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20/01/2014 at 13:31
20/01/2014 at 13:54
Oh you poor things. How do you feel about it? You don't have to go straight to CC if you don't want to. We haven't started yet (as he's just starting nursery so want him to get used to that first) but I think we're going to do a version of pick up/put down. Personally I do know he's only crying through rage/frustration at not being able to get himself to sleep but I also don't want to leave him crying on his own. So we'll put him in his cot, when he cries (which I know he will!) pick him up, quick cuddle then back down even if he's still crying, and repeat.
The waking every 1-2 hours was what A was doing, clearly that was him not being able to connect one sleep cycle to another. We are/were cosleeping so rather than feed back to sleep I just lay with him, cuddled, shh'ed etc. It took a couple of nights of him crying next to me (again frustration that he didn't know how to go to sleep himself) but he has now learned to go back to sleep by himself without needing to feed to sleep, meaning on a normal night he will actually sleep 8pm - 4am or thereabouts which is heaven compared to before.
20/01/2014 at 14:46
If you aren't comfortable with CC, ditch it and try alternative, gentler approaches. I can't leave my baby to cry, it breaks my heart (I will however, ignore screaming tantrums until he calms down). Saisi's suggestion could be a goer for you? I also chose to co-sleep and found that it meant he slept for longer periods and if he woke, he was happy to go back to sleep with a cuddle, knowing that I was there. About 2 weeks ago, he started to self settle and is showing signs of preferring his cot to our bed (much to my dismay and my Hs delight!) but we didn't do anything to encourage it, it has just happened. Don't leave your baby to cry if you don't want to, HVs will always have an opinion and my HV in the UK was very much a baby in its own bed, let it CIO with my first and I completely regret it as it went against my maternal and natural instinct.
It will get better, the sleepless nights shall pass (hopefully very soon) xx
20/01/2014 at 15:20
Big hugs! Can you try a gentler cc where you check more regularly? We did and he's now happier in general, sleeping better and the days are much more fun! We left him for 1, 2 etc mins and although the first night he cried on and off for 40 mins it got less and none by night 4. Ironically it ended up being less tears than cosleeping! He did over 10 hours last night which was amazing although we get some awful nights too! Yes I felt awful, worst mother in the world and shed as many tears as he did BUT I'm so glad we did it as overall everything is so much better. My H was very supportive and hands on which you definitely need. It was very hard, I hate hearing him cry but he was waking and screaming every 1-3 hours so that wasn't working either. Have you got any mummy friends to chat to about it? I found over 50% of mine had tried it with their babies and were really supportive...the rest never needed it as their babies slept. You're not alone. Fb me if you have any questions lovely xxx
I didn't want to do controlled crying, as it would have just felt wrong for me. I did something a bit gentler, but still sleep training, of sitting with J next to the cot and reassuring him and rubbing his back, but leaving him in the cot (unless I felt that the crying indicated something wrong as opposed to frustration at not being fed to sleep.) I felt that at least by being in the same room as him and having contact with him he'd feel less abandoned, but still get the message that he needed to go to sleep in the cot. It worked for us really well, and he's been a much better sleepeer since, albeit with some bumps along the way where he's been ill, going through a phase of bad sleep etc. But since that first night of getting him to sleep in his cot we've not had a night with more than 3 wake ups I think, which beats the every 90 mins we had before!
Daytime naps we've only just got him to sleep in his cot now at 19 months, he wouldn't have gone for it at all when he was younger. :-(
20/01/2014 at 16:41
LM how do you feel about CC? I certainly couldn't do it and at such a young age too. Mind you my son had a bedtime bottle until 22months as that is what worked for us. If you aren't happy with CC then don't do it.
20/01/2014 at 21:38
You have to do what you're happy with. I would start with gentler approaches first and see how you go. PUPD worked really well for us even though I was hugely dubious it would help, but she responded really well to it (much to my suprise!). It took a few nights of crying, but she eventually learnt to self settle and now does so 99 times out of 100. Sometimes though she struggles to SS and starts crying, but we have discovered through trial and error that the best thing is usually just to leave her to it and she will eventually settle. If we go in to her she will scream even louder (because if she sees us she thinks she's going to be fed to sleep, but when we try that she screams and doesn't latch because ultimately she just wants to sleep), and sitting with her to 'calm' her has the opposite effect. So yes, we do sometimes let her CIO, but that is what works. I don't like it, and really struggle not to run into her, but that's just how it is for us/her.
Maybe that makes me a bad mummy, I don't know, but we have got there through eliminating everything else first, rather than starting off that way.
