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Ready to give in to crib pressure!

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  • Ready to give in to crib pressure!

    I am having trouble with my 9mo and going to sleep. Lets start with naps. She has to be nursed down and usually fights it the whole time. I know she is capable of falling asleep on her own, as she does it when in motion (car, sling, stroller). I am at a point where I don't know how much longer I can be the sole provider for sleep inducement. My family is pushing for me to get a crib and I am about to give in if just for the naps...I know she would go down if left on her own, but I also know she will cry and I am not for the CIO option.

    Problem #2...staying asleep once down for the night. I have tried to put her to bed earlier, but she only seems to really be ready around 9 (I think so she can see her daddy after work). I would like her to go down earlier so perhaps I can have some downtime or couple time or maybe even go to the movies with my husband while my mom stays with her! Besides not going down ealier, she also is waking regularly. The first time is almost always 45min after I get her down. She usually doesn't need to nurse, just to know that I am there - daddy is not sufficient, we have tried. Then she will sleep in 1.5 - 3 hour intervals, to wake up to be nursed (minimally) back down. I don't think she is hungry, just needs the soothing effect. I don't mind the sleeping nursing, just would prefer to have it stretched a little further apart.

    I have tried patting back, snuggling, shhing, separation before waking and eventually just give in to the rooting demands. I can't wake my husband to help as he works a 12hr day and needs his sleep.

    So my main problems are:
    1) Getting her to go to sleep w/o a crib and needing to be latched
    2) Getting her to sleep longer once asleep for the night

    We are co-sleeping and breastfeeding.

    Any input is welcome.


  • #2
    Although I have no advice (as my dd is only 4 mos) I just wanted to say your doing a good job mama! and hang in there


    • #3
      Hello mamaskees,
      My second is nine months and you have just described his sleep schedule! There are many things you can do, including continuing to do
      patting back, snuggling, shhing, separation before waking and eventually just give in to the rooting demands.
      all that and maybe in a month or so sometimes it will work. Cribs are not magic boxes for babies that automatically 'fix' sleeping issues. If you are being an attentive night parent, cribs in another room can actually give you less sleep because of the transit and fully waking required of the mother! Check out these other threads on Nightime Parenting.

      Ask more questions, give us updates, and try new thing! Don't give up!


      • #4
        Thanks for the support.

        Any suggestions for the nap time? It takes up to 45 min to get her down sometimes. I can't imagine being able to do this with the next baby, whenever that is, as I will have this one running around. I need to find a method of getting her to go to sleep without me (or the car!).

        My sanity is razor thin right now.


        • #5
          So what happens if you just "go about your business" in your sling or whatever? Does she eventually fall asleep or cry a lot? And yes, figuring out the second one is a challenge but have faith that they will fall asleep if they are tired enough at some point!


          • #6
            A mama at my local LLL asked the same question recently about always nursing to sleep as this was a problem for her when she goes back to work part time. Please forgive me for copying and pasting my response to her, but I think some of it might help if you do wish to make some gentle changes.



            I've read tons of sleep books, including Elizabeth Pantley's No Cry
            Sleep Solution and the #1 thing I'd recommend both from my personal
            experience and from what I've read is to have a very very solid
            routine and always use it.

            If you normally nurse him to sleep in bed, you might want to change
            the location if you can to maybe a rocking chair or chair in your room.

            Our routine goes like this but you should just find what works best
            for your family. We do a diaper change, then jammies go on, then I nurse on the couch in the living room. We say good night to big sister and
            Daddy then I take him to our room and read him a couple of books (the
            same two books every time) and then we put the book down, say
            goodnight to everything in the room and then turn the lights off and
            sit back down in our rocking chair and I rock him. I then sing him a
            lullaby (my husband skips this part because he hates singing). I then
            just rock him. Back when he was a newborn, he'd sometimes fuss a tad,
            but I'd just use my other soothing techniques (saying, "Shhhhhh",
            bouncing, etc.) and the light fussing would end. Now, he is so into
            his routine at 6mo that he can be wide awake and giggling during our
            book reading, but the moment the lights go out and I start rocking and
            singing, his eyes get sleepy and he starts yawning, etc.

            It's like a lightbulb goes off in his brain and he suddenly just knows
            that it is time to go to sleep. When he wakes in the middle of the
            night for nursing, I also go and nurse in a rocking chair and then
            rock again to sleep. So..same routine, just not all the book reading
            and singing.

            By having a routine that doesn't end in nursing to sleep, it would at
            least then allow your husband to step in and do all the same things
            you do (without the nursing) to sooth your son to sleep. I've also
            read of parents wearing their baby down to sleep in a sling of some
            sort, of holding and pacing/walking the house to sleep,
            holding/bouncing the baby to sleep. Babies love to be held and have
            movement so I would definitely try something like that.

            And for the record... my son DOES sometimes fall asleep at the breast
            and is in a deep sleep. I don't wake him up just to finish our
            routine..those nights, he just gets laid down from that point in the
            process. But I do use the above routine for all my naps too.

