Mrs. Spring: Thanks for your post on your experience co-sleeping. I have a question for you about the transition to her own bed.
My daughter is 7 months old. Until 2 weeks ago, her crib was in our bedroom. First, the crib was at the foot of our bed, and I slept with my head closest to it so that I could reach out and comfort her and talk to her if needed. At about 4 months, we moved the crib to the other side of the room. And two weeks ago, we moved the crib into her own room.
From month 2 to month 5, she slept through the night without nursing and without fussing. She was swaddled and had a pacifier, and usually she woke up still in her swaddle.
Beginning at about 5 months, she started waking up to nurse in the early morning, and then earlier and earlier, and so at that point, since I was so tired, I usually let her stay in bed with us after the first time she nursed. I spoke with our pediatrician about this and she suggested that since my daughter has always been in the high 90th percentile for weight, she really didn’t need to nurse at night for nutrition, especially since she went for three months without doing so. I realized that I may have simply developed a comfort habit for her, so I stopped nursing her and let her stay in her crib. (Of course, now and then she’ll seem to have an occasional bad night, and she’ll sleep with us then.) From that point forward, she went back to her old sleeping habits — through the night with little to no fuss.
Around the same time, I realized that we probably also wanted to break the habit of my husband rocking her to sleep every night. At 4 months, I started utilizing some no-cry sleep practices and eventually got her to the point where she no longer needs to be rocked or even picked up. My husband or I can comfort her to sleep with our hand and our voice, or comfort her back to sleep the same way if she wakes up. (OF course, there is the rare time when she is inconsolable, and of course we pick her up at that point.)
Which brings me to today. We moved her crib to her own room the first night back from a week spent at our family’s home. That was about two weeks ago. Going to sleep is not a problem. We have a regular bedtime routine and she falls asleep easily with one of us in the room — usually me. Sometimes during the night she’ll cry out, so I’ll offer her the pacifier and re-swaddle her if need be. But sometimes this happens several times in a row and several times during the night. For example, last night she went to sleep at 7pm. She woke up fussing several times around 11pm, then again at 2, 2:30, and 4, and she finally woke up to nurse and begin the day at 5:30am.
We’re a little concerned, since she slept like a champ from very early on, and now all of a sudden things are different. But she’s had some big changes since then, like the introduction of solid food, sleeping in her own room, and new physical abilities. And, of course, at 7+ months, chances are good she’s probably teething. But we, too, loosely follow the Attachment Parenting model, and we want her to have every opportunity and be as comfortable as possible.
I’d love your thoughts! Apologies for the novel but I figured others might benefit from your wisdom. 🙂