Our daughter is one year old. We've been co-sleeping, but about two weeks ago we started transitioning her to her own room. We rock her down and put her to sleep in her room. When she wakes up (usually in 1-2 hours) and starts fussing, we get her and bring her back to our bed and go back to sleep. Sometimes she gets to a full cry before we get to her, but usually we are there before she's too upset.
However, despite our attempt to be as non-traumatic with this transition as possible, she's suddenly gotten very squirmy when she's cosleeping with us. She'll twist about till she's lying perpendicular between us, and then start kicking her dad. A lot.
I don't know if it's related to the transition to her bed, or if it's just a natural development for her age, but I don't know what to try to get her to stop.
It's almost always when she's nursing - she used to nurse very easily lying down. She'd be lying parallel to me, she'd be mostly still, we'd both drift back to sleep ... Now, if she's nursing (or just before or just after), she's in constant motion, either maneuvering herself into the perpendicular, head twisted position that she favors now (cannot understand why, but there it is), or kicking her dad, or hitting me.
She doesn't hit hard - just a rhythmic, keep-the-beat kind of thing. But she kicks a lot harder. Usually she is drumming her poor father in his chest, but she's managed to kick his face a few times, as well as lower. Which makes sleeping pretty difficult for him.
We can't tell her no; she's not really awake. And I can hold her hand while nursing, but I can't hold her feet as well or keep her from twisting all around. If I sit up and pull her into my lap to nurse, she is still - but then I don't get any sleep.
How can I get her to stop kicking and stop squirming when she's sleeping? Or how long should we expect this phase to last? Is there anything my husband can do to keep the kicking at bay?
- Far the 'how long will this last??' question - just a few weeks. 2 months later, she's almost completely transitioned to her own bed, and the few times she does sleeps in our bed, she is good.
- We found that giving her a high-protein meal soon before bedtime helped her reach a sound sleep faster and stay there longer. The schedule is a scrambled egg, bath, nursing and reading, and then bed. That gives us 4-6 hours before she rouses (yah!)
- I did finally figure out that the trade-off with sleeping in her own bed is that I can't do the lay-down nursing anymore. When she wakes at night, she needs the comfort of being held in a lap as much as anything else - the comfort of lying down again doesn't cut it. This is much easier to do now that I'm getting 4-hour stretches of sleep :)
- We also found the right comfort items to put in bed with her and her preferred sleep temperature. She also sleeps better (ie, without kicking and thrashing) if she's had her naps, and when she isn't teething. So many variables!