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to think that parents contribute to the sleep issues?

(398 Posts)
ChocolateBiscuitCake Wed 12-Oct-11 14:22:19

Disclaimer: I have two DC who have not always been brilliant sleepers and go through patches of wakefullness at night/early in the morning (!) but...

I have been reading some of the sleep threads and am really surprised by the number of people who have older babies or toddlers who sleep SO badly whilst claiming that they don't know how to improve the situation and won't do any form of CC.

From my experiences, babies have to learn how to sleep well and they do this by you setting up routines and helping them along the way. If you feed your 12 month old milk in the middle of the night, they will keep waking for milk in the night. If you bring them into your bed, they will want to be in your bed. If you have to lie down and hold their hand, they will expect you to be there holding their hand if they wake up.

Nothing changes overnight and teaching your baby/child to sleep well takes patience and consistency. But leaving a baby to cry for 5 minutes is not going to hurt it and ignoring a toddler whilst you drag them back to bed and not give into their ridiculous demands is not difficult. We are the adults!

AIBU to think that some parents need to be a bit tougher rather than find some miracle cure for poor sleep habits?

Sirzy Wed 12-Oct-11 14:24:04

All easy to say but much harder to actually implement!!

sparkle12mar08 Wed 12-Oct-11 14:25:24

YANBU, but it is incredibly hard to actually do for some parents.

ChocolateBiscuitCake Wed 12-Oct-11 14:26:01

But that is my point - as the adult, if you want your child to sleep well, you need to find the balls to implement it! And I say that as a mum who has not been given easy babies (both reflux so both difficult at night).

BatsUpMeNightie Wed 12-Oct-11 14:26:42

YANBU but you're going to have the acronymers all over you like a bloody rash. Hope you're ready!

AMumInScotland Wed 12-Oct-11 14:27:43

The thing is, when you're sleep-deprived, even if you know what you ought to do, you may not feel in any position to do it. Getting through the day (and the night) can feel like enough of a challenge without finding the extra reserves to face making it worse in the short term, even if you believe it might be the better thing to do for the longterm gain.

Groovee Wed 12-Oct-11 14:28:14

If I left ds to cry he threw up which made more work. He finally learned to sleep at 3 and a half and I worked out the problem. We'd had to waken him to get up in the mornings, but in the easter holidays he slept through 13 hours after constant wakings. What a difference.

He was a shock from dd who went 12 hours a night at 16 weeks.

Ragwort Wed 12-Oct-11 14:29:46

I totally agree with you but after 10 years on Mumsnet I have learned to keep quiet about sleeping issues grin - it constantly amazes me why people just don't put their baby in its cot and leave it to sleep - babies need to learn to get to sleep on their own, without being rocked/cuddled/checked every five seconds/whatever. When I bought my DS home from hospital I never even thought about letting him fall asleep (at nighttime) in the sitting room - he was put in our his own room from Day 1 at 7pm. Lights off and door closed !

<leaves thread before flaming starts>

mustdache Wed 12-Oct-11 14:30:03

what do you consider a 'ridiculous demand', OP?

berating parents as weak for not having the same values as you is a bit low IMO

ChocolateBiscuitCake Wed 12-Oct-11 14:30:53

I am ready Bats!

MsScarlettInTheLibrary Wed 12-Oct-11 14:31:52

It is not a battle. Babies can sleep well and still wake for things they need. It is not in the least unreasonable for a 12m baby to wake for milk, nor for company. It is not a choice between leaving a baby to cry on their own for 5 minute or 10 minute or however many minutes and being rested. There are far too many ideas, reasons, techniques, arrangements and personalities for that.

YABU and pretty black and white. It is not unreasonable to suggest that a family situation or dealings with children may affect their sleep, but I don't think you're saying that, I think you're bordering on suggesting that if you're not prepared to leave your baby to cry, refuse it milk or company in the night, then you somehow lose the right to complain about being tired or to ask for advice about how to help your child to sleep.

MrsRobertDuvall Wed 12-Oct-11 14:32:32

Are you ready for the onslaught, OP? wink
When dd was about 2 she started coming down after being put to bed, and I have to say I just shut her in her room. After 2 evenings of crying, she never got up again. It worked, and doesn't seem to have scarred her for life.
I couldn't bear to have my evenings interrupted after having a full on day with a toddler. But then I am hard like that smile

BertieBotts Wed 12-Oct-11 14:32:53

YABU - I think cultural expectations make many parents think their DCs have sleep issues when they actually don't. It's physiologically normal for babies and young children to want contact with a human being during the night. It's physiologically normal for them to wake in the night. They grow out of it when they are ready. It doesn't mean they have "sleep issues" just because other babies have been "trained" into sleeping more at the same age.

TheBestWitch Wed 12-Oct-11 14:33:17

I wouldn't leave a young baby to cry but I agree that if a parent lets an older child keep getting back up after lights out for endless snacks/drinks or whatever other reason they can find. Or gets up for the day when they wake up at 4 am rather than sending them back to bed then they can't really complain about not getting much sleep!

