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Am I being played for a fool by a 17mo? Or am I right to resist CC?

(12 Posts)
LearnerM0ther Wed 05-Mar-14 16:09:24

I'm new here so please bear with me..
My little lad has slept through the night a handful of times since MAY last year..
He was diagnosed with silent reflux at 2 months, and then the medication started.. Which was defo necessary, changed our lives. Suffered badly with constipation too (which, it transpired, was due to a dairy intolerance) so he was medicated for that too. Pure hell for 5 months but, to cut a long story short, he has now been weaned off all meds. Still has his special milk, no dairy. Happy as a sandboy.. Until it comes time to rest!
He screams at the very mention of 'rest' or 'sleep'. Naps are the worst. Until recently (like, a week!) he has been rocked (or rather wrestled) to sleep. He has been expressing an interest in getting into his cot at night so now we are soothing him to sleep in there (stories, back-rubbing etc.) I am dead proud of him with that but he will not settle like that in the day - so I'm stuck with the wrestling.. And it's HARD and HORRIBLE. I feel like I am physically restraining him to sleep. But I don't know what else to do, short of CC, which I just can't listen to.
I'm thinking all this 'help' getting to sleep is what's causing our part-co-sleeping habit. He wakes up at least once every night and usually ends up with us. If I try to settle him in his room, he loses it.. The co-sleeping started on holiday last year when he was cutting his upper front teeth and has been a regular fixture since.
Questions buzzing around in my head are:
� Will he just go back to sleeping through once he has 20 ba#@ard teeth?? (think we're on the big guns now - last 4!)
� Is his reflux still troubling him enough that it disturbs his sleep? (Again, teething aggravates reflux..)
� Am I feeding him something else that he can't handle?
� How on Earth did he used to sleep 10 hours when his reflux was at it's worst but can't now?? (he did scream ALL DAY though..)
� Is it separation anxiety / sleep regression that I have to ride out?
� Is it that he's too damned active, clever and curious to SWITCH OFF?
� Has he developed a bad association with sleep from his screaming days?
� And, the burning question, is it just my fault, plain and simple, and I'm to 'man up' and do CC?
� What's worse - letting him cry on his own or having him scream in my arms while I try to hold him still?

TBH, I'm not too bothered about nocturnal activities (my brother has 3, they all co-slept and they're not in his bed now). It's the GETTING to sleep.. Why the hell does he hate it so much?? And how do I teach him to do it himself?? He cannot go the whole day without a nap and I DREAD it. I wish I drove (my partner gets him to sleep in the car at weekends, yay!) so I could just cop out that way! I am at my wits end, have just lost my temper with him and shouted (got headbutted - again) and if ANYone has ANY insight I'd love to hear it. I'm new to this parenting stuff and don't feel very good at it sometimes.

Bluesandgreen Wed 05-Mar-14 16:22:24

Ah, I feel your pain smile
DD started to get very worked up over bedtimes at a similar age. I used to feed her to sleep and she just would not settle. I'd lie with her for nearly 2 hours pretending to sleep/rocking her/feeding/singing... I tried it all. I never thought I'd do CC being on the cosleeping,attachment parenting end of the spectrum myself but in the end I couldn't cope with having no time to myself in the evenings. I also started to feel like you in that maybe she was getting more upset by not being able to sleep than she would be if I tried sleep training. In the end it worked like a dream - in less than 2 weeks she would go to sleep by herself after a quick 5 minute feed and we're both much happier for it. She didnt cry for long either and even on the first night was asleep within 20 minutes. I also used the mildest version of CC and came back to her every minute to start with increasing to no more than 5 minutes.

However, she still gets into bed with us at times and I have never cracked naps although my DH manages naps fine confused

LearnerM0ther Wed 05-Mar-14 16:53:39

Thanks for your response!
I had a feeling CC might be less stressful for him (not me, I KNOW I will be in tears!) but it's good to have it 'confirmed' by someone that has tried it. I sometimes think the hideousness we went through when he was tiny has made me really hate hearing him cry..
Sorry to grill you, but how EXACTLY did the CC roll? I'm certain there's no picking up involved, but did you pat her, talk to her, stay more than 1 min etc.?

stargirl1701 Wed 05-Mar-14 16:58:03

DD is very distressed falling asleep. She happily goes into her cot, pram & car seat but the screaming starts as her eyelids droop. My gut feeling is that she associates sleeping with pain. We didn't get the balance of meds right for her silent reflux until 7 months. She cries for 5-10 mins before falling asleep every night and every nap. We've just accepted it.

nosleeptillbedtime Wed 05-Mar-14 17:09:23

My son was younger than you when we helped him to get himself to sleep. He had reflux due to food intolerances and had become reliant on me holding him to get to sleep as I had to hold him upright after night feeds. By about 6, 7 months he was fighting when I held him but unable to settle to sleep. I had read that some children start to find it over stimulating to be held when the want to sleep. We put him in his cot and let him figure it out for himself whilst one of us sat beside his cot so he knew he wasn't alone. It worked in one night. Sometimes now he struggles to go down in the day which I think is typical for his age. So sometimes I do lie him down and have to hold him down in his cot, but not for long. Not sure if any of that helps but it was our experience.

