He's almost a year old and he just won't sleep! - Mothering Forums

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Old 09-03-2014, 01:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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He's almost a year old and he just won't sleep!

Hello Mamas,

How did you get your babies to sleep? I'm hoping to hear especially about babies where nothing seemed to work..

We've tried "everything", it seems.. we're exhausted, beyond, beyond exhausted.

We tried different approaches, stuck with them for long enough to see if they work.. some of them work some amount of the time, then cease to work.

My son will be a year old in a few weeks. The sleep has been our big issue.

On a perfect day, he naps twice a day, 30mins to an hour. His bedtime is between 7.30-8pm. He wakes up completely at around 8am. The longest we've ever gotten him to sleep was 4 1/2hrs, I think. He usually wakes up every 2hrs, sometimes every 3.

He is currently waking every 30mins to 1hr again.

We are now trying:
I nurse him, rock, sing - the usual routine. I then put him down, trying for before he falls asleep so he can fall asleep on his own.
He then rolls on his belly, gets up and cries. Currently, he seems less upset if my husband takes over, so he does. He stays with him in the room and I leave.
We're now playing relaxing music / sounds to him all night long.
Husband tells him it's bed time etc., then leaves the room. We've exhausted all other options, so now we're letting him cry. It's not something I ever wanted to do, but even giving in completely and taking him into bed with us only worked for 3 days, after that we were back at waking every 30mins to 1hr.

If he wakes up again and it's been 4hrs or so since the last feed, I nurse him, then put him back into the crib, then husband takes over again, then leaves.

At around 5am, he wakes up and at that point we take him into bed with us. (I've talked to our pediatrician and groups and they all said it wouldn't confuse any sleep training we did throughout the first part of the night. What do you think?) Light sleep with several wakings follows until about 8am.

Today is day 2 of letting him cry. It worked eventually last night, after 1 or 2hrs. It's so painful for everyone involved.

Now, naptime is messed up too - he used to fall asleep on me, then I'd put him down in his crib and sneak out. Now he just cried for an hour or so. (It's finally quiet now.)

Should I just stick with it and hope it'll get better now? Are there any moms on here who let their babies cry and decided at some point that it WASN'T working?
(Side note - Please, no judging. I just want to hear about your experience, not whether or not you approve of "CIO".)

If you have / had a bad sleeper, how did you get him / her to finally sleep?
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Old 09-03-2014, 03:19 PM
 
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Have you tried nursing him while lying on your side on the bed, then staying with him until he's been asleep at least 10 minutes, then quietly getting up? That is the only way I was able to put my son to sleep until he weaned--and long after that, it was the same routine but without nursing. At 1 year old, he was typically waking to nurse every hour until midnight, sleeping through midnight-5am, and then waking to nurse every hour until he was up for the day. I didn't think he was a bad sleeper; I thought he was a baby. The way I was getting enough sleep was by sleeping next to him so that I could nurse without getting up and thus could get back to sleep quickly. Here's a lot of detail on our approach to his sleep:
http://articles.earthlingshandbook.o...by-sleep-tips/

I don't know everything you've tried, but based on your current approach, it sounds like most of what you've read/heard is from the CIO advocates who think it's really important for babies to "learn to fall asleep" by being left alone while they're still awake. I can believe that it might work for some babies, but it was intolerable for my son, didn't work for me as a baby, and still wasn't working for me when I was old enough to remember: I hadn't "learned to fall asleep"; I'd learned to accept that for some reason my parents insisted that I spend many hours alone in a dark room, and I'd learned not to cry loudly about it because that made them mad, but I was unable to sleep for about two hours after my bedtime and did not know how to relax myself.

So, I recommend that you try teaching him to fall asleep by setting an example. Snuggle down, close your eyes, breathe deeply, don't talk. (If you fall asleep in the process, you must need the sleep!)

Another similar approach is to take for granted that you will need to stay with him, perhaps do something quiet to occupy yourself, but make it a boring time for him. I used to lie next to my son reading while I waited for him to fall asleep; he was able to sleep with the bedside lamp on. A relative who has preschoolers now told me they can't tolerate that much light, but he sits in the rocker between their beds and reads on his Kindle while they are dozing off.

I hope this helps. Good luck!

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Old 09-03-2014, 03:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by EnviroBecca View Post
Have you tried nursing him while lying on your side on the bed, then staying with him until he's been asleep at least 10 minutes, then quietly getting up? That is the only way I was able to put my son to sleep until he weaned--and long after that, it was the same routine but without nursing. At 1 year old, he was typically waking to nurse every hour until midnight, sleeping through midnight-5am, and then waking to nurse every hour until he was up for the day. I didn't think he was a bad sleeper; I thought he was a baby. The way I was getting enough sleep was by sleeping next to him so that I could nurse without getting up and thus could get back to sleep quickly. Here's a lot of detail on our approach to his sleep:
http://articles.earthlingshandbook.o...by-sleep-tips/

I don't know everything you've tried, but based on your current approach, it sounds like most of what you've read/heard is from the CIO advocates who think it's really important for babies to "learn to fall asleep" by being left alone while they're still awake. I can believe that it might work for some babies, but it was intolerable for my son, didn't work for me as a baby, and still wasn't working for me when I was old enough to remember: I hadn't "learned to fall asleep"; I'd learned to accept that for some reason my parents insisted that I spend many hours alone in a dark room, and I'd learned not to cry loudly about it because that made them mad, but I was unable to sleep for about two hours after my bedtime and did not know how to relax myself.

So, I recommend that you try teaching him to fall asleep by setting an example. Snuggle down, close your eyes, breathe deeply, don't talk. (If you fall asleep in the process, you must need the sleep!)

Another similar approach is to take for granted that you will need to stay with him, perhaps do something quiet to occupy yourself, but make it a boring time for him. I used to lie next to my son reading while I waited for him to fall asleep; he was able to sleep with the bedside lamp on. A relative who has preschoolers now told me they can't tolerate that much light, but he sits in the rocker between their beds and reads on his Kindle while they are dozing off.

