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baby refuses to self soothe can anyone please help me?!!!!

(45 Posts)
LimesMum Mon 27-Oct-14 11:02:07

DD is 8.5 months, just wondering if anyone else is going through this or has done??

I've tried every type of sleep training I can find to no avail. Just at the end of 2 weeks of controlled crying which has made absolutely no difference apart from mentally scarring me!!! I can't explain what kind of state she gets herself into... At first when I went in at timed intervals I could calm her down but now she just goes utterly ballistic when I go in. It takes over an hour to calm her. She just stays standing in the cot and makes no attempt to lie down and go to sleep.

She is definitely tired as when I eventually resort to feeding her she goes straight off.

Rocking used to help but now even rocking won't get her to sleep.

Is there a chance she will just grow out of this?? I'm at my wits end now and just do not know what to do to help her learn how to go to sleep on her own


iwasabrooker Mon 27-Oct-14 12:59:55

Yes she will grow out of it. Learning to fall asleep is a developmental thing and does not have to be taught.

Unless there is a particular reason you feel you need to do it, you're just making things hard for you both.

Babies are meant to feed to sleep, it's not wrong to do it. smile

Both of mine were feed to sleep until they stopped by themselves. It's actually a handy tool for the overtired baby or toddler who really needs sleep!

I did introduce reading the same book before a bed time feed at around this age, then that became a become cue.

Hope you can find something that works for you.

iwasabrooker Mon 27-Oct-14 13:00:53

Bedtime cue

katandkits Mon 27-Oct-14 13:03:43

My DS did not learn to fall asleep alone till about 17 months. There's not much you can do about it, do what works. I did feed and rocking chair till 12 months and then did lying down next to the cot and holding hands. That could take an hour on a bad night. At this stage just do what works fastest.

MoonHare Mon 27-Oct-14 13:08:27

Why don't you want to feed her to sleep? For me the whole point, well one of the main points of bfing was to be able to feed my babies to sleep. They all gave up at around 13 months of their own accord.

When they stopped bfing to sleep I introduced a story then a lullaby, the same one each night immediately before putting down in cot.

Just feed her to sleep if it means she'll go straight off.

Self soothing isn't a mystical sate to be achieved by babies it just means going to sleep without too much crying.

Booboostoo Mon 27-Oct-14 13:50:03

I have every sympathy with sleep problems, they are exhausting, but I am sorry I don't get it either. If she feeds to sleep why don't you just feed her? I'd count myself lucky I had such an easy solution.

Hallloumi Mon 27-Oct-14 15:52:05

Our experience may make you feels better about going back to feeding to sleep:
We have got our dd to self soothe (having previously always been fed to sleep). However she still wakes lots of times a night so we aren't getting more sleep. The only advantage has been that the night I work late my husband can get her to sleep. Otherwise no benefit to any of us.

LimesMum Mon 27-Oct-14 20:21:31

Thanks so much for all your support and comments. It's made me feel much better (having been in tears most of the day!!). I've decided to give up on sleep training and do what works.

The reason I didn't want to feed to sleep was because I was led to believe that the reason she wakes overnight and can't go back to sleep is because she can't self soothe and needs to be fed to go to sleep as she associates sleep with having a boob in her mouth!!

Any more advice very welcome smile thanks again

GotToBeInItToWinIt Mon 27-Oct-14 20:43:52

We've never done any form of sleep training with DD (11 months) and I've always fed to sleep. I also panicked about the whole 'teaching to self settle' think but didn't actually have the stamina to do anything about it. About a month ago she started to occasionally resettle herself when she woke up in the night. Now, I still feed/cuddle her to sleep but 9 times out of 10 if she wakes in the night she will wriggle around for a bit then put herself back to sleep. Sometimes she plays with her sheep in her cot for 10 mins before lying back down. She'll grow out of it. How many 18 year olds do you know who need feeding to sleep? smile

Bankholidaybaby Mon 27-Oct-14 20:52:43

Self-soothing is a myth that was made up in the 1800s. It is not supported by research or reality. Can you imagine cave people leaving their babies to scream themselves to sleep until they learnt not to?

Booboostoo Mon 27-Oct-14 21:02:40

As above. There is absolutely no research to support the idea that there is a self-soothing ability, that it develops at a particular time or that anything parents do promotes or weakens it.

hollie84 Mon 27-Oct-14 21:59:44

Bloody hell that article is a load of judgey bollocks pretending to be science!

Bankholidaybaby Mon 27-Oct-14 23:56:35

Yeah, it is a bit, isn't it? I was looking for the research-based evidence but I was in a hurry.