LearnerM0ther Wed 05-Mar-14 17:23:00

Reflux is an absolute sod. I had that same 'holding upright for 30 mins' problem too. Which is why he relied on being held to sleep.. People who have not had a reflux baby seem to think it's just a cop out but it does get you into some really 'bad' habits. And I too think that he associates sleep with hurt.. But if he hates being held to sleep now, I know it must change. Just don't want to 'scar' him!! I'm too soft, haha! My friend has really worried me by saying that the only people who don't do CC are the ones that have kids who are a nightmare at bedtime..! I'm envisaging chasing a 3yo round the house till 11pm if I don't DO SOMETHING.

stargirl1701 Wed 05-Mar-14 18:58:16

I'm listening to the pre-bedtime sleep crying now sad

RockabillyKitty Wed 05-Mar-14 20:20:51

LearnerMOther - I'm not qualified personally yet, but I have read (Dr Sears or Dr Jay Gordon, can't remember) that if you force sleep training at the wrong time, you may have bedtime battles at a later stage, so don't necessarily worry about what your friend has said. I think the general thought is, that you have to put the 'work' in at some point, be it earlier or later, although it doesn't necessarily mean CC.

This seems like a good plan: http://drjaygordon.com/attachment/sleeppattern.html

I'm thinking of trying it myself when DS is about 16/17 months if there's no change - he currently still wakes at night every 1.5-2 hrs (he's 14 months) and only accepts boob to go back to sleep, but my milk is running low these days and sometimes there just isn't enough to send him back to sleep so we're up for an hour rocking him back to sleep at ridiculous o'clock. He's also often an early riser (4.45/5.30am etc). I just keep telling myself "STTN is a developmental milestone" like some kind of mantra!

LearnerM0ther Wed 05-Mar-14 21:10:32

Ooh, every 1.5/2 hours!! God bless you, that's rough.. I feel a fraud now! I do get enough sleep really so I shouldn't feel so knackered. I think it just can't be good sleep, with him writhing about and taking up a staggering portion of the bed. I didn't mind him getting in at 3-4 but it's getting earlier and earlier.. 10 o'clock last night!! And the savage hair pulling and headbutting are back - seems to comfort him to inflict pain(!?) That's why I'm thinking last 4 teeth - the big-ass molars....
Liam had a period of about 2 months (a period in which he cut 6 teeth, starting with the holiday co-sleeping) when he got up at 5, if we were lucky. 4:30 AM was the norm, thank Christ it was summer! So don't despair, that early rising could just stop suddenly. Let's hope!
And one day, I - WE, poor Daddy ends up on the couch a LOT - might get our bed back!

LearnerM0ther Thu 06-Mar-14 10:38:20

Anybody else still fighting a Sleepfighter at 17-18 months?? I've had some good advice already ( think I'm gonna try a very lite version of CC soon, once he's been settling in his cot - albeit helped - for a few weeks ) but the more opinions the better!!

CarlyRose80 Thu 06-Mar-14 11:58:20

I've just posted about mine not sleeping at 15 months. It's hell.

LearnerM0ther Thu 06-Mar-14 12:53:29

It's the hardest job I've ever known, I tell ya. Just spent a full hour getting him to sleep. I was going to mop my floors but after being bitten, butted and having my hair pulled for the last 15 minutes (when I gave up on the night time method and plumped for the wrestle), I do not feel like it!! His lunch will be late, so his tea will be late.. Argh! Why do they hate rest so much?? And if something works at bedtime, how long will it take before that success can be repeated in the day?? It may take a while at night but there's no crying, he just fannys about. The next door neighbour must think I'm abusing the poor beggar!!! He's been up since half 5, so by 11 he definitely needed sleep. May have been overtired but, quite frankly, I'm beginning to doubt I can ever 'catch the right time'. It's always a battle. And I'm WOUNDED, and war-weary.
I feel bad for him. 7 days and I'm doing CC Lite, I think. He shouldn't get so upset about going to sleep..

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