To warn MNers with small babies not to make a rod for their backs

(158 Posts)
PenelopeChipShop Mon 16-Sep-13 01:11:14

I am already up for the second time tonight with ds and he won't let me put him back in the cot. He's now 14 months and has never slept for more than 4 hours at a stretch - that was twice and I thought I'd died and gone to heaven at 4 hours sleep. Average is 2-3 hours, but hourly wake ups are not unusual. This is EVERY night, when healthy and not teething, he just cannot sleep for long stretches.

I have come to the conclusion that I can only blame myself and DH I suppose for not teaching him good sleep habits / self settling etc. I didn't read any books on Baby sleep until we already had a problem so did everything you aren't supposed to do - let him nap in my arms, rocked him, fed him to sleep. And co slept for a year. At the time when friends warned me about the things I should have been doing I was relaxed about it and is it thought I want to enjoy snuggling him and not worry about the future. He hated being out down so I never pushed him to sleep alone.

Now I have a 14 month old who still won't sleep and requires constant re settling throughout the night. I am broken with tiredness. Always thought I wanted 2 dc but both DH and I are no longer sure that we could go through this again. I do all the nights though!

So if you have a new baby and thought the same as me be warned. If you don't try and teach babies to sleep before they are too old to object, well guess what - they don't just learn it on their own. It's too late for me but maybe I can save others from my fate. So so sooooo tired :-(

SHarri13 Mon 16-Sep-13 05:39:36

I disagree, u have three, all kept close with little or no sleep training and only my third is a terrible sleeper. I'm certain it is an in built thing and not something a parent can determine wholly.

SHarri13 Mon 16-Sep-13 05:45:38

*I
And also wanted to had that I can completely empathise. I'm currently sat on the sofa watching baby-fucking-TV and have been since 3.30.

I used to think people with bad sleepers were just doing it wrong until this time around. Boy am I eating my words!

TheFowlAndThePussycat Mon 16-Sep-13 05:54:41

As with everything in life, it's not that simple.

I couldn't bear the notion of co-sleeping (it took literally years for me to sleep properly in the same bed as DH and I'm a terrible insomniac) so we followed all the advice from the start. With dd1 it worked really well, she slept through from 6 months. We were super smug and I used to fail to understand why other parents made such a meal of everything!

Then along comes dd2 and the punishment for smugness was 11 months of no more than 2 hrs sleep at a time. She is still a very light sleeper and we are woken probably 4 nights out of 7 now she is 4.

On the other hand, the routines worked well in that they go to bed nicely, they can sleep anywhere (other people's houses, holiday, camping etc). And they don't get up (barring emergencies) until their groclocks light up in the mornings.

So I'm not entirely anti-routine or anti-advice, but as with all child-raising issues you've just got to get through the crap bits in the best way for you.

Beautifulbabyboy Mon 16-Sep-13 06:35:40

Ha ha please don't worry OP. I did Gina Ford to the letter. Everything including CIO and it didn't/hasn't worked! My 2 year old is an appalling sleeper, he was up at 12.30am and 5am this morning!! Whereas my 6 week old slept from 8pm to 3am, and then didn't wake till 6 (and that I think is only because they have a sniffly nose!)

Gina Ford, baby whisperer, all those books do not take into account kiddie personalities. I was such a routine woman, I have had the opposite thoughts to you, and wondered if I had been a bit more of the attachment - share a bed person maybe DS1 would sleep better now, but I know he won't!!

JamieandtheMagicTorch Mon 16-Sep-13 06:40:30

Gina Ford doesn't advocate Crying It out

r3d3 Mon 16-Sep-13 06:47:59

Not your fault op, I'm doing everything you're doing and LO sleeps 12 hours a night. Sleep depends mainly on the baby.

SignoraStronza Mon 16-Sep-13 06:53:20

Snap! My dc2 is the same age and exactly as you describe. Dc1 was the same (5.5 year age gap) and the only thing keeping me sane is the knowledge that it will get better. She's a brilliant sleeper now (7-7) and was by the age of 3/4. Self settling came after feeding (until 2.5) then cuddling to sleep and the night waking reduced to toddling in at 3:00am for a cuddle.

What helps is co sleeping and a decent man this time round - who is chilled and loves doesn't mind holding the baby in the evenings and has no issue with it.

We've given up on the cot. I'm quite short, so the moment she felt herself being dropped lowered into it, the eyes would spring open and off we go. It is now converted into a toddler bed, with a lindam bed rail. I can usually put her gently on that, linger for a few minutes to cuddle and she'll stay asleep for a few hours long enough for some sex with dh
You are doing the best you can to raise a happy, secure baby. Some are just like that and is much easier to let go of what you 'should' be doing, stop fighting and go with it. Although after two dreadful ones, I really deserve a good sleeper with dc3!

