Havent slept in 13 months.. pls pls help me! Desperate!

(10 Posts)
LadyBrooks Wed 27-Aug-14 13:25:00

13 month old gorgeous son has NEVER slept through the night. Because we have had our house renovated, nap time has been a nightmare with builders banging and crashing. Therefore, little man has been sleeping with us in our room in our bed every night. He now finally has his own room and I want to move him in it.
He will only go off to sleep if I am cuddling him (not with breast) and when he wakes up at night I soothe him back to sleep via breast. I want to stop breast feeding am and trying to get him onto formula but he isnt impressed. I have tried all different types of milk but he isnt having any of it so I am purservering with one hoping he will just end up liking the taste.
I tried the crying out method but he got ridiculously upset, it was awful. (I used this method on my daughter and worked great)
What do I do? I need to sleep. I just cant live like this anymore, it is really getting me down and I just want my little boy to sleep all night.
Please please help.

mrsmalcolmreynolds Wed 27-Aug-14 14:48:59

What has worked for us with both DD and DS (although DS is still slightly a work in progress!) is a technique which is within a range usually described as "gradual withdrawal". You start off by putting them in their cot drowsy (ideally!) but awake and just stay with them until they go to sleep. Cuddles/hand on the back etc. is fine but try to avoid picking up if at all possible. If they get up, encourage them to lie back down again but my own preference was not to force this - just wait until they seem inclined to lie down of their own accord. With both of mine it did take over an hour (including quite a lot of crying) before they went to sleep the first night with this approach. However either I or DH was there the whole time so although they were upset and cross they were not scared or feeling abandoned.

Then the idea is that you progressively reduce physical contact a little bit each night, and start moving further away from the cot each night until finally you can leave them to it entirely. I have to confess that we have got a bit stuck with DS and often end up sitting in there until he goes to sleep, although usually not actually touching him. The really good thing though is that once asleep he usually sleeps through.

If they do wake during the night, you need to try and use the same approach as at bedtime - i.e. no picking up, no milk to get them back to sleep.

It is tough, but IME works and is not as hardcore as crying it out. I found it really important (a) to discuss the whole plan with DH so that we were agreed as to what we were doing and when (b) to write the plan down so that there was something to look at at 3am and remind ourselves that there was a plan! and (c) to keep a log for the first few weeks so that you can see progress (hopefully) - it's easy to lose track of what's really happened in the haze of tiredness.

mrsmalcolmreynolds Wed 27-Aug-14 14:51:29

Sorry - have just seen he is in your bed at the moment. Is there any chance of moving him at least into his own cot if not his own room?

LadyBrooks Wed 27-Aug-14 16:11:36

Wow thanks so much! Once he is asleep I actually place him in his cot which is by out bed. By 11pm when he wakes he comes in with us until morning.
I am going to do this. Thanks so much!

mrsmalcolmreynolds Wed 27-Aug-14 18:12:29

You're welcome smile. As I say, it's not a magic switch, but with both of ours (who are not particularly easy-going!) it did make a big difference within a few days.

Good luck!

Liveinthepresent Wed 27-Aug-14 21:18:52

Here OP have a look at this huge thread - this approach works - am doing something similar myself at the moment. It hasn't yet fixed the night waking but we have had some really good progress so far.

Famous sleep thread

In relation to stopping night bf, I simply decided to stop. My DS was a fair bit younger. When he woke in the night I cuddled him and held him and he screamed and cried and tried to feed and it was awful, I nearly gave in. After well over an hour (more like two) he fell asleep on my chest through frustration and exhaustion and I took him into bed with me and we both slept for a couple of hours before he woke and I fed him. Next night the same, but much less time, 3rd night even less time, just cuddles and settled after 10 mins or so. The feeding in the night is comfort now at this age. You can cut it out, you will have a couple of horrible nights but if you stick to it all will be fine. So maybe start by cuddling back to sleep in the night with no feed, just as you do at bed time (will take longer first few nights and much crying). Once you have cut out the night feed, then move on to cutting down the need to be cuddled to sleep as per previous poster.

Superworm Sat 30-Aug-14 20:51:41

One thing to add is if you are transitioning into a new room, spend time in there during the day playing peek a boo in the cot and generally having fun. The more positive association you can make, the easier gradual withdrawal will be. I would probably do this for a week or two while stopping breastfeeding, so it's familiar smile

WaffleWiffle Sat 30-Aug-14 21:08:40

When I decided to stop bf at night (6 months, I continued bf during the day though) it signalled the change in roles for me and DH.

DH cannot feed (obviously!) so he took over night time settling. Only took a week for ds to realise there would be no breast milk at night so he stopped bothering to wake for it.

StepDoor Sun 31-Aug-14 14:07:29

I feel for you - it is so tough!

I did it slightly differently.

DS was up alot at night, so he went with DP to stay at my mums for 4 days. The first night, at the 1st awakening he cried for about 20 mins, but after that cried for 5 mins or less. He went from waking up every 2 hours to waking up once or twice at night. He also came back having completely forgetting about breast milk, which was a relief. He was same age as yours.

If you can't get him to have other milk, don't worry, there are plenty of other sources of calcium. One small bowl of ready brek has enough calcium for a toddler for example.

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