December 28, 2009

Co-SLEEP! Glorious co-SLEEP! Uh, not really.

Family bed, bed sharing, co-sleeping,

whatever you want to call it: Ivy (15 months) sleeps with me, has slept with me since the day she was born, and will continue to sleep with me for a while, and I honestly wouldn't have it any other way.


night-night
[Except when she won't sleep.]

Often bedtime is the only time I finally get a moment to myself. I admit, many days I can't WAIT for the kids to go to bed.

Like, for real, sometimes it's what I look forward to all day.

Until now, it was going pretty well. We have a routine bed time, we try to stay consistent as much as we can. Naps are no problem. Easy peasy.


It's night time that is the struggle. (and I even tried cutting out a nap and it still didn't help.)

I usually nurse her to sleep, or if I can tell she's especially tired, I'll lay her down and quietly let her know it's time for night-night. I put the video monitor by her and leave the room. Most of the time she drifts right off to sleep.

But lately, like the past week or so- maybe it's the holiday, maybe it's a growth spurt, maybe the moon is in its second house- WHO KNOWS- but she will NOT go to sleep, she won't even close her EYES!

(The past few nights) and last night I tried several times to put her to sleep, and she'd only cry or get down from the bed. Hubby tried. Several times. I eventually tried again, nursing her- she yawned, she was so tired, but her eyes remained open for at least an hour. So many times I was just SURE she was asleep and I looked down and there she was wide eyed looking at me or just off into space.

Sometimes she'll pop up and want to sing Itsy Bitsy Spider over and over (with hand motions) (it's so cute I might forget how much I want her to sleep and then I remember.)

I just lie there, no TV, no phone, nothing. Just trying to get her to sleep. Last night I was starting to lose my patience, and felt stressed out watching the clock go by in minutes, hours. My ME time and husband time wasting away.


I will NOT let her cry. It's not an option. I have my reasons.

Of course, I understand if she fusses a little or protests, but a real heart cry? Or calling for Mama needing me, or afraid? I can't-and will not- do it.

sleeprs

[You'd think by baby number 4 I'd have it all figured out but ohhhhh you are wrong, my friend.]

It's frustrating and exhausting, but I am 100% committed to my choice to parent this way. Choosing to co-sleep (or hahaha co-not-sleep) really does work for us- I never said it was perfect.

Eventually she falls asleep, and she stays asleep until morning.

I love her. It's worth it. I know I'm doing my best, and I'm wondering if I could do better.

Truth is, every child is different, and each child can change awake/sleep patterns while they are growing. It's an individual thing.

So it's not like you can fix my problem.

And many times it's because she's a really light sleeper. I'll finally get her to sleep and one of the boys will get up to go to the bathroom or come tell me how the wind is breathing too hard or someone will be too loud getting ice out of the fridge and she wakes up like it's time to start her day.

Maybe it's a fluke? (Shhh nobody move- she's actually asleep tonight.)

It helps to talk this out. It helps to explain WHY I'M SO TIRED.

This is a season, and it won't be like this forever. (Right?) Am I all alone here? (I can't imagine I am...)

But in the meantime, while I'm in the midst of it, maybe I'm seeking kind, gentle no-cry/no-crib suggestions, oh wise ones?

Or just some co-sleeping co-mmiserating? :)






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135 comments:

  1. LOL Steph. I just posted about this very same thing some weeks ago with my 3rd child.

    I love co-sleeping. LOVE. Moreso with my last child as I know it's the last time ever. But lately I have been feeling so tired of her late night games. I need sleep. So does my husband. You are not alone.

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  2. Oh whew. Thank you! I just know people are going to say CRY IT OUT and there's no way I can do that with her. We'll sleep when we're old right? :)


    Stephanie

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  3. I don't cosleep (unless you count the many nights my baby ends up in the bed with us anyhow), but I know how rough a lack of sleep can be. And how wonderful bedtime is for getting a little quiiiiiet!

    When we went through a fussy phase recently, the pediatrician asked if we had Ferberized her yet. No way! Doc could tell by the look on my face that she'd asked the wrong question. I don't do crying it out, not when the cries make it clear I'm needed. Little fusses are one thing. Crying and needing me is something else all together.

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  4. You know I'm right there with you my friend. Libby doesn't nap very well either. She will sleep for 30-45 minutes and wake up crying and screaming. I just can't do this anymore. I am exhausted. Besides the not sleeping bit, she wants to nurse all.night.long.
    Yeah, after 4 kids you'd think we'd know what we're doing right? Ugh.

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  5. my hubs has never been a co-sleeping fan but i grew up with it so we've been doing the best 50/50 split that we can. we've got one, a 2.5 year old, and i just recently got her into her own bed in her own room. but she has never fallen asleep alone. we got an ikea extendable bed and it's set long enough for me to sleep with her. after bath and teeth, i snuggle up with her and we read, and i stay with her until she has fallen asleep in my arms. i set the monitor in my room and then i wait...because she always wakes in the middle of the night. never afraid...just calling for me. so i shuffle off and get into bed with her until she passes out again...and sometimes i wake up with her. other times, she walks into my room and i scoop her into the nest. either way, we both wake happy and secure.
    i know not everyone agrees with co sleeping. but who cares? the best part of my day is when she kisses me good night and then falls asleep to the beat of my heart.

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  6. no, you are not alone.
    and no, it will not last forever. chloe co-slept until she was 4. we went through difficult phases, but we always pushed through with, "she won't be laying here in the middle of us forever." and, boy, do i miss her there!
    hope this is just a little ivy phase and it gets better soon!

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  7. Both of my kids went through phases where it takes them longer to go to sleep at night. Sometimes it is just a phase, but when it goes on and on, it is worth looking into potential causes or solutions.

    Is she still napping during the day? Is she maybe ready to give up a nap or have it shortened?

    How much fresh air and exercise is she getting? I find the best way to get my kids to go to sleep at night is to completely exhaust them during the day. With my son, we went from 2 hours of active outdoor time each day to 4 hours of active outdoor time each day in order to improve his sleep.

    Here are some other general ideas/thoughts: http://www.phdinparenting.com/2009/02/28/gentle-baby-and-toddler-sleep-tips/

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  8. It will get better! Our 23 month old is sleeping with us and I know some nights are very hard! We went through a stage where night time was a nightmare because she fought sleep. Now she asks to nurse & go to bed when she's tired.

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  9. I've been there many times and totally understand the frustration. How about earbuds and a book on CD for you, so you can look forward to a long evening snuggle as something you can relax and enjoy? Your library prob has lots of book options, some even that you could download.
    Hugs
    Mary, mom to 10, whose 5yo still come to snuggle in the week hours sometimes....

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  10. The reason I started co-sleeping was because I was lonely and sad. My husband had missed the (accidental) home birth of our daughter because he was in Iraq and I felt that if I slept beside her at night that it would bring me closer to him. I said I's stop when he got home but we didn't bring the crib down to NC but that didn't happen. Husband never had a problem with it. And he still doesn't. He sometimes steals her from me so he can cuddle with her. I feel safer knowing everyone is all in the same place.

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  11. I am so, so, so glad I saw this post - you have NO idea. I have no advice but I'm in a similar situation with my 4.5 month old. ALL the advice I've been given is cry-it-out which FEELS so wrong to me but I've never read another mom who feels the same way - I honestly feel lighter knowing you're out there struggling too (sorry!) I hope its just a phase and we both get some good sleep soon!

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  12. "maybe the moon is in its second house" That gave me a much needed laugh!

    I'm a co-sleeper and my 4th {and 1st lady as well} sleeps with me. As all my babes did. We eventually put them in their own bed/crib and I'd let them cry, but would come in with them until they realized I was there but they had to stay.

    Exhausting? Yes. Worth it? Who knows. But it's what we did. ;-)

    Until you figure it out, enjoy snuggling with that sweet babe. :-)
    -Aquarius

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  13. It's so refreshing to know that I'm not the only co-sleeper out there. It seems so taboo! Anyways, I've co-slept with 3 boys and what I would recommend is a change of scenery. Something as simple as rearranging your room and the direction of your bed, put some stars on the ceiling to stare at, playing some soft soothing music, also the temperature for ideal sleep is said to be somewhere between 61 and 67. Seems cold to me. When my boys begin fighting me at bedtime we change it up a bit. They're still craving stimulation so offer it in a quiet restful, sleep inducing way. Give it a try and let us know what works!

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  14. Emily- there are more like us than you realize but sometimes I've felt weird talking about it. I usually feel like co-sleeping is so looked down upon that I have no right to complain about it! But, that's not true. We're all in this together!

    Steph

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  15. I co-slept with my third (my only girl) mostly because it made nursing at night SO much easier. I loved everything about it, the snuggles, the way my bed smelled like baby shampoo, the easy night nursing. Once she started sleeping through the night though, we moved her to her own bed. It was a little sad.

    My fourth however refused to sleep with us after about 6 months. He would nurse and then push me away when he was finished, refusing to fall asleep. Co-sleeping just wasn't for him.

    Every child is different just like every parent is different. The hard part is making the two work together smoothly. :)

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  16. I have no answers for you my friend.

    We don't co-sleep but that's because I was getting ZERO sleep and not functioning very well (or very nicely) from the beginning.

    I moved Baby #3 to his crib around 4-5 months old and we never looked back.

    The one thing I do use is a sound machine. He is so used to it that I just turn that thing on and he knows it's bedtime. We do the same routine every single night- dinner, bath (sometimes skip this), turn the sound machine on, get dressed for bed, close the curtains, snuggle, sing, lay him in bed, say night night, and I leave the room.

    I'm not sure this even helps you.....I do have to say though, that even given his wonderful sleep pattern, he still throws me for a loop every once in a while, for a variety of reasons- teething, too tired, wants to stay up and play with the older kids, not feeling well, or whatever. I just keep with the same routine and he eventually falls back into it again.

    Good luck and HUGS!

