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To think wanting DC to sleep through the night isn't stupid?

(19 Posts)
EricNorthmansFangBanger Wed 07-Nov-12 12:04:15

DD2 is currently 16 months old. Generally, she doesn't sleep through the night and wakes at least once. This can be for a varied length of time.

DH & I have done a one night on, one night off system so that one of us at least gets some sleep. The problem we have is that, we don't know how to get her to sleep through. For a long time, DH has taken her downstairs and put her in the car seat/bouncer. I am also guilty of having done this and it means that it's sleep on the couch time. At various times I've brought up that really, we shouldn't be doing this and we should be trying to get her to settle back in her own cot. DH has agreed, but when I've tried to start some form of consistancy, he generally hasn't stuck to it.

Last night, I informed him that if she woke up during the night that I would be trying to settle her in her own cot. He said ok and went to sleep. This was at 00.45am and I spent the next 45 minutes tossing and turning to get to sleep (the joys of pregnancy!). At 1.30am DD2 starts crying, I got her some milk and put it in with her. She cried at first but then drank the milk. She cried sporadically over the next 2 hours and then went to sleep. Sometimes there was a good 30 mins before a short cry, so she wasn't really crying a lot. After that it took me a while to fall asleep, but I got to sleep by 4.30am. During this time DH grumbled once at some point at me not long after she'd woken up but was asleep for the majority of the time.

DD2 woke up at 7.05 and I brought her into bed for a few minutes whilst the house warmed up. She started tapping DH and he turned over, glared at me and grumbled about hardly sleeping and that it was stupid trying to make her sleep in her cot hmm. He went downstairs and lay on the couch with a pillow and I cover. I woke DD1 up and brought them both downstairs. He proceeded to grumble about not getting a full nights sleep and about having to do the school run for DD1. He left in a bad mood and I got DD2 and myself ready and did the nursery run.

AIBU to think that it isn't stupid to be trying to get DD2 to settle in her own cot? I know it's hard as we've tried lots of different things but she wakes up wanting milk usually. She has whole milk in a beaker and usually won't settle again without it. I don't know how to drop this milk as she's drinking it all so I'm thinking she needs it? She does settle a lot quicker downstairs if she's taken down but I don't want to be doing that anymore. I could deal with it if she woke up at 5am and get up with her but it's the fact she wakes up usually anywhere between 1 - 4!

Tonight is DH's 'night' and I'm hoping he sticks to what I did last night, which was to go in periodically to check she was ok if she was crying or if I heard her throwing her dummy out the cot. I don't want him to just take her downstairs after 10 minutes so he can settle her quicker and go back to sleep quicker. I'm so shattered myself but I'm prepared to take over tonight just incase.

Sorry this is so long but I'm at the end of my tether. I'm always tired and sleeping can be a nightmare for me anyway, as it always is when I'm pregnant. DC3 is due in February and I want to teach DD2 that she needs to sleep in her own cot and settle back to sleep herself if she does wake in the night, all before baby arrives. I'm currently in my final year at Uni and DH is looking for a job. I'm really struggling at the moment so would just like everything to be less stressy. Any tips on the sleeping front for DD2 would be gratefully received brew

addictedtolatte Wed 07-Nov-12 12:10:57

no good advice sorry as am in same situation with 16 month old dd she wakes 4 times a night so i know how you feel. virtual hug from me you poor thing.

katiecubs Wed 07-Nov-12 12:29:49

YANBU - she really doesn't need milk in the night at her age and I think you need to drop that feed. Just go cold turkey and stick to your guns!

redskyatnight Wed 07-Nov-12 12:40:04

Of course it's not stupid to want her to sleep in her own cot. But you both need to agree how you're going to address her sleeping and stick to the plan (and the first night would likely have been the worst). Too late now, but maybe starting on a Friday night with no work/school to get up for might have been better?

