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How to get her into a cot and sleeping soundly

(22 Posts)
BearsRuleBunniesDrool Sun 14-Jun-15 22:58:58

Hello Mumsnetter, long time lurker first time poster. I'm looking for advise with regards my 19month old DD. My problem is two fold 1. She has always been fed to sleep. Any previous attempts to stop have been thwarted by illness, her then me, so always defaulted back to feeding 2. We co sleep.

The time has come to move DD to her own cot, both for her comfort and my sanity. Would appreciate some practical advise on how to go about it. Do I 'go the whole hog' and move her into cot and stop feeding in one go or slowly transitioning stopping one or the other? Are there techniques that worked for you? (Read lot on this but real life experience is always the most helpful I find!)

Any advise would be most appreciated.

FATEdestiny Mon 15-Jun-15 11:32:47

You sound like someone who is following the principles of attachment parenting - you are your baby's source of comfort (co-sleeping and feeding to sleep).

You have got to 19 months and so your daughter must be very strongly attached to you, she needs you for comfort to get to sleep. It is going to be very, very distressing for both her and you to have this source of comfort removed when she sleeps.

Children cannot sleep without a sleep trigger or comfort until much older. Once approximately school age children learn to sleep like an adult (tired, lie down, close eye, sleep). Until then babies need help to get to sleep. They do not have the brain development or emotional capacity self-sooth.

Many parents are tacking this inability to self-sooth from very much younger - by introducing things like dummies or comforter toys that the baby uses as a source of comfort to sooth to sleep.

You decided to be your childs source of comfort. It is a very compassionate way to parent and you should be proud.

It is not impossible to extract yourself as your daughters source of sleep comfort, please don't get me wrong I am not suggesting that you can't do this. But you will need to fully understand how hard and distressing this will be. Ask yourself if you really want to put yourself and your daughter through this.

Because realistically going whole hog and dealing with all the tears and guilt and distress is the most humane way of doing this. It will be very distressing m=but over much more quickly that way.

tinkerbellvspredator Mon 15-Jun-15 11:48:15

Is your DD sleeping in a cot/on her own at all? I am in a similar position with DS 8 months. I can't put him down in to the cot for the evening so now we feed to sleep with me IN his cot bed in a side car arrangement. He wakes in the evening more frequently than while cosleeping but seems to be getting better at resettling himself, only went up once yesterday evening.

We've been applying the tips from The Gentle Sleep book Sarah Ockendon Smith. Have tried no cry sleep solution book too which has similar tips. We have introduced white noise (sleep tots baby sea shore cd) and a cuddly, routine etc. I've also accepted though that I would rather continue to cosleep until he doesn't need it anymore than submit him to the stress of sleep training.

NickyEds Mon 15-Jun-15 14:52:02

What happens at bedtime now? Do you feed her to sleep in your bed and leave her until you're ready to go to bed or does she start the night in her own bed and come in with you later?
I agree with FATEdestiny, after 19 months of being in bed with you and being fed to sleep (I'm assuming she's night weaned now???) being put in a cot to self soothe could be very hard. I think the whole "Selfsoothing" thing is a bit of a myth. I don't know of a single child at this age that does it, all have a dummy/comfort blanket/white noise/all of the above to help them go to sleep.

FATEdestiny Mon 15-Jun-15 19:33:10

I think the whole "Selfsoothing" thing is a bit of a myth

I completely agree with this.

In fact I had never heard of self-soothing/self-settling until I found Mumsnet. I have parented 4 children and in my 10 years at baby and toddler groups I have also never come across a single child who goes to sleep without the aid of anything, all have dummy/comforter/suck fingers etc etc as you say.

BearsRuleBunniesDrool Tue 16-Jun-15 20:32:34

So my plan of putting her in the cot and her teaching herself to self sooth doesn't sound like its a viable option then!! Hahahah

Im in the lucky position that nothing is forcing me to stop feeding to sleep or co sleeping right now, I just though it might be better for her now that she was a little older to have that independence. But as you've explained it I can see that how we've set up sleep time means we need to let her dictate the pace, and if feed to sleep/co sleeping need to continue for a while then so be it.

FATEdestiny - I never set out to attachment parent to be honest, we just seem to just fall into it. If I thought another way would work better for DD I'd do it. (That said she is the happiest, most content baby I know, so really glad we parented this way). Your advice is really useful, and has given me a new perspective, I.e. To be comfortable with our approach and not feel she 'should be in a cot by now'.

Tinkerbell - feed to sleep in our bed, then I join her later. Any attempts to sleep elsewhere or move her is met a very strong negative reaction smile. So we let sleeping babies lie. Your approach sounds great. I think that's maybe what I'll try and do. Try and use some of the techniques in the books we've read, but ultimatly accept sleep training is not for us.

NickyEds - night weaned, but fed to sleep in our bed, and then joined later. Thank you for confirming self soothing doesn't exist! For so long now Ive been thinking "oh if I could just teach her how to self sooth then she'd feel so much more comfortable going to sleep elsewhere" maybe that's why I've never really been able to get her to sleepin baskets, cots or prams for that matter.

Thank you so much for your comments.

Needsweetstosurvive Tue 16-Jun-15 20:45:39

My DS who is 14 months old wakes in the night still but quite often settles to sleep after being tucked in unless something is bothering him. At bedtime he settles himself to sleep, he doesn't have white noise, a comforter, dummy or suck his fingers. No one is in the room with him. I agree with the self soothing being a 'myth' but if that were totally the case.... How is my DS going to sleep without the aid of anything? Or could it just be the comfort of the bedtime routine and his cot that is enough for him?

lexyloub Tue 16-Jun-15 21:56:58

Is there anyway you can co sleep in her room rather than your room? You say you feed her to sleep (I assume in your bed) leave her and return later, would she notice if you didn't return? By co sleeping in her room it's easier for you to leave or enter rather than settling her in your bed then moving her. Would a low single bed with a bed side on or even a mattress on the floor be an option?

