feeling guilty

I woke up this morning feeling a little bit like crap.

We have been cosleeping with Evaleigh since she was probably 6 weeks old. I always put her to sleep around 7:30 by nursing her in our bed. I move her to her crib for the first part of the night while John and I can hang out and then when we are going to bed she normally wakes up around midnight and I feed her and she goes back to sleep with us.

Bedtime has always been so easy and it takes her about 5 minutes and she is OUT! I love snuggling that little girl while we sleep. I love holding her hand while we sleep. I love to closeness I feel to her. I love waking up right next to that smiling face. I even love feeling her wiggles every once in a while. Everything about it has been wonderful.

Except that I have started sleeping worse. (mostly just in the last month due to EJ's chubby little 95th percentile body. She likes to sprawl out all of her limbs now) I have to sleep in a modified position to accommodate this little thing and now I have body discomfort to the max and I am not as well rested. I love cosleeping and so has John. It has been the best choice for us. If it were up to me I would let her stay in bed with us til she went off to college. But then she might not ever have anymore siblings...

The past three nights i have tried only nursing her in the rocker in the nursery and then putting her back in her crib and it's been great. Then last night it all fell a part. I decided to try a modified cry it out method I had read about. When I put her back in her crib I did it when she was still a little sleepy so she could try to put her self back to sleep. This has worked several times before. Then she started crying.

Here is where the modified part comes in. Instead out flat out letting her cry it out alone we let her cry 10 minutes then go reassure her she isn't alone by touching her and talking to her but not picking her up. It was torture. I have never let her cry that long. So after 10 minutes I went in and saw her little tear soaked face, let her know I loved her and tried to calm her down for a minute. Then I went back to bed for another 10 minute stretch. Seeing me made her cry even harder. So we waited 10 more minutes. John was coaching me through it the whole time. Both our hearts were just breaking! He was finally the one who said, "I can't take it, I don't care if she sleeps in the bed!". So he went and got her and she whimpered for a few minutes in his arms. Have we traumatized our baby?? Or does she already know she has us wrapped around her finger?

I need help. Suggestions. Something else, because cry it out isn't for us. What has worked for you parents who have tried to sleep train? Is there a way that is less extreme? I want to get good rest but I also want to meet the needs of my baby....


Brooke @ Silver Lining said...

This sounds so hard. Wish I had some good advice! She is so precious though.

Kieren said...

Hey girl! I have a possible solution for you, but it might sound crazy at first. It's called a floor bed and a lot of Montessori people use it. My daughter was a horrible cosleeper and woke wake up every time I tried to move her to the crib. Finally, I decided to put her own mattress on the floor where I could lay next to her, nurse to sleep, and sneak away. I can also g et in a few good cuddles with her if I'm missing her some nights. We started this at 4 months and she is now almost a year old. We love it.

Here is my daughter's room, which was featured on a floor bed website nif you go to the link (bedstart) you can see other rooms like hers. We use a regular twin (and put quilts around the edges when she sleeps), but a lot of people use a special floor mattress from Ikea that is only 2-3 inches high and about $80.

Good luck! I'm sorry you're having a rough time. Ive also been down the cry it out road and it is really hard. :( Anyway, here is the link:


~M~ said...

We had the same issues only my little guy would instantly wake up the second we put him in his crib. One night when he was about ten months he wouldn't nurse., rock, or sleep in the ergo so I put him in his crib. He fussed for a bit while I was trying what to do. Iit was a cry like I'm annoyed not the full meltdown. He would shout out, pause, and shout out again. Then he jut put ha head down and went to sleep. Ever since be has been sleeping in his crib. I sometimes bring Hm back into bed for some extra cuddles. Perhaps you need to put her in her crib fully asleep? That's what worked for us. 6 months is still really young to have the whole sleep thing rigured out so she may still need some help. Just follow your mama instinct and it will all get worked out! :)

Sleep is such a tricky thing with babies! Thus the huge amounts of books out there!

~M~ said...

Sorry for typos I'm doing cardio and blog reading on my iPad. Lol

The Michelle Show said...

