Tell me I'm doing the right thing. DH not speaking to me.

(125 Posts)
SourSweets Wed 12-Mar-14 00:45:30

I'm sleep training our 7 month old. I was always against the idea until recently. He eats plenty during the day, he doesn't need feeding.

This is the fifth night. It's gone like this:

First night: awful.
Second night: better
Third night: good
Fourth night: perfect
Fifth night: awful (so far)

DH says he doesn't understand why I don't just pick him up. We have discussed this before starting and he was totally supportive but now we're in it he's finding it hard. So am I. It is hard, I get it. But after an hour of crying the baby has finally gone to sleep, I've asked if DH is ok. He says yes. I say I know it's hard, but I'm not having a one or two or three year old who won't sleep in his cot because he's been taught he doesn't have to. He says fine. I ask if he's in a mood, he says no. He clearly is.

It IS the right thing to do, isn't it? DH says I might aswell leave the room and abandon him if I'm not going to pick him up. I'm still comforting him though, I hand hold, re-dummy, tuck in and stroke. I just don't talk, feed or cuddle.

Has anyone done the same? I'd love to hear tales of success please. Reassure me that I'm not an evil bitch. At this stage we all need a decent night's sleep, the baby included. I'm doing no-one any favours by letting it continue. (Hear the desperation as I try to convince myself?)

Thank you, as always.

minipie Thu 13-Mar-14 12:16:15

Not much time so quick reply but Sour I think you are doing the right thing. IMO 5-10 wakes a night at 7 months is due to habit and learned sleep associations, not due to hunger or distress. Sleep training will change his learned sleep associations so he can get back to sleep by himself if not actually hungry or in pain.

I have read that there is often a bad night on night 4/5 of sleep training (where they seemm to go backwards), it's like a "last protest" at losing the old way iyswim. Then they get it after that. Hopefully it will be the same for you too.

It's applied to mothers particularly is because of the deeply anti-feminist belief that women are closer to their instincts than men and that this is natural and therefore good. says you?

Fortunately I believe, that, if allowed, both men and women have equally good instincts about child-rearing. I suspect there is an awful lot of projection and pseudo-intellectualism going on somewhere . . .

The only belief system that damages anyone is that which doesn't consider how a 7 month old baby thinks and feels.

Having said all that, I have re-read the original post and the title is "Tell me I'm doing the right thing." Therefore the OP is only interested in posters who agree that not responding to a 7 month old's cries is a good thing, so the nay-sayers should not have posted on this thread, should we?

Pollyputhekettleon Thu 13-Mar-14 17:31:12

world You've misunderstood. To the extent that I don't know where to start so I'll just say that I absolutely agree that men and women, if allowed, have equally good instincts about child-rearing, that projection doesn't mean what you think it means and that pseudo-intellectualism is nothing more than a snarl word.

eisbaer Thu 13-Mar-14 22:59:22

All mine needed sleep training, ds4 is 10wks and I plan to do cc with him at roughly 7 mths, did it with ds3 at about 10 m and remember being sure I could have done it much sooner. I went in after 1 min then 2, then 3 up to 10 mins and then kept going in at 10 mins. The way they suddenly sleep through after a couple of nights and never look for a bf again makes me doubt the assertion that they physically need a feed/contact and mine turned into much easier babies through the day once trained. Main thing is consistency. Hang in there

Listeningtotears Fri 14-Mar-14 07:45:37

sorry to hear you're having such a hard time Soursweets. I can understand that when you are desperate for rest you want to try anything. I wrote a post about sleep, and how I got to my daughter to sleep through the night without leaving her alone to cry it out.
I just joined the mumsnet bloggers network, and I read that it is okay to share blogs in the general talk forum (if I'm read to be ripped to shreds that its!!!)
I really wanted to share this post, as it seems to be the only information about helping children to sleep, involves crying it out, and this is really isn't the case, there is another way.
Anyway, here's the post, hope it helps.

Sleeping Through the Night

jaybirdsinginginthedeadofnight Fri 14-Mar-14 12:27:27

You are doing the right thing SourSweets, stick at it! You can only do what's right for your family at the time. Sleep deprivation is awful and a tiredness like no other, I used to work 24hr shifts back when it was legal to do so grin so I thought I'd a pretty good basis of coping with little sleep, boy was I wrong! There is nothing like it, it quite simply sucks!

