How do I break the bed sharing cycle?(37 Posts)
I'll try and be succinct.
Baby is 8 months old. Sleep has always been tough but I think she is making gradual improvements. However, we seem to have plateaued and I feel sure it's my fault.
She goes down between 6 and 6:30 into her cot. She will generally sleep there until either around 10pm or 2am. She may need a little burp or cuddle between 6 and 10pm but goes back down fine.
If she stirs after 10pm I bring her in the bed with me. This is because, historically I wouldn't be able to get her to settle again after this time. I haven't tried for a long time though. She has always stirred by 2am so from then till morning she's in with me.
Some nights she will need a feed at 3am (after an hour of trying to settle her next to me in bed). I always try this hour because most nights she doesn't need the food and will drop off. She absolutely howls for it on those nights I feed her though.
So I guess I'm after advice to get her to sleep all night in her cot. My husband doesn't sleep in the bed with us and I miss him. Also, when she was teeny I remember her sleeping in her cot for the last part of the night a couple of times - the difference it made to my mental health not having to touch her all night / comfort her etc - it was amazing.
Do I just need to try putting her down after settling no matter what time of night? I think I'm scared of trying as I'm back at work and need my sleep!
How do you feel about letting her cry it out?
I couldn't do it. I've tried leaving her in the cot and keep settling her (this was a while ago) but she just wakes herself up more and more and starts shouting then eventually crying. I won't leave her to cry though.
She is so squirmy tonight - currently on my front with me sat up in bed.
You might just have to wait until she grows out of it then. My DS came into our bed every night until he was about 18months. Two night of controlled crying and he slept 7-7 ever since. He's 2 and a half now. With DD who's 14 weeks I haven't made the same mistakes. Took into bed after her 3am feed until she was 12 weeks allowed one night of controlled crying and she hasn't been in the bed with me since. That was just over two weeks ago.
Sorry that was supposed to say until he was 8 months not 18**
I just don't think I want to do it. Sounds like it worked really well for you though!
Bump for any other ideas?
Is there a reason why your husband can't share the bed also? Dh and I co slept with both of our for 3+ years. But we always shared the bed with them, so both of us could settle if they woke ( at 8 months I didn't feed overnight, just last feed at 10-11pm, then nothing until Morning)
How about more food/ milk in the day/ evening so less likely to wake hungry?
Yes I have been trying to give her more food later in the day. She doesn't wake for her 10 o clock feed and hasn't for ages. I never feel like I should wake her for it but maybe I should?
I know this sounds ridiculous and that's probably because it is but the lack of sleep really affects my husband. It's really affecting me but I think I can withstand it better than him. We did come to arrangement that he'd do two nights a week but that's slipped away. The distance between us is staggering since the baby. I just know that if I could sort her nighttimes out that life would be so different!
Have you tried a later bed time? Half 6 seems really early. The only thing that worked for me was just waiting till she was ready. About 18 months she was just ready to go in her bed and she's slept 7-8:30 every night. Never had to leave her to cry or get up with her in the night.
Oh 6.30pm bedtime does seem very early. I would let her have a late nap then bedtime at 9-10pm. You want her sleeping most when your asleep not early evening when your just eating/ chilling
Have you tried just a dream feed at your bedtime and put her back in the cot then?
We're going to do this from 7 months and then I'M going to sleep in the other room til the 6am feeds. Any wakeups for feeds furing the night are going to be refused / she'll be picked up and cuddled. Am hoping it diesnt take more than a few days!
Oops forgot to say my dh will be sleeping in with her and picking her up during that first week!
Perhaps we need to change a lot of things then! The reason she goes to bed at that time is because she is up so early I guess. Plus she is difficult to nap and wakes from her afternoon nap between 1:30 and 2. She's more than tired enough to start bedtime routine at 6.