I hope this helps. Good luck!
thank you!

first off, i know i haven't mentioned everything we've tried, partially cause i can't remember. i have advocated against CIO in the past, so this is really our last resort.

i read books along the lines of "the no-cry sleep solution", didn't help. cosleeping, like i said, didn't help. crib in our bedroom didn't help. crib in the nursery seems to be going slightly better, at least it was in the beginning. (like i said, many things seemed to have had an effect in the first days, then didn't work anymore.)

following your suggestion, i could replace his crib with the extra queen-size mattress we have in our guest bedroom. that way i could lie next to him when he falls asleep, and then leave. when he wakes up, he would easily crawl out of bed though and i don't think any of our rooms are 100% childproof - supervision always needed.

i can't be in the nursery with him while he's awake in his crib: he'll get up and try to reach for me. he may fall asleep on me but then i can't transfer him to the crib.
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Old 09-03-2014, 05:56 PM
 
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You say that cosleeping did did not help. How did it go? What was baby's response to it?
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Old 09-03-2014, 06:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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You say that cosleeping did did not help. How did it go? What was baby's response to it?
the first few days were good, with baby sleeping longer stretches. but now he keeps waking up every 30mins - 1hr and wants to nurse and / or starts crawling around. basically, i'm getting the impression that he smells me / the milk, and keeps waking up because of it. he could potentially cosleep with daddy in the guest bed, but i don't find that a great long-term solution. :-/
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Old 09-04-2014, 01:47 AM
 
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My experience is that you can't get babies to sleep on their own, babies are not meant to sleep alone, unless you do some kind of night training. Some babies are easier to break than others. It is ultimately your decision.

In your situation, I would say there is nothing wrong with your baby's sleep, it's just that your resources are limited. You must take care of you, not try to fix him, because there is nothing wrong with him.

Back to my experience. I was in the same state of exhaustion when my son was about 16 mo old; at that point he would only sleep at the breast and would become very angry if I refused. Our solution was to have dh sleep with him. I felt so much better after a night's sleep and ds wasn't left alone, although he wasn't very happy to give up night nursing. Ds's sleep didn't change much, but I was more able to deal with him during the day. In time he started sleeping better and now he is a great sleeper (and has been for many years).

Do you have someone who can help you? Can your dh take over night parenting? Do you have grandparents who can watch him so you can catch up on some sleep?
Don't worry, he will outgrow sleeping with daddy soon enough. Me and dh sometimes wish our kids would want to come in our bed again, but those days are over.

Good luck, I know how tough it is.

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Old 09-04-2014, 12:53 PM
 
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We had some similar problems, although not as often or for as long a time period. Have you consulted your pediatrician? Sounds like he has reflux, or allergies, or something wrong that doesn't let him physically sleep long, or get into a good REM cycle or something.

Or he could actually be hungry - have you talked to a few different lactation consultants about his latch? If he has a tongue or lip tie, he might not be removing milk very efficietly, and you might get this kind of nursing pattern. We had trouble with that. Surgery helped immensely. Getting my son's lip and tongue tie fixed might be the best medical decision I've made for him so far.

Might try switching him over from snacking to long meals at the breast - if he doesn't get a good feeding of hind milk, he may not sleep as soundly - this could be what's going on. It takes a while for the hind milk to start, and if he doesn't nurse long enough per feeding he won't get it, and that plus hormones are what make babies sleepy after nursing. If he's a year old, he won't like not having free access whenever he wants it (how dare you change the rules of the game!), but he's probably also eating other food, and would probably adjust just fine once he stops being mad and pitching fits about it. During the day, might try distracting him with fun games and such - our son naturally spaced himself out because he had all sorts of other things he was busy doing. Assuming that you've tried all these suggestions, and talked to the doctor, and he's fine, here's what worked for us:

First he slept on my chest as a newborn baby, because that was absolutely the only way either of us could get any sleep. I didn't sleep very deeply while sleeping w/him because I was constantly aware of him, and I made the space as safe as possible. This lasted for a month or so. We discovered the bassinet we had moved when we laid him into it, and that's what kept waking him up. He hated his sleeping surface to move. Funny thing was, if we put him in the baby swing (at our wits end), usually he would eventually fall asleep. I don't know what the difference was. After the chest period, he slept in a co-sleeper placed on top of our bed (it had hard sides, but an open bottom, so I could lay my hand next to/on him, and he wasn't rolling over yet. ALso we put up a rail on the side of the bed where he was, just in case, so he was hemmed in and couldn't roll or wiggle off. No covers around him or pillows, etc.) Around 2-3 months we introuced a paci along with the co-sleeper, because I'd tried everything else - he wasn't hungry, just wanted to suck, and got mad when the milk came out, and couldn't soothe himself very well. The paci helped him a lot as far as soothing himself goes. We went through 3-4 varieties of paci as he grew before finding one that didn't distort his suck for breastfeeding. He would wake to nurse 2-3 times a night or so through 10 months of age.

Around 6-8 months or so, my husband was tired of sleeping on the couch and wanted his bed back, and baby was still waking a few times a night to nurse. I was getting almost enough sleep. We put a recliner in the baby's room, and I would nurse in that. Transfer to the crib was always a challenge - I found there was an optimal time for it. If I waited twenty minutes after he had fallen asleep at the breast, I could usually put him down w/out him waking. If I waited 10 or 30 minutes, he would wake back up, so I had to make sure I mysef didn't fall asleep and miss the window. I changed and swaddled him before I nursed, so all I had to do was place him in the crib once he fell asleep. Loved those Halo Sleep Sack swaddles and the other regular swaddles with velcro. I could tell by his breathing most of the time when he had entered the sleep state where he was ready. Sometimes I recruited Dad when the transfer didn't work and I was out of patience/sleep deprived - baby definately had less trouble with Dad putting him down and leaving than with me doing it, but there was still crying. We always kept lights low and didn't talk much to him during these night wakings. He is still really keyed up by light, and sleeps best in a totally dark room.

The initial bedtime in the crib was hard, around 6-8 months. Sometimes I nursed him to sleep, most times I didn't, but nursed earlier in the evening. He had to be tired enough and sleepy eyed before we put him in the crib, or he would cry for hours, and get himself all keyed up. When he was tired enough and I had the timing of bedtime right, I would put him down, then swiftly walk out every time, and eventualy (few weeks) he'd only cry 10 minutes or so. The rule was if he cried more than ten minutes, we would go back in - either he wasn't tired enough (took him out and let him play longer), had a poo, had a toothache or fever (give tylenol), overtired (rock quietly in chair for a while) or something else was wrong.

