Friday, January 27, 2012

A questionnaire. Participate, if you are so inclined.

1. Do you have a toddler, child, or adult offspring?
No- you can stop reading (or skip to the end, if you are curious).
Yes- Continue to question #2.

2. Does your toddler, child or adult offspring have relativity normal or healthy sleep habits?
No- you can stop reading.
Yes- Continue to question #3.

3. Was your toddler, child or adult offspring "a good sleeper?" as a baby?*
No- Continue to question #4.
Yes- you can stop reading.

4. Did you eventually "sleep train"?
No- Continue to question #5.
Yes- you can stop reading.

5. So then, when did your toddler, child or adult offspring eventually learn to sleep well? Did you do anything to help it?

I have written about Henry's sleep challenges, and the fact that I am not ready to sleep train, especially at the cost of night weaning or ending our sleep sharing. This remains true. However I still wonder: I know there are leagues of families out there that are hard core believers in cosleeping, and against "sleep training." I assume these babies eventually. One day. Do sleep. Right? I just need to hear about it. Every one I know seems to say "she slept once we night weaned." "Once we moved him to a crib..." "Once we....." I could REALLY stand to hear from the "rest." Is that you? Please chime in.

*IE One who could, without sleep training, fall asleep on his or her own, without being nursed or rocked. Sleep for more than an hour solo in a bed or a crib. Could fall asleep if laid down "drowsy but awake." Not one who (like Henry) if you even think of laying down before he it OUT starts jerking his whole body around until he is completely wide awake and we have to start from square one. You know.

note: when I looked at this post in reader, many words were missing spaces between them. But when I try and edit it, the spaces are there. My apologies if that is happening to you also.


  1. I'm sorry I don't have answers to this since I'm in the same predicament, but I just had a conversation with our CFO about this in the kitchen. She also bedshared and did not night wean. She did not have any answers, but this advice: "No matter what its not like they are going to be needing to nurse and sleep with you at 16.", I guess there is that...

    (Oh, and I'm only seeing the lack of spaces in my RSS feed, but not on the site)

  2. I have two children - a four year old and a 5 month old. Firstly, I have coslept with both of them while they are that is, I am still cosleeping with the younger, the older stopped mostly when I stopped breastfeeding at age 2. I have always worked internationally, initially travelling a lot, often with my then home-working husband and my elder daughter with me. Co-sleeping was a way of getting to rest anywhere. Also, for the same reason I was happy with her to night feed during that time. Thus with her we co-slept until we slowly started weaning her to sleeping in her own bed from ca. age 2. She always had a bed, and we often placed her in it, so she felt happy there. She also fell asleep there from ca. age one. We achieved that by feeding her in the living room, and her father then taking her to bed. It did not take long for her to always fall asleep there, but she always came in to our room when she had a feed. After she stopped feeding she would still wake up and come into our bed towards morning, but less frequently as she got older.
    When little sister arrived we placed a mattress by our bed, and said she was still free to come, but now she would have to sleep on the mattress as there was not enough space in the bed. She is a bedwetter too, so often came into our bed for that reason, her own bed being wet and none of us being in a state to change it at 3am. Anyway, she does come and stay on the mattress, but it is getting what can I say - follow your hear, and it will take time, but even with no pressure they will eventually stay in their own bed. My five month old much prefers sleeping on her own...although often ends up in our bed after her initial night feed as she is a light sleeper and wakes when being moved. I think training her to sleep on her own will be easier...let´s see - I am not stressing about it.
    So does this actually say anything? Well, just that children are different, but just follow your heart, rather than always your head in this will slowly go the way the head wants in the end, whatever you do.

  3. Have you ever checked out this blog? I am due in May, so no personal experience, but if you look on the sidebar she has a section called 'sleeping through the night without tears' which takes you to a series of posts about nightweaning her son at 15 months (mostly for dental hygiene reasons) and what happened after.
    I know you're not there yet, but it might give you an idea of light at the end of the tunnel.

    1. A little article about tooth decay, and the fact that it's NOT caused by prolonged breastfeeding:

  4. All children eventually sleep on their own through the night. It will happen! We still nurse through the night over here at 18.5 months... It can be frustrating, but he has definitely learned to initially go to sleep much much better and we can lay down to nurse to sleep now (after months and months of dancing/rocking to sleep).

    Let me just relay this co-sleeping toddler tidbit if you are looking for encouragement to continue, especially as you've mentioned that it can be valuable time together after working through the week:

    Now that Dax is talking a lot, he will wake up in the morning, sit up in bed and say "Mom, Hi, Dahhh-eee (Daddy)" and then kiss me on the lips, before signing for us to turn the light on. It is pretty hard to imagine missing out on that. Even at 16 months, this kind of thing was unimaginable. But hey, our babies turn into little crazy beautiful toddlers, and mornings in the family bed are pretty special.

  5. They go through phases. My baby did not sleep for the first two weeks of his life then suddenly started sleeping through at 6weeks old. Then just as suddenly, stopped at 12 weeks. At 8 months he became a 'good sleeper' (i.e. slept all night) again but we always rocked/held/cuddled/fed him to sleep him then put him in his crib. He never went to sleep on his own. 3 solid meals, lots of crawling/walking, and milk seemed to be the magic combo for a good night sleep. At 18 months, getting too heavy to cuddle to sleep we took a leap of faith and moved him into a floor bed. Best decision ever (read about it on my very quite blog). At 2 he started waking and joining us in the night. Stopped again a few months later. and then this past week has started again. The point (or points) is/are we never sleep trained him, babies are all different, he always seems to go through phases and I am guessing most babies do too - some better than others. Some nights I wish he was one of 'those' good sleeping sleep trained babies but on the other hand our semi-co-sleeping arrangement gives us a lot of flexibility. He can fall asleep anywhere if we are there - trains, planes, friends houses, strange hotels etc and then we sneak away once he is quietly dreaming. I know a number of sleep trained babies that generally can only sleep in their own bed whihc just wouldn't work for us given how much traveling we do now days. That said, if we have another one, I sure as hell don't want the sleep issues we have had with this one!