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  17. This too shall pass!!! They go through phases... when my kids don't sleep I make sure they get a heap of fresh air like double, treble the usual dose... But that is a little tricky when you are living in Arctic conditions. I usually go to bed with my kids and nap for an hour (lights out play dead and deeply sleep) and then creep away... maybe you need a few nights in bed with her to help her find her rhythm again. You are so not alone: How many times I have leopard crawled across the room (with my eyes closed - what I can't see, they can't see - right!!!) only to have a little voice ask what on earth I am doing as I reach the door!!!

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  18. Oh Steph, I am exactly where you are right now. I love co-sleeping and would never dream of letting my children 'cry it out' ~ the thought seriously makes my palms sweat. BUT the lack of sleep is killing me. Some nights Kameryn wants to nurse all.night.long, but even on a good night she's wakes 3-4 times. And it seems like we lie here for such a long time before drifting off. I know this is just a phase. She's having a hard time getting more teeth ... but I, too, am missing my very very limited husband time in the evenings. It's really the only time I don't have a child attached to me ;) Anyway, just wanted to let you know you're in good company.

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  19. We're having sleep issues too. Clark is refusing to go to sleep until like 11 every night despite the fact that he is exhausted and whining and obviously needing to shut down. Both of our kids have their own beds, but Clark sleeps in bed with us most of the night every night. He is not a good sleeper. (I'm not a good sleeper either-- he comes by it honestly!) We are tired all the time from dealing with him sometimes all night.

    Me at midnight: Clark I love you, I love what you are saying to me right now but YOU ARE SO TIRED, GO TO SLEEP OR MOMMY WILL BE TIRED AND GROUCHY TOMORROW!

    Clark: You will not be grouchy. I love my dinosaurs. I have one dinosaur for all of us, a daddy one for daddy and a baby one for Alice and... I need water! Mom! MAY I PLEASE have water??

    On and on. 24 hours a day.

    Alice, on the other hand, sleeps better in her own bed. She co-slept until about 10 months but then she started doing what you are saying... sitting up and smiling at me and wanting to play. She also pinches me while she nurses which started driving me nuts. I am okay with her doing it if we are nursing for 15 minutes but when she was in our bed all night she would nurse and pinch me ALL NIGHT which wasn't working for me. I tried everything to stop the pinching but she still does it to this day. So anyway, I put her in a crib one night and she was happy. She likes to sleep and she sleeps hard, all night. She is more like Luke. Kids are all different... I really hope this is a short phase for you. I've been getting a little burned out by the total lack of alone time lately as Clark goes to bed when we do though I'm also burned out on trying to make him go to sleep earlier and failing... this is the longest comment I've ever left anyone. And there is no useful information in it anywhere. Just commiseration.

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  20. It will pass. My son is 26 months and we have co-slept the whole time. Sometimes it is rough, but compared to mom's who have to walk through the house every time their baby wakes up in the night, I think ultimately it's often much easier to get sleep. (I guess that just varies though.)

    We read stories for 30 minutes every night. Bath, accupunture music and massage, stories, snuggles, sleep.

    It helps to make room pitch black. This causes the brain to produce melatonin.

    I've been really happy with co-sleeping even despite a few periods as you described!

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  21. We don't cosleep, tried but it was never comfortable for hubby and I...we always had neck and back pain in the morning...I think we always slept so rigidly worried about the baby...but while the kids were all (3 of the 4--I was young and did not know better with my 1st))nursing they spent most of their night sleeping with us anyway,we were just sore in the morning...thought a king size bed would solve the problem (were are both tall and larger frame)but $ never available for that purchase.
    I have thought a lot about this tonight and examined what I always thought I did...I read Ferber and I tried but it always rubbed me wrong...although when I was young (with 1st) and thought you always do what other parents or your ped tells you I felt wrong that I did not follow to a T.

    I allow some fussing and whimpering and go in at no specific interval but go in when I can tell she isn't just doing the game thing but is really needing me. Sometimes she needs a pat,or a kiss, cuddle or to nurse again.

    She nurses at least morning and night but often during the night too and she has no desire to stop nor do I! You and many others (on twitter & bloggy world) have inspired me and made me feel okay to keep nursing even though I get a lot of funny looks. Thank you!

    Hope my tweets earlier did not rub you wrong...sometimes I need to think about it more before I speak (or write it).

    I know I am no help because I cannot offer co-sleeping tricks and we all do it a little different but I wish you results how ever you decide to go about this...and I wish you some rest!
    You are an awesome mommy!

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  22. I think I've learned, no matter what ages our kids are, or how many we have, we'll never have it all figured out. Thus, the thrill of mommy-hood, right?

    You always have such adorable photos here. :)

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  23. Steph,
    I have no advice, but I'm in there with ya! Just came down from rubbing my little Gabbi's back and humming Jesus loves me to help her get back to sleep. She's going on 2 and 1/2 and nursing works for naps but evening she starts in her crib - because that's what ended up working a few months ago and moves to our bed somewhere during the night.
    My son 5 still likes me to rub his back and sing to him occasionally until he settles in. Yes it is a sacrifice, many nights I just want to go hang w/ hubby but like you said, we can sleep when we are old and before we blink they'll be all grown up and I'm sure I won't regret spending this time with them then. I'll have all the 'me' time I want then!!!
    Hugs,
    Heidi

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  24. YANA! I am nursing and co-sleeping. My 16 month old is cutting his molars (all four) and so is very touchy about getting to sleep. If something is a little off he will be playing and fighting sleep until he just drops from exhaustion. If it works for you, you might try driving her around the block a few times. The enforced stillness and boredom of the caraway puts mine out right away, but I have to ever so gently carry a sleeping baby back into the house.
    I use my iPhone for reading, games, Twitter, etc while I'm on sleep duty. It is a sanity saver!

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  25. She is an adorable bed-mate!

    I relate to the bedtime thing. I'm so wired right now, because it's the only time I'm alone, it's quiet and I can do whatever I want.

    It's so important to get that alone time in somehow.

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  26. We have two kids; my son is almost 3 and daughter is 13 months. We co-sleep with both of them. Our bed is too crowded for all 4 of us, so the boys sleep in one room and the girls in another. It's an odd arrangement since hubby and I don't sleep together, but everyone sleeps and everyone rests and everyone is happy.

    If you (or anyone reading this) is ever feeling like you shouldn't be co-sleeping or is feeling pressure to stop doing it, I **HIGHLY** recommend reading the co-sleeping article published in the Jan/Feb 2009 issue of Mothering Magazine (http://shop.mothering.com/product-p/digreprint-cosleep2.htm). It will really validate your feelings and give you the confidence to continue doing what you know is right.

    That being said, sleeping with my kids has not been easy. I am an extremely light sleeper, and it seems my son took after me. When he was smaller he would go to sleep easily at bedtime, but at some point that changed. We have always laid with the children until they were asleep, and we found ourselves laying there for sometimes over an hour with him! He just has a difficult time turning his mind off so he can rest. I can relate since I am exactly the same way.

    At first this was frustrating, even infuriating. We would get anxious thinking of all the things we could be doing, but that only seemed to make it take longer. We have finally just learned to accept it. We relax and usually fall asleep, and this seems to help him fall asleep faster. My husband sets his cell phone alarm and will get up after my son has finally fallen asleep. (I don't need an alarm since I'm never asleep that hard anyway.)

    I'm hoping my daughter is different, but she'll probably do the same thing. We're just a couple of months behind you and Ivy, so we'll see!!

    Best of luck to you. Thank you for telling your stories and making it all so real for the rest of us.

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  27. I read pretty recently about Calms Forte and Rescue Remedy for gentle relaxation at bedtime, I think on the Advice Smackdown. Maybe those are worth a try?

    I really miss sleeping with Asher, and oh, how I envy that Ivy still wants to co-sleep. I try it every once in a while, but he thinks it's a party as soon as I lie him down between us. Boo.

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  28. Oh we are going through the same thing right now. I bedshared with Haley until she was almost 3 and am doing the same with Alyssa, and will until we're both ready for the big bed.

    But lately she will not sleep unless I am right there with her, even with the naps. This just recently started, and as much as I love cuddling with her, I would love to leave the room without her fussing. Also like you, I will not let her cry it out, I don't care how many people say it.

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  29. Gosh I was just going to write a post asking for help on co-sleeping myself. Like Ivy, my little diva is 15mths and has always slept with me. Earlier she would fall asleep on her own, but she wakes twice a night to nurse for as long as I can remember.

    She's a light sleeper too, so bedtime routine? Pff with older brothers who will bust in and wake her and then I'm stuck for another hour putting her back to bed?

    When she wakes, I nurse her, and she drifts back off to sleep but she will nurse for a long long time. Meanwhile... that's when I catch up on reading my fave blogs... (like now)

    I know it's time for some kind of change but I don't know what. I will continue to co-sleep. And I'm not letting her cry it out. Fussing is one thing, but crying?She won't cry for 5 mins and stop. She'll scream until her throat bleeds. Once was enough of that for me, so no crying/screaming for us.

    I know I may just have to wait this out, but I'll still be checking in to see how you're coping too and whether you've hit on anything helpful...

    You're not alone!

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  30. We are going through the same thing over here as well. Troy sometimes sleeps in his crib and usually climbs out and ends up with us. Lately, he won't even go in his crib and asks for the big bed. I won't let him cry either because what's the point and I can't outlast him anyway.

    He sleeps like a wild monkey and usually wakes me up with a foot to the face. I am typing this from Zoe's bed because she is downstairs sleeping with my mom and Troy is in bed with my husband hogging my pillow. As you can see, we have no idea what's going on over here either!

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  31. Both my boys were co-sleepers. My husband is in the Army and he just happened to be gone during the first 8 or 9 months of both our boys lives.
    I would have continued to co-sleep after he returned home, but we only have a full size bed, and after months of sleeping on a twin bed- he wanted whatever little bit of room he could get.
    My oldest is NOT a snuggler. And I hate that, because he was such a snuggler when we were co-sleeping. When he moved to his own bed, I wasn't sure what to do, so I let him cry it out. I regret that.
    My youngest still sleeps in our room, just in his own crib.

    I hope you get some me time soon. I hope that Ivy figures out that bed time is for sleeping!
    I cherish those co-sleeping days. There were such a comfort at the end of an exhausting day.

