Help Stop Breatst Feeding and Get 8 Month Out of the Bed!

Updated on March 10, 2008
L.T. asks from Hampton, VA
39 answers

Love my baby girl and have no problem leting her sleep in our bed. My man has not complained at all. But I know he is not really happy with it. It is just that I can get more sleep by feeding her when she wakes up and not have to get up at night. She does not sleep in her crib at all (maybe 5-6 times). So To work on getting her to sleep on her own should I first stop breast feeding? She takes a bottle OK but will not feed herself very well with it. Sippy cups - same thing. She also eats well. I tend to hold her when I put her to sleep and let her stay there for here nap. I know I have every bad habit posible going on here. I am sure I am not the only one. So if there are any sugjestions on how to get her to sleep on her own, in her crib, PLEASE give them to me. Oh yah - my first born, who is 11 yr also went throught te bad habbits. I can't do this all over again!

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

I stoped breat feeding when my baby girl was just about 11 months old. She drinks Homo mild and eats very well - she gets her iron. She is healthy - only had to headci=olds since she was born. She does however still sleep in my beed about 70% of the time. I am working on gettin in the crib ful time. It getting better. I am happy

Featured Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

H.L.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi L.,

I also had my baby in bed with me for the first few months of her life, and was breast-feeding her on demand all night long. It seemed like the way that we would all get the most sleep. But I wanted her to get used to the crib, so I finally started putting her in her crib for naps after she had already dropped off to sleep in my arms. She gradually got accustomed to sleeping there. I am still breast-feeding (she's nine months old now, sleeps in her crib every night and for all her naps), so you definitely don't have to give that up. It just takes patience and consistency - you have to teach her through habit that the crib is a place to sleep, and she'll cry a lot before she gets used to it. Good luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.H.

answers from Dover on

I am reading this thinking to myself...this is my situation exactly only my little girl is 9 months and my first child. I am looking forward to hearing the responses you receive. You are not alone.

More Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.D.

answers from San Francisco on

L.,

You shouldn't have to stop breastfeeding in order to get your daughter to sleep in the crib. It takes practice and perserverence. I have 3 girls, one of which is 2 months old. I am also breastfeeding and used to have an issue with her sleeping in her bassinet. I would practice during the day and evening. When she would wake up, I would go to the living room and feed her a little more or just walk her around till she fell asleep. Then I would try again to lay her down. I kept doing this until she felt comfortable sleeping alone.

Sleeping in bed with your daughter is nice, but in my opinion, I don't think you get better sleep when she is with you in bed becuase in your mind you know she is there and you have to be somewhat concious so you don't roll on her. You have a lot of trust, becuase I don't even trust my husband sleeping when our baby girl is in the bed..lol!

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.M.

answers from Washington DC on

Dear L.,
Don't feel guilty about your solution to get more sleep. Don't force a change. Talk to your man about it. Tell him how you feel and ask how he feels. In many cultures, the children sleep with their parents either in the same bed when they are babies or on a mattress in the same room as small children and they transition to their own bedrooms as they get older. This creates secure children who feel loved. Each family comes up with their own plan that suits their family conditions.

The time to start weaning away from the breast is once a baby starts cutting their first teeth. The timing is different for each child. Getting their teeth indicates their digestive system is ready for warm milky cereals first and then other baby foods. As long as the child doesn't feel rejected or forced away from the breast, things should go fairly smoothly.

Start with daytime naps in the crib. Wait until she is asleep and then put her in the crib. Warm the crib with a hot water bottle first; take out the hot water bottle (so she doesn't get burned) and put your precious baby in. They also have teddy bears that have a heartbeat sound that you can put in the crib - it's like putting a ticking clock wrapped in a towel in with new puppies so they can sleep. These things create an effect almost like being close to mom.

Try not to get upset if there is some fretting in the beginning. After she gets used to the crib for napping, it will be easier to make the transition to nighttime sleeping in the crib. Don't rush or force the transition; this will avoid creating insecurities. Every baby makes changes at their own pace. It might take a few weeks, but that is such a short time when you look at creating a foundation for an entire lifetime. Good Luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

F.B.

answers from Charlottesville on

There is no reason to stop nursing. The key is to set-up a good routine and be strict to it in the beginning. Our routine was and still is calming bath, lotion and pjs. Then I would nurse him (now a sippy cup of milk) while we read him a story, then 2-3 more books after that. Then lights out and rock, at first rock them to sleep and put them in the crib, when they cry, go to them, and comfort them without picking them up, play music (we do this as part of him going into the bed, it's a timed music box thing that came attached to a pooh doll). Then after a few nights, start putting the baby in the crib following the routine more and more awake, so they learn to fall asleep in the crib by themselves.

