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cosleeping and nap time

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  • cosleeping and nap time

    I just found this forum and am hoping that some of you may have some insight into the cosleeping and naps. My baby has been cosleeping with us since birth - not intentionally, we actually own 2 cribs - it just sort of happened that way, and we're very happy about it!. However - my daughter doesn't like to sleep without me in the bed with her. She also nurses for a long time - as in 45 mins/ 1 hour, even 2 hours on occasion - she seems like she's asleep, but if I try to remove her from the breast before she's good and ready, she wakes right up again. I'm fine with this at night, but for daytime naps, I would like to be able to leave her alone and get some things done for myself.
    Which brings up my cosleeping problem - assuming I can eventually get her to sleep for a little while without nursing at the same time - how is it safe to leave her alone in our bed? We have bed rails, but they don't go all the way round, and besides she can easily climb over them. Even with the baby monitor, she can be up and climbing towards the edge very quickly, too quickly for me to be in another room.
    Also, since she is used to going to sleep either in bed nursing with me or occasionally in a sling walking around, its next to impossible to transfer her to a crib where she could sleep on her own safely for a nap.
    Anyway, I'm just wondering what other cosleeping parents do about naps? Or in the evenings, when baby is asleep, and you're not ready to go to bed yet?

  • #2
    many parents move the matress to the floor until the child can crawl out of the bed. you could also put a small matress on the floor or a fouton and use those for naps. my son wouldn't nap on his own either. In fact, he only started napping on his own for more than 15 minutes around age 2. As hard as it was for me to relax, I had a running tally of stuff i wanted to get done, I finally gave up and used the time to sleep or read while he nursed. Now that i'm pregnant, i happily welcome the naps and use the time to get a little extra sneep and cuddle with DS. Good luck!


    • #3
      We have a futon on the floor next to our low bed and at night and for naps I lay him down in there after I nurse him in another location (our bed computer chair), or just lay with him and nurse him on the futon. I have a monitor very close to where he is sleeping so I can here if he rolls over, gets up, whimpers etc- I hear him and go check. On top of that I have the room generally childproofed so if I don't get up to the room right away for some reason he would be OK.

      My son only wants to
      A. Be nursed back to sleep or
      B. Wake up and go play somewhere else with me or his brother.

      My children do not wake up silently and decide to chew on the lamp cord! I guess it is possible but I am hyper aware of his likes and dislikes, tendencies toward behavior, sounds he makes equals this etc.

      For helping your little one to learn to sleep more without nipple in the mouth -please check some other threads in this area.
      Thanks and welcome to our site!


      • #4
        i had this situation with my ds when he was younger. this is what i did: i nursed him with sleep with me lying down beside him. when he is sleeping soundly, i quietly unlatch, and roll away.

        it took a while, but usually he'll sleep 1 hour or more after i do this. sometimes, he wakes up right away and i have to do this over again, but then he'll have a long stretch without me beside him. other times, he simply refuses to sleep without me.

        oh and we also put the mattress down on the floor when ds was little. around 18 months, he learned how to get up and down from a regular bed and now (24 months tomorrow!) we don't even use a bed rail anymore.

        let us know how it goes!


        • #5
          Wow, we are considering cosleeping our 3 month old and that is the exact question I came on here to ask! Andsimilar screen names, strange! I also wonder, my husband goes to bed long before I do, I don't know that he'd be comfortable with DD in the bed alone. What about starting in the crib and moving her in the bed when I go to sleep. Anyone else do that?


          • #6
            I know many people are resistant to putting their mattress on the floor from a design perspective or wanting to keep their bedroom looking 'normal'... but its really the best way to deal with this problem.
            Another option is laying a single mattress or futon next to your bed. You can sleep with her part of the night and lay down with her at the beginning of nap time, then push it under it when you are not using it for that 'normal' look.


            • #7
              Any UK co-sleepers out there?

