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.

ViviDeBeauvoir Wed 12-Mar-14 01:02:08

I haven't done sleep training but I definitely won't judge you for doing it as I remember the tiredness I felt when DD was a (non-sleeping) baby.
FWIW my DD co slept with me in the end but she's perfectly happy to sleep in her own bed now and has been for years (she's just turned 5) so not sleep training your DS doesn't mean he won't go into his own cot/bed.

Does he fully understand why you're doing it and is he really supportive of the decision? I'm guessing you do most of the wake up duties so it's you that needs him to sleep? If your DH doesn't like the sleep training maybe he could take over some nights of putting him to bed? If he can't stand the crying and you're happy to tackle it on your own maybe he could go out while you do it and you won't feel under pressure like he's judging you.

You're not an evil bitch. Just do what's right for you all as a family and don't feel guilty plenty of opportunities for guilt in the future, about everything else

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 12-Mar-14 01:02:10

Well I wouldn't have done it with either of mine.

Does your DH want to go and cuddle him and you won't let him?

aufaniae Wed 12-Mar-14 01:14:08

At 7 months both my DCs have needed feeding in the night. I honestly don't think you need to worry about them not sleeping at 2 or 3 because you feed them now. It's normal to feed at night at 7 months.

aufaniae Wed 12-Mar-14 01:14:36

Have you c

aufaniae Wed 12-Mar-14 01:16:30

Oops, posted too soon!

Have you considered co-sleeping? That's how I get mire sleep. (Appreciate it's not for everyone but if made a big difference with mh first baby).

aufaniae Wed 12-Mar-14 01:18:53

If your DH us finding it hard, can he help by making sure you get more sleep somehow? Could he do some of the night wakings (expressed milk?) or do the mornings so you can havd a lie in?

aufaniae Wed 12-Mar-14 01:19:40

Or formula from him at night perhaps?

primigravida Wed 12-Mar-14 01:24:19

You are doing the right thing. I did sleep training at that age with DD and it worked well after the first week. She has been sleeping through the night for eleven or twelve hours since and is now nearly three years old. Her friends who weren't sleep-trained and slept in their parents' bed are still waking up several times in the night aged two or three years old. You have made great progress. Your DH will come round once she starts sleeping through. If he doesn't like it - tell him he can take over all night duties instead of it being your responsibility.

LowCarbHeaven Wed 12-Mar-14 01:30:46

I think 7 months is too young. You can't expect them to sleep through the night that young. Waking through the night is all part of the parcel! If your husband is uneasy about it I wouldn't do it either. Imagine he was doing something to your children you didn't really want him to do. Not a nice feeling! I really recommend co-sleeping.

LowCarbHeaven Wed 12-Mar-14 01:36:11

Also for what it's worth my son still needed fed through the night at least once until he was nearly one. I knew I could never sleep train him. Babies need held for comfort. We co-slept and all slept well and he transitioned into his own bed and cot at 14 months no problems and has been sleeping 8-8 pretty much since. He is now two and looking back I am so glad we did it the way we did as meant we all got a good nights sleep and there was no unhappy tears. Have you looked at the no cry sleep solution book? It's very good.

SourSweets Wed 12-Mar-14 04:46:52


I know he doesn't need to be fed as he's gone through the night before. He has never been a great sleeper but once we started solids he was much better. Then for some reason he started waking in the night every hour, at first I cuddled and/or fed him every time but he'd do one or 2 sucks a and be asleep again so I know he's not actually hungry.

I also know his cry and it's not a hunger cry. He'll do a shouty cry, stop crying to look at me, realise I'm not going to pick him up sand start the shouty cry again. He doesn't want to be settled by anyone else so I couldn't get my husband to help. He'll scream and scream when DH has him, I'll take him and he'll look back at DH and laugh. He's starting to be aware of how he can influence our behaviour.

DH was definitely totally behind me doing this when we discussed it. On the first night I was in tears with it and it was him who wanted to continue. I'm of the opinion now that we've started so we'll se it through, otherwise we've put our baby through upset for no reason. I also got advice from the health visitor before we started who saw my baby, weighed him, listened to how much he eats during the day and told us to do it.

I cannot continue waking between 5 and 10 times in the night, every night. I just can't do it, it's actually making me feel ill. I never would have considered doing it when he was younger as I know they need to wake, but he doesn't need to anymore.

If you didn't need to sleep train your DC that's great for you, I wish I didn't either but I don't feel I have any other option. What I really need is to hear from people who DID train their DC.

primigravida Wed 12-Mar-14 05:11:37

Soursweets - I'm with you all the way. Babies can sleep through the night at seven months. My daughter was sleeping through from ten weeks but then starting waking up to seven times a night around five months so for two months I was a zombie and I nearly crashed the car twice from lack of sleep. Co-sleeping didn't work for us as both of my two were too wriggly and would wake me even more by moving in their sleep. No-cry sleep solution was a complete failure for us. Stand strong Soursweets. You are nearly there. Seven months is a great age for sleeping training. We did it later with my DS and it was a lot harder.

Southpaws Wed 12-Mar-14 06:14:13

Just because he has slept through once doesn't mean he doesn't need feeding on other nights. Is your appetite the same every single day because mine isn't. I think I would be upset if I happened to skip lunch one day and was then told I couldn't have lunch ever again!

Most bf babies I know fed at least once a night until 10-12 months. Mine did and is now a 3 year old who never wakes at night. Personally I think he is too young to do sleep training given that you can't possibly know whether he is actually hungry.

What kind of sleep training are you doing? I know with my DS if I had stayed in the room but refused to pick him up it would have enraged him and kept the crying going a lot longer. I did controlled crying and it worked within a couple of days. Never had to leave him more than a few minutes crying either.

drinkyourmilk Wed 12-Mar-14 06:27:27

I know several maternity nurses, and without exception they have their 7 month old charges sleeping through. They may still give a dream feed, but would be weaning the babies off by now.
You are not being cruel, or heartless.
I am as soft as mud and even I would do sleep training if I was at the end of my tether. Keep doing what you are doing. If you find that he

24again Wed 12-Mar-14 06:27:36

I sleep trained ds1 at five months and ds number 2 at 7 months. It wasn't very nice but, like you, I just couldn't function after being woken every 60 - 75 minutes. DS1 took four nights, DS2 about a week. My sister has just paid a very expensive night nurse to do the same thing but with her two year old as they could stand the lack of sleep no longer!
Stick to your guns - you know your child best.