20/01/2014 at 23:45
Thanks everyone. I really admire anyone who can do cc or a variation as it is so tough. I don't think I can carry on with it at the mo which I know makes me a quitter but H seemed so distressed by it. It took 1.5hrs crying to get 30 mins of sleep from him And when I got him up he was physically shaking and kept shaking even after we had hugs and I gave him a snack. He was shaking as he tried to eat his biscuit and I don't want to see him like that. It took hours for him to perk up and get his character back.
Looks like it's back to the drawing board :(
21/01/2014 at 09:33
LM what's the actual issue here he won't nap or he doesn't sleep at all? Let's see how we can help
21/01/2014 at 12:20
LM does he settle at all on his own? C was never good at settling for daytime naps and I often have to take her for a walk in the pram even now, but at nighttime we have a set routine and she settles herself most of the time with the help of some music (we do have periods where she refuses, but these often have a reason). When she's having a bad patch i often soothe her to sleep by patting her back or just sitting in her room until she settles, but she stays in her cot and once asleep she stays that way all night.
21/01/2014 at 22:12
He won't self settle or be put in a cot awake. If he's put in asleep as soon as he wakes he screams and stands and won't settle again. He generally will only sleep 1-2 hours at night before waking and will only go back to sleep if he has a feed even if it's only a short feed. He fights sleep in the day and will only nap if he has a feed or if he's in the car or pram.
Hv thinks if he sleeps more in the day he will sleep better at night but I'm not sure.
He had a nighttime routine of itng, bath, stories but he either won't sleep or sleeps for an hour then either wakes up fully or needs feeding every hour.
He cosleeps as he won't go in a cot and is breastfed
I just don't know what to do or how I can sustain the broken sleep when I'm back at work
21/01/2014 at 22:36
I've commented on a few threads about this now, so I apologise if you've already read it. We had a tough time getting S to sleep through, but I couldn't/wouldn't do controlled crying. (You're not a quitter by the way, you're a mum who can't bare to see her child distressed and has chosen to do what she feels is right by him.) Basically they firstly cry because they're annoyed at not getting what they want - milk, cuddles, parents' bed etc. You give them it, their needs are met, so they stop crying. If you leave them to cry further the cry changes because they now think that not only are they not getting what they want, but they feel they have been abandoned too and effectively work themselves up into a state. Our solution, which won't work for everyone, but you can only try, was to eliminate the fear of being abandoned by not leaving her. It took hours to start with but perseverance paid off. We'd basically stay in the room with her, putting her music on, stroking her face, putting her dummy back in, putting a hand in her chest etc. until she calmed down. At no time once we started this was she picked up once she'd gone in the cot, unless she was ill. We'd only keave the room once she was asleep. When she woke and screamed, we did the same thing. Actually if was more H who did it, i would have given in and put her in our bed. She knew this and created more if it was me who went in. This went on for quite a while and her constantly standing and sitting up didn't help, but he'd just lie her back down repeatedly. Eventually the penny dropped, and touch wood, she'll now pretty much sleep through and have a long nap every afternoon. You may want to give it a try, but be warned that it will take some patience. I'd do it over again rather than cc though. She did still cry, but it was crying through anger at not getting her own way rather than fear of mummy and daddy not coming for her. X
22/01/2014 at 11:51
From wat you've said Lm it does sound like he can't settle himself to sleep/back to sleep and your probably going to have to be a bit firm with him and help him to find a way to do this. But I don't think CC is the way to go about it, I couldn't have done it.
What LWO describes is basically what we have had to do for C, and on some nights we still have to do it. We follow the nightly routine of milk, story and bed, she has her story in her room in her sleeping bag so it calms her down and prepares her for bed, then she goes in the cot to sleep, if she doesn't settle stright away in the cot I stay in her room (I have a chair by her cot), and I put music on, pat her back, stroke her hair and stay within view unti she settles. Sometimes I can potter for 2 minutes and she settles no problem, other nights its more like 25-30 minutes, but eventually she does settle to sleep and then she stays asleep all night most of the time).
All her daytime naps are in the car/pram, she never settled in the cot as we are out and about too much. FWIW, daytime naps never really had much affect on nightime sleeping for C, although it could be a factor, but I'd concentrate on nighttimes if I was you.
Good luck, I hope you find a way which suits you.
22/01/2014 at 12:37
Yep we did what LWO says but in our own bed. Planning to do the same again to get him to sleep in a cot in his own room. It is horrible hearing them cry but if you're there then they KNOW they've not been abandoned! TBH I would have preferred a more gentle way, of course I would, but I do think that perhaps some babies just do not respond to the gentler methods out there. We read the no-cry sleep solution and tried everything but in the end it just wasn't happening without tears unfortunately. And staying with him rather than leaving him worked for us, it meant nobody felt like they were abandoning/being abandoned but it still worked in the end.
