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Outgrowing Cosleeping Bassinet - now what?

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  • Outgrowing Cosleeping Bassinet - now what?

    My 17 month old is getting big! Right now, I put him to bed in the cosleeping bassinet, and when I get into bed he joins me, but usually ends up sleeping with his feet in the cosleeping bassinet and his head on the bed. Since he still nurses a couple times a night, I don't want to move him too far away - and we both really like the night time cuddling.

    So I guess I have a few questions.
    1. What have other people done when their babies were too big for a cosleeping bassinet but not yet ready to leave the family bed?

    2. Is there a way I can gently encourage my baby to sleep through the night? I could see putting him down in a crib downstairs if he'd sleep til morning most nights, but not with him waking between 1 and 4 times per night to nurse.

    3. Have you found that children gradually (or suddenly) become ready to move out to their own bed, or do parents have to make that happen? As much as I enjoy sleeping with my baby, I'd like the private time with my husband back, too.

    4. Am I trying to make all this happen to early? When are children developmentally able to sleep on their own, sleep through the night, etc? I don't want to push him, but I don't want to unduly delay him, either.

    Thanks so much for your help! It's so nice having a forum where I can ask advice from experienced AP mamas. My husband has been pushing for a plan, and with your advice and experience I hope to be able to develop one!

    -Talia
    Last edited by melissa_h; 03-06-2009, 06:35 PM. Reason: Edited to remove trademarked term

  • #2
    1. What have other people done when their babies were too big for a cosleeping bassinet but not yet ready to leave the family bed?

    We had him join our bed. We put our mattress on the floor (we moved and couldn't get a queen box spring up the stairs) and stacked two crib mattresses on top of each other next to my side of the bed. I've seen others side-car a crib too.

    2. Is there a way I can gently encourage my baby to sleep through the night?

    You can certainly try him in another room and see what happens. I don't know about gentle encouraging ways though.

    3. Have you found that children gradually (or suddenly) become ready to move out to their own bed, or do parents have to make that happen?

    I think it really depends on the child. We had to move ours out when we found out we were expecting #2. I needed more high-quality sleep.


    4. Am I trying to make all this happen to early? When are children developmentally able to sleep on their own, sleep through the night, etc?
    If he's 17 mo, I don't think it's too early. He might not be ready for it yet, but if you try, he'll be sure to let you know. It's hard to say when because each child is so different. I've known cosleeping, breastfeeding babes that started sleeping through the night at 6 mos or 3 years. Just really depends

    Sorry I can't give you more concrete answers.
    Last edited by melissa_h; 03-06-2009, 06:35 PM. Reason: Edited to remove trademarked term

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    • #3
      1. What have other people done when their babies were too big for a cosleeping bassinet but not yet ready to leave the family bed?

      we never used a co-sleeping bassinet, always had them in bed w/us. you can expand your bed w/another twin or full on the floor against yours.

      2. Is there a way I can gently encourage my baby to sleep through the night? I could see putting him down in a crib downstairs if he'd sleep til morning most nights, but not with him waking between 1 and 4 times per night to nurse.

      there are many "gentle" methods to help encourage sleep, but it really is going to depend on your child. i've tried all of them, none worked. neither of my children STTN until after 2 yrs.


      3. Have you found that children gradually (or suddenly) become ready to move out to their own bed, or do parents have to make that happen? As much as I enjoy sleeping with my baby, I'd like the private time with my husband back, too.

      again, depends on the child. my oldest is 5 and still sleeps w/us most nites. my youngest insisted on his own space at 10 mos. (could have been earlier, it just took me that long to figure out that's what he wanted.

      4. Am I trying to make all this happen to early? When are children developmentally able to sleep on their own, sleep through the night, etc? I don't want to push him, but I don't want to unduly delay him, either.

      STTN isn't one of the developmental milestones like walking, eating, etc. it's very child-specific. i've read research that suggests that it doesn't happen for most until after 3yrs. as w/all the AP Principles, it's best to follow the child while considering the needs of everyone involved. so no "right" answers here for you, just trust your mothering instincts and let us know how it goes!
      Last edited by melissa_h; 03-06-2009, 06:45 PM. Reason: Edited to remove trademarked term

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      • #4
        Our 18-month-old has always slept in our bed with us, and we plan to continue this until she wishes to sleep alone. So, I don't see anything unusual or problematic about your current arrangements. Have you and your husband really defined what it is about it that you want to change? What needs are you trying to meet?

        You mentioned private time with your husband -- really, having your child sleep alone may not be the best way to meet this need. After all, when you're in bed with your toddler, you're sleeping, right? And you and your husband don't have to spend time alone together in the bed. There are plenty of other places you could be together when your toddler's sleeping in your bed.

        One strategy I've seen is putting the child down in his crib, but then bringing him into your bed when he wakes the first time at night. This may be one way to meet both needs and minimize the amount of time you're really having to wake up at night.

        I hope you're able to find a strategy to meet everyone's needs!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Talia View Post
          1. What have other people done when their babies were too big for a cosleeping bassinet but not yet ready to leave the family bed?

          2. Is there a way I can gently encourage my baby to sleep through the night? I could see putting him down in a crib downstairs if he'd sleep til morning most nights, but not with him waking between 1 and 4 times per night to nurse.

          3. Have you found that children gradually (or suddenly) become ready to move out to their own bed, or do parents have to make that happen? As much as I enjoy sleeping with my baby, I'd like the private time with my husband back, too.

          4. Am I trying to make all this happen to early? When are children developmentally able to sleep on their own, sleep through the night, etc?
          -Talia
          Hi Talia,

          Wish you luck on that one. We've worked on this for 14 years, and it just seems that with every child it's a new compromise. lol

          Most of my friends have a twin in their room, up against the wall with their bed up against the twin. We have pallets in our room, all over the place! Everyone has their own bed in a 'kids' room, and most of ours have toddler beds from about 18 months on, even if they are still sleeping with us. Because our kids are getting so big (and numerous) we did say that if you're a bigger kid, it would be nice to either 1) wait until dad gets up for work, or 2) wake us up to move to your bed. Mostly because my eleven yo still wants in bed with me most mornings. And she's as big as *I* am, which doesn't fit in a queen sized bed with a hubby who's 6'4". The two yo has more leeway, she usually starts off in her bed, then climbs in with us.

          I don't know that 17months is old enough to expect sleeping through the night. I know that I have several friends who's children did, but not one of mine slept through the night before seven years. I think a lot depends on the child, the house set up, the parents, etc. My younger kids moved out of the bed a LOT earlier than the older ones, but mostly because they wanted to sleep with siblings (they're like puppies!)

          On nights when we anticipated wanting privacy we would do the bedtime ritual and ask the kids to start off in their beds. They come to us if they need us, but usually we have until 2 or 3am. We go to bed really late though, the littles asleep about 10pm, the bigger kids between then and midnight. When we had young cosleepers, we would all snuggle together until the little one was sleeping, and then migrate to the guest room, tv room, etc. Sometimes dh would migrate the toddler to another room.
          Last edited by melissa_h; 03-06-2009, 06:35 PM. Reason: Edited to remove trademarked term

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