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How do I start sleep training when I'm just tooo exhausted ...

(18 Posts)
RooTwo Fri 07-Nov-14 16:18:58

I'm at the point now where I feel I've got to do something about DD's sleep but how does one go about doing anything when you're so flipping knackered? She's 8 months and a lousy sleeper - wakes every couple hours or if it's a good night might go for 3. I feel like I've coped fine up till now but now I'm getting really bad tempered with the other DCs and it's all just massively catching up with me. I'd like to do gradual retreat type stuff and try to soothe her in her cot when she wakes during the night, rather than bring her into bed with me (I don't always feed her - she only has 1 or 2 night feeds), but do I try to wait to do it when I'm less exhausted ... or at weekend ... or get DH to do it? I can't really see a point when I'll BE less exhausted!

Writerwannabe83 Fri 07-Nov-14 17:30:18

Watching with interest. My 7 m/o can be up every 2-3 hours at night which results in me either feeding him or bringing him into my bed as the easy option because I'm so desperate for sleep.

Poolbirthx2 Fri 07-Nov-14 17:45:16

Yes ill be watching this too - sorry i cant offer any help - i am in exactly the same position with my 6 month old who is awake every 1-2 hours and then up for the day at 5! I am exhausted!

Imnotbeverley Fri 07-Nov-14 20:04:09

I think that you do it despite the tiredness when you have just had enough! If you are like me you will just get to a point where you decide you just cannot do it any more and that's that.

Fwiw, I started it on a Friday so that DP would be able to help, and I could nap in the day!

Writerwannabe83 Fri 07-Nov-14 20:07:37

DS is currently screaming the place down because he's in his cot.

I go to him every 60 seconds to pick him up and calm him down but then place him back in it again.

We've done about 5 cycles so far....

Quitelikely Fri 07-Nov-14 20:16:26

This works: at the first cry go into the room after 5 minutes, then after 15 minutes, then after twenty minutes.

Your baby will be fast asleep. Repeat and after 2/3 days all will be ok.

Yes I know there's lots of folk who have differing opinions on this but really when you are tired and it affects everything else, serious action is required.

if you don't like this course of action then you can continue with the night wakings but I did this with my last dc and it really does work!

Quitelikely Fri 07-Nov-14 20:18:21

Writer 60 seconds is too quick! Almost tantalising him, do you think you could leave longer intervals

PoppyWearer Fri 07-Nov-14 20:20:18

You need to find a time when you have support for a few days. We sleep trained DC1 over the Christmas holidays a few years back, because DH had the time off.

Or can your OH take a day or two off work?

Cakeismymaster Fri 07-Nov-14 21:16:50

How about night weaning? Offer water instead first of all, baby will probably be very unimpressed first night or two but you may find that will help with the wakings.

findingherfeet Sat 08-Nov-14 20:09:32

My 8 month old responds furriously to offerings of water and any attempts at being settled in his cot...I feel completely at a loss because I don't want to wake my DD, have no sleep AND an overtired toddler to deal with and im really self conscious about how much we are disturbing our neighbours :-(

My second baby was meant to be so much easier!!

HattsA Sat 08-Nov-14 22:10:15

Sorry no advice in totally same boat could have written this myself!

Have been trying to reduce night BFs for weeks now taking ages to settle her and gradually getting more tired and it's not even worked so I'm now too tired to do it anymore and be consistent :-(

Plus she's 8mo and being a bit clingy so worst time to try and do any sleep training probably!

RooTwo Sun 09-Nov-14 18:48:24

Thanks all ... Yes beverley I guess you just get to a point where you are too tired not to do anything about it. I'm getting there, fast. So desperate for a 4 hour chunk of sleep... (Or more, but 4 would do to start with). CC is not totally off the agenda either but it fills me with terror.

ChocolateWombat Sun 09-Nov-14 19:01:21

You need to see it as short term pain for long term gain. That really is what it amounts to.
You can decide not to tackle it because you are exhausted.....but then you will be exhausted for an awful lot longer.