Also, try looking at "The no Cry Sleep Solution" by Elizabeth Pantley and William Sears.

Below is the link to the amazon page. We used this book for getting him to sleep in his own bed, though they have alot of co-sleeping information too, and I really liked it.

http://www.amazon.com/No-Cry-Sleep-Solution-Gentle-Throug...

Good luck.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.C.

answers from Washington DC on

I nursed my son to sleep until he weaned himself at 15 months, so i don't necessarily think it's a bad habit and i wouldn't quit nursing just to get her to sleep on her own cause i don't think there's any connection between the two. However he did sleep in his own crib from the start, so i'd say start doing that with your girl. also, at 9 months, my Ped. said -- stop nursing him in the night. which was a feeling i had i should stop doing but needed her to tell me to quit. so i let him cry a little when he woke up at his night time feeding time and he got over it in a night or two and started sleeping through.

so i'd say, nurse her to sleep then put her in her crib, then don't nurse her again that night (better to do cold turkey then to keep track of a schedule of some sort). put some loveys in there with her if she doesn't already have one that she likes; if it's a new lovey wear it on you for a day so it smells like you or give her one of your shirts with your smell on it as a lovey. it may be a few rough nights until she gets used to it, but it shouldn't take too long to get her out of your bed and not nursing all night long.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

P.W.

answers from Washington DC on

They are this age for such a short period of time, if it isn't destroying your marriage, don't worry about it. Can you move her after she falls asleep. Then, at least she is learning to entertain herself once she wakes up. It might give all three of you a better night's sleep, too. Good luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.R.

answers from Richmond on

HI L. ~

Breastfeed as long as you can!(my sister went until her baby was 3 yrs old!) It is the healthiest thing you can do for your baby,as well as the most bonding experience in the world - regardless of the extra mile you have to go. The other responses give great tips. You won't regret continuing the breastfeeding, even if it means some loss of sleep. You didn't mention if you work or not, but, if not, you can catch up with naps during the day. If you work, maybe Dad can give you a break when he gets home and you can get a little power nap in before dinner. If you just can't do it anymore, then at least pump and give your baby breastmilk in the bottle. Good luck and please don't give up on the breast! This time will go more quickly than you realize. You only have one shot at it!
~K.
PS - It is important to get her into her crib for the sake of your marriage! You can do this!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

B.B.

answers from Washington DC on

Unfortunately L., it is hard to break bad habits once you start them. I had my son sleeping in my bed, and I didn't him get out of my bed until he was 3 years old. I think that your daughter may be a little too young for the sippy cup, but if she takes the bottle I would suggest you taking her off your breast and put her on the bottle. If she doesn't take to the bottle maybe it is because of the nipple that you are using. I know now they have nipples that resemble the breast nipple (Avent), but my son is 7 so I am not sure how well they work. It may take time to get her to switch over, so try to be patient. I can see where her sleeping in your bed could put a strain on your marriage, so hopefully he will understand and maybe help you with getting her to sleep in her crib.

B.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.H.

answers from Washington DC on

I can't say this will work for you, only that it worked for me. I started by sleeping with my son in a single bed right next to our king size bed. Once he was asleep, I rolled over onto our bed and put up a railing. I know nowadays (this was 12 years ago) you can also buy co-sleeping cribs that attach to the side of your bed. Anyway, eventually he got used to sleeping "alone", though I could still roll over to feed him in the middle of the night. Then I started putting him in his crib a few hours nightly. It took a while, but eventually he got used to it and we only had a couple of night when he cried a lot before falling asleep alone. Hope this helps!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.B.

answers from Lynchburg on

I have a 17 month old son, we were in the same boat, and we have another baby on the way, so we knew that we had to do something. I read the book "Solving Your Child's Sleep Problems" by Richard Ferber and followed the method for breaking sleep associations (my son's sleep associations were my breast, my arms, my presence, and my bed). Our son was seriously sleeping very well in his crib after just a few days. He did cry some, but Dr. Ferber doesn't make you go "cold turkey" - you're allowed to go in and check on them at set time increments, which was easier on all of us. I don't know if it would work exactly the same for everyone, but we were very pleased. And no, I didn't wean him at the same time (we thought that would be too many traumatic changes all at once, and breastfeeding is still good for them), so I just changed the times of breastfeeding: when he woke up, instead of when he was going to sleep. My son still breastfeeds when he wakes up in the morning, when he wakes up from his nap, some time in the evening, and when he requests it. I hope this helps. Also, my husband and I have really enjoyed having our bed back, even though we enjoyed having our son sleep with us - they're sooo cute - it's been good for our marriage, if you know what I mean, to have the bed back! :-)

