Desperate but will it be cruel(34 Posts)
I have a 10 months boy who has never slept
From 0-6 months he constantly breastfed fed 1-2 hours 24/7 day and night , he is a big boy
Everyone said he was hungry and when he started solids he would sleep
He started solids at 6 months he now goes to bed no problem at 7pm sleeps till 12/1am then from then he comes in bed with me and pretty much feeds every hour, it's Defo a comfort thing
I have tried just leaving him a little bit and he just sits up in it cots and cry's.
His naps in day time are very poor he point blank refuses to sleep at home majority of the time and only if I drive him in car will he sleep
There is zero routine during the day for naps as he fights the so much
10 months of very little sleep is getting me down and I'm also worried about his development as he is no where near getting the required 10/11 hours a night us 2/3 hours naps a day
I've always felt cruel to leave him to cry and thought things would sort themselves out with his sleep but it's becoming apparent it's not.
I'm utterly desperate and don't know what to do, I've no idea if CC will work as when I've read about it , it sounds like it's for baby's being put to bed he goes to bed fine the issue comes during the night. I'm scared he will feel abandoned and I will do him harm. I've tried the no sleep solution book it didn't help
Please can anyone advice me how to get my baby to sleep im desperate
Have you checked there isn't somethimg that is unsettling him? Reflux? Colic? Indigestion?
Is he in his own room?
I'd suggest not letting him in your bed. But it will be tricky trying to get used to it. We went on the theory, 3 days to make a habit, 3 days to break a habit. But it isn't a fun 3 days.
Maybe try feeding him next to his cot and then putting him back down.
you need to knock the night time feeding on the head, it will be painful for a few days but once he gets the idea you will be back to sanity!! so drop a night feed every few nights. Leave it a few hours longer, tolerate the screaming and crying for an extra hour or so before you give in. Eventually you can make it the whole night by pushing it a bit further till you feed every few nights.
there are other ways of getting them to sleep, you can make sure they have eaten a good dinner, give them water to drink instead when they wake. if they are screaming for a feed in the night give them a little water, make it clear there's no breast milk coming, then you can put them in a buggy in a dark room with lullabys playing, rocking back and forth for an hour or so to get them off to sleep (even if they are screaming), once they get used to that time not being "hunger" / feed time (in a few days) there will be a lot less wakeups!!
Their stomach has to acclimatise to the feeding schedule.
No pain no gain on this, but only for a little while - a few days after the baby will get the message that feeds don't happen at this time and there will be smiles all around!
I only felt human again after I did this and forced the night feeds to stop!.
I don't know but feel for you, sleep deprivation is awful especially when it goes on for so long
My DS loved comfort sucking. I couldn't continue with breastfeeding because of unreal pain, but he would guzzle formula all day if he could so I resorted to a dummy - not ideal, but maybe consider to give you some respite? I restrict dummy to nap times/night times.
I'm not really comfortable with CC though. Maybe someone can suggest something else
Oh there you go, cross post with some much more helpful replies!
Yeah been in his own room since 6 months
He is a huge eater during the day so no way he needs night feeds, it's Defo just for comfort and habit
I caved yesterday and rang my health visitor and they are sending a sleep specialist next week to try and help me
I hope she has the miracle in looking for
Sleep training is needed... But there are loads of approaches so it's not a case of leaving him to it. I got to 9 months EBF and was completely broken by lack of sleep. I too phoned HV and made a plan. I stopped bf. At 10 months I started gradual retreat. By 11 months Ds was sleeping through. It was bloody hard work but now I know he can sleep independently. He is 18 months now- he is never going to be a great sleeper, there are still nights he is up for whatever reason but he can and does sleep some of the time.
It's a horrible position to be in but you will get through this. Good luck with sleep specialist, remember babies can and will adjust quickly even if it's tough.
My nearly 11 month old also wakes every hour or two, pretty much always has. I don't think techniques which basically rely on the baby giving up on you giving the comfort he wants are a good idea for us. We have a very determined baby and I want to nurture his determination rather than get into a battle of wills! A bit of a protest as he's put down doesn't worry me, but I don't let him get distressed.
What's working for us at the moment is doing shifts in the night so we each get a 3-4 hour stretch of uninterrupted sleep. Plus he's much more willing to fall asleep with cuddling rather than feeding if I'm not in the room and he can't smell the milk. So shifts definitely makes it more manageable now and is hopefully getting him used to not feeding to sleep. I've heard lots of people say that sleep gets better around 11-13 months without crying training,so I live in hope!
Oh, and if he doesn't seem sleepy/grizzly in the day, I wouldn't worry if he's not getting what the books call enough - all babies are different.
I don't get any help a lot of the time as my husband works away for a month at a time offshore so it's just me at the moment, he half way through a trip away at present
When he is home, he has tried to settle him at night but it doesn't really work what he does do though is in the morning he would take the baby's way downstairs and do breakfast etc and leave me to have a bit of a lie in for a couple of hours which helps
The thing about getting babies to sleep / night wean / go in their own bed IME is that you are trying to get them to do something they don't want to. Ergo, they will cry.
But these are important life skills and the long term gain will outweigh the short term tears. I did CC with my DD when I needed to (she was generally a good sleeper), and we had it licked within 1-2 nights. I appreciate it may take a little longer if your baby is such a comfort sucker. But it will work. My DD is 2.5yo now and has nothing but positive associations with bed and sleep. She loves her bed.
I second the advice of tackling one thing at a time. Personally I'd try the naps first, then not letting him in your bed: just feed when he wakes then put him down again. Lastly, night weaning.
It's an emotive topic but I firmly believe that for most children CC is by far the kindest sleep training method, because it works so quickly. That's not to say that you might prefer another method, which if it works for you, is fine.
