From co-sleeping to cot(18 Posts)
Hi all. I would be really grateful for some tips on how to get my 8-month old daughter to sleep in her cot. She has co-slept with us because of breastfeeding at night, but she (supposedly) no longer needs it (even though she is still fedding several times per night), and DP and I need our bed and sleep back! I have tried the settling techniques with 'shhhh' and rock in the cot, then leave, come back at longer intervals, but all that happens is that she screams more and more. The last time we tried we gave up after 45 mins because she screamed worse and worse we felt it was unhealthy. Has anyone got any experiences they can share? Or are we in fact doing the right thing, just need to perservere? I can't face the idea of 'screming it out'. Thanks all!
Why do you say she 'supposedly' doesn't need BF if she's still having a few each night? My DD is 11 months and still BFs in the night between 3-7am, 2-3 times.
We do a mixture of co-sleeping and her cot. I take her up at about 8pm and she settles in her cot after a feed so long as I sit with her and stroke her head. From about 2am she wakes and sleeps with me.
With my first 2 DCs we did pretty much what you are doing and it did work eventually but cosleeping from 2am is much easier for us this time
No need to CIO, especially if you aren't happy with the technique, there are lots of other things you can do.
Just wondered too why she doesn't need a feed at night. Is that something you feel or something that has been said to you?
There are some tips on getting her into her cot here and getting more sleep here.
Is the night feeding really a huge problem? For me, I found that if I fed dd, we were all back in our own beds and fast asleep in 15 minutes, I just couldn't face hours of shushing or rocking, but that maybe just me . If you do want to cut down on the night feeds have a read of this and this. You might also like this.
Have you tried settling her on your bed and moving her into her cot?
We never co-slept but my son always fell asleep on me after breastfeeding and would then go into his cot once asleep. At some stage he just didn't go to sleep after his bedtime feed and didn't want to be held. He wouldn't settle in the cot either. We would place him on the bed next to us and he would wriggle for a while (quite some time infact) but eventually drop off and we could then move him into his cot.
Once he got better at settling on the bed we moved to settling him in his cot. We never left the room and just kept popping him back down when he tried to stand up. We shushed and patted and only picked him up if he started crying.
I think the key was to stay in the room and try hard to not pick him up unless he was upset rather than restless and grumpy. It took a couple of weeks, I would say, but after a couple of days there was a definite improvement and he was settling much quicker. He now goes down awake after his bedtime bottle (no longer BF) no bother (unless he is teething/ has a cold).
Is the cot in your room? If it isn't you may want to move it to next to your bed to create more of a transition and try the bed settling first.
My son is 16 months now but he was about 6 months when we started the bed settling transition I talked about above.
You might also like the books the No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley and Sound Sleep by Sarah Woodhouse. Both are evidence based and written by mothers (unlike some other sleep gurus!). If you are lucky, your library will have copies.
ahhh thank you ladies, that is so reassuring! I have been told that once the baby is double their birth weight they no longer need to nurse at night, and everyone around me appears to have babies that sleep through the night, and as me and DP feel totally exhausted (esp. DP who has a dangerous physical job, and needs to stay alert) now I felt it had to stop and I must be doing something wrong.She does feel a lot still at night (sometimes as much as 4 times, waking both of us up for quite a while) hence feeling we need to find a solution. Thank you so, so much for that comprehenesive guide to links JiltedJohnsJulie, that is what I have needed for a long time! One thought which stands out from those is enough contact duing the day - my daughter is now so busy playing and being out for walks etc, perhaps I no longer spend enough time just cuddling her ! At night she does nurse to sleep in bed, then wakes up for more after 1h or so, after which she usually sleeps for a few hours. This is when we try and move her, and she usually wakes up and lately cries her heart out. She sleeps for about 2 hours during the day, morning and afternoon, so I don't think she gets too much sleep during the day. I would be really happy having what you describe mumsnobest-at least some quality sleep until baby appears in bed (we only have a double bed so it's getting too tight in there). So will persevere, and def. check out the library for those books. Many thanks all!