Stubbed Wed 12-Mar-14 06:27:44

I'm training my 6 month old not to feed at night (after seeing a paed on Monday who confirmed physiologically she didn't need to feed at night) but I am cuddling her instead. I though I'd do it in stages. Anyway she's been unsettled since midnight it's hard and I'm knackered...

drinkyourmilk Wed 12-Mar-14 06:29:41

If you find he continues to get worse look at gradual retreat. It may or may not suit you.

Nb. I would monitor his food intake and give an extra feed before bed if he hasn't eaten well.

Your DH needs to pick up the slack if you're that desperate.

And I sleep trained my DS at that age as I was a lone parent and virtually suicidal from lack of sleep (no exaggeration). I will never forget how horrific it was to be so tired all the time, especially when in sole charge of someone so small who needed so much attention and time. (I loved him of course but that doesn't make it any easier at all).

If you're in the room then that's not going to work though. I take it you're doing the timed approach? (Going in every few minutes, adding on minutes each time etc)? Maybe wait a month or two and keep feeding him at night if you're not sure (during which your DH should be willing to pick up the slack sleep wise if he's so concerned).

(Milk right before bed helped DS. He was such an awful sleeper at first and CC was a lifesaver. Do what feels right).

DesiderataDisciple Wed 12-Mar-14 06:36:16

Stick with it. I'm sure you've broken the back of it by now. Take it one day at a time. Sure, there'll be regression from time to time as you've already found but good quality sleep is so necessary, you're doing this for everyone's benefit.

DialMforMummy Wed 12-Mar-14 06:39:26

If you are an evil bitch then so am I. 7 Months is fine IMO unless to sleep train. In our case, we felt that when we were in the room to hand hold or pat the back or whatever, it made DS even angrier because we did not pick him up. So yes, we let him CIO. He would start crying, we would go in to say we love you but it's not time to get up and then we'd leave.
It lasted less that five days and he has slept fine ever since. When he wakes up now in the night, it's because there is something wrong.
It is so worth doing but yes, it is hard because no one like to see/hear their child crying.

AnythingNotEverything Wed 12-Mar-14 06:44:30

Regardless of what people think about sleep training, you and your husband agreed to do this and I think it's important to stick with it together.

FairyPenguin Wed 12-Mar-14 06:51:00

We trained our two this way and they were younger than yours - you're doing the right thing. It's good for everyone in the long run. If he is hungry at night (one of mine still fed once a night till 9 months), you will know the difference when it's a hunger cry. Your DH might not, so if that is the case, he will have to trust you. It must be hard if he is making you doubt yourself instead of supporting you. You're nearly there, keep going!

MigGril Wed 12-Mar-14 06:53:58

I never get this both mine still defiantly need a night feed at this age. And really think about it do you actually go 12 hours without a drink I never do. So why do we expect small babies to.

Some will naturally sleep through at this age but I think it's very wrong to force it. Understandable if you want to limit feeds, both mine only needed one or two feeds over night at this age. So having a later night feed may work.

But I can understand your husband distress as I could never leave mine like that. Night time parenting is part and parcel of parenting I'm afraid why is being comforted in the night any less of a need then food?

Also their brains can't work out cause and effect until around 18 months so she's too young to try and manipulate you. she is coming up to prime seperation anxiety age and typical sleep regression around 8-9 months.

So anything you do now may not last long. Really at this age they still don't know they are a separate person from you. Your projecting adult thinking onto a baby who's brain doesn't yet think like that and won't for many years.

Enjoyingmycoffee Wed 12-Mar-14 06:54:44

You are not being a bitch and you are not heartless.

You do however make the mistake of thinking your baby is manipulating you, which makes you feel more comfortable sleep training. Be honest with yourself, ans you won't feel quite so uncomfortable about doing it. The example you give of him looking at your dh and laughing when you take him and that you believe this to be a sign that he is starting to be aware of how he can influence your behaviour. No, no, and no!!! He is a baby. A proper bona fide baby. He is simply delighted to be in your arms and sharing his delight. Not being smug to your dh FGS!

I also slept train my two, and they sleep beautifully. At 7 months though, I was happy to feed once in the night. It's a long time to go without food. And I think it is is odd to read in to the fact that he had the odd night without feeding and you have interpreted that to mean he definitely doesn't need it.

17leftfeet Wed 12-Mar-14 06:57:25

I did sleep training with both mine at the same age, took about a week and it was hard for everyone but I worked and it was a necessity for me as I was the one doing the night waking a and I just couldn't function!

Both times though it meant they were then getting 12 hours sleep at night and they were much happier in the day time

PicardyThird Wed 12-Mar-14 06:59:28

Your ds having gone through the night before doesn't necessarily mean he can now. Their needs vary as they grow.

I second the poster who wondered if you had considered co-sleeping, and the poster who thinks your ds is too young. I also think a parenting philosophy of 'follow through no matter what' is not always the most appropriate route.

You asked in your OP if you were doing the right thing. I get that your second post clarified that this was effectively a rhetorical question. But I'd still like to offer an alternative view. And I do know about the exhaustion - mine were each feeding several times a night well into their second year.

CocktailQueen Wed 12-Mar-14 07:02:23

I feel for you, but I think 7 months is too young -for some babies -to expect them to go through the night. Both of mine needed a night feed at that stage. Your baby is too young to understand why they're being left to cry.

kalidasa Wed 12-Mar-14 07:12:40

I think your sanity is very important for DS as well as you and sleep training (of whatever kind you feel comfortable with) in these circumstances is reasonable. But I would also say that you should tackle the bit about how only you can settle DS - actually I think if it was me at 7 months I would work on this and get him used to your DH doing it so that you can genuinely share the nights. DS is (still) a bad sleeper at 15 months and we have had only limited success with various attempts to improve it - it just seems to be his 'weak link' and the way that he expresses any stress or anxiety, so while the various techniques do work as soon as he is slightly unwell or anxious or there's been any other disruption, it all falls apart. Personally I could brace myself for "hard-core" sleep training (cry it out or whatever) once if I was desperate but I know that I could not do it repeatedly.

But we have divided the night "duties" completely equally from very early on. So although we are both chronically tired we are not totally desperate and also - very important I think - I don't feel resentful of DH which I absolutely would if it was always me who had to get up.

Lots of people will say to co-sleep, and we have done this a bit, but I don't think it's the best solution for anyone - personally we both found that we didn't sleep well with him there and also that psychologically/emotionally we both need some time apart from him and also time/space to be a couple at night.

Our DS definitely did still need a night-time bottle at this age - he didn't drop it until about 10 months I think - but he has always been a very hungry baby. We dropped it in stages though - reduced the milk gradually, 10ml or so at a time, then replaced it with water, then had a stage when if he woke we went to him and soothed him but didn't offer anything.

