I think I know what I need to do, but it makes me sad

I know I've posted on here a million times complaining about Solomon's sleep. Now that I'm not pregnant anymore, I can actually nurse him at night quite comfortably and without waking fully. But now I have Abram to nurse at night too. What happens is, I'll fall asleep nursing one of them and then when the other wakes and I roll over, it usually wakes up the first and I'm battling between the two all night. I can nurse them both at the same time, but it's not easy. I have to lay on my back and have each in my armpit/shoulder, with Abram up on a pillow or two. DH has to help me set them up, and one or both of my arms usually falls asleep after a while. Or I lay on my side nursing Abram, and Solly drapes himself over me to get to the top breast. Also not the most comfortable setup.

When Abram was first born and had his days and nights confused a bit, he and I slept in the guest room so he wouldn't wake Sol if he cried at night. DH would sleep with Sol in our room and bring him to me when he needed to nurse, then bring him back to bed when he was done. Sometimes we'd both fall asleep while he nursed, and DH would go back to bed and listen on the intercom then come back when he'd hear either of the boys, to take whichever one didn't need me at the moment and/or bring Sol back to bed. This setup worked very well, and Sol usually woke to nurse just once at night and then again in the early morning, at which point he'd stay in bed with me until he was ready to get up for the day. This whole setup was with the intention that once Abram was consistently nursing right back to sleep, we'd rejoin DH and Sol in the family bed. Even though this setup worked well, I didn't like it because it felt so temporary, and I hated sleeping in the guest room in my own house. We've been back in bed with the family for a little while now, and it's not working out so well.

Now that I'm back in bed, Solly is waking to nurse more frequently. I put him to sleep on a twin mattress beside our queen, then when we go to bed DH starts the night between us and switches spots with Sol when he wakes. I thought having DH between us would trick Sol into not knowing I was there, but he knows better.

So, my head is telling me the right thing to do is to put Solly in his own room. We can use an intercom and DH can bring him to me when he needs to nurse, and sleep with him if needed. I know Solly won't suffer because I can still nurse him to sleep at night just like I do now. It will basically be the reverse of the setup that worked well when Abram was first born. The problem is that I don't feel ready to permanently stop sleeping with him. I love snuggling with him and having him close at night. But it doesn't feel fair to Abram or especially to me to lose so much sleep over it. I've known many levels of sleep deprivation over the past few years, but this is really bad. I sometimes struggle to stay awake in the middle reading a book to him during the day!

I guess I'm not really asking for advice, unless anyone has an idea that I haven't thought of. (And I'm not complaining about him not being completely nightweaned; I've accepted that it will happen in its own time.) Otherwise I guess I just want support and reassurance that I should listen to my head and not my heart. Thanks in advance for any replies.
Faith, 3Aish redhead
Mama to two wild superheroes and a curly-headed baby boy
((hugs))

I'm sure you've considered your options, but rather than ending co-sleeping and continuing night-nursing, why not do the reverse? Use the time that Sol and DH are sleeping in the other room to night-wean him, and then bring him back to your bed once he is able to sleep without nursing. I think 2.5 years old is old enough to learn to not nurse at night, even though you continue nursing during the day.

I started co-sleeping with DS at 9 months, he was briefly back in his room between 12-15 months, when he weaned, and then he was back in our bed. And he's still here most nights. I think you will enjoy cosleeping Sol after night nursing is over.


((hugs))

I'm sure you've considered your options, but rather than ending co-sleeping and continuing night-nursing, why not do the reverse? Use the time that Sol and DH are sleeping in the other room to night-wean him, and then bring him back to your bed once he is able to sleep without nursing. I think 2.5 years old is old enough to learn to not nurse at night, even though you continue nursing during the day.

