View Full Version : Help please - Any Co-sleepers out there?
I have been sleeping with my 7 wk old since her birth and it's great for the most part but she does not sleep well during the day making her very cranky and irritable by the afternoon.
I have tried holding her then putting her down in my (our) bed and her unused cot but she wakes soon after. I have tried a dummy but it seems to make her anxious and now I am trying to pat her to sleep while lying in the bed together but her crying is really upsetting me.
Anyone have any comments, advice, opinions etc....
Anything would be great - thanks :confused:
Saw your request for help and so joined so that I could offer comments.
We have a nearly ten month old son and we co-sleep happily and peacefully.
How long has this been happening? I ask because it could be that she has developed a negative sleep association. To break it you’ll need to do things differently.
Could she be hungry? Do you breastfeed her to sleep? Sounds like she is hungry because if she is unsatisfied with the dummy it may because she is becoming frustrated and is truly hungry.
Another consideration is that she may feel more settled with movement. Do you own a sling of any sort? This may also help particularly if you have things you want to get done. If you are considering one a great place to start is www.thebabywearer.com. They have reviews of all the baby carriers available from women in the trenches "other mums". If you’re handy on the sewing machine there are some sites that offer instructions. If you are near Brisbane there is a great babywearing workshop (www.carryingaway.com.au) where you can go and try on all the slings before you buy. Anyway enough on the slings.
If I had my time over and knew then what I know now I would have offered Jesse the breast more often.
I think there is too much emphasis on scheduled feeding. A breastfed baby will regulate their intake themselves if allowed to do so. We now feed every two hours day and night, and honestly it does get easier in time.
Also you will benefit from the cosleeping soon. Your sleep cycles will attune and so you will hardly wake at night to feed resulting in you getting more sleep and able to cope with the days much better.
Try to relax, babys have an adept ability to mirror our own feelings. If you are anxious about her naps and so on try to relax and you may find that her baby will also. Have you considered baby massage (for local courses http://www.infantmassage.org.au/), some soothing music, a walk outside in the garden before naps?
You are doing beautifully, continue to watch for your babys cues and respond.
Anyway I hope this helps and please feel free to email me email@example.com with you reply. Amanda
My girl doesn't sleep much during the day. She has about 20 min naps and then doesn't WANT to re-settle. CHNs said that it was all wrong and she was learning bad habits but it has worked for her and in the end she sleeps well overall compared to other babies and she just needs less sleep, so that is one possibility. I remember once we tried to make her sleep more and it just got silly. She was overtired from too much sleep and unhappy because we kept trying to put her to sleep when she wasn't tired. Eventually we just relaxed a bit about everything, and persisted with listening to her cues for a couple of weeks and it settled down into HER routine.
She also fed every 1 1/2 hours until she was about 12 weeks old (during the day). This was considered to be a terrible thing by all and sundry, and we especially got the line that if we didn't wait 2 hours at least she would sick up, but we found the opposite - if we waited longer than 1 1/2 hours, especially over 2 1/2 hours, she would usually vomit then! So it is also possible that your daughter is genuinely hungry.
I also agree that she might want to be carried or rocked to sleep. Also laying bub across your arm on their tummy is a fantastic way to put them to sleep at that age they seem to find it very relaxing.
Good luck. You sound like you are doing wonderfully
Hi Kat and Marta, Absolutely agree. Was in a rush before and forgot to mention that Jesse was the same. Only slept for 30mins and he was completely happy and so on. Kat Im so glad you posted your story. We had a similar result too. I wasnt happy he wasnt fitting the "mold" and so we tried things differently and completely made us all miserable. Some babies just dont need allot of sleep. If she is sleeping well at night thats the main thing. Also in time things will settle down. Take care to you both, Amanda
Wow I don't think you guys realise how comforting it is for me to know that other Mothers don't necessarily follow these "essential baby" routines yet still have happy,healthy, well rested babies.
I get alot of bad looks when I mention I co-sleep with my baby. I was beginning to doubt I had done the right thing but as I am a single mother I felt lonely and so did my baby. I feed her on demand and she is a very healthy 4.6kg. She is quite often too irritable to comlete a feed during the day so she could very well be hungry. I am also being told by midwives and other professionals to stretch feeds out to 3 hrs which only upset her as at the moment she feeds every 2-2.5 hrs.
I have a sling and a baby bjorn but unfortunately she doesnt like either of them!!! She screams in both. This is the most frustrating part as I don't get much done with only one arm available.
Thank you all for making me feel like I am not doing the wrong thing by my baby.