Hated to hear him cry. Thought for sure there had to be another way to do it. Tried staying near his crib as he went to sleep - if he wasn't tired enough he thought it was play time, and would try and convince me to play with him. Super cute, but not the result I was going for. Around 13 months the paci went away - he developed a new cry in the backseat of the car that meant "Where's my paci? How dare you not give it to me immediately?", and my response was, if you're old enough to demand it specifically, you're old enough to do w/out it. A week or two without it, and the tantrums were gone and he was fine. Occasionally he sucks his fingers, but not all the time, just usually now when his teeth hurt or he's really upset about something I can't immediately fix.

After he stopped nursing at bedtime (14-16 months - I was too sore due to baby #2 to continue, or we might still be doing it), dad would put him down a lot, and rub his back. Somtimes that helped. When he was younger, the SLeep Sheep with its white noise sounds helped for a while, then not. The humidifier white noise helped for a while, then not. What eventually worked for us, and has for almost a year now (he's ~22 months) is, to help him stop crying at the initial bedtime we have the following routine: one of us parents reads him 3 books, makes sure he's sleepy, changed, etc., the turns out all the lights including the lights in the hallway that come in under the door, and lays/sits in the recliner and makes shushing noises. Everyone in the house is quiet for 30 minutes. Baby is placed in crib, whimpers/cries while mom does deep audible breathing in the recliner. After ten minutes fussing has stopped and he's usually asleep. I have to wait 10 minutes after he's quiet for his breathing to slow, and 10 more minutes for him to be fully asleep enough so that when I quietly exit the recliner (creaking noises) he doesn't wake at that or the opening of the door (it squeaks a bit). Often I fall asleep for an hour or so and then exit the room, and that works too. The key for us was, the crying while we are in the room is the "I'm mad at you because you put me down, but I'm mostly tired" cry, whereas when we left him in the room alone it was always the "you've abandoned me! and I'm all alone and so tired!" cry. The former was much easier to tolerate and he seems a lot less stressed over bedtime now. I do deep breathing really slowly in the recliner until he falls asleep, and that's enough to help him calm himself and fall asleep. We use a baby monitor in the mornings, and he knows we'll be in his room within 5 minutes whenever he wakes up, so now he has this "I'm waking up and you're not here yet, you better come soon or I'm going to get anxious" cry.

It took a while for him to trust we weren't going to leave him alone at bedtime, - when we first started staying in the room it took an hour after we put him down, b/c he'd cry for 30 minutes, but that cry period got shorter as he realized we were no longer going anywhere. I think the transition from 30 minutes crying to 10 took 2+ weeks. The crying period gets longer again if one of us is impatient several nights in a row and tries to leave before he is fully asleep and he wakes up. He remembers.

For naps, he nap on top of me in the recliner. He has to be tired enough, and I totally ignore him (of course don't, but I pretend to so I can be as boring as possible) as he cries with anger about the nap for 10+ minutes. He acts like he wants to crawl down, and I don't stop him. When he realizes I'll let him, he decides he doesn't want to leave mom after all (sometimes he makes it to the floor before this realization kicks in and then cries desperately until I pick him back up).

On really over-tired days he cries for 30+ minutes, and I am personally done hearing it. So I ask if he wants to sleep in the crib or on me. If he keeps crying, I put him in the crib for 5-10 minutes and lay back down in the recliner. When there is a quiet bit between crying, I ask if he wants to come and sleep on mom, and prompt him to say yes please. He does this, so back on my chest he goes. Usually he then grabs my hair (his comfort object), and then lays down and sleeps for 2-3 hours. I nap too. We've tried various times to transfer him to the crib, and it just isn't working yet. I've just accepted I'll get nothing done. Once baby #2 is here, dad may be the nap surface - we'll make all that up when we get there, but for now things are working well for us.

I should say, he spends 40 hrs a week in daycare, sleeps on a cot now with a blanket just fine for his teachers, and is generally a cheerful, well adjusted, happy child who enjoys going to daycare. Luckily we have a good daycare. It's only at home/with mom that naps/sleeping seem to be an issue.

Hope some of these ideas are helpful. Best of luck!
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Old 09-04-2014, 02:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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first off, thanks for your replies. i'm so glad there are others who know how tough it is, and who still found a solution at some point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by transylvania_mom View Post
I was in the same state of exhaustion when my son was about 16 mo old; at that point he would only sleep at the breast and would become very angry if I refused. Our solution was to have dh sleep with him. I felt so much better after a night's sleep and ds wasn't left alone, although he wasn't very happy to give up night nursing. Ds's sleep didn't change much, but I was more able to deal with him during the day. In time he started sleeping better and now he is a great sleeper (and has been for many years).

Do you have someone who can help you? Can your dh take over night parenting? Do you have grandparents who can watch him so you can catch up on some sleep?
Don't worry, he will outgrow sleeping with daddy soon enough. Me and dh sometimes wish our kids would want to come in our bed again, but those days are over.
We don't have any help, so that makes it extra tough. Also because we just don't know what's right and what an experienced mom would do, etc. We've had to figure everything out by ourselves, don't even have anyone to talk to on the phone. I've been mourning the lack of a village for a long time. But we've been dealing with it all amazingly well, considering how tough it's been.

My husband has taken over for now, which is amazing because he still needs to go all day working and he's not getting enough sleep right now. But it helps me recover from my latest sleep deprivation.

How long did your husband sleep with your son?

Our latest experience was that not even the cosleeping worked. So at that point, we've started to feel like our son desperately needs to learn how to do this sleep thing, and that we were in fact doing him a disservice by NOT letting him cry.

I know this is somewhat controversial to say, esp. on this forum. We live in a very "granola" area, with a lot of people advocating for the most "natural" way of parenting, etc. Still, I kept hearing how people tried everything and eventually let their kids cry it out when they were a bit older (around a year or older). Some of these people went on to have a second kid and said they would do the same thing, but do it sooner. It sounded to me like it all could have gone a lot easier for the whole family had they done it sooner, but they didn't want to and it was their first time being parents, so they weren't sure what to do.

