My LO with 10 & half months old now & we have always had difficulties getting him to go to sleep & then stay asleep. The past few months this has involved us following the same bedtime routine & putting him down around 7-7.30pm. He usually wakes within an hour and cries to be comforted. He then wakes 1-3 times a night usually having to be fed or rocked back to sleep. We don't go straight to him when he wakes, we try to see if he settles himself (sometimes he will). Sometimes we resort to rocking him to sleep in his pram as this is easier on the arms (he's a big baby) and often more effective.
We know he needs to learn to self soothe & that teaching him to sleep is a skill for life however we choose not to do either controlled crying or cry it out with him. This is primarily guided by reading around the subject. We have had health visitor support around 'resetting' his body clock so he wakes at the same time every day (this too can be erratic with a baby who some nights sleeps far less than he should do) and we aim for morning and afternoon naps of the same length and at same times. He is a breast fed baby who had reflux from tiny until around 7 months & I believe this messed up his sleeping patterns from the start. I recognise his sleep signals (eye rubbing, yawning) and respond to them. LO sleeps in his cot in our bedroom & sometimes co-sleeps from midway through the night as I'm too tired to stay awake! Recently we have noticed we disturb LO when we come to bed & therefore intend to move him to the nursery this week.
I would be interested to hear other peoples experiences, any tips and particularly if anyone has tried the 'pick up, put down' method, or gradual retreat.
Thanks for your time.
We noticed a huge differance with night wake ups when we moved Phoebe in to her own room at 7 1/2 months. I think we were waking her up when we moved around in bed. We have used a variation of controlled crying to get Phoebe to self settle. At night when I put her down I read her a story, give her a kiss and a cuddle and lay her down in her cot. The I rub her tummy and shhhh her before going out of the room. If she cries, I leave her for one minute before going back into the room, laying her back down and rubbing her tummy again, I leave her again for one minute before going back in and repeating. If she gets really fractious I do pick her up for a ten second cuddle before putting her back down svery quickly. I repeat this until she settles. Now she is used to this method I leave her for two minutes instead of one.
I completely understand why you do not want to use the cry it out method. I agree that leaving a baby to cry for a long time just causes them to become distressed. However, the reason this method works is because it allows my daughter to show her frustrations at having to go to bed (and that is all it is, her needs have been met, she is just frustrated because she is a clever little madam who will not give in to sleep!). But, she gets constant reasurance that mummy is still there. It is a personal choice, but just as some moms (like me) choose not to rush straight in to their baby as soon as they cry to see if they can settle themselves, leaving a baby to cry for one minute is not going to do them any harm, especially when it is followed with a reasuring cuddle or tummy rub. Most nights now Phoebe goes down well. We almost always have a few minutes of initial upset, but she is usually asleep within 5 minutes of being put into bed. Sometimes, I lay her down and give her a kiss and she watches me walk out of the room and I dont hear a peep from her. It has helped with her through the night wakings too. Sometimes she sleeps through, but occasionally she wakes up once for a feed. Even though she is fully weaned I still feed her if she cries during the night because I figure she might be thirsty. I have a glass of water by my bedside for when I get thirsty during the night so wouldnt deprive my baby of the same. Anyway, it takes five minutes to feed her and she resettles very quickly because, I feel, of the way we do the initial bed time.
I should mention that we did do pick up/put down with her when she was 6 months but she found it too stimulating. The idea is that you pick them up until they stop crying and then put them down again. However, my daughter got so cross every time she was put down that she ended up screaming when she was being held and refused to stop. She screamed more when held than when we put her down! She got herself into such a state she was sick several times.We tried it for about 6 days before deciding it wasnt for us.
Good luck what ever you decide to do xx
Hi Linds, first of all I'd definately get him in his own room asap! My little boy slept through for a week at 8 weeks old - then he spent 2 months waking every 2 hours! We decided to try him in his own room at 4 months, and almost immediately he switched back to waking once, maybe twice a night, think we were disturbing him. He is also breastfed. At 6 months old the hv told me he doesn't need milk in the night if he's on 3 solids meals, so i just stopped the night feeds, and after 2 nights of early morning cuddles back to sleep he slept through, and has done since, bar the odd night when he's got a bit of teething pain.
