Help, no idea how to get LO in the crib — The Bump
Attachment Parenting

Help, no idea how to get LO in the crib

st.augbridest.augbride member
edited February 2014 in Attachment Parenting
I've posted before on here for this, but now I'm really desperate to get dd (13.5 months old) sleeping better, and preferably in the crib, and I need help. Right now she still naps in the baby carrier worn by either me or dh depending on who is home with her, and then sleeps in bed next to me at night and nurses on and off. However, lately 'sleeps in bed next to me' consists of hardly any sleep at all. It's been bad for a while now and I was hoping would get better, but it isn't. If it's not one thing it's something else, so really, it's just a bad habit now and needs to be corrected as she wakes every hour screaming and then ultimately is just up by 5:30am or so which is NOT enough sleep. 

Dh was home with her the last few days and tried to get her to nap in the crib, but it never worked. He would rock her until completely asleep, mostly asleep, not asleep, etc... and every time no matter what or for how long or how exhausted, as soon as he'd lay her in the crib she'd wake up screaming and just wouldn't nap. Finally after 1.5 days of no naps he put her in the carrier to sleep. I haven't even tried her room or the crib at night, but her sleep is just atrocious and not healthy for anyone. A few more relevant things... I have a crib in our bedroom that we could try, but in the past this never was helpful. She has a very cozy little room and I'd really prefer to get her in there. I have a twin mattress on the floor there that I could utilize to help somehow, though I doubt she will stay on the mattress for very long as she gets up a lot and rolls even more... Also, my son is in the room next to it and he sleeps well, so I hate the thought of disturbing him a lot (he's 3).

The other super relevant things are that: 1) she is deaf. She wears a hearing aid during the day and also just received a cochlear implant so will start wearing that next week, but for sleep she is not allowed to wear these so she can't hear anything. I think this leads to a heightened need for visuals and touch for her to completely relax. Though, in bed with me at night, once I nurse her to sleep, I lay next to her for a bit but then sneak away and she stays sleeping alone (just wakes every 1-2 hours to be nursed back). 2) she has a cardiac issue that makes it imperative that we don't allow her to get worked up into a frenzy, so absolutely no CIO techniques (not that I'd expect that from this board!).!!!!???
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Re: Help, no idea how to get LO in the crib

  • My DS is about the same age as your LO, so I'll share what we started recently, He has a queen mattress on the floor in his room (with bed rails and up against a wall because he's a very mobile sleeper). I nurse him at bedtime then DH takes him and lays on his bed with him patting/shushing until baby falls asleep then he sneaks out. DS will wake up frequently and reach around for us then settle back down without even fully waking up when he knows we are there (we watch him on the video monitor and rush in when we see him start to get restless). We were going in there every sleep cycle at first but now he's getting a good 3-4 hour block of sleep without our help. Then I spend the rest of the night bedsharing (which has gotten significantly better since learning that he doesn't need to nurse to go back to sleep - that touching my face or having me rub his back works just as well).

    I will say it was a loooong process. We didn't start until after his first birthday and it took a couple of weeks before we started seeing any improvement. We don't believe in CIO at all so the nanosecond he started to cry or get agitated/restless I would nurse him or DH would pick him up and rock him.

    Also, on the rare occasion that we don't get to him before he wakes up we've noticed he just sits up in bed and looks at the door like he knows we're coming. It's pretty sweet actually.

    I don't have any advice for napping because I bedshare with him during naptime.

    I'm a FTM so that's the only advice I can give. Hope you find something that works for your family! GL!
  • Lurker but remembering how hard this age was. Honestly with everything going on I'd pick one thing to focus on at a time. For us, at this age it was night time because I was feeling so sleep deprived and grouchy nursing all night. We let DS continue to nap in the car, in a carrier, or in a stroller and tackled that once nights were better and it actually worked.

    For night weaning I did Dr. Jay Gordon's night weaning while bedsharing approach. I wouldn't nurse from 10pm (dream fed before I went to bed) until 4-5pm. Later we dropped both of those as well and just offered water at night. DS certainly did cry but he was always held and snuggled and bounced the worst crying was the first night of each stage he describes. Once he was night weaned naps and bedtime in his crib actually went better. Sounds like it's going to be a lot of trial and error to figure this out. Sending you thoughts for strength!
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  • Thanks, that's a good point about changing so much at once. Maybe I will just prioritize night sleeping in her room first. Maybe I will move the crib out and make a safe bed on the floor that I can sleep on with her, like the queen mattress in our guest room. I even just now for a nap tried to go in the crib with her (yes, climbed in and all!), lay down, nurse, and she started but then got her foot caught in a slat, screamed, and then sat up screaming and shaking her head 'no'. This is going to be fun...
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  • DS1 never slept in the crib, ever. Around that age we super baby proofed his room and switched him to a floor bed. I honestly think it was an easier transition because he was used to sleeping in a bed and not a crib...

