In Soviet times, sleeping separately was a generally accepted norm, but now everything is different. The transition from feeding on a regimen and predominantly artificial feeding to natural feeding on demand has led to the fact that more and more mothers practice joint sleep with their baby because of its convenience. However, sooner or later, the parents face the question of how to “move” the baby to their crib. Below we will talk about how it was with my eldest daughter.

When the baby was born, I knew little about the needs of babies. In the maternity hospital, she slept quietly in the incubator, waking up clearly every 3 hours for feeding. Upon arrival home, the situation did not change much (except that there was a cot instead of a cuvez). I suppose the baby slept after giving birth, plus, a lot of effort was spent on digesting the mixture with which she was fed.

On the sixth day, the daughter managed to fully capture the breast. And at night I tried to shift her sleeping from her chest to the crib – a cry. I put it on again, walked around (at that moment we had mastered only the “cradle”), fell asleep, shifting – a cry. After seven such transfers, I gave up – I tried to apply lying down, and soon we fell asleep together. So our dream together began.

For several months, this state of affairs suited everyone. I could feed the baby while lying down, pick up the breast after falling asleep, fence her with a feeding pillow and move away or sleep next to her. During the day, sometimes it even turned out to shift her to the crib next to the parent’s bed. My daughter slept for exactly 3 hours (at night she could sleep for 4, and sometimes even 5 hours without attachments), fed and fell asleep again. When the little gaziks began to torment the baby, the waking time increased, but this was not particularly reflected in sleep.

However, at the age of 4 months, the situation began to change. The first teeth came out, dermatitis worsened. The baby began to constantly hang on her chest and completely stopped sleeping without her. She fell asleep, released her chest, immediately into a scream. In total, we woke up about every 40 minutes, regardless of the time of day. In addition, from 4.5 months, the daughter began to actively move, roll over, honing her skills in a dream. Sleeping together in bed was becoming dangerous.

By the age of five months, the teeth had come out, the dermatitis began to bother less, the craftsmen seemed to have mastered it. But the situation with endless hanging on the chest has not gone anywhere. At that time, I had not slept for more than an hour in a row for a month. The current situation depressed me, since we both did not get enough sleep (the baby became less awake, the total sleep time increased).

It was decided to “move” the baby to her own bed. The cot was attached to the large bed, but all the bumpers were left in place, as the difference in bed heights did not allow the side to be safely removed (which could have been easier).

To satisfy the need for sucking, I began to apply the baby to the breast more often during the day. At the time of the night “moving” to the crib, we had 3 daytime naps, 2 of which (morning and evening) were spent by my daughter on her chest, satisfying the need for sucking and appetite, as well as stimulating lactation (the second sleep was more often during a walk). Before going to bed at night, my daughter also hung on her chest for 40 minutes to an hour.

What is a pacifier and how to use it, my daughter did not know, and I did not plan to accustom her to a pacifier. Very often, a dummy for sleep does not work in such a situation, since children in the process of sleep lose it, wake up and also cannot fall asleep until the usual dummy returns to their mouths.

In our situation, before going to bed at night, the time of quiet wakefulness was necessarily ensured, when I put the baby in the crib – stroked, talked, told that today we would try to sleep in our crib, but my mother would be there. In general, this is a very important point – to focus on the fact that mom will be there. Moreover, it is important to inform that mom is nearby even when she is not visible. That she looks through the camera, comes in a dream, rushes in when the baby calls, etc.

After the evening feeding, I put my daughter in the crib, without waiting for her to enter the deep sleep phase. I see that I no longer eat, but sniffs – I quietly say that it is time to go to bed, I take my chest and shift it. Then the first weeks and a half, the baby expressed everything that she thought about this. Stroking, patting, singing, rattling, etc. – everything that can calm down without taking the child out of the crib was used. If nothing helped, and the cry intensified, I took it in my arms. She hugged me, explained that it was time to sleep, already an adult – you need to sleep in your crib, and I will sleep in the bed next to you, etc. As she calmed down and began to fall asleep, she returned to the crib. If it was not possible to calm down on the hands, she gave a breast, and all over again. The first week we managed to lay the baby down on the third run, then for several days on the second.

After 1.5 weeks, a miracle happened! After the evening feeding, she simply put her dozing daughter into the crib, and she, making herself comfortable, fell asleep. It only took me a couple of minutes to stroke the back.

As for reducing the number of night feedings – in my opinion, this is an important part of “moving” to the crib, because while the child is constantly eating at night – even moving to a nearby bed will bring nothing but lack of sleep and nervousness (both from the mother and by the child).