To be honest, I think if you went away for a few days for a break - which it sounds like you need - and left DH holding the fort you'd probably come back to discover that he was happy to do whatever you think best.

GuineaPigGaiters Wed 12-Mar-14 07:13:06

I'm training my 6 month old not to feed at night (after seeing a paed on Monday who confirmed physiologically she didn't need to feed at night)

How on earth does anyone confirm that when a 6 month old can't talk...and how does she know that perhaps it's not food, but comfort or love that the 6 month old needs.

It saddens me that in the Uk we don't set mothers to be up with the expectation that you WILL lose sleep for up to 2 years with a baby. Because 'gasp' they are individuals, and none of them have read the manual about what they are supposed to do.

If sleep training is your thing then do it, I understand the absolute desperation of sleep depravation and if you can't cope with it then you should find a way through sleep training or whichever method you as the parent have to function during the day, I get that. But let's not pretend that a 6 months old doesn't need a feed or reassurance in the night.

kalidasa Wed 12-Mar-14 07:14:18

Sorry that should say "best solution for everyone" - I'm sure co-sleeping is by far the best solution for loads of people, just not for us most of the time.

merrymouse Wed 12-Mar-14 07:14:28

"I cannot continue waking between 5 and 10 times in the night, every night."

Be clear that this is why you are sleep training. Not sleep training now will not result in a 1 or 2 or 3 year old who wakes during the night -this is a line sometimes sold by sleep training books but it just isn't true. However, it doesn't sound as though you are doing hardline sleep training more just communicating that now is the time to stay in bed.

Not being able to function during the day is a real problem. If your husband is distressed by sleep training he needs to help with the night waking, help with the sleep training or shut up.

On the other hand, while a baby waking 10 times a night is not manageable for long, a baby waking once a night for a feed at this age is very normal - maybe carry on doing what you are doing, but allow a feed? (My impression would be that a baby isn't waking for food if he/she has been fed but continues to wake up hourly anyway, not because they have once or twice not needed food).

kalidasa Wed 12-Mar-14 07:16:35

Also, have you spoken to the GP or health visitor? I do remember that our HV said not to sleep train in a strict way before a year. I'm sure they all have different views on this though. DH is French and in France they all seem to do it practically from birth - there's MUCH less breastfeeding over there though too which is probably a factor.

kalidasa Wed 12-Mar-14 07:20:10

Actually that's a really good point from merrymouse - there's a huge difference between one or two wakes - especially if you share the load with a partner - and five or ten. It was the five-to-ten zone that made us absolutely desperate too. Maybe focus in the first instance of getting down to just one feed? I think one really difficult thing about all this is that I definitely felt that when we were most stressed and exhausted that in itself stressed DS who was worried in his baby way about the tension and that made him more wakeful because he wanted reassurance. Bit of a vicious circle!

Sleepyfergus Wed 12-Mar-14 07:21:26

Another one here who sleep trained dd2 at 8mths. We had ended up co-sleeping but it meant SH ended up on the sofa at nights and was just getting silly.

I followed Super Nannys controlled crying syst (2,4,8,16,32 mins one) and it was hellish the first night, much better the next couple of nights and damn near perfect from then on. Dd2 is now 20mtha and sleeps like a dream.

We didn't do that with dd1 and although she sleeps through we still stay with her until she falls asleep and she's 4.4yo. At 20mths bedtime would take forever. It's like night an day comparing the two.

God luck but I think your doing the right thing. And your DH will too when he reaps the benefits of a baby sleeping through.

aufaniae Wed 12-Mar-14 07:22:42

I posted as sleep training doesn't seem to be working, and your baby is very clearly telling you he needs you at night.

My 11 month old cosleeps with me. Until I go to bed she wakes up once an hour or so. Once I'm in bed she sleeps through, with perhaps one dream feed. I get a good night sleep. If she were in a cot on her own i expect she'd be waking all night and I'd be tearing my hair out!

You did ask if you were doing the right thing and I am genuinely trying to help.

I wouldn't pay too much attention to the HV on this, pers They give advice based on their opinion, not medical advice, when it cones to stuff like this. They're also not

throckenholt Wed 12-Mar-14 07:23:26

Stick with it.

With mine I sat in the darkened room and just said quietly "shh - it's bed time, go to sleep" every time they moved or made a noise. I didn't pick up or touch at all. Over a week or two it went from over an hour to just a few minutes, with me gradually moving further away, until I was just outside the door.

It was as boring as hell and very tedious for me for that couple of weeks - but it did work and in hindsight I think for us it was the best approach.

Gileswithachainsaw Wed 12-Mar-14 07:25:16

I'll join the "bitch" club with you.

10 times a night is a lot. No one can carry on like that. Sleep is important and co sleeping was never an option for me.

It worked within 2/3 days for me with both dds.

aufaniae Wed 12-Mar-14 07:30:01

Oops hit post too soon. The last para should say ...

I wouldn't pay too much attention to the HV on this, personally. They give advice based on their opinion, not medical advice, when it cones to stuff like this. They're also not allowed to recommend cosleeping as they go be studies which show cosleeping to be less safe than sleeping in a cot. However the studies they based their advice on include all sorts of unsafe practices line sharing sofas and sleeping with the baby while drunk. But many mothers find cosleeping (perhaps with a three sided cot) to be the thing that gets everyone some precious sleep.

It may not work for your baby, they are all different. But from an outside point of view, it seems your baby is telling you he needs you at night. Honestly, what you do now will have little bearing on what happens when he's 3, he's too young to learn that kind of stuff now.

What matters is you and him getting some sleep. If you DH can't do night wakings, can he do the morning so you can get a lie in? (whether you do sleep training or not)

aufaniae Wed 12-Mar-14 07:38:39

Just to be clear, I'm suggesting cosleeping nay be a solution, it is for me with a baby who otherwise wakes every hour, asking for me. If i didn't cosleep i'd be desperately tired, she would be up all night.

Might it be worth a try?

SourSweets Wed 12-Mar-14 08:41:09

Ok. I'm on my phone so I can't mention individual posters, sorry.

I know he's not hungry for these reasons:

Before training I would put him to the breast every hour or two, he never fed. He'd suckle for a few seconds and fall back to sleep. I however am awake then for the next hour or more. I'll just drift off and he'd be awake again.

He eats plenty during he day, solid food, breast feeds and water.

It's not his hunger cry. For example last night I started talking to DH when I was on the verge of giving up and because he heard our voices he immediately stopped crying and listened quite happily. If he was hungry he wouldn't be distracted that easily from it.

Also yes, I did reduce to one feed, but he was still waking.