              Hi new to this site. I had never heard of atachment parenting until I was on the net looking for some info on justifying why I should sleep with my baby. All the mums in my postnatal group think I'm creating a rod for my own back, so would family if they knew, but hubbie very supportive and happy with arrangement. Baby now 6 months, mattress now on floor and still co-sleeping. I do love it but wonder whether I am waking her up in the night. What I am concerned about at times is nursing back to sleep. From the forum it seems okay but recently night waking has been worse. Sometimes baby feeds and at others she just suckles which can make me sore. I always nurse her to sleep after a bath, lying down. I am now able to go downstairs for the evening but baby wakes once or twice early evening. She cries out with eyes closed. Is she asleep? Then I have to nurse her to comfort her. So many questions. I guess what I am looking for is reassurance. Wearing baby in a carrier is becoming cooler over here in the UK, breastfeeding is encouraged by professionals and yet sleeping with your baby is still taboo as is nursing to sleep after a few months as if you are either being a slave to your child or stunting their development. my husband and I know we are doing the right thing deep down but its hard when I as a mum get well meaning advice.


              • #8
                Hi BabyGiraffe!
                Welcome to our site.
                From a reassuring co-sleeping perspective please check out this-What are the long term effects on my baby of sharing a bed?
                In fact, although infants can be conditioned to sleep long and hard alone, and without intervention and, hence, fulfill the cultural expectation that the should sleep through the night, the fact remains that they were not designed to do so, and it may not be either in their best biological or psychological interest.

                Your nurse back to sleep question is a good one with many different arrangements possible. I choose to gently spot wean for nighttime. Try some of these ideas -NIGHT WEANING: 12 ALTERNATIVES FOR THE ALL-NIGHT NURSER but remember to keep your child's temperament and cues in mind! My first was very easy to night wean, barely a fuss, but my second is more demanding! Now at a year he will -at times- let me just 'spoon' him back to sleep with gentle pats on his chest. He is still requiring a midnight and 3am short nursing!

                I am happy to hear how sensitive you are being to your daughter! I am pleased you found us.


                • #9
                  I'm glad I found you!

                  Your reply made me a bit tearful. I feel so much relief after 6 months to have found a community of like minded parents. There are a few of us around in my area but conversations are always a bit hush hush and self deprecating. Baby has been asleep for 3 hours-should I feel guilty for leaving her alone upstairs? We can't be together 24-7? I will look in to your suggested reading and look forward to sleep with my daughter beside me. At 6 months I know now what my parents meant about time passing.


                  • #10
                    What about when your LO needs to go to bed and you aren't ready? DD is 8 months old and we have been co-sleeping since birth. She always has gone to bed at bedtime in her crib and then when she wakes in the night, she comes into our bed. The problem is just starting now, when she is 8 months old. She is waking earlier and earlier... sometimes an hour after we put her to bed. I (obviously) am not ready to go to bed then, as I work FT and have and infant and there are a ton of things I need to get done ..! She use to sleep until 2 or 3 am. Then she slowly started waking earlier and earlier ... but would allow DH to rock her back to sleep, or me to nurse her back to sleep and put her back in her crib. The past few weeks she is waking so early and will not tolerate anything else besides going to bed with me (in our bed). I've been having to go to bed at 8-9 pm. This does not bode well for the state of our house and laundry and pets and.. the list goes on.



                    • #11
                      We had a crib up at first too just because we had one handed down and registered for the stuff that goes with it, but we rarely used it with our son except for an occasional nap. I used to let him nap in our king-size bed up until he was about 8 or 9 months where he was crawling well, standing up, cruising, and starting to walk (it made my husband more nervous than me that our son would wake up in our room with only a monitor watching him... even though it was a video one). Anyhow, my husband suggested that I lay down with him on the crib mattress (we had disassembled the crib since it was just taking up space in our son's room). This proved to be a great idea because if our son would've (but never did) roll off the crib mattress, it was a mere inches from the floor and would not have hurt him. Lying down to nurse at naps and during the night is also great for your prolactin levels (just some FYI for those who try to space their children naturally as high prolactin levels can help delay fertility). So... what worked best for me after reading Dr. Sears' book Nighttime Parenting and picking up on the GREAT tidbit that it takes babies and children about 20 minutes to fall asleep, I either nursed and rocked or nursed and walked/swayed our son to sleep for 10 minutes and then laid down next to him to finish nursing him to sleep the remaining 10 minutes. Almost 95% of the time, I was able to release him gently from nursing as the nursings got slower showing he was pretty much asleep but just using my breast as a pacifier. You can gently do that with your available thumb/hand. If your baby starts to stir, you can stop trying to release your breast, rub its back, etc. and wait again in another few minutes. I found it has worked best for me to try to break the suction when he has a pause in sucking. I have continued using that technique as mentioned above of the 10 minutes nursing with either rocking or walking/swaying with our son until he stopped wanting to rock around after his first birthday. We were able to just lay down and nurse to sleep (yea!) for the full 20 minutes. This was a great time for me to catch up on some much needed reading too (Bible study, etc.). As he has gotten older, we read 3 or so books while beginning to nurse and then after the last book just nurse until he falls asleep. The 20 minute thing works though! You'll be amazed! I was! Some days it seems like it may take more like 30 minutes, but usually 20. Now that our son is 26 months old, it can only take him 10 minutes to fall asleep. I find though that if I "short-change" him those extra 10 minutes that he doesn't nap as long, but that may be just a coincidence. Sorry to have rambled on, but that is my experience and what I've read. That book also gives some clues on how to break the suction in other ways from those "marathon-nursers." When our son used to fall asleep in the sling, I would still use the 20 minute "rule" and then lay him down on the crib mattress in the sling and just release the slack in the sling (which makes a great little blanket) and let him sleep just like that. I also found that letting our son sleep on his crib mattress for naps has helped him to associate that with his room in hopes of when he does sleep in his room at night (and not co-sleep with us) that it might make the transition easier. As he got bigger, we put a twin-sized bed in his room minus the boxsprings. So, it's still not too high off the ground. You can always put up a pillow in your place or a guard rail. Hope my testimony helped!