I feel totally overwhelmed and lost with it all
Does she only nap once? At 8 months I would suggest three naps still. Md morning, lunch time and late afternoon
Then bed more like 8pm
Dreamfeed at 10.30-11pm before you go to bed
Then don't feed again until any waking after 3am. Then again 7am so just one feed max overnight. Any wakings inbetween share between you and Dh at settling without feeding
Thank you. I will have a think about things and try and change it around. She has two naps at the moment. From about 8-9:30 and then 12:30-2pm. On a good day.
With weaning, teeth and this I feel like it will never end. She is a very happy baby usually but has done nothing but scream all day today. I feel so alone and like I can't do anything right.
What time does she wake up? 8-9.30 seems very early to be going for a nap.
She used to wake at 6 but it's between 4:45 and 5:30 now. I was using the 2, 3, 4 nap system. So two hours after she woke then three hours after she woke from that one then bed 4 hours after she woke from the second nap. It was working ok but obviously something needs to change.
It feels very overwhelming to think about how to implement anything though.
Have you read any good books? There's a good one by Dr. Marc Weissbleuth called "healthy sleep habits, happy child". He outlines various strategies so if you're not comfortable with CIO for example there's alternatives.
It might also help to follow some prescribed routines or guidance about how to structure things in a way you're comfortable with.
Good luck. As someone said above I do think DCs often change when they're ready and grow out of some bad sleep habits.
Try putting the cot next to your bed with one side down that's what I do she sleeps in the cot at 18 months but when she wakes up around 4am she just comes to bed cuddles and goes back to sleep
Thank you everyone for your support and ideas. I needed people to talk to today, it was one of the toughest for a long time and this thread has been helpful.
I have a lot to get on with. Definitely going to try and push her bedtime back a bit. Will have a look at the book too, thank you.
Enjoying some now as her dad is doing it all tonight
My DD is 11 months and I find that I can get her to go into her cot all night, but it's a lot more effort for me - when she wakes I need to go through, feed her, sit with her until she's completely asleep in my arms and then transfer her and sneak out. This can take 20 mins, it can take 2 hours. That also means DH is disturbed by the monitor and me leaving and entering the room multiple times. When she's in with me everyone sleeps well and everything is far easier. We share a king size bed and I just have a bed guard on my side.
Also by 8 months my DD was definitely down to 2 naps, I'd have struggled to make 3.
Thanks fluffikins. I do think that two naps is my daughters limit in the day - she fights those tooth and nail as it is!
It is far easier if she comes in with me after her first wake up but it's just really getting me down. I'd love to just be ok with it and that be the norm. My husband won't sleep in the bed if she's in there though. Equally he won't sleep in the bed for fear of being disturbed as I get up and go in and out to her. Maybe the problem actually lies with him and not our daughter!
Can you start the night alone so you get some couple time then he pops to the spare room as you turn lights out? We do this sometimes but then we go to bed at 9 nowadays and watch tv so I can fall asleep!
No advice just wanted to say my DD sounds exactly the same as your LO, she is 8months and also on 2 naps now after a horrendous period of me trying to force a third later nap on her for the sake of a later bedtime, which led to her fighting every nap and bedtime. We are now following the 234 (wake up/bed time and nap times seem identical to yours), and it has made things a lot smoother.
We bed share too, only difference is DP is in bed with us and although when DD was first born he was keen for her to move into a cot at about 6 months, he really likes having her in with us now. I think it's been really helpful for their relationship to have those lovely moments where she wakes up all smiley and playful
Although you are doing better than me getting your LO down in the cot, I have given up and just go to bed with DD! I am so tired by 6.30/7 (thanks to those 5.30/6.00 wakings) that I'm quite happy to lie down in bed and piss around on my phone for a bit before nodding off....
One thing that helped us was getting a king size bed, we moved house when DD was 6 weeks and the place we moved to had a king, would never have thought about getting one before but the difference between a double a d king makes so much difference when there's a wriggly little terror sharing with you.
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