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September 21, 2015

Co-Sleeping with a Toddler



We area co-sleeping family.

We were a co-sleeping family.

Sharing a bed was the most natural thing in the world for us, as a family. We all loved snuggling and the convenience of night feeding. The bonding time of sweet sleepiness at night and the funny little morning coos and tickles. It is the stuff hallmark cards are made of. Every warm feel.

It was never that Jaxon being in a different room was an issue. He usually spent his first sleep of the night in his crib, but because it would take nearly 45 minutes for him to fall back asleep, I would just bring him to bed after that and nurse whenever he fussed.

Even the ‘bad’ nights weren’t bad, just hard because you want to be asleep.
No child that young is purposely trying to upset you.
There are so many things that contribute to crying in the middle of the night. Our biggest night issue was gas. Jaxon has always taken extra air when he nurses. You can sometimes hear the air go down. That on top of how hard he is to get to burp… It’s like the perfect storm. 

The other thing that is interesting is that once a toddler reaches a certain age, they like to sleep in all kinds of positions and places. Rolling this way and that. Throwing elbows and feet every which way. I woke up with his arm resting across my face and his legs propped up on mine… My little, crowding, starfish.

The night before we decided that night weaning was going to happen, Jaxon had a fit that lasted from 11-1:30. Finally we got a big burp out of him while I was hiding in the dark closet between our rooms, bouncing him. (I didn’t want to wake the families on either side of our set of rooms.) after burping, he quieted and I tried nursing him back to sleep…

Only to wake up 30 minutes later with him arching and whining due to his other end. The poor little man had so much air in his stomach that I could pat it and hear the hollowness. That pattern continued with him waking and me trying to nurse him sitting up and rocking to get his gas moving until I ran out of milk and we were both near tears. Finally, after my last 45 minute stretch of sleep, my alarm went off at 5:15am. I snuck out of the bed to shower in peace.

Jake and I decided that since he spent a sleepless night without milk, we would try to night wean him. He already had a head start and experienced a frustrating night with momma comforting him. It was dad’s turn. Jake and I set a plan of attack. I would do bath, nursing and prayers, he would do book, bedtime and any other time Jaxon was up. I tucked myself into bed and was up every time they were. Poor boys. I know he was up quite a bit… But the longest stretch was crazy enough that sesame street was necessary to calm Jaxon down.

They barely made it through the night. When I heard Jaxon fussing before my alarm, I went in and plucked him off the floor, where Jake was laying with him, and nursed him back to sleep while kicking Jake out and into bed.

We were all pretty tired that day.

Gearing up for night 3 of terror, We repeated the attack plan. Jaxon woke up at 11:45, like normal and because Jake wasn’t feeling great I nursed him back to sleep, put him in his crib, and went back to our bed.

The next thing I know, my alarm is going off.

I felt Jake wake up to the sound of my alarm and asked him how many times he went in to Jaxon.
‘None. And you only went in once, at 11.’

We high fived.
Now I am positive that this is not the end of our nighttime issues.
But it is a step in the right direction.

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