Suggestions please on how to get one year old away from co sleeping and breastfeeding(22 Posts)
Hi there! I have a one year old girl who I have co slept with since birth. It was not my intention to be co sleeping still, however it has proved too difficult to move her into a cot due to building work etc.
I have a 4 year old who was bottle fed when younger and we had no major issues transitioning him over to a cot, but this one is Breastfed to sleep and nurses on me ALL night. I am awake usually 8-10 times a night. I really want to get this sorted.
I have tried to let her cry it out but her scream is enough to shatter glass and I worry it wakes the whole house and neighbours up. I have left the house for an evening with my husband trying, but to no avail. She did eventually sleep in the bed but it was a battle.
It's worth mentioning That she has never accepted a bottle with breast milk or formula.
She is still nursing all night or cries very loudly when I try and soothe her otherwise.
I am completely knackered now and not able to function properly during the day a lot of the time. My daughter is very clingy with me and I have put this down to separation anxiety, being cunning and sometimes teething.
Any advice would be much appreciated. I would love to have my evenings back with my husband. Also, I don't have any help from family members, so can't ask them to assist me.
Would she tolerate it if you cradled and cuddles her to sleep, but not fed?
Oh dear! I completely get that you want to move on from this but I can see how difficult it's going to be. Your DC doesn't need to be nursing all night, it's just a habit for her. She's quite happy with what's happening and will create an almighty fuss if you try and change things.
You will all benefit from having a good night's sleep, so don't think that what you're planning is cruel. Your daughter needs unbroken sleep just like the rest of you.
I'm sorry to say I don't think there's an easy way of doing this. I think you have to introduce a new routine, with tea, a drink, bath, teeth, story and into bed. Stick to this religiously as children feel safe if they have a routine and know what's coming.
Has she got a nice cot, with new duvets and perhaps some new soft toys? Make it really special for her.
When she goes into her cot, tell her it's sleep time and that you love her and then leave her. She will scream and scream, and might even be sick. So be prepared. After five minutes go back in, don't look at her, just say it's sleep time and come out again. This shows your DC that you haven't abandoned her and that you are still around.
You might have to do this 50 times or more the first night but eventually she will fall asleep. If she wakes in the night, repeat the going in thing.
Most children will settle into this new routine after just a few days. This is really tough love and you will feel awful. The good news is, it works and in fact I think it's the only thing that does work.
Don't bother trying this if you aren't prepared to follow it through. We did it with DS and I felt truly dreadful but it worked. Once we were all having a good night's sleep, life suddenly became so much better.
I am in the same boat! Ds will sometimes allow dp to cuddle him to sleep (not me - if he sees me he wants boob!). Sometimes he can be rocked to sleep. If he is teething or ill, neither of these work.
Have you read the no cry sleep solution? There are some good ideas in there for babies who breastfeed and / or Co sleep.
Please don't leave a child to become so upset that they vomit. That's obviously extremely stressful for them.
We're a few steps along this path and yes it's tough. Things we are finding helpful are:
- having DH do lots of settling during night wakes. When dd can't smell milk she seems to settle quicker
- having a peaceful and pleasant routine through the whole day, with regular naps and a predictable bedtime routine.
- accepting we're in for the long haul, being happy to make small gains (ie not joining us in bed until the middle of the night) and not expecting things to improve overnight, as it were.
Good luck. But again please don't do the leaving her to cry thing.
@banangranspam your advice sounds wise.
Im in the same boat OP but dont think i could do what is described above. Feeding seems to be a way for us all to get sleep without baby screaming the house down.
Ive considered asking other half to rock or cuddle at wakeups but agree that i take small gains too
Ps ive done evety single bedtime too
Controlled crying is well researched and is used by many parents. I personally think if you want to have a settled happy child then a few days of upset and controlled crying is definitely worth it. It works really quickly and you have to remember what you're trying to achieve and why.
Children do not come to any harm by leaving them to cry. You don't leave them and disappear you keep going back in so they know you're around.