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

E.H.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi,

Don't worry you are not the only one! My son is 8mths old next week and he sleeps with us too. I love him but think it's time my husband and I got our bed back. Someone recommended a book to me and I just bought it, it's called "the no-cry sleep solution" and so far it's very interesting. After 60 days 92% of the women in the sample had their babies sleep from 8pm till at least 5am!!!!

They also had great success getting them into their own crib.

I am still reading this so we'll see.

Good Luck!

Let me know if you have any tips if you succeed

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.C.

answers from Washington DC on

L.-

I went through the same thing with my son. You do not need to stop breast feeding. The problem is a sleep habit one, not a breast feeding one.

What you need to do is to get your daughter to associate the crib with sleeping. You can't just throw her in it and expect her to sleep, she thinks your bed is where she sleeps.

You don't mention where she naps in your post, if she is not napping in her crib, I'd start with that. Pick a day, and when it is nap time, take her to her room, rock with her, read a story, play music, whatever you want the sleep ritual to be, and then tell her it is time to take her nap and put her in her crib. Then leave the room. She will likely scream immediately. Then try to wait 1 minute and go back in, rub her back and tell her it is time to sleep. Do not take her out of her crib. Go to the hall and try to wait 90 seconds. Go back in, soothe her with words, but leave her in the crib. Try to keep lengthening the interval before you go back in. Eventually she will give up and go to sleep (hopefully). If she never does, after trying for 1 hour, or however long you can stand it, announce nap time is over and take her out, and wake her up for the day. She will likely be overtired and cranky, but what you do not want to do is cave in and take her back to her bed, that only reinforces that your bed is where she sleeps. When she crashes out at night, you put her back in your bed so she can get sleep that night.

Keep working on it with the naps, until she associates the crib with nap time. It really shouldn't take but three or four days (the second day is often worse then the first. This doesn't mean it isn't working, it's just part of the process).

Once she goes down for naps in the crib, you start the process all over again with night time. The only difference with night time is that you probably want to lengthen the intervals, start with 3 minutes, work up to a maximum of 10 minutes. Also, after a few hours you might have to give up and take her to bed, but you might be surprised. The first time I did this with my son I just knew he'd scream all night. Nope, 20 minutes and he was out, I only had to go in three times.

The big thing is that you have to committ to doing this whole-heartedly and know that the little bit of agony you feel in the short term, is worth the long term pleasure you will get from having your bed back.

If you want to read about it, check out the SleepLady's book. It gave me the courage to try.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

B.C.

answers from Danville on

Have you read the book Baby Wise or heard anything about "Ferberizing" (spelling) your baby? I have 2 boys, 3 years and 6 months. The 6 month old is currently breastfeeding. I've had to sleep train them both. It requires some crying on their part and some times your part. If you stick with it it will only take your 8 month old about a week to sleep in her bed by herself and fall asleep on her own. Google "Ferberizing" it's given by a Dr. Ferber(something). You start a nightly routine... bathing, feeding (bottle or breast), sing, and then put them in bed. She will cry..... you come in every 5 minutes and pat her on the back or tummy. Try not to talk, this may stimulate your baby. Then after a couple 5 minute intervals, lengthen the time between entering. Your baby will cry and it may take a couple hours the first night but it will get better. I think this method was also featured in this months issue of American Baby...you might be able to Google the issue or get if in hard copy.
All baby's have to be trained to sleep on their own, no one has the perfect baby. Any bad habits that you feel are bad can be corrected. I hope that this will help you out.
Take care and know that I'll be praying for you.
B. C.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.R.

answers from Norfolk on

I recommend that you breast feed through a year. It's a gift that you can only offer your child once. However, get a copy of Babywise, which will really lay out a great plan for getting your baby to sleep through the night. Most of mine were sleeping through the night by three months. She's big enough to do it! It's a habit that you'll have to work on for a couple weeks intensely. It won't be easy, but everyone will be happier in the end!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.B.

