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Thread: FTM Looking for Support

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Posts
    3

    Default FTM Looking for Support

    Greetings. This is my first post on this board so apologies if it is a)lengthy or b)in the wrong Forum

    My daughter is 4 months old and has been breastfed since birth. She gets the occasional bottle of pumped milk (especially in the first few months when I needed some sleep) but I have been off work for the summer and we have gotten on a good schedule so now she only gets a bottle about once a week if at all.
    Once she was a little less than 3 months old in a desperate need for sleep and sanity I began putting her in the bed with me and nursing her to sleep. (Did my best to make as safe as possible with no mattress pads, extra pillows, sheet only etc..) This was a lifesaver for me because I was doing all the night feedings since my husband works a dangerous job and I want him to get his rest. I noticed that her and I were both getting more sleep as well. She sleeps much longer next to me than in her bassinet or crib.
    Well fast forward and now she is 4 months old. We just had our 4 month well child and the doctor seemed a little surprised at her weight and mentioned that we could put her in bed and turn off the baby monitor . I brought up to him that we co-slept and he basically encouraged us to get baby out of the bed which I know my husband has been thinking anyways.
    I want to do what is fair to my husband and am trying my hardest to get her to sleep in her crib. I assume that the first step would be naps in there, but she now cries instantly when we set her in there no matter how deep of sleep she had been in previously. I try walking away for 5-10 minutes (who am i kidding 5 minutes is the probably the max lol) and the crying just escalates. I really am not a fan of letting her. My family keeps telling me I need to just tough it out a few nights but I personally like her sleeping next to me. My husband is supportive and says he wants to do what works best for us, but part of me knows deep down inside he wants our bed back lol

    So with that long winded story I guess I am just wondering what people's situations are out there. One of the most important things for me is to continue to nurse as long as possible and I think there is a part of me that is worried if she starts sleeping in her crib that it will be harder to maintain my supply (she does a lot of comfort nursing throughout the night). Is that crazy? Will our nursing relationship be ok if she starts sleeping in her crib? (which by the way is about 20 feet from our room since our house is tiny)

    Also, If we do decide to go the route of her sleeping in her own room, how can I make that transition without the dreaded Cry it out??

    Finally, if we do continue to co-sleep are we making it even harder when the time comes for her to go to her own bed, or is that something babies will eventually be more comfortable with?

    My husband and I both decided we will do whatever works best for our family, but we don't want to damage our daughter mentally and have her wanting to sleep with us until she is 10 haha.

    Thanks for anyone who took the time to read this. I don't have any friends with babies and my mom and aunts dont seem to remember what is was like.

    Much love,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    41

    Default Re: FTM Looking for Support

    Hi!

    Sounds same as me. I'm a massive fan of doing whatever it takes for everyone to sleep as much as possible.

    We put a double mattress on the floor in the baby's room, and I slept there with him most of the time, so husband could sleep. About 1 year oldish I nursed to sleep and then sometimes went back to bed with my husband, but went back for night wakes / feeds. I stayed with babyif he needed me. We nightweaned at about 15m. From then his sleeps got longer and longer until now (baby is 26mo ) most nights I sleep with my husband in our bed, and baby sleeps through on his mattress in his own room. It's heaven. If he needs me I'm there ( or weekends my husband is ). If we are ever lucky to have another, I'll do everything the same way.

    Please don't worry about bad habits or damaging your daughter mentally! Just do what works best for everyone. They are only so small and dependent for such a short time. You can change it up anytime if things stop working out.

    Happy to answer any more questions, and Happy Sleeps to you all!

    Xx

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,754

    Default Re: FTM Looking for Support

    Hi and welcome!

    So, here is what I am thinking-
    You, your baby, and your husband get more sleep when you bedshare.
    With the right precautions, bedsharing with the breastfed baby is at least as safe as baby sleeping in a crib and statistically becomes much safer than before at and after 4 months of age.
    Having baby close at night does help to keep milk production on track. So thinking that bedsharing is helpful to breastfeeding longevity is not crazy at all, it is a fact.
    Sleep training (and it always involves cry it out) is entirely a modern invention based on false ideas about human sleep. It is neither needed nor healthy.
    For almost all of human history in all societies, and even in recent times in most societies, mothers sleep beside their babies and young children and often even older children sleep with their parents or their siblings. It is normal and there is not one shred of evidence it is mentally or in any other way harmful.

