Sleep training and single parents — The Bump
December 2015 Moms

Sleep training and single parents

groovylocksgroovylocks member
edited July 2016 in December 2015 Moms
Olive has to be held, worn or boobed into a nap. If she's boobed into a nap, she wakes up soon after and cries. 

She can't self-soothe. We bedshare and she raises holy hell if i try anything different. 

I realize i have to be firmer with her but when it comes to daytime sleep, her father and grandmother (who care for her during the day) do whatever is easiest. And it's just her and I going at it alone at night. I work full time and to transition her to a crib would mean nights without sleep for either of us, meaning that dad and grandma would just nap her all day to make their days easier and to catch olive up on her sleep. When i tried before, she began to reverse cycle because of all this so it had to be scrapped. 

I'm taking a month unpaid family leave between november and december of this year and, if all else, fails, I'll just buckle down and get it done then, when i don't have to work in the morning. But it's a long time to wait while habits continue to build. 

Are there any single mothers who have sleep trained successfully? I'm not single yet but my (as of now) husband has made no daytime effort to introduce the crib and, of the nighttime sleeping, has said "You got yourself into this, you get yourself out." My mother in law is wonderful but she ALSO works full time (fuller time than me - she owns her own restaurant) and it would be a huge ask for her to help out for a week of sleeplessness. And she will NOT miss work because she's overtired. 

EDIT: I actually didn't search to see if other single or single-ish parents had any advice. Because i couldn't find the search bar. That's how tired i am.

Re: Sleep training and single parents

  • Hey girl, 

    What is your end game here? Do you want her in her crib? Also you said you need to be more "firm" but I don't think you can be firm on a baby, she has no idea what she's doing. I think consistency is the key. If you want her in the crib then that's what you have to do, you can't go back and forth and everyone needs to be on board. These habits won't last forever, hang in there. Your plan for nov/dec sounds good. She may even grow out of it by then. 
    Mizuiro007laurabwalker
  • Oh the endgame is definitely having her in her crib. I'm not sure if I want her in her crib in my room or her nursery room yet... I haven't thought that far ahead. But the nursery is attached to my bedroom by a door so maybe the nursery is ideal. 

    I love bedsharing but to be honest, I worry about her safety now that she tries to crawl at 3am or rolls around in her sleep. I'd like to see her gently transition into her crib without too much trauma. I realize there will be some but if there is a good method for a gentle and natural transition, that's preferable. 

    I feel like this is something that might be doable. Olive is a REALLY independent kid. She is single minded and strong willed and is very keen on growing up. The only issue with her personality type is that she's pretty stubborn. So she will thrive on this change but may not want to make it anytime soon.
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  • I'm definitely not single but nights are all me. DD's crib is in our room by my side of the bed. What worked for us is when I started using her muslin blankets as burp cloths. I fold them in quarters and tuck on under us to feed her side lying. If I can get her good and groggy I'll try to lay her down then but it isn't usually successful.

    The blanket goes to the crib with her when I transfer her over so she still has all the smells and some of the tactile comfort like she has in bed with me. It also helps this that she likes to sleep beside but not against me in bed now. I have two blankets I switch between each time so whatever one she nursed with goes with her and the other one comes back to my bed (I tuck it by my pillows) so I can have it laid out for the next feeding.

    During the day it also works well to let her snuggle with these blankets for naps.
    elboulaurabwalkergroovylockssharonholck28
  • I'm definitely not single but nights are all me. DD's crib is in our room by my side of the bed. What worked for us is when I started using her muslin blankets as burp cloths. I fold them in quarters and tuck on under us to feed her side lying. If I can get her good and groggy I'll try to lay her down then but it isn't usually successful.

    The blanket goes to the crib with her when I transfer her over so she still has all the smells and some of the tactile comfort like she has in bed with me. It also helps this that she likes to sleep beside but not against me in bed now. I have two blankets I switch between each time so whatever one she nursed with goes with her and the other one comes back to my bed (I tuck it by my pillows) so I can have it laid out for the next feeding.