We did controlled crying and my DS is a very happy well adjusted child. We all benefited from a few days of controlled crying, as we all got a good night's sleep. I can't tell you what a difference getting a good sleep made to our quality of life.
Don't be put of by people telling you not to do it. It works, it's short lived and the child is fine.
Thank you all for your advice. I'm not terribly good at the cry it out method, hence where I am at, but I think I'll get her some new bedding and try and make it special. I've succumbed to climbing in the cot with her a few times to get her to sleep but it's only worked for half an hour or so... and probably isn't the way forward!! I'll look into the no cry sleep solution. Thank you for suggesting. If... (when🤔) I make any progress, I'll post what worked. In the meantime, I'm open to all advice. Thanks 🤗
I'm going to suggest (probably annoyingly!) that you just give it a little longer. My dc got much better at sleeping as time met on and in the end I co slept until she happily took herself off to her own bed as a slightly older toddler. The last path of least resistance!!
The now unfortunately named Isis sleep website has evidence based info on sleep and night waking is normal at this age but what you describe does sound like a lot!!
Have you tried rolling her slightly away from you in the bed? Afaik there is rsercg that if if sleeping dc are a little further away from the source of the milk they wake less!
Yes controlled crying might work for some kids but just be careful if your baby is sensitive you could put her off her cot completely and make her scared to go to bed. This happened to a friend of mine 's baby. I think gradual withdrawal or lots of comforting without feeding may be better.
My accidentally co sleeping child is vey confident about bedtime compared to peers Leona so I think you are right there
In the past, when I've put her in the cot, she's just shoved her chubby legs through the bars so they get stuck and then I've had to keep on wedging her out. She's rather defiant. I'm wondering if I baby proof her room and a toddler bed may be the way forward. I could perhaps try and edge myself away from her a bit at a time during the night. As pretty baffled said, roll over and remove the milk scent 🤔
Have a go - I was very sceptical but it seemed to help!
We did dr jay gordon method, cuddling and water but no feeding. Three very very bad nights - hours of crying. Then OK, no more feeds between 10/11pm and 6am.
OP, the toddler bed with a guard rail worked well for me with DD1 and DS. I was in the same boat as you, and we transitioned to the toddler bed when DD1 was about 18 months, and for DS when he was about the same. The breastfeeding then slowly died away altogether by the time they were about 2. There was no big trauma involved: like you I never had the stomach for letting them cry it out.
Another thing we did which we found helpful was that when they were moved to the toddler bed in their own room, we kept the cot mattress under our bed. When they woke in the night and came through, we'd pull the mattress out and put them on that. DS always wanted to hold my hand as he went back to sleep, but hanging my arm out of the bed and holding his hand while he lay on his mattress was much less disruptive to my sleep than co-sleeping by that stage! Good luck.
placemarking I'm having the same problem.
Thank you all. Definitely plenty of food for thought and I have renewed optimism!! Much appreciated 😊😊😊
I do the rolling over and moving away after a feed (unless I fall asleep during the feed!). Partly because I much prefer sleeping on my back with a lovely warm duvet, than sleeping curled up around a baby. We have a king sized bed which helps.
If it makes you feel any better, my older DC (age 4) is a reformed cosleeping feed to sleep-er. She has slept like a dream from about 18 months old. We never did any sleep training which involved leaving her to cry, but I did try lots of 'gentle' sleep training methods - bedtime routines, daddy cuddles instead of milk, and so on. Various things seemed to help temporarily, then as soon as she had a bout of illness or a new tooth she would go back to her old habits.
I now suspect that at 18 months old she was finally ready to sleep through the night, and nothing I did before that would have made any difference. I have been much more relaxed about DC2's sleeping habits, as I assume that once again it will resolve itself with time.
Lotion you sound very like me. I've just rolled with it with later dc
If you can wait a few months, I'd suggest going straight to a bed. DD was the same but we introduced the bed at 16/17 months (normal single bed with foam bed guards) where we BF to sleep and to settle. Then about 18 months did a little bit of night weaning and within a few nights she was sleeping through. No tears, no fuss. I'm not a believer in letting babies cry though.
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