About Sleep

Thursday, September 24, 2009

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Sleep has suddenly become a commodity again as our precious little guy has found himself liking a new schedule.

Putting Isaac down was relatively easy for the past 2 months or so, we followed his cues and began his bedtime routine somewhere between 7:30-9:30. This included bath, dry butt time {simply air drying his body and allowing him bum some time uncovered}, Five Little Monkeys and then nursing him to sleep, before placing him in the bassinet portion of his pack and play.

This schedule no longer stands. I seem to have gotten a little worse at reading his cues and seem to be making a mess of when he's sleepy, just hungry or simply comfort nursing. Monday night was brutal. Isaac would start crying instantaneously when placed in the bassinet. He would be shushed and rocked until clearly sleeping, only to repeat the crying upon placement, which began the cycle all over again . . . until 2am.

Tuesday was a little better {we removed the bassinet} and last night was the best . . . but I resorted to my last resort, allowing Isaac to nurse in bed while I lay on my side with him. After about 20 minutes of cuddling and ensuring that he was asleep, we then made the transfer to the pack and play.

This led me to think about Isaac's sleep situations. When at my Mom's he will be laid down in a swing, on the floor and in a pack and play. At home he either naps on me, sleeps in his pack and play or nurses in the bed with me in the morning. He clearly has a variety of sleep situations, some with movement, some without, so I don't see an issue with that . . . I struggle with wanting to return to our old routine, but I know that just because it worked doesn't necessarily mean that I had anything to do with it's successfulness. Tony said it best in response to my saying I wanted to go back to the old schedule, "this is the new schedule."

I love co-sleeping and am not that concerned about the smothering topic, which I know is a hot debate {I fall more on the side that most cases are due to drugs/alcohol}. What would concern me is the long term disadvantage in having an independent child who can sleep on his own . . .

21 comments:

Dee said...

HEre is a link on Co Sleeping:
http://www.askdrsears.com/html/7/T071000.asp

Also, in regards to being independent, once he gets older he WILL want to be on his own. Not to mention that when he isnt still so reliant on mama for comfort, it will be easy to transition him into his own bed.

Here is an article about transitioning to their own bed
http://www.askdrsears.com/faq/sl20.asp


Another Article
http://www.naturalchild.org/jan_hunt/familybed.html

Kelsey said...

I think there is only one absolutely true edict regarding sleep and babies: that it's a very personal and unique decision for every family.

Good luck figuring it out. Maybe this is just a weird phase and he'll go back to a more familiar routine soon. Hang in there!

Jeannie said...

I totally understand you loving co-sleeping. When doing Henry's routine, I love rocking him to sleep, cuddling with him for a while before laying him in his crib. And if he wakes at night, I just bring him to bed with me. It's hard to break that cycle of wanting...Wanting to just be with him. I have slowly started to let him fall asleep on his own and it's not easy, but has to be done. Hang in there and Isaac will soon find something that will make both of you happy.

Julia said...

What a doozie of a situation. I am with you in that I do NOT want our child dependent on co-sleeping at any point in his/her life.

I've babysat for kids well into their grade school years that cannot fall asleep unless I lay in bed with them. That is so unfortunate and not right!

Very personal choice on this one but good luck with whatever route you choose!

Leslie G said...

I wouldn't worry so much about the effects on co-sleeping. I think Isaac will eventially be able to sleep on his own.
From my experience, Cameron would (and still does) go through phases where he sleeps very well, and phases where he doesn't sleep so well. I can recall a few nights where I had to go into his nursery several times to try and to pat his back until he fell asleep- and he'd be up 5 minutes later crying again. It's frustrating, but all of a sudden, it will pass without changing your rountine. I think it just helps to be constant- maybe instead of "following his cues", you could possibly give him a set bedtime every night. For us, that time is 7:15. Hang in there, Leah!

Kristal said...

Well, I don't have any real life experience to share, but I do plan on co-sleeping, especially in the beginning. My plan is that as the baby nurses less and less through the night, we'll move her to her crib. At such a young age, I don't think developing poor habits is an issue. So I say, if it works for Isaac, go for it.

Meredith said...

I kept forgetting to ask whether you had Isaac in the pack and play or a crib. I obviously don't have any advice yet, but many people have suggested to me that night-time feedings should be as un-stimulating as possible. My mom said that with me being her first, she would always pick me up to nurse at night, coo and cuddle with me, and soon they had a heck of a time putting me down. Could it be an issue of over-stimulation when he does wake up? I also wonder if Leslie's suggestion of a set bed time might help?

ekwilliams said...

I personally know a baby that died from a mother rolling over her while co-sleeping. She was not drunk or using drugs or anything like that either. For this reason I, personally, could never do it. What would be so bad about Issac independently sleeping? I think poor habits are always an issue because you never know how long they will last. But also, in the end, you need to do what works best for you and Issac

Miss said...

as a mom of 4 =) all of whom have slept with us (and I agree with you...the chances of smothering him are SOOO slim. however, we did have really good perimeters around our baby, no blankets or pillows close to their faces, etc) I have not had ANY trouble with them converting to a regular crib or bed.
We usually transition them into it around 4-6 months (depending on how badly I want my bed back with just me and Bill! haha) It may take a week or two of doing some of both (our bed/their bed) but that's it.

Now, if you have him sleep with you until he is 3, then it may be harder =)

Andrea said...