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  32. We went through a similar phase with Ladybug. We do a lot of singing once we are snuggled into bed. A lot of singing. Yes, it cuts into me-time and husband-time, but we are also committed to not crying it out. It has taken lots of extra patience. We don't have other kids so the extra noise isn't a concern. Hopefully it's just a phase.

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  33. I read the book Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. You can skip the crying it out part. I found the parts about sleep (bio rhythms, how critical sleep is to children, signs to look for when they are tired, etc.) to be fascinating. I learned so much. For example, sleep begets sleep. The more a child sleeps, the more they'll sleep. (That's probably why skipping a nap didn't work.) I have found that an earlier bed time has helped us. My 2.5 year old seems to be skipping naps so I put her down by 6:30! Good luck mama. I'll chant "It's not forever, it's for now" for you.

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  34. This my second baby is a co-sleeper after she wakes to nurse in the night. I didn't intend for it to happen, but she just sleeps so much better next to my boobies :) She's also a belly sleeper, which already breaks the "back to sleep" rules anyway. The other morning she was asleep and I took my shower (I know! in the MORNING!). She woke up and cried cried cried, and fell asleep just as I went to go pick her up when I was dried off, and I felt terrible. With my first baby it didn't bother me so much if he cried, and I did let him cry it out, but this little girl, I just can't take it.

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  35. Oh...I can so relate. We've been co-sleeping with Shane since he was a few weeks old. We never set out to co-sleep, it just kind of evolved after I fell asleep with him nursing in our bed night after night!

    I refuse to just stick him in his crib alone and leave him to cry. Unforntunately, when I bring up how tired I am sometimes to family or friends, that's the only advice I get. Let him cry. That makes no sense to me -- I get much more sleep bringing him into bed with us that I would if I was hovering outside his bedroom door as he cried, poking my head in every 5, 10, 15 minutes to shush and say "it's ok." And leaving him to cry himself to sleep alone just seems so cruel.

    I've been reading Elizabeth Pantley's "No Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers & Preschoolers," and while it hasn't been an instantanious, magic fix, we've seen some improvement lately (as in, he's only waking once, maybe twice a night now, and it's been taking about a half hour to get him to sleep, compared to an hour plus).

    I love co-sleeping with my son, and I'm so grateful that we stumbled into it, regardless of what our initial intentions were. But I'm also tired, so very tired, most days! I just try to remind myself that I'd probably be even more exhausted if I was trudging back in forth from my room to his each night, trying to get him back to sleep in his crib.

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  36. No major tips, but you certainly have my sympathy and hugs.

    We've been there, and yes, even after it all (though only w/ 2 kids) I am not a CIO fan, either. When people tell me that I politely smile and have different thoughts than what my smile portrays. ;)

    This, too, shall pass...

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  37. i'm not quite there...yet...with teagan but i do have to talk myself into being patient with her while i snuggle her to sleep for her naps and at night.

    we don't co-sleep anymore, but she is in her crib exactly a foot and a half away from our bed. i'm up with her off and on all night. she insists on getting up at 5 am now (and i'm the one who gets up with her, of course). hailey didn't need snuggled back to sleep but teagan does. i CONSTANTLY remind myself that she won't need me to do this forever and i should really eat up these moments that she wants to be in my arms.

    like i said, i'm not where you are...yet. i have a feeling in 9 more months, i'll be begging for more of my me time. not even "me" time...just time to breathe a little and recuperate.

    so, i guess moral of the story is..."they're only little once" and we both know how quickly the time goes by. i look at hailey and wonder where all the time went when she needed me more often. sometimes...sometimes...that helps. ;)

    ps: hailey has those same jammies. they rock.

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  38. those pictures are soooo adorable!! shes just plain precious.

    I really dont know how you co-sleep... I cant do it. I do keep my babies with me when they are newborns.. not sleeping through the night, etc... but even then I actually will put a pack-n-play right up against the bed and use that more so than right in the bed... I am always fearful of my husband squishing the baby..

    I enjoyed the times I got to nap with Taite as a baby tho.. was very comforting having him so close in our room as well until he was like 6 months. Once he was sleeping through the night though I put him in his own room and he did fine.. by 16 mo old he was in a big boy bed and slept with Caleb in a normal bed.

    For me.. I honestly do not enjoy a child in bed with me lol.. my kids are THE MOST ACTIVE SLEEPERS... seriously.. when we travel they keep me up so bad... not purposely tho.. they are just wild sleepers.. Taite ends up ontop of my face half the time and Caleb ends up kicking me in the stomach or back multiple times. Its just not enjoyable... except maybe the 1st few minutes as you lay there enjoying their sweetness.

    But I know some that cosleep and it works beautifully for them.. so more power to them. For me, its not for me.

    I also work a lot at night and my office is in my bedroom.. so that would cause issues with that as well.

    Sorry I have no help for the Ivy not wanting to sleep dilemma :( hope it passes sooner than later.

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  39. Been there. Oh have I been there. I am a mommy to a energizer bunny who refuses to sleep much of the time. She stays up late. I don't get that time to myself you just mentioned hardly being able to wait for more than once a week.

    I've tried all the gentle approaches I've heard and none have offered much success for us. My girl is now 3. Might be part of the reason we've been unable to have another as of yet....

    I'm just commiserating with you. ((((hugs))))

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  40. We have tried co-sleeping, but both of our girls prefers their own bed. It works for us so...
    I'm going on almost 7 months of getting up to feed Ellie at least twice a night. She has slept through the night two times and I could tell you the dates. I constantly remind myself that all of this is a season and I'll miss it SO much some day. Right now, I'm just tired and would love a good night's sleep.

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  41. I hear you. Loud and clear. We tried crying it out, a looong time ago, we all endured a few nights of pure hell, and it did more harm than good, so it's not an option.

    I don't know if it's the age (or in our case, giving up the paci...) but Paige is the same way right now. And it's driving us a little insane, even though we know we chose this path in parenting. I love snuggling my kids, but there are times when I'm just touched out. She'll get it eventually, as will Ivy.

    (and love love love her doll... it's on my want list for Paige!)

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  42. I'm a huge fan of co-sleeping. I'm also a big supporter of responding to my child's needs. We have three children and discovered that each of them had different sleep needs. Our first co-slept full-time until she was 5 and continued to part-time co-sleep until she was 8. She felt more safe and secure when someone else was with her. At 8 she and her sister moved into the same room with bunkbeds. I had dreaded the roomsharing, but it seemed to reassure her at night that her sister was in the room with her.
    Our 2nd never co-slept. From the day she was born it was obvious that she did better with her space. She loved to sleep while moving and spent the first 9 months sleeping in her swing. She never cried or fussed it-out. She was simply a great sleeper who wouldn't co-sleep. It hurt me to have her in another room as such a tiny baby, but I knew in my heart it was the right choice for her and I needed to be respectful of that.
    Our 3rd loved to co-sleep as an infant. He thrived on baby-wearing, nursing, co-sleeping, anything that got him up close and personal. I loved having him in our bed. I loved snuggling and enjoying my last child (and only son). We again responded to his queues and when it became obvious at about 9 months that he wanted more space we made adjustments. First we moved him into a co-sleeper next to our bed, then we moved him into his crib.
    With each of the kids I've learned that I can't impose my will on them, I really need to listen to their needs and respond as best I can.

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  43. Totally not trying to tell you what to do here. I'm sure you'll end up figuring out what's best for you guys. :)
    But just brainstorming, how about:
    *playing music
    *giving her a quiet toy to play with while she falls asleep
    *a little chamomile tea to help her wind down
    *some kind of bribery maybe???
    *When my boys are having sleeping troubles, I make sure to super duper duper wear them out the next day.

    Here's hoping it's just some crazy phase. :)

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  44. No suggestions, my friend, but I've been there, done that. I think you'll figure it out eventually, hopefully its just a holiday phase?

    I totally get your commitment to co-sleeping....our 3.5 year old is still in the bed with us, and people are always trying to give us suggestions on how to get her out. No matter how many times I explain that its not a problem for us, they don't seem to get it.

    Rock on, mama.

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  45. Co-sleeper co-mmiserating! Yes, we'll all sleep when we're old and this will all seem so short. At least I keep telling myself this too! I am very protective of my "me and hubby time" in the evenings too. When my (now) 2 year old started fighting me on this, I just brought him to the couch and held him until he slept. We watched "neutral" shows like football and news until he went to sleep and then moved him to the bed. Not ideal, but, hey, he got his cuddles; I got my time. And we all slept. I don't have answers, I just do what works for us. In fact, I just posted on this recently! http://www.thejoyfulchaos.com/the-co-sleeping-edition-of-my-attachment-parenting-freako-ness/ Good luck! It WILL pass, and you won't regret what you're doing - hang in there.

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  46. We don't co-sleep although sometimes I wish we did...that said, we're going through something VERY similar with our 20 month old not going to sleep and it's so painful. I feel you on the giving up your "me" time each night!

    I cannot and will not Cry It Out either. It feels so fundamentally wrong to me. So we've taken to sitting on her floor, close to the door, so she can just see us there (one of us at a time, obviously - the other one gets to enjoy his/her evening) until she eventually falls asleep. Which can take forEVER. But it's getting shorter and shorter each night and there's no crying involved.

    hang in there!

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  47. BTDT..
    We co slept with DD for probably 3 years and she still ends up with us alot of the time. No, we did not do the cry it out thing either.

    You are doing a great job. Your DD probably is just going thru something.. maybe growth spurt, fighting off germs, or who knows what. It will eventually resolve itself, but oh how I understand that "this is ME/hubby time" that is so precious when you have a small cosleeper. Hang in there.

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  48. You are all awesome. Thank you for the commiseration, thank you for the encouragement, and thank you for the suggestions. I'm so glad I said something...

    PS

    I'm tired.

    Steph

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  49. Oh, I had such a smile of relief on my face while reading this post, and the comments. Not that I'm glad other people are suffering, but ... well, I got about four hours of sleep total last night, and I can't help feeling sometimes like I'm the only mamma in the world who doesn't have her children sleeping through the night by three months.

