God willing things will get better, my LO will one day request me to let him have some sleep (alone!).I now know there's surely nothing abnormal with him not STTN at 12m. Attachment parenting was my natural inclination, I intend to continue follow my motherly instinct.
Much love xx
I'm in the same boat with my 10.5 month old son. I'm going nuts, and have broken down almost every day this week. My husband has finally gone along with co-sleeping, AP and such, but I've reached a low point AGAIN, and every time this happens, he says we should just let our baby CIO. I HATE CIO, but my husband thinks it's the best way to get him to sttn. It doesn't help that my in-laws swear by it too. It's hard to vent to my husband, knowing that he doesn't really condone co-sleeping, he's just going along with it when he saw how important it is to me. I can't turn off my heart, I can't "make" my baby fall asleep, but I also can't be putting him to sleep all day and all night, and thinking about HOW I'm going to put him to sleep all day and all night. I'm turning into monster-mom, and it's really hard when my husband doesn't truly support what I'm doing :( When I complain to him, I'm not looking for more advice on CIO (I can get that anywhere) I'm just looking for some help and sympathy!
Even a few months makes a difference at this point.
There are many things to try besides CIO. Some of them involve your baby, and some of them are about resetting the dynamic between your husband and you so that it's not your way vs his way.
- Change night nursing / feeding
- Change sleeping locations (this was the time when I moved my son to a crib mattress on the floor next to my bed in response to my husband's demands that something must change and he wanted to CIO. Of course, the change didn't help my son sleep any better, but it did give my husband something to focus on for about a month and half)
- come up with a gentle plan to for approaching sleeping that you and your husband can both deal with - The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night by Elizabeth Pantley has many excellent suggestions and worksheets
- Begin a bedtime routine that involves dad
- Establish routines for waking during the night
- Tell your husband what you need him to do to support you - believe it or not, he probably doesn't know, and thinks you want him to solve the situation
- Find a way to mutually acknowledge with your husband that this is a stage - what doesn't work now will work at some time, and conversely what works for a bit will probably only work until your child hits another developmental phase
- get a babysitter and go out with your husband so you have something to talk about with him besides contentious sleep issues
Good luck...8-12 months is the most brutal sleep period, in my experience. It will get better, but you have to get through it.
Oh, my other suggestion (hindsight on my part) is to stop trying to put him to sleep during the day for a few days. What I mean is to take your normal nap time but not have sleep as your goal. Think of it as cuddle time or quiet time for you together. if he sleeps, fine. If not, let him fall asleep on his own for a bit, whenever he's tired, even if that's face down on the kitchen floor. That will really help the strain on you of putting a baby to sleep all the time. You might even find that his sleep patterns have changed and he needs naps at different times than before.
(My son didn't sleep for more than 45 minutes at a time for a year, and then would scream for 30 minutes or more every time he woke up. He was exhausted and I was going crazy trying to get him to sleep. It turns out that he had medical issues, and no amount of sleep training made a difference.)
Thanks aurahal for all your advice!! It's definitely more difficult when you have to convince your husband that what you're doing will pay-off. Glad to know I'm not the only one. I think my husband sort of believes it, but I'm definitely the more patient of the two of us You're right, I do need to involve him more. I just need to trust him to be able to get our son into his crib with out waking him up! :) (He starts off in the crib and then sleeps with us after the first waking).
I love "the no cry sleep solution" and am reading it for about the 5th time. I also realized that my son was getting constipated from the solids (mush) I was feeding him. He'd wake up grunting and tooting and thrashing around every morning around 4:30 or so until he was up for good around 6:30. I thought he was just gassy, but thanks to Dr. Sears I realized that all the food was too much on his tummy and causing some constipation. No wonder his poopies were so solid! I knew putting him in his crib wouldn't help, since he's still wake up and then wonder where Mommy is and of course freak out. Who wouldn't in the dark? I also knew/know CIO isn't the answer, as something was clearly bothering him. Since then he's been better with the gas, but still wakes up frequently. Now that he can crawl, he's been using me as a jungle gym all night. I finally hung up sheets and blankets in our room to darken it. I'd had a lot of luck doing that in his room, realizing that he gets so stimulated so easily. It's been much easier getting him to nap with a darker room, so I hope that by keeping our room darker at night, he won't be able to see anything and will realize it's still time to sleep!
