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Parents of 1 infant: what do nighttimes look like at your house?

674 Views 18 Replies 17 Participants Last post by  MacKinnon
Our night looks like this:

DH gives DD a bath when she starts showing signs of tiredness, usually around 7 PM. Then I give her a quick lotion massage, diaper her, dress her and feed her.

I start out in the recliner and when she closes her eyes we both go into the bedroom still nursing. I lie down w/her until she falls asleep & then detach myself & sneak away.

Lately I have been having to go back in about once every 45 minutes to soothe her back to sleep until I finally go to bed myself. At that point we usually try to move her to her crib (sidecar) but she almost always wants to be either velcro'd to me, or sprawled out everyway right next to me. I often have a hard time sleeping like that. I want her nearby but not on top of me 24/7, kwim?

It's getting annoying, esp the frequent wakings. I'm also getting tired of justifying our non-CIO, cosleeping parenting decisions to more mainstream minded friends & family. I guess I'd feel better if I knew I wasn't the only one doing this every night & that I was on the right track at least somewhat.

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Our nights are like this:

DD starts showing signs of tiredness around 9.30-10pm so DH and I take her upstairs and DH plays with DD on our family bed whilst I change into my night clothes. Then we change DD into her night clothes and DD and I get under the covers and I nurse her to sleep.
If I dont fall asleep nursing DD then I try to move DD into her sidecar for at least 1/2 hour arms free sleeping. This is also useful if DH and I need to remember we are a married couple! KWIM!

DD wakes after 1/2 hour if shes in the sidecar and either rolls into the bed or I bring her in. She spends the rest of the night between DH and I, stirring every 1 1/2 hours to nurse. She usually wakes up for the day about 9am.

Our solution to DD sleeping velcro'd to me was to buy a really big bed with plenty of room for the 3 of us not to feel squashed. Great in theory, useless in practice! DD still wants to sleep stuck to me. I usually dont mind but sometimes I would really like a little more room. I hope someone else has a suggestion for that.

I am sorry you are having to deal with some unsupportive friends. We have friends like that too.
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Our nights are pretty good, 75-80% of the time:

Ds starts to show signs of tiredness around 6pm.

We go upstairs;
close all the curtains to make the room darker;
start our classical baby sleep CD;
have a bath (only 3-4 times a week);
some naked time crawling/playing on the bed;
a lotion massage and jammies put on;
a couple of books (Good night Moon is always our last book);
a bottle (unable to breastfeed);
a 5-10 minute cuddle;
to bed with eyes open, but drowsy;
"normally" as soon as I lay him down, he rolls over on his belly, puts his bum in the air and is fully asleep...this is by 6.45am.

After that, I don't hear a peep from him until 1-2am, for another bottle.

Although, he does get up early, between 5.30-6am, but that is good because we have to leave the house by 7am.

I am bit nervous about having written this, because whenever I write or tell someone about his sleep "schedule" changes for the worse! So, I am knocking on some wood, as I write!
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Originally Posted by myniyer
I'm also getting tired of justifying our non-CIO, cosleeping parenting decisions to more mainstream minded friends & family. I guess I'd feel better if I knew I wasn't the only one doing this every night & that I was on the right track at least somewhat.

Get yourself a copy of The Continuum Concept by Jean Liedloff and copy the pages about what an infant goes through went left to cry. Hand them out to anyone who suggests letting a baby CIO. They probably won't bother you again.
Sorry, I guess I should have read the OP more thoroughly, because I put down a good night and did not address the OP!

Ds and I are currently on a good streak, in regards to sleep, but this is just by luck! The past 2 months we were in sleep "hell"! Every night was pure torture for both of us, I seriously did not think we were going to survive.

So, I apologize for sharing my positive bedtime routine, I was just so excited when read the title of the post, "Parents of 1 infant: what do nighttimes look like at your house?", because for ONCE I had a good one that was working! Such a rarity in my life!