So my trouble is, why is he waking? Because he wants comfort. But the more I comfort him, the more frequently he wakes. Last night was hell but he was actually only awake twice, as opposed to 5-10 times, more sometimes.

I do know that as a parent I should expect sleepless nights. I know that. I didn't have him in order for my life to carry on as usual. But it's got to the point where I can't function. I need to be a good parent to him. I AM a good parent. He gets all the love, comfort and attention he wants from me all day long. I cook all his food, I keep his play area clean, I take him to fun places. I talk to him all day long. I love him desperately. But the lack of sleep is killing me. I just want him to know that I am here, if he's genuinely in pain or discomfort I will do everything I can do to stop it, but otherwise he needs to sleep in his cot.

And yes I have seen a HV, and a doctor, and my mum is a childcare proffessional. If I really am doing the wrong thing then of course I will stop, but how am I supposed to know when everyone in RL has told me it's the right thing?

Thank you to everyone who has given kind words and advice. Sorry this is so long and emotional.

LowCarbHeaven Wed 12-Mar-14 08:42:56

OP you did post asking if you were doing the right thing, then when people say no you are getting defensive.

Babies can sleep through the night occasionally for all sorts of reasons. It certainly doesn't mean they don't need fed anymore! At 7 months, there is no way manipulation/understanding behaviour can be influenced is happening.

My son used to wake a lot to feed and that's why we co-sleep. There IS other options apart from sleep training. I know millions of people do sleep training and are confident in their decision which is their choice. If you read further into a 7 months old development I think you will see that at that age they still very much need comfort and reassurance. It's still very young.

charlietangoteakettlebarbeque Wed 12-Mar-14 08:55:06

We did this and it worked. If sleeps from 7 to 7 every night except when ill or teething. We started the sleep training when he was 7 months old.

It doesn't work for everyone but please don't think you are doing the wrong thing. Baby is not going to be harmed or have any psychological problems because of this. Baby knows you're there.

Must be awful to not have the support of your husband, when it's such a hard thing to do anyway. But you are doing it for the greater good.

Good luck with it. Hope it works out. X

ThatBloodyWoman Wed 12-Mar-14 09:08:56

I didn't know this was called sleep training, I just did it with my 2 because it sermed to make sense for them and me for them to learn to sleep through/self settle.

Mine were both just under 5 months when I did it.t took about a fortnight which was really tiring and completely took over, but it was so worth it.
I also worked hard on the daytime sleeping routine to help the night time sleeping before I tackled the nights.

If your dh doesn't like it, fine -but tell him he can deal with all the night waking.

My rule was babies never come out of the cot unless ill, and never downstairs unless it's an emergency.....

BUT if they cried in the night I always went to them, so there was no lack of security.I slept on the floor if need be.

SourSweets Wed 12-Mar-14 09:09:53

I'm not getting defensive, I'm trying to explain where my difficulty lies - in that it's only here on MN that people have said it might not be the right thing. I'm not going to change my entire thought process immediately based on the opinions of (sorry if this sounds harsh) strangers. What I am going to do, is thank you for all the links and google suggestions and read through them all when I get chance. I might, based on that, change my mind.

Btw DH is back on side and doesn't want to stop.

worldgonecrazy Wed 12-Mar-14 09:22:47

7 months? No way could I have let mine cry at that young age. I may think you're an evil bitch, but at the end of the day, it's your baby and you have to bring it up the way you think best.

I preferred cosleeping and getting some extra cuddles in to any form of sleep training, and I really needed sleep as I was back at work full time (out of house 6.00 a.m. - 7.00 p.m.) when DD was 13 weeks.

Sleep training might, or might not work. Having said that, there is a reason that we are programmed, as parents, to respond to our baby's cry.

Runandbecome Wed 12-Mar-14 09:26:21

I did sleep training with my DS at a similar age and it was a revelation. It took a few days and then he was sleeping through 7-7 with a dream feed at 10. He had been waking every 45-60 mins - not because he was hungry but because he would come out of a sleep cycle and not know how to get back to sleep without some form of rocking or feeding and it would take up to 45 mins to get him back to sleep. It has made a world of difference to me and to him both at night and for naptimes. Anyone (DH, granny) can put him to bed now anywhere (our house, friends houses). I personally believe it is better to do a short stint of sleep training if you are in this situation because babies need solid sleep to developmentally process everything they are learning every day - and you need sleep to function properly. It may not be for everyone but it worked for us. I'd also agree with posters who said staying in the room might not be helping, though you've done well with it so far so stick with it if you prefer that. Good luck!

MammaGnomes Wed 12-Mar-14 09:30:24

Although I don't totally agree with sleep training CIO or CC my dd is 6 months and dropped her night feed a couple of months ago. some babies are hungry some aren't.
she has tracked her weight beautifully and the HV always comment how well she is growing at weigh in.
OP will know her babies hunger cry. I can tell all my babies different cries.

OP : have you tried keeping the temp up in the room. DD would go down lovely but wake several times once we were in bed. we started leaving the heating on low and she started to go longer without waking. We have had 2 nights of 8-7. I'm not holding out for it again tonight though.

wannaBe Wed 12-Mar-14 09:33:32

I am firmly of the belief that most of the reasons why babies do not sleep are down to the parents. Not because they are doing anything wrong per se but because sleep is such a vital part of our existence (sleep deprivation is, after all, a form of torture) that in those early days when sleep deprivation hits the shock to the system is such that we will do anything to get past it, cuddle the baby/feed to sleep/rock in the buggy/co-sleep/drive up and down the motorway (yes, I know of people who have done this), and before they know it the baby is using this as their means of settling and as soon as you try to change that it distresses the baby, so I am actually of the belief that when people talk of making rods for their own backs there is a lot of merit in that.

And often when people say sleep training doesn't work they tend to try it for a day or two and then give up because of their own personal distress (which is also understandable).

But sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind, and ultimately everyone benefits from more sleep.

Op - you are clearly making progress with this as your ds has gone from waking ten times to twice in a week. The crying is hard - of course it is - but you haven't abandoned him, you are just not cuddling/feeding him to sleep.

Stick with it - you will all benefit in the long term. And ignore those who say he is too young - this is only their personal opinion.

Pollyputhekettleon Wed 12-Mar-14 09:49:12

Sour, you're right, 5-10 wakings a night isn't sustainable. I don't know anyone who could keep that up for long without losing their minds. We did CC with DD at 17 months so it's a bit different because she could speak and understand us and knew where we were and what was going on. But I did almost lose my mind for those 18 months. We did something like you describe at 7 months and it got her waking down to once or twice a night for a bottle. We decided we could live with that so we left it there until she was older.Co-sleeping didn't help except on the worst nights because she was a noisy sleeper with fists and legs going everywhere. You sound like a very caring mum so don't take implied criticisms too much to heart. It's a sensitive topic at the best of times let alone when you're chronically sleep deprived.