I started co-sleeping with DS at 9 months, he was briefly back in his room between 12-15 months, when he weaned, and then he was back in our bed. And he's still here most nights. I think you will enjoy cosleeping Sol after night nursing is over.
Originally Posted by mad scientist
That is a good idea mad scientist, and it did cross my mind. We've learned that there is no gentle way to nightwean him, so I'd rather let it happen in its own time. There was even a night when Abram was first born that he did make it through the whole night without nursing, so my thought is that the setup I'm considering will gradually lead to him nightwean himself. I love the idea of starting cosleeping again once he's nightweaned, I just fear that it will cause a regression and he'll want to start nursing at night again. But maybe if we keep him on the twin it won't be so bad? And we can always go back to his own room if need be.
Faith, 3Aish redhead
Mama to two wild superheroes and a curly-headed baby boy
How close is the twin to your bed? Is it butted up against the queen?

Would it be possible to set up 2 seperate sleeping area's in your room? Make a special sleeping area in your room for Sol? You can even make a big deal out of it, getting him a fun blanket, sheets and pillow just for him. that way he is in your room, and after a while, you can bring the twin closer back to your bed.

ETA - you could even go into the bed with him if he needs to nurse at night, if you fall asleep you can just switch back to the bed with DH and Abram once Abram wakes up to nurse

Last edited by deezee02; 02-14-2010 at 12:54 PM.
Although I didn't nurse Alexander past age 1 (self weaning) we co-slept with both boys until about a month ago. It was getting increasingly difficult because Theo- my youngest was a very light sleeper and needs to suck all night long. Ok, I'm exaggerating a little, but it felt like it.

I ended up buying a twin mattress and putting it on the floor. We also got him used to sleeping with a stuffed toy. It wasn't too difficult since I was very matter of fact about it and didn't take no for an answer or give into crying. What also helped was that he was used to sleeping alone in day care. In the morning, he'll wake up about an hour or so before it's time to get up for school and we'll snuggle in bed or sleep next to Theo until it's time to get ready.

I'm still a bit shocked how easy it was and he never had a desire to crawl into bed with us in the middle of the night. I expected lots of crying and tantruming, but he was clearly ready for it. My husband on the other hand was going through some separation anxiety. I think it was harder for him.
hello.world.
My last effort to stick with cosleeping was to have DH switch back with him when he was done nursing, putting Sol back on the twin so my movements when Abram needed to nurse wouldn't wake him up. We tried this last night but it didn't go well. First, DH slept through most of it. When I tried to ask him to get Sol, he didn't hear me and I didn't want to be too loud and risk waking the boys. Then, the times he did try to move him, Sol fussed a lot because he knew I was right there. So now we are going to try him in his own room, probably tonight. We have a full in the guest room (what will be Sol's room) so we'll move the mattress to the floor so there's minimal noise/movement when my husband gets in bed with him. Maybe after a while of DH sleeping in bed with him, we'll try moving the twin mattress in there so DH can sleep in the same room but not same bed, and then eventually transition DH back to our room.
Faith, 3Aish redhead
Mama to two wild superheroes and a curly-headed baby boy
Psounds like a good plan. I want to second webjockey's idea of a special stuffed animal. We were never able to cosleep with Steven b/c of the feeding tube but he has a lovey that he sleeps with, it really helps bedtime. Even now, when he is sleepy he will go into his room and get it and bring it onto the couch. You can even try sleeping with it yourself for a few days so it smells like you and is more comforting to him, then when DH moves to the twin in the room with him, you can start giving that to him.

Callie was always a very light sleeper. She would wake everytime I would unlatch her and try to move/roll over when she was a baby, she could not even sleep in the same room as us after a while, as every time we would roll over in bed she would wake up (even when she was in the pack and play)...even now we have to keep the kitchen fan on whenever she is sleeping to drown out the noise or else she wakes up every time she hears something.

Good luck with moving Sol, I hope you gt some rest tonight, I know how wearing it can be when you are up all night and have to attend to both kids through the day!
My last effort to stick with cosleeping was to have DH switch back with him when he was done nursing, putting Sol back on the twin so my movements when Abram needed to nurse wouldn't wake him up. We tried this last night but it didn't go well. First, DH slept through most of it. When I tried to ask him to get Sol, he didn't hear me and I didn't want to be too loud and risk waking the boys. Then, the times he did try to move him, Sol fussed a lot because he knew I was right there. So now we are going to try him in his own room, probably tonight. We have a full in the guest room (what will be Sol's room) so we'll move the mattress to the floor so there's minimal noise/movement when my husband gets in bed with him. Maybe after a while of DH sleeping in bed with him, we'll try moving the twin mattress in there so DH can sleep in the same room but not same bed, and then eventually transition DH back to our room.
Originally Posted by PixieCurl
For a little while I used a co-sleeper next to the bed with the kids. It never worked because it was easy access for the kid to move from co-sleeper to my bed, and it was more comfy to be in the bed than the hard cosleeper. With the bed on the floor on the opposite corner of the bedroom it requires more effort for him. Also having a soft bed that is similar in quality to our real bed probably helps too.