Also agree DD does not need milk at night - you're just giving her something to wake for.

valiumredhead Wed 07-Nov-12 12:42:45

I'd cut out the milk in the night and offer water only. Funnily enough when we did this ds turned into the world's best sleeper!

FutureNannyOgg Wed 07-Nov-12 12:43:29

I think taking her downstairs or playing with her in the middle of the night is sending the wrong messages, nighttime is for bed, no exceptions.
We co-slept at this age, and a night waking usually meant cuddling him in bed, or one of us taking him into the spare room so the other could at least get a rest. At 16mo we night weaned him though, and once he stopped having milk, he stopped waking. I would try giving her water instead of milk. You don't have to leave her alone if that bothers him, he can sit by the cot and stroke her back, or set up a campbed by her cot and sleep next to her, but I would definitely say no getting up.

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Wed 07-Nov-12 12:44:23

I expect the night feed is just habit more than anything else she really shouldn't need it. At 16 months it really us time for her to learn to settle in her own cot and whereas it may seem quicker and easier and therefore better to take her downstairs and use bouncer / carseat etc it dies t help her learn to sleep in her cot.

My personal choice here would be controlled crying. But there r other ways like the pick up/ put down method / ssshhh pat etc do I guess it is a case of pick one and stick to it. But your dh does need to be a bit more supportive and realize yes it's gonna be tough but can be solved in a few days if ur strict and the long term benefit out weighs short term tiredness.

I'm sure having had two already that u have already thought of putting her in next size nappy or changing her when u go to bed so she feels dryer and maybe introducing a small supper to make sure she's not gonna wake hungry/ thirsty.

I hope u get it Worked out op dd2 wasn't the best sleeper either she still does wake early sometimes. Controlled crying worked best for us but I do understand its not everyone's ideal solution smile

EricNorthmansFangBanger Wed 07-Nov-12 12:53:23

addicted - brew brew brew and virtual hug to you too. Sleep deprevation is awful.

katie - I will try and encourage no more milk through the night, thank you smile

sweetkitty Wed 07-Nov-12 13:01:08

Bit of toast or cereal before bed and her milk then. As everyone else has said taking her out her cot for playtime is the totally wrong thing to do.

With my last 3, we went into their room on waking and just lay with them (bed on the floor), not interacting but enough to know we are there, if they were screaming just lying them back down patting their back.

Actually DH did all of this, I was BFing and they were waking for milk, once they realised there was none they stopped waking, took 2-3 nights.

You have to make it so there is nothing to wake for, no milk, no getting taken out or downstairs.

Stay strong the first few nights and it will work. I personally don't agree with CC but know loads of people it's worked for.

ChippingInLovesAutumn Wed 07-Nov-12 13:02:49

She doesn't need milk in the night.

She is currently getting 'rewarded' for waking in the night.

DH needs to wake up to the fact that very soon there will be another baby in the house, one that will need milk, cuddles etc in the night. Having one up is more than enough. Two is hell. Either he takes DD2 everynight and DC3 every other night as well or he gets on board sharpish with getting DD2 sleeping through the night.

You just need to be firm with her. No eye contact, no milk, no cuddles, no going downstairs, no playing. You say 'It's sleep time DD2, lie down and sleep' the first time, after that you just lay her down. It might seem 'harsh' but if you are consistent and firm it's short lived and everyone gets a decent nights sleep.

Don't take over - get DH on board. You are pregnant, she is also his child. Don't let him walk away from the hard parts.

