Quick summary. DS went through a brief "good" sleeping phase of waking 1-2x a night..then at 13/14 weeks he seemed to hit the dreaded 4 month sleep regression. We're now coming up to 24 weeks and things aren't any better! The main problem I'm having is that from around 2am he refuses to go back into his cot and howls unless he is held by me/sleeping on my tummy. If I do this he goes to sleep almost immediately. I've tried letting him co-sleep again (he normally sleeps in his cot but co-sleeps from time to time) but he even howls doing this. Out of desperation for rest I've been letting him sleep on me, but he's almost 6 months old now and I can't keep doing this!! DH and I need some rest, and we want to move DS into his own room this weekend so we can have our space back. -we have had a good bedtime routine since 5 weeks (and DS would sleep 7pm-3am from 9 weeks-13 weeks) but he's now waking every 30minutes/hour from bedtime until I go to bed and needing resettled. -As much as possible I put DS to bed sleepy but awake. - DS is EBF, refuses bottles, and has a full feed about every 2 hours overnight (he's definitely hungry) -I'm not going to introduce solids until 26 weeks. I'm working really hard on trying to get him to eat more during the day. -I've tried leaving fabric in his cot that smells of me or had breast milk on it but it doesn't help. -I've tried introducing a comforter but he's not very interested.
I can just about cope with the frequent feeds, and evening waking but I need to sleep in between!! Does anyone have any ideas of how I can get DS to stay in his cot!!
Oh my goodness...you must be exhausted! If I was you, I would grit your teeth, and just DON'T take him out of his cot. When he wakes at 2am, don't rush in, make yourself a cup of something hot, go into his room and try and settle him. Rub his back, hold his hand. Or simply just sit.
You cannot let him sleep on you. You'll become seriously sleep deprived and misterable. Don't give in. You're the boss. Not him. And you're not hurting him if you're there, soothing him. If you're braver, you could try going in, rubbing his back, leaving. Waiting for five mintues. Going back in, rubbing his back, reassuring him, leaving him...etc. He WILL eventually go to sleep. And even if that means you're exhausted tomorrow. After a couple of nights, he'll get the picture.
At the moment, he knows that if he screams, you'll take him into your bed, and on top of you. You need to take control and let him know that this is not going to happen any more. If for three nights he realises that you're sticking to your guns, he'll stop. And you'll all be happier.
Thank you so much for you reply, lifeisbeautiful. It gave me the confidence/determination to start sorting out a situation which wasn't good for me or DS. So me and DH did it together and kept DS in his cot. The first half of the night was tough. DS really wanted to be held. When he was unsettled we soothed him/rubbed him/played music/played white noise/reassured him. When he got too upset I picked him up, soothed him until he was calm but wide awake, then put him back in his cot saying "bedtime, night night". Each time he eventually went to sleep calmly. I didn't leave him when he was awake. I fed him in a different place, on a couch away from our bed. He went to sleep in his cot calmly after his 3.30am feed - and slept until 7.30am!! 4 hours is the longest he's slept in ages. I know tonight might be tough again, but I feel like this is the right thing for our family. Thank you lifeisbeautiful!!
Oh WELL DONE!!! That sounds brilliantly handled. It's so tough isn't it. I had to go through all of that. But I just knew how much I needed my sleep - so I kept at it and just refused to give in. And it left us with a fantastic sleeper and changed my whole outlook. Hopefully a few more nights like that and you won't have to go through all that - he'll just sleep!!