If you are a regular reader of this blog you will probably have seen my recent post about co-sleeping and how we have co-slept from the very first day right up till just a couple of months ago. It's been an amazing experience and I wouldn't have changed anything. However Amelia does now sleep in her cot for the most part of the night and I wanted to share how I got her to sleep in her cot.
I had tried many times before to get her to sleep in her cot but it just wasn't working. So of course I gave up and we just continued to co-sleep until one day I had had enough. My back was so sore from sleeping on the one side, I hadn't had a proper nights sleep in 14 months since she was born and I couldn't wait to get my side of the bed back to sleep like a star fish.
I started with nap time and progressed from there to bed time. If I were to lay her down awake she would start screaming, if I walked out the room she would throw a fit and if I rocked her to sleep then put her down she would instantly wake up as soon as her head hit the mattress. She was so alert and would know if I was putting her down. The rocking to sleep has never worked with us from day one, she just wouldn't stay still and I would get very impatient and give up. She does however have to be nursed to sleep unless she is in the car or pushchair so that is how she has gone to sleep every night since she was born.
Once she has fallen asleep after feeding I would lay her down next to be in bed or if we were both lying down she would just roll over when asleep. But to get her to sleep in the cot this would be impossible, which is when I decided that the only way to get her to sleep in there would be to climb in with her...yes in the cot and nurse her to sleep then climb back out. This has worked so far pretty much every nap time and bed time for the past 2 months, however some nights it takes longer than others or I manage to climb out of the cot then stand on a toy and she will wake screaming while I'm hitting myself in annoyance and it's time to start all over again!!
Many a time I have fallen asleep in the cot with her and woken an hour later to find her fast asleep on me then when I try to climb out she will wake. The majoirty of the time I play on my phone and she will eventually go to sleep then I lay her down next to me and pull myself up against the cot bars then ever so slowly lift my leg over the rail and climb out. It's so hard sometimes not to wake her. I always get asked "how on earth do you fit in the cot" it's actually pretty big, but I do wonder how much longer it will take both of our weights.
I wouldn't say she is sleeping through the night yet, as she doesn't... she will sleep in her cot from around 10pm until maybe 1pm then comes back into bed with us when I go to bed. She will then sleep in bed with us until 7 or 8am. I don't mind this so much as I get some time to myself after 10pm to blog. She occasionally will sleep in there until 3am or even 5am which I am very thankful for as I get a few hours undisturbed sleep and not crushed to the edge of the bed. I have no idea why she won't sleep all the way through but I can't complain really as she does sleep in there for a few hours and for her one nap during the day. She has once slept in her cot from 11pm until 6am, once 8am which I of course woke up having a heart attack thinking something was wrong and rushing in to check on her.
I think the main reason that she wakes during the night is to feed, but when she does wake I bring her straight into bed with us and she will nurse for 5 minutes before falling back to sleep again. I sometimes wonder if she wasn't breastfed would she have been sleeping through the night from the first few weeks? Either way she is finally sleeping in her cot and associating it with sleep which is the main thing. Next thing to work on is getting her to sleep all night!
Do you have any tips on how you transitioned your baby from co-sleeping to their cot or on sleeping through the night?
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