We have been doing some form of co-sleeping with Jack since he was born, and using the “wait it out” alternative to “cry it out.” At first we side-cared the crib to the bed, but he ended up always sleeping glued next to me and not in the crib. Eventually when he was a few months old we took off the crib and he slept between my husband and I. At that point we kept the crib in the bedroom as a playpen type area. Recently, now that he’s crawling we put the crib back as a sidecar (with the toddler rail up) so that it’s harder for Jack to crawl off the bed at night.
This has been working pretty well. I slide him over into the crib after he breastfeeds most of the time, and sometimes he sleeps next to me if I’m worried he’ll wake up if he’s moved. He has more space that way and doesn’t end up sideways and kicking someone in the face. I think it also might make him gradually eat a little less at night because it’s less easy to just breastfeed while I’m half asleep, but we’ll see.
When he was a few months old Jack was sleeping about a 5 hour stretch early in the night, but for the last several months he has been waking up every 2 to 3 hours (sometimes more). He often wakes up every hour towards morning. At least he sleeps from about 7pm to 7am and really easily falls back asleep after he eats unless he’s teething. I generally don’t feel that exhausted unless he’s teething and I need to walk around with him at night. That’s one reason I really didn’t want him in the crib with the sides up- I feel like if I have to get out of bed at all it wakes me up more and I really feel it the next day.
At this point I’m not trying to change his sleep since he keeps getting new teeth every week to every few weeks. We tried to stop using the carrier to put him to sleep, but that resulted in bedtime taking hours of lying there with him and then when he started teething I gave up and used the carrier so I wouldn’t go crazy, so all that stress was for no reason.
Maybe after he gets his molars and we have a break from teething for a while we’ll try to set up a better nighttime routine and gradually decrease the eating at night by cuddling him to sleep instead. Facebook has been a great source of support with wait it out groups, since most people I know use cry it out. I’m really glad to have those groups and also that all our parents never did cry it out so that we have places to talk that are understanding.Like