answers from Washington DC on

I think you know that she has learned the habit of going to sleep in your arms. You need to teach her that her crib is the place to sleep. It truly is best for all involved and the sooner the better. You can show your kids love and comfort without needing them to be by your side every minute. Even an infant. And she is not necessarily waking up to feed in the middle of the night because she is hungry. She has learned that habit. If she's a good eater during the day, and is growing well, then she doesn't need a middle of the night feeding. Teach her little by little to get used to her crib, starting with naps. Yes, she'll cry but if you check in on her every 10 min. to let her know you're still there, then eventually she'll feel secure and put herself to sleep. Then you can begin to diminish the night time feedings. Don't give up the breastfeeding. It's great for her. But teach her that eating is for daytime but not offering it to her at night. You will be so glad you made the switch now and not later when she's talking! By the way, my 3 kids who were all exclusively breastfed, were all sleeping through the night at 8 weeks old in their own crib which I used from day 1. Hope this helps and good luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.W.

answers from Norfolk on

You have pretty much trained your daughter to fall asleep in bed with you breastfeeding and you're going to have to teach her a new way. Yes, at 8 months they pick up learned habits. She'll fight you on it and she will CRY tons...but it won't hurt her. It'll hurt you more I promise. You don't have to stop breastfeeding just b/c you want her out of your bed. Just put her in her crib and awake (very important!!!)and walk away. If she crys for more than 10 minutes go in pick her up sooth her a bit (this lets her know that she is okay and her bed is a safe place and you're not that far away but at the same time she begins to realize that you won't come running just b/c she crys) then put her down (During that 10 minutes you can check to make sure she is safe but don't let her see you or she'll never stop crying). Resist the temptation to rock her to sleep. By allowing her to cry her self to sleep in her bed you beginning to teach her that her bed is for sleeping and your also teaching her self-soothing techniques. After about a week or so she'll calm down and w/in two weeks she should be going down at night calmly.
A schedule will help too. Her body will begin to realize that naptime is at 11 and 3 and bedtime is at 8 (just an example). If she wakes up in the middle of the night give her a minute to cry it out...she may just need to move around a bit and she'll go back to sleep or if she continues go ahead and feed her but let her put herself to sleep. I PROMISE PROMISE PROMISE this works. My daughter is 4 now and I started this when she was 2 months old. Even to this day she knows her bed is for sleeping and puts herself to sleep. We don't have to lay down with her or anything. Also, she learned at an early age that mommy and daddy's bed was only for them. She doesn't try to get in our bed now which we are SO thankful for!!! You'll also notice that you'll sleep much better and so will she. A great book to pick up that will help is called Baby Wise or a Christian version is Preparation for Parenting by Gloria Ezzo. It'll be the best thing you ever did!
Also, breastfeed is fantastic!!! And great for your little girl. She may be waking up hungry though so for both of you to get more sleep start giving her cereal mixed with your breast milk as her evening feeding. It will keep her fuller longer and she'll sleep better. Good luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.L.

answers from Washington DC on

Co-sleeping with your baby and breastfeeding her is NOT a very bad habit, L.. Please read anything by Dr. Sears or Attachment Parenting International.

Babies *need* the closeness and assurance and comfort of having a parent nearby. Co-sleeping provides that, as well as easier b-feeding so you don't have to fully wake up and trek down the hall and get the baby.

There are sooooo many benefits to long-term b-feeding, both for you and for the baby. I'd encourage you to learn more about it through Dr. Sears, API and mothering.com. My DH wasn't too keen on having the baby in bed with us, or for long-term b-feeding, but now that he knows the benefits of it, he's fully behind me.

Another option to your in-bed situation is to put the crib in your room, or maybe a Pack&Play. There are things you can buy that attach to the bed, and some people swear by them, but they're really one of the "luxuries" of mommyhood--i.e., not really necessary. There are so many options to having baby close to you at night without sticking her in her own room.

Good luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.M.

answers from Washington DC on

Well I'm not good with advice for the getting out of the bed, I'm a single mom and my son will be 4 in June and still won't sleep in his bed. He wouldn't sleep in his bed the first night I brought him home from the hospital.

