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How to get a co-sleeping babe to nap alone?

666 Views 9 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  sewaneecook
DS is 8.5 months old and will only sleep with someone right next to him. While I really enjoy co-sleeping with him at night, it is getting very difficult to get anything done during the day if I have to hold him while he naps. I do as much as I can with him in the Ergo, but that is also getting difficult (he weighs around 28 lbs and my back can't handle carrying him THAT much).

Any tips to transition him?
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my ds had the same issue. he used to nap in our bed. i would nurse him to sleep and then sneak out of bed. at first, he would wake up almost right away but i was persistent and now he's gotten to the point where i can put him down in his crib and he sleeps for an hour or more. i guess if i have any tips it would be to just be persistent.

Originally Posted by Barbee View Post
i guess if i have any tips it would be to just be persistent.
How long did you need to be persistent? I've tried nursing him to sleep for naps, but, like you said, he just wakes right up after I leave.
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Maybe you should try putting him down awake, but sleepy. If you nurse him to sleep and then sneak away, he'll be surprised and upset when he goes through the normal sleep cycle, wakes up partially, and realizes you're not there.

Start with a little naptime routine of nursing, then reading a book, singing a song, and snuggling. Then tell him it's time to sleep, tuck him in, and walk out. He will likely fuss, so come back in and comfort him until he settles down, then try again. Try to intervene as little as necessary to get him to settle down -- if you can just talk to him, then do that. If he's still not settling, rub his back or his hair. If he's still not calming down, pick him up for a quick snuggle, and put him down once he stops crying. Eventually when he sees he still has access to you if he needs you, he will become comfortable with going off to sleep without you right next to him.
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Originally Posted by sewaneecook View Post
How long did you need to be persistent? I've tried nursing him to sleep for naps, but, like you said, he just wakes right up after I leave.
oh gosh.... it took a while, maybe a month or more. i made sure i was right outside the door with the baby monitor on, so that i could be in the room when he was just waking up. i worried about him feeling alone and scared. gradually he would sleep longer and longer alone. i now wish that i would have gotten him used to going to sleep without nursing as the pp said. we're gradually working on that one.
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I like to nurse DS to sleep on my lap. I give him a good 20 minutes on my lap before moving him to our bed. I lay there with him until he's settled (2 min) and then put my pillow under his legs where my legs were. He sleeps really well. It did take time for this to work and didn't start working until he was 10 months old. Before that, I always held him while he slept.
We had a crib mattress on the floor, and I would nurse dd on it, and she would fall asleep and stay asleep, and no worries about her falling off the bed.
i forgot to add earlier that we purchased a white noise machine that we use when ds is sleeping. that also seemed to help.
I always snuck away when I could, but if he woke up as I was leaving, I'd try to shush him back to sleep. Sometimes I'd lay my head on his belly to shush and then transition to my hand. Then my hand would hover over him... then I'd move away. The trick is getting them to the deeper kind of sleep. For us the white noise machine was a lifesaver.

I also tried to get him to nap more in other places. I loved nursing to sleep, but if that meant I had to be with him for the whole nap...that just stopped working for me. So I remember doing more stroller walk/naps in addition to the babywearing naps. So I'd nurse him in a brighter room, then walk him in the stroller to sleep. He would stay asleep for 45 minutes usually.


-- C
Thanks for all the great tips. I'm definitely going to have to try some of them soon. My back can't take carrying him around all day.
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