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Gradual retreat (or whatever the fuck that was)

(16 Posts)
flipflopsonfifthavenue Tue 02-Jun-15 20:31:17

Just tried to get DS2, nearly 7mo, to fall asleep by himself in his cot. He is usually bfed to sleep, wakes 2/3 times in the eve, several times a night (we cosleep for survival...) and only naps in the sling. Doesn't/won't/can't fall asleep in buggy or car. Screams til he almost throws up. Fights sleep so hard it's actually quite freakish...!

I need him to nap in his cot as I'm going potty and having to lug him round in sling isn't sustainable.

Put him in cot sleepy but awake this eve. Cried immediately. Tried to sing/pat/soothe him. Lay next to cot. Nothing really worked, basically he kept crying. After 45mins the crying becomes screaming. I lean over cot, pat, ssshhhh etc. Doesnt stop and shows no signs of exhausting himself into sleep. After another 45 mins I pick him up, in tears myself, and feed him. Two mins later and he's now fast asleep on me.

Tortured him for nothing ��

Is he too young to sleep train??

jennifer86 Wed 03-Jun-15 18:57:20

No experience, I'm afraid, but didn't want to leave your post unanswered. Sounds like you had a really tough evening. My DS is only 3 months (and also a bad sleeper) so I can't really offer advice. I think 7 months is relatively young to try sleep training, so it may be you just need to get by as best you can for now and try again in another month or so? smile

Greenstone Wed 03-Jun-15 19:08:49

You poor thing, i really sympathise. Fwiw I think you're right to try to crack the cot nap. We did it aged around 5.5 months and the difference to my sanity levels has been amazing.

How about trying that thing from the no cry sleep solution - it will take a while to work but it should work eventually if you're consistent -:

So you recreate the bedtime routine and feed him til he's full and just asleep, then you stand and jiggle him in your arms for a few mins and then lay him down in the cot with your body still leaned over him and still kind of jiggling him - he might try to fight awake but if you keep jiggling might give up if he's really full and tired. You will probably have to rinse and repeat many times but the idea is eventually he's so tired he gives up and after a bit you can unpeel yourself.

Disclaimer: dd still wakes plenty at night but at least I can now usually put her down after a feed without having to wait until she's in a deep sleep .

I don't think 7 months is too young to do some light sleep training if it's really needed. It's just very hard to dedicate yourself to it 100% when you've older children around and loads of stuff to be getting on with! Could you start at a weekend when your partner is around?

Greenstone Wed 03-Jun-15 19:14:00

I think 'sleepy but awake' is simply not ever a goer for some babies. It hasn't been for either of my two. They had to be just asleep and full and only then would they accept the shushing and jiggling stuff. Last night dd2 did actually do the famous 'sleepy but awake' to sleep transition while I was hiding at the end of her cot, but that's after weeks of the routine. And she still woke up several times after.

Anyway just don't be hard on yourself, it's such a weight having a non-sleeper flowers

flipflopsonfifthavenue Wed 03-Jun-15 19:35:37

Thanks for sweet posts. Tried a second night, took side off cot and pushes right against my bed. Was ok for 20/30 mins he played with a stuffed rabbit but once he got tired and bored and wanted boob he started crying. I was basically lying IN the cot with him, cuddling him but he was getting more and more upset and kept rolling into me/onto tummy to get at my boobs. He was crying so hard he was coughing and spluttering my partner came in to check I wasn't extracting his toenails!!!!

Gave up and have fed to sleep.

I've got the NCSS which I used some tips on DS1 when he was 12mo. In the end I did gradual retreat to nightwean him at 14mo and it worked well. I can't wait that long with DS2 but I think I may re read NCSS and try that thing - Pantly dance or something isn't it?

Thanks again for the sympathy. On the other hand, he FELL ASLEEP IN THE CAR without so much as a squeak today!!!! Miracles do happen.

Littlebear88 Wed 03-Jun-15 21:02:20

My son was a pram napper and wouldn't go down in the cot for naps for his first 4 months. I did a bit of a NCSS and shush pat combo where I would pat his bottom whilst feeding him then continue to pat his bottom after setting him in his cot drowsy .it seems to have worked for daytime naps and evening sleep!

