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improving baby's sleep without losing even more sleep ourselves

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I'm looking for advice about what to do to help my 7-month old baby sleep better. He falls asleep easily enough, but wakes up constantly. I breastfeed him and he's been cosleeping because we're too tired to put him back in his crib and risk him waking up.

This is my last ditch effort before I call in an expert. I found a sleep coach who will help for $285, which is really expensive but will be worth it if it helps (BIG IF). The other problem with her is that she said that her clients typically have 2-4 bad nights before things start to improve for them. I don't think I can handle things getting any worse than they already are. If I get any less sleep than I'm already getting, I won't be able to function. If I have to deal with crying in the middle of the night more than I already do, I am scared of what I might do. It doesn't matter how much better things are after those few bad nights if I don't survive them. I am not exaggerating. Any of you who have dealt with chronic sleep deprivation will understand.
So what else can I do without making the situation worse? What strategies are there that will move us toward the baby sleeping longer without waking up and that will not require us to miss more sleep than we already are?
I can't:
keep records of night wakings (I'd have to wake up more thoroughly to do that)
improve naps (I'm working and my child care provider seems to be doing her best to no avail)
listen to him cry without answering (cry it out)
night wean
wake a sleeping baby
continue like this.


post #2 of 4

Hi Marjojo and welcome to Mothering! I'm so sorry you're having sleep trouble with your little one. It can be so exhausting! 


First of all, I'm moving your thread to the Cosleeping and the Family Bed forum where you may get more input from parents going through the same issues. 


Now - is his waking something that recently started or has it always been an issue? If recent, it could be something as simple but painful as teething that is waking him up. In that case no matter what sort of sleep training you might try he will still have his teething pain and wake up because of that.


That sleep coach thing sounds like it will involve Crying It Out (CIO). I strongly advise you to not go that route. Your baby is crying for a reason. Sometimes it is something you can do something about and resolve simply enough. Sometimes it can be something that it just takes time for him to move through. 


Please read the articles and discussions that are highlighted on the Cosleeping forum: http://www.mothering.com/community/f/37/co-sleeping-and-the-family-bed


Also, read our resources listed here. That should give you some ideas and insight into your situation and possible solutions. 


Please let us know how it goes! :love

post #3 of 4

My sympathies to you, sleep deprivation is no fun, especially when you're working, and some babies are just terrible sleepers (no matter what you do or don't do).


Like Cynthia said, my guesses, based on what little you've said, some possibilities are something digestive in nature (a new food that's causing issues), or teething (if it came out of nowhere). 


If you want to hire a sleep coach, go for it, but keep in mind that many in that profession are very pro-CIO, and will likely try to sell you on that method as well.


If you are looking for gentle ideas, you could look in to Elizabeth Pantley (No Cry Sleep Solution).  Lots of people mention that.

post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 

The baby has never slept long periods of time. It's not a new problem, just one that I am becoming increasingly incapable of living with as things stand. I don't think it's teething or digestive.


We cosleep now only because we're desperate. We would rather not.


This sleep coach advertises herself as "a gentler alternative to the cry it out method"


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