Your opinions on getting baby to sleep! (Desperate)(50 Posts)
I've posted this here for traffic. I have posted a similar question over the last 6 months but have never had a reply other than offers of sympathy and now I need some help.
I have a 17 month old who has never slept through the night. Waking every 4 hours on a good night. I am breastfeeding and when she was 12 months we decided to start co- sleeping so we (me and dh) could get a decent sleep. It worked for a while.
However, now she is waking and is not settling quickly by being nursed back. It can take 30-60minutes and involves lots of climbing groaning and thrashing around. It has got to the point none of us are sleeping.
I am now pregnant and in the deep throws of awful morning sickness made worse by sleepless nights. I have been doing this for 17 months and just can't keep going.
How can I stop nursing her at night when she screams when she doesn't get it? My dh has suggested he sleep in her room with her and I have to ignore her. I can do that but will this work. How will he get her back to sleep again? Cuddle her or ignore her?
Please please please can someone tell me how they did it. I have no idea how and I've become too exhausted to carry on. Thanks
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Will she take a small bottle of warm milk in the night instead of the breast? In that way at least you and DH can take turns.
DD4 (21 months) wakes up sometimes in the night and takes a quick warm bottle. It only takes 10 mins or so with a cuddle. Then it's gently back to bed.
I would aim to get her into her own room now. You may have to spend a few nights going in and settling her down repeatedly, but you'll get there. Start a nice routine of soft lighting in her room, maybe some gentle music/night light thing, change her into night clothing in there, and be determined that her own cot is the place to snuggle down.
Sorry if this advice is rubbish for you I think it's all about routine. The quicker you start to change her routine and stick to it the quicker she'll learn.
(DH is awful at sticking to his guns. It's me who has to do the settling down as DD knows DH will fold!)
I think your DH's idea will work, you just need to be firm with yourself and not go in even if she's screaming.
My DH used to get up with our oldest DS when I was pg with our second, and it's astonishing how quickly you stop being woken by their crying.
Own room, bottle, baby gate, and a plan! It will be rough, but do it now before baby comes...so she is settled and in a routine that a baby can't interfere with. Its a kindness to get her out now, before the jealousy of a new baby who has 'kicked' her out of mummy's room comes.
And, get hard. Not mean, but unwavering in your resolve. Do not flip flop about between rooms.
Just to add: I find that at the moment any deviation from the usual gentle (boring) 20/30 min routine that i use at bed time; anything unexpected or exciting, ruins it totally. So it's the same every night without fail, (unless she's ever properly poorly of course).
We wind down downstairs a bit/now we go up/now we brush teeth/lights down low/now we do the nappy, get changed and have the music/now dad gives you a kiss/now we have the warm bottle in the dark/now we cuddle in the dark/now we lay you down. Now mum rushes downstairs and sits her arse down next to dad and prays
If we stick to the routine she'll sleep from 6pm till 6am. (most nights)
You could look at Jay Gordon's nightweaning method if you're looking to nightwean now.
Another idea is to put her into a single bed (or mattress on the floor if she falls out) and get her to come through to you when she wakes up rather than lying there crying. Over time the knowledge that she can come to you is enough and the thought of getting out of bed and walking down a cold hallway is less enticing than just staying warm in bed.
At this age DS started to be hungry at night, and milk stopped satisfying him. I used to take some bread and butter up to bed. I seem to remember I got hugely flamed on here for the "insane idea" of giving food at night but it worked and it wasn't long term, once he was eating more in the day or through the growth spurt or whatever it was, milk started settling him again. Then he stopped night feeds between 11pm and 5am from about 2 years old, and went 7-7 by 2.5.
Yeah, own room, and off the boob. I ended up going away for a w/e and that really helped. Was a bit hairy for DH but only took a couple of nights to make a difference. DH used pick up/put down technique which really helped. I didn't like a lot of the other stuff in Baby Whisperer book but the basics of quick cuddle for comfort than backing off worked much better than prolonging it.
I don't think she needs a bottle. She's 17 months old, she doesn't need milk during the night. I would give her a cup of water if she gets thirsty.
I agree about your husband going in to settle her.
Having had a non sleeping toddler I think your dh is right. If she wakes in the night he (not you) should offer her some water from a sippy cup. The fact that youre feeding her milk is almost rewarding her for waking up. There needs to be no pay off for waking up and at 17 months she doesn't need the nourishment to get through the night.
I would do what your dh is suggesting. He can keep her company if she wakes up (so she doesn't feel abandoned), offer her a drink of water if she needs one (at 17 mo she doesn't need food at night).
