I guess I’ve been posting a lot on parenting stuff and the tricks and trials of motherhood because I’ve been getting questions! Thought I’d throw this one out there for others to respond as well.
I love your blog! Any tips on getting a 7 month old breastfeeding baby to sleep in her crib for naps and at night. She is waking every two hours at night.
Oh, Marcie! I feel your pain! We moved Lilleigh to her crib at 3 weeks old because she was too noisy. Little did I know that this would help us out later in not having to face the crib transition. Who knew? Anyway, she started sleeping through the night early on. Consistently between 3 and 4 months. But at 7 months, she started waking up early in the morning (like 5ish) to nurse. I’m not really a fan of cry-it-out (power to you, if you are), so I just caved and would nurse at this time. I figured going 10ish hours without eating was still awesome, so no complaints. She still does this by the way – something I’m hoping to wean from or better yet, that she’ll grow out of… Anyway I found that on nights when she woke at 5, rather than in the 7 o’clock hour, I could put her back down to sleep for another few hours. I guess my point in that is a) All mommas are struggling with some baby-related issue, whether it’s sleeping or nursing or what not, and b) You have to choose your battles. For me, that feed wasn’t/ isn’t worth fighting because then she sleeps till 8:30 AM (lately)! Who can argue that?
All this to say, I can’t relate verbatim, but I feel like all of parenting is trial and error, from one phase to the next. And none of it is easy! Rewarding, yes. And a definite blessing. But certainly not easy. I’ll throw out a few thoughts and then open it up to readers.
- I am a firm believer that breastfed babies smell their mommas. They’re like vampires. (Joke – ha, ha) So getting her out of your bed will probably help her to stop waking up at night, but getting there is tricky I’m sure. I am guessing you’ve been co-sleeping? While I don’t know exactly what the magical formula will be for you (hopefully readers will help), one thing I have come to realize is that with little ones, consistency is key! So whatever you decide to do to get her to fall asleep in her crib, be consistent about it.
- Also we have found that a bed time routine sets the stage for sleeping. Ours is fairly simple – pajamas, new diaper, nurse, books, song and prayer, crib. We always put Lilleigh down awake. We did this from early on because I really wanted her to be able to self-soothe. For naps, our routine is very similar – eat lunch, new diaper, book, song, crib. I wanted a routine that would be easy to travel with and easy for someone else to imitate. So if we go to a friend’s house for dinner, we can do this same routine there very easily and put her in a pack n play, or if our sweet neighbor and amazing friend Tristyn is babysitting (like tonight! Yea!), she can easily follow it and Lilleigh will understand it’s bedtime. The key for us was starting the bedtime routine at just a few months old. We did this both at our house and when we were at friends’ homes early on. We also would start the routine (back when we began) sometime in the 6 o’clock hour, rather than at 6 PM on the dot. Again, it was a flexibility thing for us. I wanted Lilleigh to be able to stay up a little later if needed. Flexibility is taught. Well, that’s my philosophy anyway.
I’m not sure if that really answered your question. I went on a couple of tangents there. Let’s see what others have to say.
What advice do you have for Marcie?