Honey I couldn't last any longer waking up every hour to feed him back to sleep... to begin with I could do it in my sleep but as he's grown that's gotten harder and I did need to wake every time. It's hell. It cannot go on and I think you know that. You must be so tired xxx
22/01/2014 at 14:53
Just want to send hugs and sleep vibes to both you, Lm and Saisi. It sounds so tough and I know it's been going on for a long while. I think whatever you do, you don't make that choice easily and it's done with the very best intentions for your LO. I also really think that different babies need different approaches and sometimes what works gently for some babies won't work for others.
We have sleep issues too (not as bad though), and I'm still tired, so I really do feel for you both and hope things start to improve soon. I do find with us, days definitely impact the nights and vice versa but obviously I know that's not always the case. I have found the no cry sleep solution helpful, but am yet to summon the energy to put all of it in to action. Some things have helped that we've tried though, like a comforter and encouraging longer naps. There is loads on there on co-sleeping if it helps, LM, though I appreciate it didn't do a lot for you Saisi, and your situations sound quite similar.
Getting up every hour is absolutely killer, and we've started co-sleeping because of this, I just couldn't function. It's awful and I think you are doing brilliantly to be managing, let alone finding the energy to make changes whilst you are both seriously sleep starved. Big hugs x
23/01/2014 at 10:55
Aww sorry he was so distressed I'd have stopped too if A had reacted that way. Maybe staying in the room but not picking up is worth a try? You're not a quitter! It doesn't work for every baby, we were lucky that it worked quickly and hardly any crying compared to cosleeping in the end. He still naps on me in the day or in his pushchair (only when moving!!) I go with whatever works as an overtired A isn't fun!! I really hope you can get something sorted and that he gets it soon. You must be just so tired it's unreal xx
23/01/2014 at 12:37
I had a problem with my daughter in that she would only nap for about 20 minutes or so during the day and then she'd be wide awake again. Because she was tired she was then awful and then overtired, etc, etc.
Tackling day time naps might help only because you have more strength in the day time rather than in the middle of the night when you want to go to sleep yourself. I simply put my daughter down in her cot while asleep from a feed. Then I sat in the room with her. Every time she started to stir I shushed her in her ear - because she wasn't getting into the deeper sleep part she would wake herself up instead. This helped her to settle back down into more sleep. Gradually I got her to the point when she would sleep for more than an hour on her own. It didn't always work but things improved.
With the night time sleep you are trying to change a lot of learned behaviour. So at the moment sleep is warm and cuddly with mum and dad and getting back into sleep is done with a feed. Again, try being in the room but don't offer a feed or - if you can help it - pick up (I found my daughter got more cross if she was picked up because then I had to put her down again). Try shushing in the ear - babies are used to lots of noise, it might that having things too quiet make it harder to get back to sleep.
Try and keep a note of when he wakes up and how long it takes to get him back to sleep. You will hopefully start to see a pattern of it taking less time and fewer wakings.
25/01/2014 at 19:45
Thanks for all the ideas and experience. I really need to toughen up and just stop feeding him as it's the lazy way out I know - too short termish but it's do hard to resist as it's the easiest way to get him to sleep!
I might try staying in the room with him although he's so stubborn I worry he will never give in and settle. I think I will try the not feeding first and see if that helps at all. And yet encourage the daytime naps in the pram, car etc to try and reduce his overtiredness
Why oh why could he not be a good sleeper!
25/01/2014 at 21:38
Could his dad stay in the room with him? He won't react as badly about not being fed for him. S certainly settled much better when H went in than me. It will take a while, you could be talking hours to start with, but it should quickly get better. Sleep deprivation is a killer. X
26/01/2014 at 12:32
LM, you have my sympathy. I posted about this a week or two ago and got some really helpful replies. S is nearly 6 months and wakes up 5 or 6 times in the night, and usually needs a feed to settle back. We've done quite a lot of co-sleeping just to get through the night. I can't imagine doing this for another 6 months. You must be so tired.
When he stopped settling even after a feed (aggh!) then we did PUPD. It was tough but now he settles to sleep fairly well (no pick ups and just a bit of crying.) We haven't tackled these night wakings though. Sometimes he can settle back with a hand on his chest and some soothing words, but often I give in and just feed him (it's hard to refuse when he's not eating much in the day). And I appreciate how tough it is to keep your resolve when it's 1am and you've not slept yet (or even worse, had about 20 minutes and then get woken again!).
When S is a little older I'm going to do as a few have suggested here and withhold feeds and refuse to get him out of the cot, but be there beside him. Like my H said, you're only getting a few hours sleep a night anyway so you may as well sacrifice that for a few nights to hopefully get better sleep in the long run. He needs to figure it out for himself unfortunately and until he does it's not going to get better.
A big hug xx
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