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  • I'm sorry I don't have any help to offer you but I wish you best and lots of strength! I'm sure I'll be in the same boat eventually. My boy is 7 months and naps in my arms and we just transitioned to bed sharing (used to sleep in a recliner).
  • At that age if she hasn't slept in the crib, I'd just skip it - another transition in a few months and if she's used to a bed, she'll sleep better in the bed.

    With my oldest, we transitioned him to a floor bed in his room.  I slept with him as needed (usually if he woke in the night because I didn't want to have to stay awake!).  That worked well and he started sleeping longer stretches on his own.  We night weaned about a month after that transition.  The Jay Gordon method is worth a read on that.

    I agree that I'd choose one thing to do first instead of doing it all at once!
  • My DD is almost 14mo and we transitioned her from napping in the middle of our bed, to a twin bed on the floor in her room. We still bed share at night. 

    The crib is such a joke. I hadn't intended to buy one, but DH really wanted to try getting her out of our bed since she wakes a bunch (a three hour stretch is cause for celebration). 
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  • Our nanny taught us a technique where you rock for a bit them once asleep lay them in crib usually on their side and with one hand you are still holding them and the other you slide under their head palm side up and jiggle the mattress for a minute or two so they still feel the sensation of rocking .

    Also in the hour before bedtime the only room we hang out in is his room to let him know this is where he needs to be at nighttime. We play in there on the floor, then read book , nurse and then rock. Good luck !
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  • Also setting up a twin bed on floor next to the crib is a great idea for night nursing so you can also get some sleep if the crib is still not possible.
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  • With the hearing and cardiac issues I would just clear the room of anything and everything and use the floor bed.  Get a video monitor.  Go in and lie with her as needed, escape when you can.  In time slowly remove yourself more and more.  Use the video monitor to keep an eye on her.  She may get up and wander around but unless she is upset just let her explore and bit and in time she will stay in bed more.  If she's upset go in and lie with her/nurse her back to sleep.

    As you mentioned if she can hear in the day but suddenly can't that night that would result in her waking and wanting you. 


  • nosoup4unosoup4u member
    edited February 2014
    Haven't read all the responses, but I would try having a space for her near you. So either a crib mattress or twin mattress pushed up to your mattress. You can be near, but then scoot away and give her space when she's asleep. We have a big floppy stuffed dog from Ikea, would something like that help her seem cozy if she wakes at night? Or having DH attend to her/co sleep w her to see if that helps. Night weaning might be an option, too.

    The only other thing I can say is that both my kids were such bad sleepers at that age! Something about toddlerhood...hope it gets better!
    DS1 - Feb 2008

    DS2 - Oct 2010 (my VBAC baby!)

  • Thanks, everyone. Great advice here. I will work with dh to make a floor bed for her tomorrow and move the crib out. It's such a nice crib! What a waste of cash that was, lol. I will sleep with her like I do now and then slowly stay out of there for longer and longer to work on getting her to sleep alone. We keep a video monitor on her now in my bedroom so I will move that up there to hers too. Also, just to add, I don't think she minds not hearing at night. For her, that's the norm and all she's ever known. The daytime hearing is the new thing! But I still do think it naturally makes her want more touch at night, and I've been happy to comply. I just know it's time to start transitioning her so we all sleep better.
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  • ncbelle--great blog! Thanks so much for sharing. I feel like I am in almost exactly the same place as you based on your post. As of now, I have a queen set up in her room against the wall, pillows and blankets all around, and a bed rail on the bigger open side (with pillows, blankets behind it too). Do you think the bed rail is a good idea there on the floor? I like that it would keep her on if she rolls, and to start I will sleep on that side and then I will be watching her on the video monitor anyway so if she explores it I can move her, but when she is alone eventually I worry she will climb over it and fall... Even though I have pillows, I wouldn't want her to land in a funny way. I guess maybe by then I will move it...any thoughts?
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