Anyway it sounds to me like it's a suck to sleep association your DS has rather than a need for food or comfort exactly. DD was the same. You say you replug the dummy while you're in there and that when he goes on the boob he used to have a few sucks then fall back asleep. I'd guess that what's happening is he's falling asleep either sucking on boob or dummy. That's why the waking is after each sleep cycle of 1hour-1.5 hours - he needs to suck again at that point and once he's awake he finds it hard to get back to sleep. 7/8 months is around when they develop object permanence so he's remembering that he was sucking something when he fell asleep then it's gone when he half-wakes in the night and that freaks him out enough to fully wake him up each time to look for it.

The first crucial thing with suck to sleep associations is that he either goes to sleep without sucking at the start of the night or that he can replug his own dummy throughout the night when he partially wakes. Or else you wean off the dummy completely which it sounds like you don't want to do. We made sure there was a gap between DD's last bottle at night and sleep. we had bottle, then bath, then bed. We also stuck her dummies on a Sleepytot and sewed it to her sleeping bag. Then we taught her to how to find them and replug them for herself during the night. She had a little nightlight on so she could see but could just feel where it was too. That might help you. She managed that at about 6 months after a few weeks of practice with it.

What also made it easier for us and DD was leaving a bottle/sippy cup of water and a snack in her cot at night. Maybe your DS is too young to be able to do that for himself but it reassured us while sleep training and weaning off the bottle that she wasn't hungry/thirsty. We'd just go in and hand them to her at first, then just remind her where they were and after a while she helped herself. We phased the snack out then once she was reliably sleeping through.

You staying in the room rather than doing CCing where you leave and return at intervals does take longer to work and involve more crying because they can see you there so they keep protesting for longer. But at the same time it's easier for a baby that age I think because they know they're not abandoned, they're just not getting what they want from you. So they're frustrated but not scared.
Hope this isn't stuff you've already tried. Good luck!

afrikat Wed 12-Mar-14 09:50:04

Hi you asked for links that may give you more info. I found the following very useful and I like to read it several times a day when I am exhausted from multiple night wake ups / feeds

fideline Wed 12-Mar-14 09:56:12

If your DH can't bear it then he can't bear it.

If someone had forced me to do this with one of my seven month olds against my instinct I would have been more than grumpy.

Your issue isn't whether you are 'right' or whether the baby is well fed enough to sleep through. It's whether you are both, as parents, fully on board and comfortable with sleep training.

TinyTear Wed 12-Mar-14 09:57:49

he is 7 months old, such a small baby. is he teething?

he need comfort, fine. give him the bloody comfort.

My daughter is just over 2yo and sleeps wonderfully all night long without a peep.

And yet I always fed her on demand when she needed when she asked. teething, illnesses, nightmares, she needs comfort, i give her comfort. and yet I did not spoil her or create any rod as she sleeps all night and I never forced any night weaning.

how do you expect the baby to react? Mummy is there, but mummy isn't talking to them or cuddling? no matter how loving during the day the truth is you are abandoning them in the night when they need it most.

There are gorwn up women who post here and other places how they can't sleep when they OH are away... because they don't like being alone... How do you think a BABY feels?

BrunoBrookesDinedAlone Wed 12-Mar-14 09:59:57

You waking that much isn't sustainable, you are right, you will end up ill.

But 7 months is too young.

My first instinct would be for you to sleep in another room for a few nights and let DH get up with him. He wakes and cries - DH picks up, you aren't there for food, but he is fully comforted. He'll cry and cry, but will eventually go back to sleep presumably on your DH's shoulder, then he can be put back down.

Worth a try? - seeing as you're now at the point where you're in the zone with it but haven't cracked it yet?

Plus point also is that you would actually end up sleeping through for one or two nights, which will allow you to feel a bit more normal for a start.

Owllady Wed 12-Mar-14 10:02:28

It depends on what your definition of night is?
And sleeping through?
If it's just a normal expectation of getting 6 hours sleep, then I think most people understand the want it need for that
But if you want 7-7, 12 hours, then imo 7 months is too early

But hey two of mine never slept well!

Pollyputhekettleon Wed 12-Mar-14 10:05:10

Her DH is back on board fideline. It sounds to me like maybe he didn't fully understand what was involved or why they were doing it before they started. The thing about sleep training is that stopping and starting actually makes it harder on the baby in the end. That's something people need to understand before they start. I do think either partner should be allowed to call it off if they discover they really just can't do it but they should fully understand what they're agreeing to first and the consequences of being inconsistent. If her DH didn't understand why she wasn't picking him up, or the difference between leaving the room and staying and comforting then he really didn't understand sleep training. Hopefully he does now.

Floggingmolly Wed 12-Mar-14 10:05:32

7 months is far too young for sleep training.

Cardilover Wed 12-Mar-14 10:05:55

My experience of sleep training my DD - as that's what you've asked for! We did disappearing chair/gradual retreat (whatever you want to call it) at about 8 months. She was waking 4 or 5 times a night and wasn't a happy baby in the day cos she was so tired. We were on our knees and I didn't sleep well when we co-slept.

Within a week she was sleeping better and within a fortnight sleeping through. When that happened she was happier during the days and napped better during the day too. I felt like I'd learnt to interpret her cries better too.

I'm not evangelical about sleep training but I know it was right for us. She was much happier and we just couldn't have continued on that little sleep.

Hope you find the right way for you too OP

SourSweets Wed 12-Mar-14 10:12:52

Thanks Afrikat. I've read the link, the thing is I'm not expecting my baby to do "all the accommodating" I was happy with him waking 3 times in the night, but more than that is too difficult for me to sustain and still be an enthusiastic, attentive parent during the day.

Yes Polly I do think the dummy is part of the problem. Both DH and I want to wean him off the dummy, but it seems like an impossible task at the moment. I don't know what I should do first, get him off the dummy or get him used to not bring lifted out of his cot a million times a night. I probably should do both, but taking two comforts away at once is just more than I can bear for him.

And yes, the room is warm, stays warm all night. We tried co sleeping. We tried swaddling, we tried dream feeds, we tried just getting on with it and waking with him as often as needed. (That resulted in me passing out during the day through sleep deprivation) this is our last resort.