I knew he was comfort eating for a while before i'd spoken to hv, but needed that extra encouragement to give them up! Never done cc, sometimes he wakes a has a little whinge, but as we've got a video monitor on him i can easily tell if he really means it or if he's just going to go off again.
We did used to have a problem with daytime naps as Ryan was used to being held to sleep in the day, as he also had wind issues at the beginning due to dairy intolerance, and i did used pupd for this. Can't remember how long it took, or if it really was that which made a difference but now he goes straight down for his naps.
Thanks ladies for the responses. I agree we do need to put him in his own room - we just haven't had time in the week to dismantle cot & move it & by time husband gets in from work we're straight into getting LO ready for bed! I'm hoping this will make a big difference to the night wakings.
I too am concerned about Pick up put down stimulating LO as he escalates his crying & screaming very quickly & i suspect this wont work for him.
Glitterbug - I think leaving LO to cry for 1 minute is different to 5, 10, 15 mins as some methods advise. To be honest LO sometimes has to wait a couple of minutes crying anyway because i'm doing something I can't just stop. I'm definately not someone who jumps straight to him as soon as he cries. I wait to see what kind of cry it is - sometimes more a shout, and if he'll settle himself.
Tigerlily - We too have tried cutting out night feeds with some success. We've rediuced them significantly and most nights now LO wakes for 1 feed which is apparently quite normal well past the first year even though they don't actually need the calories. We have also given him water instead to ensure he's not thirsty.
Our main issue is the initial settling. Last night he eventually went down in pram at 9.30pm after 2 hours of trying various methods. I transferred him asleep to cot at 10.30pm and he slept until 5am then had a feed in bed with me & we all fell straight back to sleep until 7.30am. So a good night other than the getting off to sleep.
I think we'll do the cot move first then let him adjust to that, then we'll perhaps try either pick up put down or gradual retreat and see how he copes. I'm not expecting LO to learn to sleep without tears, simply that he has the reassurance that we are there and that he is not getting too stressed and that is what concerns me.
Thanks for your replies.
I agree, I could never leave her to cry for 5 minutes, at the start I barely manage to leave her for one minute! Once they get used to the new routine everything tends to fall into place, you just have to be consistant over a long period. Good luck, hope he settles well tonight xx
Thanks for your reply - LO was seen for 5 sessions with cranial osteopath due to his reflux issues & I felt it seem to improve him pain levels & would definately recommend it.
As it happens we have moved LO to nursery today & he has gone down around 9pm in his cot after feeding & rocking. So we'll see how the night goes. I'll keep you posted!!
good luck tonight
our first had reflux and we coslet for quite a while, against my better judgement we tried CC for a short time and it made bedtime a whole lot worse, we ended up using the retreat method which worked well he was a little older than your LO though. our second fed 2 hourly at night until 7/8 months when we poped her in with her brother so she couldnt smell my milk and started to sleep until 5am, now we are at 6am which is slightly better!
Pippypops - reflux is so hard! When I think back to how many times we would change bedding a night - we used to run out of sheets!Last night went well. LO slept from 9 til just after midnight when he woke for feed. Then slept 00.45 to 6.45am. I'm really pleased with how he did Can you explain how you did the retreat method? Thanks
Thanks for your support ladies.
Piggypops thanks for info on gradual retreat - good to hear that it worked for you
Last night LO slept in cot in nursery from 7pm to 1.40am then wouldn't go back to sleep until 4.15am he then slept until 7am. Think he's teething as was v dribbly, hot & putting fingers in mouth which is how he was before when teeth came through. Fingers crossed for tonight!!
how are you getting on?
We're doing okay. Last night LO slept in nursery until woke around 4am for feed & then I confess to falling asleep with him in our bed! We are still feeding/rocking him to sleep this week to allow him chance to adjust to new sleeping arrangements & are also spending more time in there during day. I'm thinking we may try gradual retreat as our next move. Can I ask when you were sitting in room next to cot etc did you LO cry at all? Only our LO often cries as he wants to be held so I'm anticipating tears! If your LO did how did you deal with that situation? Thanks!