January 15, 2009,
J.S. asks from Saint Paul, MN on January 13, 2009
Co-Sleeping With 8 Month Old- Help!
I have been co-sleeping with my 8 month old daughter, Anna, since she was born. It was not my plan to do so, it just kinda happened. I had planned to move her to her own room/crib by now, but I'm afraid of how it will go (i.e. lots of crying on both our parts, plus waking my 2.5 year old who sleeps in the room next to hers). Right now Anna won't even nap in her crib. In fact, she mostly only naps in my arms or her carseat if she falls asleep in the car. She still wakes up multiple times a night and it's really starting to wear on me. I guess my question is a two-parter: do I need to get her out of my bed in order for her to sleep through the night, and if so, how do I go about it in a way that will cause the least amount of trauma to both of us?
1 mom found this helpful
B.B. answers from Minneapolis on January 15, 2009
Funny - I have a 2.5-yr-old boy and an 8-mo-old girl. All I can say is... the longer you wait, the harder it will be. You have to just put her in her crib and leave her there to sleep. First maybe you could get her to sleep and then put her in there. Then maybe start putting her in there awake, which will be hard, and she'll cry. But if she's tired enough, she'll go to sleep. My daughter slept with me the first month, and then I started putting her in her own bed and it was fine. I can't imagine having to do it NOW. It's not going to be easy on either of you, but you need to do it. Good luck!
T.D. answers from St. Cloud on January 14, 2009
Oh the sleep issue! First off, co-sleeping is NOT a bad thing, and no matter what anyone says, its not dangerous!!!! Actually, it can prevent SIDS. I've done A TON of research on this because my MIL told me she saw something on the news about it...so don't let that scare you. Usually when co-sleeping goes bad is when the parent has been drinking or doing other stuff (drugs) and is not very coherent.
I have to lay with my 2 1/2 year old at night to get her to fall asleep, but for naps she will lay down by herself. And my 16 month old will go right in her crib and fall asleep on her own. I didn't do anything different with them, its just that they both ahve different sleeping habits. If you really don't like the co-sleeping than some of the ladies gave great suggestions. I don't like the cry it out method either....how horrible that the little one has to be in this dark room all by his/herself, I would cry too! I hope you have a solution and know that co-sleeping isn't a bad thing. There are TONS of research on it if you want to read about it.
A.K. answers from Milwaukee on January 15, 2009
Take a look at the book "sleeping through the night" by Jodi Mindell. It is a good middle of the road approach and isn't as judgmental as I feel some of the other books are. It felt gentle and doable. our daughter now finally is mostly sleeping all night in her crib and just about through the night after SO long of her not.
K.M. answers from Cedar Rapids on January 14, 2009
I have been co-sleeping with my 3 month old for awhile now. And like you I did not plan to do it, it just happened due to nursing so frequently at night. I have been putting him in a co-sleeper bed attached to my bed. This made an easy transition for him and me. If he wakes I can feed him and then put him back int the co-sleeper attached to the bed. And probably within a month I will be moving him into his crib.
N.D. answers from Minneapolis on January 13, 2009
I just went through a similar situation with my 9-month old. This book saved me "Healthy sleep habits, happy child" Marc Weissbluth, MD. I started with naps in the crib - it took about a week to establish and it was tough the first couple of days - but it worked!!! And by the third day he was sleeping half the night in his crib and at the end of the week the whole night. This book was recommended by 2 friends who used it with their kids. I can't say enough about it. Gives you info. and strength to do this successfully. Barnes & Noble $16 full price - money well spent. Good luck.
J.R. answers from Minneapolis on January 13, 2009
we're in the middle of this with our almost 8 month old daughter right now! we're working on transitioning her to her crib from our bed. she still wakes multiple times during the night to nurse, so that's made it difficult. i think if she's in her own bed she'll wake less (or not at all!) though.
i decided i had no clue how to do this (we co-slept with our now 5 year old son for YEARS, and i'm not doing that again!), so i enlisted the help of "the no-cry sleep solution." i'm taking cues from that & doing what feels right with our daughter too. we started our new routine on saturday night & despite teething & a runny nose we're actually making progress! most of the book centers around creating a routine & making the place where your baby will sleep comforting & familiar.
every night we do bath & jammies to wind down, plus we've been spending non-sleeping time in her room & in her crib. we're now keeping our volume down & keeping lights lower at bedtime. i don't let her nurse completely to sleep, and we've got a humidifier going in her room for white noise (and to mask the 5 year old's noise). it might not seem like much, but she's steadily increased the time in her crib from 30 minutes to an hour over the last three days. i'm in it for the long haul, so i'm not looking for immediate results - i just want lasting results! already she's falling asleep faster & last night my husband was able to get her to sleep - something he hasn't ever been able to do at night because she wants mom & boobs! :)
i know there are probably faster ways to accomplish the same thing, but i'm just not a cry-it-out parent at all. she still spends the majority of the night in our bed, but i can see that she won't be there forever if we stick with our plan.