Pollyputhekettleon Wed 12-Mar-14 10:14:15

She is comforting him. She's holding hands, stroking etc. BFing isn't the only form of comfort! It might be DS's ideal form right now but OP needs to balance that with her need to stay sane. Babies can be and are comforted perfectly well in lots of other ways. Though OP talking might help. We used to repeat something like 'it's ok DD it's sleepy time' in a boring sleepy voice. Hearing your voice can help calm him enough to get to sleep and it's easy to phase it out slowly once he can comfort himself better. It's not stimulating for them if it's the same phrase repeated in a calming boring tone.

SourSweets Wed 12-Mar-14 10:19:28

Sorry, only just seen the other replies.

No, I'm not expecting 12 hours. I feed him when I come to bed at 11ish, and he is up for the day at 7, so that's 8 hours. I would also be happy to wake with him once or twice in between those times, just not every hour.

A lot if you are saying 7 months is too young. Fine, I'm happy to take that into consideration, but what I don't understand is where you are getting this information from? Everything I've read says between 4 and 6 months is old enough to start training. My baby wasn't ready then as he still was hungry, I could tell that. He's not anymore though which is why we started.

My husband is on board and fully understands why we're doing it and how. He was struggling last night but says he wants to continue this morning.

Maybe I do need to rethink staying in the room. I thought I was being kinder but maybe not.

Pollyputhekettleon Wed 12-Mar-14 10:20:52

You don't need to wean him off the dummy right now if it's too much. If you teach him to replug it himself then he can comfort himself in his cot making it easier for him to stay there.

worldgonecrazy Wed 12-Mar-14 10:30:36

I got my information from my baby? Where else would you get it from? A bunch of strangers who don't know you or your baby?

There are a million books on child rearing, all with differing opinions. At the end of the day the author is only giving their opinion, like others on here. I think 7 months is too young for sleep training.*

*I "trained" my daughter to sleep by laying next to her and closing my eyes. Babies copy adults so this method made sense to me. We are blessed with a good sleeper who now, at the age of 4, understands the meaning of the term "weekend lie-in".

AlmondFrangipani Wed 12-Mar-14 10:38:16

Keep going, you've done most of the hard work! We just went through a sleep training programme with Andrea Grace after our 6 month old woke every 1.5 hours since birth. We stopped feeding him in the night and did a week of controlled crying (her method is to go in every 2 mins, reassure, pick up if you want but categorically don't feed). It took 4 nights of 'protest' cries (longest was 1 hours 10 mins) then click he got it! He now consistently sleeps 7pm - 6am!! We are new people!

It is tough but I totally feel we needed to go it and out little boy is much more settled in the day and contented. Just keeping talking to your DH. Mine was similar but we wanted to same thing at the end of the day and got there. Good luck!

SourSweets Wed 12-Mar-14 10:42:03

Exactly world, I get my information from my baby too which is how I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that he doesn't need feeding. I back up this information with articles online and in books and from HCP who say physiologically he is able to go 8 hours without a feed.

He would sleep all night if I stood up and rocked him all night. I can't physically do this.

Thank you Polly, I AM still comforting him. I haven't abandoned him. And of course if he is ill or teething then this all goes out of the window and I pick him up. But he isn't at the moment.

AlmondFrangipani Wed 12-Mar-14 10:43:14

Oh and about the dummy thing we had the same. In the end a friend recommended one of these SleepyTot Large Bunny-Cream by Sleepytot

It's been a lifesaver!! He can find it himself so we're not going in all the time. I have reduced his dummy time to only naps now and will probably wean him off it slowly around a year.

Gen35 Wed 12-Mar-14 10:45:04

We sleep trained dd, we couldn't function without sleep. I was the wobbly one but nothing else except CIO worked. After 5 days you'll cause more problems if you stop than keep going. Then don't mention it to ppl as we even now get nasty comments. I'm sorry, I'm not tough enough to live with lr broken sleep...

CuntyBunty Wed 12-Mar-14 10:48:34

What struck me most in one of your posts was this: i can't keep doing it. I can't keep getting up 5-10 times a night.
No, you can't. I had this and I was crazed a suicidal. I remember sitting outside in the garden with a knife in the cold, believing it would be south easier to kill myself, that I could get a rest that way. Don't underestimate what torture sleep deprivation is and how harmful it can be.
If I had my time again, I would have co-slept with DS2, but at the time, DH didn't want to, and because of stupidity on my part, I went along with it.

throckenholt Wed 12-Mar-14 10:50:29

Maybe time to step away from the thread. Make your own decision. Sleep is an important part of being a good parent - if you aren't getting enough to function then you have to change that.

Do what works for you and ignore everyone else that isn't in your situation.

Good luck - I hope you sort something out soon - sleep deprivation is one of the worst aspects of little children (IME).

AmysTiara Wed 12-Mar-14 10:51:19

seven months old is too young for sleep training imo. He cried for an hour, no way could i have not picked him up, i totally see where your DH is coming from im afraid

Pollyputhekettleon Wed 12-Mar-14 10:55:27

world oh yes that method made sense to me too. Unfortunately it did not make sense to DD or to most other non-sleeping babies. She couldn't have given a * how long I pretended to be asleep next to her for. She does her own thing, always has.

SourSweets Wed 12-Mar-14 11:03:46

That was misleading, I'm sorry. He didn't cry for a full hour, he was awake for an hour and alternating between silence, grizzling and full blown crying. It was still very very hard.

DH has just sent me a very supportive email from work saying that we've had him for 221 nights. He's only cried on 2 of the 5 nights of sleep training, every other time for 219 nights I've immediately taken him into my arms when he's made a sound. I'm not a bad mother for those 2 nights.

I do think he's old enough. I know my baby. I am doing this with good intentions for all of us, it's hard and I don't blame anyone for not doing it, but I don't feel I should be judged for choosing to try.

Cunty, I'm so sorry you had such an awful time. It was feelings like these that have brought me to where I am now. I never in a million years thought id be doing it, but here I am.

Gen, my worry is that if I stop it'll be worse in the long run. The NHS advice I was personally given said that it takes 6 nights. Tonight is the 6th, so I'm going to see how tonight is and take it from there.

SourSweets Wed 12-Mar-14 11:05:34

Polly I'm so glad you're returning to this thread, thank you. thanks

kalidasa Wed 12-Mar-14 11:06:07

soursweets I really feel for you, it is ghastly, and so hard to think sensibly about it when you are just so desperate. Maybe try and split the problem up into its parts and then work out what to tackle first? As far as I can see you've got: a) still feeding at night, b) waking lots even when not for a feed, c) will only be settled by you not DH, d) insists on being picked up and won't be soothed in cot, e) reliant on dummy. I think you're right that you can't deal with all of those at once. I think if you are removing night feeds you should keep the dummy for comfort for now. Personally I would focus on c) - to share the load - and d) as a first step towards self-settling, but it probably doesn't matter as long as you start somewhere.