Incidentally I was subjected to CC as a baby and I think I am normal. I have no underlying resentment towards my parents and as far as I'm aware am of average intelligence and able to function normally in life!! My brother also got the same training and he's a fricking genius!

jaybirdsinginginthedeadofnight Fri 14-Mar-14 12:39:55

Thinking about it actually my youngest nephew was 'trained' to sleep as well and he is also super intelligent - there may be a link...........grin

SourSweets Fri 14-Mar-14 20:30:14

Thank you everyone for continuing to offer your opinions, support and helpful links.

Last night was better still, he didn't wake AT ALL. He grizzled in his sleep occasionally when the dummy fell out and twice when he'd rolled onto his front but got his arm stuck so as long as I quickly re-dummied and shifted his position he stayed asleep. It's not ideal, but it's heaps better. Once we wean off the dummy and he's more mobile so can find his own comfortable position we'll be home and dry.

I do think it was the right thing. I'm sure some babies naturally sleep through eventually and that's great, but I'm equally sure that some babies don't instinctively know that night time is important for quiet and sleep. And so they need to be taught. I have taught him (or am in the process of teaching him) this gently but firmly and consistently. And he is so much happier after a good night's sleep, as am I. And he loves me just as much as when I was staying up all night, every night cuddling feeding and rocking.

Of all the people in RL I've spoken to, only one has judged me for doing this, and her baby has slept through the night since 8 weeks old.

(Jay, it's a well known fact round these parts that my baby is very advanced grin )

Gileswithachainsaw Fri 14-Mar-14 20:42:18

That's great news sour smile

I hope you can start to feel more rested now. Well done for getting through it.

jaybirdsinginginthedeadofnight Fri 14-Mar-14 20:42:30

www.nhs.uk/news/2012/09September/Pages/Controlled-crying-safe-for-babies.aspx
An interesting read (on a recent study) now that you are getting a bit more sleep. I have a feeling I will need to do something similar to yourself with DS (6months), especially as I go back to work soon. I have quite a pressured job and the decisions I make affect people (don't mean that to sound dramatic) but I definitely need at least 8 hrs sleep a night!

We previously did CC with DD at 7 months and she has since slept a blissful 12hours a night grin, with no signs of psychological or emotional damage.

fatyellownectarine Fri 14-Mar-14 21:24:29

You are certainly doing the right thing for yourself. For your baby, it's cruel and unfair and he is far too young to understand why you won't pick him up. I expect it will work and 'teach' him to not bother crying as you won't respond to his needs, but it will have damaged his trust in you and certainly is not the right thing to do to a small baby who is completely dependent on you.

No baby ever needs to be left to cry, there's always another option such as co sleeping, but this debate gets polarised so much as if there are only two options, extreme tiredness or neglecting your small child and ignoring their cries. Letting a child cry deeply and long is damaging and causes them extreme stress - think about how you feel if you've cried hard for a long time. It feels horrible. Yet you are refusing to give your child the comfort they want and need.

No doubt I will be flamed alive from the mothers on this thread who it's 'worked' for, hopefully because they know deep down that it was a cruel thing to do.Yes, it works, as the child eventually learns to give up. But what a sad, sad lesson to be teaching them.

You seem keen to read links, so take a look at this one. I'm presuming it's too late as you seem pretty pleased with the progress you've made through refusing to cuddle your baby, but maybe it's not too late for someone else who's considering it. http://www.naturalchild.org/guest/pinky_mckay.html

I really hope the mothers on this thread are a minority, because I find a thread full of women telling other women that ignoring their baby is the right thing and congratulating and encouraging each other, utterly depressing.

They are babies for such a short time. It's so sad that people are conned by books who recommend their methods - of course they do, they have books to sell! and convince us all that babies who don't sleep or follow a certain pattern are broken and need fixed.

There will be a lot of posts now telling you to ignore me and 'keep up the good work'. But perhaps you should look further into the effects of controlled crying rather than reading the selective books and articles that exist to sell their ideas to you, or listening to other women whose own personal investment in the method means that they cannot now admit that it is in fact a completely fucked up thing to do to a small child.

jaybirdsinginginthedeadofnight Fri 14-Mar-14 22:12:28

Hey fat your link doesn't work! What an emotive post, hope you're not getting dizzy up there on your high horse!

jaybirdsinginginthedeadofnight Fri 14-Mar-14 22:19:12
SourSweets Sat 15-Mar-14 07:12:27

Fat, if you've properly read my posts you'll see that I'm not ignoring my baby. I'm simply offering different types of comfort that allow him to learn how to soothe himself when he wakes in the night. I never once left his side, I stroked him, held his hand and offered him his usual comforts (his cuddly panda and the dummy). Out of all his nights on this planet he has only cried in his cot twice. Both times I made sure he was warm, fed and in good health and I stayed with him throughout. He certainly has not learned to "give up", but he has broken the waking habit, which means he has a better quality of sleep himself, as do I. If he was waking but not crying, you MAY have an argument, but he's not. Last night he slept through again.