He still wakes through the night so will need to find a solution for that..... When I have some energy! We co-sleep for the second part of the night!

cabbageleaf Thu 04-Jun-15 21:09:10

I posted a message here about getting my DS (5.5 months) to sleep in his cot a few days ago. He has now had his daytime naps in the cot these last few days, which is a huge progress! I put his cot in the sitting room where his bouncy chair was, which was where he napped beforehand. He cried at first but I shushed and jiggled his bottom and eventually he dropped off, and he's been fighting it less every day. Yesterday I put him in the cot thinking "let's see what happens", had a shower and when I finished he was fast asleep!! I could hardly believe my eyes. So maybe it helps moving his cot to a room he's only in during daytime, and trying over and over until he gets used to it. I always took him out as soon as he got hysterical and tried again the next day, so that he wouldn't associate the cot with being abandoned. Good luck!!

flipflopsonfifthavenue Fri 05-Jun-15 08:00:17

Thanks. His crying is intense and m pretty sure he'll make himself sick and it's just not worth it. Going to try something gentler and try to swop sleep association from breast to dummy/cot/bottom patting or something similar.
Yesterday I managed to get him asleep in his cot for all of 5mins. But that's 5more mins than the day before....!
Last two nights he's woken as I've come to bed so I've just brought him in with me as am so tired. Last night he latched on pretty much hourly and I'm so stiff and tired today.
It's exhausting sad

ohthegoats Fri 05-Jun-15 09:06:04

Mine was like this at 6 months, now at nearly 8 months she'll nap in the cot with a bit of rocking to make her properly drowsy, and will go to sleep (and resettle herself) in the cot during the evening. She now only wakes up at around 4.30 in the morning for food, and can stay in her cot all night.

I'd say that 6 - 7 months were the worst sleep stuff though - awake every 45 minutes/hour all night etc. What's changed is that I've weaned her off the boob and on to formula (first day of no breastfeeds at all was yesterday), she's started eating loads more and moves a lot during the day. The whole time that was going on I was trying gradual retreat with limited success, and mostly just giving up and feeding her to sleep or on urgent days putting her in the car. At night we co-slept. All the things you 'shouldn't do. I like to think that just introducing the idea of it may have helped her realise that she could/might be able to do it alone at some point. Was exhausting though.

The health visitor suggested wearing her out before bedtime - physically, and also to give her porridge with apple just before bedtime too. I have no idea whether this is what has worked, or whether it was just about her being older, but it's coincided with us doing those things.

flipflopsonfifthavenue Fri 05-Jun-15 09:37:24

Thanks ohthegoats I feel that the last month or so has got worse sleep wise and I was wondering too about this period if there's a big change in them as he's noticing when I leave the room etc and just seems a lot more clingy/needy - both terms I hate as OF COURSE he is, he's a baby.... Must be a big development jump like you say.

Going to continue trying a few things whenever I can and reasses in a couple months.

flipflopsonfifthavenue Fri 05-Jun-15 09:39:07

Incidentally he only woke once yesterday eve and we'd been out in the fresh air/sun all day so I think he was worn out. Plus he ate a stack of beans and pasta for tea smile which may have helped!

DixieNormas Fri 05-Jun-15 09:45:33

Ive always left sleep training until older, about 18 months. Ds4 has been the worst and has only just started to go down awake, probably from just before he turned 2 but he does have asd.

I still havent managed to gradually retreat any further than my bed next to his cot grin

All mine have been awful sleppers and iirc 7 months was a bad sleep stage, maybe wait a few months if you can

flipflopsonfifthavenue Fri 05-Jun-15 09:54:27

Dixie - DP still sits on the steps outside of DS1s room at bedtime and he's almost 3. We've been gradually retreating nowhere since he was 14mo! We're champions of never-gradually-retreat-very-far wink

DixieNormas Fri 05-Jun-15 10:00:59


Ibu1986 Fri 05-Jun-15 11:57:43

I have a one month old who takes most of his naps in a carrier and a select few in his crib. He also hates his pram/car seat. Today when he was fast asleep in his carrier I managed to carefully transfer him into his car seat (before he woke up 5 minutes later screaming for a feed but he would have probably done the same in the carrier). Somehow I never thought of this before! Would you be able to try transferring him from sling to crib for naps? I'm certainly going to try tomorrow!
Good luck!

flipflopsonfifthavenue Fri 05-Jun-15 12:08:54

I've managed a couple of successful transfers from sling when he was much younger. He usually did this when I had plans to go out - then he usually has no problem staying asleep. I think he can mind read....

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