LovesBeingOnHoliday Mon 16-Sep-13 06:55:22

My ds slept very poorly (worse than yours) and found out when I spotted bf he had an upper lip tie so hadn't been feeding well hence constant requests for milk and crap sleep. It's taken a while and it's not easy but you will get there.

jasminerose Mon 16-Sep-13 07:04:25

I did everything your doing and co sleptfor a year. Dd will sleep 12 hours every night. There is no such thing as making a rod for your own back.

sparklekitty Mon 16-Sep-13 07:06:13

That's interesting because I've done exactly the same thing after being gifted with a very manic alert baby with reflex.

We've coslept, fed to sleep and she naps in my arms during the day.

It's been hard going but I'm unwilling to do sleep training and, touch wood, she has just got better on her own. Average wake is 1/2 times a night rather than, like you, hourly. Saying that she's up more atm because of teeth.

I stressed myself out around 5 months trying o get her to self settle, in her own cot, sleeping like a 'normal' baby. I stressed myself so much I used to get stomach cramps whenever sleep time came around.

I have up and decided sleep deprivation was better.

I think some babies are born that way, talking to my mum it seems DD is very much like me, I didn't sleep through until 2 am they did all sorts of sleep training with megrin

Morloth Mon 16-Sep-13 07:11:09

The babies have not read the books.

They don't give a fuck what they are 'supposed' to be doing.

I know in the middle of it it seems never ending, but it does end and you miss the times you could have snuggled up and gone to sleep with your baby instead of worrying about routines and getting them to fit and rods and all that stuff.

Seriously, you will blink and he will be pushing you away at the school gates saying 'No kisses/cuddles Mum, you are embarrassing me!'.

DS2 is asleep on my lap right now, the housework/dinner can fuck right off (is 4pm here).

TheYamiOfYawn Mon 16-Sep-13 07:21:16

What SignoraStronza said. I had two terrible sleepers who both went from waking around 8-10 times a night to either sleeping through or waking up, coming into bed with us and falling straight back to sleep in the space of a month once they were ready to sleep (one was just turned two and one wad just turned three).

So YABU to think that babies need to be taught how to sleep, but YANBU to wish that tour baby would sleep more.

I did do some gentle sleep training with my second, but I found that it really wasn't worth the effort as it wasn't natural sleeping through so I had to keep redoing it every time anything (teething, illness, noisy neighbours) upset his routine, and it was easier to go back to cosleeping and feeding on cue all night.

kungfupannda Mon 16-Sep-13 07:31:58

Sorry you're having a crappy time of it, OP. But YABVU.

I know people who've done things your way and have fantastic sleepers, and others who've done the same sort of thing and have toddlers who've never slept through.

I co-slept, fed on demand through the night, carried them around in slings, cuddled them to sleep, and DS1 slept through from 7 weeks, and DS2 never woke more than twice a night, and mainly slept through from about 5 months - with the odd wake for a moan. Both treated the same way - both quite different, but still decent sleepers.

It's one of the reasons I'm not sure about having a third - the odds are not in my favour for another good sleeper!

beepoff Mon 16-Sep-13 07:32:48

I think it's luck of the draw I really do. I think my DS is quite "good" at night and we've not done any sleep training. In fact when we tentatively tried it it seemed to make things much worse.

Sorry to hijack but to those who mentioned lip tie and wind - what treatment did you go for (if any)?

IsSpringSprangedYet Mon 16-Sep-13 07:39:43

Sorry you're having rubbish nights. I can fully empathise, as I glare at the 2.5 yr old and channel 'don't even think about it' thoughts to the 8 mth old.

DS3 slept through from 9 wks for 12 hrs a night. It was bliss as by then the older two slept through too. He got to 8 mths and he wouldn't settle. He also woke up at least 4 times in the night. I would often be found downstairs crying because I was so tired. Sometimes I'd be okay and would catch up on EastEnders or Benedict Cumberbatch Parades End on iPlayer.

So hoping DS4 isn't the same. Both DS 3 and 4 self settled, so they know how to do it. It's just that DS3 is a very light sleeper and wants his mum. No advice really, just empathy.

Neeko Mon 16-Sep-13 07:44:09

I treated both my DDs the same. DD1 was, and still is, an excellent sleeper and we were smug to each other about what a good job we had done. Big mistake! DD2 was horrendous. Wouldn't sleep in cot, up many,many times in the night. She didn't like sleeping with us either so we developed all sorts of bizarre systems and routines in our quest for sleep. When she was ready, around 2ish, her sleep gradually improved and now (3.5) she's a pretty good sleeper.
It's nothing you've done op -unless you've been deliberately waking your children!! Take turns to be up in the night and rest when you can. It will pass.

misdee Mon 16-Sep-13 07:47:47

I have a 17month non sleeper. It's just the way she is. Her brother sleeps well. It's not anything I have done or not done.