    During the day it also works well to let her snuggle with these blankets for naps.
    Your always so full of good tips!!!!! I need to do this. Starting tonight. Screw it, I'll survive on coffee. 
    Mizuiro007laurabwalker
  • You could just start with a nurse to sleep, and then in the crib for the start, bring her to bed when she wakes. Just to get her a bit used to it. 
    groovylocks
  • I def agree with the consistency because then she knows what to expect, whatever your decision is!
  • Not a single mom, but I am also alone at night wi Henry. His dad works nightshift. 
    I did put him in his crib for naps for a few weeks and he did really well, I suggest putting your foot down with that. SO didn't want him in his own room or crib, I did it anyway. He sleeps so much better in his own room and bed. 
  • I'm not single either but I still do all naps and bedtime. I used to bedshare too and slowly transitioned into the crib. Our situation is a little different because right now we have no choice but to have the crib in our room until we move into our own place but the transition was fairly easy. The way we started was naps in the crib, I basically made sure she knew it was a safe and fun place to be but while she was still tired but awake. I let her watch her mobile and played some soft music and I always stayed in there to reassure her if she got upset. For nighttime I ended up taking the front rail off the crib and pushed my bed right up next to hers so our mattresses were the same level. That way when she stirred at night I was able to just reach over and pat her back and reassure her I was still right there. She was still up every couple hours at first because it was something new but it lasted about a week at that's about it. After she was used to sleeping in it I put the crib rail back on but kept the bed pushed up against it for a while and slowly started moving my bed away from the crib. I think the key is consistency and making sure you stick with it (and your husband needs to do the same when he's home with her). When I left the house for a bit and I knew she would fall asleep while I was out I made sure to let my husband know she needed to go to sleep in her crib. She won't get the hang of it if you two aren't on the same page and he isn't consistent with putting her in there too. Lots of sources say to lay baby down drowsy but away but I don't totally agree with it. If she falls asleep, try transferring her over to the crib anyways. My LO falls asleep eating her bottle before bed almost every night and after she finishes the bottle I just transfer her right over into the crib and pat her back a little. She may wake up panicked a little at first because that's not where she woke up but with a little reassurance she will understand it's a safe place to be. For naps if she isn't asleep but really tired I'll put her small blanket in there and her lovey/paci and let her crawl around the crib and play it with it. She ends up tiring herself out and just falls asleep. Then I just take her blanket out. 
  • laurabwalkerlaurabwalker member
    edited July 2016
    I cannot believe how complex baby sleep is. I know some people claim they luck into "good sleepers" that magically sleep through the night at 8 weeks and nap 6 hours a day!
  • Not a single mum but I do all the bedtime stuff.
    Zach couldn't sleep anywhere else but next to me in my bed and I loved/hated it. I loved being close but I needed my space. So when I felt that he was big enough (about 4 months, but obviously different with every baby) I decided to change. 
    I got a crib where the side comes off and it attaches to your bed, a co-sleeper crib, and I sat him in it during the day and then at night, I would lie right next to him so it still seemed like we shared a bed. After he was comfortable in there I moved further away in the bed, then I put up the side but still kept the crib next to me and slowly over time moved him into his own room. I hope that helps even a little bit. 
    I'm wishing you and little Olive all the best, I know things are stuff and I really hope things pick up for you! 
  • @laurabwalker I had one of those dream babies who started sleeping through the night at 8 weeks... Until the 4 month sleep regression, (which for my kid started at 5.5 months). I haven't had a decent night of sleep since. And she never naps longer than 30 minutes. I completely agree, baby sleep is more complicated than I ever could have imagined. 
  • If it makes you feel any better I've read that naps and night time sleep are two different parts of the brain so I would try not to worry to much with what happens during the day and just focus on a good consistent routine at night. 
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