OT: XP: Veteran bed-sharers, I need your help!

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Marite13's picture
Joined: 08/07/09
Posts: 3368
OT: XP: Veteran bed-sharers, I need your help!

I decided to cross-post this here, because bed-sharing tends to be a "naturally-minded" thing to do... might be more people who can contribute than just on my BB!

I absolutely adore bed-sharing with Beni- it's fabulous.

I'm only have one small problem- bed time. She is finally (since arriving in Angola) giving indications of when would be a good time for her to go to bed before getting cranky and over-tired. It would be between 9:30 and 10. By 10 she starts getting a little fussy, and by 10:30 she's crying if she's not in bed.

Now the thing is, at any point between 9 and 11 if I go lay down with her, she'll immediately start nursing eyes closed and start drifting right off to sleep. The problem is that so far, I have not been able to get back up myself and leave her in bed without her waking up. She notices right away (or within 10 minutes) when I'm gone and fully wakes up! So, obviously this is just a problem because all too often, 9:30 rolls around pretty darn quickly, and I'm no where near ready for bed! So what's been happening is that DH will just walk around with her, soothing her while I try to hurry up and finish whatever I'm doing in the evening. I can tell it's stupid though- he's only having to soothe her because she's awake when she shouldn't be and is cranky and tired.

So...is there any trick to being able to put her down and get her to stay for a while by herself? I'm happy to go to bed between 11 and 12- and have been going around 10:30, but it would be nice to figure out a way to do it without stressing her out! I don't mind taking the time to nurse her down, etc- I just wish she would stay asleep! The weird thing is, that she always did this in the States- she would fall asleep when she was tired at night, and then I would put her down, and she would stay down until I went and joined her. So...any advice would be appreciated!

gardenbug's picture
Joined: 03/12/07
Posts: 2025

My problem was that I was always so tired that I'd be sound asleep by 9:30 myself!

One idea might be for DH to lie down with her in a very calm and peaceful way while you finish up the things you want to accomplish. Try to encourage her to stay in bed and not fully wake. Perhaps you could introduce a "lovey", something that comforts her, like a stuffed animal or small blanket.

Others here will have good ideas too. She is growing now and life will be full of these changes for a while!

jolly11sd's picture
Joined: 02/02/05
Posts: 3327

Is she latched on an nursing as she falls asleep? That was our big problem for a while and I found that unlatching him before he fully dozed worked better at getting him to stay asleep when I knew I would be getting up out of bed. Also I used to leave an old night shirt or lovely that had my smell on it with him in our bed so that it 'smelled' like I was there. LOL, I'm with gardenbug too and would usually end up passing out and never waking til morning myself.

kridda_88's picture
Joined: 01/28/08
Posts: 1798

I can't be too much help as I use a crib most of the time but when I would lay William down in be with me to get him to sleep, usually nap time, and still need to get stuff done I would nurse him until i could easily pull my nipple out of his mouth with out him actually being asleep and if he still wanted to suck I would pop the binky in his mouth and lay there till he was out and then get out of bed. He went through a phase that that didn't even work though. I just had to stay in bed with him.

Illiana's picture
Joined: 09/29/05
Posts: 338

i had that problem with dd.. what i did was switch out nursing (when she was obviously asleep) with a pacifier. I know alot of people don't like them but DD would have been attached 24/7 and was for the first few weeks or so until i got over not wanting to use one. so that would be my suggestion.. otherwise get a sling/carrier where she can lay down or against your chest and the movements will keep her asleep..

sarahsunshine's picture
Joined: 11/29/06
Posts: 1462

My problem was that I would fall asleep too! Even if I wanted to get up, I would be so groggy that it was useless.

I had the same problem, as well, that IF I did get up that Ivy would wake up within minutes…

How old is Beni (I forget)? Would it be possible to use a sling or other carrier that she will fall asleep in as you do your stuff around the house? At least, then, she will be asleep. Or maybe DH could use the sling?

I know that Ivy simply grew out of it at one point, I’m not sure when. I think it was bout when she figured out her water bottle, and actually LOVES water. Unfortunately, she decided to forgo breastfeeding shortly after that so it is a consideration.

Another thing that really helped us was a sleep sack. Basically it’s a rectangular bag with a zipper and arm holes. We found that shortly after we introduced Ivy to the sleep sack that her eyes would almost start to close as soon as we brought it out, let alone put her in it. At that point I attributed her waking to the fact that if we would snuggle as she went to sleep, that if I got up, she would feel the coolness, or lack of warmth. The sleep sack meant that she didn’t feel any draft or change in temperature very quickly. In fact, she still sleeps in it now, and it’s a signal of “bed time” which works very well for her. Worth a try at least.

MrsMangoBabe's picture
Joined: 04/09/07
Posts: 2276

I only bed-share part time. I usually put DS in the crib when he first goes to bed, and then when he wakes up during the night I bring him into the bed with me. I did the same with DD unless i was going to bed at the same time. So, I guses I'm not much help, either.

MamaArty_RMT's picture
Joined: 11/09/05
Posts: 805

Good luck. I have no advice, as DS would only sleep attached to my nipple until he was over a year old.