How old is your son now? What were the issues he had? I hope it was nothing too serious. Do you have any suggestions for a routine in the middle of the night? I usually just nurse him again, but then that causes more gas and burps, which in turn keep him up even more! I'm usually just too tired to do anything else.
I hope you were able to work things out with your husband! Parenting definitely takes a lot of teamwork!!!
I'm the mama who wrote the original post - that was over 2 years ago. My son is now 3 and he sleeps perfectly.
For us, it got better just after 13 months when he "only" woke 3 times a night, then once he hit 2 years it was just once a night, at 2.5 he started STTN completely - and I think we were probably the extreme case. It got better on its own, without any intervention from us.
Also I found out there is a developmental leap at around 10 months which can cause a huge sleep regression.
Hubs and I got through the worst time by taking turns sleeping with our son. Hubs would sleep with him for the first part of the night until he wanted to nurse, then I would sleep with him for the rest of the night. At least each of us had some mental downtime where we weren't on parenting duty.
But it was so incredibly hard at the time. We tried everything and nothing changed how he slept, so we just accepted that and concentrated on getting through each night and each day. ANd that was a relief b/c then I didn't feel like I had to be fixing something.
Above all, please be very kind and gentle with yourself.
41 y/o married Mama, 4 y/o DS1, Angel Baby lost in Sep 2013, Angel Baby lost March 2014, 3 months old DS2.
Maybe just try getting you, baby and hubby into same bed at night whenever you and hubby are ready for bed. 10pm or even 11pm so you're all on same schedule and sleep in harmony.
Put on some rain music, relaxation piano music, zen, spa stuff for deep sleep that is 8+ hours in duration (youtube has plenty) , that way if baby wants to wake the music keeps him calm. Lower room temperature. Make sure your son has a full belly and milk right before bed, also put some sort of background noise like a small fan on so it's not dead silent. All these things have been proven in studies to keep sleepers asleep. The white noise has a calming rhythm effect to reassure REM sleep subconsciously.
Is he too hot or cold or does he wake bc of wet diaper ? Wants to be comforted? Is he hungry?
Middle of the night routines are best when super simple, quiet and totally predictable. Boring, really. Just, "I love you. Night is for sleeping. We'll snuggle in the morning." With a pat on the back. Or whatever works for your situation. Just keep it really consistent so that a jangled kid can rely on it.
If your baby has gas or reflux problems, don't try to tank him up before sleep. That can backfire. Try eating then playing for a few minutes to let the food settle.
I agree that consistent sound can help with an easily stimulated baby. That's one reason why mama breathing in sleep is so soothing. Tabletop waterfall or a metronome seems to work well for us at times.
About the crawling at night - it's a phase and he'll get through it. He's probably close to learning to walk. Give him LOTS of opportunity to be VERY active right before bed. Play chase games on the bed and around the house. Hold his hands while he jumps on the bed, etc. Bath before bed also good for splashing, kicking, etc. We did also joint compression and weighting, by taking a pillow and pressing it down around him while he lay on the bed, from feet to head. Not so hard on the head, obviously! :)
Again, that's why I moved my son to his own at this point. I put a crib mattress on the floor between a wall and my bed (just a mattress and box spring on the floor), then lined the two walls at the head of his mattress with a sheet covered camping mattress to keep it soft. I put a dresser at the end of my bed, reaching to the wall, so that there wasn't anywhere for my son to go without going over me. Totally safe, right next to me, I could even have a hand on him to soothe him, and yet I didnt' get kicked all night.