You need a plan. Having a very specific way forward and knowing how long you need to do it helps. You need to stick to the plan, even if it means In the short term you get less sleep.

There are numerous approaches and you could spend time researching and choosing. There will probably be a bit of crying, but if you time it, you will realise that what might feel that hours of crying is actually minutes....knowing that helps you deal with it.

Firstly ensure child is eating enough in the day...so having enough milk for their age and also enough solids. This will give you the confidence that they are not waking through genuine hunger.
Ensure they are in a daytime routine, because the better the sleep in the day, the better at night. At this age, I would think it means a short morning sleep around 9.30/10 of about 45 mins and a longer after lunch one of about 2 hours. Best to go down by 12.15 and not to be sleeping beyond 2.30 to ensure that nap doesn't prevent them being sleepy at bedtime.
Consistent bedtime routine, if winding down activity, bath, feed and bed by 7/7.30.
If necessary in short term, a feed at 10 ish. If not, get to bed yourself by 9.

Then responding to night crying.....yes to going into crying baby (although wait a few mins when they start, as sometimes they will go back off....need to learn to self settle, and can't do that if an adult appears within seconds of waking and crying) Don't put the light on, don't lift out of cot, gentle strokes for a few mins and then leaving. Return after 5 mins, repeat, repeat, gradually extend. Be brave and don't give in although you will want to. Keep going with it.

In the morning, ideally let them wake and have a little time just lying in the cot before going in.....it's all about them developing a sense that they can be in bed happily alone.

And I'd do it sooner rather than later, as it will get harder to sort.

One friend hired a night nanny to sort it out over about 2 weeks. Cost her about a grand, but she says it was the best money she's ever spent. Realise it's not an option for many and most can crack it themselves.

Good luck. Although it's not something to look forward to and will be grim, you can have confidence it will work if you keep going.

ChocolateWombat Sun 09-Nov-14 19:04:23

And yes, to it helping to set a specific time to begin this, perhaps with DH off work. He def needs to be up for it and supportive, even if at work, as this kind of thing requires an iron will. It is much easier if you are in it together.....no good one of you saying 'oh, shall we just pick him up and feed him' or 'it's cruel to let him cry for longer than 10 seconds'.....you need emotional backup.
Decide when you will do it and see it as a project. Sorry if that sounds clinical.

Imnotbeverley Mon 10-Nov-14 09:37:43

We did controlled crying, I found it very very hard. Even when he would eventually fall asleep, I would then cry because I felt so sad that he had fallen asleep upset! However, it works and it works quickly. After one day of doing it, my DS was crying for much less time at bedtime/naps than he used to when I would be attempting to feed/rock/walk him to sleep. When I realised that it really helped me see that it was very good for him to be able to get himself to sleep, you are teaching them a new skill, and babies do learn quickly it seems. Ours went- 22 mins of crying on night one (4 wake ups through the night- I still fed once), 9 mins on night 2 (1 wake up- fed), 6 mins on night 3 and slept through.

His sleep still vacillates from good to bad for other reasons, but I am glad we did it because he is so easy to put down now and happy about going to sleep. He's 11 months and for the first time on Saturday his grandmother put him down for bed and we went out for dinner, she was amazed at how easy it was.

Poolbirthx2 Mon 10-Nov-14 13:09:05

What age did you start the controlled crying x

caramelgirl Mon 10-Nov-14 13:35:32

As well as sleep training over a weekend, if you can, it is worth considering a babysitter for older child entertainment the next day. That way you can both sleep to recover ready for the next night.
We used a sleep trainer we found recommended on here. Rebecca at babymoon. It cost us £150 (she gave tailored advice over the telephone). It was an absolute lifesaver. We also used the same plan for DC2. Both at around 7 months I think.
We always say it was the best money we ever spent and it really allowed me to start enjoying motherhood rather than just enduring the exhaustion.
Good luck!

Imnotbeverley Mon 10-Nov-14 18:00:51

We did it at 8 months

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