Gen35 Wed 12-Mar-14 11:10:59

I really agree, if you get to the second week and he's crying for long stretches every night, then it's time to re-strategise. Tell your DH that I also felt sick and awful but my DH insisted as nothing else had worked and we were knackered and it really turned parenthood around for us when she started sleeping well around 8 mos. the critics can't live your life for you. The key for me was dd was so much happier when she didn't wake in the night, the next day her behaviour was much better too for not being tired. Still true for her at 3.5, bad night means bad behaviour in the day for us.

CPtart Wed 12-Mar-14 11:16:28

I sleep trained my DC in the way you are doing (even younger) and neither needed feeding in the night by seven months. Never co- slept either. Encouraged reliance on teddies and blankets for comfort.
If DH is so against your methods let him do it his own way and you stay tucked up in bed every night.

SourSweets Wed 12-Mar-14 11:26:44

Kalidasa, that looks like a lot of problems when you lost them like that!

We've sorted b. he only wakes twice in the night now. On night 2 and 3 he woke twice, we dummies him and he went straight back to sleep. On night 4 he woke once and didn't even need the dummy. On nights 1 and 5 he woke twice crying and took a long time to be settled.

DH can settle him if he's in a good mood, but if he's overtired or worked up or ill then he only wants me. I'm fine with that actually.

The dummy thing is a definite problem. Feeding at night I think we have under control as like I say, he doesn't actually feed anyway, just suckles for a bit. Settling in the cot is our main problem. That's why I'm reluctant to take him out of the cot because he'll never learn to settle that way. When he eventually falls to sleep it's with me stroking his forehead, dummy in mouth, firmly tucked in the blanket. I just need to get the length of awake time down.

SourSweets Wed 12-Mar-14 11:28:17

Sorry for typos. He's napping in my arms now. I usually out him back in the cot to nap to increase the sleep association but I just needed to hold him after last night.

kalidasa Wed 12-Mar-14 11:52:02

OK, well that does sound like progress really, it's just so hard to focus on the positive after a terrible night! I think you're right to zoom in on the settling-in-the-cot element - we did whatever he needed to start with as long as he stayed in the cot - stroked, dummied, etc. We have also always used "Ewan the Dream Sheep" which is definitely a sleep cue for him. Then once he was settling reasonably well in the cot with intervention, we gradually limited the intervention. Now he goes to sleep reasonably quickly (within half an hour and sometimes a lot faster) with one of us in the room but without any singing/stroking etc, we just sit there in the dark and say "time to go to sleep" over and over! We haven't really gone beyond that point because we both work and actually value a bit of time with him at bedtime, so we don't really mind that we can't just put him to sleep and walk out.

kalidasa Wed 12-Mar-14 11:53:16

I'm assuming you already have a good bedtime routine etc? That does seem to make a difference even early on. To be honest I think it helps you as much as them as you can tick off the stages to the finish line!

SourSweets Wed 12-Mar-14 11:59:16

It sounds like you did pretty much exactly what we're doing. I'm also hoping to eventually just sit in the room with him. We do have a bedtime routine, have done since he was about 2 or 3 months old. It works really really well and he goes to sleep with no problems. It's just getting him to stay asleep. Or even if he wakes to go back to sleep quickly.

It's good it hear it is working for you.

kalidasa Wed 12-Mar-14 13:16:59

Yes the earlier stage was a bit easier for us because actually he had never got used to being lifted up (except for feeds) - we hadn't got into a pattern of him falling asleep in our arms.

I have to say it hasn't completely solved our nightwaking issues though he has improved very slowly since we started in about November. For him it just seems to be a 'weak link' and the first thing to go when there's any other stress. But lots of friends did the same thing and have had very reliably good nights ever since.

merrymouse Wed 12-Mar-14 13:25:51

I don't think a 7 month old baby is waking on the hour to be fed - a baby that was hungry might wake at 4 having been fed at 11 and then go back to sleep, but this doesn't seem to be what is happening here.

Having read your further posts I think you just need to stick with it.

merrymouse Wed 12-Mar-14 13:28:40

Also, sometimes when you are trying to teach a child (or an adult) a new behaviour, there can be a last ditch attempt to stick to the old behaviour before they accept the new way of doing things.

merrymouse Wed 12-Mar-14 13:32:00

(Not in a manipulative way, just an instinctive increase in attempts to keep the old way of doing things before the new habit is formed.)

MigGril Wed 12-Mar-14 13:58:42

You do realize though that he doesn't understand that he can't have the same comfort at night as he get's from you during the day.

What you are actually training him to do is realize that he can't have that comfort at night.

I had a terrible time with my first we may have only had one or two wakings a night but she just wouldn't sealt on her own, she'd be awake for hours at a time it is touchier. We did do gradual retreat eventually at 18 months but it never stopped her waking at night. I just wish we had co-slept as that is what we did with DS I think he probably woke up the same but I felt much more rested. Guess what they both finally slept through on there own at 2 1/2 years (a lot younger then some of my friends who didn't co-sleep I may add). I think nothing I did made any differences at all, they needed me at night until that age and still do now if ill or having bad dreams.
Sleep I don't think is anything you can train, you can help improve his sleep so he wake's less but if he still needs you he still needs you and will still wake. It really does seem to be more of a personality thing, you can do lots of things to help but if they still wake they still wake I don't think you can stop it totally unless they are ready.

merrymouse Wed 12-Mar-14 14:14:15

"What you are actually training him to do is realize that he can't have that comfort at night."

I think that if the comfort he wants is mummy coming to him every hour, and that means mummy can't function during the day (can't safely drive a car, is grumpy and unresponsive, can't hold down the job that clothes and feeds him) he is right.

I agree that individual sleep habits are affected by biology and personality, but, assuming no other health issues, a once an hour waking habit can be changed with gentle sleep training.

Sleepyfergus Wed 12-Mar-14 17:29:50

OP, take a read of this thread. I posted on it when I was doing Super Nannys controlled crying. A few if us were doing it and compared notes. Good luck.

Babieseverywhere Wed 12-Mar-14 17:37:06

I find to difficult to believe that a young baby under a year in age, has any understanding as to how and why they have attention from their loving parents during the day and at night the same loving parents (for sleep training purposes) choose not to give attention. It must be very confusing for the baby.

Babies don't have any manipulation skills at such a young age, their needs and wants are so entwined.

I had to co sleep with my children, as night time parenting was so easy that way and I wanted my baby to receive the attention he/she needs as and when, not by the clock.