So, once again, I apologize for "crashing" your post!
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Originally Posted by myniyer
Lately I have been having to go back in about once every 45 minutes to soothe her back to sleep until I finally go to bed myself. Thoughts?
You're not alone in this regard. My DS (11 months) usually wakes every hour (approximately) between his bedtime and mine. I chalk this up to the "cluster feeding" tendency that infants have in the evening hours. It used to annoy me, and for a while we were trying other ways to soothe him besides nursing, but he didn't respond so now I've accepted the fact that he just needs a little top-off.
Before DP and I go to bed, we go in and change DS's diaper and I nurse him again for 15-20 minutes more. He'll sleep then for anywhere from 2-4 hours before waking to nurse again.

The other thing that you might want to consider is the possibility that your little one is hitting some milestones -- is she close to crawling, teething, etc.? That could certainly account for more frequent wakings or a greater desire to nurse and be close to you.

I've gotten a lot more Zen-like about DS's sleep issues since I stopped waiting for perfection and just accepted that however he's sleeping is how he's sleeping. Just when we conquer one horrible issue, like waking for the day at 4 or 5 am, we're hit with another one--waking every hour all night long, or trouble napping. Then that, too, passes, and something else happens.

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I feel your pain. Things are finally getting better ( as I, too, have become more Zen-like about nighttimes.) DD is now almost 11 months old.

Our nighttime routine goes: an attempt at solids while Mama and Daddy eat supper; to be finished by 6-6:30 pm. Change into nighttime diaper and jammies and brush teeth (after a bath from Daddy 2-3 x week.) Mama reads 3-4 books in the same order in the big bed (The Foot Book, Patch the Puppy, Go Dogs Go and Good Night Moon) -- then it's time to "put the books down and turn out the light, and then we lie down and get ready for night." I say that as I'm laying her down on the bed (sometimes she lies down on her own!) Then nurse until the "edge" is off. All the time we're "relaxing" I keep the white noise machine cycling on waves. Then crawl on Mama, explore, pull up on the headboard for 15 minutes or so. (This is our sweet time, she talks to me and signs that she sees a light by blinking her hand -- or puts her little face to mine and exclaims "boof!" or any number of really cute things.) Keep that white noise machine cycling!

Then after 15 minutes or so of activity, I tell her "it's not time to crawl, or sit up, or practice our skills. It's time to sleep." And I lay her down and nurse her some more. This is repeated ad nauseam as she keeps kicking off and getting up to explore. BUT, eventually, after much rolling over (I can tell she's getting close when she starts rolling around instead of getting up) she'll kick off and arch her little back so her head and butt are toward me. She extends her arms and blinks ever more slowly until she slips into sleep. I usually stay with her for AT LEAST 10-15 more minutes until she's confirmed asleep, then I pop her into her crib 2 steps away from the big bed for safety while I get up and have an evening w/my husband.

Whole routine once we're in the bedroom takes about 1-1.5 hours. But it's SO much better than when she was a few months younger and used to cry and cry while I held her and rocked, and nursed and we fought to get her to sleep!

Oh, I have at most 1.5 hours between night feedings, she comes to bed with us when I go in and I nurse all night long. Right now she is TRULY nursing ALL night long!! I tell myself "this too shall pass" and imagine her as a college student -- this helps me not resent the amazing amount of time I spend tending to her sleep needs now.

FWIW, just thought I'd share ....
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I have a 13 month old and have encountered the same thing. I let it be. He goes to bed, I nurse to sleep and he will wake anywhere from 20 mins to 45 mins and I have to nurse him to sleep again. He wakes during the night 2-3 times but I latch and go back to sleep.

I have noticed in the first year how his sleep patterns has changed and is getting better every month. When he was younger, he would sleep latched on me almost ALL Night. Now and unlatches and turns over and goes to sleep.

So, sleep WILL change and for the better. It is a matter of giving it time.

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Ds is 6 months old.

On a typical night, he starts acting tired around 9-9:30pm. Dh takes him into the bedroom for a sponge bath and some cuddly playtime while I get my teeth brushed and jammies on. We start the lullaby cd, Dh leaves and I read a story (usually goodnight moon). At that point I nurse him down. If I need to, we get up and dance/rock then lay down and nurse again. He's usually out by 10:30.

