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Newbie would love your advice :)

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  • Newbie would love your advice :)

    Hi all,

    Hope you don't mind me posting but I browsed this morning and found these forums and I'm sooo relieved!! Everyone seems to look down on many of the practices I do- including co-sleeping- and at times theres simply no-one I can talk to!!

    I've been reading through some threads and theres lots of great ideas but thought I'd put my situation to you all anyway incase anyone can advice/reassure!!

    DS is 3months old and we co-sleep. 3 weeks ago he contracted a horrible virus We had 3 days of sicking up all his feeds, some rather questionable nappies, and generally a very needy and grizzly boy. He went from sleeping 7hrs-feed-3hrs to feeding every 1hr30 during the night, which of course was fine as clearly he needed the fluids and to keep hydrated. The sickness and nappies resolved and he became happier- but the sleeping pattern stayed erratic and he's now feeding every 1-2hrs in the night. I'm just exhausted!!

    He takes a long feed when we go to bed as if he *knows* it's bedtime and he's going roughly every 3hrs during the day so I wouldn't have thought it was a growth spurt. My instinct is that he got used to being fed back to sleep during the night and after staying awake a few hours last night, I realised he gets disturbed a lot by my husband, who tends to toss and turn a ridiculous amount (and in doing so, shakes the entire bed!!) and then my son needs me to get back to sleep. I wish this wasn't a problem for me- but it takes me a good 20-30mins to get back to sleep once woken so I'm suffering badly from the sleep deprivation and it's really getting me down!!

    So... last night we started to put DS down in his cot at 7 just for the beginning of the evening. My reasoning was that I could hopefully get him back into the habit of settling himself back to sleep once woken, reclaim our evenings and in the long-term it will be easier when the time comes to wean him out of our bed. It took some patience and hard work but DS gradually settled and tonight I've only had to settle him back down once so far (as opposed to 11 times yesterday!!) I'm aiming to have him in the cot from 7-10, then bring him back into bed with me.

    I guess I'm looking for reassurance more than anything. I know sleep training goes against the principles behind attachment parenting and I feel quite gutted to be doing it Will DS get confused about this split sleeping situation? Am I undoing all the good that co-sleeping with him so far has done? Last night after bringing him into bed he managed to only feed at 10pm (dreamfeed) 2am, 4am and then slept till 7.30am. Thats a massive improvement on the norm. So I'm guessing the putting him in the cot did the trick?

    Has anyone else had this problem with constant feeding? Is there anything else I can do to reduce the number of feeds during the night?? I'm not looking for a 7-till-7 baby... but I just need at least a 3hr straight of sleep in order to function the next day! I desperately want to continue co-sleeping as I really love it, but after observing how much he gets disturbed, I'm wondering if I'm actually doing him more harm than good.

    Very sorry for the long post and any advice, input or criticisms would be most gratefully received I didn't even know what attachment parenting *was* until DS was over a month old and a little bit of reading enlightened me that everything I had been doing- following my instincts!!- actually had a name! So I'm thrilled to have found these forums!!

    Thanks in advance,

    Becki Xxx

  • #2

    i didn't find out that what we were doing was called AP until ds1 was almost a year. so you're blessed to be affirmed very early on!

    if i understand your post correctly, your baby's biggest issue is being disturbed by your dh. what is your current arrangement? is your mattress on the floor? if so, i recommend laying a smaller mattress next to yours and starting your baby out there. i don't think he's confused by starting out on a separate surface. that's what we did w/ds1 and confusion was never an issue.

    also, i'm afraid 3m is a likely time for growth spurts, along w/6m, 9, then every birthday and half birthday. and, most of us here are very familiar w/constant night nursing, so hopefully you'll get some feedback and support!

    oh, and i just listened to Dr. Karp's Happiest Parent ASK API Live Event. i wish i had had that info when my children were babies. i highly recommend you check it out.


    • #3
      Thanks for your reply Pax!!