During the day (when he IS awake) he cries for me if he needs me, holds his arms out when he wants to be picked up, laughs excitedly when he sees my face playing peekaboo and is a happy, contented and confident baby. Absolutely not scarred from those 4 (not consecutive) hours of crying out of his 5,500 hours of life.

jaybirdsinginginthedeadofnight Sat 15-Mar-14 08:18:30

SourSweets I was just coming to post to tell the wise fat to read your OP as you had clearly said you didn't leave your LO. I guess when you're on a moral high ground you just read the bits you want to read! The risk you take I suppose on a public forum, there will always be those with their unsolicited advice. Joys of the Internet you can always find 'evidence' for one side or the other.

FairyPenguin Sat 15-Mar-14 09:14:33

Really pleased to hear your progress, SourSweets. Sounds like you and your son are both doing really well.

SourSweets Sat 15-Mar-14 09:42:40

Jay, thank you. It's fine. On Wednesday that would have broken me but now I've had a few full nights sleep I can look at it much more rationally. Fat has obviously been lucky that she could cope through lack of sleep (or maybe it wasn't as severe for her, again very lucky). I've done what I've done out of love for my whole family and I'm comfortable with that decision.

Fairy, thank you! I'm feeling much happier, which means my relationship with DH has improved which I'm sure is better for my baby aswell. I'm glad I've received so much support here so thanks to you all

Gen35 Sat 15-Mar-14 11:59:46

Really glad to hear things are going better!

merrymouse Tue 18-Mar-14 07:10:51

(If there is always another option what do you do when your baby is crying and your older child is waiting to be collected and you have to just bundle the baby into the carseat; or when you are holding your baby and she is still just crying and crying and crying; or if you co-sleep and your baby hasn't understood the deal and still wakes you up every hour...)

RalphRecklessCardew Tue 18-Mar-14 19:54:07

Or if on the third night of co-sleeping (still waking up every hour & if possible sleeping worse than before) you shove your darling baby out of the way because you're quite convinced he's the cat?

I woke up. It was fine. Didn't really feel like trying again though.

Hmm - I went back to work at 4 and half months with the first and 5 and a half months with the 2nd. They were definitely sleeping through the night and not being fed - I don't think that is that unusual. They would settle about half 7 and wake with me in the morning about half 6, have a feed and go back down for an hour or so.

I'd toughen it out personally.

Sleep training worked for us. I think long-term sleep deprivation (for both you & baby) is far more harmful than a few nights crying. Babies need to sleep for their brain development, they're not getting enough sleep if they're waking repeatedly through the night.

OhGood Wed 19-Mar-14 18:59:58

fat I think that evidence on damage / no damage caused by CC is patchy and inconclusive.

I did CC with DS a few weeks ago, and he can now settle himself to sleep and is not waking hourly as he had done for the last 4 months.

JohnnyUtah Wed 19-Mar-14 19:09:33

I'm sorry you got such a hard time, but I knew you would (it's not personal - cc threads always go like this on here). It's a mumsnet peculiarity, lots of militant people saying you are cruel. It's all bollocks. Your baby needs to be taught to self settle. You are teaching him a valuable life skill and he will be happier for it. And so will you, you won't look back. With a second baby you may well find that you leap up less quickly, meaning the baby gets more chances to learn earlier on.

FabBakerGirl Wed 19-Mar-14 19:10:56

This brings back memories. When my baby was 6 months old I was still breast feeding him in the night and he had a dummy. It was around this time and towards 7 months that I took the dummy away (took 4 nights) and stopped feeding as the HV looked at what he was eating and said he didn't need a feed in the night. IIRC I took the dummy and stopped the feeds around the same time but if you want to know exactly what I did I can look for his diary tomorrow and tell you.

Hang in there. Babies don't do the same every day. All of mine slept through the first night they were at home (5 days/2 days/home same day) but didn't again for months. When they were regularly sleeping through there was odd times they didn't sleep through and there was no rhyme or reason for it.

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