Then I get up for a few more minutes, generally to put away dinner leftovers and pee and hang out alone w/dh a few minutes. We're in bed by 11:30. Ds will wake up once, about this time, to nurse again for a bit. When he's out all the way I pull my boob out and we all go to sleep.

For a while he'd wake up again around 5-6am to nurse, then off/on nursing/dozing till about 8. Past few days we've gotten up at 6! I'm hoping this doesn't last.

That's a good, average night. Lately he's been uncomfortable with teething so putting him down is more difficult, takes longer and he's fussy. Sometimes, due to teething or milestones or reasons unknown, he wakes up a lot more. When we moved he woke up every 1-2 hours for a week.

He's also a velcro baby, I don't have any ideas about that. I actually sleep better right next to him so I have no clue how I would change it. I do know that if I'm not right there (like if I stay up late) he will wake more often until I go in. That's part of the reason I'm so glad he keeps a schedule similar to my own natural one.

So, I don't know if that helped much, but you definitely sound to me like you're on the right track. No advice from me but it seems like a good normal healthy baby. Don't let those other people get you down or make you question yourself, you're doing fine.
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don't have time to read all the posts. my nights sounded last summer like yours are this summer.

one thing I learned is to try to preceed the signs of sleepiness. for me erin goes down easier/sleeps longer if she's asleep or close to it when the sleepy eyes come out. i had to keep track on paper what time that happened and now can guess pretty well.
DS also wakes several times between his bedtime and mine. I nurse him in the dark for 10 minutes or so and he goes back to sleep. Plain old soothing is useless, though I've tried. And if DH tries to soothe him, DS freaks out. He wants boobie. :roll

We do dinner for DS between 5:30 and 6:30. This is followed by a bath or shower with me. Lotion, diaper, jammies & songs in his room. Then to our darkened room to nurse him down. I've been trying the Pantley pull-off method and it is working a bit. But I am lazy about it in the middle of the night when I just latch him on and fall back asleep.

We're about to try sidecar. I hope that works too.
Reading this thread was such a relief! I was beginning to think I was the only one whose baby won't go more than two hours without a momma check-in. My mom was just visiting, and she was pressuring me to "do something." What, exactly would that be??

Here's our night:
6-ish dinner
6:30 bath with daddy
7 Ronan starts nursing/playing (this is on a mat on the floor in his room)

He's always asleep by 7:45 at the latest. On his very best night, he's gone three hours before waking. Most nights, it's more like an hour, an hour and a half. And then his wakings are closer together after that. Usually he's been awake three times by 11, when I bring him to bed with me.

I know he nurses during the night (I wake with empty boobs!), but thankfully I usually sleep through. He wakes us around 6.

Sometimes I wonder why my friends' kids sleep from 8-6. But Ronan is mine, all mine, and he's such a beautiful, gentle, curious spirit -- I'm hopeful that he and I will eventually come to an understanding about nighttime! :LOL
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Hi -

My daughter is almost 8 mos. She usually crashes out between 10-11 pm, tho the last few nights she has been staying awake until I go to bed between 11:30-midnight. I nurse her to sleep (takes 15-30 mins), in bed if I am already there or in the living room and leave her on the couch supported by her nursing pillow until I go to sleep.

She wakes several times in the night to nurse. I don't count wakings or look at the clock as my focus is on staying asleep, but I believe her longest stretch is the first stretch and usually lasts 3-5 hours, then she sleeps for 1-2 hour intervals the rest of the night. She sleeps right beside me so I only have to latch her on, and she usually nurses and goes right back to sleep. The other morning I woke with tiny hickies all over my breast... I think she was just sucking wherever instead of latching. We go through periods where she nurses more frequently (sometimes almost constantly), or wakes and cries in the night instead of just latching on. I find those periods very frustrating because I feel tired even after our best nights. She usually wakes between 8-10 am.

