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If not CIO, then what? - Page 6

post #101 of 107


My son nursed every hour to hour and a half for the first six monts of his life as well. I understand the total sleep deprivation you are feeling as I scrambled to figure out ANYthing that would give me a few hours of rest to look after baby and 2 1/2 year old as well. This isn't a recommendation by any means, but I got so desperate, I put baby in his porta crib on his tummy against all advice and got 4 hours sleep! For some reason, sleeping on his tummy was really soothing to him and then helped me to space his feedings to four hourly during the day and got us into a better routine between feedings. I am not a regimented nurser, but he was 6 months after all and very capable of going for four hours between feed. He is now a healthy, still very energetic 8 year old. Good luck
post #102 of 107
I am 33 and I am not capable of going 4 hours without eating or drinking.
post #103 of 107

Ideas for soothing kids and yourself to sleep

I'm so happy to hear the OP is getting some sleep! I admire your dedication, honesty, and persistence.

A couple ideas in case anyone rdg is still struggling --
One PP touched on a concept that has worked well for our family in a variety of challenging situations. I think it's called association. The basic idea is to introduce a new consistent stimulus to replace the one you want to avoid. So in the OP's case, she mentioned her main goal was to help her child fall asleep without nursing / suckling. To begin building an association, she could play the same music each time she nursed, use a special blanket or fabric doll/ animal, maybe scented with a particular essential oil (lavender tends to induce relaxation)... and eventually the child begins to feel the same way when s/he encounters the new stimulus as she does when s/he's nursing, so at some point the mama can slowly transition from nursing to just leaving the child with another soothing presence.

Another important idea that's come up is patience. So many times when I've thought "this can't go on forever!" (using diapers, spreading food all over, pinching our faces when she felt frustrated...) one day I wake up and its over. Yeah!

And, as the OP modeled, persistence. Reaching out, trying different things, studying your child's temperment to understand what s/he really needs.

Also, one PP mentioned alternate care, which has been so helpful for our family. We have an official group that formed out of a local mom's mtg, but I also know lots of parents that trade on an informal basis. Our group spends plenty of time getting to know new friends to be confident that they will treat our children the way we do, so we can rest assured that they are well cared for.

And for mamas having trouble sleeping at abnormal hours, progressive relaxation is a great tool - even if it doesn't lead to sleep it reduces anxiety. Focus on one part of your body (I usually start with my head since that's where most of the stress is); first tense each muscle, then relax it. Move down through your whole body - I'm usually asleep before I get past my shoulders . If you do make it to your feet, you can imagine soft light or ocean water pouring over your whole body from head to toe. It's very relaxing for me.

If you have time, and your older children are interested (or you don't have any), a few yoga postures can help relax parts of you that are especially tense.

I also have had success with the meditative focus (see PP) - I use the moon as my peaceful image to block out all others. It has a very cooling, creamy, nightime effect.
post #104 of 107
I'm not sure if my experience will be helpful to you but we all sleep very well. My son slept with my husband and I until he was around 2 yrs then my lovely dh got his own room. We figured if anyone could understand where we all were at night it would be the 30 yr old. So now my daughter is 1 1/2 yrs, my son is 4 1/2yrs and I sleep with them in a queen size bed and my husband is in his room. I would suggest removing the clock from your bedroom. Nursing happens at any time. When my husband moved rooms he took the clock with him and I am much happier not knowing what time it is when I am awoken. Don't worry about sleeping in. If it happens I am grateful. When it doesn't I am not surprised.
I also wanted to congratulate you on trying something new. I think it is brave to realize what you had done isn't working and a new solution must be found. I wish you good sleep.
post #105 of 107
I read Pantley's book when DD was about seven months old. After a couple months of her waking to nurse 8-12 times a night.
We also do not co-sleep because it just doesn't work for us.

Pantley states in her book, if I remember correctly, that it is completely normal for babies this age to wake up several times in the night. THAT is not the problem. Really there is no problem... they just need to be taught how to go back to sleep. Obviously, CIO does not teach them anything but that no matter how hard they cry, you are not coming to comfort them. YUCK!

Your son just needs to have a balance of having his needs met and learning at his own pace, how to put himself to sleep.
Pantley is also very clear that you only have a sleep problem if it is actually causing problems...not because every old person you meet asks you if your baby is sleeping through the night!
It sounds like you ARE having a problem, if you and DH are not functioning well during the day.

The most helpful thing in the book to me was keeping a log. What time she woke up, what I/Dh did, how long she was awake, etc.
We started with not nursing her before like 2:30 a.m., and DH would go in and comfort her. Then we gradually moved the time back as her needs required. We got down to one nursing in the night and DH only needing to go in there once or twice if she was hot or cold or wet or something.
It took at least a month to see any real progress, but keeping it written down helped us to remember what we had tried and what worked/didn't.



mom to Arwen and baby due sometime soon!
post #106 of 107
I also forgot to mention the importance of a bed time routine. Around the same time every night we gave dd a bath and then dressed for bed and cuddle time with daddy, and then i would nurse her.... without the tv being on! DH and I would sit and read together while she nursed and once she was sleeping, would transfer her to her crib.

The routine signals that it is time for bed. Now she is 15 mo. old and LOVES bed time. She actually asks to go to bed sometimes as early as 6 pm.

Anyway, parenting comes with so many trials and we must be patient and let it work patience in us, and know that the nights are long, but the years are so short!

HTH again,
post #107 of 107
Thread Starter 
Hi Missi!

Good advice on the sleep log - I think we'll try that. After a particularly good or bad night, I'll try to think back about what we did or what I ate the day before, but my memory isn't too good these days Now if I can just remember to write it down!

He was doing great for a couple weeks, then went back to waking around 12 or 1, then 3 or 4 and up at 5:30. Better than getting up every 1-2 hours, but still not ideal. I really need a good stretch of sleep for myself. I've been working hard at getting to bed by 9pm, but if he wakes at midnight, it's only 3 hours for me and feels like nothing. My mother loves to tell me how I slept for 12-13 straight hours when I was a baby, so I guess I've always just needed a lot of sleep. I envy those that can operate on 5 or 6 hours.

Thanks for the advice!
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