We gradually postponed the night feedings. When my daughter started tossing and turning, I stroked her back, etc., if I started screaming, I took her in my arms, stroked her, slightly swayed her. How calmed down – back to the crib. I tried my best to hold out without feeding. If you still could not fall asleep, calm did not come – then the chest. And so gradually the feedings shifted. 

As a result, from 5.5 months we began to sleep for 6 hours, from 6 months – 8-10 hours (fully breastfed). Up to a year and 2 months, we kept afternoon feedings at 5-6 in the morning, when the daughter again hung on her chest for an hour, after which she could be returned to the crib. It is worth noting that the baby nevertheless periodically tossed and turned at night, raised her head, checked that I was there and usually fell asleep again herself.

Until 9 months, my attempts to switch to daytime dreams in the crib resulted in furious sucking on my fingers, nervousness and, as a result, a disgusting night’s sleep. At the age of 9 months my daughter completely learned to sleep without a breast and “moved” to a separate room. At this age, she had a night’s sleep from 20-21 am to 09-10 am (with a break for morning feeding at 05-06 am). Then, 2 hours after waking up – the first 1.5 hour sleep and 3 hours after waking up from the first daytime sleep – the second 1.5 hour sleep. After 3-3.5 hours – night sleep.

Before “moving” my daughter to a separate room, for a couple of nights my husband and I slept in another room to make sure that she would not be frightened by waking up at night and not finding anyone nearby.

The “move” to another room went quite calmly. From that moment on, all dreams went like this: I lowered the curtain, closed the door, gave my chest (I have it very active and for her chest was the best way to calm down and tune in to sleep). As she ate, she took her breasts, picked them up (as if in a “column”), brought them to the bed. We stood at the crib for a couple of minutes – my daughter let out the air, laid her head on my shoulder, and began to doze. Then I put her in the crib and gave her a diaper, on which she usually sucked at the breast (respectively, with the smell of mom and milk). She said: “Bayu-bye, sweet dreams, bye-bye, see you again after sleep”, waved her hand and left. For about 10 minutes the baby settled down and fell asleep. If it was not possible to fall asleep and the daughter began to scream, she returned, solved the problem that caused her displeasure, and again laid the chest-hug-bed scheme. During periods of active teething, developmental leaps, etc. I went to meet and helped my button to fall asleep (more about how to lay –here ). When these circumstances disappeared, we returned to the previous scheme of falling asleep.

Then a crisis of one year awaited us, when the daughter’s need for communication with her mother again increased. Breastfeeding gradually decreased, the baby became more independent, gradually mastering the skills of walking, new toys, etc. At this point, we went back to laying down in the presence of mom. I stroked my daughter, sang lullabies to her, held the handle until I fell asleep and only then left.

At a year and 4 months, we completed breastfeeding, when the daughter simply did not ask for a breast before bedtime (our only feeding at that time), but immediately went to the crib.

The crisis ended in 1.5 years. The daughter already fully understood the speech, she could express her desires (somewhere with gestures, and somewhere with words). At this stage, a new ritual was invented. We could already talk before going to bed, and not just I sang lullabies. Sometimes the three of us sat down on the sofa, attracting dad, and talked. Then I offered to go to the crib, where the kitty was waiting (at that time, my daughter decided to sleep with a toy – a kitty, which she herself chose for this purpose). The baby said goodbye to dad, hugging and kissing him, she walked and lay down in the crib (already without extra sides). Then I kissed my daughter in the exact sequence: nose, right cheek, left cheek, forehead, right handle, left handle, tummy, back. Then it was necessary to tickle the right leg, the left leg and once again give a good hug. I always said goodbye that I was watching her through the camera and if you need me, you can always call me – I will come. For some time after this laying, I still sang a lullaby through the camera. Gradually the singing went away.

It should be noted that the eldest daughter, in principle, never badly needed frequent bodily contact. With the exception of the age from 4 to 5 months, she could well fall asleep lying in the crib and staring at the ceiling. If she fell asleep on her chest, then I could calmly pick up the breast, crawl away and go about my business (it was not always possible to transfer to the crib, but just leaving was completely). Perhaps that is why everything went quite easily with us, and my daughter started sleeping so early for 6-9 hours without resorting to my help. Yes, up to 1.5 years, she periodically woke up at night, tossed and turned and fell asleep for a while. It also happened that she could not sleep herself. In this case, I took her to my parents’ bed. I was not afraid that after that she would not return to her place, because she liked to sleep alone. As a rule, she herself tried to get into her bed after how the worry went away. By the age of 1.5, we removed the side, and the daughter herself could easily climb into the crib and get out of it. But, oddly enough, it was at this age that she finally stopped calling me at night …

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