Becuase my son's issues were feeding-related, I worked really hard to lengthen the time between nursing at night, and to stop nursing at night altogether as soon as I could. It made a big difference. There are two ways to reduce nursing - space out the feedings, reduce food amount at feedings. Both are tough emotionally on baby and mama. This is where you have to really know what you're trying to achieve (what problems you're solving). Your husband can help immensely with changing the expectations and routines around night feeding.
I'm sorry to hear that things are so exhausting. I wanted to share this blog post that I wrote Sleeping Through the Night. It's all about how I helped my daughter to sleep, without using traditional sleep training. I hope it's useful to you. At the time I co-slept with her and heard all sorts of advice about how it was the co-sleeping that was causing her to wake, but I realised that this wasn't the case at all. I hope it helps and you get a good night's sleep soon!
Thanks for the great link stellastar! It all makes sense, and I guess the idea of never letting our babies cry becomes so routine, that we don't even think about it. I'm at the point where I respond out of habit, not necessarily compassion. I'm just so burnt out and frustrated. But then again, most like my baby is too! I've actually found as well that when I've left him in his crib to cry (during one of MY meltdowns), I've felt better after coming to him, knowing I could connect and help him. While I don't plan on doing that if I can help it, the idea of letting him cry in my arms is interesting, and something I'm DEFINITELY willing to try at this point! Thanks for the info!
Hi Molly, I'm really glad that this idea makes sense to you. Let me know how it goes! It can be hard sometimes listening to our children's upsets, but it's worth it, to see how relaxed and happy they are after letting go of their stress. Good luck!
If that wasn't bad enough lately he will not go to sleep easily. On a good night I hold him and walk him around the room until he falls asleep which usually takes 10 minutes. Lately even after 30+ minutes of doing this, although he will be asleep in my arms, the moment I place him in the crib he wakes and immediately starts screaming. He is getting heavier now so it is physically exhausting holding him and carrying him around.
He has never been a baby that we can place in the crib "drowsy but awake" otherwise he starts screaming.
I am just so incredibly exhausted, frustrated, desperate and resentful. I feel like I have no life of my own any more. I'm a stay at home mom, so during the day I have no energy to really be present for my son. I feel like I have nothign left to give him and that there is nothing left of me.
Our whole evening ends up being devoted to putting him to sleep. Even then he will wake 1-2 hours later and the process gets repeated. This is even before my husband or I get to sleep.
When we go to sleep, one of us co-sleeps with him and the other sleeps on the sofa. Then halfway through the night we swap. This was at least giving us of us a decent stretch of sleep. But lately with his resisting sleep, I am physically and emotionally spent.
I belong to a mom's group, all nice ladies, but their babies all sleep pretty much through the night, and they say their bedtime routine involves putting baby down awake, who then falls asleep on their awake. This makes me feel so alone and resentful to learn that there are other parents who are having such an easy time getting their baby to sleep. I see how much energy and how carefree these moms are, relatively speaking.
It makes me wonder "why me, why us?". We are good, loving parents, and through no fault of our own have a baby who has trouble sleeping.
Every day I wake up feeling worse. I find myself mentally tuning out from my son during the day. I don't feel like playing with him, I just want to sit and tune out. My focus of each day is nap time, when I put him down for a nap I take one too. This is what I look forward to each day. I feel so sad that I don't look forward to playing with my son each day.
I am worried that this experience will damage the bond between my son and I. I am honestly not enjoying being a mother right now. I sometimes wish I never had a baby, because of what my life has become.
My husband and I have looked for help in the medical community but the advice ends up being to let him cry it out, which we do not advocate.
I feel so incredibly alone in dealing with this issue. The only thing that gets me through is sharing how I feel on this board.
I am just so desperate. Everyone says "it will get easier", but for us it has not gotten any easier. Every day is harder and harder to get through.
