13 answers

Need to Transistion My 1 Year Old from Co-sleeping to Crib

I have been co sleeping with my baby since he was born and now that he is 1, I want to get him to start sleeping in his crib. I am looking for advice, experiences, suggestions, etc from those moms who have gone through this. I was going to do this 6 months ago, but my husband and I split and I have been living with my sister until I get my feet on the ground again and we didn't have our crib. Well I now have our crib and want to get this started. I am ok with letting him cry for small amounts of time, but not an hour as my pediatrician suggested. Here are my concerns: he needs a pacifier to fall asleep which I will get rid of at a later time once he gets the sleeping thing down.. 2) When I do put him down to sleep, he usually crawls around, trys to stand etc etc and Im worried about him getting his arm between the rails and than falling and hurting arm 3) I am constantly putting his paci in through out the night. Okay, so there are my concerns.. If anyone has gone through a similar experience, please let me know. I am open to any and all suggestions. I did read the Ferber book and it seems to be ok... thanks so very much.

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even a "small" amount of crying it out is harmful...
Well, I am more of an "information geek" than a "try it out" mom. I think the evidence and studies speak for themselves.
Before I list a very few of them, I want to say that every family must do what works for them and there is no perfect way to raise a child.
I also want to urge every mother to do her own research. Be a critical reader! When reading, be aware of who wrote the information you are reading, what their credentials and motives are, and how the author is viewed by his/her peers. There is great information out there, but there are a lot of really bad books, too. Many written by people with little or no training, education, or experience. Anyone can write a book...
I also believe that a mother who mothers by her gut will usually do what is best. Any information that causes a mother to go against her natural mothering instinct is the wrong information for her. Any regrets that I have come from times when I didn't follow my gut.
Here is some of the research that I find helpful:
The studies on cortisol levels in babies while they are crying alone vs. crying in arms are astounding. The levels of cortisol measured in babies crying alone are high enough to cause damage to brain tissue and permanently alter a child's mental function. Clearly, babies are not meant to be left alone to cry.
The research in the fields of sociology, psychology, and anthropology show us that families around the world as far back as history dates have shared a family bed, breastfed on demand for and average of 4 years (still the current world average), and carried babies or strapped them on during their babyhood.
This body of research also tells us that a child who has his needs met by a single care giver (most optimally the mother) is a more independent, confident child than those who spend time fearing that their needs won't be met or those who are forced to be independent before they are ready.
Be sure and check out the sitations on this and any article your read.
Further, this attachment extends to the later parenting, making it easier to parent the child...
Nils Bergman on You Tube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PcaMsZrElnE (he has several videos you can watch!)
His book, Hold On To Your Kids is a MUST READ!!!
The Discipline Book by Dr. William Sears
Here is some really compelling research:
Biology gives us a whole body of research on human milk composition which shows us that out of all mammal species, human milk has the lowest amount of fat and protein when compared to other mammal species, here is what that says:
Cache care - These animals must hid their babies and only feed them every 12 hours. They have the highest amount of fat and protien in thier milk. Rabbits, mice
Nest care - These animals have less fat and protien and feed their babies every 4 hours or so. dog, cat
Follow care - These animals have even less fat and protien than cache and nest animals. They feed every 2 hours or so. Zebra, cow, elk.
Carry care - These animals have the lowest amount of fat and protien and feed their infants every 30 to 90 minutes. Primates.
Humans have the lowest amount of fat and protien! What does this say about how our babies should be cared for? How often they should be fed, and what we should expect from them at night?
BTW, new research is now linking colic to babies not being fed often enough and being left alone too often.
Dr. Sears recommends feeding your baby twice as often and half as much when colic seems to be the trouble. He also recommends holding your baby http://www.askdrsears.com/html/5/t051300.asp
It is interesting to see the societal influences we have here compared to the rest of the world. We want our babies to be convenient, yet their very make up makes that impossible.
Again, mothers must do what their gut tells them and use information to supplement that wisdom. Don't choose sides, choose your child!
Happy Mothering!! Enjoy your babies