I will not regret any sleepy cuddle I've given her, anytime I have carried in a sling to get her to sleep, the nights she spent sleeping on me. I will not stop cusdling her to sleep beciase one day she will not want to cuddled. Because she won't ever be that small and dependent again.

It's hard going, I won't deny that, but can assure you that my 13, 11 and 8 year olds don't tend to keep me awake at night. The 4 year old sneaks into my bed about once a week now instead of nightly. The 2 year old comes in to chat stuff at 2am a few times but generally sleeps through.

YABU to think that your experience equates to all babies. My dd1 was a terrible sleeper, at 14 months was much like your lo. Then at 16 months she went from waking at least 3 times a night to sleeping through. My dd2 has always slept better, doesn't sleep through at 6 months, but is up once or twice. Babies are just different.

When you're sleep deprived it's hard to see the bigger picture. It was hell at the time, but I don't regret always responding to dd1 when she woke and cried, and I don't regret co-sleeping. She is a very confident 2 year old now, which I think is in part due to following an attachment style of parenting.

Fakebook Mon 16-Sep-13 08:13:58

I snuggled and am still co sleeping with my 20m old and he sleeps through (has been for ages) and has given up his midnight milk feed since July too.

I co slept with my dd until she was about 3.5 years and she was sleeping through from about 10 months.

Every baby is different.

thecakeisalie Mon 16-Sep-13 08:15:24

When I saw 'rod for your own back' in the title I honestly thought this was going to be a joke thread. Its such BS and parents shouldn't be worrying about spoiling a baby imo.

Ds1 was an awful sleeper had his day and night mixed up from the start. He would refuse to be put down. We co-slept for about 6-8months and slowly and gently moved him into his own cot. He's nearly 4 now goes to bed without a fuss and will sleep through most nights.
Ds2 was always good at night for the first 6 months but not so much now he's 2. I did choose to co-sleep from the start but he was an appauling napper. He'd get really overtired but I couldn't settle him even bf'ing him wasn't enough. He was a very clingy baby even more so than ds1 and even now at 2 he is a very clingy toddler. He is a very sensitive chap and actually breath holds to the point of having reflex seizures. No amount of baby training would train this out of him he is fundamentally a very insecure little boy and what he needs is the belief that I will be there.

Babies aren't born blank sheets they have their own ideas and personality. I like a loose routine but all this talk of training just reminds me of getting a puppy. I'm now pregnant with dc3 and I will be 'making a rod for my own back' once again by co-sleeping, bf'ing to sleep and using a sling to help keep baby as calm settled and secure as possible.

Trigglesx Mon 16-Sep-13 08:20:11

*The babies have not read the books.

They don't give a fuck what they are 'supposed' to be doing.*

So so true. And important to remember.

"Sleep training" doesn't work on all children. So obviously it's not the cure-all that some seem to think it is. I think it just comes down to the fact that different children have different sleeping patterns. Some are better sleepers than others.

DS1 is 7yo and STILL doesn't sleep through the night, even on meds for it. DS2(4yo) is generally asleep by 6:30 at the latest and sleeps through (for the most part) until 5am. Although he does often wake up long enough to climb into my bed in the middle of the night and try to steal the covers. hmm

Quenelle Mon 16-Sep-13 08:20:26

Why do you do all the night's OP? Even if he works and you don't your husband can still do a couple of nights a week so you can get some unbroken sleep.

TinyTear Mon 16-Sep-13 08:27:40

At 14 months my daughter was the same, but now she sleeps 8 to 7 with no issue (at 19 months)...

and I NEVER did any sleep training.

Sleep is developmental, it will happen... no rods anywhere...

you are raising a happy confident child that knows you are there for them...

is your son in your room? my daughter slept better when we moved her as it was us who were disturbing her a bit with our noises... and daddy's snoring...

Chocchip88 Mon 16-Sep-13 08:30:57

2 kids, same methods, 1 slept through from 7 months, 1 is 14 months and just beginning to go longer stretches.
It's not you! You have been a loving mother, you are there for your child, sleep deprivation is hell so you have my sympathy but it WILL change.

kiriwawa Mon 16-Sep-13 08:31:41

kiwiinkts - I also did the Baby Whisperer. DS was a horrible, horrible sleeper and woke up all the time. He's great now but I don't think he slept through the night until he was 3

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