    We co-slept with both girls until they reached a point where they were more interested in playing with us than sleeping while in our bed. Both of them had a painless transition to the crib, but oh, how I wish I could just keep my younger one in bed with me at night so I don't have to get up two to three times to feed her, every night.

    Crying it out has never been an option for us, either. We WANT our children to know that Mamma and Papa are going to be there if they need them, thank you very much experts, I don't really care what you say. Besides, on a more practical level, with our youngest at least, she has lungs of iron and will work herself into such a state that she cannot go to sleep--as happened last night when I wasn't able to go in to her at first. She just gets more and more mad, and has been that way since birth. The nurses at the birthing center said they'd never heard such piercing cries nor seen such a determined newborn.

    As for the older one, who is two, she's getting her second-year molars, and while she doesn't wake up and cry, she will wake up randomly in the middle of the night, climb out of bed, and start to read to herself (pretend to read, I should clarify), or play with her toys. Loudly. She's always agreeable about going back to bed, but someone does have to go in to her and physically put her in bed; she won't just go on her own.

    The little one is cutting her first teeth, too, so from experience I'm pretty sure that's what is affecting her sleep right now ... what is Ivy's teething situation? As I mentioned, we've found (in the older one, at least) that it doesn't always result in crankiness or pain, just restlessness.

    Long comment, sorry, but it's such a relief to be able to share without fear of someone saying "Let them cry it out, they need to be trained!" Which is when I want to say, You train your kids your way, and I'll train mine, mine.

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  50. We don't co-sleep much, but we still have sleep issues at times. I can definitely relate to needing the quiet time and having days where you look forward to bedtime more than any other time. I find myself staying up much too late some days, just because I can't give up that quiet, non-demanding time of the day.

    You are right--it won't be like this forever. Of course you'll get to a good routine, and of course you'll find that doesn't work at some point down the road. I hope things settle down again soon. Being a tired parent is no fun for anyone.

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  51. I really admire your convictions when it comes to what works with you. And I ALSO admire that you say that crying it out doesn't work for YOU. (Sometimes folks are quick to say that CIO is BAD BAD BAD in general and it makes me vaguely crazy.)

    I've been very fortunate that both my boys sleep very well. I count my blessing about that all the time.

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  52. Dude, there is something in the air! My 6w old has never woken up more than once or twice a night, and for the past two he will NOT stay asleep. He always screams and squaks to nurse, which is normal, but as soon as i fall asleep he pops off again. This never happens. But he's sleeping right now. ugh. i think it is a baby revolt.

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  53. I love co-sleeping! At 28 months - she still nurses through the night - so she needs to be next to me?! I had bought an Arms Reach prior to her birth knowing that I would need her near over her first several months. A friend gave me her old crib (she never slept in it, and believe it is recalled now - it is great for holding clothes!). What I didn't realize is that, I could never imagine her not sleeping next to me. The thought of not waking up with her next to me, which will happen one day, makes me sad. Yes, sometimes I get a kick in the head, or wake up sharing a pillow! Of course, my pediatrician warned me against it - now that she is older, I get less grief from the Dr. I have never been shy to say I am co-sleeping - It is what I do and what you do is fine with you - my motto! I nurse, I co-sleep, I wear my daughter and I never let her CIO. I give her the compassion and care that I expect her to model in years to come.

    I second the comment we will sleep when we are older, etc. It is really only a tiny itsy bitsy time in their long lives. It only feels like forever to us!!! :D

    Of course, I am a little older than some - which maybe is why I am so confident in my choices? Not to say that people who are younger are not strong and confident in their choices....

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  54. I haven't read through all of the other comments, so maybe someone suggested this already, but we wear Juliet to sleep in the Ergo. Every nap, every night. She's 15 months, so it's not easy, but it works, and we know that when she's ready she'll fall asleep on her own.

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  55. I know Zane's 10 now, but that doesn't mean I don't remember. :) He co-slept until he was 2 and then he was ready for his own Doo-Doo bed. (That's Scooby Doo) LOL

    Zane did not ever nap during the day and I can't help but think that the activity during the day with no naps at all helped him sleep all night every night. Though I could be totally wrong and it could be that it is just the way he is. He also never pooped in his sleep. I do remember that in the rare occurrence that he did wake up in the middle of the night--it meant he had to poop and we'd wake up for a few minutes, he'd do his business, get changed and he'd be right back to sleep.

    But I also know I didn't have the luxury of having my spouse home to help me try other things. Phil was on the road 29 out of 30 days and I was in Missouri, alone with Zane, never--ever--ever a minute alone, just me. And it was hard, so I can sympathize. And I know it's frustrating. But thank God His mercies are new every morning (and I didn't like God much back then so I didn't believe that He allowed a fresh start in the morning.)

    Sometimes we need to evaluate what's really making us frustrated. Are we trying to shove too much into a day? Are we trying to please people who are far beyond our capabilities of pleasing? Are we content with pleasing God and God alone or is something else tacked on?

    Yes. Sometimes we are just flat out tired and there's no other reason. But it doesn't hurt to pay attention to time sucks. (((hugs))) It will get better.

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  56. We don't co-sleep at night (we do for naps). Still, Matthew has been fighting bedtime a bit as well. I nurse him until he's all noddy and his eyes are droopy and gorgeous and I lie him in his crib and they SHOOT OPEN and he SITS BOLT UPRIGHT and gets upset and we start over again. He's also been stirring a lot more at night and even waking and wanting to interact when I go in before my own bedtime to tuck him in and smooch him again. I'm betting it's a) a normal I-don't-wanna-sleep-because-life-is-too-great-to-miss phase they go through at this age on top of b) the extra excitement and resulting tiredness of the holidays. When Matthew is really tired, he fights sleep both mentally and physically. It's his only symptom of being tired, too, so it's always a bit of a guessing game. And he's a very light sleeper just like Ivy, even lighter when he's worn out. My plans to counteract all this are to move nap time and bedtime about 20-30 minutes earlier and hope we can make up a little of the sleep loss (or just tiredness) there, so he'll be better rested and able to get to sleep easier/sleep more deeply. Now if our family schedule will just slow down to accommodate those plans!

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  57. I was incredibly inspired by Brittany's recent post on the Amber necklaces that she has the girls wear. I believe the girls were born the same month (or close) as Ivy? My 1-year old daughter was born near Halloween, so I know that teething molars is coming soon, so I ordered the cognac necklace. Perhaps Ivy's struggling with some teeth?

    And while I don't co-sleep, I certainly don't let Jora cry it out, either! You are to be APPLAUDED for your choice!!! Amen. :)

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  58. I know what you're going through Steph! My youngest is almost 14 months old -- she's slept next to me since the day she was born too -- and quite a few nights she won't go to bed until *I* do at 11:15pm (after husband leaves for work). And lately? Naps have been hard! She used to lay down around 11:30am for her nap .... now though? She'll start acting tired around then, as usual .... I'll take her back to the bedroom to nurse her and try to rock her to sleep (which she is NOT going for anymore), but nope, she'll be awake still. My husband will take her back and try rocking her ... NO GO. Soooooometimes, he'll get her to sleep (or what he thinks is her sleeping cuz her eyes are closed and she's breathing a little deeper) and she'll open her eyes as soon as he lays her down.

    I did cry it out with our oldest (just listened to everyone else on that). I WILL NOT do that again. EVER.

    Like you, after my girls go to bed is often the only ME time I'll get. And even then it's interrupted as my almost-14mo old wakes up twice between the time she falls asleep (when she goes to falls asleep before I'm ready for bed, that is) to nurse.

    I say all that just to encourage you to stick with it. You're doing a good thing. It's a phase and won't last forever. I'll encourage you and you can encourage me lol

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  59. Oh my. This post made me cry. Little weepy tears of sheer exhaustion. My oldest is an easy sleeper (and always has been). She (at 4), is now sharing a room with her 19 month old sister who is FINALLY a decent sleeper. Most nights

    But my sweet, snuggly, handsome little nearly 5 month old boy? Totally SUCKS at the sleep thing. I nurse him down and then he'll sleep for his longest stretch... 3 whole hours. Then he's in our bed where I sleep, sort of... while he nurses and thrashes and pokes. But he sleeps. I guess. Putting him into his own space just makes him wake sooner. Again, and again, and again.

    Without co-sleeping (and he's my first kid who does), I'd be certifiable. But I feel tremendous pressure to get him into his own bed. So thank you for this. I'm tired beyond belief, but I'm ever so much less tired than I would be if he wouldn't sleep next to me.

    It help[s to know I'm not alone. And that one day (one day!) we'll all get a full night :)

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  60. Ooops I also wanted to add that perhaps the lack of sunlight in the past 2 weeks has these little people's systems out of whack a bit, too. It's nice and sunny here today so maybe that'll help.

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  61. Hi! I slept with my oldest son, who is now 4, until he was 2 and a half - right before my second baby was born! He slept in our room until he was 6 months, in the co-sleeper, then I slept with him in his room. (He'd start off sleeping in his crib, then when he would wake up, we'd go sleep on the mattress I brought in his room, then we got him a queen size bed, so it was easier!) Now, my baby is 23 months old, and I put him to bed on my bed, and then move him into his crib. At 1 a.m., without fail, he will call out for me, and I'll carry him to my room, and we'll both sleep together for the rest of the night. I LOVE it. Love sleeping beside him. I know it won't last forever. And yes, some nights are HARD and take forever to get him to sleep, he's up and down and wants to get out of the room to play, and sometimes I let him... I'm not strict at all... so um, I don't really have any advice for you, just wanted to say I do this too!!!

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  62. P.S. I could never ever do CIO!

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  63. I've also posted about this at Real Moms Guide today and that's where I'm asking what works for you:
    How do you sleep at night? gentle, co-sleeping or NOT. Tell me how you do it.

    Steph

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  64. We don't co-sleep. Only in cases of nightmares or if we need an extra hour or two of sleep.
    I don't mean to be rude or insensitive, but I've always wondered how parents who co-sleep have any "alone time" if there's a child always in your bed?

