I've really stuffed it up haven't I? :((36 Posts)
DS is nearly 12 months and has never fallen asleep on his own and never slept in his cot.
Until 10 months he fed to sleep every night, now he feeds, rolls over and goes to sleep but still in our bed. If I get out of the bed he wakes within 5 minutes.
Every evening I go to bed when he does and I get up when he does. Nap times during the day are 20 minutes if I get up and leave him or 1 - 1.5 hours if I lie next to him.
I've never managed to transfer him from bed to cot or even from buggy to carseat if he is sleeping. If I lift him he wakes.
I just feel like I've really messed it up and now I have a nearly 1 year old that can't self settle, wakes multiple times a night and is generally exhausting me!
I tried him in his cot the othe night and I laid on the floor next to the cot. It took 2.5 hours for him to go to sleep and then he slept for 40 minutes.
I don't know what to do. I'm so tired.
I'm on my 2nd "bad sleeper" here - massive difference between this one and the 1st one is my chance of attitude - I am chilled out, resigned, too tired to care, whatever you want to call it! But I am not as angry, upset, stressed etc as I was 1st time round. I just have the mindset of I am knackered, I will be knackered for some time now (dd slept through at almost 3!), but it will pass. And rightly or wrongly I have devoted NO time at all to trying to "fix" dd2's sleep, as I don't have the energy and it didn't work with dd1 anyway! So we cosleep cos I am too lazy to get up in the night, she stopped daytime naps around 16mths as I couldn't be bothered to "fight" with her about it. She occasionally drops off in the afternoon when I'm feeding her. I am no less tired than I was with dd1, but I'm not worrying about it AT ALL! Does that make sense?!
With dd1 I lay on the wooden floor next to her cot and tried to calm her down cos I thought she should learn to sleep in there - now I think what the actual fuck was I doing?! When we could all have been asleep?!!
Maybe controlled crying or similar would have "sorted" them sooner but I don't agree with it, so for now it is the path of least resistance!!
Agree also with those who have said, you either get a sleeper or you don't! Not much you can do either way imo!
Just to make you feel better dh and I were watching a to programme and it has been on pause for over an hr as he tries to settle dd. wish she would hurry up and sleep, I need to know whodunit!
(And also, until one week ago, I thought dd would never go to sleep for anyone but me.)
Sorry change of attitude! And fwiw dd2 is currently snoring blissfully next to me- at this point with dd1 I'd have been stressed out, angry, exhausted, trying to get her to sleep in the cot! Waste of time!
Don't apologise, have a good cry if you need to. You sound utterly exhausted and understandably so.
I'll leave you in the capable hands of all these much more helpful people! Good luck, hope you find something that works
I love "Healthy Sleep Habits: Happy Children". My son was in his cot shoved up beside our bed until 10 months old (his room was not ready until then) and breastfed to sleep every evening as well. The transition was really painful for both of us. I bought this book because I didn't want to just leave him to cry it out. I love the advice in this book and would buy it for all my pregnant friends if I thought they wanted my advice shoved in their face. Erm, but when they ask, I highly recommend it! It helped us transition my son to his own cot, in his own room, and helped when he had various developmental leaps that interfered with his sleep patterns (learning to walk, weaning, etc). Hope this helps!
Thank you for all your advice and book suggestions. I will try to get a couple and see which method may work for us.
I'm sorry for all of you also struggling with non sleeping children! Here's hoping we all get good nights sleep very soon!
I found Healthy Sleep Habits very pro controlled crying (actually, pro extinction, which means never going into the child), and less pro gradual withdrawal IIRC. It's good for stats though, e.g. how long children of different ages sleep for, how many naps they have etc.
I don't know if you're interested in another book suggestion, but the No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley is another and, as its name suggests, is very gentle. It has all sorts of different suggestions that you use to create your own plan.
I've struggled with non-sleepers too, especially my first who bf every 2 hours overnight until she was past 12 months and who needed to co sleep or be held for all sleeps. She did grow out of it, slowly but surely, and with a bit of No Cry help. It's so exhausting though, and disheartening when everyone else's baby sleeps well. It's hard not to blame yourself but it's NOT your fault.
I have 3 children.
Ds1 used to co sleep and bf to sleep until aboutn8 months. We then did a little of halfhearted controlled crying and he soon started going to sleep by himself, had a bit of trouble around 18 months when we put him into a bed due to climbing out but a stair gate on the door soon sorted that. Other than that he prefers to sleep by himself and goes to sleep after a story by himself (he's now 6)
Dd was a nightmare she's 4 and even now likes to creep into our bed but until she was about 2.5 you had to cuddle or sit by her bed until she was fast asleep other wise she would scream and scream for hours solidly, controlled crying did not work even when dh did it who is a lot harder than me! But she now goes to sleep by herself after story and cuddle and a song.
Ds2 always slept well at night sleeping through a lot sooner than the others but did have a period of wanting to be cuddled to sleep he's 2.5 and will now generally have a cuddle and some stories then play with his singing bear until he falls asleep. He sleeps through.
What I'm trying to say that even children in the same family with the same way of doing things can result in children with different sleeping habits
We liked the statistics on naps and things in Healthy Sleep Habits, but weren't as hard-hearted with the controlled crying as he suggests. I just couldn't do it. However, being on anti-depressants, partially through sleep deprivation, will make you try things you would never have countenanced before. (!) I don't remember the author saying never go into the child. We did have to let him cry for a bit, but we never just shut the door and walked away. I can't remember all the details, but we saw an improvement within a week, and our life was changed within 2 or 3 weeks. I was a shattered wreck before.
Fast forward, and even within 8 weeks we had a child who would go to sleep after a feed and a cuddle.
He's 3 1/2 and sings when he goes to sleep, sings when he wakes up, and reads books if he wakes a little bit too early. He's happy and doesn't feel abandoned when it's bedtime. We worked out a bedtime routine when he went into his room of stories and songs, teeth brushing and cuddles, and I think this (as much as any method or book!) gave him a routine to guide him to sleep. We have stuck to it whether on holiday, or whether I've gone into hospital when I'm unwell, etc. Probably that is what helped him learn to sleep through, not anything we read ....
You have not stuffed it up, honestly. Co-sleeping is totally normal in some cultures and it has helped you cope. Now, clearly, you have had enough of it and you no longer feel it is good for your son. It is never going to be easy and you should pick a time when you are feeling a bit stronger mentally - maybe when you're partner has a week off for example and you can do it together - and then decide to tackle one thing, putting him alone to sleep in the evening for example. Follow one of the guides in the book's suggested and the chances are you will get there. It might be a really tough week, but at least there will be another side. Good luck.
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