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 :-(

Sokmonsta Mon 16-Sep-13 01:24:27

You did what was best for you at the time so don't blame yourself and certainly don't listen to your friends. All of your babies are very different. I have 4 dc - 5, 3 and 17mo twins. I didn't co sleep all night but I did rock my babies to sleep or let them sleep on my chest if needed. The eldest sleeps like a log once she goes. 3yo doesn't sleep well at all and regularly needs a night time cuddle and a snuggle up to reassure himself that everything is ok. Dts are chalk and cheese. Once could sleep through the end of the world, the other can wake to a pin drop. Weirdly my two good sleepers both have a particular toy each they like to snuggle up to. The poor sleepers do not.

You have a child who is secure in the knowledge that if they need mummy, then mummy will come. It might not feel like it when you have been up for the nth time and you (presumably) have work the next day. But those night time cuddles are among the most precious as all too soon dc will be grown and not wanting mummy to cramp their style.

Wait. I had a non-sleeping Klingon. I never put her down and she didn't sleep through until she was 2. Now, she is the best sleeper of all of my friends' children. Maybe the hippies are right and she is secure and knows I won't leave her to CIO. Maybe she was just built that way.

I felt dreadful for two years though, while all my friends were sleeping.

I did what you have done with both mine. DS didn't sleep through until he was 2.5yo but is now a fabulous sleeper who loves his bed. DD was a great sleeper from the off. I'm not sure that anything I did actually made much of a difference to them. DS is a clingy worrier, DD is calm and accepting - and I think their personalities are reflected in the sleep patterns along with the rest of their behaviour.

Keep going - you will get through this in the end.

Mummysaysno Mon 16-Sep-13 01:36:35

Penelope it's nothing you've done or not've just got a bad sleeper. My DC3 was like about 2yo I caved in and accepted we were going to co-sleep and life got so much easier. Three years later, DC3 still gets in our bed most nights, but not every night, and I don't wake up..I only know when I wake up in the morning and there's a pair of feet in my face.
We've since had DC4 who is a very settled sleeper, and will fall asleep on own in cot, even though I've always shushed to sleep in my arms, so it's just luck.
Sorry you're having such a tough time...would you consider just going with it and co-sleeping again? For your own sanity to get some sleep?

BlameItOnTheBogey Mon 16-Sep-13 01:36:55

OP these people saved me. It's not too late to teach healthy sleep habits now. Good luck.

burberryqueen Mon 16-Sep-13 01:40:56

I really wouldnt blame yourself

wanderingcloud Mon 16-Sep-13 01:51:12

Don't be too hard on yourself. You did the best for your baby. You can't change their personality. Some child, just like adults, are heavy sleepers and will sleep through, some aren't and will wake up in the night. Understandably, if a baby (14 months is still a baby in my eyes) wakes they will want to be reassured that their caregiver is there or need a drink or help getting comfortable. I'm in my thirties and wake in the night (like now!), if I couldn't get myself a drink or find comfort I'd probably cry for help too. Fwiw my eldest didn't sleep through regularly until 15months, a week before number 2 was due. I can completely relate to the sheer hell of sleep deprivation. We also co-slept to get what little sleep we could. He now sleeps through, on his own pretty much all the time and we haven't done anything to force that except provide him a double bed of his own in his room. He now chooses to sleep there rather than in our bed. He got there in his own time and although it was hard going at times, I am glad I didn't ever leave him to cry himself to sleep. Before my second arrived I was mentally geared up for zero sleep. We co-slept from day one and still do now but he's slept through since about 4 weeks old! So, I'm of the opinion it's more down to each childs personality and needs than anything you have done right or wrong.

Kiwiinkits Mon 16-Sep-13 01:53:35

Looking around my friends (and I would never ever say this out loud on anywhere other than an anonymous forum) I do think some parents make the baby stage extremely hard for themselves. We DID teach our babies to sleep. Dh and I did everything 'right', according to the book. The Baby Whisperer in our case. And guess what. I can smugly say that I have two BRILLIANT sleepers. Mine are the kids that are straight to bed, right on cue, no crying or fussing, happily sleeping from 7pm to 7am every night. We followed feeding and sleeping routines from 1 week old. And because of this we had sleep sorted by 4months with Dd1 and 5 months with Dd2. I have never been more grateful to have sought advice from experts and followed it.

Kiwiinkits Mon 16-Sep-13 01:54:30

Do I win the prize for the smug post of the year?

poppingin1 Mon 16-Sep-13 01:58:43

I am in the same boat as you OP but it is not because of the methods you or I have used in the past. Our LO's are just bad sleepers or are simply just that way inclined.

My DD is two and is definitely getting better with her sleep. Now my major concern is the dreaded toddler tantrums!

FixItUpChappie Mon 16-Sep-13 02:07:20

well YABA bit U. Some kids are just not sleepers.

My oldest is nearly 3 and only started sleeping through consistently around 2.4 ish. We did read all the books and we did encourage good sleep habits and tried lots of sound advice to no avail. We don't personally choose to do sleep training methods like CIO etc. That is our choice and we accepted that some people who tried these methods might get more sleep than us. Regardless, we came to accept that DS1 just isn't a great sleeper. Once we did and stop fighting what felt right and worked for us...our lives became more pleasant if not more restful.

I slept on a cot in his room last night. Some might judge but it beat spending hours trying to get him back to sleep or him tossing and turning in our bed keeping us awake. We all woke rested and had a nice day. I just go with the flow now and accept it all as a phase.

my second sleeps like a treat really and has from the start. We haven't done much at all differently either.

NynaevesSister Mon 16-Sep-13 02:36:36

Oh goodness I couldn't put son down at all, had to carry him everywhere etc. I did use Baby Whisperer for big sleeps tho and he slept through fairly early on. However he has always preferred to sleep with us regardless and is 8 now!

Baby's pretty much do what they are going to do. You could have followed Gina Ford and be here now warning everyone not to citing all the same stuff!

At toddler stage we had a routine of bedtime story and lying down next to him till he went to sleep. It took ages sometimes but he always slept longer this way. Also we got a super king size bed! Room for all of us.

TheFallenNinja Mon 16-Sep-13 03:24:05

I often ask DP if when we left the maternity unit were we sure we brought home the right baby or was there a row of sleeping ones that we were supposed to pick from.

I'm up for the 8th night in a row, when she wakes, she's awake.

Just a bad sleeper for now I guess.

Kiwiin kits - congrats on having the good fortune to get two good sleepers. But it probably wasn't anything you did, so id be grateful for my good fortune and shut up if I were you... wink

BramshawHill Mon 16-Sep-13 03:58:31

Its not making a rod for your back (despise that phrase) its just raising a child however you think best. My 11 month old sleeps in my bed, has done since she was a month old and sleeps fantastically. If one day she decides actually she'd prefer her own space, fine, but I won't ever force it. Some babies are sleepers, some aren't. There's no 'right' way to do this. Sorry to hear you're so tired!

BashfulBunny Mon 16-Sep-13 04:06:05

Turned out ours had tongue and lip tie which gave him chronic wind. Didn't realise til he was 1 year old. No amount of sleep advice helped us til we found the real problem. They're all different...

Morloth Mon 16-Sep-13 04:19:27

Babies sleep best when snuggled up with their parents.

Of course they do, it is evolution.

It us trying to fight evolution that causes the problems.

We coslept and at around 3ish for DS1 and 2ish for DS2 they both wanted their own space, they changed so we did.

Any time they need a cuddle they can come and sleep with us.

'Rod for your own back' is a stinking lie. Hold them close while they want you to.

redcaryellowcar Mon 16-Sep-13 04:31:26

My ds didn't sleep well, and I used to think it was something I had done, we are due dc2 next march and there isn't a lot I would I would change in how we helped him to sleep he just wasn't one of those babies who by 6 months was sleeping 7-7!

EssieEttie Mon 16-Sep-13 04:32:43

We followed all the advice about teaching baby to sleep and had a wonderful sleeper from early on <insert smug smile>. Our son is now 10 months and for the past four months has been waking every night, sometimes for 2+ hours, due to the itching caused by severe eczema <searches for haggard, blood-shot eyed looking 'smiley'>. You have my deepest sympathy on the sleep deprivation front and I hope some of the advice offered here helps. In our case, life is like a box of chocolates and all that...

FFS YABVU. Sorry you're having a crap time but IME your children either sleep or they don't. You can 'train' them not to cry out for you to help them anymore but it's not the same. New parents will get this 'rod for your own back' BS from every corner as it is, and it's not true. But mostly I'm irritated by kiwiinkits - your children don't sleep well because you followed a magic programme and that because I didn't, mine took longer to sleep through. I'd challenge you to Baby Whisper mine all you like. My gran didn't sleep as a baby, my mum didn't sleep as a baby, I didn't sleep as a baby, no reason to expect my babies to magically sleep through.

