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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My DD is 13 months. She has co-slept since day one. We cannot seem to get her to sleep alone at all. I've tried every variation of sneaking out when she is asleep and she just seems to wake up crying. I wonder if she is more traumatized because we are always there at night? I need to get some time during the day to get things done - our house is a sty! And, since she goes to bed at night at the same time we do DH and I aren't getting any time to ourselves. It is exhausting. I don't like CIO at all but I admit I'm jealous of my mainstream counterparts that put their DCs in their cribs and walk away. Any suggestions?
 

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Hi,
Same boat over here. I wish I could offer advice--I'm pretty much just lurking here hoping you'll get some encouraging responses!

I have had a little luck allowing DS to nurse to sleep in our bed, after which I can get up without his waking, but it sounds like you might have tried that.

Good luck! I know how frustrating this can be...
 

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Hi! Here's a quick response in case ds wakes up and needs me to go lay down with him. DS is almost 3 and we've always co-slept. However, I can usually get out from under him for the first 30 to 50 minutes of naps and the first 1 to 3 hours that he sleeps at night. The book The No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley is really helpful in learning some techniques to get all kinds of little ones to sleep better alone. It's even got some suggestions geared toward co-sleepers, although it also addresses main stream crib-sleeping babies and toddlers.

I have the most luck getting out from under ds at night because the first 3 hours of his sleep cycle are the deepest. Learning how to "pop" ds off my nipple when he's almost out or only just falling asleep has helped a lot. I insert a finger when his sucking has slowed (he still nurses to sleep and nurses lots during the night), and can usually get my nipple out of his mouth without getting bitten. Then I immediately put a finger under his chin and apply some gentle pressure while he gets used to the change of pressure in his mouth. Sometimes he still makes sucking motions for a minute or two, and the finger holding his mouth closed helps keep him from trying to latch back on. If he really wants the nipple back, he gets it back until his sucking slows again, then I pop him off again. After a few tries, he generally stops nursing and just sleeps. Then I can ease his head off my shoulder and slide back until he's sleeping by himself. It helps to not jiggle his head much, which always wakes him up. It takes practice.

Putting a small firm pillow against his head, back, belly, or where ever helps him feel pressure and think I'm still there. I also have the most luck getting out from under him if I do it during the first 7 minutes after he's just fallen asleep. That may sound wierd, but yes, I timed it. During the first few minutes, he's still settling in. He stays comfy with whatever position he's in as he's falling asleep then. If I wait until he's been out for 15 or 20 minutes, he seems to notice the sudden change of being disturbed.

We use a baby monitor to track when he stirs, and as soon as he starts to wake up, I go and lay back down with him, usually for the duration of the nap or night. I still end up laying in bed for up to 10 hour a night sometimes, but ds never actually wakes up, he gets to nurse in his (and my) sleep, and he sleeps really well. DH also gets some time with me this way, which is essential!!!

I hope this helps. If I think of anything else, I'll add it. Oh, I know! I try to make sure ds's tummy is very full when he goes to bed so that he doesn't want to nurse for a couple of hours. A really consistant routine for bed and nap helps too. Not that ds naps regularly any more, but he used to when he was your dd's age.

Ok, ds has been sleeping by himself for 2 1/2 hours here, so I need to get ready to go lay down for the night when he stirs.

Don't give up. Different techniques work for different families. Trust your instincts about what you need to do, and you will get it figured out. Really. I absolutely believe that babies and toddlers are better off for the security and attachment of co-sleeping. No baby should have to sleep alone until they're ready. Mine will likely be in bed with us for a few more years, and so far I still love it!

Good luck!

Betzi
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by DaisyQDuck
My DD is 13 months. She has co-slept since day one. We cannot seem to get her to sleep alone at all. I've tried every variation of sneaking out when she is asleep and she just seems to wake up crying. I wonder if she is more traumatized because we are always there at night? I need to get some time during the day to get things done - our house is a sty! And, since she goes to bed at night at the same time we do DH and I aren't getting any time to ourselves. It is exhausting. I don't like CIO at all but I admit I'm jealous of my mainstream counterparts that put their DCs in their cribs and walk away. Any suggestions?