At the end of the day not helping her to learn to sleep well and self settle is not kind to her (as well as being awful for you). It will also be good for her to learn to look to her dad for comfort (as well as you) as you will soon have number 2, whom I'm guessing you'll be waking for and feeding at night.
It doesn't mean you have to give up nursing her altogether - unless you want to. You'd just be stopping the habit of her nursing to sleep at night.
I put mine in his own bed when he started messing around. He needs his own space and sleeps better.
Thank you so much for all your replies to this. I'm going to show them to my husband so he sees it can work and he is right and we will put some into practice. Everyone on here is right so I'm going to implement bits of ehat all of you have said. Fingers crossed
I'd recommend the Millpond Clinic's book, Teach Your Child To Sleep. They have a bunch of scenarios (different aged kids, night waking, night weaning) and they discuss the various methods, gradual retreat, controlled crying etc. One thing to say - however you handle it, decide in advance how you are going to respond to night wakings, keep it simple, and keep it consistent. The more consistent you are the faster it will get better.
Also - at 17 months I'd aim for her to sleep in a cot rather than a bed, so she can't wander off in the night time. (Having said this I have 3 and a half year old twins who are rapidly outgrowing the cots they refuse to leave, so you know, I have really kicked that problem as far down the road as it will go :-)
I had this problem with DC2 at bedtime. I always used to feed her to sleep but it stopped working and she was just thrashing around but not going to sleep. I'm anticipating the same problem with DC3 who is now 10 months old.
With DC2 what I did was stop trying to feed to sleep. I'd put her into bed (cot with the side off) and sit and sing to her/stroke her. She screamed her head off at first but it did work after about a week and then the night waking improved too. She was in a big bed so I think if she woke I'd go and get in with her but if your DH is handling the night waking he could just go with in and persist in trying to settle her - just gently repeating the message that it's night time which is bed/sleep time.
It's hard but I think they do grow out of feeding to sleep so they need help /practice learning how to just lie down and let themselves fall asleep.
Good luck (she says, typing this while trying and failing to bf dc3 down for a nap!)
Ds screamed for a bit and I kept going back in every 2-5 mins and shushing and stroking. Took about a week and never looked back tbh. He gets 12 hours most nights. I believe children need to know how to get to sleep on their own
Wean - this happened with all 3 of mine at around 17/24 months and weaning /own bed was only cure
You can night wean if you don't want to wean completely. Have your DH offer her water and resettle her.
I also agree to put her back in her own bed. My DS actually has more restless sleep when he co-sleeps, so none of us get a good night's sleep. He sleeps more soundly on his own.
Honestly, with most kids it doesn't take long. You'll wonder why you didn't do it sooner.
Good advice on here already. Get your DH to sleep on a mattress in floor of her room at night and when she wakes, he can offer water and stroke her back but no interaction as it will help your Dd to learn that night time is for sleeping. It may take 3 unsettled nights but once she learns that there is no more milk on offer at night she will quickly learn to sleep through.
You can talk to your Dd about the changes you will be making and help her to understand that there will be no more milk at night. We did this with my DS when he was around the same age and it worked really well. Good luck!
Oh and don't listen to anyone who comes on in a minute and tells you to keep feeding and continuing with the sleep deprivation. If it's not working for you then there is nothing wrong with making changes and your Dd will be fine despite what anyone else will say. Your health and wellbeing matter too, not just your daughters and you all need your sleep.
Big bottle of warm milk just before bed.
Own bed, no co-sleeping.
Make sure she is knackered at nighttime i.e. shorter nap, lots of running around during the day.
agree with all the others on here who say wean and use controlled crying. no one likes to do it - no one. it is a week to 10 days of not very nice crying and upset. but if you get firm about it and stick to your guns it will work. if you flip flop and do a couple of days and then stop, it wont.
Co sleeping, night feeding, breast feeding until they are 3,4, 5 or whatever is great if it works for you. Its not my choice and I wouldn't knock others for doing it.
however, this is most definitely not working for you and your family. Of course you are exhausted, who wouldn't be?
start tonight. put your dc in their own cot and just do it. but please stick to it. those that say it doesn't work have generally given up after 2 or 3 days and that's why it doesn't. you need some peace and quiet at night for the sake of your health and your new baby.
People will always argue it's cruel. Bollocks. It is cruel having a distressed non sleeping baby plus sleep deprived, teary worn out parents.
Yes, precisely this. Well said.
My friend was breastfeeding and co-sleeping her 2 year old. She was waking 6 TIMES A NIGHT for breast!! I would've been the grumpiest shit mum ever if I was woken that many times every night. They just mess you around after around a year old I reckon.
Thank you so much for taking to the time to reply everyone. It's very heartening and we really appreciate it. Loads of fantastic advice x
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