I will keep trying to look for ways to meet her needs.
Can I also ask, where your babies sleep during the day, on the family bed?
Oh thats great Marta. Its wonderful you feel more confident and positive about your situation. You know I dont go to any of the usual mothers groups and I stear clear of sharing information or accepting advice from the early childhood nurses. The only one I am considering and this is through likeminded individuals recommendations is the Aus. Breastfeeding Assoc. If you havent already looked them up you should...they have local groups held couple of times a week with special outings. They share many of the same views as Im guessing you do. Perhaps you can meet some other likeminded Mums and gain strength from each other. If not honestly its ok to email with any questions you have or posting here is a good start too. On the sling thing, I know isnt it frustrating. Jesse was exactly the same! From what I hear is that you have to give a vibe of confidence. They also recommend trying it out when they have a full tummy and to start MOVING! Then the crying should subside and then they get used to it. I didnt find this out however until oh some six months later... I had the hug-a-bub and theodore bean, then got a Baby Bjorn and finally a pouch which is the only one I use although my husband wears the TB.
In answer to your question yes Jesse even now sleeps on the familybed although now he is mobile we've put the matress on the floor in kind of a futon arrangement. We place pillows around him and now we've conditioned him to know there is a small drop off the sides and strangely he gets it! There are safety points of course which Im sure you are aware. Again you have to do what works for you both!
Really you are doing an amazing job and all your own. My hats off to you. Well done and hang in there. Take care Amanda
this is a bit of a late message but i think its relevant
ive co slept with both my ds's one is 5 and one is 12 months .
with our first he slept with us all night till he was 13months and then early morings till 3 yrs now he still comes in first thing in the morning .
my second has slept in a cott right next to me and i mean right next to me for the first 9 months now he comes into our bed in the middle of the night which realy suits me .
during the day he sleeps in his cott and pram if we are out .the best thing ive found with co sleeping is the relaxing feeling in our home.
people actually comment about how relaxed we are i think that has a lot to do with not standing at the cott at two am begging the baby to go to sleep .if he does cry we just pull him close rub his tummy and if all else fails stick the bottle in his mouth .
there is a group in sydney and i assume other states called attachment parenting ,maybe they would be agood place for support ,they do co sleeping ,& extending breast feeding stuff like that .well i hope it all works out and remember at any point you decide to stick your bub back in a cott ,it will take some crying and some work but she will get use to it .babies are very clever .
she wont be ababy for long so just do what you can to survive and enjoy mother hood.thanks kind regards mummuyb
Thank you for that Mummyb and JJsMama.
We had a terrible night last night in the bed together. She is so very tired but does not fall asleep!!! I breastfeed her to almost complete sleep then place her beside me and she wakes right up. She also grunts, moans, arches her bach and stretches out her arms every couple of minutes for most the night. I burp her numerous times throughout the night but it dosnt seem to help. I have proped her up thinkng it may be reflux aswell. This goes on for like 5 hrs sometimes and the poor baby is just not getting any rest. Does this familiar to anybody? Will it get better as she gets older?
I would love to attend attachment parenting meetings - are they advertised anywhere? I really really want to start enjoying motherhood more.
Hi Marta, You look local to me re. post code and from what I understand there isnt any in our area. Brisbane did have one that held some southside get togethers but canned it but operate in other areas. They seem to be really nice and I do plan to go to one and have been in touch with one of the administrators. If you felt up to it perhaps we could go together.
Their site http://www.forums.naturalparenting.com.au look under groups etc
Alternatively the ABA who share similar views hold meetings. One tomorrow actually and I intend on going. Did you want to join me? Or even meet me there? Aside from that in my business which relates to Mothers/Fitness I plan to offer a special kind of mother/childrens group...but not for some months yet, still out on ML. Anyway hope this helps Amanda
PS just on your night last night, doesnt sound as though she is wrapped. Perhaps that would help?
PSS I sent you a private message too! Look foward to hearing from you...
Screaming and arching.
What we found helped with that was a few different things...starting from the most generically effective working our way to specific situations:
* not enough light - we found it helped to wake our DD up completely and she was better able to deal with whatever the problem was. Sometime the problem was simply not enough light.
* no background noise. We found the stereo or fan or heater needed to be on to provide consistent noise in the background as that was what she was used to.
* A warm bath - when the arching and screaming was connected with really hard tumy and farting we give her a warm bath and she settles down again after.
As for other factors that seem to cause this in our girl, they are when I ate peanuts or MSG (can't work out whether its both or either) so I stopped eating them and we have a lot less screaming.