EricNorthmansFangBanger Wed 07-Nov-12 13:09:18

Cross posted with a few of you there, sorry! That's what I get for going to do something and finishing what I was typing and pressing post before refreshing the thread! blush

Thank you all. Dropping the milk definitely seems to be the first course of action.

red - we agree on something but then usually it isn't carried on the next night, or if it is then only for a limited amount of time before DH resorts to the car seat/bouncer.

nannyogg - it's not really her being left alone that's the problem. He admits that taking her downstairs is done as the quickest way for him to get her back to sleep and therefore get himself back to sleep too. I definitely agree with no getting up.

wheres - we used the pick up/put down method a few months ago when she was struggling to settle when we first put her down. At the moment, if she has problems going down to sleep then she usually stands up and throws her dummy out of the cot. She will repeat this sometimes so we just leave her 5 minutes, then go in and put the dummy back in the cot, lie her down and walk out again. I did this last night with her when she woke in the middle of the night, after checking her nappy and that everything else was ok. She's generally fine settling down to sleep now. She goes to nursery Monday to Friday so has: morning milk, breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack and then a light dinner. Usually she will eat something with us at around 5.30/6pm before bath and milk before bed at 7.30pm. This usually happens at weekends too but without the light dinner. It always amazed me that she finished the milk she was given if she woke up after having so much in the day.

Thanks again all thanks

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Wed 07-Nov-12 13:13:56

One last little suggestion maybe, could u swap and give her the milk before the bath and then the wind down routine. If she learns to go to sleep with out milk straight before she will hopefully learn to do that in the night? smile

EricNorthmansFangBanger Wed 07-Nov-12 13:19:18

That's the problem I have with him at the moment chipping. He keeps saying 'not right now' and coming up with excuses when I do bring it up. Or agrees then whinges at me. If she's still waking when DC3 arrives he knows he will be taking over in the night and will be the one to solely settle her again. I'm planning (and hoping) that third time's the charm with breastfeeding and that I'll be able to carry on longer with this DC than I did with DD2. Therefore I'll be the one doing the feeds for this one. Plus, I know I'm having a section and having DD2 sleeping through will be the better option for all of us and won't tie up DH incase I need a hand in the night those first few weeks.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Wed 07-Nov-12 13:21:56

YANBU and your DH should stick to his agreement to use a consistent approach. Can I suggest trying switching the night time milk for water? I doubt she's hungary in the night if she is eating during the day so it is more likely that she's just thirsty. If she is thirsty she'll take the water. But as water is pretty unexciting (unlike milk) she might stop waking up for it if she's not really thirsty.

GoldPlatedNineDoors Wed 07-Nov-12 13:22:45

I think you need to take over night wakings for a whole week to get this sorted. Its all well and good swapping but in order to sleep train effectively she needs consistency and unless your dh is totally on board, she will get mixed messages and itll take twice as long at least.

Pick a week you can dedicate to it and agree that you get all the lie ins but will do all the night waking.

When done effectively, it shouldnt take more than the seven.nights (if that).

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Wed 07-Nov-12 13:23:18

hungry not hungary!

katiecubs Wed 07-Nov-12 13:25:38

Agree with wheresmycaffeine on that one.

Above and beyond everything else decide what you are going to do between the two of you and STICK to it. Yes it will be hellish for a couple of nights but she will soon get the message that there is no point waking up in the night and it will all be sorted.

If you give in (and i know it's tempting to do the quickest thing to get her back to sleep) then you are back to square one and making it harder the next time you try. Good luck!

yomellamoHelly Wed 07-Nov-12 13:28:59

I think you need to take over the nights for the next week or so. Agree with your dh to time to catch up on sleep during the day at the weekend instead. Also stop the milk and resign yourself to a few bad nights. And buy your dh some earplugs!

MumofWombat Wed 07-Nov-12 13:35:12

I'm night weaning at the moment, I'm dropping the amount of milk DS gets if he wakes in the night down by 20ml every couple of nights. And if he continues to cry (only once so far phew!) we are doing controlled crying.
I used to say I didn't want to do cc, but we got to a point where we felt DS was running the show and we needed to take back control!
To be honest, he already seems to be waking less, so this might be a worth a try for you.
We also used cc a month or so ago when DS stopped settling in the first place. The first night was pretty bad, the next night was better, and by the fourth night, it was like a miracle!
But I do agree, she needs to settle in her cot, and whilst you might have a few rough nights in the short term, it's all about the long term gain.

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