As for breastfeeding - she is 8 months old and can hold a bottle but I wouldn't start that either in the crib. My ds still wants a sippy cup at bedtime. My suggestion would be just to stop breastfeeding all together and give her a bottle, also stop holding it for her. If she wants it bad enough she will hold it. For bedtime just have a routing where you rock and sing to her then lay her down in the crib saying goodnight. Walk out (and she will cry) and just wait about 10-15 minutes. If she is still crying go in but don't pick her up, just say "mommy is here, go night night" then leave again just letting her know you are there. After that...don't go back in the room or she will think if she cries you will keep coming back. Some babies it works some (like mine) it doesn't. I tried it one night and he cried and cried for hours...so I gave up. But maybe you'll be a lucky one. If she goes to sleep within an hour by herself then GOOD JOB!!!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.L.

answers from Dover on

Hi L.,
Just a word of warning, my son is almost 5 years old and still comes from his room to our bed almost every night!!! We let him sleep in our bed when he was a baby...big mistake! We learned our lesson and now our 16 month old NEVER sleeps in our bed. Some nights are tough because we have to let her cry a little, but in the end you are a much happier (and well-rested!) mom :)
P.S. - we're not totally heartless!! If it's thunderstorming or she has a bad dream, we will sit in the rocking chair with her in HER room :)

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.L.

answers from Roanoke on

Hi L.,
You do not have to stop breastfeeding in order to transition her into her crib. I have a 15 week baby girl, who I breastfeed, and she started out sleeping in our bed too. I also thought that I would get more sleep if she slept with me and all I had to do was pop out the "boob" and feed her. Not the case! I had to sleep on my side which was uncomfortable, with no covers and alone (husband slept in spare bedroom). At about 2 months, I realized it wasn't safe for her since we had a pillow top bed and it was very soft.(Dr. also recommended she sleep in her crib.) I made the decision to suck it up and for her safety, I would have to move her to her crib (I have a 3 yr old nephew who STILL sleeps with mom and dad!). Since we have a spare twin bed in her room, I was able to still sleep with her...also her bedroom is on the other side of the house. The first night I put her in her crib (bracing for a sleepless night), she did well to my surprise. She woke up twice, I changed her, fed her and put her back in the crib. The following 3-4 nights, not so lucky. She kept waking up every 2-3 hours, but I stuck with it knowing it would get better...and it did. On the 5th night, she got the routine. When she woke up, I would change her, then breastfeed her, and then place her back in the crib ( est time: 15-25 min). I did all of this while the lights were off, only the night light from the wiper warmer was turned on so I can change her. That's the key, keep it dark, no playing, and make it fast. I also suggest starting a bed time routine. We do play time until 7:30-7:45pm, then bath time, and then nurse to sleep at 8-8:15pm. It is so much comforting to know she is safe in her crib and so much more comfortable sleeping alone in bed w/o baby, believe me, the first night you sleep on your own w/o baby will be the best sleep you've ever had since your baby girl was born. My DD now only wakes up once a night and as soon as she is able to sleep through the night, I will be moving back to my bedroom. I'm a SAHM with our daughter, so this works for me, it might be different if I had to work in the morning...she definitely would be going to bed earlier. I hope this helps, keep up the breastfeeding and everything will work out. You're doing a great job!

J.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.G.

answers from New York on

Hello L.. yes I know the feeling. It is hard to let your little one sleep in her own crib. I have an 18 month old and work so I just want to be with her all of the time. You want to be close to them to keep them safe. It is better to let them sleep by themselves to develop their independence. She is 8 months now and does not need the extra nourishment at night. By now it is just a habit for her. As a pediatric nurse practitioner, i tell parents all of the time to try to put the baby in the crib and she will cry, each time she wakes during the night go see her and pat her back to get her back to sleep. If you give her a bottle or breast this will be a reinforcement and she will wake up for the same thing each night. Also you can put her in her crib when she is really sleepy so she can fall asleep on her own. If she falls asleep in your arms and wakes up in the middle of the night she will be expecting that all of the time. If you try these techniques it may take 3 or 5 days before she gets it. You just have to be consistent. Hope it works! Good luck!!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.S.

answers from Washington DC on

You Don't have to stop breastfeeding to get her out of your bed. With my first child I had a similar problem and I started by not letting him sleep in my arms during the day it made for a long day with him waking up every time I put him down (which I did as soon as he fell asleep) but by that night he was so exhausted that it didn't take too much persistance to get him to sleep in his crib. You will have to be very persistant about laying her down in the crib the moment she goes to sleep though.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

P.D.

