8.04.2006

Brilliant Idea... or dumb, dumb, dumb?

I have a confession to make:

Julia still sleeps in her swing. All night. Almost every night.

Oh, sure, most nights we start out by trying to put her in her crib.

But that doesn't work so well. The screaming. The screaming, my friends. The screaming doesn't work so well for us. We are incapable of letting her CIO. And she knows it.

Most nights when she gets tired we can put her in her swing and within minutes she's out. And, as long as the swing keeps going all night, she will wake up only once. Or sometimes (and these are the glorious times) she sleeps all through the night!

But, seeing as how she IS growing. She IS gaining weight. She IS nearly 20 lbs, we are reaching the time in every baby's life when the swing is just not going to work any more. We need a plan.

So, what I was thinking is that we should completely and obsessively baby proof her nursery. Anchor EVERYTHING to the walls. Loop her curtains up so she can't reach them. And then take the crib out and just put the crib mattress on the floor. That way we can lie there with her as she falls asleep, and we can leave her there once she has done so. Then we put a baby gate up in front of her doorway so the door can be cracked but she can't sneak into the rest of the house. With the mattress on the floor if she rolls off it's only a 6 inch drop so she won't be damaged. It might hurt a bit, but she'll be ok.

See, she sleeps great in our bed with us. But have you seen our bed? We can't put her there and leave her if we're not ready yet to sleep. And we can't attach a co-sleeper thing to the side. So, if we're not ready for bed it's the swing or the crib or our arms. I'm trying to create a new option.

What do you think? Is this a terrible idea? Will it ruin the crib mattress to be on the floor? Will it ruin it to have it on the floor and then having us adults lie on it with her as she falls asleep?

Posted by Trista @ 3:58 PM

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I don't think it would ruin the crib mattress to be on the floor. But I'm not sure how well it would hold up with adults sleeping on it. Maybe you should consider just going ahead and getting a full size mattress for the floor. Or, if y'all can stand it, just make a pallet out of blankets. G loves to sleep flat on the carpet with no blankets or anything! Good luck figuring it out. I'm sure lots of people will give you advice but in the end you have to do what's right for you!

Posted by Blogger K. @ 7:35 PM #
 

I haven't seen your bed, so I'm not sure why you aren't able to leave your daughter on the there after she's asleep and you aren't ready to sleep yet. Do you have it shoved up against the wall? If you can shove it against two walls, all the better. They make bedrails that you can use instead of a co-sleeper (far less space to worry about).

Why do you want her to sleep in another room? If you think sleeping out of the swing is going to be hard, sleeping out of your breathing area is going to be impossible! (And I am THRILLED you don't make her cry it out. YUCK!)

You can absolutely take that crib mattress and put it on your floor and fall asleep with the baby and then get up once she is good and asleep.

(Do you know it takes about 20 min for a baby to fall into deep sleep? If you are rocking/nursing/walking the baby and s/he falls asleep... DON'T STOP for at least 20 mins - nap yourself, for goodness sake. Don't remove the baby from the sling if they fall asleep in the sling... just lay them down in it inside the cloth. If you use a car seat thingie that lifts out, don't remove the baby... just leave them there!)

If the baby is still in your room, but even if she is on the floor, it won't be a far jaunt to help her back to sleep in the middle of the night.

So, trying to find a way to keep her in your bed would be my first suggestion. Second, keep the mattress on your floor. Third, the crib mattress or pallet on the other floor, but I'd really encourage keeping her closer to you for awhile longer.

I promise - they ALWAYS get out of your bed. My kids (23, 21, 20 and 20) are no longer nursing or are in our family bed. They also pee in the toilet without reminding and wash behind their ears. :) - it happens so, so, so, so fast. Embrace this time, even if sometimes are hard or tiring.

Hope this helps.

Posted by Blogger Navelgazing Midwife @ 7:11 AM #
 

We have friends who have basically done this. They have a 16 month old who since she stopped co-sleeping has slept on a futon on the floor in her own room. Seems to work great.

Posted by Anonymous j @ 12:08 PM #
 

It won't hurt the mattress, no. But I would say just get her a bigger mattress. At least a twin mattress.
To the PP, they can't have Julia on the bed and leave her because the bed is 5 feet off the ground. Charlie almost never tries to get out of our bed if we're not with him, and I wouldn't leave him on their bed either!
Super duper babyproof her room, and then move her to a bed. Once Charlie is out of our room (who knows when that will be) we're not using a crib, he'll go straight to a bed. I was in a bed at Julia's age and I survived.

Posted by Blogger Estelle @ 12:17 PM #
 

That's a brilliant idea.

She's ONLY 20 pounds? Zoinks! Malka is just about 26 at 7.5 months. sigh. We abandoned the swing a few weeks ago...


I cannot STAND to hear Malka cry, it rips my heart OPEN, I tell ya. So um, Narda had me go spend the night at my friend's house during sleep training. It took 3 days, and unless she's teething, or having a random other thing going on, she sleeps from 8pm to 6am. SOLID. With a few minutes of fussing. Same for naps. Now, the MOST she's ever cried is 15 minutes, tops. Sadly, she can WAIL at a very high and loud pitch. But ultimately, a well rested Malka is a happy Malka. And I'll take that over an over-tired, cranky, fussy baby who woke up multiple times per night...

Wanna come stay over?

But I like the mattress on the floor idea - it sounds good.

Posted by Blogger Shelli @ 9:37 PM #
 

A close friend of ours who is also a pediatrician went the "mattress on the floor" route for both of her kids. It works well for them.

I vote with trusting your instincts and trying your best not to feel guilty about whatever choice you make. You're making the best decision for Julia and your family.

Posted by Anonymous Liza @ 8:01 AM #
 

Trista, I feel like somewhat of an expert on this as we just went through it all and I'm happy to report that I can now put Drew in his crib before he is asleep and he'll sleep there all night long.

We did the co-sleeping thing for 9 months, the swing until he got too big and FELL OUT!!!! then we moved an air matress into his room next to his crib. That way he learned to fall asleep alone, knowing that someone was in there with him. When he fell asleep, I could sneak out quietly. Once in a while, he still wants me in there - if he wakes up in the middle of the night - but most nights he falls asleep by himself. It's wonderful!!!

Good luck.

Posted by Blogger naive-no-more @ 11:50 AM #
 

I don't normally like to stick my head in where it isn't truly desired, but if others get to comment on CIO, etc with YUCK, then I get to tell you that Wes let GMB sleep however he wanted with no training, etc. And he did not get out of our bed until he was 10 YEARS OLD. They DO NOT always get out of your bed cutely and naturally around 2 or 3 or whatever some people claim. Just sayin'.

Posted by Anonymous bri @ 2:04 PM #
 
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