OP you have my utmost sympathies though, as I know that desperate sleep deprived feeling and it's awful. I hope things change and you start getting sleep soon.

OP sorry, I feel like I was a bit harsh on you - don't beat yourself up as the situation you're in now wasn't causes by you doing anything wrong, despite what kiwi would have you believe. You did what you felt was right at each stage. Things will change, and when your baby is ready they will sleep better. I hope it's soon as it's just awful feeling the way you do. I just get cross at 'rod for your own back' - it stops people going with their instincts. Plus it's easy for the 'experts' as they're not raising your child.

maffive Mon 16-Sep-13 05:11:17

OP, you sound like you're at the end of your tether. You really haven't done anything wrong though.

I know people who did cc, sleep training etc and it was not always successful, but guaranteed to cause a lot of stress and anxiety.

I BF'ed both DD's to sleep, and resettled them by BF'ing when they woke in the night.

This worked brilliantly for DD1, who slept through from about 5 months until I stopped BF at 20 months. But she then needed a bit of help learning to sleep without this.

DD2 was a different story. BF'ing to sleep worked fine for a few months, but she got worse and worse at staying asleep at night, until she was waking hourly. I persevered, started co sleeping so I didn't have to keep getting up, and just hoped it would sort itself out. By the time she was 16months I was a wreck and we decided to sleep train. This involved gradually swapping bf'ing to rocking, patting in the cot, lying next to the cot with my hand visible to her, lying further away from the cot, sitting by the door etc, until I could just walk out the room and leave her to go to sleep. It took a few weeks, but was really effective.

DD''s are 7 and 4 now and are great sleepers.

I'll say it again - you didn't do the wrong thing by not sleep training from the start. You did what felt right for you and your baby. Feeding or cuddling our babies to sleep is a very natural and instinctive thing to do. It might not feel like the right thing for you anymore though, and there's nothing wrong with trying another tactic. Good luck with however you decide to tackle this, and hope you're getting more sleep soon smile

camelindasand Mon 16-Sep-13 05:23:45

Try the baby whisperer with a bad sleeper and see how that nakes you feel! We did it for 5 minths and it didn't change a thing. Yes, read thst again, after he suddenly got upset at nights from 13minths old every night for 5 months. Gave up and he eventually got better. His baby sister had no set resettling routine and sleeps 7-8. I wish I had just co slept with my son now.

VinegarDrinker Mon 16-Sep-13 05:36:44

Both of mine have been BF or rocked to sleep, allowed to sleep on us/in the sling, not had a routine til 6-9m, no fixed bedtime etc.

DS1 was a crap sleeper, we co slept out of desperation and he didn't sleep through til 15 months. Now at 2.5 does a solid 12 hours no worries.

DD is only 11 weeks but did her first 6-7 stretch at 3 weeks and has done the same pretty regularly since. She also prefers her Moses basket to the co-sleeping cot I set up assuming she would be like DS1!

No room for smuggery in baby sleep imho. It's just their temperament.

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

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

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 16-Sep-13 08:38:50

They all go through phases of 'bad sleep patterns'. DD was a rubbish sleeper till she was 4 months old, then she slept like an angel till she was 3.5years old then for 3.5 years she got up at between 4.30 and 6am every day. Now I struggle to get her from her bed. 'Sleep issues' definitely don't stop at the toddler stage.

Facelikeafriendlyapple Mon 16-Sep-13 08:42:59

Following a broken night with my LO waking due to teething, coupled with me being ill, I woke up this morning feeling crap that I just resorted to co-sleeping last night instead of getting up, bf-ing, rocking etc. I've been worrying about these invisible rods and bad habits you see... Well it wasn't the best night's sleep ever but at least we all did get some sleep. Thanks to everyone who wrote reassuring posts. I'm much happier knowingmy LO was comforted last night and hopefully it will all work itself out in time.

SilverApples Mon 16-Sep-13 08:45:17

I'm with the 'Sometimes you are lucky, sometimes not' brigade.
Almost all of the self-help books mentioned on this forum were published well after my two were at school.
I did all the things you did OP, cuddling, co-sleeping, rocking and feeding to sleep, always coming to them if there was a squeak or a loud burp...and both of mine slept through from 4 weeks old, from around 10pm to 5am.
It's not your fault, nor was it my skill and talent, it is just the baby we had.
I'm so sorry that you are sleep-deprived and miserable, and beating yourself up about it, but I really don't think it is because of what you did or didn't do.

MartinPlattRGN Mon 16-Sep-13 08:46:01

Yabu, some babies like to sleep and some don't. Once you take out factors like reflux or colic it's pretty much random.

Mine are both (touch wood) good sleepers at 3 and 1.5, dd used to be a velcro type and took work to get off to sleep and woke once or twice a night till she was about a year, DS slept on his own in bouncy chair or pram but never in cot and slept through from 3 weeks (ebf so shows its just him!).

We had no routines, it's just how they are. They had both dropped all daytime naps by 12m house is a tip!

EssieEttie Mon 16-Sep-13 08:47:45

Meant to add in my earlier post (but just didn't have the mental dexterity to do so following 1.5 hours of crying baby at 3am, urgh) that when he slept longer at night when he was younger, he did so entirely off his own back, he just seemed to 'get' night and day, nothing we did to influence that! I agree with others that with the best will in the world, it can often be down to temperament. Good luck again.

Lweji Mon 16-Sep-13 08:49:21

You simply don't know what would have happened if you had followed any advice.

Still, it's not too late and you can still encourage goo sleeping habits.

in a few years you'll be trying to wake him for school and wonder what the first years were all about. smile

I did everything you did op and dd slept through from 10 weeks.

sorry you have a bad sleeper.


A lot of it is temperament. Both of my two are very different - dd coslept until 9 months, ds until 4 months. Ds was the harder in terms of self settling (he's the oldest) and dd is a dream.

noblegiraffe Mon 16-Sep-13 08:56:51

My friend has a DD the same age as my DS. My DS was a horrible sleeper and we did everything we could in the first year to get some sleep. In arms, co-sleeping etc. She did all the 'right' things, not creating sleep props, self-settling, not leaping up at the first whimper etc. Her DD slept through the night at a very early age.

Now they are 4, DS is a great sleeper and her DD is bloody awful at going to bed.

Don't think once sleep is sorted it's sorted! She thinks that because she never helped her DD get to sleep that has caused problems now as she can't help her get to sleep.

PenelopePipPop Mon 16-Sep-13 09:04:25

Aaargh since some people with good baby sleepers are out being smug on this thread I have to retaliate. Normally I'd smile and nod.

When my DD was 8m old I became dangerously ill with encephalitis. At the worst point I was in hospital in intensive care, struggling to breathe, horribly confused, paralysed and unable to talk. When I started to recover I was terrified I would become ill again and die and DD would grow up without a mum. And I can remember thinking that if I had only ever had 8 months with her I was so so so so so so glad that I had spent the time comforting her when she cried, and snuggling her and looking at her contented little body curled up asleep next to me in bed. And that I hadn't wasted a single fucking second leaving her to cry so that she'd sleep through.

I lived, she is 3 now and sleeps just fine.

You will not get to the end of your life and wish you had spent less time cuddling your tiny children. I should know. Be proud of the choices you have made so far. They were good ones.

Having said that if you are broken with tiredness it is not wrong to want to change things - you deserve not to feel broken! The best thing you could do would be to get someone else to help in the night so you can get some longer stretches of unbroken sleep and so your DS can learn some wider sleep associations. Like err your DH. Again, he might not want to and he might feel tired by work, but after 14m you must feel tired all the sodding time and if this is what is making you think you never want another child it is time to be assertive about your needs.

CuriosityCola Mon 16-Sep-13 09:08:37

My 'rod for my own back' is now 2 a s sleeps beautifully in his own bed with no problems and is very happy/outgoing. I can remember doubting our co-sleeping around the year mark and purchasing the no cry sleep solution. He eventually slept in his own room with no crying and no trauma. Plenty tips in the advice section.

For what it's worth I don't think you can blame yourself. My ds2 sleeps really well in his Moses (3 months) despite us being ready for co-sleeping. Different babies have different needs.

MissAntithetic Mon 16-Sep-13 09:11:24

Dd cosleeps. She starts the night being bf to sleep and into cot. Between 730 and 12 she can either sleep soundly or want another bf every hour. Once I go to bed if she wakes I bring her in with me. Good nights she feeds twice 12-7. Bad nights she feeds every hour.

As long as my nipple is in reach she generally doesn't cry much.

She is one now. Lately she seems to be sleeping longer 730 -12 and the last few nights has done 730 til 2 and last night 4!!!

It's purely comfort. When I'm on nights (I do two night shifts a week) she sleeps soundly until 2 when she goes in with dp occasionally has a bottle and back to sleep and is often still asleep when I get home at 8. Now that's unfair!!!!