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  65. Okay, obviously I'm not a mommy yet, so maybe I'm not really helpful. But I have been co-habitating with niece this week, and the other night she woke up at 1 am and wanted to play.....for 3 hours. Luckily, G and I are young enough that we hopped up and played with her in our bed and when she was ready instead of putting her back in the pack n play we curled up with her and she fell asleep with us. I found what worked best with her when we were so tired that we could not handle it anymore was to make it safe for her to keep playing, gave her one of her soft toys that crinkles and what not and then we laid down. Eventually she came and laid down with us, but beforehand played somewhat quietly (chattering away, but quiet enough that it didn't wake my parents in the next room).

    Is there a way you could set up a quiet play station for Ivy somewhere in your room? I know it means she might fall asleep on a pillow on the floor or something, but would give her the option of crawling into bed with you, or playing quietly until she drifts off. Hope this is at least a little helpful!

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  66. UGH. Misery. I didn't cosleep (I sorta do now, lol, but I didn't when my kids were that age) and there were still stages like that. I even did the CIO thing when I was desperate, but I am not an advocate. I really don't know what to tell you, except that yes, it IS a stage and no, it will NOT last forever. ((hug))

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  67. Ally, not rude at all. There are other rooms of the house, if you know what I mean. :) We get creative.

    Steph

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  68. Kalee- you are an awesome Auntie!!! You will be a wonderful Mom someday.

    Steph

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  69. Oh girl, I feel for you! I didn't set out to co-sleep. I don't mind when we do, I love snuggling with them. :) Both kids go to bed in their own beds - my almost 2 year old has never liked sleeping with me, he only wants to when he's sick or teething, otherwise, he gets mad and kicks until he's back in his own bed. Little stinker, lol, but he doesn't cry, he's very content that way, so heck, if he's happy, mama's happy! My 4 year old, on the other hand, will go to sleep in her room with no problems, but she always, ALWAYS wakes up in the middle of the night and comes to lay with me. We co-slept with her from about 6 months to a year and a half, then I tried every sleeping technique in the book. Everybody had an opinion. I didn't realize it was ok for her to stay with me - and I didn't realize it was ok for me to be frustrated with her lack of sleeping, either! She still needs me, and still wants to cuddle with me, and I know for sure she won't want that when she's 18, so I enjoy it while I can. :)

    No tips, though, as my girl STILL doesn't sleep, haha. She's so active, she always wants to be awake and know and see what's going on. I'm sure those are great traits during the waking hours, anyway... :) Good luck, mama!

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  70. I don't have any suggestions for you but I can say I feel your sleepless pain. We cosleep with our 1 year old and love love love it and I too wouldn't have it any other way but Lily just won't sleep longer then I'd say 45 minutes at a time till we are all in bed and she has full boob access. We won't do cry it out, that just seems wrong to us (hope to not offend anyone).
    Good luck.

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  71. Lucy goes to sleep in her crib but moves with me to our bed when I go to sleep. She usually wakes up to nurse around 11 so that works out that we go to bed after that. Most nights bedtime (around 7:30) goes okay and I have that long stretch from 7:30-11 to myself but when that doesn't happen (which is at least twice a week) it is so exhausting. And when she doesn't go back to sleep with me at 11 and I am so tired my eyes itch, that is hard too. But I do remind myself that this is the season for sleepless nights. I guess I just didn't realize the season would last so long (15 months for Lucy but 4 years total because of the spacing of my oldest 3). We did buy a sound machine that plays ocean sounds and projects images on her ceiling and that helps because she is a light sleeper and we have a small house. Now she doesn't wake up every time someone coughs. Good luck and know you are not traveling this road alone!

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  72. We don't co-sleep usually...but J refuses to sleep in his toddler bed even though I've tried tons of tricks and methods that other mom's have shared with me.

    So...he sleeps in his pack and play (which seems to be getting smaller and smaller...or is that him getting bigger?)

    He prefers it...and will lay down and go to sleep in it...so for now we just do what's best for us. And it's not without it's downsides...sometimes he wets himself and I have a to get up at 3 am and give him a bath, fresh PJ's and sheets...and then get him back to sleep. But, I wouldn't have it any other way.

    Glad to hear that you are doing what's best for you.

    Exhaustion is just part of parenting...and there's nothing wrong with it. ;-)

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  73. I just really love your personality. Well, from what I can *read* over the internet. I also have 4 kids and they are about the same ages as yours. I did/do things totally different then you but I just love the way you parent your kids. I would never co-sleep (not for us), but I love that you do. It just seems so right! I admire your writings and your non-judging ways. Being different from each other is what makes the world go round! Well, that and the Lord! Anyhow- just stopping by to say that you are doing a fantastic job and your children are beautiful!! Keep it up!

    Heidi P. (another mama of a Grayson)

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  74. There's no way I can read all of the 73 previous comments but I did see one about a sound machine. We swear by ours -- there's one in each room.

    I've got a co-sleeper bassinet thingy attached to our bed and my almost 2 mo. old sleeps in there about half the time and in our bed the rest (but I really don't know exactly the breakdown because I'm half asleep nursing her at periods during the night and not quite sure, ya know?!). BUT even she seems to be soothed by the sound machine white noise... I'd seriously give it a try. Doesn't have to be loud.

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  75. Sorry you are going thru this:(
    It is the season in our life to not sleep:)
    I half co-sleep, because I am the lightest sleeper ever and tried to co-sleep but I had to give up the dream after watching my baby sleep minute, by minute.....
    We all have our own path. And God made you that little ones mommy beacuse you are the best mommy for that child. You will get thru this:)

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  76. Our girls rarely ever slept in our bed with us (unless Phil was working midnights, I would let them.) I'm too selfish with my sleep. I never slept well when their little feet were kicking me in the stomach or they were whacking me with their arms. See, totally selfish.
    Sorry to hear you're not getting the sleep (and time) you need. You'll figure out what to do that works for your family.

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  77. It's interesting to hear the downsides--so many fans of co-sleeping will NEVER admit that there is ever a crummy night (or 12) because they want it to sound perfect. I'm becoming more and more convinced that sleep just always has it's rough spots for kids, no matter what your arrangement is.
    Kennedy slept with us for about 5.5months (my son never did) and when it stopped working (i.e. I was so sleep deprived I thought I was going to die), we transitioned to her crib, using assorted gentle cry/no cry strategies. Fussing is okay with me to learn to sleep--all out crying absolutely not. And it worked great every single night until about a 18 months when all hades broke loose around here. We're still getting it back together three months later, interestingly enough using some co-sleeping along with other strategies which is sort of working again.
    I guess I just want to commiserate. And thank you for being honest about the drawbacks of virtually any parenting choice. Good luck working things out and getting back to your evenings!

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  78. Another thing I don't know if I mentioned: Asher has a sounds machine, and it makes a big difference in his sleep patterns. If I forget to turn it on, or it's not loud enough, we have problems. So every night, we have a sound machine, the ceiling fan and a night light in his room. Last night he slept 15 and a half hours.

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  79. steph - i don't have time to read every comment right now so please forgive any repeating i do. i have to say that the pea is entering a similar phase to the one you describe. here are some thoughts coming at you from a hard core will not cry out will stay with them, nurse them rock them, cuddle them as long as they need me parenting style:

    1. i can't let her nap past a certain time of day or it messed with bedtime. she does much better napping earlier and having a longer stretch before bedtime.

    2. white noise or music is key for us.

    3. i love her dearly and when i am getting her to sleep i will not interact with her. even when she sits up to tell me the sweetest stories about wanting to kiss her "broda" night night again. i just tell her "close eyes, night night time" and that is it.

    4. we have to be in the dark.

    5. the pea has gone through phases where she sleeps better if she is alone in her bed then cosleeping and other phases where she sleeps better cosleeping. i try to follow her lead on this (which is so different from the bean who was a 100% cosleeper and still is.)

    6. as CRAZY as this sounds sometimes she falls asleep better when i start bedtime earlier. like, before i see the obvious tired signs.

    7. there are so many days when i can't wait until bedtime so i get my "me" time and time alone with my husband. the more intense i get about this the longer it takes to get them to sleep! i have started doing mini meditations, deep belly breathing, and other such stuff while i get them to sleep and it really helps the time to pass without me feeling so neurotic.


    you are the best.
    cosleeping is totally the best when sleep is involved.
    i am tired too. since, as i mentioned, the pea is in a similar phase it is just that hers also includes waking up around 3am to have a long chat with me about horses, dogs, cats and her baby doll. SIGH.

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  80. I ADORE co sleeping. I loved every moment of it with my daughter but we had alot of struggles.

    Our two deployments have screwed with her sleep schedule causing her such heartache I didn't even know a 2 month old or 1 year old could feel, let alone express.

    I can't really give you advice because we eventually, for her emotional health and other reasons, put her in a crib [at around 19/20 months old] and we had to let her cry it out a bit. It was heart breaking and my husband had to sit on me at times but for her it was the right thing to do. [I think I'm going to blog about this now]

    Even with it all, I'm still co-sleeping with the next child.

    I am here for you, for complaining, venting, or just plain adoration of co-sleeping [or lack of it]. Cause I understand it all.

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  81. oh i cosleep though i have a cosleeper he mostly sleeps with us and no i wont let him cry...for me its early morning that is killing me like 4 am playtime? ah well as you say we sleep when we are old :)

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  82. I feel your pain! I just posted about the sleep issues my 10 month old is having. I also 100% REFUSE to cry-it-out, and I can't figure out how anyone thinks that would be a good idea! I also can't figure out how any moms EVER get ANY sleep! Good luck :)

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  83. I think there are phases kids go through. Our older 3 kids have their own spaces for sleep in their room but also we have a "bed" of body pillows & blankets on the floor in our room for them (our actual bed isn't big enough anymore for everyone). And the baby (9.5 months now) is with us full-time still, he does have a space in our room but also sleeps with us. That means we might have everyone in our room depending on the night. Some nights it's bliss others it takes some extra patience, which can be a challenge when we are tired.

    Also, we have friends who don't co-sleep/sleep share & never have but deal with some of the same issues. So, I think a large part of it is that the rhythm of our days being different during transitions or holidays.

