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Thread: Co-sleepers- what do you do in the evening?

  1. #1

    Default Co-sleepers- what do you do in the evening?

    Please help! My son is 7 months old and still almost exclusively breastfed (just taking tiny amounts of solids so far- he's really not keen yet). We co-sleep and until recently he has slept happily downstairs in the evenings from about 7pm, nursing on and off while we relax, and then coming to bed with us about 10pm. However, he now will not go to sleep in the evenings (even although he is clearly very tired and needs to be asleep) unless I take him up to bed early, where he falls asleep nursing, but wakes immediately and looks for the breast again if I try to move away (no matter how long I wait!). He cries if he doesn't get to nurse again straight away. I am happy for him to fall asleep at the breast for now as I think it's completely normal - but I can't lie in bed with him all evening- I need some time with my husband too! Does anyone have any suggestions? I would be so grateful for any help anyone can offer.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,252

    Default Re: Co-sleepers- what do you do in the evening?

    In my experience some babies are much more likely to allow a sneak away by mom than others. Also, age may make a difference, so this may get easier with time. But here are some tricks that have worked for me when trying to do a sneak away.
    *Set the scene for sleep- lay down to nurse baby to sleep in a dark room with white noise (such as a fan or noise machine.)
    *Leave a breast pad or shirt with my scent near baby.
    *Do a mom-baby version of the "hug, then roll away' technique highlighted on an episode of Friends seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0eStJlnNKo Basically, I snuggle sleeping baby to me and then gently roll her (or let her roll) onto her back, as we want to try to leave baby 'back to sleep' during SIDS risk age. Then I roll away-seriously, pretty much how Ross demonstrates it. I may give a reassuring hand squeeze or similar as I get out of bed-or just AFTER I get up.
    *Similar to above-leave a reassuring hand on baby until I am out of bed, or stand by baby with a hand on baby to help baby settle if baby starts to stir a bit when I get up.
    *Put some 'safe' weight on baby (a breathable cotton blanket for example, over baby's torso, not face of course.)

    *General tip for getting "special" private time-if the private time you are planning with your husband is of the intimate variety, have yourself and the space you plan to use "ready" prior to heading off to nurse baby down so you can make the most of whatever time baby gives you before waking. (And make sure to clue your husband in ahead of time as well.)
    *Have a sense of humor about inevitable interruptions

    On nights I just can not get baby to stay settled without me, I will read a book using a mini book light.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    middle of IA
    Posts
    1,885

    Default Re: Co-sleepers- what do you do in the evening?

    i just go to bed with baby, whcih means i'm pretty much always rested (except when i stay up too late watching videos! with headphones). as baby gets older, i transition from going to sleep very early to taking some work or entertainment to bed.
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    550

    Default Re: Co-sleepers- what do you do in the evening?

    I have one of those impossible-under-any-circumstances to sneak away from babies. If this becomes a permanent change, I pretty much do what auderey does. I very, very rarely actually take entertainment to bed with me, though, because I actually prefer the extra sleep.

    But I think it's likely that what you're experiencing is temporary--if baby usually lets you sneak away and isn't right now, it might just be something different is bothering him right now. Could be a developmental leap, growth spurt, teeth, anything, really. I'd roll with it for now, and reassess the situation if it hasn't returned to your usual "normal" in a few more days.
    Apologies for the short responses! I'm usually responding one-handed on my smartphone!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    347

    Default Re: Co-sleepers- what do you do in the evening?

    I do exactly what Auderey describes. My son would cry bloody murder the second I so much as shifted my weight away from him until he was about 10 months old. Then, he could tolerate my leaving the shared sleep space if I was nearby--say, within 10 feet (I swear, he could smell my milk.)

    From about 18 months onward, I could get up for hours at a time after he settled. Now, at 25 months, I do about 3 hours of work/relax with DH in the evenings after DS falls asleep the first time and wakes for a nurse. I treasure our naps together in the afternoon and snuggle him while sleeping or reading.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Co-sleepers- what do you do in the evening?

    Thanks so much for taking the time to reply, ladies- I am so very grateful.

    Meg- some great suggestions there thanks- trying some tonight (why on earth did I not think of leaving him an item of clothing that smells of me?!) and things are going a little better (well, here I am online, for now!).

    Auderey- I'd love to just go to bed with DS, and do when I can, but can't manage every night. Plus I return to work in January, and my work involves one night on-call per week, so we do need to get DS used to me not always being by his side in the evenings.

    Sonogirl- excellent point- there are definitely more teeth on the way! Thanks for giving me hope that this may be temporary!

    I can't believe I have breastfed for 7 months without this wonderful website! I am delighted to be breatfeeding, and there have been lots of lovely times (and milky smiles...aaahh!) but some battles too...I am so glad to have found you all! xxx

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    middle of IA
    Posts
    1,885

    Default Re: Co-sleepers- what do you do in the evening?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*matthew.s.mum View Post
    Plus I return to work in January, and my work involves one night on-call per week, so we do need to get DS used to me not always being by his side in the evenings.
    don't borrow trouble - i'm pretty skeptical of 'getting baby used to' things in advance. i think when they're with another caregiver, they work things out on their own anyway.


    I can't believe I have breastfed for 7 months without this wonderful website! I am delighted to be breatfeeding, and there have been lots of lovely times (and milky smiles...aaahh!) but some battles too...I am so glad to have found you all! xxx
    welcome!
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

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