      We have a kingsize divan bed at the moment and unfortunately DS's cot doesn't have drop sides for us to put it next to our bed. We don't have anywhere to put the mattress on the floor either- not enough room!! We don't have a spare room either, as I'd willingly consider that if an option. It's in bed with Mummy and Daddy or in the cot unfortunately

      One thing I have noticed is that DS has willingly gone to sleep at 7pm, whereas I was normally taking a very tired and whingy baby up to bed at 10, but he'd refuse to sleep past 7.30am. I'm guessing he's tired in the evenings and needs to go to bed earlier- but if I go up at 7, I won't see my husband until the weekends!! (he gets home at 7.30pm) so putting DS in the cot seemed a solution for that. He would catnap in his swing downstairs but never for more than 20mins, and he's definately doing longer in his cot. I considered putting DS in our bed but it's just not safe- we don't have a guard on the side yet and even though he's not rolling or anything yet, I wouldn't want to take the risk.

      What does everyone do if their tired baby needs sleep but earlier than when you want/can go to bed? Where do they sleep?



      • #4
        P.S., ta for the tip- will listen to that now!!


        • #5
          w/ds1, i laid w/him in his crib until he fell asleep (yes, i'm tiny, i fit, too!), then got up to be w/dh. i'd stay up until ds1 had his first nightwaking, then take him into our room and go to bed w/him.

          we never even broke out the crib for ds2, so i'd lay down w/him on our bed (mattresses directly on floor, no box spring), then go downstairs once he was asleep. we also have a video monitor so i could see exactly what he was doing.


          • #6
            My babies all got more "difficult" or higher maintenance right at or after 3mos. I think it's a time when they're having a huge leap of awareness and transitioning out of that newborn phase and more into infancy. So it really could be developmental. There's also a growth spurt in there. My kids have all, as they've gotten more aware during the day, nursed less during the day and loaded up at night. So there are some legitimate reasons he could be feeding more at night right now.

            The bottom line is to meet your kids' needs. I too enjoy having a few kid-free hours in the evening if I can get it. I get the baby to sleep (or DH does. The secret is that he's much better at it than I am!) and we put him in his crib, side carred to our bed. Sometimes DS sleeps until we go to bed and other times he wakes up. If he wakes up I pick him up and soothe him back to sleep.

            We've always put the kids down before we go down. At times we've put them down in their "own" sleep space because we felt it was safer than having them in the bed w/out us there or because for whatever reason I feel they need to be in another space. I don't think it's confusing to them. Eventually they do transition to their own sleep space.

            I don't think there's a thing wrong with setting your DS down in his crib (cot) at 7pm. I think the real issue is what you do when/if he cries. If you put him down and he sleeps happily, then good! My personal interpretation of Attachment Parenting is not that we're attached to our children 24/7 but that we acknowledge that babies/kids act certain ways because they're trying to get their needs met, and we strive to meet those needs. So if you put him down and he cries, it's important to go to him and soothe him. If he's happy then I see nothing wrong with him sleeping in his crib.

            And !


            • #7
              Thank you so much Nicole, your post was really reassuring!!! Tonight is the 4th night I've put DS down at 7 in his cot and so far it's going **ok**. He is waking up and I tend to place a hand on him for reassurance- if that doesn't work and he starts to cry, I pick him up and soothe him back to sleep. The first night, he woke up 15ish times over the 3 hrs but its the 1st time he'd ever been in his nursery so I'm assuming everything was just strange to him. The number of times he's woken up has gradually decreased and so far tonight it's just been the once! Funnily enough, it has had a slight influence on his night feeding, and for the past 3 nights he's consistently fed every 3hrs, as opposed to every 1-2. It's not much but for me it's a huge improvement!!

              However should add that DH is on night shift so DS and I have the bed to ourselves... that could be the reason...!!

              At the moment I'm camped out in his nursery for those 3hrs so I'm right here if he wakes up. Once he's going longer without waking up, I'll think about venturing downstairs to be with DH...

              I really like your interpretation of AP as well, and it definately makes me feel better about choosing to start him off in his cot. Thank you so much!!

              Here's hoping it continues and DH and I can 'reconnect' once more...

              Xxx Becki xxX