When you say you've tried every variation of sneaking out, can you be more specific? Have you waited until she's deeply asleep (she's still, breathing heavily and slowly, limbs are limp)? I've noticed it takes some babies longer than others to get to that stage. I nurse my son until he is deeply asleep and then move him to the crib (I could never move my dd though, too light of a sleeper). Have you read No Cry Sleep Solution?
She's not traumatized, it's just what she's used to
 

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I haven't read any other suggestios, but something that helped me with DD was to tell her it was quiet time. I tell her she can choose one toy and she has a pile of books in her room. She tries to come out lots of times, but I just keep sending her back. When she doesn't come out for a good while (and she's often awake still) I'll set my mental timer for 45 minutes to an hour. If she's still awake after that time passes, she gets to come out, but usually she's fallen asleep. This works REALLY well for us. Hope it helps you!
 

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While some attachment parents may not like this method at first sight (read into it more and you will), I really have found peace and success with the aware baby philosophies. www.awareparenting.com It's way attachment parenting, but basically explains crying (and it's relation to sleeping) in a deep, scientific and gentle way. Great stuff, totally changed us around in a better-for-our-family way.


Here's an article about it (it was published in the mothering mag, if you care to know): http://www.awareparenting.com/comfort.htm

HTH!

Sarah
 

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I really wanted to second the suggestion for No Cry Sleep Solution too. In fact, there is a NCSS for Toddlers & Preschoolers which we've been using parts of with DD & our nap/nightime battles have drastically reduced. She does a really good job of describing how sleep works, and that alone really helped me understand some of the problems we were having.

I got my copy from the local library. She also has a website where you can go and read exerpts from the books, print her tips & logs, etc.

Good luck!

Holly
 

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We have DD's crib side-carred to our bed, so she's actually not in contact w/us most of the night. I nurse her to sleep, then slide her over to the crib. After a while of doing this, I could get her back to sleep by just reaching over & patting her. She's fine to sleep byself now. Perhaps doing this would gently teach DD that she's ok/she can sleep w/o being in direct physical contact w/you?

Since our DD is a trasher, this also makes for a much better rested mommy & daddy.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by DaisyQDuck
I've tried every variation of sneaking out when she is asleep and she just seems to wake up crying.
I would stay very nearby and nurse her back to sleep as soon as she stirs. When I was doing this transition with my DD, I stayed in the next room and read a book or worked on the computer. The minute I heard her stir, I would go in to nurse her back to sleep. After a few weeks of this, she was waking less and less, and after a month or so, she was taking 2 hour naps by herself.

Quote:
I don't like CIO at all but I admit I'm jealous of my mainstream counterparts that put their DCs in their cribs and walk away.
Just wanted to note that these same folks are very likely to struggle with sleep as their babies get older. Every child I know who was subjected to CIO sees sleep as something to fight, rather than something that is pleasurable. I know a lot of parents who struggle for 1-2 hours to get their children to go to bed, whose kids suffer from nightmares and separation anxiety in the night, etc.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by JaneyHD
We have DD's crib side-carred to our bed, so she's actually not in contact w/us most of the night. I nurse her to sleep, then slide her over to the crib. After a while of doing this, I could get her back to sleep by just reaching over & patting her. She's fine to sleep byself now. Perhaps doing this would gently teach DD that she's ok/she can sleep w/o being in direct physical contact w/you?

Since our DD is a trasher, this also makes for a much better rested mommy & daddy.
ITA with this. We did the whole crib sidecar thing too & loved it! DD now starts the night in a twin bed in her room & comes into our room when she wakes up.

Also, I've found it actually helps to keep the room very dark. We were using a nightlight & got a lot more waking with it. NCSS does a great job of describing just why light or lack of it is so important in setting your child's biological clock. I thought DD would freak without a nightlight, but enough light comes in under her door that she's not *totally* in the dark. At the same time, she seems to settle herself better when she does stir.

