alone, try to lay him down and he cried. Now for whatever reason we can lie him down half the time and he'll stay asleep...the other half I lie down and nurse him when he wakes...then I can creep out of the bedroom. I do the run-thing when he starts to wake to nurse him back to sleep, otherwise he'll have a freak out. But this gets us anywhere from 40 minutes to 2 hours at night. Same with naps. For us, it seemed to just be time getting here...
Oh, I forgot to mention that I slept with pretty much all of his bedding, sheets blankets, etc so that they smelled like our big bed. That might have helped with the transition too.
See less See more
Mine's almost 6 mo and I do what kalirush does. It never gets me more than 20 mins during the day and 1 hour in the evening (8:30-9:30), but I'll take it. I've been doing this for about 2 months. I would really love to get some longer stretches!

What's NCSS?
well 10months old is still pretty young - so I guess when you are trying to transition her she is still in 'light sleep' mode and has not yet moved into deep sleep ?? I cannot remember exactly my dd's pattern at that age but it might help if you can sort out how long it takes her to move into deep sleep - I think it maybe was around 45 mins for dd - and then you can try to leave her.
If she is deeply asleep she will not be aware that you have gone. Also, if you come to bed for the night before she comes into the next phase of light sleep then she will not be waking up suddenly and wondering where you are ....

this might not give you exactly the couple of hours that you want but it will give you maybe and hour or hour and a half to yourselves before going to bed

signs of deep sleep would be ; a change from light to heavier, slower breathing/in light sleep the eyes are in motion under the eyelids but this stops in deep sleep/ when you move away from her in light sleep she will stir and move/ in deep sleep she will just lie there and continue sleeping ....
See less See more
Our DS is the same age as your daughter, and their sleeping habits sound very similar -- though in reverse! In only a very recent phenomenon, he'll sleep on his own in his crib (side-carred to our bed) for *maybe* an hour or so before DH and I go to bed. This is after I nurse (or, when that doesn't work, DH walks) him to sleep. On these occasions when we lay him down in his crib for bedtime, he seems to know where he is and allow himself to fall back to sleep. He doesn't sleep alone during the day. I hold him for naps (still trying to make time to make a mei tai, in which I hope he will nap), since he too *knows* when I lay him down -- even when it seems he is in deep sleep mode. I'd love to lay him in our pack 'n' play for naps, but he'll awaken instantly when I try to lay him down -- maybe something in the way I'm leaning over and laying him that long way down. ???

I've tried laying him down on the boppy next to me, and that used to work, but he's getting bigger and seems to want to stretch out and roll over if he's laying down (during which transition he'll often stir or awaken), so the boppy's out. (sorry -- way too many commas there!)

I've also tried (though not too recently) a suggestion I read here at MDC to make a little nest for him on the floor with blankets or something akin to that, but he'll only sleep there for maybe 20 minutes. In the interest of him getting more sleep, I've continued to hold him. Do you think your daughter might sleep on a little nest like that in the same room as you? It might help even more to scent the nest like you, as yogachick79 suggested, by lying on the blanket or whatever you're going to use.

All this to say -- keep working on it! We will too!

(VelmaLou: NCSS = No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley
See less See more
Thanks for the advice and commiseration (sp?) folks

I don't think deep sleep is her problem, or rather, that I am putting her down before deep sleep...sometimes one of us will be holding her for well over an hour, she'll seem like she's in a deep sleep... and I will attempt to put her down and she instantly wakes up!

Trust me, I will NEVER EVER cry it out or do anything else that is harmful to her emotionally to get her to sleep etc... I was just looking for a half hour with my husband

I will try the *nest* on the floor thing in the same room with us, but it seems (imo) not so much where she is sleeping, but where she ISN'T sleeping (in our arms LOL) that wakes her....

Oh well, I have read that around 10 months is the peak of attachment for babies (not that they need you less after, but at this time they are usually the most wanting of *togetherness* lol) I guess we will just ride it out either way

Thanks again
See less See more
I can't believe I'm actually trying to give advice on this--I came to this forum looking for advice on this same issue!--but we have found some success in holding DS for about 20 minutes after he dozes off. According to Dr. Sears, this can mean that he's had time to fall inot a deeper sleep and can be laid down without immediately waking (and looking baffled and slightly enraged, as in the case of DS!). For us, 20 minutes of holding the precious sleeper is less butt-numbing than doing so for the whole nap...
Good luck!
Sorry, I forgot something important--I meant to say that we put him down after 20 minutes, but not a longer period than that, because after that he may be in another sleep cycle and more likely to wake upon impact with a mattress.
CC - Have you tried nursing her to sleep while laying in bed? Then she's already on the mattress and you just have to get up at the right time. I do this with dd. She started to demand nursing in bed when she was 3 mo. I'm not sure how I figured that one out, but I sure did feel like a super good, intuitive mommy when I did!