We do modified cry it out but we started him at just 4 weeks old for 5 minutes at a time, so now at 5 months we dont have any troubles. I will say though that every once in a while we still need to just let him cry.

The only advice I can give is to know why you are doing this. You are not torturing your daughter, you are teaching her how to sleep well on her own, which is such a great skill to have. You all will be much happier when you get a full nights rest. You know that she is not hungry, wet, or in pain & her needs ARE met. It helps to remember that, it makes it much less heartbreaking.
My husband and I remid each other that our job as parents is to give our children the gift of independance and do what they need, not what they want. She won't hate you, she isn't traumatized, and you are giving her a gift. I promise xo

The Michelle Show said...

Oh! And have a sleep comfort thing. Like a teddy or a blankie. My son has a NuNu (half teddy, half blankie) and a soother. Every nap time and bed time he gets the exact same NuNu and soother and then we turn the lights off and leave the room. I started giving it to him for every nap time and eventually he got so used to it and it works really well at bed time. He can sleep ANYWHERE as long as I give him those things now.

amy D said...

Aww, this is so tough. We did the same thing...co-slept until it stopped working, aka mom and dad weren't getting adequate sleep to function :)

We did a modified version, but i would let her cry for 30 seconds, then go in and shush/pat till she was calm, then if she cried again, i'd wait a minute, then three minutes, but i never went more than 3 minutes. It was just too much for my mama heart to handle.

I think what's important in this scenario (and actually, a lot of things regarding raising kids) is that you just have to follow your mama instinct, because it's going to be different for everyone. And don't let anyone tell you you're a bad mom for anything you do!!! Everyone does different things regarding their baby's sleep and we all grow up to be full functioning adults :) :) Hope that helps, Mama. You're doing great!!

Dru Clegg said...

A few of Kyle's family members (immediate and extended) are going through this same thing. When we were in Mexico I heard ALL about what worked/didn't work for them. I think the transition from co-sleeping to crib was worse on the moms than the babies. ; ) I found it very interesting when we talked how babies' sense of smell is so strong, it completely overwhelms their senses. I had NO idea how intense this sense was until I witnessed it firsthand: Kyle's cousin recently had twins in the NICU (born 2 months early) and so they were in the hospital for 6 weeks. Of course the parents would come visit a few times a day... it was a huge struggle for them. Anyways, the babies would have to be under heat lamps a few hours a day (eyes completely covered), and Britney (their mom) would come in the room and they would immediately smell her and start crying for her. They would toss and turn and wiggle their little bodies-- and only when their mom came in the room. Plenty of others came in and out with no problem, and she wouldn't even speak a word. They could simply smell her. It was so amazing to me that even at 7 months old their senses were so developed. Apparently, smelling a faint scent of a mother can make babies feel like their mother is close, but not close enough-- the reason they cry. Kyle's sister also had twins, and mentioned several things that worked for her dealing with this. (of course, the co-sleeping didn't last long since she had twins too, but her ideas have worked for others). She would shower before their bed/feeding routine and would begin to nurse with a shirt slightly on. When her girls fell asleep, or even before they fell asleep, she would wrap them in swaddling blankets or nap sacks and then take off the shirt and put it next to them in their cribs. She would stick with a baby monitor and not go into their room at ALL during the night-- unless she sent in her husband because the second she'd open the door or even get close, the babies could smell her and awaken.

Maybe that could help with your little EJ? At the same time, I agree with everyone else-- the girl is crying because that's what she knows how to do. She will be just fine to cry-it-out. She won't hate you in the morning for it. You might just need to get some headphones and a good soundtrack. ; )

Hope you can both get some sweet dreams soon!

Shawna Faye said...

My daughter co-slept too. We are now transitioning into her sleeping in her own bed. It's basically a mattress on the floor that I can lay down with her to get her to sleep and/or get her back to sleep when she wakes in the middle of the night and then I leave after she falls asleep. So far I haven't had any problems. She gets to fall asleep while snuggling and I haven't had to let her cry it out, so it's a win-win.

Hope you find a solution soon!

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