    But for us, what worked when the kids were more active like that (waking up to play) & it didn't pass after the transition/holiday settled down we did transition them to their own space, even if it was still in our room. I found it gave them the ability to play safely but still together. Being together(in some form) I found necessary for nighttime nursing. We've also done the sound machine or calming music--the boys even have this in their own room.

    Anyway, I feel for ya! It's a lot being a momma even if we get to snuggle that quiet time for ourselves is nice to just take in.

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  84. Earlier bedtime! That was a HUGE help for us. Think 6:30-7. We start bedtime routine at 5:30-6 (dinner, then bath, then daddy reads, then mama nurse). Consistency with bedtime routine makes a huge difference for us too. Also, naptime is essential... even a little nap. A good friend of mine always said sleep=more sleep, and it is so true. Skipping naptime always makes it much harder at night with our little one. Good luck!

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  85. It's so hard isn't it? Before Emily was born I swore that I would NEVER let her CIO, but it was better to let her do that than to risk hurting her or myself. And honestly, it wasn't that bad at all. I left you a comment over at the Real Mom's Guide. Unfortunately I don't have any advice since CIO is not an option but I hope this is just a (very short) phase for her!

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  86. I feel you, on pretty much every count. I co-sleep, and don't leave my kids to cry. And sometimes they sleep really well. Sometimes they don't. They get sick, have nap issues, growth spurts and teething. Or sometimes I don't even know.

    I have no great suggestions, but sometimes I tell myself I'm going to miss these days. They go way, way too fast. They're exhausting, but also sweet, and remembering that sometimes helps. At least a (very) little bit.

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  87. We co-sleep with Popeye, theBeast got her own bed in October and had no problems transitioning, much to my husbands dismay. LOL. I was actually a little fearful that Popeye would want his own bed when she got hers, but he didn't even care about her bed and still sleeps with us. Usually Popeye is the last kid asleep, since I nurse him to bed it really depends on him and if he falls asleep. Usually on a typical night I take him to the bed, nurse and he gets right up and goes to the living room.

    I figure that I won't be tired anymore when they're grownups, and I'll miss all the snuggle time :) So I don't mind the tiredness so much. (although I do have my moments of SUPER crabbiness!)

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  88. Oh Steph, this post was beautiful ... really. I didn't co-sleep with either of my children and I never let either of them cry it out. I could never do that and personally for me, don't believe in it. Instead, I would sit for hours on end cuddled together in a rocking chair only to wake up in the morning with a sore neck. Trust me - a bed would have been a lot more comfortable.

    What I found has worked for me is having light night time music and talking with my kids about going to bed. Chatting in a quiet, loving voice reminding them how very much I love them, what we are going to do the next day, what we were going to dream about and about how they were going to have such a good sleep. And, if they are fussy, then I get their favorite dolly/stuffy of the moment and wrap their little arms around it and tell them to hug their friend to sleep.

    This routine still takes us a bit, but I savour every moment of it, even if it means that I have a sore neck due to a few extra moments in the rocking chair.

    As you know, our children grow up very fast so in these moments of frustration and tiredness, it seems so minor. Because soon they will be out of the house and we will be wishing for those moments back.

    Continue to go with the flow and do what is right for you. You are doing a fabulous job and it is so apparent when you look into the happy, loving eyes of your children.

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  89. Have to share this Baby Wearin' video with you. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PU84rDbdu8Q

    Pretty ridiculously cute!!!

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  90. Some probiotics might help her sleep more/better. With the holidays comes more sugar and sugar kills the good bacteria in our intestines. This can have a negative affect on our quality and quantity of sleep. Hope it gets better soon!

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  91. I have co-slept with my oldest, Cameron for going on FIVE years now...we chose to co-sleep and loved it but it's time for him to be on his own...it's proving hard but we're making small strides.

    I actually blog about it too..
    http://theohanamama.com/?s=co-sleeping&submit=Go

    My second one, she is in her crib, has been form day one. She slept in our rom but in her own space. I just didn't have room for FOUR people in one bed, lol.

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  92. Not sure if someone has said this b/c I don't have time to read through comments right now, but you definitely need to pull out an old school disc man and get some books on cd from the library! My little one takes HOURS to fall asleep every night (regardless of the time we start) and I thought I was going to lose my mind until I started doing this!

    We cosleep too, and have been totally frustrated by this. She wakes up (since birth) like 10 - 15 times a night (she's 26 months). No solution from us!

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  93. Lullabies helped us - either me singing or having them quietly play in the cd player!
    Our "baby" is 3.5 now, and we still sometimes co-sleep (though he preffers his own big bed with all his toys on it more and more lately). If it's hard for him to settle down, I let him tell me all about his day and ask me whatever questions he has; then I announce that it's time to sleep, turn over if he doesn't want to cuddle and pretend to be asleep! It usualy works when he realises that mama ia tired and is "asleep" :)

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  94. Ivy is so beautiful, I can see why you don't want to let her cry! And frankly, I sort of miss sleeping with my boys, now that they are a bit older. In fact, we just got back from a vacation, and I was so happy to snuggle into the hotel bed with them every night (though I admit, I was dragging every day). As for the exhaustion, I know, it's so, so hard -- and hard to give up the quality alone time in the evening, too. But try to keep in mind: this too shall pass!

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  95. Oh yes, I've been there with both of mine. No words of wisdom, just keep plugging along. Actually, I remember now that we gave the girls a healthy snack (peanut butter and crackers) before bed a lot of times. It helped make sure their tummies were full and they seemed to drift off a lot faster on those nights. lol

    You aren't alone and it will end - someday! :)

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  96. oh YES, i know. *raises tired hand in salute* I totally dig what you're saying. With me it's less getting to sleep initially (I hear you on watching the clock tick the precious mama-papa hours away) but staying asleep. Ewan is about 3 weeks younger than Ivy, and he started about 4 months ago waking up between 2-6 times in the night, insisting on "boobie", and NOTHING else can calm him. We're not into distressed crying out either, not gonna happen, so we're just riding it out. But some mornings, like this one, where I lost count of how many times he woke up (and then didn't go back to sleep at dawn, which is about 4am right now) I can hardly think straight, and I wonder, I want to have 3 more kids and do this with each of them???!!! I must be a loon! But I do love the way we've chosen, and I am thankful that my hubby supports me in it. I just hope I'll be able to get a full nights sleep soon. It's literally only happened TWICE since he was born.

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  97. We very begrudgingly co-sleep with Archie (and I mean begrudgingly because I feel very, very guilty doing it). I was a happy co-sleeper with a few of the other kids.

    He goes to bed at the same time we do because I don't trust him on our bed alone. How do you make sure Ivy won't fall/roll off when you leave? That's one of my worries.

    When he turns 1, we are going to employ some gentle sleep training techniques. It's a must. His crib is in our room, so he is going to be reintroduced to it in the next week or so. I LOVE having him near but I could do without waking several times a night to make sure he is okay... ;(

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  98. Interesting discussion!

    We are doing a combination of co-sleeping and what I prefer to call "fussing" it out (NOT cry it out). We put the boy down at an early bedtime in a crib in our room with a nightlight and some soothing music and let him fall asleep on his own. He usually fusses a little for a few minutes and I watch the clock. But like you, as soon as it turns into *real* crying I go get him. Then later in the night when he wakes up to eat I bring him into our bed for the cuddling and easy night feeding and he usually stays there the rest of the night. It works for us!

    I think the thing is, even when you're really happy with your sleeping arrangements there are always going to be off nights or weeks where things suck. Hang in there.

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  99. my 10 month old has not slept more than 2 hours since he was 4 months old (when i started nursing him in bed). he and i now sleep on a mattress on the floor, and my husband sleeps in our bedroom.

    last week we started a gentle sleep adjustment routine. i nurse him to sleep at 7 and then again at 10 (the 3-hour stretch is new!). when he wakes up at 11 or 12, i stay next to him, rock him, rub his back, etc., but no nursing. he cries and cries for an hour or more, but it's a protest cry. he's tired and frustrated, but he doesn't sound upset or frightened. i sleep with him all night long, and at 2 or 3am we go through the whole crying thing again. at 5 or 6 i nurse him in bed, and he sleeps for another hour or two.

    the crying period is awful for me because i'm so exhausted, all i want to do is give in and nurse him. but nursing all night long has its drawbacks, mainly that he nurses every 1-2 hours and doesn't always settle easily. so, not exactly the dream solution that some people at my LLL group suggested.

    i would never leave him to cry it out by himself. i feel like we're working together on a sleep solution. now he wakes up with a huge smile on his face, well-rested and ready for a new day.

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  100. I just walked around in a daze for 2 years (seriously) and, 5 years later, I sometimes still do.

    You will eventually get some really great nights of sleep somewhere in the midst of time. Maybe not every night--but most nights (until the oldest is a teenager, anyway.) ;)

    Oh and yes, it's so totally worth it. My daughter is 9 and I held her (really long) body in my lap until she fell asleep the other night. (she LET ME!)

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  101. Audrey is waking up about 3 times a night and nursing( she is 17 months old). Im hanging in there but I miss my all night sleep on the nights I'm home from work. And hubby misses the all night sleep on nights he has baby duty because I'm at work, it's also hard for him because those nights he has to just rock her back to sleep since mama's milk is not around.

    Hope we all get some sleep soon!!!

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  102. She does not sleep with us but I do the same thing pretty much. I sit in a chair with her in her room until she falls asleep. Then I put her down. AND she is doing the same thing lately. She is sitting there FOREVER with her eyes open just sort of staring into space. Occasionally looking up and asking for kisses. At the moment she is sitting on the kitchen table at my ILs house entertaining everyone. :)

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  103. Oh Steph, how lucky you are to co-sleep. I would do it but our bed is simply not big enough for all 3 of us. I love the nights when we HAVE to sleep with him. I love when he naps on me. It melts me.
    Evan is about the same age as Ivy and has been less than interested in going to bed lately too. I hate CIO too, so what I usually do if he cries for more than 5-10 minutes or if he is CRYING CRYING is I'll let him get up and play. I keep the lights down low and he can play or watch TV with us or get a drink but no snacks and I try again a bit later.
    Evan also has music in his room, which helps him get to sleep. And a fan!
    Hope those suggestions help a little bit!