Anyway, I can do this at 8:30 pm and get back up around 8:45-9. Then I can get an hour or so with dh -- sometimes not, though.

Oops just remembered your dd's 10 mo. I put pillows around my 6mo (we have same thing: no crib and underbed storage), but that might not work with a mobile 10 mo.
See less See more

Originally Posted by captain crunchy
Wow, sorry this has gotten too long! Any suggestions? We love co-sleeping but dh and I would love those few hours in the evening together before bed when she is alseep without one of us holding her....TIA

I have not read through all the comments so sorry if I'm repeating. I went through the same thing with DS. He is almost 16 months now. Where you choose to do this (because you said she moves alot?) is up to you. To get DS used to not being held at night while sleeping, I would wait about 30 minutes after he fell asleep. This is about how long it takes for deep sleep to occur. Then, if we were up at night and watching tv, I would just lay him beside me, on the couch, the floor, wherever. This way I could keep an eye on him if he woke up. After doing this for awhile (and it took alot of waking up because I was no longer holding him) he did get used to it. At the same time, he realized that we were right beside him so it wasn't a big issue. Transitioning to the bed took alot of attempts as well, but you'll get there. At 10 months, you may want to start (if you have not) playing alot of "peek-a-boo". It teaches your child that just because they can not see you does not mean you are not there. We also found that carrying him around all day (in a sling or what have you) had a positive impact as well. Good luck!
See less See more
right next to ds 14 months old... He is just starting to sleep on his own at night but I still feel I need to be in the room ready to jump back to him and snuggle him back to sleep. I never let ds cry himself to sleep. I will say that in the last month or so he has been able to sleep by himself (once he is asleep) for naps. He sleeps in our bedroom in our bed and always has. So, maybe time and that 20 minute suggestion will do you well. I didn't realize until I read it above that I actually have been doing the 20 minute snuggle for the last few weeks with him.
Ds is 20 mos now, and we are rarely far away when he's sleeping. I mostly am holding him or beside him, actually. lol He wakes up if he's put down too (unless I time it just right- 20 min sounds right. If I wait an hour, he wakes up immediately). Oh, something that helps now to put him down after he's asleep is to lay down on my back, with him laying on me. Then slowly rolling and moving him to the bed. Its less of a big transition that way. But then, if you don't want her alone in the bed, that won't help.
I swear he knew when I wasn't there, even in his sleep. And it freaked him out!! He won't sleep alone for naps either. lol
He was well over 1yo when he started being ok with waking up alone. And even then, I was there right away on hearing him stir. At 10 mos, the best I got was rolling over to read until I went to sleep. lol

Best thing I can tell you, is try at the right time of her sleep cycle, and try to make it a really smooth transition. If it upsets her, don't try again for a while (a week? longer?). Try again when you think she's ready.
When I was having the same issues, everyone kept telling me to "keep trying. He'll get used to it eventually" but that wasn't something I was willing to do. He'd get so upset if I left him, that he'd refuse to unlatch for the next few times he slept! He was making sure I didn't go anywhere.
See less See more
oh boy do I remember when my kiddos did that!

This is what I did. I established a bedtime (8pm) and would lay down on our bed and nurse my baby to sleep. I would bring a book and read while nursing and would continue to read for a few minutes... after baby finally pulled off and I knew she was done for awhile I'd sneak off the bed. I had a baby monitor in there so if she made the slightest noise I could peek in on her. I also kept a fan on so it would be extra quiet in there for her to sleep. It worked like a charm for us. Eventually when she got walking age I didn't have to worry about her falling off the bed...she would just climb down and walk out to wherever we were.

It took me awhile to figure this out with my first one....but it worked for all 3 of my kiddos. Hope this helps!
See less See more
Have you read the babywhisperer? Good ideas there that can be used/tweaked to be slightly more AP style.
I lie down with my baby - sometimes he needs nursing, other times just holding to sleep, othertimes I can lie down with him, if I'm prepared to be there a while we just lie together until he settles and wants me to pull him close and snuggle while he sucks his dummy and then he will fall asleep. I tuck the blankets around him and then can quietly get up and leave, I usually have to go back 30 -60 minutes later and re put him to sleep though.
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.