Joined: 08/22/06
Posts: 621

Seriously for the first four months, DS nursed off and on constantly between 6-10 p.m. I just set up camp on the couch and watched tons of movies (it was actually quite nice and I sometimes miss that time!) and ate dinner. He would nurse, nap, nurse, nap, etc. for the 4 hours. I was sure he'd never sleep at night, but he always did. From 10 p.m. until 4 -5 a.m. So maybe she's just doing a cluster feed/nap and just not ready to fall asleep until 10:30 or 11:00?

DS slept with us until he was 13-14 months old and it was about when he was 10 months old that I was able to go lie down, nurse him to sleep and leave without him waking.

Try different things, but make sure you try them for more than a day or so to see if they actually work! It's really probably just the move that's got her a little off track. Just keep working at it! You're doing great!

Marite13's picture
Joined: 08/07/09
Posts: 3368

Well, we got in bed at 8:20 tonight. We read a goodnight book (it's the first time, but I think I'll make it a habit) and then she nursed while I read. She fell asleep like she normally does. I unlatched her a few minutes before I moved. I put her to sleep in a sleep sack tonight, and put the pillow next to her as soon as I moved. So far so good. She's still sleeping a few minutes later.

momW's picture
Joined: 09/29/09
Posts: 5634

I have no suggestions as we don't co-sleep. I just wanted to tell you how much I LOVE your siggy pic! She is soooooooooo cute!!!!! And she's getting so big already!

cactuswren's picture
Joined: 10/19/09
Posts: 4658

I hope that does it for you! I was going to suggest something similar--we only part time bedshare (she starts in her sidecar and I pull her over in the night when she wakes up) but that's what we had to do with our PUPPY a few years back, and it worked like a charm. He would only fall asleep in our laps, and if you put him down he would immediately wake up and start crying and following you around whining. We discovered that if you wrapped him in a blanket and carefully put him down after he'd fallen asleep still wrapped up in it, he'd stay asleep. I think the pp with the sleep sack idea is right about the change in temperature signaling the loss of comfort/wake up. Hope this helps you, and if not that you find something that works soon...I know bedtime with a fussy baby can be frustrating!

Amber_daisy's picture
Joined: 10/17/06
Posts: 567

"Illiana" wrote:

i had that problem with dd.. what i did was switch out nursing (when she was obviously asleep) with a pacifier. I know alot of people don't like them but DD would have been attached 24/7 and was for the first few weeks or so until i got over not wanting to use one. so that would be my suggestion.. otherwise get a sling/carrier where she can lay down or against your chest and the movements will keep her asleep..

This is what we did as well (even though I was initially against it). Luckily, he spit it out at 5 1/2 months and never looked back. He still nurses to sleep at night and for naps, and I just wait until he's completely out...his arms and legs are limp. And then I get up.

cactuswren's picture
Joined: 10/19/09
Posts: 4658

Yeah, I got over being against a pacifier real quick. She's too little to find her thumb and sucking is really soothing to her. I especially rely on it in situations where nursing is just not an option (like in the car). I don't think it's "better" for her to spend the whole ride screaming if the alternative is to be happy and peaceful with a pacifier. I think problems come in when people use them inappropriately (i.e. to shut up a baby who really needs something), but judicious use for babies who just have high sucking needs...well, it's just one more tool in the parenting kit and I don't think there's anything wrong with that. Now that I actually have a baby and am more realistic in my opinions Wink

sarahsunshine's picture
Joined: 11/29/06
Posts: 1462

Can you update us? How has it been working out?

Marite13's picture
Joined: 08/07/09
Posts: 3368

Well, it's been going better. The tricky thing is figuring out when is really the right time to try to put her down. It's very clear that if I try before she's really ready, she will nurse half asleep as long as I lay with her, and then wake up wide-eyed if I try to move, or try to flip her on her belly. But, if we go in at the right time when she's really tired and ready to sleep, then she'll fall asleep within 10-15 minutes, and I'm up outta there, no problems and she sleeps until she's hungry (like 4-5 hours).

I have been flipping her onto her belly when I do get up, which seems to make the biggest difference with her staying asleep. We did introduce a paci to her somewhere around 3 months- but she really only uses it in the car. That was the reason we introduced it- because she would scream the whole way in the car. But the one she takes is the soothie kind, which is so big, that it won't stay in her mouth when she laying on her belly, because the sides of it hit against the bed. So, that doesn't work for us in bed. But, we don't really seem to need the paci in bed, as long as I'm not trying to put her down too early.

I was aiming for like an 8pm bedtime, but, right now, it just looks like 9pm is more realistic. Then I'm usually up and at em, out of the bedroom by 9:30- whereas if I try to put her down at 8, I'm in there until 9:30 anyway. I think this really is ok since she really does sleep wonderfully once she's asleep. She wakes to eat around 12 or 1, and maybe every three hours after that, but sometimes longer. And our actual get out of bed time isn't until 9:30 or 10 am at the earliest- last week I woke her up twice at 10:30! So, I think she's really sleeping plenty in the big pivture!

Illiana's picture
Joined: 09/29/05
Posts: 338

sounds like shes doing good or at least better. Yeah my dd had a 9 or 10 pm bedtime even when she was little.. any earlier and she just couldn't sleep. The body wraps also helped which I completely forgot about until now. I'd nurse her, wrap her up and give her a binky and she was out.. set an alarm if you need to so that you always get her down at a good time so that she sleeps better. its easy to get distracted and not realize how late its getting. I'm nervous about this as well since DD was fairly easy with bedtime and this little one is coming soon.