2 moms found this helpful

I am also a single mother. My daughter is 15 months old. I feel the same way you do, a little crying is okay, but more than that, forget it. My little girl would stand in her crib and scream when I would put her in it (we have co-slept since birth). I realized I may never find a man to have another baby with, so this might be it for me. One day she will be a teenager and hate me, so I decided I better enjoy all the cuddling I can now. I just sold the crib to a neighbor and bought a bigger bed for the two of us to share. My advice, enjoy this time together while you can!

1 mom found this helpful

Read the "sleep lady's" book (can't remember the name off hand but googel it). Don't worry it is a quick read! I was not co-sleeping, but up MANY times per night with my daughter and nursing her back to sleep. Her method teaches you how to teach your baby to self sooth. You are in the room with with him, so you will know that he hasn't hurt himself. You may want to consider getting rid of the paci at the same time. We did and it was the best move we made. The book talks all about removing sleep crutches, so they can learn to fall asleep on their own.

1 mom found this helpful

You were right to want to get him out earlier, because now it will be harder. But freedom is close! :) I think I most agree with what Kate B said. I let my daughter cry herself and she's been a great sleeper every since. 1.) Don't worry about the pacifer! In my opinion, you've still got a year before you need to worry about taking it away. A friend of mine said they just put a whole bunch of pacifers in the baby's bed and when it fell out, he gropped around until he found one. Try not to get into the habit of consistanly going in there to put it back in. 2.) I hope your rails aren't too far apart. Remember the rule of thumb is if you an fit a soda can in there, then they are too big. Otherwise he'll be fine. Buy a video monitor (check e-mail and local second hand shops) to keep an eye on that. As far as crawling around and pulling up, yup they do that but they won't sleep standing up so don't worry (bonus of the monitor- depending on if they are laying down or standing up, then you know how close to sleep they are!) Be careful not to get into any routine that requires hours of rocking- thats exhusting!
I don't like to let them cry for an hour either. Try one of these: go in at increasing lengths of time or go in every 10-15 minutes. The key is DO NOT pick him up! You can soothe by rubbing their back, singing a song, putting in the pacifer, etc. Just stick firm to it because once you give in, then they try even harder the next time. Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Well I'm actually been wondering the same thing I have a 10 month old and well at first we had a 1 bedroom apt so it was just easier to have him sleep with me but we moved to a bigger place and he has his own room now and I'm trying to get him to sleep on his own in his crib in his room but I don't want him to think that his mommy and daddy are mad at him or he did something wronge for waking up or having to fall asleep on his own now so if you find a better solution then having him cry it out like the doctors say then let me know as well because I don't want him to think now he's being punished or that we're not there.thanks

M.: I know it is going to be very hard for you to let the baby sleep in his crib, but believe me, it will be the best thing for you and him in the long run. I, too, am a single mother of two girls, now 18 and 19, and I took advice from people and never let them sleep with me. On the other hand, many of my nieces did let their children sleep with them and every single one of them regrets it to this day. Be strong and most of all consistant and you will be glad you did!
Best of luck!!!

I would have your son start sleeping in his crib at nap time if he isn't already doing that. When you decide to have him in the crib, at night,you need to be firm about keeping him there. Letting him cry for awhile then getting him up and into your bed just teaches him to cry longer. When he cries, go into his room, do not turn on any light, do not look into his face, do not speak to him, do not pick him up. Gently lay him down, give him his pacifier, cover him up and pat or rub his back. If he can put his pacifier into his own mouth than just hand it to him. No shushing or any sound at all. Stay for a few minutes. Not more than three. You do not want to reward him, with interaction from you, for crying. I have done this with many children I have cared for. The first night will be horrible. Neither one of you may get much sleep. The next day keep to his regular schedule. No long naps. It may take a week but he will eventually get the idea that he's to sleep in his own bed. Good luck.