Booboostoo Tue 28-Oct-14 06:59:09

Just read the article and it is made up crap, however I have looked extensively for evidence on self-soothing and there is none. Either no one is interested in the topic, or there are is no preliminary evidence that there is such an ability. There are some theories on crying as an evolutionary adaptation to make sure the parents never leave the baby. The author argued that species that tend to leave their young in the home to go out and forage, have young that stay very quiet because any noise would attract predators to the house. Species that tend to carry their young with them as they move from home to home tend to have young that cry when left alone because being forgotten behind is a death sentence. Rabbits are an example of the first kind and humans an example of the second.

hollie84 Tue 28-Oct-14 07:30:26

Depends what you call self-soothing. Some babies fall asleep quite happily on their own.

fuzzywigsmum Tue 28-Oct-14 08:42:22

It's probably no coincidence that babies have been expected to self-soothe since the 1800s since that's when we moved into cities and more traditional ways of life broke down, meaning 'natural' approaches to child rearing became harder for modern women. I fed DD2 to sleep until she became unable to sleep unless she had a boob in her mouth, meaning I had to bed down with her at 8pm. As I'm not in a state of nature and in fact live in a post industrial society I had expectations of being able to stay up later than 8pm in the evening and without having a baby clamped to my breast ergo I did sleep training at 5 months.

Really, I couldn't give a stuff what's 'natural'. 'Natural' for many people means women staying in the home and being generally subjugated. What's important is what works for mum, baby and others in the family.

Limes - if your baby can get used to falling asleep without feeding she probably will wake less in the night but it sounds like CC hasn't worked for you. And from what I understand, once you cave in it makes it all the worse.

Have you looked at the No Cry Sleep Solution - it's a much slower but far more gentle approach? Some of the ideas in there might help reduce the night wakings. Do whatever feels right for you and don't feel bad if you do feel you need to change things. Your sleep and sanity is very important!

Booboostoo Tue 28-Oct-14 08:50:01

Just to clarify, my post above was not supposed to make a normative claim about sleep habits just an explanatory one. The was trying to give an account of why human babies cry but rabbit babies do not when both species are mammals, which is an interesting empirical question.

fuzzywigsmum Tue 28-Oct-14 09:36:11

Understood Booboo. I'm probably a bit over-defensive because part of me leans towards APing but I find it insupportable with my lifestyle. And I think that's probably true for quite a few mums. I spent a lot of DD1s first year feeling terribly guilty but this time round recognise that you've got to do what's right for you.

LimesMum Tue 28-Oct-14 09:40:10

Eeeek thanks again. I can understand both sides and to be honest just want my baby to sleep better whatever it takes!! Just been up with her since 230 am, it's now 930 am.... Nothing I could do would settle her.. Thought it might be teething as she has some bumps on her back gums so gave pain relief but this had no effect. Bf had no soothing effect nor did rocking, cuddles or coming into our bed... I eventually got her up at 6 am and she played happily until 930 when I finally managed to rock her to sleep.

My arms are killing me and feel I've taken ten steps backwards.

Why do teeth only cause problems at sleep times?!

fuzzywigsmum Tue 28-Oct-14 10:16:58

Sorry Lines for making your thread a battleground for one of the big MN debates! Sounds like you're having a really rough time. It sucks when feeding to sleep no longer works but you can't get over the hurdle of getting them to self-settle. Could you afford a sleep-consultant to give you some guidance? That's what I did coz in the end I just wanted someone else to tell me what to do so that I could stop arguing with myself about what to do! confused

Booboostoo Tue 28-Oct-14 15:49:34

OP that sounds really tough. Teething was a nightmare with DD and I am dreading it with DS. DD was a lot worse at night as well, I have no idea why. Can you catch up on some sleep during the day?

I know what you mean fuzzy. I also lean towards AP but found it very demanding with DD. I have a pet theory that bf is designed to work with a group of mothers feeding each other's children to give each other a break!

EmmaLL25 Tue 28-Oct-14 22:02:23

When babies lie down it puts extra pressure on their gums so they feel more teething pain.

Your CC attempt may have coincided with the beginnings of separation anxiety too.

I have spent hours trying to get DS (now 17 months) to self settle but every success was undone by teething or illness. So I've given up. I just co-sleep from midnight ish onwards.

LimesMum Wed 29-Oct-14 05:24:09

Oh ok didn't know that about teething, thanks! I so wish she would just Co sleep, unfortunately she hates it!

Been up with her since 3am again! She cries and cries, won't be fed to sleep, just happy if gotten up to play.
DH now has her downstairs pushing her like mad in her buggy in a last ditch attempt to get some sleep. This is what we did when she was tiny, what on earth have we regressed to confused just feel like crying!!!

HaveYouTriedARewardChart Wed 29-Oct-14 06:14:21

It's just a bad few nights OP -ok, terrible (poor you) but it won't last. You haven't regressed.
I think you need to deal with each day (and night) as it comes and not worry too much about patterns or habits or theories. Methods like cc will work for some babies and their parents will then tell you "it works" However for most, you can't force it if the baby's not that way inclined and misery will result!

My advice would be to stick with feeding to sleep, bring her in with you in the night and just whatever feels right at the time.

Good luck!

HaveYouTriedARewardChart Wed 29-Oct-14 06:16:55

Sorry just seen you said she hates co-sleeping. Bad luck sad

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