            Sorry for such a long detailed response. Sleep is something I get
            over-anal about and try hard to protect for my little ones... :-P

            Good luck finding something that works for you. Feel free to PM me
            if you want to talk more about it.



            • #7
              Keep hanging in there! I totally understand, as I had a peanut of a boy a month early who pretty much nursed every hour *around the clock* for the first several months, so getting to the point where I could get 3 consecutive hours of sleep on a regular basis was a major accomplishment.

              Now he is a bit over two and goes to sleep somewhere between 8pm and 9pm, wakes up once or twice during the night for a few minutes (cosleeping/BFing makes this no biggie) and is happily up for the day around 7am. FINALLY, in the last two months he has been consistenly sleeping for 6+ hours in a row, so when I say hang in there, I mean hang in there!

              I know it can be frustrating when it seems like everyone else's baby sleeps better/more than yours does. I think it may take more time, more patience and more work to do things this way (no CIO), but when I look at my two year old boy (not baby!) and think back to when he was so small and how far he has come and that we all got here on our terms, I feel so incredibly proud. Trust me, this time will be over before you know it. Believe it or not, you might even miss it

              I do highly recommend Elizabeth Pantley's books (both the original No-Cry Sleep Solution and the Toddler/Pre-school version). I still pick one of them up every couple of weeks and try a few new things and some of them definitely made a difference. Even if the specific ideas didn't work sometimes, her attitude could always pull me down off a ledge when my own patience got to be "razor-thin".

              Best of luck ... and if you need a separate sleeping space, try a mattress on the floor in a beyond-child-proofed room instead of a crib. We did that when our son was about 10 months old and it was the first time he took naps alone, not in a stroller or carseat or on a person for more than 20 minutes. Now, he actually says, "lay down" and walks toward his room and proceeds to lay on his "bed" when he is tired!


              • #8
                I don't have any advice, but my son was the same way. He finally started staying asleep at night at around 16 or 18 mos. Before that, he'd wake up 30 or 45 min. after I got him to sleep and need to be nursed back down. Refused any night comforting from daddy. The tables turned at around age 2. He now asks for daddy in the middle of the night (DH travels a lot) and sleeps all the way through! We still co-sleep and I never resorted to any sleep training methods though i definately felt the desperation you feel. Just want to let you know that it will get better. You're doing an awesome job at meeting your daughters needs at night.


                • #9
                  I have no immediate solutions for you. I just muddle through this sleep thing myself. I just wanted to lend some reassurance. 9 mos was a REALLY hard sleep time for my oldest as well, really up until about 20 mos - my second started getting difficult at 13 months. That part where they are really interested in life and not at all interested in sleeping is hard!! My reassurance is that is DOES pass. It seems like it will last forever when you're there, but it doesn't. In fact, in the scheme of parenting this really is a blip. I remember being *so frustrated* with my 5yo, and now he's easy peasy when it comes to sleep.

                  In terms of a crib - I had the same experience in terms of pressure an temptation. Honestly I don't know what a crib would buy you unless you're looking for a place to contain your kid while he cries - clearly not a feasible option. A crib isn't going to fix the underlying problem which is a normal developmental milestone which he'll outgrow on his own when he's ready to!

                  Sometimes when you can't change your child's behavior all you can change is your attitude and approach and wait for your child to mature. I've found that relaxing and finding a way to let go of my frustration and need to control the situation is often the best answer at times like these.

                  Hang in there! I feel your frustration!!


                  • #10
                    Coming around

                    Thanks for all the input. I found a copy of the No Cry Sleep Solution, and although I haven't fully implemented all aspects of it, we are getting into a routine and she just went down in less than a half hour. As soon as we move, I will put it into full effect and see if I can't get a nights sleep (and still co-sleep)! I fully recommend this book to anyone having sleeping problems but still want to breastfeed/co-sleep.


                    • #11
                      hi, yes elizabeth pantley's "no cry sleep solution" will be very helpful. but as she warns, it will take time and in the beginning you will lose even more sleep before your baby is gently trained to sleep w/o the boob and sleep for longer stretches.

                      as for naps: catch your baby's sleep signs, such as zoning out, pulling ears, eyes glazing, etc. when babies get too tired, they can have a more difficult time falling asleep.

                      keep up with the routine. after a few days or weeks, depending on your baby's temperament, she will come to accept naps as a part of her daily routine. just keep at it.

                      for night time: elizabeth pantley's nipple removal technique has been very helpful for me. again, it takes time. it could be a week or you may have to stop (if dd protests too much) and try again after a while. be persistent and sensitive to your child's cues. some babies will accept it more easily than others. eventually, dd will go back to sleep with a pat or back rub or cuddle from you rather than nursing -- if that's what you want. usually, breaking the nipple-sleep connection will help babies sleep longer stretches.

                      i've also found that having a lot of physical activity during the day helps my toddler sleep more soundly at night. i try to bring him outdoors at least twice a day, weather permitting.

                      reading your post, i'm not sure how moving your dd to a crib would help. try the advice from "no cry sleep solution" and see how it goes.

                      hang in there!