DO NOT worry about him not wanting to sleep independantly later! I know every child is different, but my son was a 100% co sleeper until he was two. At that point, we let him help us do a "big boy" room for him with a twin bed and now (9 months later) he will not even come in to our bed. He flat out refuses. If he wakes in the night, he wants us to come sit by HIS bed!
I always nursed him laying down and that is how he went down every night. After he weaned (15 months) I would just cuddle him to sleep in our bed. I should also mention that our "bed" was just a mattress on the floor to eliminate the risk of him falling off - DH and I used seperate blankets while he was an infant to reduce the possibility of a blanket coming up over his face.

Once we went to his own bed I told him that the bed was only big enough for him so Mommy or Daddy would have to sit next to it while he fell asleep. He was old enough to understand and accept that and we haven't had any issues with this routine.

Best of luck! I think sleep is just one of those things that is ALWAYS a struggle. It seems like all of the discussions in my play group go back to sleep at one point or another...

Ashley said...

Evy actually didn't sleep well with us. There were a couple of nights when I tried it out of desperation! She likes her own space. My only thought is picking one consistent sleeping place (when possible) so Isaac starts to associate it with sleep. That worked with Evy in her crib, but if co-sleeping is something you feel strongly about, then do that.

As far as making transitions, we found that Evy didn't naturally just do things; we had to steer her that direction (like sleeping through the night). But I'm sure some babies can easily switch back and forth. You're a great mom; trust your instincts!

I've actually been working on a post that I'll publish soon about all of these parenting choices and what our personal decisions have been :)

Mrs.LifeAccounts said...

While I haven't done this with my own kids (seeing as I have none! :)), I've experienced several of my siblings throughout the newborn/infant/toddler stage in my room so I've dealt with the sleeping issues for 10+ years. It's hard because every kid is different but I wouldn't worry too much about co-sleeping, really what everyone has said is true, they will want to sleep in your bed less and less as they get older. I would recommend working on getting him on a set schedule. Babies thrive on schedules and they pick up on your cues very easy. It doesn't take long for them to figure out if they cry, they can be picked up and rocked. I could go on and on but seeing as how I haven't actually birthed a child yet I feel a bit silly dolling out advice. I feel your pain, I was so excited to go away to college and get to be the one dictating my sleep schedule (hahaha that just sounds sad).

julie said...

While I don't know much about co-sleeping, nor am I against it-I can see your concern. I like what Tony said about it being a "new schedule"- so I would just go with it. Little ones respond to your cues, so just trust your instincts! I am sure that Isaac will be independent and sleep on his own!

Megan said...

I seriously could have written this post myself... we have been having so many sleep issues, and even our bedtime routines are exactly the same. I even cried the other day when he fell asleep without me... crazy? Maybe, but at this point in my life (and his) I just don't care if he needs/wants me in order to fall asleep at night. I love and cherish that time together. Good luck (to both of us!) ... I'm sure it will get better. At least that's what I keep telling myself. :)

fallgirly said...

I'm with you siser! Sienna has a schedule for a little while and then changes it on me. She was waking up every 4 hours and then all of a sudden after her 2nd wake up (around 4am) she now wakes every 60 to 90 minutes after that, and I as well cosleep in the early mornings. I think their internal clocks just aren't right yet and around 6 months hopefully it will be better.

S. said...

i actually just had this conversation with someone at work today and she said she did co sleeping with her baby until he was one and said she would never do it again as it was the hardest habit to break for him. i would be more worried about those long term issues rather than the smothering. either way we will not be co sleeping. good luck!

Wanderluster said...

I worried about the same thing. Chloe sleeps in her crib beside our bed but ends up in our bed by morning. But, as with all things "baby", I think this too is temporary and she will sleep on her own when she is ready. For now, she needs her mommy close by, needs to know food is nearby, and I'm okay with that. Do what works for you, Tony, and Isaac and enjoy it while it lasts :)

Another thought... could Isaac be teething? My little one is feeding more often at night because her teeth are coming in.

kristina said...

my husband and i co-slept with our son almost exclusively until he was about 14 months old. at that point, we slowly made the transition for him to sleep in a crib in his own room and now he is nearly 2 and falls asleep on his own, happily, in his crib every night. co-sleeping is good.

Alaina @ Three Ladies and a Dad said...

Just a quick comment...I love that picture!

Jennifer said...

We had Brenden in our bed until he was 9 months, Trever started in his crib right away. I'm not opposed to co sleeping, I believe in whatever is going to allow mommy to get some sleep. ; )

I wonder if the pack and play is getting uncomfortable, have you tried putting him in his crib yet and seeing how that goes?

Also here is a tip I learned.....Babies wake up at the change in temp when you move them. If you put a towel in the dryer and lay it on their bed for a few minutes to warm the space up and then remove it and lay them down it can sometimes help with the transition.

I hope you can get some sleep mama!!

Hamlett Daily Dose said...

Hang in there! I don't have any advice on the co-sleeping, but I can commiserate -- I have an almost 5 month old who sleeps in her own crib and we're still struggling with sleep here and there. But I can tell you from experience with my son, that it goes by SO fast and before you know it, you won't even remember all the lack of sleep.

PS: I found your blog through Karen's. Back in the day, I was nestie 2005bridebu/rxjenna :)

 

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