Swannykazoo Tue 16-Jun-15 22:02:13

I've an 18 mo who sounds very similar though not night weaned at all worse luck. I also just bumbled along into the "this works for us" thing (probably like most people, babies presumably laugh at anyone who has preconceived parenting ideas)
How did you night wean? (If you don't mind me hijacking)

BearsRuleBunniesDrool Tue 16-Jun-15 22:08:13

lexyloub - it may well be an option. The only sticking point is that we have borrowed a cot from relatives (didn't want to buy one if the little tinker wasn't ever goinging to use it), and it has sides which are either screwed in or not. So I could feed her in the cot (cot bed so a little room for me to squeak in next to her) but then the side would be open. Given the amount of moving she does she'd fall out.

No hope of transferring her in once asleep, she's wise to that!

Do they do like temporary sides for cots? Are they worth it? Hum will google!

lexyloub Tue 16-Jun-15 22:42:48

A normal bed side might work as it can be adjustable but I'm not 100%. Once she's been fed to sleep is that her for the might generally?

lexyloub Tue 16-Jun-15 22:46:31


BearsRuleBunniesDrool Tue 16-Jun-15 22:54:54

lexyloub - you jinxed me! As I went to reply I heard a yelp grin. Yes once asleep that's her for the night.

a guard would work on our bed or the cot bed I reckon, well based on a quick google anywY.

BearsRuleBunniesDrool Tue 16-Jun-15 23:48:49

puggle - sorry nearly missed your post there! Gave her slightly more carb heavy evening meal... Extra sweet potato if I remember rightly, and then offered both boobs to feed on each time she woke. It seemed to fill her belly enough to see her through for longer through the night. She's ravenous when she wakes in the morning mind. Both boobs again, and No hanging about waiting for breakfast! Oh no.

Milkyway1304 Wed 17-Jun-15 00:08:52

Haven't quite cracked cot sleeping here (work in progress!) but we did break the feeding to sleep link quite easily at 11months- out of necessity as I was starting back on shift work. I started by feeding her not quite to sleep, and cuddling and stroking til she fell asleep. Then my husband took over after feed, then I'd feed downstairs and he would take her to bed after. Eventually didn't offer feed. Took about a week but she now will look for her daddy when tired. I haven't nightweaned yet though,

BearsRuleBunniesDrool Wed 17-Jun-15 00:19:24

Well done milkyway, Awesome job. it must make life a little easier to share the putting to bed with DH? If I could just break the link for naps it would be good, but I think she is too old and wise to it now. The nursery seem to have craked it, but as soon as she's with me she'll hold out. Won't give in ...unlike me smile

Milkyway1304 Wed 17-Jun-15 04:55:26

It does help, but as I knew I couldn't be home every evening to do bedtime we had to do it. I still feed her back to sleep overnight but I need to work on that now!

NickyEds Wed 17-Jun-15 09:27:08

At 19 months she could be ready for a "proper" bed with guards fairly soon, (my friend has her 18 month old in one already), which could make feeding to sleep etc easier for you?
I think you could perhaps "get" her to sleep in a cot with a soother but not without a lot of stress and upset (I very much doubt you could do any "no tears"), so would it be worth it? I became desperate with ds when he was waking every 90 minutes-2 hours, feeding to sleep just stopped working (or i would certainly have carried on doing it!) and, probably most importantly I got pregnant and was just too sick and knackered to do it any more. Sometimes you just have to do what works until it stops working. My sister's eldest two went from co sleeping straight to a bed. They're teenagers nowand we're very lucky if we can get them out of their pits!

BearsRuleBunniesDrool Wed 17-Jun-15 22:04:01

Ahhhhhhh just lost my long reply. Start again bear!

BearsRuleBunniesDrool Wed 17-Jun-15 22:15:17

What age do kids normally go to a bed set up as opposed to a cot?

I never really expected to be co sleeping this long to be honest. I though it would stop working and therefore eventually would go to a cot. Little did I know it was going to be such a roaring success and 19months later she'd still be taking up 90%of my bed.

I was thinking maybe setting up the cot as a day bed ie with one side on but the other off, and a guardrail instead. That way I can feed to sleep, then sneak off once she's sound asleep. Not sure how long that would last as long as it takes me to get to the door I suspect.

I'm really appreciating the suggestions as it really does make me feel better knowing that there are other options if/when we need them. As in on bad nights where it takes time to get her to sleep then the cot just seems so appealing, on others when she's a dream to get to sleep the thought of not co sleeping fills me with dread. These suggestions however at least give me options if cosleeping stops working for either of us, but also reassures me that I won't be left with a screaming baby in a cot.

cakebrew as thanks for the great comments ladies.

SueGeneris Wed 17-Jun-15 23:14:17

My DD went more or less from co sleeping in our bed to a big bed around 16 months if not before. It was our spare double bed, I had a proper bed guard on one side and would put her lying in that side of the bed, feed her to sleep and then sneak off, leaving a heavy bolster pillow on the other side of the bed and floor cushions at the side of the bed just in case. When she woke I could then just go and get in with her.

BearsRuleBunniesDrool Wed 17-Jun-15 23:28:32

SueGeneris We do also have a spare double bed, so could set it up for her to sleep in there, if the cot/daybed/guard rail idea doesn't work. She does like to kick her legs a fair bit in sleep, so may wake herself up in a smaller, more confined bed. Thanks for the suggestion!

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