I hear all sorts of stories from CIO folks about babies who sleep 11-12 hours per night, and periodically feel jealous or contemplate night weaning by getting her father to take care of her when she wakes in the night. This is usually most tempting after a few nights of crap sleep. I wouldn't really do it though... my daughter is still too young imo, and I cherish the closeness we have from sleeping and nursing during the night.
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My dd won't go to sleep until I do, so she is up until 12-1am. She usually takes a nap sometime between 8-11pm. Then she is up until I take her to bed with me. She nurses anywhere from 10 mins to 1 hr+ then falls asleep. I too don't really count how many times she wakes up to nurse, but I think it is quite a lot. I know sometimes I feel like I haven't slept at all. Sometimes I fall asleep and wake up an hour later and she is still nursing, or maybe she latched on again, I don't really know for sure. But she has never slept more than 3 hours in a stretch. She also likes to sleep up right next to me, but I worry I will pull the cover over her head, so I keep moving over and she follows, and soon Dh and I are sqwooshed on the edge of the bed and she is sprawled out on the rest. So I move her back over and we start again. One bonus is she does sleep until I get up in the morning, so if I happen to sleep until 11 am, like I did today, she sleeps for that long too.
not that i am happy for anyone's sleepless nights, but i am sure happy to see that my dh and i are not the only ones going through this. i won't go into to too much detail since my sotory is just the same as everyone else's! ds son goes down in the vening and is back up every 1-3 hours every night. sometimes sooner, not very often later!

i read one reply but can't find it now, that mentioned some kind of pull off method? is there something out there besides what i do? once ds falls asleep, i gently push my finger into his mouth to break the suction and he usually just turns and goes back to sleep. unless he is teething, like right now, and is up every 20 mintues and has a death grip on my breast! ouch!
the No cry sleep solution has great suggestions for babies who have trouble getting back to sleep without nursing/bottle/pacifier etc. DD began sleeping through the night at 11 weeks but was bottle fed by then & i know babies who nurse go less time between feedings.

to respond to thismama's post, we have never done CIO with dd. even now at 15 months, the longest we will let her cry & complain is 5 minutes (we have a fisher price aquarium that times out at 5 min, so it helps us gauge). all kids are different & dd happens to have a daddy that can sleep through just about anything for incredible lengths of time. if she was more like me, i'm sure we would still be getting up all night!
if this is a newer behavior dont fret too much about it. ive found with ds that he is so much more needy during growth spurts/cognitive spurts and it passes. i feel you though!

lately its been good.
7 bath (we take one together. he loves the water!)
after bath - nurse
he will doze and nurse in my lap anywhere from 8 to 10. when he is finally really asleep, i carry him (on a flat pillow that we use when he nurses in the evening) to the bed.

sometimes its only a hour. sometimes three hours.

and he wakes two to five times a night (mostly in the morning). when hes growing,he wakes every 45 minutes or so. OH MAN the raccoon eyes i get during those times.

how do mommas work during those times? im worried about that. im going back to work pretty soon.
OMG thank you all soooooo much. Reading all the replies has really helped to show me that I'm not alone in this. I see our little family in quotes like this:


Originally Posted by Beansmom
so I keep moving over and she follows, and soon Dh and I are sqwooshed on the edge of the bed and she is sprawled out on the rest. So I move her back over and we start again.
Thanks again, all. I will try to adopt the Zen attitude w.r.t her nighttimes.
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Our DD is now 4 1/2 months... For now our nights go like this: PJ's and new diaper on at 8pm or so, Daddy says good nights and sometimes reads stories, 8:30ish, we nurse to sleep on the couch. By 9pm or so, I sneak out from under her, or carefully lay her in the bouncy chair with the vibration thing on. She stays in the living room with us. From 9 to 11:30 or so, we have to soothe her back to sleep several times but a reassuring hand is usually enough. 11:30ish, we go to bed, and bring DD with us. I wake her enough for her to nurse well and she usually sleeps until about 3 or 4am. She is a velcro sleeper too. Not a night has been spent in the lovely sleigh co-sleeper that cost an arm and a leg! Up again to nurse at 7 or 8 depending on the day, she will sleep as late as ten or she might wake up with the last nursing session and be up for the day. It's nice to read everyone's routines. Good luck with yours!
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