I think it may be worth trying just having him on his own instead of transitioning twice. Maybe he's ready. Of course you'll know better than I would if that would work.
hello.world.
How close is the twin to your bed? Is it butted up against the queen?

Would it be possible to set up 2 seperate sleeping area's in your room? Make a special sleeping area in your room for Sol? You can even make a big deal out of it, getting him a fun blanket, sheets and pillow just for him. that way he is in your room, and after a while, you can bring the twin closer back to your bed.

ETA - you could even go into the bed with him if he needs to nurse at night, if you fall asleep you can just switch back to the bed with DH and Abram once Abram wakes up to nurse
Originally Posted by deezee02
This is what I would probably try. Good luck with whatever you decide!
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Here's all you have to know about men and women: women are crazy, men are stupid. And the main reason women are crazy is that men are stupid. ~ George Carlin
I know this isn't something you would want to consider, but we actually evicted Sandhya from our room before Karan. By 4 months old, she was only waking up once a night to feed. But the ongoing drama of Karan coming into our room every night (he would start in his own room) was disturbing her. So we ending up moving her into her own room. She was sleeping through the night a few months later.

She's just a better sleeper than Karan is and is perfectly happy in her own room. I don't think she still even realizes that Karan mostly sleeps in our room, since she goes to bed first.

So yes, it is somewhat ridiculous that we kept the 2 year old in our room, and booted out the nursing baby, but at the end of the day, that's what got us all a good night's sleep.


Last night was pretty good. I put Sol to bed in his own room (actually I ended up nursing him to sleep on the couch then DH carried him to bed in his own room, but that's another story), then when we went to bed, DH joined him in there and Abram and I went to our room. He woke up once around 1:00 and came to nurse, which was to be expected, then DH brought him back to his room when he was asleep, and then he woke again around 4:15. If we can stretch that second waking another hour or so, they can just stay in bed with us until getting up for the day.

Webbie/deezee, maybe we will try a stuffed animal, that's not a bad idea.

There's not really space in our room to have the twin NOT right next to our queen, the way we're set up. Plus, I think it would be the same thing where since I'm visible, he'll want me more.

mad scientist, I actually did briefly consider moving Abram to his own room and continuing to cosleep with Sol. Abram had been seeming like he wasn't waking that much to nurse and that Sol's wakings were disturbing him. But, I just couldn't bear the thought of him alone in another room while he's so small. And he also doesn't tend to sleep very long when he's not on or near me. He sleeps on my or DH's lap until we go to bed, then if I start him in the moses basket next to the bed, he usually wakes up pretty quickly. He sleeps much better/longer if I'm right next to him.
Faith, 3Aish redhead
Mama to two wild superheroes and a curly-headed baby boy
I decided I'd had enough of the co-sleeping and night nursing when my daughter was around 11 months. I was so chronically sleep-deprived that it was interfering with my ability to be a good mother and to enjoy everyday life.

We moved her into her own room and created a bedtime routine that would be her new sleep association instead of nursing. It was tough and there was some crying, but it worked. I still get up and nurse her if she needs in the middle of the night. And we still nurse/cuddle/cosleep in the mornings and some days for naps.

I thought I would really miss cosleeping with her but once she was in her own room, I was really happy. We still get our snuggle time, like I mentioned above, but we're both getting a better night's sleep too.

GL.

We actually just went through this not long ago. My dd who is almost 3 really increased her nursing frequency and night nursing (she had previously nightweaned independently) when DS was born (now 8 months). After struggling with many nights of her waking him and vice versa we moved her to her own room.