I don't sweat it. She will sort herself out in her own time. Since she has got bigger I'm not so paranoid about her being in my bed although I wish I had bought a king size.

mrsjay Mon 16-Sep-13 09:15:19

dd1 seemed to stop sleeping at 6 months old I tried cc but she kept waking up so yes she would fall asleep but be up and down all night, non sleeping babies don't read books im afraid and honestly can't be trained I know it is exhausting for you but you can read every bloody baby book out there and the baby will still not comply ,

mrsjay Mon 16-Sep-13 09:16:17

dd rarely slept the whole night untll she was about 3

MartinPlattRGN Mon 16-Sep-13 09:17:03

What PenelopePipPop said! Glad you're better now PPP.

My friend did GF and was a bit smug for the first three months, then her DS thought screw that and has been an awful sleeper since. For some reason though she's right cos she did CC and CIO and I'm wrong, I don't care though CiO is not for us and I tried cC once, lasted three minutes! Horses for courses (though I don't like CIO at all or CC in babies under 18m).

Morloth Mon 16-Sep-13 09:17:50

DS2 still comes into bed with us (or his big brother) most nights.

DS1 never does any more, he grew out of it.

They will grow out of it.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Mon 16-Sep-13 09:18:05

It doesn't last that long, no matter what you do.

Mine are 13 & 14 years old now. My eldest woke every two hours, every single night from the day he was born until my youngest was born 15 months later. Then they conspired to make sure we got about 2 hours sleep in every 24 hours. grin

yeah, you're knackered, but that's what having kids does to you! There's actually no escaping that, no matter what you do! co sleep, sleep train, stick with their schedule, whatever, you all come out of it the same way in the end. older, wiser, greyer and knackered.

I spent a good couple of years walking into doors and putting my keys in the fridge and the milk in the cupboard grin Pretty soon, it'll all be a distant memory anyway, no matter what choice you make.

I really think that there is no one right way that someone should advise everyone to follow. People have to find their own way, figure out what's best for them.

Just sleep when you can, don't worry about things that really don't matter (like a crusty baby gro or an unhoovered house! grin) ask for help and snatch someone's hand off every time it's offered, etc.

What matters in every case is that your child is warm, fed, loved and feels safe. Everything else passes a lot more bloody quickly than you think. Trust me on that! grin

Faithless12 Mon 16-Sep-13 09:22:13

This soon will pass - is my mantra. We haven't read a book on baby raising, I knew I couldn't listen to my baby cry and neither can DH. When DS turned 16 months I started a very intensive course and could have killed for some sleep. However now he is 2 (26 months) the biggest battle is calming him down after a whole day away from both of us. He can get himself to sleep and he knows when he is tired. Different people parent differently but I don't believe you must teach your child to self soothe otherwise your making a rod for your own back. Some children need longer to learn to self soothing, you can't force them to learn.

becsbornunderadancingstar Mon 16-Sep-13 09:23:08

PenelopePipPop I had encephalitis too - following measles in my case - when DS was 10 months. God it was awful. Sorry you had to go through that.

And to the OP PenelopeChipShop wow you guys have similar posting names smile Anyway, don't beat yourself up, you haven't made a rod for your own back, kids are all different. I felt guilty thinking that one of the methods I used must have 'broken' DS' ability to sleep -that I shouldn't have tried CC, that I shouldn't have co-slept, that I should have done one approach consistently from day one rather than casting around desperately for something that would work... He's 7 yo now and has just been diagnosed with a sleep disorder. It had nothing to do with anything I did or didn't do. My only regret is that I was so focussed on myself - trying to 'get it right' and reading all the books that I didn't focus more on him and think 'hang on, maybe there's a reason he can't sleep that's nothing to do with me'.

Kinect Mon 16-Sep-13 09:24:21


All babies are different. Some sleep more / longer than others.

I co-slept, slept in my arms, fed to sleep til 18 months and I've not made any 'rod'.

Jammybean Mon 16-Sep-13 09:25:00

Op, Dd was exactly like that. I did whatever it took to get her to sleep. We went from co-sleeping straight to a toddler bed when dd was 18 months and we had just moved house. It took a few nights of explaining that mummy was just next door etc. We had 3/4 nights of tears 10 mins before bed but now she sleeps solidly for 12 hrs. Next time round I will do exactly the same if Dc needed it.

LisaMedicus Mon 16-Sep-13 09:25:30

I did everything you did except co-sleep and ds slept well.

Every baby is different, hope it works out.

McNewPants2013 Mon 16-Sep-13 09:30:41

don't be hard on yourself.

I parented my 2 DC the exact same way. DD is a fantastic sleep always have been ( apart from illness and teething) where as my son only needs 4 hour sleep at night.

I think it is just pot luck if you get a sleeper or nonsleeper.

Larrygogan Mon 16-Sep-13 09:33:35

Penelope, my total sympathy. But babies aren't like gym workouts - you don't get out what you put in, at least in sleep terms. You didn't do anything wrong. It will get better as your baby grows and changes.

Why, though, do you do all the nights? That, and your obvious exhaustion, are much more worrying to me. The only way DH and I got through was by taking it in turns to sleep in the spare room.

hackmum Mon 16-Sep-13 09:39:59

My HV always told me not to let DD fall asleep while feeding or, if she did, to wake her up before putting her down in the cot. However, if I put DD down awake, she would just cry for ages and not self-settle, so I did all the things you're not supposed to do, just like the OP.

It's never too late to sleep-train. We used controlled crying at eight months and it worked well. Obviously there are a lot of people who disapprove of it, so it's up to you, but my view is that by the age of 14 months the baby doesn't need feeding in the middle of the night, and probably everybody would be happier if all three of you were having a good night's sleep, so you've got very little to lose.

YoniBottsBumgina Mon 16-Sep-13 09:42:05

I suppose there is sort of a point in that if you choose to co-sleep, rock to sleep/feed/cuddle/etc, no there isn't going to be a magical transformation at 12 months to sleeping through happily in their own room/bed etc. It's a bit unfair to expect that!

14mo is still so little. I would just carry on co-sleeping if that was working for you before. IME it's quite normal for them to wake a couple of times in the evening (before you go to bed) and then once or twice before that morning ritual where they wake up, you feed them and hope to god they aren't waking up for the day and they go back to sleep for a bit longer, repeat until actual getting up time. Normal for that age and if you can do it by co-sleeping and getting as much sleep as possible, then do that.

I think they have a growth spurt at that age as well - they start needing a lot more from actual food as opposed to just milk.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Mon 16-Sep-13 09:42:23

I wish I hadn't read PenelopePipPop's post just before leaving the house. (Dabbing away tears) - that's a lovely point to make and so true.

I have a DS who WOULD NOT SLEEP until he was about 2 and slept in his cot about a dozen times. But I wouldn't have traded those mornings cuddling up to him for anything.

mrsjay Mon 16-Sep-13 09:46:14

My second daughter can sleep on a knives edge she ate slept ate slept from day one almost you can't think that 2 will be the same as 1, although we waited until dd was nearly 4 to have another and she was sleeping better, it will pass honestly it will

Maryann1975 Mon 16-Sep-13 09:53:02

I'm another one that says how well a baby sleeps is down to nothing more than their own personality. My first dc slept really well, 12 hours a night from 6 weeks. I was very smug and wondered what my friends were doing wrong. Then I had dc2. Oh my lord! I didn't know what had happened, he slept appallingly until he was about 2. On a good night he would wake every 2-3 hours, I have no idea how we got through that time. Dc3 was in the middle, some nights really good, some nights not so good. What having three children and parenting them all the same has shown me is that what you do has little effect, it's all about the child. And the baby whisperer and gina do not know your child and what is best for them.
Op, you have done nothing wrong, your dc will sleep through and this will all become a hazy memory.

Summerworld Mon 16-Sep-13 09:55:24

Penelope, please don't beat yourself up. As a mom of a bad sleeper, i can totally relate to the exhaustion and desperation you are feeling. However, I look at it from a different point. You are giving your baby what he needs by cuddling him, rocking him to sleep and being there. I witnessed SIL "sleep training" her babies, and boy, was she smug about it. However, she forgot to mention that she left both her babies to wail for long periods of time on their own in the room to achieve them "going to bed on cue". I personally would not like to be treated like that, even as an adult. And I would not like to treat my baby like that especially when they are helpless, can't climb out of the cot themselves and come and join me and tell me all they think about it.
I see it as unethical due to unequal power balance between a adult and a baby.

My son did eventually sleep in his own room. I must say, he sleeps much better now that he has got his younger brother sharing the room with him (they are now 5 and 2). I guess it is just having company and not being alone. There is now no issue closing the door to the bedroom or with it being dark, since his brother is there with him.

My youngest, on the contrary has always been a very good sleeper and no, we did not do anything differently. If anything, he was held, cuddled and carried about even more than his elder brother.