                      • #12
                        My first post!

                        Hi all,

                        I am also glad I stumbled across this site! I'd been to the site before, but hadn't noticed the forums. We're a breastfeeding, babywearing, non-vacc'ing, co-sleeping, etc. etc. family who's feeling a lot of pressure to conform. One of my issues is that of sleep (similar to this thread's topic).

                        Unfortunately I have to go back to work in April 2009 when DS will be 11 months old (he is currently 6 months). Since birth (I had him at home), he's been in our bed for nights and naps. The concern is for naps - what will happen when I go back to work?? I also always nurse him to sleep for nighttime and naps since it's so convenient to hop into bed with him and it brings him so much comfort. If we don't cosleep for naps, he naps in whatever carrier I happen to be wearing. DH, DS and I are all fine with this, but again...the pressure/comments/sleep trainers get to me and I start doubting our choices/instincts.

                        Can someone please reassure me that things will work out?? OR am I completely out to lunch and should I be doing something to wean him off of the cosleeping/nursing naps??



                        • #13
                          although i am not going back to work anytime soon i did read in a book (i think it was dr. sears) that several months before you go back to work find a babysitter, or childcare provider that you trust will follow your beliefs. Now when your lo goes off to sleep in a sling (or whatever carrier your lo prefers) does he need to be nursed to sleep?? If not you could have that trusted indivdual practice putting your lo to sleep in the carrier while your still around to comfort him. Slowly he will develop a trust for that individual and willl have little trouble transfering his attatchment while your at work. Hope that helps! Good luck.


                          • #14
                            Hi Maryjocweeler,

                            Even though your baby is very used to having you lay down with him at home, in another place with different people he may have different expectations. Would someone at your day care agree to wear him to sleep? It might be better to keep what you do at home separate from what you do at care. I wouldn't change your attentiveness level to LESS at home just because he would be getting LESS at school. He will need MORE to make up for that at home. The argument is to make them used to it, but unless you are going to daycare to practice for the whole effect, the have very little in common. ( in fact maybe the center will permit you to go with him for a few days to ease him into the place)

                            I would seriously talk to your caregiver about what his naps will be like and when the caregivers would pick him up etc,--- if he was crying would they pick him up or just let him CIO, if then how long would they wait etc.
                            Do you have an in home day care or a center? Could you describe the situation that you have found?


                            • #15
                              Co-sleeping and naps

                              I had the same problem, except I would let my baby nap on my lap since I didn't feel comfortable putting her on the bed alone. But I was stuck there the whole time which is a bit frustrating. You might want to try a swing, see if she'll fall asleep in there. And it sounds like you will have to put your baby to bed when you are ready for bed yourself. I think the most important thing is to make that time consistent. Co-sleeping is difficult unless you have a few other options to use in addition to the co-sleeping, like a swing or a boppy. I had to use formula along with nursing, so if my baby was sleepy enough I could put her in the boppy and feed her a bottle and she would doze off. I think the only way to make it work is to try and start using other things -- the transition will take a while and it won't be easy but it's the only way you will be able to have a little freedom while your little one naps. Good luck!