Never heard if the double birthweight thing before and I've had 2dc, sounds like a bit of an old wives tale.
One thing that does stand out from your second post is that she may be reverse cycling, does any of this sound like what's happening? As for physical contact could you take a nap with her in the day and maybe have a bath together in the evening?
I think a little bit yes JiltedJohnsJulie. We do have a lovely bath together at night, every night, so at least I've got that bit right! But because she seems so keen to be out & about and seeing new things, that is what we do a lot of. And breastfeeding when in a new place can be a challenge as you know - so much to look at and listen do! So perhaps she doesn't feed as much daytime as she should. BTW Kellymom is a great resource, thank you!
Oh and as for everyone else's baby sleeping through, people lie. Anyone who hangs around MN will know that I've got personal experience of this but if you want proof, have a look here
I coslept with DD till about 8-9 months to make night-time breastfeeding easy. Then I attached her cot to the side of my bed with the cot side removed, so she was still right next to me but in her own space. By about 12 months she was off the breastfeeds but still waking for a bottle, and at that point I put the side back on the cot so she was still right next to me but a bit more separate (would give her her 3am bottle through the cot bars!).
Eventually she was in her own cot over the other side of the room, and when I moved house just after her 2nd birthday she went straight into her own room and was fine. Now she's very happy in her own bed, and I think it has a lot to do with my decision to take things really slowly and at our own pace, with as little stress as possible. I was more uptight about getting DS into his own room (he's a lot older than DD) and I think I pushed it too fast with him which made the whole process more stressful and a lot more drawn-out.
My advice is to ignore any outside opinions and just do what works for you as a family, and there is no rush - she's still only tiny!
Ha, I am so naive I didn't realise some might not be telling the truth! MissMilliment, thank you, DDs is currently in our room but away from sight from our bed, which I thought would help her. Perhaps I'll move it back next to our bed and see if that helps too. That way I could have her in the cot and hold her hand to calm her down during the night.
Me too. Our DS didn't sleep through for years. Don't worry it was medical problems but it really wasn't helped by Dmil and Dsil repeatedly asking how he slept and then harping on about how well Dn slept. Dsil has admitted recently that dn still wakes them once or twice a night, she is 8 soon!
DD has just started sleeping through age 18.5 months. Up till a month ago, she was still BF several times a night and started the night in cot but came in with me when she woke up.
Over Xmas, DH took over settling her to sleep and getting up with her in the night (so no BF). She accepted it pretty happily. Gradually she stopped waking up and a week ago began sleeping through (and has slept through every night for a week <crosses fingers it continues>)
I don't think she was ready before that. Her brothers did it a bit earlier. I tried withdrawing BF at night a couple of times before and it didn't go well so resumed. This time it just worked easily.
I think maybe your DD isn't ready yet either.
Just wanted to give you a bit more reading here and don't forget too that by 7.5 months most bfing mums are getting more sleep than there ffing peers and by 12 months half of all babies still wake, regardless of how you feed them or parent
Might be a good idea to bring the cot closer, OP - another thing you could try is putting a sheet on the cot mattress that you've already slept on a couple of times - sounds a bit icky but it's all about gradually creating some physical separation while reassuring DD that you are still 'there'.
JiltedJohnsJulie that is a very good website, wish I'd had that when DD was born and instinctively put DD in bed with us despite most people telling me it was a dangerous thing to do! So glad to hear tales of other BF babies and the actual stats surrounding it, I think I'd gotten myself wound up by listening to people too much. MissMilliment I will do that straight away - I used to but now realise that the cot atm doesn't, so that and the move should help - fingers crossed!
bedhopper thank you for sharing your story, it reminded me to listen to my baby again!
you are very welcome basse. i was really exhausted in the run up to Xmas with all the night-waking, but didn't realise how much until now! It feels worth it though to have had such a smooth, painless transition for DD. I really couldn't visualise it ever happening, and then it just did in a matter of days! I hope it goes as easily for you when your DD is ready. (that is probably annoying to hear now, I know, sorry.)
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