I too think it is important that dcs learn to self sooth. Being able to get yourself to sleep is indeed as PP said a very important life skill. It isn't just for your benefit it is for his benefit too.
The No Cry Sleep Solution is a good read to get some ideas. Al so Dr Sears has some good info on breaking the habit of night feeds.
I'm in exactly the same position with my 9 month old. He goes to sleep around 7 in his cot but from anytime after 10 he refuses and will only settle in our bed with feeding being the only soother when he wakes every 2 hours (at the best!!)
We are trying cc for the first time tonight! My husband is going in offering water and seeing how it goes! I feel sick at the thought of tonight though, it's so hard!
People with good sleepers are so lucky!!
We did cc and it was the best thing for all of us. Short term pain for long term gain. Ds is a fab sleeper now. Good luck op.
Poor you, it's a horrible situation to be in. And hard to address when so tired. Best tip I got with sleep training was to start with the naps - it's easier to do sleep training when you've not been woken mid-sleep and are worried about waking others. I did CC with all of my 3 with limited success with the third, I have to say but it worked a treat with 1 and 2. Took the full 3 days with DC1 and was much easier once I'd seen it start to work with naps - night 1 a bit iffy but 2 much better and 3 fine. Dc2 only really took 1 night - very token effort not to sleep the next night but she gave in very quickly - made me wish I'd done it earlier! Good luck and try not to feel guilty - you've stuck it out for 10 months and you will be able to
give so much more once you've had some sleep - try and get to bed early the night you decide to start so you're ready to go.
Take care. x
Sleep training isn't 'needed'. That's rubbish (sorry).
Children are like this. They go through phases, sometimes they need comfort because they are getting teeth and these can hurt long before they appear in his mouth. Sometimes they just want you to be near.
I would not contemplate CC with a baby - perhaps some form of it with a toddler IF it was really necessary but I don't think it is, usually.
They grow out of it - they change constantly. It will pass, it's not damaging his development, he will sleep when he needs to.
If he is teething then there's nothing wrong with giving a little calpol - you will see, if he is quite red and hot. I've rarely done this but at times it does help when they are clearly in pain.
Do you co sleep? It might sound like a paradox but I find it is all about making life easier for YOU, rather than trying to change the baby's habits which is very stressful for you and them and often doesn't even work. (and when it does work it might not be for the right reasons)
So if you have him close to you at night, you won't need to get up to go to him, you may find he sleeps far better knowing you are within reach.
This is how I've done it with all three of mine and my sleep does get disturbed but not nearly so much as if I had to get up and walk to another room to feed them.
Sorry you are so worried. There's no need for concern - this IS normal and he is not broken, and will not break you xxx
How do you know it won't break the OP, Sophie? How can you possibly know what extreme sleep deprivation can do to other people's mental and physical health?
It's not my intention to dismiss the OP's suffering. I have been there and am still there really - I still have a toddler.
But I wanted to reassure her that this is normal and isn't something she needs to worry about as it will self resolve.
Sleep deprivation can be horrid and you need to adapt, I understand that. But often a first time parent will feel panicked about it, as if it will never end and they need to 'do something' about their abnormal baby when really there's nothing abnormal about it. This gets encouraged by people trying to make money out of sleep solutions and so on. People think they have a duty to make their child sleep through by a year.
I think that's counterproductive.
I hope that makes sense.
sorry but I personally disagree with the above, if sleep training helps you feel like a human again then it's worth it as by proxy your baby will be happier with a happy mum! sleep deprivation is a nightmare, and if you're stressed by night feeding you'll not be as good a mum as you would be otherwise.
it can be done gently without too much screaming and crying.
it takes a handful of days, if that, to drop a feed each few days and eventually baby will go through the night, with minimal crying. at 10 months old it is likely comfort feeding (that's what the official advice is) and don't feel guilty about easing off on it if that's what suits you as a mother. You will probably feel so much better without the broken sleep.
I co-slept and BF for over two years and I'm sure the co-sleeping induced additional night feeds for much longer than necessary and massively contributed to bad PND due to sleep deprivation. When I dropped them I became a much better, happier mum and my little one was much happier too as I was no longer an emotional wreck.
It's fine to disagree - I just wanted to add another perspective in case it was helpful.
I understand what you are saying about doing what is right for you - instinct is very important I think. Mine was just to roll with it and keep in mind that it wasn't for very long and would be Ok in the end. Others feel the need to act. No one should be forced to do either against their will unless the baby is being harmed. But harm is subjective I think.
Good luck Op whatever you decide and there are also far gentler methods than CC.
Yes to everything Griselda says above.
I had a very similar experience with sleep deprivation and subsequent PND. I have a 9 month old. I just get so angry when I see the same mantras trotted out 'it will pass, it's a phase' etc etc. The OP clearly needs and wants to change the situation for the sake of herself and her family. I believe sleeping well is just another skill you need to teach your children. If I had kept feeding DD all night, she would have kept asking. I'm a big softie where she's concerned, so I was unable to listen to screaming outside a bedroom door. We did it gently and patiently. Because we needed change. And she needed better sleep for her own health.
I just hate the thought of other first time mums reading posts like this and feeling that they are powerless and have to accept it. With potentially awful consequences on their health.
I'm not a fan of controlled crying when there has never been sleep, he doesn't have settling skills and his brain isn't developed enough to rationalise things. Are you familiar with the Isis website? The infant sleep information source not the terrorist organisation! All info on there is evidence based and may help you to understand normal infant sleep needs and patterns. I do understand the desperation though, been there!
I'm with Griselda. I don't subscribe to the 'this too shall pass' school of thought when it comes to sleep because it's just too important for us. And that includes mums.
Hope it's going OK, OP. And KP - good luck to you too.
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