Note, these are NOT your typical "Ferber method book" types. I used to shudder at the thought how anyone could "do this to their child", and I guess I kind of still do -- it's horrible hearing him cry. But I actually do feel right now as if we're prolonging the crying by going in repeatedly.

Last night went better. The first night we did it he cried about 1-2 hrs, on and off. He'd cry, then be quiet (as if he was waiting to hear if anyone was coming), then cry more - it was a controlled cry. Whenever it got really loud / emotional, my husband would go in and comfort him for a bit.
The second night (last night), he cried for about half an hour, again, on and off.
My plan is to keep doing this now for a couple more days at least, and hopefully by then, we'll know if it's working or not.

It still breaks my heart and I wish there was a better option. I'm considering the suggestion of dad sleeping with baby, but it's not what we want to do long term, so I'd be interested to hear how long people have done this for, and how they ended up transferring to the crib, and how that went. (Before we abandon what we started now, and confuse him even more.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by FN2BAMOM View Post
We had some similar problems, although not as often or for as long a time period. Have you consulted your pediatrician?

Or he could actually be hungry - have you talked to a few different lactation consultants about his latch?

If he's a year old, he won't like not having free access whenever he wants it (how dare you change the rules of the game!), but he's probably also eating other food, and would probably adjust just fine once he stops being mad and pitching fits about it.

Around 6-8 months or so, my husband was tired of sleeping on the couch and wanted his bed back, and baby was still waking a few times a night to nurse. I was getting almost enough sleep. We put a recliner in the baby's room, and I would nurse in that. Transfer to the crib was always a challenge - I found there was an optimal time for it. If I waited twenty minutes after he had fallen asleep at the breast, I could usually put him down w/out him waking. If I waited 10 or 30 minutes, he would wake back up, so I had to make sure I mysef didn't fall asleep and miss the window. I changed and swaddled him before I nursed, so all I had to do was place him in the crib once he fell asleep. Loved those Halo Sleep Sack swaddles and the other regular swaddles with velcro. I could tell by his breathing most of the time when he had entered the sleep state where he was ready. Sometimes I recruited Dad when the transfer didn't work and I was out of patience/sleep deprived - baby definately had less trouble with Dad putting him down and leaving than with me doing it, but there was still crying. We always kept lights low and didn't talk much to him during these night wakings. He is still really keyed up by light, and sleeps best in a totally dark room.

The initial bedtime in the crib was hard, around 6-8 months. Sometimes I nursed him to sleep, most times I didn't, but nursed earlier in the evening. He had to be tired enough and sleepy eyed before we put him in the crib, or he would cry for hours, and get himself all keyed up. When he was tired enough and I had the timing of bedtime right, I would put him down, then swiftly walk out every time, and eventualy (few weeks) he'd only cry 10 minutes or so. The rule was if he cried more than ten minutes, we would go back in - either he wasn't tired enough (took him out and let him play longer), had a poo, had a toothache or fever (give tylenol), overtired (rock quietly in chair for a while) or something else was wrong.

Hated to hear him cry. Thought for sure there had to be another way to do it. Tried staying near his crib as he went to sleep - if he wasn't tired enough he thought it was play time, and would try and convince me to play with him. Super cute, but not the result I was going for. Around 13 months the paci went away - he developed a new cry in the backseat of the car that meant "Where's my paci? How dare you not give it to me immediately?", and my response was, if you're old enough to demand it specifically, you're old enough to do w/out it. A week or two without it, and the tantrums were gone and he was fine. Occasionally he sucks his fingers, but not all the time, just usually now when his teeth hurt or he's really upset about something I can't immediately fix.

After he stopped nursing at bedtime (14-16 months - I was too sore due to baby #2 to continue, or we might still be doing it), dad would put him down a lot, and rub his back. Somtimes that helped. When he was younger, the SLeep Sheep with its white noise sounds helped for a while, then not. The humidifier white noise helped for a while, then not. What eventually worked for us, and has for almost a year now (he's ~22 months) is, to help him stop crying at the initial bedtime we have the following routine: one of us parents reads him 3 books, makes sure he's sleepy, changed, etc., the turns out all the lights including the lights in the hallway that come in under the door, and lays/sits in the recliner and makes shushing noises. Everyone in the house is quiet for 30 minutes. Baby is placed in crib, whimpers/cries while mom does deep audible breathing in the recliner. After ten minutes fussing has stopped and he's usually asleep. I have to wait 10 minutes after he's quiet for his breathing to slow, and 10 more minutes for him to be fully asleep enough so that when I quietly exit the recliner (creaking noises) he doesn't wake at that or the opening of the door (it squeaks a bit). Often I fall asleep for an hour or so and then exit the room, and that works too. The key for us was, the crying while we are in the room is the "I'm mad at you because you put me down, but I'm mostly tired" cry, whereas when we left him in the room alone it was always the "you've abandoned me! and I'm all alone and so tired!" cry. The former was much easier to tolerate and he seems a lot less stressed over bedtime now. I do deep breathing really slowly in the recliner until he falls asleep, and that's enough to help him calm himself and fall asleep. We use a baby monitor in the mornings, and he knows we'll be in his room within 5 minutes whenever he wakes up, so now he has this "I'm waking up and you're not here yet, you better come soon or I'm going to get anxious" cry.

It took a while for him to trust we weren't going to leave him alone at bedtime, - when we first started staying in the room it took an hour after we put him down, b/c he'd cry for 30 minutes, but that cry period got shorter as he realized we were no longer going anywhere. I think the transition from 30 minutes crying to 10 took 2+ weeks. The crying period gets longer again if one of us is impatient several nights in a row and tries to leave before he is fully asleep and he wakes up. He remembers.

For naps, he nap on top of me in the recliner. He has to be tired enough, and I totally ignore him (of course don't, but I pretend to so I can be as boring as possible) as he cries with anger about the nap for 10+ minutes. He acts like he wants to crawl down, and I don't stop him. When he realizes I'll let him, he decides he doesn't want to leave mom after all (sometimes he makes it to the floor before this realization kicks in and then cries desperately until I pick him back up).