A.J. answers from Omaha on January 14, 2009
please just do it for safety! my husband is a firefighter and he has been on those calls where co-sleeping turns bad. his first call like that was 6 years ago right after we had our 1st baby. boy did i get an earful! it may be hard and she may cry but that is natural and it shouldn;t take her too long to get used to it. maybe put a worn shirt of yours in there with her so she has your scent close by. as far as waking your other child - mine sleep through just about anything. it is amazing the noise that can go on and they never even hear it. you could start playing soft music for your other child so atleast there is some white noise that can drown out any cries that may happen. good luck. i know it is hard. i have 3 of my own but some things happen that you think could never, ever happen to you. good luck!
S.M. answers from Eau Claire on January 14, 2009
Don't let anyone tell you co-sleeping is "wrong" or Un-natural". It is one of the most natural things in the world and its only in the last century or so mothers have stopped sleeping with their babies. The rare deaths involved with co-sleeping usually involve drunk or other wise impaired parents, just as another mother mentioned. People give co-sleeping too bad of a rep.
Of course you don't want your child in bed with you forever either, lol. My son co-slept with me till he was about a year and a half old. He was used to going to sleep after getting a few books read to him and songs sung till he fell asleep. My son did start sleeping through the night in bed with me somewhere between 9mos and 12mos.
It took a month or so of consistent behavior on my part to switch him to his toddler bed, but really only the first few days/week were really tough. I just did the exact same ritual for bed; books and songs; but in his own bed, and when we were done, I went and laid down on my bed (in the same room) where I could see him. Everytime he got out of bed, I just put him back. Yes, he cried and shrieked, but I stayed calm and firm. The first day he got up around 40 times, second day twenty-something.... etc. Within a week he only tried one or two times, or maybe not at all, but he still tested me occasionally for around a month.
The reward was I would still let him crawl in and cuddle with me in the morning once it was light outside. Two years later, he stills comes to my bed (Now in a different room) to climb in and wake me up with snuggles every morning. Because I switched him to his own bed first and let him stay in my room for a while longer; when it was time to get his own room, the switch was a breeze, he was totally used to his own bed and going to sleep without me being physically right there.
All it really takes to do this switch, (whenever you want to, btw, you don't have to do it now unless you want to) is patience and a firm but calm attitude. And the knowledge that it will be hard for a little while, a week, a month, whatever. You can't give in or you defeat most of your progress. But it will get easier!
Good luck, whatever you decide!
A.B. answers from Minneapolis on January 14, 2009
We had both the kids in our bed until they were 5 and 3.5. We did the transition when the oldest was able to understand. We still lay down with them until they go to sleep. My now 7 year old was diagnosed with Sensory Integration Disorder and Mild Autism shortly after quitting the family; bed. As a baby, he did the same thing that you are describing with your daughter. I have been told that co-sleeping was one of the best things we could have done for him. I didn't know why we did it. We just did. The basic rule of parenting--trust your gut. Get advice, but trust your gut above anything else.
L.G. answers from Minneapolis on January 14, 2009
Here's an idea for you: start by trying to have her take naps IN your bed. I know, it's supposed to be the most dangerous thing ever, but I do it all the time. Of course, my son is only 5 mos. and he doesn't roll from his back to his stomach and we put him in the middle of our queen-sized, close-to-the-floor (due to having no bed frame) bed. The reason it may be easier to start there is because your bed contains your smell, where the crib doesn't. After awhile you may be able to transition to a crib during the day, and eventually the crib at night. I know it sounds easier than it really is, and I'm not a sleep expert, but hopefully that helps!
We actually had our son in bed with us for his first month of life and once we transitioned him to the crib, he slept through the night! It's quite amazing. People ask me if he's sleeping through the night yet and I say yes, he's been doing that for quite awhile now. There were no tears on my part because being a well-rested mama was such a great reward! :) Good luck!