Originally Posted by graciegal
There is no normal. It's JUST as normal for a 15 month old to "get it" and sleep through the night (like my daughter did) than it is for one to NOT get it and be troubled with sleeping and such. Case in point: my DS is a HORRIBLE sleeper and has been since birth. Wakes up every 2 hours at night, sleeps 10-20 minute naps once -maybe- twice a day. My nephew was born 16 days after my son and my sister has to set an alarm to wake up to feed him at night. He will sleep ALL night if left be. AND he takes several hour long naps during the day.
I think that mom's mental health is so important and if she needs to try everything under the sun to see if it works (including CIO) that's so much better than suffering silently because her kid can't figure out how to sleep yet.
And to the poster who said that people who use CIO have depressed and angry kids, seriously....almost all of us were taught how to sleep using CIO since the dawn of time. I'm willing to bet the person who said that above was, too.
Nobody argued that the mom's mental health isn't important - all that's being said is that the mental health of BOTH mom and baby are important. Further, the mother is an adult. She is able to seek advice about gentle alternatives, as well as support. She is able to put herself in her child's shoes and weigh both sides. She is also able to reframe her expectations and take comfort in the fact that this behavior falls under "normal." And yes, mothers are able to make personal sacrifices for the well-being of their children. (If OP is so sleep-deprived that she isn't able to care for her child, absolutely something has to give. But I think most mothers would like more sleep, and can gain strength simply from commiseration and support.)
A child is not equipped to do any of those things - a child has NEEDS, pure and simple. Gentle methods that work with those needs are appropriate on mothering.com - CIO, which is essentially abandonment, is absolutely NOT. It has been proven to lead to higher rates of anxiety and depression, less independence, and even lower intelligence. It is also most certainly not a practice that has existed since the "dawn of time" but rather a product of the 20th century.
For a quick refresher on the detriments of CIO (which are real and lasting):
I can find more links.
To the OP - some other ideas - Can you transfer your lil one back into the house after he's asleep? If so, is there any way you can use that time to nap, too, and let the housework go a little? Do you have anyone who can give you a little bit of extra help with housework, or watch the lil one so you can take a nap? Every little bit helps.
Do you baby wear? I sometimes had luck getting my son to nap in the carrier if we were on a long walk or dancing around the room and singing - then I'd often keep him on my chest and nap with him. Have you tried an extra snack before bedtime? Sometimes that will cut down on night feedings, or at least give you a longer stretch in the beginning. We also had luck with nighttime EC for a time (he woke up less and fell back asleep quicker when he was dry).
We are in the same boat with DS, but I've never nightweaned or used a sleep training method - hopefully others can comment with their experience, if you are still around.
(edited after re-reading OP)
Edited by pickle18 - 3/22/13 at 8:25am