Also when her teeth hurt she also gets sore ears and we give panadol and / or bonjella and find that that helps (when its teeth)
Good luck. I believe babies cry for a reason and they are trying to tell us something. We just need to listen. However i am one of those lucky Mums blessed with a baby where this DOES happen to be true AND our girl doesn't have any major problems (reflux etc) that causes lots of crying so its 'easy' for me to say that.
When in doubt I work though a list, if that doesnt work I try for 'out there' things that aren't on lists but just come into my head - that is how we worked out the factors about the darkness and the noise - not from a list or advice but from desperation and panicked brainstorming!
Thanks for those hints. It is the hard tummy that seems to bother her, I gavr her tummy massages for most of the night but it didn't do a great deal. A great big poo came arly this morning but thats after hrs of this tummy discomfort that is keeing her from sleeping.
I too believe babies cry for a reason, whether it be they're in pain or just lonely, to me a cry is a cry and I could never leave her to cry. Babies are so helpless at this age and they need full time care whether it be to change their position, feed or comfort them etc. Its not like we gave birth to walking talking little people.
I would love to attend the meetings. I won't be able to today however next week for sure. I did contact somebody from the ABA about those meetings but never heard back.
Thanks again for replying to my cry for help
Hi marta, i understand everything your going through. My little boy is still in with me and he is 17 months old. It started because he was born almost 12 pound and i had a c-sec and he was just so heavy to sit up a million times a night and feed... anyway here's what i did. First of all put on a t-shirt that you can lift up easly. Then a soft lamp that is just bright enough to see a little , then get into bed with her lay on your side and take out your fullest breast .Place her on it on her side and put a pillow behind her if you put your top leg over your body you will be able to balance and just find a way till your compfortable snuggle her right in and relax. Somtimes if you want to you can sing , in the begining i sang till he got comfortable if i had a dollar for everytime i sang you are my sunshine i would be so rich... he breast fed that way untill about a month ago and now hes still in with us half the night.and the other half hes in a little bed right next to me anyway when its day time you do the exact same thing and go to sleep as well it is the best, so relaxing and this way she is craddled into you and she feels snug and there is no sitting up laying down etc its so great you just sleep. and when it comes to burping ... i didnt unless he let me know he was uncompfortable... or if you want when shes crashed slowly get away from her ... slide out and replace your self with a pillow... i know what your going through i feel for you. Are you in brisy? i hope i have helped at all. I will be here if you want to know anyting eles... let me know how it go's take care and remember , there isnt any right or wrong its what works for you and your baby.`
Thank you Lealah, thats really kind of you. Unfortunately I am on the Gold Coast.
Can I ask how many times a night you feed your 17 month old? I am feeding her 2 or 3 times at the moment and hoping that will decrease as she gets older - would that be correct? Or is that the co-sleeping encourages more night feeds? Either way it won't deter me from co-sleeping, I am just getting desperate for more sleep at the moment.
I really thouht that by sleeping together we would both get more sleep and I could meet her needs quicker. I feel like somewhere something has gone wrong.
It was going well to begin with but now she seems to get terrible discomfort after her first night feed at around 1:30am that keeps her (and me) from sleeping the rest of the night.
Thank you again :)
Hoping things will improve soon
Yes co-sleeping does encourage more feed's because they can smell the milk, but i would make sure i tried to remember to pull my shirt back down after he's finished but if you dont most of the time he would take him self off. He was having at least 2-3 feeds a night for most of it and that was fine cause we were asleep and it became a habit to just put him on in my sleep we wouldnt even wake up. but yes it did slow down to 1 and then non and then he was at 2 a day then down to 1 before his mid day sleep .Its funny it all seems like a million years away but now i look back and think my god all of that just happened so quick and its over now I wanted to feed him till he was two but i got mastitis for the second time wich coensided with him getting teeth and he just stoped... it was so sad but so good to have your body back.... I cant understand why she wont settle though did you try that tecnique ? Is it going on all day as well it could be teeth or preteething my little one started at 2 months its like they get itchy gums... bonjella is great give it a go anyway see what happens. Its a shame you are so far away we could catch up for a coffee.. anyway if you want to email me you can maybe we could talk on msn firstname.lastname@example.org hope things start to settle down i know what its like towards the end he was the same and i was going crazy .. good luck.
i put Zac down for daytime naps anywhere but my bed, i usually feed him to sleep and then ease him down or keep him in a sling, and then when we go to bed, he seems to know that it is for a nighttime sleep as it is the bedroom
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