I think you are doing well, it will pass. You are there for your baby when he needs it, it is the only thing that matters.

BizzyLizzy70 Mon 16-Sep-13 09:57:35

My husband threatened to burn Gina ford's book. It was making me feel worthless. Best thing anyone ever said to me was 'if my 3rd had been my 1st, I wouldn't have had another'. It shows it sometimes is the baby not you. Controlled crying stopped when my 1st pooed all over the cot twice. When I got pregnant again I was not as excited as I should have been as I just couldn't ever imagine sleeping again. Then I had a miscarriage and, although it was grim, I had several uninterrupted nights sleep in hospital (earplugs and screen round me and meds) Which made me feel human again. When I got pregnant again I was excited and happy about it. 2nd child ate and slept. 2nd Woke up for a feed in the middle of the night once and that was it. Both sleep well now. A lady I know who did controlled crying to the letter and boasted about it, now has a clingly child who crys a lot - revenge lol! Someone once said the poor sleepers tend to be the bright ones as they have so much going on in their brains they can't sleep. Hope some of this helps.

I'mTooHecsyForYourParty I really, really couldn't put it better.

(I like your floater as well hecsy. It's driving me off MN at the moment that every time anyone describes a studious, introverted child everyone screams ASD)

Rooners Mon 16-Sep-13 10:00:53

14 months?? and you feel like you have failed? Oh dear lord!

OP you've so done everything your baby needed. Please don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

She's still a baby and I bet she is getting her molars as we speak. Of course she isn't sleeping well. There is always a reason.

My children sleep beautifully and I co sleep/slept with all three, breastfed on demand (till 4 and a half with ds2) and it's called responding to their needs. It works and they do learn to settle.

I blame the pervasive nastiness of 'train your baby to [whatever]' books which are purely a money making exercise on the part of the authors - babies do not need training.

It filters through society with peer pressure and so on, and everyone feels like a great big failure for not 'teaching' their child to do what every child eventually learns to do all by itself, and all the more secure for having been given what it NEEDED as a tiny infant.

It makes me so sad.

BizzyLizzy70 Mon 16-Sep-13 10:02:33

Can I just say to a lot of the posters on here - what a lovely lot of Mums! I wish I had had mumsnet when I felt I was so useless as everyone elses baby slept. you are not alone OP in your situation and it will get better.

RandallPinkFloyd Mon 16-Sep-13 10:03:37

I fed my DS to sleep every night, cuddled him to sleep during the day, co-slept when needed, and had his cot right up against my bed until he was 15/16mo.

He's a fab sleeper, always has been. From day one he only ever fed every 4 hours. So every night he'd sleep for 4 hours, wake just long enough to feed, then sleep for another 4. The 4 hours steadily grew until at 6 months night feeds stopped altogether and he was sleeping a full 12 hours.

When I finally moved his cot into his own room he didn't give a stuff! Slept exactly the same as always. It was me who missed it, I loved waking up to see his face right next to me.

He's now just turned 2 and sleeping in his 'big boy bed'. He asks for his bed every night (and has done since he could talk) and plays happily every morning until I'm ready to get him up.

I'm not smug about it in the slightest I'm just very very grateful. It's luck, pure and simple. (I can't imagine how I would have coped if things had been different, I've been on my own since he was 4mo so if I'd been sleep deprived as well it would have been horrendous!)

I just got very lucky and had an 'easy' baby. He's now an 'easy' toddler who happily entertains himself. Again, pure luck.

You can't "train" babies, they're not dogs.

Chunderella Mon 16-Sep-13 10:03:46

Ah OP, I'm sorry to hear what you're going through. Sleep deprivation is just so horrifying, isn't it? DD is just a bit younger than your bundle of joy, and while we've never had it anything like as bad as you, I can empathise with the feeling of total despair when they just won't nod off. So yanbu to feel your mistakes have led you here- guilt is an integral part of parenthood- or to want to warn others so they don't suffer like you are. You're probably wrong, though. Some of them just don't like sleeping whatever you do.

Hackmum DD (13.5 months) certainly seems to feel strongly that she needs a feed in the middle of the night. I doubt that leaving her to scream would result in any more sleep for any of us, especially as there's no physiological basis at all for the idea that a night feed is unnecessary at that age.

LePamplemousseMousse Mon 16-Sep-13 10:14:42

I literally tore The Baby Whisperer book to shreds with rage when DD was a couple of months old. I may as well have expected her to learn classical Greek as to follow any of the routines in the book. She was just NEVER going to be a good sleeper, and it would not have mattered what I did, which I can see clearly now in hindsight.

At 18 months DD is just about starting to sleep through the night half the time, but until at least a year I was up for hours at a time several times a night. I've been where you are and I massively sympathise.

BUT as to the wider message: I don't think the 'rod for your own back' thing is helpful. Of my friends, their babies either slept through the night early on, or they didn't. Almost none of them did any routine or special technique, and those who think Gina Ford or whoever helped, probably would have had a baby that slept from 8 weeks anyway.

Now I'm expecting DC2 I am comforted by the knowledge that nothing I do is going to influence whether he sleeps through or not, it'll depend on his temperament.

If I were you I would just co-sleep until your DS decides he's ready for his own space. Do whatever you need to do to get your sleep and don't worry about what other people think he 'should' be doing by now.

Akray Mon 16-Sep-13 10:39:23

OP. I so feel for you, but it does eventually get better. I have 5DC and they have all been different.

DD1 just loved to be held all the time ~ I couldn't face constantly getting out of bed to settle her, so we co~slept ~ until she was 5!! Now it's nearly impossible to wake her ~ she is 11.

DS1 slept through from an early age and now age 8, takes himself off to bed as soon as he feels tired.

DDs ages 5 + 3 both co~slept but now sleep through the night,still occasionally getting up for a cuddle.

Which leaves me with the 6month old co~sleeping and bf every 2~3 hours.

I think if you are happy and comfortable with co~sleeping (get a super~king!) it makes things much easier. The two eldest DC have super~king beds also and the younger DC will often snuggle in with them ~ basically, I don't care where everyone sleeps, as long as they are sleeping smile

Enjoy this closeness to your little one and know the sleeplessness will eventually end. Take care x

OctopusPete8 Mon 16-Sep-13 10:46:30

'Hippie Mother' here, waves
both my kids come in with me,
My son is generally and 7pm-6am
And my youngest slept through till 5am from the day he came home. Is it because of how I did things? or am I just lucky|? who knows??.

ringaringarosy Mon 16-Sep-13 10:46:41

everyones different but i have no problem with my babies "using" me to get to sleep,i have 4 under 5 including an 11 month old who falls asleep feeding while being cuddled in my arms,im happy to d it for however long they want,so no rods being made here,we dont bother with cots or routines,i find they naturally fall into a routine once they start school,my 4 and 5 yr old are at school now and dont want to stay up til late anymore because they dont sleep in the day and are worn out enough to be in bed by 8 ish,suits me!

TigerSwallowTail Mon 16-Sep-13 10:50:22

Don't be too hard on yourself, I done everything you done with both of mine and they both started sleeping through by themselves at around 12 weeks. I've not read any books on sleep and am awful at keeping to a routine too. You could have done everything the books told you and still have ended up with a stubborn 14 month old non sleeper anyway.

SeaSickSal Mon 16-Sep-13 11:03:12

I did all those things but my child is an excellent sleeper. I don't think one size fits all and saying 'do sleep training from day one' is necessarily the way here.

Akray Mon 16-Sep-13 11:47:55

ringarosy ~ agree re school ~ when they start nursery / school they do seem to get into a routine but OP has a long time to wait until then!

Just relax, snuggle the little one in and enjoy this precious time.....

CoteDAzur Mon 16-Sep-13 11:52:16

YANBU and very brave for posting the OP.

You will never change the minds of some here, but you might have helped quite a few first-timer MNers, which is something.

CoteDAzur Mon 16-Sep-13 11:54:10

"Enjoy this precious time"?

Have you forgotten what sleep deprivation is like? It doesn't feel "precious" when you are going through extended periods of it.

DuelingFanjo Mon 16-Sep-13 11:58:17

YANBU to regret your choice but YABU to think everyone will feel the same or that every baby will be the same.

My almost three year old doesn't 'sleep through' but he does sleep because I co sleep and feed him.

HarderToKidnap Mon 16-Sep-13 11:59:24

Fed baby to sleep, rocked him, co slept for six months. Never left to cry.

Slept through twelve hours from 9 months old, consistently fom a year. Prior to this night wakings were only minutes. Daytime naps aways fantastic. Put him down in his cot awake and he's asleep in mere seconds.

It's him, not you! They are the way they are.

Morloth Mon 16-Sep-13 12:01:57

The precious time is the small window in their lives where they need/want us more than we need/want them.