answers from Norfolk on

I know what you are going through. With my first child, I couldn't keep him sleeping in his crib, but I was lucky to have my second child when he was only 16 months old. First of all, don't stop breastfeeding to get your child out of your bed, but her doctor should have told you at four months she doesn't need to nurse in the middle of the night. I let my son nap on me because I would nap with him, but my daughter, I rock her to sleep and then put her in her crib. I made it a routine to make sure she only takes her naps in the crib. She also slept with me while she needed to feed all night, but as soon as if wasn't necessary any more I started to put her in her crib and my son still fights to try to sleep in the bed with me and he is almost three now. Be strong mommy. I know it's hard, but you can let her cry. Is she crawling or cruising yet. Maybe you should get her a jumperoo and let her physically exhaust herself and lay her in her bed after she passed out.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.W.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi L.
My name is C. I'm a mother of two. they are now grown and gone on to live independently. As mothers that is our aim to nuture protect and guide them in to independent aduts. I don't think you need to give up breastfeeding yet, because that is a special connection between you and your precious baby: however it is time to give the sleeping arrangements some thought.
The sooner you can get the baby into the crib the better. As you said you went through this before with your son and it is hard. It may be hard on them at first but they are young and won"t remember the experience, you on the other hand will always remember because it is harder on you.
Be brave, you can do this. This is just one of the many times as a parent you will have to be the brave one and say no.
Try holding her as she goes to sleep and then placing her and a warm ragdoll in the crib with her. If she wakes in the middle of the night just pat her back to sleep. I know you will lose sleep but again be brave and good luck and Gods blessings.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.T.

answers from Norfolk on

Stop letting the baby sleep with you as soon as possible, they will be upset because its different, but they eventally get used to it. Keep in mind you have been doing this for you. You should be doing things for the best interest of the child, not you. you can buy a monitor and put it in her room so you can hear when she is hungry. When its time to feed then feed her and put her back to bed. But at 8 months, they should be sleeping through the night? The longer you wait on doin this, the harder it will be to break the habit, so do it now while they can't walk back into your room.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

I.D.

answers from Washington DC on

I slept with my children for many years in many different ways depending on their ages. Now that they're 5 and 8, I read in bed with them and stay for a little while before going to my own bed. I couldn't nap with my second child like I did with my first so I let my second child sleep with me at night a lot longer.

I don't think you need to stop nursing to get her to sleep in a different bed. Anyway, it's best not to make too many changes at once. Nursing could be a great comfort to her while you're transitioning to a new bedtime routine. Focus on one change at a time. Maybe you could try keeping the crib next to your bed. Babies like to be able to hear their parents. I've also known people who keep a small mattress on the floor for their kids. It doesn't have to be a crib. Whatever you decide be prepared for at least a few days of protest. As long as you have a plan, stay calm and keep reassuring your child that you'll be there when they need you you can teach your child anything. Some people like the book "the No Cry Sleep Solution". It's more about sleeping through the night but it has some specific ideas that might help you as well. Sleep is so important for everyone's happiness I hope you find a system that works for you soon.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.A.

answers from Richmond on

don't stop breastfeeding! you can gently move her to her crib. there are alot of good sleep books out there- I found the Baby Whisperer- Tracy Hogg very helpful and Healthy Sleep Happy Child- they can help guide you during the transition.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.J.

answers from Washington DC on

Dear L. T.,

I wouldn't stop BOTH cold turkey; Breastfeeding and Cosleeping...

I nominate for you to try and stop cosleeping with your baby girl first! Try to continue the breastfeeding which is more beneficial.

Why stop cosleeping? Despite the possible pros, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) warns parents not to place their infants to sleep in adult beds, stating that the practice puts babies at risk of suffocation and strangulation. And supposedly the American Academy of Pediatrics is in agreement with the CPSC. All which I'm sure you've heard before.

The safest place to put an infant to sleep is in a crib, pending it not a recalled crib. After my brothers & sisters-in-law gave us "numerous" warnings about letting our baby girl sleep with us (they were speaking from personal experience, crooked necks, backs and all...LOL), we placed our baby in her bassinet on day ONE! She has been sleeping through the night ever since she was 4 months old. She is now 3 and sleeps in her room with no problems, most of the time ;o)(some nights she protests about not being "sleepy", but after a brief tantrum she puts herself to sleep in no time). But since you've chosen to cosleep with your baby girl and would like to stop, maybe your pediatrician can help you with a plan for breaking your ritual and getting her transitioned to a crib.

