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<p>I need help <span style="font-family:wingdings;">L</span></p>
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<p>Let me preface this by saying: I am a firm believer of and advocate for cosleeping.  We bought a king-sized bed because my husband and I are convinced that the family bed is what is practiced by most people in the world and that it leads to the healthiest outcomes.</p>
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<p>My DD is one year old (turned 1 on November 17).  She started out as a great sleeper- one of those babies that slept through the night (~7 hours) at 1 month.  And then, she turned 4 months and it seemed to all go downhill from there.  She will occasionally still have good nights, but those are getting few and far in between.  I started working when my DD was about 10 months, and she seems to be getting even worse in her sleeping.  Last night, for example, she must have been waking up like every half hour at one point (not the whole night) to latch on (for comfort).  However, in the past couple of months, she has gone through: 1) learning to walk; 2) crazy growth spurts; 3) three new teeth popping through; 4) very bad congestion; 5) ear infection that we waited out to see if it was viral and then ended up needing antibiotics; 6) diarrhea on and off- we suspect from the antibiotics.</p>
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<p>My husband took my DD to the doctor today to check on her ear again (there’s still a little bit of fluid in there that is coming out), and he let it slip that we are still cosleeping and, because Noora had a particularly tough night last night, he told her that I’m not getting enough rest and that I am utterly exhausted.  Our doctor is not against cosleeping at all.  However, she made it clear that the only way Noora will get sleep at night is if we stop cosleeping.  Our doctor said that she smells me at night and wants to suck for comfort.</p>
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<p>And here is my response: My DD does not see me all day.  I am absent from her life during the days- and she never took to a bottle, her thumb, a pacifier, or any other object (e.g., a blankie) for comfort.  I am it for her.  While I’m gone, she is rocked to sleep by her caregivers (my mom and a friend who has a homecare).  She can be pretty high-needs, but I am also happy that she has no need for artificial nipples or material objects for comfort.  I’m not anti thumb or pacifier sucking per se, but I just didn’t want my daughter to have strong attachments to either- and I’m happy she doesn’t.  So, if she needs that extra time at night to comfort suck and to feel secure- how can I take that away from her? </p>
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<p>I don’t know if I am doing something wrong by keeping her in the bed with us.  I know our pediatrician thinks we’re nuts, but I just figure that right now is not the time to, not only nightwean her, but get her to sleep separately.  It doesn’t feel right to me.  My husband and I have been thinking about having another child (not right away) and made some remark about it, and our doctor pretty much told him that we are nowhere near ready to have a second child. <span style="font-family:wingdings;">L</span></p>
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<p>Sorry for all the rambling.  I honestly don’t know what to do.  Any advice would be highly, highly appreciated.</p>
 

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<p>I would keep her in bed.  Your intuition seems spot on to me--she is obviously doing the comfort version of reverse cycling because she doesn't see you as much during the day.  I do think it sounds like she needs it and it could make things worse if you take away that important connection time. </p>
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<p>Any one of those things alone that you listed would have been enough for my babies to have extremely disrupted sleep--all of them together would be tremendous! </p>
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<p>Hang in there, Mama.</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>To-Fu</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1282310/i-need-advice-cosleeping-woes#post_16080035"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>I would keep her in bed.  Your intuition seems spot on to me--she is obviously doing the comfort version of reverse cycling because she doesn't see you as much during the day.  I do think it sounds like she needs it and it could make things worse if you take away that important connection time. </p>
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<p>Any one of those things alone that you listed would have been enough for my babies to have extremely disrupted sleep--all of them together would be tremendous! </p>
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<p>Hang in there, Mama.</p>
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I agree.  The constant snacking at night is also another way for her to keep your supply up.  At 10wks my dd is very insistant that I be where I'm supposed to be while she's sleeping.  (that would be with my boob touching her head or face. )<br>
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<p>I just want to encourage you!  My son will be one in a few weeks and he is going through a similar nighttime routine w/ wanting to latch all the time, even waking for periods of time unable to sleep (I think he's teething).  As I scanned some other posts, it seems this is a bit common (for some at least) around this age.  And, like you, I am my son's comfort, not a pacifier or blanket or something else.  I am my son's primary caregiver, but even so I can't imagine altering our nighttimes now.</p>
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<p>The most useful piece of nighttime parenting advice I read came from Pantley's No Cry Sleep Solution.  Basically, when I read her say that if you don't have a problem with how things are, then there's not a problem, I said great! and put down the book.  Of course there are nights that are tough, but I remind myself that I'm co-sleeping because I actually believe there are benefits to the choice my husband and I have made.  If I'm reading you correctly (and if I'm not, forgive me!), it sounds like things are a little tougher than they were starting out in the family bed, but that you recognize that there are many factors that could  be contributing to that and that you place a high value on co-sleeping and see that as a positive factor in your daughter's life, and that makes it worth it.</p>
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<p>The best news is, your doctor  doesn't actually have a valid opinion of when is the best time to have another kid!  She's there for emergencies (like that ear infection), but other than that, don't let her stress you out.  You don't need a stamp of approval to have another baby.  It sounds like you know what you want to do (keep co-sleeping and - eventually - have another baby?) and if that's what you want, FABULOUS!  If you change your mind, ALSO FABULOUS!  You keep listening to your instincts, don't let an outsider of your family alter the dynamics that are working for you.</p>
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<p>Be encouraged! Your daughter is lucky to have you for a mama; no one knows her needs better than you.</p>
 