Right now, OP is the most important thing in her DS's world, that is why he wants to sleep with her, she means safety and warmth and comfort. Being away from her is scary.

That will change on its own, and when that happens I doubt she will be wishing she spent more time sleep training.

Mumsyblouse Mon 16-Sep-13 12:10:24

It's not just babies who are individuals, but parents too. I couldn't have carried on working with a bed-sharing, sleep when you want, up a few times a night couple of children and so perhaps was more than motivated to get in a bedtime routine than when I was off work and at home in the day. After I crashed/bumped the car twice and was falling asleep (literally) on my desk I did have to be pretty focused on getting some sleep as I felt I'd become dangerous with tiredness. I'm sure being a bit older and being all knackered out from the first didn't help, that bone-crunching exhaustion is just terrible if you have a job which requires mental concentration.

However, I completely agree I was lucky to have two children one of whom slept through without any sleep training (just got it aged about 6 months) and one who needed only a very minor amount (one or two nights at about 10 months old) to be good sleepers. I did put them down to teach them to self-settle from a very early age but there were times it didn't work out.

I would also say though that the need to be by mummy/daddy at night doesn't seem to have gone away entirely as they are older, my nearly eight year old still comes in my bed at night when she's scared or has a night mare or just because it's nice and my husband works away. Not all the time, just as a treat. She was the best sleeper naturally as a baby but still associates night-time cuddles with comfort and I think that's lovely (and am happy to share now and again now I'm not on my knees with permanent exhaustion).

Rooners Mon 16-Sep-13 12:11:49

'Have you forgotten what sleep deprivation is like? It doesn't feel "precious" when you are going through extended periods of it.'

Well I have an 8mo as well as my 10 and 6yos and I actually don't mind it - I know how short this time is and I like being with the baby so much, sharing my nights with him means that we bond in a way we would not do if he was left to cry in a cot in a different room.

He sleeps pretty well for a baby, but even when he has difficulties I can't imagine not being there to help him get through them.

Being unable to sleep for any reason is horrid, moreso if you are alone and don't understand what is going on.

I think to put a baby through that is unkind and unnecessary. Society however needs to make more allowance for parents being tired and allow them to prioritise their children's needs.

hatsybatsy Mon 16-Sep-13 12:15:12

oh yes. we have one good sleeper and one bad.

The bad sleeper came first in our case. used to feed him to sleep - he had to be snoring before he could go into his cot without crying. He would then wake up 2-3 times per night and be fully awake and crying at 5. We nearly hires a sleep nanny when he was about 3 as things got so bad. i can remember bookng a facial in my lunch hour just so I could sleep!!!

DD on the other hand, slept until 7am from day one (I was awake before she was in hospital) and always went into her cot very happily.

DS is still the bad sleeper (gets nightmares, needs light on, wakes early) and DD the good one (sleeping solidly until 8 on weekends) - they were born that way!

I think you just have to look after yourself - nice hot bath, early nights, taking it in turns etc. It will get better gradually.It's not your fault.

sherbetpips Mon 16-Sep-13 12:21:23

There are soooo many factors involved in babies that dont sleep but the reality is some do and some dont. I presumed mine was down to eratic breastfeeding, nothing really changed though once he was bottle fed. He wasnt a sleeper then and at 9 he still isnt now, he just gets told off when he wakes us up which you cant do with a 9 month old!
We did eventually succumb to controlled crying as frankly it was ridiculous getting up 4 times a night with an 18 month old, it worked and would at least get us from 10 - 5am which was bliss in our eyes. I remember mums in our baby group who would tell us that there dd would giggle and sing quietly in her cot in the morning. That is why they went on to have another - who was a DS. he he he they didnt know what hit 'em (cue evil maniacal laughter)

I realise I am just repeating what has already been said but will say it anyway.

It is down to the baby and their personality/body/brain whatever. There are 'good' babies and 'not so good' babies in relation to sleeping.

I BF and co-slept with DD, I am doing the same thing 9 years on with DS. DD barely slept, I tried everything. I decided with DS that I would just go with the flow (not much of one for reading help books) and what will be will be. He made his own routine from about 3 weeks old, sleeping 7-4 from 6 weeks (I had barely any input in this, it was what he told me he wanted) at 4 he would get in bed with me for a feed and we'd co-sleep until 7 at which point I would wake him in order to get DD to school.

He is now 6 months old, he has to have been bathed by 6pm or he screams. He is never awake later than 7.30pm, he is currently teething so sleep is a bit hit and miss, but he tends to go til 3am with just one dream feed. After 3, it's a world of pain and grizzles but this should stop when teething is over....which is how long again? <cries>

It's all down to the baby on whether they will comply with the books, us mere parents just have to roll with the punches grin

3boys3dogshelp Mon 16-Sep-13 12:36:27

I had 2 rubbish sleepers, my smug sil had 1 excellent sleeper - slept through at 8 weeks, has to be woken for school now!! Then she had dc2 who aged almost 3 still doesn't sleep and the smugness disappeared :-).
Fwiw I did sleep train mine both aged about 12 months. I was adamant I would never do it but we were all on our knees from tiredness, including the children. For both of them 2 nights of crying was a price worth paying, we were happier and more importantly they were too. Now 3 and 5 they are usually great sleepers bit they still hop in for a cuddle with us in the morning.

TheContrastofWhiteonWhite Mon 16-Sep-13 12:39:57

My two were rubbish sleepers. DD2 only started sleeping through aged about 22 months. Not long before that it was every two hours.

With DD1 I did everything (roughly) right. She was in her own room from 6 months. I night weaned. Result- she was up for at least a two hour stretch every night plus a few separate wakings. I was broken.

DD2 co-slept and bf whenever she wanted. She resettled easily. I was tired, but I could function. I was safe behind the wheel of the car and I could look after my children.

Despite what everyone tells you in books, there is no right and wrong. You do what works for you at a given time. And if it is not working, you find ways to change it.

stopgap Mon 16-Sep-13 12:54:26

You could try a gradual retreat thing. We did at fifteen months, as although DS slept through from 6 months, he required 40 minutes of vigorous rocking and I could no longer take the physical strain.

We started off beside his cot, lying down next to it, and stroking his back and cuddling him when he needed it. Two weeks later (we wanted to do things as kindly as possible) we were done.

He's now two and rubs his eyes and asks for "nap time" when he's tired.

waterrat Mon 16-Sep-13 13:05:22

if you are still reading op, you really can sort this out.

YOu need your partners help, not sure why you are doing all the nights, but - you will need help because to tackle sleep problems, there will initially be less sleep for everyone.

Personally if its so bad you are considering not having another child, I would just pay a sleep trainer, they will have your child sleeping well (ie. better than now..) in a week - its really not that hard.

Yes they will cry and shout while falling asleep , but you can sit in the room and comfort/ sing etc, then slowly leave the room. Honestly, your toddler will not self combust if left to cry while learning to fall asleep.

I really dont believe in rod for own back - I did all the 'wrong ' things, then when he got older I let him cry a bit - he learnt to fall asleep very quickly, I never left him crying, just sat and patted and sang to him while he rolled about the cot kicking and falling asleep!

babies need to learn how to settle themselves, its not being cruel.

and you could do it right now, never too late. do you want to be up half the night with a 2 year old?!

PenelopeChipShop Mon 16-Sep-13 13:16:02

Wow thank you for so many replies! Sorry I disappeared - shortly after posting I gave up and we co slept for the rest of the night. Funnily enough he slept quite well, little cuddle monster.

PenelopePipPop thanks for your post- that really does pit things in perspective. Thank goodness you are ok. I would feel the same actually - I wouldn't say I actively regret the choices I've made, but I am staring to wonder whether there isn't a link between my constant responding and why my ds won't stay asleep. I guess I've 'taught' him that he needs me to go to sleep so am wondering, if that's the case, how it will ever change! I just can't see the end of this at the moment.

I do appreciate those more experienced mums who just say 'oh it goes so quickly in hindsight' but honestly it just doesn't feel like it at the time!

To answer the questions people asked, I'm kind of between a rock and a hard place at the moment. We stopped co sleeping at around a year because he was starting to climb all over the bed and not actually sleeping so well. I thought he needed more space (our bed isn't huge) so we stopped, actually relatively painlessly. But he still wakes multiple times so now I have to actually get up and go and stay awake to feed (still bf as easiest way to get him to sleep!) thn put him back in!

DH doesn't do nights as he can't cope at work without a basic amount of sleep. I'm at home so it is my job I suppose. But I did turn down a job only last week... Complex reasons but one, I have to admit, was thinking we can't both work bx deal with the nights! Pathetic I know as many don't have the choice.

Mumsyblouse Mon 16-Sep-13 13:21:40

You can do sleep training at any age, there are clinics set up full of desperate parents and two year olds who won't sleep. Personally, I would sort it, you can do it the gentle retreat way, or the settle then leave 5/10/15 min way, but I wouldn't be up all night with a 14 month old if they were well-fed I would be moving towards getting this sorted, especially if it is affecting how you feel about another one.