    You are so awesome for being so committed to attachment parenting.

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  105. Not alone at all. My little guy went through that very same thing. He still takes around 45 minutes to fall asleep, but it's better than it used to be...and much less maddening. Despite that, I still love co-sleeping. I'm unconvinced that leaving them to cry it out and sleep in their own rooms is actually any easier.

    Hope you get some of that you-time back soon!

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  106. We didn't cosleep with AJ because he couldn't...wasn't used to it but we did sleep with him next to us. And Gus has slept with us since he got home and it's almost time to phase him out. And I'm dreading it. Dreading it...Dreading it...I love his sweet smell and his warmth.

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  107. Well, seeing as your have many, many comments before mine, my words may get lost in the masses, but I can commiserate! My fourth is just a few weeks younger than your Ivy and we, too, cosleep. Somehow I am learning to function with less sleep than I think I need!

    Recently, my little one has turned a corner and has begun going to sleep on his own at night without trouble. He nurses until he is full..you know, a feeding where milk is dribbling down contented cheeks...and then I lay him down as he hums himself to la-la land. BUT then around 12 or 1 o'clock, he awakens and attaches and doesn't let go. My hips begin to ache and I try to unlatch him and he wakes up! I know he does not need to eat and that he can go all night, but he doesn't know that and doesn't care either. :-)

    Ah, I rest in knowing that sleep will eventually come!

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  108. This is tough but I am so jealous! We used a co-sleeper ( and will with this one when she comes in a few weeks) until it was just no longer safe at 8 months or so and then moved the kids to their own cribs (which I hate!!!) because neitehr of us slept with the babies in the bed. But when hubby travels - I usually get one of them to sleep with me!

    I refuse to do the CIO too. It would make me crazy to hear my babies cry in pain like that. I just don;t do it and I know there are others who don;t do it and so I don;t care if everyone swears by it. You will hear no gut wrenching cries for mommy's arms in the night because they will be around my child.

    Quick question - you said Ivy can get out of your bed? How high is it? I want to get Miles (20 months) out of the crib since he can propel himself out of it but I am worried about him in a big boy bed and don't want to buy a toddler bed. Thanks for the help!

    Good luck! You are a great Mommy and I think little Ivy is probably just going through a phase.

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  109. You could try giving her a few picture/board books to look at while she's settling down. I know reading in the bed makes me sleepy, so maybe it'll work for her as well. Good luck. I don't know how you have time to read all the comments but God Bless you for trying! :) Hopefully this will pass soon. That nightly quiet time is sometimes what gets me through the day.

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  110. whew. it's so so so hard. i could NEVER let my girls cry themselves to sleep and i'm pretty sure that i'll be the exact same way with this next little guy.
    and the whole sleeping thing? i think it just is what it is. they are who they are.
    i cried so many times with my first feeling like it was ME that made her that way (the non-sleeper that she was). and when i had my second ... i finally realized that it wasn't me! it wasn't me!! my second slept like a rock. so much sooner.
    sleeping is way overrated. it just doesn't feel like it when you are oh-so-tired. thinking of you. it's hard. and when i'm in the midst of it here in a few more weeks, and i write a blog post about how tired i am and is co-sleeping really worth it? could you remind me of everything i just said?

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  111. Co-NOT-sleep....yup, that's it.

    We differ a bit in the kiddos sleeping around here. Lily STARTS in her crib, but when she wakes up a few hours alter i bring her into MY bed Yup, MY BED, and i call it that because Todd has to sleep with Jonah all night long, or else he wakes up 10-15 times a night. Just easi to be there in bed with him when he wakes up, can shush him back to sleep faster and easier. Lily is usually fine once she is in bed with me, but I am going to be honest, i would LOVE for her to go to bed at night, and not wake up til morning. Same for Jonah, so Todd and I can have some good quality time together.

    But you are right, essentially, this is a stage that won't last forever and will be far too soon when we are waving at our kiddos who are going of to college and we will begin to wonder where the time went and long for those long nights of snuggles and lovin' with them. Sometimes it is just so hard and exhausting to see those moments when in the midst of it.

    I feel your pain my friend. I totally get it.

    Jen

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  112. I parent much the same way. The babies cosleep for a while, then they sleep in the crib until they wake up and then they cosleep for the rest of the night. I've rocked all of my kids to sleep until they were about 2 (I'm guessing the baby will be the same). I do not let my kids cry it out. I don't have the stomach for it. My older kids sleep pretty well most of the time so I don't think I did any damage by not letting them cry it out. I like to think that I helped them sleep better now.

    My baby (3rd and last) went through some sleep issues a few weeks ago and it was due to molars coming in. Perhaps Ivy is teething? I'm sure you know anyway, sleep distubances come and go with kids. Soon you'll be sleeping through again without realizing it.

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  113. So sorry for you Steph - I'm a sleepy, co-sleeping Momma too, it's hard sometimes. The hardest thing for me with my baby was realizing that sometimes he just needs to sleep by himself. He doesn't have a crib yet, so it's been sleeping in the swing or on a pallet we made on the floor. He is only 6 months old but he won't sleep for more than an hour or so if he is sleeping with us. On his own he sleeps up to 8 hours at a time. My 2 year old though - she still sleeps with us sometimes!

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  114. While we don't co-sleep, we do have a 3 month old who sleeps right next to our bed and finds it enjoyable to stay up until 1 am and then sleep until noon. Unfortunately, we are both teachers and school starts EARLY (we leave the house with all 3 kids at 6:45 am). So I can completely commiserate with your lack of sleep and lack of quiet time. Our pediatrician's solution to our problem of getting Noah to go to sleep earlier - put him in his room down the hall and shut the door so we can't hear him cry! I DON'T THINK SO! So for now, we are living on caffeine and taking shifts with him. I second Owlhaven's suggestions of listening to books while you put her to sleep. I listen to books on my iPod while I breastfeed my babies to sleep and I find that it's really helpful. Good luck and remember...this too shall pass.

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  115. co-sleeping is a glorious idea...in my head.i would love to do it. it's just the logistics that mess me up. like, what do you do when they're big enough to start rolling off the bed, but too little to teach how to climb down themselves? and my husband wakes up for work in the morning with the alarm, so how do i keep the baby sleeping past the alarm until all the other kids are up for the day (no way i'm getting out of bed with the baby sooner than i have to). just stuff like that that has made co-sleeping not practical for me in the past, though i love the IDEA of it. any suggestions?

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  116. I love co-sleeping but my 9 month old would wake up every hour to comfort nurse. While I like nursing as much as she does I don't want her to eat for comfort. I know it isn't the same thing. Whatever. ANYWAY, I wasn't getting any sleep so we tried just about everything to get her to sleep in her own room. She was not having it. Eventually after exhausting all of our options we did CIO and it SUCKS but it only sucked for a couple of days. Now she sleeps like a champ and only fusses, not cries, for a few minutes before conking out. I know it isn't for everyone. You do what makes you happy - every family is different! Good luck to you! Mom needs her sleep too!

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  117. We co-sleep with our children ... yes we have six children and four of them sleep with us. We have a queen and a king mattress together but still sometimes I feel like "If only I had my own space" but most of the time it works really well.

    My little guy is very much effected by the full moon -- New Years Eve marks the Full Blue Moon so hopefully you will get some sleep soon.

    My trick ... as I lie there trying to get my little ones all to sleep is to take a moment and think... it seems like just yesterday that my oldest was the baby I was trying to get to sleep and she is 14 before too long I will have all the time in the world to sleep!

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  118. I co slept with my son until he was way over a year and a half...and after we moved him to a toddler bed he was with us more than he was in his bed. Even the week before I delivered he was in our bed. He's 2 1/2. It's been a rough transition for him b/c now he has to nap and sleep in his own bed since I'm co sleeping with our little girl. She's been in our bed since the hospital (the nurses had to look the other way b/c they didn't like me co sleeping with her). Babies are supposed to be with their mommys. Plain and simple. It makes nursing easier and we all get more sleep when she's with us. I just feel bad for my son who now has to be out of our bed....There is going to come a day when they don't want to sleep with you...this is just a season and I say enjoy every precious moment....Hugs!

    Caryn

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  119. Hi Steph,

    I wouldn't panic if it's only been a few nights.

    We co-sleep (well sort of - our crib is strapped to her bed with one side missing) and expect to for the immediate future but if we stopped being able to get to sleep hubby has told me that she'd be getting her own room.

    We don't cry it out but as someone who vividly remembers crying as a strategy to get my own way (ahem) I'm not philosophically opposed to the concept of ignoring a child's crying under some circumstances. Elizabeth definitely wails sometimes when she thinks it will get her what she wants.

    You mentioned that you understand protest crying but if she has a real heart cry or calls for you that is not an option. Those parameters seem like they could be easily taken advantage of by a child of a certain temperment. I know I was a delightful child but if I knew I could keep my mother and her undivided attention in the room with me simply by calling or crying with a bit of oomph, that would have been handing me some real power. I don't know if Ivy is such a child, but it's something I'd be mindful of. I think there is a middle ground between ensuring child never feels the compulsion to cry and "cry it out".

    Suggestions - you mentioned that you have a consistent bed time. Is it possible that it's too consistent? I read somewhere that bedtimes vary a bit with age and it's better to have a range of bedtimes based on the child giving sleepy cues rather than an arbitrary fixed time.

    If you are finding bed time is too late, maybe you are missing the sleepy window. You could try moving your bedtime 20 minutes earlier (and/or watch for the first signs your child is sleepy and the next night try bedtime around then).

    Does Ivy actually sit up? On the rare occasions when Elizabeth protests bedtime because she wants to play, we hold her down (that sounds horrible, doesn't it?). Basically we cuddle her and allow her to move however she likes as long as her shoulders remain in contact with the mattress. Usually she then falls asleep within 15 minutes (less if Daddy is in charge).