There are so many easier ways to get a child to sleep, that don't require any crying, why take the difficult route. It sounds upsetting all around.

What would happen if you popped baby on the sofa to sleep near you in the evening or in a sling until you go to bed and have them in your bed or a cot in your room. Babies just need to know you are nearby and are looking out for them.

Once they get to 16/18 months they are reaching out in the world and will want to leave your side and won't need the same amount of night time parenting.

Sleepyfergus Wed 12-Mar-14 19:01:12

I think for a lot of folk they might have tried a lot of other options then resort to controlled crying. For some parents, co sleeping just isn't an option. I did it, and yes it was lovely, but as my dd got bigger and DH got less sleep (a resorted to sofa) we needed it to end before she became too dependant on us. We were lucky that CC worked very quickly for us, and my then 8.5mo has developed into a great sleeper, a great napper and a very happy, contented little girl. There are no signs that she is irrevocably scarred from the 3-4 nights of CC, more so she is a happy girl who sleeps well and has plenty of energy during the day.

Each to their own, and it is an interesting debate and for every piece of well intentioned advice there will always be people who ardently disagree.

OP, do whatever feels right for you!

FairyPenguin Wed 12-Mar-14 19:20:54

Sounds like you are doing really well, and really nearly there.

One thing we did was buy a comforter and give it to him every time he slept. He didn't have a dummy so it was something he loved but only ever had at bedtime and nap times. He would stroke it, suck an ear or corner, and that would help him go back to sleep. Also, when we gave it to him, he would know it was time to go to sleep. Even now, he still has his comforter for sleep time, but he tells us he doesn't need him.

One tip though - buy two identical ones! We rotate them every week, so can be washed and also in case of sickness or losing it.

Just something that worked for us, anyway. Good luck for tonight.

Babieseverywhere Wed 12-Mar-14 19:33:00

It is interesting that I read a lot about co-sleeping and at the other end of the scale CC sleep training. But there is a whole array of other possibilities in between and they are seldom mentioned.

Going with flow and meeting your baby needs is possible without co-sleeping and it is much easier on mother and baby than traditional sleep training.

I am surprised more people don't follow their own instincts, instead of parenting books and gurus, who have no idea what our children need.

Of course if you feel that listening to your child cry during sleep training, is the right for your family, go for it. But to do it because strangers online or in books think that is the right thing to do, sounds crazy to me.

SourSweets Wed 12-Mar-14 19:53:34

Babies, FFS where have I said I'm only doing it because of books or strangers on the internet? RTFT.

Fairy, thank you. He does have a comforter which helps, I'm hoping that will come in to greater use still when we wean him off the dummy eventually.

Thank you sleepy, glad it worked for you and I'll read your thread when I can.

Signing off for the night now as I don't want to get all worked up.

Sleepyfergus Wed 12-Mar-14 20:00:03

I think most on here aren't saying it's the absolute right thing to do per se, rather that they did it, and it worked (or not) for them and providing some background as to how they got to that scenario. And I think for many, it is the last resort.

And I guess you could say we're lucky to have lots of resources out there to help us, but there's prob too much and it gets confusing! Hence why folk come on here to canvas opinion.

Babieseverywhere Wed 12-Mar-14 20:00:32

I mentioned other possibilities, as you didn't seem happy with your current path. But of course you are the parent and know your own child best.

Best of luck with everything, I hope you all get a good night sleep tonight.

SourSweets Thu 13-Mar-14 07:54:05

Thanks, last night was better. Firstly DH came home, took one look at me and told me to sleep upstairs while he slept downstairs with the baby, so that really helped.

DC woke 5 or 6 times apparently but no crying. He wasn't fed, wasn't picked up and no fuss. But he did need the dummy. So small progress I suppose.

Today I'm going to start weaning him off the dummy during the day time naps, once we can get him off the dummy at night I think it'll be much better.

Thank you again for all support, advice and alternative suggestions.

Pollyputhekettleon Thu 13-Mar-14 10:00:27

babies They are getting attention at night. Giving them no attention no matter what is CIO. That's not what OP is doing or what most people do. They're just restricting the amount and type of attention the baby gets.Yes that is confusing for the baby for a while but there are worse things than having a temporarily confused baby. A chronically sleep-deprived one with parents who are losing the plot and having relationship problems because of it (not saying you are OP but most people in this situation do tbh) is a lot worse for them.

The reason people take the 'difficult' route of CCing or gradual retreat or whatever is because the 'easier' methods don't actually work all the time for all babies or families. You know that surely?

DD went to sleep no problem in the evening so popping her on the sofa near me would not have helped in any way. She did not want to sleep in the sling. She was quite happy in her cot, she just woke up all night long. She woke up just as often whether she was in her cot, in our bed or with her cot in our room because her waking had nothing to do with wanting to know we were nearby except insofar as we were her bottle-bringers, dummy-repluggers etc. She wanted her bottle and once she got used to helping herself to water instead she stopped waking us up. Not because she coincidentally developmentally matured and stopped needing the pleasure of our company several times a night.

I know that lots of parenting books say that's what they need but babies don't read the books do they?! She also didn't much enjoy being held or cuddled, gazing into my eyes, facing inwards in the sling, studying my face or lots of other things that the books say they do. She's a totally normal, loving, sometimes cuddly, sociable almost 2 year old now. She's just extremely independent. And not all 2/3/4+ year olds grow out of night waking either as is obvious from these boards. Not even those who've coslept and bf on demand from birth. Because there's a lot more to sleep problems than 'be there for them all night long until they grow out of it'. If only it were that simple.

Pollyputhekettleon Thu 13-Mar-14 10:29:46

And babies instincts aren't all they're cracked up to be. When we think we're following our instincts what we're actually usually doing is following a collection of ideas that we've been absorbing from our culture and the people around us since we were born. The very phrase 'night time parenting' was popularised by Sears and carries the associations of his school of parenting advice.

Our instincts aren't accessible to us independently of our language and our reason so appealing to them as though there were some kind of dichotomy between them makes no sense. It's a common false dichotomy in our society because of a dispute between 19th century philosophers, that's all. Appeals to instinct as superior to reason (in the form of expert advice/books) are as unhelpful as appeals to reason as superior to instinct.

The reason I'm saying it here is that our society praises parents (mothers particularly) who follow their instincts. 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. Therefore when people claim that they follow their instincts while another mother instead follows expert advice it's a way of claiming superiority as a woman and a mother. It's particularly pernicious because people often find it hard to even articulate why it upsets and offends them because the underlying assumptions run so deep in our culture. But it's a belief system that ultimately damages everyone.

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.

worldgonecrazy Thu 13-Mar-14 15:58:38

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
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.

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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