PenelopeChipShop Mon 16-Sep-13 13:31:44

I have tried! I am not desperate enough to try CC - I am NOT judging it btw but my instinct tells me he is far too determined for that to work, plus I just don't want to - but I'm in general trying the No Cry Sleep Solution latch-off thing. It's just the progress is so painfully slow.

I think what really pushed me over the edge last night is that he actually DID self-settle in his cot at 8pm - we had a bf, talked for a while, then he laid down and snuggled, kept opening an eye to check I was still there but eventually fell asleep - I was standing there and occasionally saying 'ssshhhh' but that was it - I wasn't touching him. For us that is massive progress and I was v pleased with myself. I actually went to bed at 8.30 last night to catch up. And he woke up at 9.20!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was so annoyed because I thought if they'd self settled they stayed asleep longer??! We'd had such a busy, active day, I was shattered myself and STILL he couldn't stay asleep longer than 1hr 20 mins!
I realise this is contradicting my original OP a bit , but I was just in despair over what to do. Very occasionally we manage a proper 'self-settle' and it doesn't blimmin help anyway! Argh!

Mumsyblouse Mon 16-Sep-13 13:36:33

Yes, but you are heading in the right direction. What did you do at 9.20? I wouldn't be breastfeeding an over year old at night to get them to sleep, one lovely cuddly feed before bed, one in the morning, that's plenty unless you actively want to keep night-time feeding.

I think the thing is you do have to be quite determined, if you get him to sleep settling himself, great but then you have to keep going even if you are up for two hours at a time (I found the 'it's bedtime' first time, 'bedtime' Jo Frost return to bed and let them get on with it method good for older ones). If you carry on feeding and cuddling up, I do think he'll carry on wanting it and in my opinion when it gets to the point it is affecting you all negatively in the day (him exhausted, you tired, husband not participating as needs to work out of home) then it's worth some night-time fussing and crying to get them to learn to sleep.

TheContrastofWhiteonWhite Mon 16-Sep-13 13:37:48

It's not a miraculous overnight cure, but he probably will sleep better if you keep it up.
I found that doing the first sleep of the night NCSS and then dealing with wakings however I needed to helped. After a while DD2 was going to bed well and doing a good stretch to about midnight. That does help.

YoniBottsBumgina Mon 16-Sep-13 13:49:21

Could you bring him into your bed after he wakes? If he's properly sleepy by then then he shouldn't climb all over the bed but if he is keeping you awake then you can always move him then - it's a good way for them to learn that they need to be still if they want to be in bed with you!

What time do you usually give him tea and how much does he eat?

imip Mon 16-Sep-13 14:02:00


All 4dds have been very bad sleepers. Now at 6 and 5, dds 1 and 2 are the best sleepers ever. Dd3 3yo generally sleeps through, but if she wakes up one of us go in and sleep on the floor next to her. In the process of buying her a big girls bed so we can hop in there with her. I guess she will grow out of that stage soon, as did our older dds. Dd4 20 months, generally sleeps through, but wakes bright as a button at 6am (sometimes sooner sad ). We co slept with all of them, ebf on demand sometimes as short as every half hour). It was hard, and it still is hard. I slept on dds floor last night with a pack of nappies as a pillow. I am inspired by my bigger girls sleeping all night, they don't need to come into our bed anymore.

It is really hard, and we are not quite there yet. I'd echo the other comments that it is developmental. It is really, really hard, I have almost seven years of sleep to catch up on!

At around 12-18 months, I cracked with each of them and I stopped breastfeeding at night time ( something like jay Gordon's method) and then did gradual withdrawal.

When I put dd4 down for the night, I Want to keep her and cuddle her! My babies will be grown up soon enough. Although it doesn't seem like it, it really isn't forever.

Fwiw, dh got a lot better at helping in the night. I do the baby, he does the older dds. He has a very demanding job and must be mentally quick and I am the sahm. He realised though that I couldn't manage it all alone and got a lot better. He also needs a lot more sleep than me, I am a bit of an insomniac, but he still pulls his weight now at night. Good luck

Quenelle Mon 16-Sep-13 14:31:12

Sorry to keep on about this but does your DH works seven days a week? As a brain surgeon or operating dangerous machinery? Unless he does both there is no reason why he can't step up one or two nights out of seven.

We have a poor sleeper and there is no way one of us would have left the other one to deal with it all themselves.

CoteDAzur Mon 16-Sep-13 14:37:37

"I actually don't mind it"

You must be like my DH, who can wake up in an instant and go back to deep sleep in the next. As a result, he doesn't mind short interruptions to his sleep envy

Not everyone is as lucky, though. Many people can't function without a minimum amount of sleep and it is not reasonable to expect them to spend years in this state... and for what? So their child can take his sweet time learning to sleep in the night.

"sharing my nights with him means that we bond in a way we would not do if he was left to cry in a cot in a different room"

Erm, you don't know that. The world is full of people who have bonded perfectly well with their sleep-trained babies. It is just a few nights, each easier than the last, and it is but a moment in the long life of love and caring that parents dedicate their children.

Rooners Mon 16-Sep-13 14:40:48

Oh I didn't mean people don't bond with their children. Just not in the same way? I like it, others probably don't feel they want that sort of bond. It's just a different way of relating to the child I suppose...maybe I am trying to romanticise it because it is painful, to an extent, but also I feel it is my pain to take and not the child's job to wonder where I am...this isn't sounding any less pious and patronising is it...hmm

sorry. I am mad.

Panzee Mon 16-Sep-13 14:40:54

I have done exactly the same re rocking, holding etc with both my children, first one slept 12 hours a night from 6 weeks, second one does 3 hours at a time if we're lucky, he's 7 months. It's not us, it's them!

Rooners Mon 16-Sep-13 14:42:06

I'd basically find it HARDER to sleep train. I think it would be a nightmare. Like trying to control something I have absolutely no hope of controlling! I have spent my life doing that.

CoteDAzur Mon 16-Sep-13 14:46:08

Just a look at this thread shows why sleep training them as babies is such a good idea. People whose children haven't slept through the night until they are 3, 4, or 5. Parents who sleep on the floor next to the bed of a 3-year-old etc. Madness shock

I don't know anyone in RL who lives like this.

CoteDAzur Mon 16-Sep-13 14:48:56

"maybe I am trying to romanticise it because it is painful"

Yes, I think that is what you are doing, too thanks

PenelopeChipShop Mon 16-Sep-13 14:58:11

Quenelle the truth is... DH turned to me when DS was ten days old and said 'I'm back at work soon, there's no way I can keep this up [this being getting up at night] and there's no point in us both being tired. I need to get sleep now.'

Tbh I haven't completely forgiven him for that one! I was still an absolute mess emotionally and, to be frank, physically, from a CS. Did all the nights from then til a year with very few exceptions. This is why we ended up cosleeping! For a while when he was tiny - say about 6 weeks to 4/5 months - I was actually getting loads of sleep as he quickly learned to latch on and help himself, and I slept through all the feeds. It was fab. But as he got bigger, he needed more room, and more attention from me, and the co sleeping thing just didn't really work anymore. When he turned one and still hadn't done a long stretch of sleep I cracked - literally had a bit of a melt-down - and demanded that DH help me at night, work or no work, as I was losing it. He did for about 6 weeks - 2 months, but the change in him was obvious - he was shattered and not coping. And he is the one making all the money!

So now it's back to me again. I think I need to totally night wean him but I just don't see how I can do that with no support. DS isn't just going to forget that I have boobs! It's such a comfort thing for him now. He sticks his hand down my top during the day too blush

Just feel so stuck in this situation. I don't know anyone else in RL with a child this 'bad' at sleep, though the sleep boards here confirm we aren't alone! But others' kids just don't seem as stubborn. A friend last week described night weaning as 'just happening naturally'. Another has a baby who hasn't asked for a night feed since 6 months of age. She looked horrified that I would still feed a 14mo. But it's 20mins of sitting in a chair with my eyes shut or two hours of shhh/pat/cuddle/rock/music/white noise/suicidal thoughts!

TinyTear Mon 16-Sep-13 15:01:55

I agree with you about the 20 minutes of quiet vs one hour of screaming...

As the mum of a nearly 20 month old... it will happen!!

CoteDAzur Mon 16-Sep-13 15:03:00

Does your DH work weekends? Can he not take 1 day off work and have a long weekend for night weaning? I agree, it will be much easier if your DH goes to your DS when he wakes in the night.

Op, it sounds like the root of the problem is your dh not helping rather than your little one's sleep being unusual. My dd1 sounds just like your ds, I hues the difference is do shared the night waking. Why on earth does him earning the money entitle him to opt out of parenting when he's at home? I think it's massively selfish of him to not want to share the burden. Am angry for you.