I never thought being a mother would feel as horrible as I feel these days.
Fast forward to two weeks ago, his 8'th tooth was swelling up while he and I traveled alone to a family wedding across the country. He had a great weekend and slept REALLY well for me (first night was rough, but next two nights he only woke up once and slept solid in between!) At last! Things were progressing! Or so I thought... we got home Sunday night almost 2 weeks ago and things have been hell ever since. I mean HELL. Up thrashing around all night, up 5-6 times a night, crying, etc. Took him to PED, nothing wrong. We all did have a little stomach bug run through the house but it's been almost 2 weeks, so we can no longer blame that. Now i'm starting to wish I never complained about the 2-3 x a night wakings he's been doing the last several months!
What's strange is, he usually wakes up and flops around before he's ready for a bottle, but lately he's been crying, and since we ruled out medical issues, I don't know what to think. Why is my 11 month old waking up as much as we newborn?
Needless to say, it's causing a lot of tension, exhaustion, resentment, etc. I am currently a SAHM, but i'm about to start nursing school, which means DS is starting day care on Monday. This will be a major adjustment. I hope they don't kick him out for not napping and crying! I KNOW he will flip shit with they put him in a PNP at a new place At least he won't be there all day long. I'm frantic about all that as well.
I've tried everyone, and of course, everyone's suggestion is CIO, including PED. I just smile and say "no thanks" My husband and I are fed up, but at the same time, we don't want to do CIO. DS is VERY stubborn and strong willed (not a surprise, both mommy and daddy are as well) And my MIL told us my husband didn't sleep through the night until he was 4 (NOT what I needed to hear!) But anyway, one day I gave in and tried CIO. Worst. Idea. Ever. tried for almost an hour, and all that did was not allow me to get him anywhere NEAR a crib or PNP for a week! He would FREAK out! And I don't mean little cries and pouting, I mean screaming so hard he was choking on his spit. Awful. He does usually nap in his crib during the day, although it's usually short, it's better than nothing. I can't be napping with him all the time or getting him in that habit. I try to put him in the crib at night, and either he fights and screams and I give up, or he sleeps for an hour or so and then we bring him in our room so it's not a fight and ends on a good note (in hopes that one night he was just stay asleep in there). I'm leaving so much out, and maybe nobody has suggestions (and i'm sorry that I don't either) but just know YOU ARE NOT ALONE! It's so nice to read that other people understand, b/c in the "real world", it seems like everyones kid but ours sleeps so well. My sisters boy (3 months older than mine) sleeps anywhere, anytime, 12 hours a night AT LEAST, without waking, and has since 5 months. Almost infuriating. Not her fault, and I certainly wouldn't wish my kids sleep habits on anyone, but I am so at a loss and feel helpless and some days depressed.
i'm also sick and tired of everyone saying it's b/c we co-sleep, or it's b/c we wont CIO, or b/c we wont try this sleep solution and that. we have tried SO MANY THINGS. Not EVERY baby takes to that! I read "oh, I did CIO, and he cried for 5-10 mins and that was that". Good for you, you have an easy baby. This would NEVER happen with our ds, and people need to realize that every baby is different. I repeat "this too shall pass, it's only temporary" to myself every day and try to stay positive, but i'd be lying if I said it wasn't so tough.
One last thing... ds did start walking about 12 days ago, and i'm sure hitting that big milestone has caused some bumps in the road... but that cannot account for going from waking 1-2 a night and sleeping in between, to waking up 3-4-5-6 times and being restless. Oh, and EATING several times. Which is ridiculous, he shouldn't need that (and i'm still BF, but not nursing).
You all are not alone mommas. If someone has any more advice and/or updates, that would be wonderful. Some days I have to admit, it makes me not want any more One day he will not want us to sleep with him, so I remind myself that too. Until then, I press on and thank God for a healthy child.
Keeping busy with DH , our crazy dog, grad school , and our new baby boy who arrived in June!
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