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Am I’m failing my son? Please help me.

(69 Posts)
cottondotty Wed 02-Dec-20 23:06:41

My son is 9 months old and he’s not a great sleeper.

Our over night stay in hospital on the day he was born, I couldn’t put him down and I held him all night. I buzzed a midwife so many times but they were too busy to help me out.

Things didn’t get better when we got home, he absolutely wouldn’t go down in his Moses basket.
I asked our midwife for advice and she said it was 4th trimester and it would improve.

It didn’t improve, not wanting our son to become upset, my husband and I began to sleep in shifts, one of us would stay up holding our son whilst the other slept and then we would swap (husband was on furlough so this worked for us)

When my son was 3 months old we were able to put him into his next to me crib.
He settled for a few weeks and then we were back to square one.

In desperation to get some sleep I started putting him in my bed with me.(after reading about the safe sleep 7)

He will sleep well and just wakes for feeds (he’s breastfed)

The problem is I’m really anxious about him being in with me and I’d like to get him into his cot but it’s just so hard without him becoming so so upset.

I go to bed every night at around 8pm and take my son with me.

This means that in 9 months my husband and I have never had an evening together and I barely get any time to myself as my son won’t settle if my husband takes him to bed so it’s always me.

I do love having cuddles with my son and we are getting sleep, but I just feel like it would be nice to have him in a proper sleep routine, in his cot.

Daytime naps he will always take on me.

We’ve tried so many times to take him up and settle him in his cot but he can be screaming for hours (we never leave him crying for hours, we will cuddle him and when he’s sleepy put him down but he then instantly wakes and we have to start again)

If I put him in with me he will go to sleep instantly.

It’s causing problems in my marriage as my husband gets frustrated with me that he can’t settle our son and that I always step in.

We really don’t want to do sleep training that involves controlled crying but we are stuck on what we need to do.
We’re always in the room with my son when we try him in the cot and if he cries we try to comfort him before picking him up, but it escalates so quickly to the point that he sobs.

Where are we going wrong? What can we change / try?

Please be kind in your replies, I already feel like I’m failing so much and I can’t bare to be told this by outer people sad

OP’s posts: |
LouiseTrees Wed 02-Dec-20 23:09:13

Could you let him start to sleep in your bed, do the reflex test to make sure he’s in a deep sleep then transfer to his cot?

cottondotty Wed 02-Dec-20 23:10:33


Could you let him start to sleep in your bed, do the reflex test to make sure he’s in a deep sleep then transfer to his cot?


We’ve tried this but it’s like he knows when he’s in the cot, as soon as we put him down in there he wakes up. It’s not even like he stays sleepy, he just becomes instantly wide awake and he will stand up in the cot.

OP’s posts: |
LouiseTrees Wed 02-Dec-20 23:14:12

How quickly are you moving him though and have you checked it’s not a fake sleep?

Wearywithteens Wed 02-Dec-20 23:14:14

This all sounds fairly normal to me, but this is your key:
“If I put him in with me he will go to sleep instantly.”
Read the other thread on co-sleeping. There are risks so you need to do it safely but it helps everyone get sleep and regain a bit of sanity.

Your DH will just have to suck it up I’m afraid - this is parenting and nobody said it was easy!

Spinakker Wed 02-Dec-20 23:14:46

You're doing your best don't be hard on yourself. I've not got time to write a full reply but I'd recommend swaddling him and playing white noise to help him get off to sleep.
This video helped get all mine off to sleep. You can play it off your phone but dont have it too close to baby because of radiation. You can download it or buy a white noise machine.

Bagamoyo1 Wed 02-Dec-20 23:14:46

Look up the gradual retreat method. It worked for me, and didn’t involve any crying.

lurking Wed 02-Dec-20 23:18:16

You may have tried this before but try putting a muslin under them while they sleep on you and move that with them into the cot. That way they still have the heat and scent of you.

cottondotty Wed 02-Dec-20 23:18:19


How quickly are you moving him though and have you checked it’s not a fake sleep?


I’ve kept him in my bed whilst I watch tv on my iPad before, so maybe 2 hours, and he will still wake up when I put him down.

OP’s posts: |
FeelingUglyandStupid Wed 02-Dec-20 23:18:30

At 9 months he should be able to self sooth given the chance and some practice.

I know it's the worst thing in the world to hear your baby cry and see them upset but right now you are communicating to him that he can only feel safe on you. That crying will land him in your bed.
I'm sorry you and your partner are having such a difficult time. Best of luck op

LouMoo13 Wed 02-Dec-20 23:20:32

We had similar challenges and what worked for us was taking the side off of the cot and strapping it to our bed so we could co-sleep safely. Then we stopped holding her to sleep and instead laid her in the cot with us lying next to her comforting and stroking her but not picking her up. She cried a bit but always had reassurance so not "cry it out" just helping her learn to settle herself.

turtletum Wed 02-Dec-20 23:20:36

Firstly, I think you're being very hard on yourself. Parenting is tough and some babies are much trickier than others.

Things you could try.....1. A sidecar type crib, so your son is next to you but not directly in you bed. You can hold hands/stroke his hair while he falls asleep. 2. Gentle sleep training such as pick up put down, shush pat, gradual retreat. These will be tough and take time but aren't as harsh as cry it out. 3. Use a large muslin when you son falls asleep on you that you transfer to the cot with him (tucking it in well like a flat sheet) so he doesn't get shocked awake by a cold crib and the muslin will smell of you. 4. Accept that you'll be cosleeping for now so just try to do it as safely as you can. At lest this is allowing you both to get some sleep.