They say transitioning to the crib by 6 months is usually easier, for all of you, before the cosleeping habit is ingrained and other developmental issues (such as separation anxiety)come into play. Good luck with your tedious task ahead...although my question to you is did you let your 11 year cosleep with you when she was an infant? If so, why didn't you learn from that lesson? Good Luck to you...and I feel ya on the step parent thing too...God Bless your Heart!!!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.B.

answers from Washington DC on

I went through the exact same thing. But I still breastfeed my 3-year old daughter to sleep. She slept in our bed until she was about one and since I was still breastfeeding, it was easier to have her stay...so we put a twin bed next to our queen sized bed so we would have more room and it didn't interfer too much with our sleeping/sex...etc. Then when she was 2 1/2, we moved that twin bed into her bedroom, put it against the wall and put a bedrail on the other side...and she took right to it! She felt like she was a big girl. She began to sleep better and longer! She still sometimes comes into our room at night and I put her back in her bed...I don't want to start the "sleeping in our bed" habit again...but if my husband or i get up early and she comes in our bedroom, we'll let her in our bed. It's usually worse when she's sick.
If you want to ween her...do it soon. The older my daughter got, the harder it was to ween...over a year old was impossible for me, and she didn't take to the bottle very well. And to get her to sleep in her crib was hard. The only thing I could do was to let her "cry it out" like so many old ladies suggest...and that just broke my heart and I think I cried louder than her...needless to say, she didn't sleep in her crib much.
I had to respond because I know what you're going through. I had my daughter when I was 38...my first, and I wanted to do everything right.
L. Barnett

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.G.

answers from Washington DC on

First, I'll say that breast feeding is the absolute best thing we can do for our babies!

Your decision to have her in the bed with you is not a 'bad' thing... its simply a decision that works best for you. I think people question the decision to have a 'family bed' and its looked upon as a negative thing. It is a tough practice to change once it becomes your normal routine. If there are no real issues with having her in your bed, I'm sure she'll grow out of it. The rewards are bonding and plenty of restful nights for everyone. Just because some people don't believe its right FOR THEM yet it works for you, shouldn't be the reason you change. Definitely weaning her and then 'throwing' her out of your bed is not going to make things easier! She has grown used to the closeness and security so I'm sure this is going to be a long process. Don't worry what others think.. you know your baby more than anyone. Breastfeeding for the first year and bonding are far more important!!!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

N.D.

answers from Washington DC on

Please know that your baby girl has only you. You have a lot more people on your list who are depending on you to make them happy. The only one who really needs you is your baby, but you don't know how to tell everyone else to grow up. I say this with many blessings, hoping that your man will understand that a woman's child is her beloved gift . And I hope that you realize that one day everyone else beyond your baby is able to take care of themselves. You are not responsible for any other adult than yourself, and your children will reach the age where their decisions will be based on who they are. Raise your children with the wisdom that, as their mother, you love them above all else and teach them how to take care of themselves. But as an infant, you will never know what your baby wants until you listen to what she has to tell you and shut out everybody else's selfish requests.

I wish you all the best. My husband and I love having our babies with us. We had sex at least 2x a day, in the most fun places, when the babies for that moment didn't need us.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

Y.G.

answers from Washington DC on

We too have a family bed, with our three kids! I also wanted to get as much sleep at night as I could and couldn't get past the half-hour of rocking and walking after nursing to get them to sleep on their own. I have always liked our "puppy pile", and the kids are getting to an age that we are thinking of moving them all to their "toy room". I think that they have gotten used to hearing each other snuffle and sigh all night and that it will make an easy transition if we move them all at once. So you know where I'm coming from. :) My husband and I did discuss this at some length before we moved us all in together. Before our daughter was born, our first son was staying in his room for the first couple hours and then moving into our bed in the living room. (We lived in a small apartment, and in order to give our son his own room away from the doors, he had the only bedroom, and we folded down our futon every night.) So we turned that bedroom into a big sleeping room when our daughter was born. We had a queen-sized futon next to our son's toddler bed, and the bassinet at the foot of our bed for our daughter. When we moved to our current house, we talked again about how we were feeling, especially since baby #3 was on the way. We set up a bed in the toy room for our son, with the understanding that he could choose to sleep there if he wanted to. However, most nights we are all in "the bedroom". I haven't missed much intimacy with my husband (except the novelty of falling asleep on a bed afterwards!), because we have the rest of the house to snuggle in. For us, the communication has been the key to making this work. As I said, we are thinking of moving the kids out, but I know that, like everything else with our kids, it will be taken slowly and with love. Nothing with my kids has happened overnight, and I know that this is such a short time in their lives, which helps me in the really rough parts. Hope that helps you.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

N.O.

answers from Washington DC on

My son was 7 mos old, waking 12 times a night when we had to go cold turkey on breastfeeding and try to get him to sleep at night. It was a huge challenge. Two books helped us through this time. One was "The no-cry sleep solution' and the other was 'secrets of the baby whisperer'.