On really over-tired days he cries for 30+ minutes, and I am personally done hearing it. So I ask if he wants to sleep in the crib or on me. If he keeps crying, I put him in the crib for 5-10 minutes and lay back down in the recliner. When there is a quiet bit between crying, I ask if he wants to come and sleep on mom, and prompt him to say yes please. He does this, so back on my chest he goes. Usually he then grabs my hair (his comfort object), and then lays down and sleeps for 2-3 hours. I nap too. We've tried various times to transfer him to the crib, and it just isn't working yet. I've just accepted I'll get nothing done. Once baby #2 is here, dad may be the nap surface - we'll make all that up when we get there, but for now things are working well for us.

I should say, he spends 40 hrs a week in daycare, sleeps on a cot now with a blanket just fine for his teachers, and is generally a cheerful, well adjusted, happy child who enjoys going to daycare. Luckily we have a good daycare. It's only at home/with mom that naps/sleeping seem to be an issue.

Hope some of these ideas are helpful. Best of luck!
He's totally fine, there is no health thing going on and his latch is great. We have a big dinner before bedtime where he gets solids AND the breast - usually he takes 1 per feed, but I make it 2 before bed time. (We've also tried solids not right before bedtime so his stomach wouldn't get upset etc., so this seems to be working best as he does well with solids.)

It sounds like my husband was the same way as a baby. His parents ultimately let him cry, and that solved it. (He must have been around a year as well.)
I was apparently the same way, too. My mom had a hard time setting boundaries with me. She only revealed this recently, but I now remember how we bargained (yes, I remember!) and I said, I'll start sleeping in my own room once we move to the new place. (I was 3 years old at the time.) I remember being a bad sleeper, crying for my mom a lot well into toddlerhood. She said I started sleeping better when I was about 1 1/2 years old, by which she meant 3-4hr stretches. :S

A friend of mine has a 2-year old who still wakes up every 2hrs, and I just don't think that's right, nor that it's good for her son.

I think there might be some newly added difficulty since my son is pretty mobile now, so I notice he sometimes wakes up and starts crawling without being fully awake yet - like a reflex.

Thank you for sharing your story with me. The way you transferred your son to the crib at exactly 20mins after falling asleep sounds a lot like our son! Only he needs a night light, and gets upset in a totally dark room. Ah, the things you learn!

I find your approach interesting. So at bedtime, I nurse him, sing, rock. Then I put him down. He now wakes up even though he was asleep, he's moving around a lot while nursing, but I think he's now also scared that he's being put down and we're gonna walk out of the room. :-/ Then, husband takes over and I sneak out. He stays with him for a while.
Sometimes, that will upset him more. Then, husband leaves. If he comes back after a while, sometimes that will be soothing to baby.
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Old 09-04-2014, 03:52 PM
 
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I find your approach interesting. So at bedtime, I nurse him, sing, rock. Then I put him down. He now wakes up even though he was asleep, he's moving around a lot while nursing, but I think he's now also scared that he's being put down and we're gonna walk out of the room. :-/ Then, husband takes over and I sneak out. He stays with him for a while.
Sometimes, that will upset him more. Then, husband leaves. If he comes back after a while, sometimes that will be soothing to baby.
A few more things that worked for us that you might try - there was a time when I would rock and sing before bedtime. Generally this was after we started nursing earlier in the evening. I found that sometimes if I sang a new song, it helped him pay attention and distract him from his crying about having to go to bed/being tired enough for him to calm down. Also, I made up all sorts of crazy verses to tunes I already knew or made up new songs. I've heard some babies like repetition - well mine liked variety. He noticed when I used new words, or new songs, and preferred certain rhythms over others. Pretty amazing for a 6+ month old, but that's the way he was. If it was new, it caught his attention and distracted him from his fit long enought to calm down and go to sleep. Certain songs that I could sing really soft with a rhythm he liked were preferred, and I would sing quieter until I just stopped. If he fussed, I started singing again until I thought he was asleep, then trailed off again. Then when he was older things changed, and singing to him kept him up, so then we let him cry, because we'd tried everything else and had to get some sleep ourselves so we could function at work the next day. And then a few months later we started the "shhh shhh shhh" in the bedroom, which worked. Also, I found that my son didn't need/want to be rocked. I love it personally, and I would do it unconciously to calm myself during his crying, but it was apparently keeping him stimulated a bit.

Crazy perhaps, but those are the things we found that worked for us. Babies can be so different from each other! There really is no manual, and things change regularly as they grow. It's hard when you don't have a good support group. We didn't have much of one either, so me and husband learned to rely on each other more, and help each other more to pick up the slack and give each other a break. I learned to let go of some tasks (baby bottle dishes/regular dishes/laundry/cleaning) I typically performed and accept and be grateful for my husband's efforts (even though it was SO not the way I would have done things) so that I could get more sleep and have more energy for the things only I could do (breastfeeding, etc.).

Whatever your current approach, I'd recommend giving it a full two weeks to see if it's working. Every baby is different of course, but that was the time period that seemed to work best for us. That was the time it took for him to forget his previous expectations which were based on what we as parents had done last, and establish the new "normal". Consistency, hard as it was for us, was key.

Good luck with your trial and error!
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Old 09-04-2014, 10:47 PM
 
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We don't have any help, so that makes it extra tough. Also because we just don't know what's right and what an experienced mom would do, etc. We've had to figure everything out by ourselves, don't even have anyone to talk to on the phone. I've been mourning the lack of a village for a long time. But we've been dealing with it all amazingly well, considering how tough it's been.

My husband has taken over for now, which is amazing because he still needs to go all day working and he's not getting enough sleep right now. But it helps me recover from my latest sleep deprivation.

How long did your husband sleep with your son?

Our latest experience was that not even the cosleeping worked. So at that point, we've started to feel like our son desperately needs to learn how to do this sleep thing, and that we were in fact doing him a disservice by NOT letting him cry.