Here's an idea that worked well for me. Start by assembling the crib next to your bed, but leave the front rail off so your mattress is level with his and you have open access to him. Basically, you're still co-sleeping, but he's in his crib. Once he gets used to that, put the front rail on the crib, lower the mattress, and move it back from your bed a couple of feet. Get a good baby bumper to keep his arms/legs from sticking out. The bumper will keep his pacifiers from falling out as well. Once he gets used to his crib/bumper, make the transition to his own room. The neat thing about the bumper is that, when he wakes in the middle of the night, all he's going to SEE is the bumper and he'll think he's still in with you.

As for the pacifiers, get several of whatever brand he likes. Every night before bed, put one in his mouth and put two more in the corners of his crib next to his head. Put them in the same place every night so he knows exactly where to find them. Eventually, as he gets older, you can go back to just one (or none, if you decide to end it) but for now, it's perfectly fine to throw a few in there. It will allow him to "self-soothe" by finding them himself at night.

Hi M.! My advice to you is just do it and leave your worries to 'when' they happen and not 'what if?' My daughter is almost 11mos and I have similar issues with her father. It was a comfort for me to keep her in bed with me and not sleep alone(not a necessity though- I have the crib). Two months ago I just decided to do the crib thing and I havent looked back. I had all the same worries! She has weaned herself off the paci and hasn't hurt herself once. Its a relief to me to have her safe and give me some alone time which was something I was really depriving myself of.

I would suggest getting rid of the paci first.....then move on to a regular bed. He is already comfortable with a regular bed. Don't go backwards into a crib. I had great success with a regular bed in the same room as me, at times it was even right next to my bed...but he was not in my bed. And if you still need the paci...he is next to you but not in your bed. Then you can move that bed into his own room and it's not strange.

Guess I need to tell you I'm not a fan of Ferber method because it has the potential to create serious attachment and security issues for the child. Although, I never co-slept with my daughter, she had a real hard time settling down to sleep. What I found most helpful in getting her to sleep in her crib was to rock her and cuddle her until she was in a light sleep before laying her down in her crib. Make a bed time routine and try to follow it closely, but don't be too rigid. If your son is "wound up", take extra time winding down before starting the routine. Don't be afraid of rocking him to sleep. Someday very soon he won't want or need that. It just makes him feel secure and with all the tough stuff you and he are experiencing right now (by the way I'm so sorry to hear about your recent split), he needs to know he can count on you even at night. I recommend The Sleep Book by Dr. Sears for a gentler approach to nighttime parenting. Best wishes. R. (midwife and SAHM of 2, ages 3 1/2 and 4 monthes.)

We have a 14 mo old and just transitioned her to her own bed. I would suggest putting the crib in your room to start; our daughter gets up a lot through the night (most times just looking for her pacifier)so it was easier to walk across the room than to go all the way down the hall into her room. Than you can start to seperate your bed from the crib as he starts feeling more comfortable and secure in his crib. Dr Sears' The Baby Book has some great suggestions for transitoning from co-sleeping to crib. Much luck to you!

create a cozy environment in his room. we used music and low lighting and a humidifier. rock him or nurse him or snuggle or read or whatever works until he is almost (but NOT) asleep. when he is almost asleep, put him in his crib and tell him night night. be SURE to have the crib rails up, with no chance of him climbing out. then leave the room. be prepared for him to cry, and set a timer for 5 minutes. when it beeps, go in and tell him he's okay, you're still there, but it's time for night night. DO NOT PICK HIM UP. you can 'love' him over the rail, but don't pick him up. do this every 5 minutes until he falls asleep. our son took about 5 times but now i put him in there and he just rolls over and goes to sleep!! I hated hearing him cry but it works and you only let them go for 5 minutes so i didn't feel too bad about it. Good luck!!! :)

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