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<p>I agree that if you don't think there is a problem, then likely there isn't one. My DS is only 3 days younger than your DD and here is what we did. While I love co-sleeping and snuggling with him, I also like my own space sometimes. I WOH 2 days a week, and WAH the other 3 workdays. At around 6-7 months old I started putting him in the crib to start the night (between 8 and 10 o'clock) and then went and brought him to bed with me when I was ready to sleep for the night. This was partly to get him used to the crib, and also so DH and I could have the bed to ourselves on occasion. Around 10 months we repainted our bedroom and decided to try and see what would happen if he just stayed in the crib and I didn't bring him in with me (the bedroom was chaos and while we used low VOC paint, still, it was paint) and he STTN, in his crib. Since then, we have continued to let him sleep in his crib, he seems to do really well there. Now, the first couple weeks, the nights following the days I am in the office, he woke up frequently to eat, because he has always been a bit of a reverse cycler. In these cases, and all the other times he wakes somewhere in the night, I just bring him to bed with us, I don't fight to get him back in the crib. Now I would say he STTN in his crib mayb 5 or 6 nights of the week.</p>
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<p>FWIW, I always lay him down asleep, he usually gets at least drowsy from our last nursing session, and then is cuddled to sleep by me or DH. . I haven't figured out how to lay him in bed drowsy, but awake, and have him fall asleep that way. (only worked before he could sit up on his own - now he rolls over immediately and stands up)</p>
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<p>This all to say, I think it is ok to make the transition to sleeping apart, and it can be done in a natural, gentle way if that is what is best for you both. I think we all sleep better now. The days I am in the office he is pretty much attached to the boob from the moment I get home until he goes to bed; stock-piling for sleep. I am trying to up his solid intake, but it is a process.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter #6
<p>Thank you all for your kind responses.  ToFu and Amanda-I think you both are right on about her reverse cycling for affection- and also snacking to keep my supply up.  So many of my friends are unable to keep a healthy supply because pumping gets annoying after a year and they night wean.  I have always believed in nursing on demand… and, while I have become my daughter’s pacifier, I never struggled with supply issues.  At one year, I am able to pump only once at work and still maintain an adequate supply for my daughter.  I’m sure the night snacking has helped me considerably.</p>
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<p>krjt- thank you so much for your lovely words of advice.  Yes, you are reading me correctly… and, yes, the benefits I believe that are occurring while cosleeping seem to outweigh the hardship that we are currently facing.  I was totally discouraged because people keep telling me that I am hindering good sleep habits in my daughter, but I truly believe that she is just a difficult sleeper and has been for awhile now.  My brother and his wife have sleep trained their baby and have a lot of negative things going on in their house (in addition to a shaky marriage).  She has a very visible over bite and her thumb is raw from all her thumb sucking.  She receives no comfort at night and sometimes she lays awake for hours before falling asleep…. in the dark.  And her mother wonders why she is terrified of the dark now.  I just have to constantly remind myself that I am cosleeping for a reason and while there are many attached mothers and babies who do NOT cosleep, I think cosleeping is an integral part of our relationship.  In fact, the other night, my husband put her in a pack n play when we were at my parent’s house and it was next to our bed (they only had a full sized bed)… she woke up, screaming in a way that indicated to me that she was terrified of being alone at night without us.</p>
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<p>akind1- it sounds like you have found that balance between work and mothering, which is fabulous.  I wish that were the case with me.  I’m kind of unhappy right now and feel a little disconnected from my DD since I’m convinced that these long periods of maternal separation from her can’t be healthy for her.  I don’t think I’m ready to put her in her own separate space to sleep- even if she is waking up from habit, that’s kind of okay with me.  Maybe in a couple of months it won’t be anymore, but for now… I will just have to deal with the sleep deprivation! haha.  Thanks so much for the support.</p>
 
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