'Gentle' transition from co-sleeping to cot

(10 Posts)
Poppy709 Thu 04-Mar-21 09:57:25

Hi - looking for some Mumsnet wisdom!
So my littles boy's sleep has been really disrupted since the 4 month regression, he's now 6 months. We started bedsharing after the first wake up as this was the only way to get some rest, but it's not a setup I want long term. I miss my husband, selfishly I miss having a glass of wine and when things return to some semblance of normal we love camping and I can't imagine a camping mattress is safe for co sleeping so I really want to get him comfortable in his cot/travel cot.
He was in a Chicco next to our bed (with the side up) and we would occasionally get a decent first stretch but he grew out of it and started sitting so we've moved him to his big cot, still in our room, and since then as soon as he stirs slightly he awake and crying and can't be resettled in there. Some nights even in bed he is waking every hour but the last few nights has done longer stretches next to me. I want to try and get him to settle to sleep in his cot in the hope that will make him more comfortable sleeping in there.

I had a consultation with a sleep consultant who talked about gentle methods and I thought she would help me make a plan for a personalised kind of gradual retreat, but actually she was only advocating controlled crying in various forms and told me I need to night wean. I've not ruled out cc and don't judge anyone who does it, but I feel like I need to try and help my DS settle more gently first and it's just not right for our family right now.

So I'm trying to come up with my own plan for a gradual retreat and looking for opinions, here's my thoughts:

- Move from feeding to sleep to rocking and patting (tried this last night and worked fine, was asleep really quickly)
- Then stop rocking and move to just patting
Here's where I'm not sure what to do next, should I then lie him in bed with me and pat him to sleep in bed so he gets used to falling asleep not in arms?
Then pat to sleep in cot?
I'm not too worried about the disappearing chair bit yet, if I could pat him to sleep and he would settle that's fine.
Considering turning the cot into a sidecar so he can get used to being in his own space but still can have a cuddle if he gets unsettled.
He doesn't have a dummy but I'm starting to use a comforter. He also only contact naps which I'd like to tackle but that's a problem for another thread!

Any thoughts? Anyone else who has successfully moved their koala baby into a cot?? Thanks so much for reading if you've got this far!

OP’s posts: |
FizzingWhizzbee123 Thu 04-Mar-21 20:55:16

Can you take the side off of his big cot and set it up as a side car cot? Then get him to sleep in there and shuffle away. That should start getting him used to accepting the cot as a positive thing then you can move onto him settling himself in it and finally put the side back on?

FizzingWhizzbee123 Thu 04-Mar-21 20:55:56

Just saw you said you were considering it. Definitely think it’s worth a go.

Purplepjs Thu 04-Mar-21 21:06:47

My now two year old was such a koala baby!! We have a small double bed in her room which we sidecar the cot to. So we went (over many months) from co-sleeping In the big bed, to rolling away and sleeping on opposite sides of the bed, then to putting her in her cot and just held her hand. It meant once she was asleep I could get up and go next door to spend time with my husband, but then if she was unsettled in the night, I could lie comfortably in a proper bed while settling her. We often spent the second half of the night co-sleeping as she became more unsettled, but gradually this has got better and she now sleeps through in her own cot really well.
I fed her to sleep until we night weaned at around 15 months and then began to settle her by lying in the bed and holding her hand while she lies in the cot. At age 26 months, we are very much still doing this! But I don’t mind at all since she now sleeps through.
It has taken a long time... she truly was an horrendous sleeper at the start! But it has all come good and I am so pleased that o was able to go gently and at her pace (I was lucky not to be returning to work so could cope reasonably ok with the disturbed sleep).
We also had to contact nap until about 6 months and had to work very hard to improve that, but again, she now naps well in her bed. There is hope!!

Poppy709 Fri 05-Mar-21 10:34:53

Thanks so much for that advice, I think I'll carry on with the plan and sidecar the cot and slowly edge him away! I've rocked him rather than fed to sleep the last two nights and he's taken to that fine.
@Purplepjs how did you move from contact naps? I love the snuggles but could really do with some time to get stuff done! I'm back at work in 3 months, I'm a teacher and I'll have to be up before 6 and have a long commute through the city centre so could really do with some quality sleep, that's why I want to start now in the hope of building better habits. Can I ask what you did about putting baby down before you come up to bed if they were in a sidecar? We've got a video monitor so can keep a close eye but not sure if it's considered safe if they're in a cot attached to the bed.

OP’s posts: |
kwaziseyepatch Fri 05-Mar-21 11:08:42

Hi @Poppy709
Just been searching for this exact topic as previous champion sleeper DS 9 months has become a wannabe co sleeper and I'm unsure what to do!

I like the idea of sidecar-ing the cot but actually he's incredibly active and I need somewhere safe to pop him sometimes. I'm more than happy to do co sleeping from 5am onwards as I find both of my children were really light sleepers from then and this way they can sleep until 7:30/8 but DS wants to get into bed from 11pm grin. I quite like pillows/glasses of wine and would also like my husband back!

Purplepjs Fri 05-Mar-21 11:28:31

From contact maps I switched to walking her to sleep in the buggy. I was really skeptical that it would work as my first definitely wouldn’t sleep in the buggy! But she took to it well and I found that once she’d dropped off I could come back home and she’s sleep in the buggy stationary then.
When she just turned one, she dropped from two naps to one and I used this to transition to napping in her cot as she was so tired for her one nap. I did initially feed her to sleep for that and then gently lay her down but after a few weeks we just cuddled in the bed until she fell asleep and she learnt to do that very quickly. We still do that now... she likes to fall asleep with her head on my tummy and then I can just wriggle away. It’s not ideal but it works for us.
I felt fine with leaving her with the cot sidecarred to the bed. She has never been a wriggly sleeper and always cried as soon as she woke so I could get to her before she ever tried to wriggle away.
Best of luck with the transitions... it’s tough to try something new when you’re already exhausted but baby will learn when they are ready and things do just change. I was surprised each time, with a gentle approach, how quickly little one adapted; though sometimes you just have to wait a little until they are ready.


Whirlwind14 Fri 05-Mar-21 11:37:09

Following this with desperate interest as our 20m started out like this and is in our bed (DH kicked to spare room) every night just after 130am.

The cc doesn’t always work for all children anyway. DD is at I different to my others, if we leave her she escalates to full blown tantrum.

I miss the wine and DH too (yes, in that order!) I also miss a full nights sleep. My other babies have slept through since being tiny- this is just exhausting and it’s a vicious cycle when you put them in with you to try and get some sleep...

Poppy709 Sat 06-Mar-21 21:23:18

Glad I'm not the only one missing wine! Felt slightly guilty for admitting that! Going to try and sidecar the cot to hopefully get him used to his own space. @FizzingWhizzbee123 did you have a sidecar cot? What did you do about your bedding? When he's in bed I tuck the duvet into the bottom of the bed so it just comes up to my waist, I guess I'll have to do the same with a sidecar.
@Purplepjs he falls asleep really well in the buggy but won't stay asleep when it's stopped, I even bought this thing that vibrates to pop in when we stop to try and trick him but no luck! Hoping if I can get him falling asleep in his cot that might translate for naps, who knows. I keep telling him when he's having to watch me put washing away and tidy up that he could have more playtime if he would sleep in his cot and I could get jobs done!

OP’s posts: |
FATEdestiny Sat 06-Mar-21 21:57:30

Speaking as a mum of four, its best to get jobs done in babys awake time, not sleep time. Use babys sleep time as downtime yourself (be it actually sleeping or just resting and chilling out).

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