Dancergirl Mon 16-Sep-13 15:05:23


I love this theory that people have ONE baby and suddenly they are experts on all babies.

Every baby/child is different. I know it's exhausting at the moment but that doesn't mean every baby reacts in the same way.

We broke all the rules with dd3. Slept in our bed on and off in the night, breastfed her to sleep and throughout the night etc. And she slept through the night in her cot after a year or so.

I don't know if you are breast or bottle feeding but breastfed babies are not supposed to sleep through the night at a young age.

DontmindifIdo Mon 16-Sep-13 15:06:29

Can you afford a night nanny for a few days? Most have cracked bad sleepers within a week...

Or can you split it, your DH does until midnight, you do after, so you at least get a stretch of sleep.

onlytheonce Mon 16-Sep-13 15:15:03

Some babies sleep badly no matter what you do, but to extrapolate from that to say that whatever you do will have no effect on any baby (as some seem to be implying) is a nonsense. When people come out with this rubbish I feel the need to start drawing venn diagrams.

AlwaysWashing Mon 16-Sep-13 15:36:39

My 10 month old DS2 sleeps (sometimes) 7-11.30/1.30/2.30 then 3-4.30/5/5.30 Very rarely past 5.30. In between 11.30 & 2.20 he's pretty unsettled, squirming etc. The same between 4&5.30.
We co slept until he chose not to, around 7 months & he's still in our room as DS1 sleeps brilliantly and not prepared to risk disturbing him.
OP you have my sympathies you really do, I'm at the end of my teacher & am a very cranky, run down Mummy.
I have left him once to CIO and after 2 hours+ of him crying, well yelling in fury I gave in- how letting him make himself hot and horse will help us beyond me?? He can self soothe and can and will fall asleep happily alone. Just can't settle for periods of more than 5 hours max really.

AlwaysWashing Mon 16-Sep-13 15:37:13

Hoarse even!

PenelopePipPop Mon 16-Sep-13 15:50:04

Hey fellow Penelope!

I'm with Quenelle - your DH needs to parent the fuck up and help some more. It will make him tired, grumpy and possibly (temporarily) affect his performance at work. BUT you are already tired, grumpy, turning down work because you cannot contemplate returning to employment, unable to consider having more children and even having suicidal thoughts in the dark recesses of the night.

You both made this kid, you both get to deal with the gnarlier bits of raising it.

The kindest but not necessarily quickest way for your DS to learn that there are other ways to fall asleep than with a boob in his mouth is for a parent who loves him unconditionally to come to him in the night and comfort him minus boobs. E.g. his Dad. Which would be great because conveniently he already lives in your house.

If you have the No-Cry Sleep Solution already you know how to do this - make a plan for DH to implement and try it for at least 10 days before you review it. If taking over full-time is not an option for your DH give him part of the night shift. Or get him to take a week off work. Look at the drastic things you are saying on this thread - no work, no more children, feel suicidal, blaming yourself. In that context a week's annual leave is small beer.

This period will not last long not will it hurt your son. Night weaning a child over one is not cruel and for children who rely heavily on bf-ing to go back to sleep sometimes the only way to do it is by building a set of positive alternative associations.

In a few months you might feel like a different woman, you and DH could have your evenings back and some of your sanity back, and you'll be posting on threads like this saying 'No really all children are different - don't blame yourself!'.

ALadyHippo Mon 16-Sep-13 16:16:46

Youngest was rocked, fed and cuddled to sleep every single time. Co slept, and hardly ever put down during the day. Now nearly 2 and for over a year has been sleeping. like a dream, 7.30 - 7.30 with a 2 hour nap during the day.

Where's the "rod"? My baby wanted to be cuddled and held, so I did it. Some children are good sleepers, some aren't.

TheContrastofWhiteonWhite Mon 16-Sep-13 17:11:25

Agree with everything PenelopePipStop said. This situation isn't working for you. It's driving your life decisions. Your partner loves you (I hope). This is something he needs to see as something he needs to do for his wife. Not as something 'childcare' related that he's allowed to delegate on the excuse of paid employment.

atrcts Mon 16-Sep-13 17:24:59

I have to disagree with you (in a nice way) because with my first baby I was careful to try and not rock or push or sing to sleep etc, and he is still an awful sleeper at 3.5 years!

With my second baby, I decided that I had nothing to lose and I was happy with the idea of stroke, rock, sing, and a dummy, but he sleeps brilliantly by himself doesn't often need much intervention from me at all.

So the surprising conclusion seems to be that it largely depends on the personality of the child.

I'm not knocking what experts say about sleep, because too many people seem to be saying the same thing about that, but there are other people who (on the flip side of the coin) suggest that you can't spoil a child and they will sleep when they're ready, whatever you do or don't do regardless.

Akray Mon 16-Sep-13 18:01:37

cotedzur. No actually, I am very aware what sleep deprecation is like, my DC is 6mths and bf every 2-3 hours during the night, but this time is precious to me ~ they are only this small and dependable for such a short time and I enjoy these one to one moments where I can. Totally agree with rooners grin

FrameyMcFrame Mon 16-Sep-13 18:08:13

YABU, there is no such thing as making a rod for your own back by giving too much comfort and cuddles!!!
Surely you know this really?
By being there for your baby you have reduced their stress levels while their brains are developing. Your baby will reap the rewards of this as they grow.
Don't go against your own instincts and start following a book instead!

Felyne Mon 16-Sep-13 18:26:45

I reckon that sleeping well is just one of those milestones that some kids reach before others, like walking or talking. They write books about sleep rather than other milestones because they sell - everyone wants a good sleeping baby!
My daughter didn't sleep through until about the age of your LO when in desperation I did a sort of controlled crying. I had tried doing Baby Whisperer from 3mo, didn't work for us.
I felt like I'd done everything wrong, all of the effort that I'd gone to to try to get her sleeping through, it didn't work. I just think she finally slept through when she was ready but by the time she was, I was close to a breakdown I think! I was so stressed.

My son is now the same age as yours, he doesn't sleep through yet either. He usually ends up in our bed, I breastfeed him to sleep and if I'm still awake I return him to his cot, or if I fall asleep he stays in with us! He goes about 4-5 hours at most so wakes 2-4 times a night.
With my son, I've accepted that it's just the way he is (or, just the way my kids are apparently) and so I don't feel as stressed about it which helps. I am not fighting to get him to do something that he's not yet ready to do. I don't want to do CC yet as I don't want to wake up DD or husband (who has to be rested for work) unnecessarily. (I'm a SAHM)

When you find what works (and you will), it works because it is the right time for it to work. If you'd tried it earlier, it wouldn't necessarily have worked then if you see what I mean.

LikeItIs Mon 16-Sep-13 18:37:59

I hate threads like this. OP I hope your situation improves and you get some rest. As for most of what's written here...

Posters keep saying "All babies are different. I breastfed to sleep, co-slept, never left baby to cry...." I get a real feeling that, despite all babies being different, co-sleeping, bfing to sleep, etc is what these posters think we all ought to be doing. Well every baby is different and some won't bf to sleep. Some cannot cope with being in the same room as their parents, despite the SIDS advice (nope, baby hasn't read this either). Some cry because they just want to go to sleep but don't know how. No amount of shushing and patting will help that. And if you have a baby like this you might have to do something to help them.

That might be some form of sleep training <shock horror> and if that works, and you come onto an Internet forum saying it worked for your baby, you should not be castigated for that. (All babies being different and all.) I dread to think how many mothers have been put off making a considered choice about sleep training (I don't necessarily mean cc or cio) by the sanctimonious stuff written on here.

And while I'm on my soap box, I'll say: every parent is different too. Some parents cannot cope with months or years of broken sleep. Some cope beautifully and it doesn't significantly impact on how they behave and parent during the day. Some find it tough and sometimes wonder if they'd be a nicer/more productive/happier person if they got more sleep. What all these parents likely have in common is that they love their children and are just trying to do what they think is best on the whole for their child.

There is no "best way" to do it.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Mon 16-Sep-13 18:39:03

Cote Dazur no I haven't forgotten what sleep deprivation is like - which is why I used methods that worked for me - safe co sleeping, feeding to sleep, midnight walks in the buggy, cuddling and rocking. Not reading books about "sleep training" and "self settling" which made things worse and had no impact.

I tried CIO once and it was horrible and made things worse.

TrueStory Mon 16-Sep-13 18:42:02

I just really hate that phrase "rod for your own back". Usually announced by bored disciplinarians or wet blankets who cannot be creative with the demands they face. So they come up with that tripe phrase.

PenelopeChipShop Mon 16-Sep-13 19:39:53

TrueStory I hate it too. That's why I based all my decisions on not worrying about it. But this far down the line I am questioning that!