    Can you get some "you" time at another time? If this season means that you need to spend a hour with Ivy instead of the moment to yourself you were counting on, maybe there is a different time that you can schedule that moment? I know for myself frustration comes easily if my expectations aren't being met. So if I were expecting to get time to myself after bed and it wasn't happening, I'd get frustrated. But if that wasn't the routine I expected, then I wouldn't. Does that make sense?

    Okay - time to stop babbling. Hope some of this was helpful. Disregard any of it that wasn't ;)

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  120. I'm sitting in bed, with my 22-month old's hand down my shirt (some kids have blankies, mine goes straight for a good squeeze of the nursies). It is 9:34 p.m. and we seem to be FOREVER away from sleep-- despite the fact that a warm fire, husband, and glass of vino is waiting in the next room...and yes, I know the computer screen doesn't help, but good gravy, I'm going crazy in here;). In any case.....I never have let any of my three "cry it out." Never will. Instead, I just get my boob squeezed to death and know that when I wake up forehead-to-forehead with this sweet girl in the morning, all will be right with the world. *and sorry for the too much information boob talk-- 11 years of co-not-sleeping with one baby or another tends to make a sense of humor go a bit, um, wonky.;)

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  121. You said: "I admit, many days I can't WAIT for the kids to go to bed." I admit that too. ;)

    Oh, and I'm here commiserating with you. We love co-sleeping in our house. It's not always peaceful. It's not always perfect. But it works for us...and there's nothing quite like waking up to a smiling, cuddly baby in the morning.

    Thanks for this candid post.

    stephanie@metropolitanmama.net

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  122. I am so with you!

    We never meant to be a bedsharing family. My dad made a beautiful cradle that was big enough to last until my son could pull himself to a standing postition, and then we bought a crib. But we hardly used them like I'd imagined. (I used them more for storing clean laundry until I can fold it.....like when my almost-toddler turns five.)

    My little guy is a light sleeper too. He sleeps with me and only me. If I have to get up in the middle of the night and ask his daddy to put his arm around him so he doesn't roll off, our little guy still cries for me. He loves his daddy to play with, but only mama will do for bedtime. It's precious....but oh, so exhausting sometimes. One moment I treasure the season we're in and know it will be so fleeting. I know I'll miss it when he's four and running everywhere with no time to snuggle with me. But other times, when I want to remember that I'm just a wife, or when I simply want to get something done all.by.myself!, it gets a little tedious that I have to be with him.

    We tried the No Cry Sleep Solution, and some of it worked. But then it stopped working. I don't know what to do other than wait and be patient. And in the meantime, I'll forgive myself for taking months to catch up on laundry, for having piles of clothes everywhere but where they are supposed to be, and for being able to write my name in the dust on our shelves. My husband is gracious about it all, though he loves a tidy house. But he also loves the fact that our little guy is firmly attached and is such a happy little character.

    We were beaten over the heads with Babywise by so many close friends. I stood firm even when my husband thought we might be wise to consider that bunk, and when I started to waver (just in the last few weeks because the little guy wants to party all night far too often), my husband surprised me to saying that bedsharing was a good thing and that he wouldn't have it any other way. The bond we have with our baby is so special.

    The only thing I'd change is to get a bed closer to the ground and have carpet so that I could sneak out of the room on occasion. But for this short season, I'll survive. And one day, that survival time will feel a lot more like a rare treasure.

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  123. I have to tell you that this post is close to my heart because I am finally at my wits end with co-sleeping. I hate to say it, but it's just not working for us. He is a few weeks older than Ivy and has never slept through the night. The longest stretch we've gone since he's been born in 3-4 hours at that was a handful of nights at best. In fact, his sleep has been getting progressively worse, wanting to nurse all night. I'm tired and honestly, feel like junk. Dr Sears has a motto and that's if it doesn't work, change it. So that's what we've started tonight.
    As much as it breaks my heart, we started the Ferber thing tonight. What I will say is that within 13 minutes and my husband going in three times, he is asleep. Now ask me what I'll do in the middle of the night, and the story my change. All I know is that this is a first and I'm so thankful that there wasn't hours of crying.
    There is a great site out there that made me realize I'm not a bad mother for changing our arrangements. I also realized that I'm doing this for him as well. Something has come up and I'm having surgery in a few weeks. I'll be in the hospital for a few nights and he has to learn how to sleep without me and nursing.
    Glad to know I"m not the only one with sleep issues. This is my fourth and somedays it still feels like my first! :)

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  124. We have always sort of half co-slept with Ella and Gabriel. With Ella during her first two years sometimes it was the ONLY way any of us got any sleep at all. You do what you have to do, I get it. I also hate the crying and can't do it - Gabriel has been the absolute pits lately about night-waking and he turns 2 next month - sigh. And another new baby to be born in a couple weeks, I think Bob and I may never sleep in more than 2 hour spurts again!

    Ella is 4.5 and for the last year she has been the best sleeper. She went from being terrible and I mean TERRIBLE to sleeping 12-14 hours solidly at night - she gave up her nap at 23 months and her night sleep solidified, finally.

    No advice here, just wanted to post some commiseration. Most of the time I can convince myself that this is all very normal, it is great that the kids want to be with us in bed and someday I will miss it. But those little elbows and feet and all the pillow stealing can be very disenchanting at 3 a.m.!

    So, my opinion is that there is no magic trick, nothing that will consistently work for every kid all of the time and sleep deprivation is all a part of early parenthood. My least favorite part, to be honest!

    Hang in there.

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  125. I'll commiserate w/ you! My 4th co-sleeps too. He's a restless sleeper. There are nights I get stressed and tired because either he won't go to sleep or he won't stay asleep. I won't let him cry it out either...they're only little for a while...we're only privileged to be their whole world for a while...my oldest just turned 13...Hope she outgrows this little phase and you get some "me" time.

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  126. I really love the book "Good Night Sleep Tight" and here is her top ten tips:

    http://www.sleeplady.com/sleep_tips.html

    Very helpful, on my 3rd child and I still go to those tips when I'm find my self in a sleep pickle!

    Good luck! Take some naps :)

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  127. Ivy might be a little young for this suggestion, but my sister-in-law has told me that when her son was a young toddler it helped to verbally review the day with him before bed. Somehow this helped him to feel closure to the day or something and he started falling asleep better. Good luck! My 22 month old still ends up in bed with us many nights, plus I now have a 1 week old!

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  128. I co-sleep...well, co-not-sleep too and I love it, but I feel your pain. It's like in those moments of trying to get the little one to sleep you are giving so much of yourself, snuggling, singing, missing out on alone time for them to just not want to go to sleep. My daughter is 26 months and we co-sleep and she is the queen of fighting sleep. Especially when there is anything else going on. She is just too afraid that she is going to miss something and fights it with every fiber of her being. We move from the family bed to her bed (a mattress on the floor nestled between our bed and the wall for those times she wants her own space) back to the family bed, to wanting water, to wanting baby, no not that baby, the other one, oh wait, no I want Pooh bear AND baby AND water. It seems to never end.

    So please, if you find the magic answer, please please share it!

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  129. My kids are much older now, but I remember being frustrated by turns at bed time. We didn't do the "official" co-sleeping thing - even though it was my intention to do so! We (either my husband or I) always laid down with them until they were asleep - I am totally against the idea that babies/kids should cry themselves to sleep. I remember many nights my husband would go to put our daughter to bed (she was probably 1.5 or so) and she would toddle down to see me 30 minutes later or so saying "daddy go sleep!" and being so proud of herself! My only advice... I remember for a while with my son he actually went to sleep better nursing in the rocking chair and then I would lay down with him than nursing in bed - somehow he didn't have the same association of "uh oh - she wants me to sleep now!"

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  130. She's so precious... I remember my youngest going through that stage.

    Girl.. I'm still co-sleeping and have always since girls been born. They are now 5 and 7. I know I should let them sleep in their nice new bunk beds, but I just can't. Just can't :(. I have to have them there with me!

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  131. Oh you are so not alone!!! We don't co-sleep much anymore (my daughter is a ninja in bed) but I do not let her cry. I have received so much flack that at 15 going on 16 months I still rock her/ hold her to sleep. It is time consuming and sometimes takes hours and is exhausting but it is worth it. I think of it like this, one day I am going to wish for these moments back and she will be all grown up so why not cherish it now (even when my arms feel like they will fall off) because what could really be more important then holding her. Hang in their momma, I know it is exhausting (that's what coffee is for right??)

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  132. Steph your kids are so sweet and precious.
    I have to say that I am ALWAYS amazed at the amount of parents who co-sleep and practice the attachment parenting philosophy who feel that they are alone in their parenting choice. It seems to me that a large majority of parents co-sleep and are fans of the co-sleeping.
    I'm not necessarily one of those people but that's because it doesn't work for me, my husband or our kids. And that's okay. I'm happy with my choices and I am pretty sure our kids are too.
    And I know that you are happy with what you've chosen to do. If you weren't, you'd change something. So keep with it, as so many others have said, they are only young for so long and time flies by.
    And if need be, I suppose you could invest in a coffee drip by IV. :)

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  133. I'm a bit late commenting but I just wanted to say I too am having similar issues. This is my fourth baby, and although I definitely don't have it all worked out, I have worked out what works for us. My 22 month old still bed shares and when he wouldn't settle in the evenings, I found it so hard to watch the minutes of me time ticking away. He naps in the sling, so in the evenings now I let him fall asleep on me and then I put him down. It's not ideal, but I know I couldn't leave him to cry - this way he sleeps, I get stuff done (admittedly mostly only on the internet) and I get enough sleep. I hope you have found a solution and are getting some sleep too!

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  134. I'm also late to comment. I just wrote about my fatigue and our no cry policy but oh boy, am I tired...

    My little guy will not sleep on his own at all...no naps or in the early evening so I carry him most of the time.

    While I wouldn't necessarily change the cosleeping, I would love to put him down.
    It'll take me a while to read your comments section but hopefully a little morsel of wisdom show up and recharge me tonight.
    Thanks for sharing Steph.

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  135. There really is no easy way to approach the topic of co-sleeping. It sounds like you are doing the best you can despite the obstacles that seem overwhelming. It will get better as many of us have commented. Wishing you the best.

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