It was tough for me but its working out great now. We are 5 months into it and now she has returned to only nursing during the day. I hope things are working out for you guys Pixiecurl - its really nice to see another tandem nursing mama!!
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So, we've sort of changed our minds again. We did the separate rooms for about 3 nights, and it really didn't help at all. As soon as DH brought him in to nurse for the first time, he'd only occasionally make it back to his own room and when he was with us it was the same as when we were all cosleeping. I realize that 3 nights probably wasn't enough time to expect a change, but since we were reluctant to stop cosleeping anyway, we started sleeping all together again. Ideally I would love to nightwean but continue cosleeping, but Solomon is very attached to nightnursing and I just don't think nightweaning is going to happen until he stops nursing altogether. Even if we were okay with CIO (which we're not) I'm quite certain that he would cry for HOURS before falling asleep, if ever. I suggested to my husband the idea of creating a separate sleep space in our room with the twin for Solomon, even though I'm not sure exactly how it would work with the size/shape of our room, but my husband thinks it really won't matter because if Solomon knows where I am, he will come to me. And I think he's probably right.

I honestly think I just need to accept that it is what it is. And that unless I'm willing to compromise my parenting beliefs, I'm going to have to learn to live with it. It's too early to tell, but I keep hoping that Abram will be a better sleeper down the road so that I'm not dealing with the same thing a few years from now with Abram and another new baby (and who knows? maybe Solomon will still be nursing).
Faith, 3Aish redhead
Mama to two wild superheroes and a curly-headed baby boy
I'm in the process of night-weaning my youngest because I have to go out of town on business for a weekend. I give a warm bottle before bed and make my boobs unaccessible at night. He cried that "I'm not getting instant gratification" cry which is different (and IMHO less heartbreaking) from that "I'm hungry" cry. It made the cry a bit more tolerable and I was able to cuddle with him while he did it (he's often to tired to squirm). It's been about a week and the cries are less and less. I think at this rate, I'll be done by next week.
hello.world.
Good luck to you. I would have to do something like Webbie or Iris or just stop nursing all together. There is no way I could live like that and take care of two kids.

I personally love Lilly being in her own room. We all sleep great, she gets to feel like a big girl in her own big bed, and I get the cuddles in the morning when she comes into our room. She came in at 6:45 this morning and we got up at 7:45 when she woke up again.


Webbie, oddly enough Solomon's fine when I'm actually not here. He might cry a tiny bit for DH, but not terribly. Once when I was out late for my sister's bachelorette party, and I've been away from him overnight twice (one night I had the flu while pregnant and slept at my parents' house, and in the hospital for one night when Abram was born). The night Abram was born, he woke up when my husband picked him up from the sitter's house but fell back asleep in the car on the way home, then slept all night. It's like he can sense when I'm in the house.
Faith, 3Aish redhead
Mama to two wild superheroes and a curly-headed baby boy
Did you make a big to-do about him sleeping in his own big boy bed?

We weren't co-sleeping with Lilly, but she did sleep in her P-N-P in our room until just over a month ago. We took her with us when we went to buy her furniture. We took her shoes off and let her sit on the bed in the store. The salesman told her that she was such a big girl. I let her carry her sheet set up to the register when we got her comforter and sheet set. We made a big deal when the delivery men brought the furniture in and they told her she was being a big girl. She helped us put the sheets on the bed. We made her very involved in the process and she didn't have any trouble adjusting.


I'm not judging your decision but I am curious. Why is it so important to you to continue night nursing Solly?


"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." -- Theodor Seuss Geisel
It's not that I want to continue nightnursing him; I would be thrilled if he would nightwean. But, we've tried many different times and many different ways (except CIO alone) and he just hasn't been ready. He's very strong-willed and very attached to nursing. There's just no way to do it without A LOT of tears, and I'm just not willing to put him through that. During one of our attempts, he cried hysterically with my husband for an hour and a half before I finally gave in and came to him... and I feel guilty every day for not coming in sooner.
Faith, 3Aish redhead
Mama to two wild superheroes and a curly-headed baby boy

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