I know this is somewhat controversial to say, esp. on this forum. We live in a very "granola" area, with a lot of people advocating for the most "natural" way of parenting, etc. Still, I kept hearing how people tried everything and eventually let their kids cry it out when they were a bit older (around a year or older). Some of these people went on to have a second kid and said they would do the same thing, but do it sooner. It sounded to me like it all could have gone a lot easier for the whole family had they done it sooner, but they didn't want to and it was their first time being parents, so they weren't sure what to do.

Note, these are NOT your typical "Ferber method book" types. I used to shudder at the thought how anyone could "do this to their child", and I guess I kind of still do -- it's horrible hearing him cry. But I actually do feel right now as if we're prolonging the crying by going in repeatedly.

Last night went better. The first night we did it he cried about 1-2 hrs, on and off. He'd cry, then be quiet (as if he was waiting to hear if anyone was coming), then cry more - it was a controlled cry. Whenever it got really loud / emotional, my husband would go in and comfort him for a bit.
The second night (last night), he cried for about half an hour, again, on and off.
My plan is to keep doing this now for a couple more days at least, and hopefully by then, we'll know if it's working or not.

It still breaks my heart and I wish there was a better option. I'm considering the suggestion of dad sleeping with baby, but it's not what we want to do long term, so I'd be interested to hear how long people have done this for, and how they ended up transferring to the crib, and how that went. (Before we abandon what we started now, and confuse him even more.)
Oh honey, there is no "right" or "wrong" when it comes to parenting. Who cares what is proper, or granola, or AP?
My principle in parenting is, do what feels right to you and baby. Make sure you have no regrets when you look back in 10 years from now. I hear you saying your heart breaks and your baby cries for 1 hour. How do you feel about it?
I promise you, your baby WILL sleep on his own, but it might take longer than one year. Of course nothing worked for your friends who "had to" resort to sleep training their babies: babies are meant to be parented at night!
My dh coslept with both our dk for about a year after we nightweaned. It was our choice. He didn't HAVE to cosleep for so long, when they are nightweaned you can let them sleep alone.

I have no doubt that CIO works. Is it worth it? Not for our family, no. I don't want to list the consequences, as I don't mean to judge or criticize you. Again, best of luck in your decision, hopefully your baby will start sleeping better for you.

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Old 09-05-2014, 08:06 AM
 
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A friend of mine has a 2-year old who still wakes up every 2hrs, and I just don't think that's right, nor that it's good for her son.
Of course you're entitled to your opinion and to decide what you simply aren't willing to accept from your child. But my son at 2 would wake every 2 hours some nights--just to nurse and go back to sleep--especially at times when he was learning a new skill. There is no evidence that it was bad for him, then or since; in fact, he has a fabulous metabolism (likely linked to being able to eat when hungry), an amazing immune system (all those antibodies in my milk), and a very strong bond with me (despite my working outside the home). He never acted sleep-deprived.

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I remember being a bad sleeper, crying for my mom a lot well into toddlerhood.
See, I remember that too, but I don't think it means I was "bad". It means I was lonely and really only very small and needed my mama.

Now that I'm a parent, I empathize with my parents' role in the situation (they had chores that were easier to do without me underfoot; they wanted some adult time; they got tired of my constant questions and demands; when I was 2 they were also caring for a newborn) but I also feel a lot of empathy for my childhood self who spent hours and hours and hours alone in the dark feeling frightened and unloved. If anything, I became a bad sleeper--one who took a long time to fall asleep and had a lot of nightmares--because I wasn't parented to sleep as long as I needed to be. It took several years of sleeping with boyfriends for me to get the nurturing I needed to feel comfortable when I go to bed alone.

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Old 09-07-2014, 12:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks for the last replies. i wanted to post a short update on how things are going.

the first three nights went the way i've heard it from others: 1st night crying for 1-2hrs (on and off), 2nd night crying for 25mins (on and off), 3rd night crying for 15mins (on and off). so it was hard, but it was going somewhere.
then night #4 we had a setback, where he cried for an hour again. the next day he was a bit hoarse and we felt terrible and didn't want to keep doing it anymore, although we didn't want to abandon the whole thing either for fear of further confusing or not really giving it a try.

i proposed, and my husband agreed, to go back to an approach we had in place a little while ago, that seemed to be working for our son, but very slowly. we let go of that approach when he was teething badly, and took him into bed with us. right after, we went on a trip where he refused to stay in the crib and so we ended up cosleeping there, too. once we were back from the trip, he got sick twice in a row, which led to more cosleeping. it didn't occur to my (sleep-deprived) mind before that these three events all happened back to back. once he was all better again, the cosleeping just wasn't working anymore, but i FORGOT that we were making a tiny bit of progress before all this happened.

so i didn't want to let him cry for more than 5-10 minutes anymore. last night's summary: put him down at 8pm, dreamfed at 10.30pm. husband took over putting him down after that. he then woke up at 2.30am i think, but only cried (this is a first) for 2 minutes, then went back to sleep by himself!
he then woke up at 5.30am and kept crying for longer than that, so we brought him into bed with us at that point. he had gone without nursing from 10.30pm-5.30am, which is an absolute first.

i wonder what to attribute it to? could it be that SOME of the letting him cry was good / helpful? i'm not talking about the exhausting 1hr cries. but letting him cry for a few minutes, to see if he settles on his own, could that have helped? or was it just a freak exception and we'll be back to sleep chaos tonight?

in the meantime, we've made the guest bed, so we're getting our plan B together along the lines of what some of you here suggested - for husband to sleep with him in the other room perhaps if all of this fails, too.

oh yeah and i was looking into hiring a sleep consultant yesterday. sorting out the obvious CIO hardliners first, but i found one or two with supposedly gentler and more individual approaches. i'd love to save that money, but if anyone here has hired a sleep consultant before, i'd love to hear your experiences with that, too.
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Old 09-08-2014, 08:50 AM
 
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vc2013,

I'd be interested to hear how last night's sleeping went. We found, when we were transitioning to longer periods at night without nursing, that sometimes our son would wake up, fuss for a few minutes, then go back to sleep. He had this "Meh, meh, meh, I'm not quite awake but something disturbed me" cry, where he would sound like a really little baby, and was sometimes able to settle himself. If it went on for more than 5 minutes or so, or he started sounding more awake, and revving up, then I'd send husband in to settle him (unless I was physically ready to nurse). We found that from 6-8 months on, nursing every 4 hrs was reasonable for him and me, and had me up basically twice a night, which I could handle physically by going to sleep early (and having dad take care of all the dishes and laundry which he did, good man). Our theories on why this fussing happened were 1) bad dream, 2)reflux, burp/indigestion, 3) who knows?. If it was teeth pain, usually he wouldn't go back to sleep - sometimes nursing helped, but if he wouldn't go back down or woke up shortly after that, tylenol, and when he was older advil, did the trick - it worked, so we knew that was what had been wrong.

