Positivity needed - gradual retreat and a lot of crying(3 Posts)
Any support, positive advice appreciated. My 8.5 month old ds has never been a good self settler, mainly due to unhelpful sleep associations we created in our lack of baby knowledge! He was entirely bf until his bottom teeth arrived a month ago and he became a constant biter, at which point we have moved onto formula in the day and only bf at night, which we would like to stop. Around 6 months we did a very short spate of controlled crying in desperation. Until this, he was rocked and walked to sleep but had started to fight us to put him down. He was evidently ready and went to sleep within 15 minutes the first night, 8 the second and has settled for naps and being put down for bed without crying since in the day and bedtime. However...eight month regression, wonder weeks, teeth and a chest infection, whatever you want to blame it on, it has been awful for four weeks or more in the night. As my dp says, we both dread bedtime. Ds goes down to sleep okay, but wakes within an hour or two. And then every couple of hours. He doesn't self settle but gets upset and cries. This can go on for hours unless we pick him up and rock to sleep. I am guessing a little separation anxiety is creeping. So, a couple of weeks ago we tried controlled crying again for two nights which was a complete disaster and just made the situation worse and an anxious baby. So we have moved to gradual retreat to try and help. This is our third night and so far, it seems to be having a positive effect in the later part of the night but the earlier part and the first wake up is awful. Last night he cried for an hour and nearly made himself sick before I picked him up and took him into bed with me. Even then it took him ages to calm down and I felt like a terrible mother. I know I just need to be stronger, but it has to be me who sits with him as ds won't accept dp instead at night and the constant getting up to sit there with him crying is awful. I know it will get better but not feeling the best at the moment. Any advice or successes welcome please.
We did gradual retreat with DD when she was 9mo, and it changed our lives. No exaggeration. She was happier for a decent sleep, I was like a new woman for some decent sleep.
You do have to be totally consistent though. Otherwise they learn that they have to cry more to make you give in.
The hard but is now, the good but will come soon!
Sounds just like my DS1 was. I highly recommend Ann. It sounds like you're doing things that will just make him worse TBH (like taking him into your bed after he's cried in his room) and if CC made him worse, what you're doing now may also be ineffective. I tried everything but ended up putting DS1 into total cot-refusal and resorted to full time co-sleeping as he'd barely go into his room, for fear of being left to cry again.
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