Penelope thanks for another great post. What you say does make sense. I actually intended this post to be semi tongue in cheek but I think my genuine desperation has come through! I hadn't really thought of it as that serious but yeah, I probably shouldn't be making life decisions based on what should be a short period of ds infancy!

Going to have to talk to Dh I think. He really isn't too bad - gives me lie ins at the weekend to catch up and helps put ds down for the night if he's playing up - but it's the middle of the night stuff that's a killer!

Thanks to everyone for thoughts and advice. It is reassuring to hear that so many people don't think I'm to blame, at least!

leonardofquirm Mon 16-Sep-13 20:34:11

<Looks at 17 month old finally falling asleep on my knee>

Nope it seems to be the way they are.

My oldest gradually started to sleep all night from just before he was 1, he rarely woke up by the time he was 2. He is generally quite laid back and likes to lounge with a cuddly toy.

DS2 has been a different kettle of fish. Had only slept more than a few hours in a row about 6 times and is a wee ball of energy. Just non stop and can hardly sit still for a story, whereas his brother would have listened to 6 in a row at that age. As a previous poster mentioned, he doesn't have a comforter or suck his thumb.

Both bf and/or cuddled to sleep for as long as they wanted and whenever they woke, just different.


leonardofquirm Mon 16-Sep-13 21:03:27

By the way OP your name made me grin grin

PenelopeChipShop Tue 17-Sep-13 05:49:51

Yes the comforter thing has got to have something to do with it. I am also trying out every bear, monkey and frog he owns on night duty to see if any of them make a difference but he isn't especially attached to anything in particular.

zirca Tue 17-Sep-13 05:58:30

I don't think it's necessarily your fault for co-sleeping, cuddling etc. My DS co-slept 'till a year, and was always fed/cuddled to sleep (still is). At a year, I night weaned. It took one night till he no longer asked for milk, then we had a few weeks of him waking in the night and wanting to come into our bed. I never said no. He just came in, cuddled and went straight to sleep. Gradually he woke less and less, and then it only took a hand on his back to settle him when he woke and couldn't sleep. Now he rarely wakes, and usually self-settles again unless he's kicked all his covers off and is cold. We did buy one of those musical things that plays when they cry and it did help as it comes on when he stirs before he's fully awake. I play it when he's first falling asleep too, and it pretty much puts him to sleep now.

TiredFeet Tue 17-Sep-13 07:29:10

Yabu, but you have my massive sympathies, sleep deprivation is awful.
Only examples I know but my nephew was left to cry to get him to settle and he's now a nightmare at bedtimes
Ds was a nightmare sleeper as a baby and we had to co-sleep/feed to sleep to cope. He now settles every night without any hassle (stories, a lullaby and then he just snuggles up with his teddy and drifts off). I did use very gentle sleep training methods when he was about 14 months though as I was desperate! We stopped feeding at night, dh would go in and offer him water in a bottle instead. And to settle him at bed time I sat by the bed cuddling him instead of feeding to sleep.

Lweji Tue 17-Sep-13 07:46:07

You are the comforter. smile

One piece of advice I really took on board was that babies (and adults) sleep in cycles of about 2 hours. They sort of wake up and will normally go back to sleep if all is well.
If they are hungry or in discomfort they will wake up, but also if things look different.

So, when DS started waking up a lot I'd double ensure he settled himself to sleep.
That meant a go to bed routine, with a book, a cuddle and dim lights then dark.
I'd soothe every minute for a while, then 2 min. He'd fall asleep usually after the loudest cry. It did help him sleep longer at night.

He is 8, he still likes cuddles to sleep and to sleep in my bed, even though he's quite happy to be on his own as well.

ipswichwitch Tue 17-Sep-13 10:32:41

DS was always a crappy sleeper. The only thing that made it bearable for us was to co sleep (at least we weren't physically getting out of bed to deal with him umpteen times a night). At about 12 months he stopped nighttime feeds (bf) but still woke every 2 hours. At 16 months he stopped his bedtime bf altogether (just as I was thinking of bringing it to an end anyway). He just stopped needing cuddling to sleep and wen he started talking he asked for "bed" so we'd put him down and he wanted to hold hands til he fell asleep.

Then he started sleeping through. Brilliant we thought, he's finally got it! Then his back teeth started coming through. Now he's almost 2, and will settle quite easily at bedtime but we can't seem to progress from the hand holding (gets hysterical if we try, but since its only 10 mins we're happy to keep on for the time being). For the last 2 weeks we've had multiple night wakings again due to teething, and have been bringing him to bed with us as he wants the comfort and we both work.

Guess what I'm trying to say is that as they grow and develop, their sleep patterns change. Just because they sleep through at 6 weeks doesn't mean they will always sleep through (yes SIL, I'm talking to you), and conversely just because they start off being a crappy sleeper doesn't necessarily mean they always will be. We did once try cc ad he got so distressed he vomited all over. That was the first and last attempt at sleep training.

Yes, the multiple wakings an calpolling are hideously draining when we're both up for work in the morning, but we cling on to the mantra that it won't last forever, and we're just responding to his needs as they are now. Fwiw, he is a happy, confident little boy, who seems to gve no ill effects from lack of sleep (just us!)

I know your DH works, but surely not 7 days a week? Maybe he can do all the night waking stuff on weekends/ hen he doesn't need to be up in the morning. Then you get at least 1/2 decent sleeps a week (he'll still get 5 remember!) then you can take over in the morning while he has a lie in. Yes, weekends may be a bit of a write off, but its not forever. We did this and it saved our sanity.

CoteDAzur Tue 17-Sep-13 11:08:27

"otedzur. No actually, I am very aware what sleep deprecation is like"

Well, I don't. What on earth is 'sleep deprecation'?

Lweji Tue 17-Sep-13 11:09:54

Obviously, when people tell you you don't need to sleep as much as you think you do, or that sleep is underrated. grin

CoteDAzur Tue 17-Sep-13 11:11:40

"there is no such thing as making a rod for your own back by giving too much comfort and cuddles!!! "

That is not what the OP is about.

Those of us who have used sleep training methods don't say "Oooh we gave too much comfort and too many cuddles to the baby today, so no more cuddles until tomorrow afternoon, and we will hold him at arms length until then too, so as not to give any more cuddles".

CoteDAzur Tue 17-Sep-13 11:12:15

Lweji grin

CoteDAzur Tue 17-Sep-13 11:15:19

Tondelayo - I haven't read any of those books and neither have I ever done CIO with either DC.

NothingsLeft Tue 17-Sep-13 12:01:53

I sleep training DS for months. Shh patted, night weaned, gradual withdrawal, CC, even have CIO a go at 13 months out of desperation. We kept at it as every man & his dog insisted sleep training worked. Even paid millpond £350 to help in case we were doing it wrong.

Made absolutely no difference apart from making DH & I even more exhausted.

Co-slept out of necessity once I went back to work (which I had to delay as I was too sleep deprived), fed him if he woke and his sleep improved. After a few weeks he started sleeping through...went back into the cot and is fine 90% of the time at 18 months...

FrameyMcFrame Wed 18-Sep-13 21:01:40


''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''

Comfort and cuddles no?

neunundneunzigluftballons Wed 18-Sep-13 21:10:07

When you have a teenager I reckon you will have to drag him from the bed. I had 2 sleepers and then DS who only started sleeping through at 18 mths if I had my way I would have had the same with the older 2 and not the other way around. I adored the night time cuddles and feeds. At the end of the day they grow up fast so it is lovely to have that time when they are young. Don't get me wrong it was tough at times and there were definitely times I would have loved a sleeper but when we night weaned him at 18 mths he was well ready and got into it immediately. Definitely not a rod IMO.

ThisWayForCrazy Wed 18-Sep-13 21:11:44

I have three children. They are all rods. I wouldn't have it any other way smile

monkeymamma Wed 18-Sep-13 21:31:06

OP I was very similar to you, I always rocked or BF my son to sleep and at 13m he was waking throughout the night wanting milk every couple of hours sometimes even hourly. That was the point where i just couldnt do it any more. We did cold turkey on night time feeds, and I started in the evening breast feeding until he was relaxed but not alseep, then popping him in the cot awake. Once he could settle himself (we didn't do any cc but we did do shh pat/disappearing chair) he just stopped waking in the night. It was like magic. and he has been The Best sleeper ever since (he used to be the worst sleeper ever, even his naps were like 20mins... Now they're 2 hours...ahhh!). I can't tell you the diffence it makes to everything: your outlook, energy levels, ability to cope with a toddler in the daytime!
Basically what I'm saying is, I don't think you've made a rod for your own back, things will likely get much much better sooner than you think. After 12m it is a lot easier to do eg shh pat (if we had our time again, I wouldn't have done it any sooner to be honest) as by that age you have a better idea of when they are distressed and when they are crying/waking out of habit.
Good luck and hope you get some sleep soon!

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