Never hired a sleep consultant - I talked to the people at church, most of whom had large families, about what worked for them, did a lot of praying about things, and trusted my intuition. I just could never get on board with the idea that anyone could know my child and what my child needed better than I did. However, I was always seeking out new ideas in the hope that I'd find something I felt might work for us.
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Old 09-08-2014, 06:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you.
I think he slept so long cause he got sick again - so coslept last night, nursed every half hour to hour. Now all of us are sick..ugggh.so, all sleep expectations are off until we are better again.
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Old 09-09-2014, 01:43 PM
 
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Oh, how awful to be sick! Sorry to hear that. Hope you guys feel better soon!!!
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Old 09-23-2014, 10:18 PM
 
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Pick-up put-down worked best for us. You can google it for a more in-depth description, but basically we could put our daughter down, if she cried, we'd pick her up. As soon as she settled, we'd put her down. She'd cry so we'd pick her up. At firs this takes a very long time, but then it rapidly improved for us, and after a few nights, she was sleeping.

We co-slept with our oldest daughter, and it didn't work for us. She woke every 45min or so, to feed or needing help resettling. And the irony was that she cried more than our second baby because she was waking so much and so utterly exhausted in the days and nights. The second time around we decided our baby needed to sleep somehow.

Good luck.
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Old 09-24-2014, 06:53 AM
 
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I'm interested in the pick up put down method - how long does the first night take doing it - is it hours? And then do you do it every time your baby wakes at night again or only at bedtime?
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Old 09-24-2014, 10:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Has anyone here done dr. Jay Gordon's method successfully?

I don't get it.
He's all better again, last week we had one night where he slept 8 1/2hrs straight!!! We thought we were finally over it, but now he's back to waking every hour to 1 1/2 or so. The last three nights or so I took him to bed with me where he nursed every half hour. As a result I am now so sleep-deprived again that I can't fall asleep despite having taken meds for it.

So. Do I call the sleep consultant tomorrow? How can anyone possibly help when we've tried so many different things and nothing stuck?

Oh yeah and we've slept in different rooms for a week now, DH and I. I wanted to avoid it but right now it's the only way at least one of us stays somewhat functional through the day.
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Old 09-25-2014, 02:03 AM
 
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I bought a sleep package from a consultant who claimed it was personalised and didn't involve CIO but when it arrived it was CIO and I rang and said I wasn't comfortable with it and she said it was the only way to get a baby to sleep so was a waste of money.
Is there a sleep school you can go to? Some friends have done that and said it has helped them
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Old 10-08-2014, 04:55 AM
 
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Did you end up speaking to a sleep consultant?
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Old 10-08-2014, 05:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Is there a sleep school you can go to?
what's that? never heard of it..

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Did you end up speaking to a sleep consultant?
we didn't.

we had another terrible week, which may have been due to teething. at least we have a new tooth now and two others about to poke through. and the last few days were our version of normal again.

two nights ago then, he finally slept through the night for the very first time ever.
(sadly, we didn't sleep at all.. maybe too sleep-deprived again.)

we have to work on it every night (except for this one night), but overall i get the impression that the waking every 1-2hrs is getting less finally, and the sleeping 2-3hrs at a time is getting more.

even though we tried CIO and weren't comfortable with it, i feel like it did do something. it did get easier since then, even though we abandoned the experiment after four days.
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Old 10-12-2014, 09:16 PM
 
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Is there a parenting service near where you live? The one we have runs a day stay and night stay program where they show you how to settle your baby and when to respond to their cries. I think it is all about listening to the type of cry and if it is a distress cry then you go to your baby but if it is a tired cry you wait to see if they settle themselves, something along those lines anyway. They also provide a helpline which I have rung a few times to get advice about sleep.
It would be difficult to try have consistency with teeth coming through. But sounds like things are improving slowly which is great!
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Old 10-15-2014, 06:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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update: we are sleeping through the night!!

as of last week!
8pm-5am!!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AND we are in the middle of teething.

!!!!!!
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Old 10-16-2014, 08:49 AM
 
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I'm so glad it is working out!

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Old 10-16-2014, 09:44 PM
 
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My second is 7 months old and at the risk of being totally shunned from the passionate AP parents here, I will say that I did end up sleep training her and it did involve some crying. I don't regret it at all as she sleeps now and I have to work during the day so there was no getting around that we had to figure out how to get her to sleep. Plus, I can honestly say that I think she is doing better overall as she's more rested now. Anyway, I used a schedule and never made it past night 2 because it worked so well. Unfortunately a couple weeks ago she started wanting to stay up after her 4.30am feed and I used the same schedule for that, again only needing to do it 2 nights. With my first i would never have done this as i was so dogmatically against CIO, now i'm far more laid back and wonder that i didn't try it before since it was so painless for everyone. We are all sleeping now so it's pretty awesome. At each check in I'd pat baby on the back/bum and say "shh-shh- time to go to bed now, mama loves you but it's time to sleep". I think this is actually Ferber's schedule.

