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Only sleeps when attached

(7 Posts)
Zampetta Fri 12-Aug-11 12:51:10

DS is 5 months old and sleeps well through the night - 10 hours, with just one wake-up for feeding (ebf).

But, he will only do this is lying on top of me. During the day is the same - he will nap well, but only either lying on top of me or being in the sling.

Daytime isn't really a problem; night sleep wasn't a problem until recently - he is just getting too heavy for me to be comfortable enough to sleep.

I don't really mind his sleeping on me - it's just that now I can't sleep myself. Has anyone else been through this? How can I gently wean him off it? I don't want him to get out of the habit of only waking once in the night, and I'm happy to continue co-sleeping indefinitely.

But I need to be able to sleep without feeling like I can't breathe.

Do they just grow out of it themselves? I have noticed that if I'm awake at about 5am, I can roll him off and he'll stay asleep until 7 if I keep hugging him.

During the day he's really not that clingy - can entertain himself for the whole time (2 hours) he can stay awake uninterrupted. But he needs human contact to sleep. (Not just me - he will also sleep on others, but I can't have a stream of people sleeping here!)

Gincognito Sat 13-Aug-11 00:12:33

Hi Zamp, sounds exhausting!

My ds used to be very similar, only with him I would finally lay him down beside me after hours holding him in the cradle position only for him to instantly wake up. I thought that the only way he would sleep was for me to hold him.

However that wasn't strictly true. Really, he wanted to sleep in whatever way he initially fell asleep. If he woke during the night the only way he would go back to sleep was using the initial method.

So I decided to really crack feeding him to sleep lying down with him next to me. It took a lot longer to get him to fall asleep for the first time in that position but he immediately started sleeping better. Eventually I was able to roll away! He was also immediately much easier to resettle in the night and fed back to sleep quickly and easily lying next to me while I dozed.

I remember when he was 6 months old I managed to creep downstairs in the evening for the first time. Until then I had been stuck in the bedroom from 7pm till morning EVERY BLOODY NIGHT, so I really do feel your pain grin

We still cosleep now (he is just over 9 mo) and he is a much better sleeper already. There is hope.

Zampetta Mon 15-Aug-11 16:01:35

Thank you, Gincognito.

I have followed your advice for the last couple of nights, and have fed him lying dying, letting him pull off, roll over and sleep. And it's worked! He has been sleeping the whole night beside me, rather than upon me.

Only downside is that he now wakes up twice a night, rather than once, and the second time he stays awake for about an hour. I was dreading this kind of thing which is why I was so reluctant to try him to sleep off me.

However, I am, at least, getting some proper sleep, in short bursts. Before, he was sleeping for at least one long stretch of 7 hours, which I was reluctant to "ruin", but as it was on me and I could barely move, I was hardly sleeping at all.

So, progress, I think, insofar as I am getting more sleep, and he is able to sleep not on me.

Thanks for your help.

Zampetta Mon 15-Aug-11 19:30:56

lying down, not dying!!

Gincognito Tue 16-Aug-11 07:19:45

Phew! wink

I'm glad that you are making progress, even thinking about how you have been sleeping for the past five months left me feeling tired!

Re the length of time ds is awake in the night - it used to be that if ds woke in the night I would get up and have a cuppa as I knew he would be awake for x amount of time. From about 6 months though he became much better about resettling. He does still sometimes randomly wake up at silly o'clock (like today... <stern look ds>) but most days he sleeps till (whisper it) 8.30!

My NCT friends used to buy me strong coffees and give me sympathetic looks. Now they are jealous as anything!

Zampetta Wed 17-Aug-11 15:39:42

He's asleep in his room and I'm in the kitchen! Woohoo! For the first time ever in his life, he is sleeping without my being there.

Now I don't know what to do with myself, other than tell people this blush

Gincognito Wed 17-Aug-11 22:22:45

Yes, the first few nights it happened for us I just stalked around the house looking for things to do. It took me a while to remember what evenings were for.

I'm so pleased for you. Time for a glass of wine?

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