We got him to sleep in his crib by using the technique of doing his bedtime routine (bath, pjs, books, song and bed) and then laying him down. 5 min later we would go in and lay him down until he stayed laying down. The first night I layed him back down 140 times. The second night, 70. Third, 30 and we were getting him to sleep in his crib by the end of the week without letting him fall asleep at the breast.

Once we established this routine, when he wouldn't go to sleep I would go in, lay him down 10 times, leave wait five min and do it again. It would only take a couple of times of going in and he would be asleep.

Prior to this we had tried EVERY technique out there but because he wasn't getting the right amount to eat and was hungry at night, nothing was working. No cry sleep solution says that you need to make sure your baby is healthy before trying anything. This is very true. Nothing will work if the baby is not healthy to begin with.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

E.Y.

answers from Washington DC on

L.,

Whether or not you stop breastfeeding, I think, is entirely your decision and no-one can tell you when to stop, BUT, I think any pediatrician would agree that middle of the night nursing is pretty safe to stop for an 8-month old. She should be getting enough nutrition during the day.

One book that REALLY helped me and our then-6-month-old son to sleep better at night and in our own sleep venues was "Good night, Sleep tight: the Sleep Lady's gentle guide..." by Kim West. I checked it out at the Loudoun County Library. She breaks it down by age, sleeping arrangements, middle-of-the-night feedings obsticles, etc. and offers solutions for it all. It's definitely worth checking it out. AND there is not cry-it-out method involved.

Good luck. I wish healthy full-night sleeping to all of you!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.A.

answers from Washington DC on

Hi L.,
I believe stopping breast feeding & getting your baby out of the bed at the same time would be too tramatic for the 2 of you. As far as getting her out of your bed, it will be the best thing for everyone in the long run. Esp. for your adult relationship. The most gentle & most effective way I found was through a book "Good night sleep tight" by Kim West. I would think you could get it from the library. You would probably just need to read the section on her age. It worked like a charm for my 2. & my son was about 8 mon. at the time & it was about 2 nights of terrible sleep. That was it. I think that is well worth the reward of for there on out sleeping w/out interuption.
As far as the step kids. We have always worked it that the biological parent sets the rule & the step parent is the "re-enforcer". That way the step parent isn't the bad guy.
Read the book & stick to her words knowing you all will be much happer in the end! Best of luck. M. A.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.S.

answers from Richmond on

Although it does take some discipline, you CAN get your baby to sleep through the night while still breastfeeding. I recommend reading "The Baby Whisperer". It gives incredible insight on sleep behavior. It's better for the baby and you. Both will have better sleep and she will become an independent sleeper. My 10 mo. old goes to sleep on her own for every nap and bedtime and sleeps 12 hrs a night. "Baby Wise" also has some good tips, but "The Baby Whisperer" was my favorite. Get rid of these bad habits now. The sooner, the better and the easier it will be.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

N.O.

answers from Norfolk on

My immediate thought was to suggest to put the baby down in the crib for her naps. If she doesn't spend any time at all in her crib so she is resistant to sleeping in there first try putting her in there to play for a bit while you do other things so she sees that it is an ok place then do the naps in there. This worked for us. I had allowed my dd to sleep on me for naps but I needed that time to so things the older she got b/c she would try to "help" when she was awake. Not a very efficient way to get anything done. I got her to liek her crib by putting her in there every morning while I showered and made breakfast. She learned it was an ok place pretty quickly.

After she's used to napping in her crib, say 2 weeks of consistent nap times and naps, try to night wean. You don't have to totally wean to night wean. Especially considering how young your baby is you might consider it since babies need breastmilk or formula for the entire first year and your babay relies heavily on nursing I believe that weaning so young AND moving her out of your bed could be traumatic for her. You'll take away all of her comfort items at once. Look here for more info on that. http://www.kellymom.com/bf/weaning/weaning-night.html or this one http://www.askdrsears.com/html/7/T070800.asp

After nightweaning you could start every night with her in her own space, at a consistent time then bring her to your bed when she wakes or use another soothing method to get her to go back to sleep on her own. Try reading the No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley. It's a fast read wth some helpful tips.

Good luck to you. It won't happen immediately but it can be done.

D.S.

answers from Allentown on

Hi L.,

Here is a resource that you can write to. She is a midwife who has had the same experience that you are describing. Her name and e-mail address is:

Rachel at [email protected]____.com

or call the La Leche League in your local area.

Hope this helps. D.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions

Related Searches