Abra1d Wed 12-Oct-11 14:33:50

I think you have a point, OP.

CaptainNancy Wed 12-Oct-11 14:33:51

Of course- being tougher on a child with ASD will definitely help them to sleep. hmm

I have 2 children, raised exactly the same way- one sleeps, one doesn't (also one eats everything, one eats virtually nothing).

Sometimes children just don't sleep.

JoandMax Wed 12-Oct-11 14:34:09

Certainly we create bad habits (when you're desperate and just want them to sleep!!) but some of us want gentle ways to undo them, most HVs and friends just shout CC at you but for me it's not an option I'm happy to try.

You may feel CC teaches a child to self settle, I think it teaches them not to bother crying for comfort.......

My youngest DC has many health problems and has been through more discomfort and invasive procedures than many adults - if he wants me to cuddle him to sleep, come in our bed, have milk at 2am than I'll do it! I am happy to let him work it out in his own time

TheTenantOfWildfellHall Wed 12-Oct-11 14:34:25


Mine were both in SCBU for the first 2 weeks so their "I go to sleep when the lights go down and everyone behaves like it's night time" routine sorted before they even came home.

No fussing, no faffing, just blissful, peaceful, uninterrupted nights' sleep. If they fell asleep before getting to bed that was one thing, but I have never rocked/cuddled/checked every 5 seconds either and I have 2 excellent sleepers.

A friend of mine has twins, 2 PFBs! Their parents sit in their room with them every night until they fall asleep. Just in case. The girls are now 5 and this has happened every night since they were born. No wonder they can't settle on their own. hmm

Sidge Wed 12-Oct-11 14:34:26

Not always anything to do with parenting though and much to do with the child.

My DD1 was a great sleeper (as is DD2 who wakes for different reasons) and I'm a big fan of routines so they had a good solid bedtime routine. DD1 rarely woke at night and if she did it was for a good reason which I dealt with.

Then came DD3 who despite being treated exactly like the other two girls didn't sleep a full night until she was 2. hmm A sparrow's fart would wake her and she never slept well. She sleeps like a log now, aged 5, and I often have to wake her for school. As far as I can see I did nothing differently with her yet she was poles apart from her sisters in how well she slept.

Grumpla Wed 12-Oct-11 14:34:32

Whoop de do for you, OP.

What exactly is the purpose of your thread? Don't you think that people posting on here for help with their sleepless babies are probably having a pretty shit time already, may well already have tried many of the techniques you mentioned, and are just going to feel like even more of a failure having read your post?

All babies are different. All parents are different. Personally I find controlled crying abhorrent - but I can understand entirely why some people might, in desperation, resort to it and I wouldn't castigate their parenting as a result! If you have a sleepless baby and are knackered as a result, and you STILL have the patience to hold them, to respond to their fears with reassurance and to be there whilst they work out their own sleep patterns, I think that you are doing pretty damned well as a parent.

It's not a lack of balls to put your child first. Nor is it always possible. Most parents do the best they can, most babies work out how to sleep in their own sweet time. It's not easy for anyone whilst that process is going on, and I think that the "rod for your own back" style of bitchiness judging is spectacularly unhelpful.

ChocolateBiscuitCake Wed 12-Oct-11 14:35:08

Mustdache - ridiculous demands (from my DS, for example) - that the teddies need to move to a different place in the room, he needs a poo (realised after watching him trying to force one out on cue that he was taking me for a ride), that he needs to know what I am having for supper...basically anything which means he can avoid the inevitability of bedtime and sleep.

I am not berating, just stating that if you want to break the habits, you have to be tougher and take charge of your children. Read the sleep threads to see how many toddlers have their parents wrapped around their little fingers.

naturalbaby Wed 12-Oct-11 14:35:59

I am in that position. I know what i need to do but i know it will get much, much worse before it gets better. It's bad enough as it is, i've been on the verge of posting on the sleep board several times.
the only way i got ds1 sorted was telling the hv i couldn't do it so she did a home visit and sorted us out in 3-4weeks.

i spend hours every day getting my kids to sleep then wondering when to get them up. i spend hours every day obsessing about how much sleep they've had, when to put them to bed, when to get them up, is it too much, too little, early bedtime, later bedtime, stuff the routin, stick to the book???????

maybe they know deep down, they just want a few sympathetic responses from other sleep deprived parents?

TheTenantOfWildfellHall Wed 12-Oct-11 14:36:30

Not sure where the OP said parents of children with ASD should be tough on them confused

DeWe Wed 12-Oct-11 14:38:01

DD1 slept brilliantly. 8 weeks old, 12 hours at night never woke. Dd2 didn't, but if I left her she woke dd1 up which wasn't helpful to either of them
Ds didn't sleep because he either had an ear infection or tummy ache from the antibiotics, until he had grommets when he then slept. How do you suggest I stopped that one?

TheTenantOfWildfellHall Wed 12-Oct-11 14:38:06

Does every thread really need a "unless there are SN or other health needs" disclaimer?

Of course there are exceptions to every rule, but surely we all understand that.

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