Mummyme87 Wed 02-Dec-20 23:21:18

Had this with my second. It’s normal. I used to put him to bed in my bed, feed him to sleep then leave, rejoining him when he next wakes. When he was about 18m I did this in a toddler bed and now he sleeps in his toddler bed initially then finds us mid night (has slept through a good few times). He stopped breastfeeding to sleep (4nights a week when I wasn’t at work) in July when I was in hospital and just had cuddles now.

I didn’t do sleep training because it doesn’t work (have tried bits).

Faynite Wed 02-Dec-20 23:22:59

A sleep nanny recommended putting your palm on baby’s chest with light pressure when you put baby down. It reassures them that you are still there. It had some success with our non sleeping baby.

lurking Wed 02-Dec-20 23:27:32

Oh and I should have said, I have a non sleeper (2 and 1/2 years). There are good times where they sleep through for weeks on end and then all of a sudden it all goes wrong again.

I'm resigning myself to the fact that some children just need less sleep 💤

EmmaMY Wed 02-Dec-20 23:45:36

If he falls asleep on you, I remember putting a hot water bottle(not too hot) in the baby’s bed, and remove it right before you transfer the sleeping baby. That way it isn’t a cold mattress, which might be what is waking him up.

Hard times when they don’t go to sleep in their own... my first was like this and it is really draining. Try to be kind to yourself! 💗

B1rthis Wed 02-Dec-20 23:46:35

Some wise words I read recently:
I wonder a nappy must feel after 9 long months suspended in fluid.
How cold a crib must be after 3 trimesters of warmth.
how unpleasant hunger must feel when your belly was always full in the womb.
I wonder this and stop wondering why babies just want to be held and fed so much.
Your baby will only be aged 9 months for a brief time, just slow down and embrace the topsy turvy baby led life you have.

Minniem2020 Wed 02-Dec-20 23:54:21

I could have written that about ds @lurking. It's definitely true that some just need less sleep, Hv said a toddler should be getting 12-13 hours sleep, my ds averages 7-8

TableFlowerss Thu 03-Dec-20 00:12:20

Aww poor you OP. My youngest is 8 now and oldest is at secondary so it’s a long time since I’ve been in your position. What I will say is that it does get easier.

I never co-slept with either of mine because I couldn’t ever relax when I tried. I was too scared to sleep incase I rolled over etc.. so it just wasn’t an option for me.

We used to take it in shifts and one would go to bed at say 9pm and the other one would stay up with baby asleep in arms downstairs. Then come up about 10 and would put DC in cot and be on night duty!

We never done the cry it out technique but equally we didn’t co sleep. If I heard them murmer in night, I’d just put my hand on their cheek etc and say shhhhhh x 1000 and then they just gradually slept longer and longer.

I was a light sleeker though so the slighter ‘aha’ I was there with my shhhhhhhh

With us until about 2 then moved in to toddler beds and touch wood they’ve always self soothed and are both great sleepers.

It doesn’t last forever OP just try to remember that xx

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Thu 03-Dec-20 00:26:38

There's a brilliant book called 'The no cry sleep solution' that might help you with very gentle sleep training OP.

And I tell you what, my DS is now 15, I am so peri-menopausal that I can barely remember my address, yet I can remember the name of that book... that's how little sleep I had for the first year! But you will get there.

AIMD Thu 03-Dec-20 00:32:09

Sounds completely normal to me. Bloody hard and tiring....but normal.
Both my children required a lot of help to sleep still at 9 months and were both still in the co/ or consleeoer in my bedroom.

Personally I would do whatever gets you the most sleep at the moment without stress.

Mine and 4 and 6 now and both sleep in their own beds and go to sleep by themselves.

AIMD Thu 03-Dec-20 00:32:26

Have you tried a side cot thing that attached to the side of your bed?

20shadesofgreen Thu 03-Dec-20 00:50:50

After 2 babies who slept we too had a dud baby (just joking he was and is adorable) and we didn’t know what hit us. We used an actual cot with the side off beside our bed and tonnes of co sleeping too. At about 15 months DH night weaned by taking baby to another room for a couple of nights but we continued BF to 2.5 so that wasn’t negatively affected. DS slept in his room until about 5-6am and then ran next door to our room where he came in for an early morning feed which suited me as I had to get up for work soon after. He still gets up early in the morning many years later. The two sleepers stories are irrelevant here smile. It does get better.

MsChatterbox Thu 03-Dec-20 01:38:26

I second side carring the cot. Also, have you tried settling him next to you then leaving him in your bed with a monitor so you can go downstairs and spend time with your husband? If you side car the cot then this takes away risk of rolling off so long as you respond immediately to waking.

Liverbird77 Thu 03-Dec-20 01:49:40

I'm sorry you're having such a tough time. I gave a four month old and can relate to lack of sleep.
It's not forever. Me and my husband also sleep seperately and don't have evenings. We also have a 23 month old. He sleeps 7-6.30, so I promise things will improve.
I implore you not to co sleep. The safe sleep seven is utter bullshit. People who tell you their kids have been fine are just showing survivor's bias. Adult mattresses are not safe for under twos. The only safe place for sleep is alone, in a crib on their back
Don't take my word for itz look at the evidence. Sleeping with a baby on a couch is even more dangerous. Sleep training would be preferable to co sleeping from a safety point of view
You both need at least four hours of sleep in blocks. Your partner will just have to suck it up and comfort as best he can whilst you sleep. It's vital
I am really, really sympathetic. . it's bloody hard work.

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