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My son will be 4 months old on Sunday.

I am having issues with our current bedtime situation and would really love to hear what you all do-since NO ONE I know IRL co sleeps.

He is a super active, high needs baby during the day. I have posted before about how I have gotten little done since his birth. He seems to be fussing much less lately (knock wood) He naps on the move (walking in sling, stroller or sometimes driving) or in my arms (waking up as soon as I try to put him down--no matter how long I wait to do so...) so I don't have any down time at all.

This is what we do at night. It moves fwd or back 30-45mins depending on whats going on with him. He often gets fussy around 530. He used to fuss all the way to bed time and sometimes he still does....
Sometime in the 6 o clock hour he gets a bath. This always stops his fussing and he loves to kick the bath thermometer.

Then massage on changing table. Every once in a while he fusses and then I dont massage him. But 90% of the time he is smiling and cooing and sighing as I massage him.

Then I put him in his jammies. Usually he starts to cry here. Why? I don't know. But as I said he used to fuss and cry during this whole process...I think he knows its bedtime and even though he is ready for sleep the transition freaks him out.

Often I nurse him a little bit to calm him down.

Then we all get in bed with Daddy and Daddy reads books. Sometimes the baby stays awake for a bunch of books and sometimes he wants to nurse quickly. Either way he latches on and passes out cold right away.

Heres the trouble. I can't put him down. He wakes up. Every time. If I wait 20 min, 30, 40 an hour....it's so frustrating. I used to be able to put him into his cradle and take him into bed when I was ready...The past week or so I have brought him out into the living room and held him as I watched an episode of mad men with my husband
-- as my husband feeds me some sort of pick up dinner. It's the only quiet time I have all day. It's also the only time I see my husband....but I am holding a sleeping baby the whole time.

The baby is clearly ready for bed. He passes out on my breast and sleeps all night, waking up to nuzzle me into nursing him only. Everyone I know says it is because of co sleeping, that I should put him into his crib and "let him cry"

I am not willing to do this.

Tell me, what do you do? Anyone with high needs babies have advice?
Do I figure out a way to sneak out and leave him in our bed? It seems dangerous to do that...

Thanks in advance!
 

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Your post totally took me back. BTDT!! My thought is it just takes time. There will be tiny steps of improvement. He's still so young and you're doing great. It will get easier.

Some thoughts: try wearing him down instead of nursing as the last point of transition (though the sling to bed transfer can also be tough it worked for us). At 3.5 months we bought a hammock and it revolutionized sleep for us. Unfortunately we were only able to use it for a few months. You could just put him in it until you go to bed if you want to stll use the family bed.

FWIW, bedtime routine meant little to my son until about ten months but he started sleeping out of my arms when we got the hammock. Now we bath, nurse, read books and cuddle until he falls asleep. At 9 months I was still wearing him down. Things change suddenly sometimes.

Good luck, I know it's hard but you truly will look back on the time fondly and it will pass quickly.
 

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Hmmm, he's probably too old for swaddling, but I know that's what worked for my DS. Sounds like he could use something that "hugs" him. I wonder if wrapping him up in a swaddle blanket without his arms and legs "bound" would work, if that's even possible or safe. I just found out about something called the "magic sleep suit," so maybe google that and see if it would work--it's pricey though, $40. I wonder if something about his jammies irriates him? Or maybe he doesn't like being put down at that point (I know my DS doesn't like to be put down when he's tired). Good luck, I know from experience what it's like to not be able to get anything done because your baby won't let you put him down--my DS was like that when he was sleeping for naps.
 

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Also, does your DS still have the startle reflex? If so, he might be better able to put down once he outgrows this. How does he do if you lay firm hands on him for afew minutes after you put him down? This sometimes settles my DS down (more so at night then day)--he also seems to need this firm input or otherwise seems restless when he's transitioning between sleep cycles or stages of deeper to lighter sleep. I know it's hard feeling like you have no time to yourself, but you want to do the best thing for your baby too.
 
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