    Now, here is the truth. If you keep baby in your bed now, you will most likely not find it any easier to transition baby to their own room in 6 months or a year. But that is not because keeping baby in bed with you now caused a problem!

    Babies and young toddlers are simply not developmentally ready to sleep on their own. It is not normal for them to do so, biologically. So, you can have baby cry it out now, in a year, or even in two years, it will still probably be hard. In my personal experience, most kids are ready to transition to their own beds sometime between age 2 and a half and 4 years of age. They CAN transition at any time, of course. But by that age range, they are the most likely ready so it is easier.

    So if you can wait until around age 3, that is going to make transitioning much easier. It may be a breeze, it may take a little effort, but for sure you can do it and most likely with no crying. Because by then you will know many ways to comfort your child aside nursing, you will have an established bedtime and nap time routine they can understand and actually look forward and be involved in, and they will be confidently mobile and able to seek help at night rather than lie alone crying helplessly, and that ability will help them be comfortable sleeping in their own room or bed. Most importantly, developmentally, they will be capable of sleeping long hours and that makes a big difference. Otherwise you will have to do cry it out which teaches your baby no one is coming so they might as well stop crying and save their energy. It does not teach them to sleep because sleep is not something that can be taught. They still wake, babies and young toddlers wake frequently all night, this is normal.

    I suggest the book Sweet Sleep from LLL, packed with fascinating facts about baby and child sleep and help and ideas for you and your husband when it comes to making sleep arrangements work for all of you.

    Oh and what is the supposed concern with your baby's weight exactly? What was 'surprising' to the doctor?
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; July 31st, 2017 at 01:23 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: FTM Looking for Support

    Thank you both! I actually have the book Sweet Sleep and that is what encouraged me to bedshare in the first place. I do love it and wish I could convince my stubborn husband to read a single book let a lone that book haha. I appreciate the support from you ladies. To answer the question MaddieB - She weighed 18 lbs 12oz which was basically off the weight chart he gave me. He was very surprised to find out she had only had breast milk and no solid foods. I think he was just surprised that she had gained over 5lbs from her 2 month appt. I appreciate that info about what age the transition would be more natural. I am just so thankful to talk with like minded people. I have been feeling on an island here, but something deep inside me keeps telling me that forcing little girl to sleep on her own at 4 months is not normal. At night she always sleeps with one leg or arm touching me to make sure I am still there. She just seems to really need to feel my presence to sleep soundly.
    I had been debating the mattress in the baby's room myself for a while.. Did you just buy a regular double mattress? I thought about purchasing a futon mattress but wasn't sure if that was too soft. We do have a California King so there is plenty of room for us all and I know my husband enjoys us all co-sleeping but I would like to get the mattress for when he has some drinks. He rarely drinks in excess but I know that is one bed sharing rule. I will usually just sleep in the middle if he has had a few, but maybe the mattress in the nursery would be a better idea.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    41

    Default Re: FTM Looking for Support

    Yes, regular double mattress. My husband found it very hard to sleep with the baby in the bed. This has worked great for us, and now we don't have to do the difficult transition to toddler bed... if he wants us in the night he just yells! This'll be his bed indefinitely. We also then never had to 'get him out of our bed', I just had to get out of his!

    I know what you mean about like minded people. All my Mum friends sleep trained, which I couldn't ever bear to do. I went along to La Leche meetings to speak with like minded people even tho I had no breastfeeding problems really, aside from having no idea what I was doing- I really enjoyed the meetings... might be worth seeing if there's any near you? Also spent loads of time on here reading!!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,754

    Default Re: FTM Looking for Support

    My husband also wondered if bedsharing was ok. "Luckily" - in a sense anyway, I guess- we did not do it the first 4 months with our oldest...so by the time I read about it in dr. Sears' baby book and realized it was "allowed" we immediately recognized it was the best idea ever, as both of us were dead on our feet with a baby who never slept.

    My husband still was not sure especially as out son got older. Part of the problem was the bed was too small, we upgraded from a full to a "real" King when I was pregnant with number two and that changed everything.

    With second baby, my husband would go to sleep, wake up 6-8 hours later, and say "hey the baby did not wake up at all last night, huh?" HA! Are you kidding me? he had no idea. And our older child (then three) was also still with us. Basically my husband became a convert to bedsharing when he realized that this way he got plenty of sleep and I did the least complaining about my lack of sleep. And I think overtime he came to really enjoy waking up beside a baby, there is really something special about the closeness bedsharing can bring.
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; August 1st, 2017 at 03:24 PM. Reason: fixed something

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