Oh, and for anyone dealing with slightly older toddlers (DD is 23 mo) we've had excellent luck lately with telling DD what's going to happen when we put her down. For example, when we go to put her to bed I get her settled with her blanket, doll of her choice, & a drink. I then tell her I'm going to rub her back & sing her some songs, and once I'm done Mommy is going to go potty & take a bath and Emi is going to go to sleep. Laying it all out for her seems to help, and I think that it also helps to tell her what I'm going to be doing. She suggests this in NCSS and it really works! Just make sure not to make whatever you're doing sound too interesting.


Holly
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by Mylittlevowels
When you say you've tried every variation of sneaking out, can you be more specific? Have you waited until she's deeply asleep (she's still, breathing heavily and slowly, limbs are limp)? I've noticed it takes some babies longer than others to get to that stage. I nurse my son until he is deeply asleep and then move him to the crib (I could never move my dd though, too light of a sleeper). Have you read No Cry Sleep Solution?
She's not traumatized, it's just what she's used to

She never seems to get into that limp limb stage during naps. At night yes, but not during the day.

Specifically I have tried snuggling her down in bed and then sneaking away anywhere from 5 mins to 1 hour later (after I woke up again). Or I've tried nursing/rocking her to sleep and then sliding her into bed, getting her resettled then sneaking out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by Tori Gollihugh
I haven't read any other suggestios, but something that helped me with DD was to tell her it was quiet time. I tell her she can choose one toy and she has a pile of books in her room. She tries to come out lots of times, but I just keep sending her back. When she doesn't come out for a good while (and she's often awake still) I'll set my mental timer for 45 minutes to an hour. If she's still awake after that time passes, she gets to come out, but usually she's fallen asleep. This works REALLY well for us. Hope it helps you!
DD is only 13 months and still not walking. She also doesn't spend any time awake alone during the day - she sobs if I go more than a few feet from her. I think she is in the middle of a separation anxiety phase coupled with getting all her molars and canines at the same time.
:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by JaneyHD
We have DD's crib side-carred to our bed, so she's actually not in contact w/us most of the night. I nurse her to sleep, then slide her over to the crib. After a while of doing this, I could get her back to sleep by just reaching over & patting her. She's fine to sleep byself now. Perhaps doing this would gently teach DD that she's ok/she can sleep w/o being in direct physical contact w/you?

Since our DD is a trasher, this also makes for a much better rested mommy & daddy.
We haven't got room in the bedroom for a side-carred crib. Not since we bought the new king-sized bed
We do have an arm's reach co-sleeper that I might try setting up again. She doesn't thrash once she is asleep at night, and we really enjoy having her in bed with us (we weren't going to co-sleep and are very surprised at how much we enjoy it).

Nursing her to sleep is a bit of an issue for me/us. I struggled for MANY months with painful nipples. They are now OK, but get really sore if I don't nurse her in exactly the right position. Unfortunately, lying down isn't the right position and I get sore for days afterwards if I try.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks everyone for your suggestions. Sorry for the bunch of posts in a row, I don't know how to or if it is possible to quote more than one post at a time.

She has been napping alone for 10 monutes now. Woo hoo! I think the bigger issue for us is how to get her to go to sleep earlier than we do. As the OP mentionned, it is hurting our marriage. At least the intimate part. I would really like to have sex with my husband without having to engage a sitter.
 

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I've often wondered if this situation might be helped by night weaning (a la Dr. Jay Gordon, only after babe is over a year, etc. ... here's a link to his method). If a babe needs to nurse to fall asleep, and needs to nurse to get BACK to sleep every time they wake up, then maybe this gentle method of night weaning (for co-sleepers) might help the babe learn to sleep without nursing. And then maybe sleeping alone for naps and early in the evening might go smoother? Just a theory I have ...
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Shanana
I've often wondered if this situation might be helped by night weaning (a la Dr. Jay Gordon, only after babe is over a year, etc. ... here's a link to his method). If a babe needs to nurse to fall asleep, and needs to nurse to get BACK to sleep every time they wake up, then maybe this gentle method of night weaning (for co-sleepers) might help the babe learn to sleep without nursing. And then maybe sleeping alone for naps and early in the evening might go smoother? Just a theory I have ...
I think you're probably right. We nightweaned w/this method, and sleeping in general went much more smoothly.
 
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