Number of Minutes to Wait Before Responding To Your Child

Day 1 – 3 min (1st wait); 5 min (2nd wait); 10 min (3rd wait); 10 min (subsequent waits)

Day 2 – 5 min; 10 min; 12 min; 12 min (subsequent waits)

Day 3 – 10 min; 12 min; 15 min; 15 min (subsequent waits)

Day 4 – 12 min; 15 min; 17 min; 17 min (subsequent waits)

Day 5 – 15 min; 17 min; 20 min; 20 min (subsequent waits)

Day 6 – 17 min; 20 min; 25 min; 25 min (subsequent waits)

Day 7 – 20 min; 25 min; 30 min; 30 min (subsequent waits)

I worry that our current culture's expectations of mothers are way too high - like work f/t and don't let your baby cry..ever or it'll get brain damage. I feel that this is a very oppressive time to be a mother. Anyway, it's okay for people to cry sometimes, babies too.
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Old 10-17-2014, 05:15 AM
 
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That's great news!! At least you know he is capable of doing it now.
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Old 10-17-2014, 06:50 PM
 
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I think the comment about this being a very oppressive time to be a mother is interesting, and I will have to ponder it more just for my own edification. But I tend to think that while this is an oppressive time for groups of people in various countries in the world, this isn't a particularly oppressive time to be a mother in mainstream western culture, even considering cultural expectations. There very well might be governmental oppression of mothers, particularly with certain populations groups, like women of color, or people who are living in poverty, but that is not the same as expectations of motherhood that are discussed in the media.

I don't think other people's opinions of what you are doing as a parent is something that is truly oppressive, because we have the power to turn that off, so to speak. I will admit that if you spend a lot of time working in certain Internet areas, you can become immersed in a world with a lot of negativity, but for the most part we are free to walk away.

The idea that we as mothers must work full time and not let our babies ever cry is hyperbole, of course, but even if you feel that others think of you that way, it isn't dictating how you live your life. Many women are stay at home moms, many women are fully employed in wage earning jobs, and I don't think there is any one overwhelming school of thought in the US or Canada where you feel that there is only one course that is appropriate.

Now, of course, on a board that was created with the express intent of supporting and promoting attachment parenting ideals, you will encounter more negative reactions to what you share. Especially in moderated forums where one of the rules is not to advocate crying it out or sleep training methods, because there are plenty of other online spaces for that. So I am now going to take this time to share a reminder about our Posting guidelines with the understanding that "this forum" is any forum where you are posting about nighttime parenting, although I recognize this was posted in the Life with a Babe forum.

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Please appreciate that this forum is not a place to uphold or advocate CIO (Crying It Out). Posting personal preferences for and encouragement of the use of CIO and similar sleep training methods are not acceptable. Posts of that nature will be edited by the member upon request or will be removed.
I am actually happy that sleep training worked well for you and was relatively painless for your family, and I appreciate your need to meet the needs of your family as a whole. In your situation, you had a child who was receptive to it, and you didn't even have to follow the schedule for a week. So in that situation, it wasn't really sleep training. The issue, as I see it, is that sleep training as a rigid schedule is often used in situations where the babies are already having a very difficult time sleeping, and it often doesn't work and can be damaging to babies who might have other issues going on, because parents believe that if they do it long enough, it will work. It might mask other issues, or those babies need a different standard of care that is not the cultural norm of expecting babies to conform to adult schedules and sleep through the night.
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Old 10-17-2014, 09:40 PM
 
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I think the comment about this being a very oppressive time to be a mother is interesting, and I will have to ponder it more just for my own edification. But I tend to think that while this is an oppressive time for groups of people in various countries in the world, this isn't a particularly oppressive time to be a mother in mainstream western culture, even considering cultural expectations. There very well might be governmental oppression of mothers, particularly with certain populations groups, like women of color, or people who are living in poverty, but that is not the same as expectations of motherhood that are discussed in the media.

I don't think other people's opinions of what you are doing as a parent is something that is truly oppressive, because we have the power to turn that off, so to speak. I will admit that if you spend a lot of time working in certain Internet areas, you can become immersed in a world with a lot of negativity, but for the most part we are free to walk away.

The idea that we as mothers must work full time and not let our babies ever cry is hyperbole, of course, but even if you feel that others think of you that way, it isn't dictating how you live your life. Many women are stay at home moms, many women are fully employed in wage earning jobs, and I don't think there is any one overwhelming school of thought in the US or Canada where you feel that there is only one course that is appropriate.

Now, of course, on a board that was created with the express intent of supporting and promoting attachment parenting ideals, you will encounter more negative reactions to what you share. Especially in moderated forums where one of the rules is not to advocate crying it out or sleep training methods, because there are plenty of other online spaces for that. So I am now going to take this time to share a reminder about our Posting guidelines with the understanding that "this forum" is any forum where you are posting about nighttime parenting, although I recognize this was posted in the Life with a Babe forum.



I am actually happy that sleep training worked well for you and was relatively painless for your family, and I appreciate your need to meet the needs of your family as a whole. In your situation, you had a child who was receptive to it, and you didn't even have to follow the schedule for a week. So in that situation, it wasn't really sleep training. The issue, as I see it, is that sleep training as a rigid schedule is often used in situations where the babies are already having a very difficult time sleeping, and it often doesn't work and can be damaging to babies who might have other issues going on, because parents believe that if they do it long enough, it will work. It might mask other issues, or those babies need a different standard of care that is not the cultural norm of expecting babies to conform to adult schedules and sleep through the night.
I personally do feel pulled between two worlds of mother/worker a lot though I understand that not all women share that experience. I think Dr. Sears has been criticized as being anti-working mother because it really is hard to be up all night when you have to work the next day. Dr. Sears is an evangelical Christian who advocates that mothers should do anything to stay home, including borrow money from others.

I personally find the dual role impossible at times, I just can't be the pure mother while also going out into the world as a worker. I tried SO SO SO hard to do it all and I couldn't. I think AP is great in many ways but sometimes the expectations it puts on mothers are pretty heavy. Maybe not if you're SAHM, but as a WOHM i think it is that way.

I think the idea that we all make choices and sacrifices is a bit distracting from the more interesting question of who should be responsible to help raise children. Shouldn't government provide affordable childcare? Ensure affordable food? Make it so that ALL families have the option of having a stay at home parent while still being able meet financial obligations? I think our governments are failing us miserably. Ideally I could stay home with my family AND be up all night with my baby if she needed me. Unfortunately I absolutely can't do both.

I agree that I shouldn't be advocating CIO in this forum, but tbh i'm a bit confused by what ppl mean by CIO. Like does any amount of crying count as CIO?
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