  6. PS: My other kernel of wisdon about babies is that there are 3 'holy grails': unfussy, good sleepers, good eater/feeders. You can have one or two of these, but never all three.

  7. We didn't co-sleep (planned to) and had to stop nursing due to severe reflux (hypo formula) but we had to hold our daughter to sleep for the first four months all night upright, then she was in her co-sleeper cot with the side up on a huge slope. We always had to rock/hold her to sleep, sometimes for hours, sometimes in a swing with the vacuum cleaner on. I didn't want to sleep train. Suddenly one day after giving her her bottle and settling down in the rocking chair she started trying to wriggle off me and was looking at her cot. I said do you want to go in the cot? And put her in it. She lay down and I tucked her in, left the room, expecting wails/complaints. She went to sleep! Could not believe it. I'll be honest she was over 1 yrs by then (maybe 13/14 months?) It will happen eventually. She then started sleeping through herself too for a couple of months but then stuff happens, illness/colds etc. She is at the moment waking in the night/early morning for some milk and she's 23 months. Some babies just need a long time to naturally get there unless you train them into it earlier. I didn't sleep through til I was 3 so I think some of it is character/genetics!

  8. Jamie, I feel your pain girl!!! We are in the same boat, Cash is cosleeping (well not much sleeping, but bed sharing). He only falls to sleep being nursed, or rarely by being patted down by Josh, but not without a huge fight and lots of crying. He typically wakes about every hour to hour and a half during the night, and although we have better days than others, more often than not I'm exhausted. For now I've accepted the situation we are in and try to keep a positive outlook that it will get better. But as he gets older I've become increasingly worried about what will happen when he stops will he transition from falling to asleep nursing to not? Will he wake as often at night, and if so how in the hell am I going to get any sleep if I can't simply roll over and nurse him. I can't help but have this feeling of dread that while everyone says it gets easier that it will only get worse! Because of these fears I've been contemplating night weaning/crib sleeping. We've tried starting him in the crib but no success so far, so I'm at somewhat of a loss right now. So I'm sorry if I can't offer any insight, just a little sympathy.

    Oh and I had to start and stop this comment 3 times because Cash awoke while he was napping!!!

    One other question, I think Henry has daycare during the day, how does he do with naps there when you or Ben aren't with him? Just curious as to what the nanny does to get him down?

  9. Alice's bed is in our bedroom so we do a mix crib + cosleeping thing. She will sleeps the fist part of the night in her crib and after I see how the night goes. I decided that "fighting" her during the night was making all of us much more tired so I breastfeed her in our bed and sometimes she goes back in her crib and sometimes she stay with us. She now wakes up every 3 hours at night but it takes 20 minutes and we are all back sleeping. The thing is that she is very (VERY) active during the day (and you are working during the day so this is also draining) so I don't want to get even more tired by "sleep training" her. Honestly, I don't believe in sleep training (by force) a baby. Each baby is different and they each have their own little rhythm. Call me nave but I think that things will get better naturally...however, now I wear makeup to hide the fact that I look like a living dead mother ;)

  10. Jamie: I think I'm one of the "others" but, my boys all sleep like angels. I co-slept with arlo till he was about 2 but it got to be frustrating for Mike and I because our sleep was fragmented, lost, or interrupted, constantly. Once we got him in his bed it everything was perfect. With the other two I became stickler for set nap times and early bed which resulted in them loving their crib space, taking one 3 hour nap in the afternoon and going to bed at 7 in the evening. It saves my sanity. Sweet as it is to have them against your skin all night, sleep (for me) became a bigger priority to enable me to get through our days with a fresh, solid recharge.

    Wish you luck!

  11. @stephanie CFO??? But yeah, exactly. Have you ever heard of a kid who couldn’t eventually sleep on his own?

    @una thanks! Every little story helps. :)

    @unknown thanks! That blog is killer, as is the series. Perfect light at the end of the tunner. :)

    @intwosome ahhhhh. He has been having an especially hard time falling asleep lately, and I sit there wondering, how LONG can I go on bouncing this BIG baby to sleep? So that is good to hear. And, we even get that now. We might have the most restless night ever, but the minute he wakes up and gives us that huge shit eating grin, it all wipes away. I am not looking to move him at all, I just need to hear some success stories sometimes. :)

    @lindel well.... we have been in this phase for..... 7 months? ;) you are right about travelling! We have only been on a few little overnighters, but it is SO easy. Home is where we are!

    @rosalie so much you went through! Wow! Thanks for the great comment.

    @lo I emailed you. ;)

  12. OH AND

    i hope no one took this post like, i dont want to hear from you if you sleep trained or have babies who sleep good, as though i feel anything NEGATIVE toward ya'll, not at ALL.

    i was just looking for some reassurance that the path we are currently on can eventually lead to a full night of sleep. ;)

  13. I'm loving this post! I've been following your blog since before the two were born (and before my 5 month old Henry was born) and love checking back in. I co-slept for the first two months as H would only sleep on someone's chest, never on his back and never on his own. I weaned him off of that and he was doing ok doing 4-5 hr stretches of a night but in the last month has started waking every hour and sometimes not settling to sleep at all. I've been trying to tell myself 'this to shall pass' but you're right, sometimes you just need to hear some reassurance. I know this doesn't help you but I wanted you to know your post helped me.