Methods to get my 8 month old to sleep in his cot(25 Posts)
I need some advice as to any sleep training methods that do not involve cry it out, that may get my 8 month old sleeping better and in his cot.
We have co-slept for majority of his life as bf. But periods of cot sleep with the duration of this varying. No longer bf, returning to work in 2 weeks. He often wakes and won't settle back to sleep in his cot, even if given milk/cuddled/rocked I often try put him down 5 times+ then end up giving in and he ends up in our bed.
DP offers to help and often takes over but little one goes bat shit crazy at him, yet doesn't necessarily settle on me either, with it currently resulting in 2 hour awake period in the night.
I'm anxious about going to work so exhausted and having to make important decisions. Also have mega guilt for feeling so irritated during the night. There have been a few tears this week on my part as just not coping with the frequent wakes 6-8 times (with the 2 hour awake time too).
Aim is to get him to sleep majority of night in cot, drop feed during night if poss, and to share the night duty with my DP.
Any help much appreciated.
Does he have to sleep in a cot? Ds (now nearly 13 months) took against his cot at a similar age. We put a mattress on the floor beside it in his room as a temporary measure. We creep out once he's down without disturbing him, or just co-sleep. Turned out to be not so temporary - we're still doing it and are planning to get rid of the cot. He's happier and sleeps better and so do we. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't a magic fix but since we chilled out a bit and stopped stressing about getting him back into the cot he's improved massively and we're all getting more sleep (just as well, I had to go back to work at the start of January too!).
Thanks Queen, he used to sleep ok co-sleeping as did both me and my DP but now I end up just being awake. He moves a lot, wakes a lot and cries out and I just can't get comfy. Suffering with back pain and with him in the bed I just can't lay in a way that relieves it. I need a king size bed which would help but defo wouldn't fit.
Does he have a dummy, comforter? He will need some kind of comfort in his cot, if you were his source of comfort beforehand then his cot will seem very empty without you and an alternative source of comfort. If he won't take a dummy, I'd try and introduce a muslin as a comforter. If he likes his bottle and can hold it himself, I would give him a bottle of warm water so he can do some sucking. If he won't have any of that, you will have to resort to shush-patting in the cot, which will involve crying initially but he will get used to it. Whatever you decide to do, be consistent - give it at least a week to work.
My answer would be almost identical to Scrumptiouscrumpets's post above.
I would only add a bit about realistic expectations.
"sleep training methods that do not involve cry it out.... returning to work in 2 weeks. He often wakes and won't settle back to sleep"
You will not find any sleep trainibg methods that dont involve any distress and will work within 2 months, certainly not 2 weeks.
So you need to reset your expectations. If you want to see significant change before you go back to work - controlled crying or CIO are your options. But these are not recommended before 12 months, so you would be using distressing nethods on a baby too young. It's often done though, if you cannot cope any longer...
Or if you want to go the gentler routes, you may see some progress within a few weeks, but expect much longer term than that to solving this. Finding ways to cope and maximise your sleep despite baby's sleep may be the way to go.
The first job is establishing alternate comfort for the baby (as pp said).
Thanks everyone I will certainly take all this on board. He has a dummy and I will dig out one of the many comforters he was given when born and have it with us for naps and bedtime.
You are right about realistic expectations I need to make sure of this. I have felt so sad during the night and honestly have shared my thoughts with my DP that I feel like I am failing at this bit and letting our boy down by not getting on with it/figuring it out!! I'm not good, not being good at stuff 🙈
No advice I'm afraid, but wanted to say hi. I'm in the same situation, sort of. DS is 8.5 months, takes day naps on me or in pram. Tried intermittently to put him down in the day, but I've always taken the path of least resistance and let him sleep where he wanted.
Never slept more than 4 hours, anywhere!! Used to be in Snuzpod but trying to transition to cot, he does one or two hours then awake again. I know using unhelpful sleep associations like feeding or rocking, but he used to sleep longer!!! I generally take him and sleep in the spare room from about 2am.
We're going to try pick up put down cos I can't take it anymore!! What are you thinking OP?
I transfer my DS into the cot when he's asleep. (He's 8 months.) Where is his cot in relation to you, in your room? I would persevere with transferring him while asleep and worry about getting him to go to sleep in there later.
DS slept on me during the day until he was 6 months and then we gradually started putting him down for naps. Took a couple of weeks but he is fine with it now. The key is to be quick but gentle when putting him down. Does he sleep in a sleeping bag? That will help with the transition so it's less of a change. I also put a worn top of mine under the cot sheet so it smelt like me, made a big difference! Good luck op.
Scottish- hi 🤗 I'm only really able to put him in cot when already asleep so have continued doing that. Tried pick up put down with not much success but if I wait till he is asleep it's better and he sometimes stays asleep. We've had much better sleep patterns before now, it's got a lot worse last couple weeks. His wakings tend to start from about an hour after him going to bed. Used to get up to 3 hours before he'd wake.
Chocolate - yes I think your right, he definitely needs to be asleep before put him in the cot. His cot is in his room, only recently put it in there-was at end of our bed.
I'm pleased to say last night me and my partner took turns seeing to him and whilst I was up about 5 times and one waking was for 2.5 hours (partner did 1.5 hours of this) he didn't come in our bed till 6am it's a start. Once we got hang of this we hope for less wakings!
Ahh, my ds is similar but I always assumed that he woke up wanting to be fed or rocked again at the end of sleep cycle. So, bedtime routine then fed or rocked, up 1.5 hours later and repeat.
I wonder what's happened in the last couple of weeks? Is ds crawling?
Well done with a 6am before a cosleep, 4am was my aim but it has been a lot earlier. We had tears, from me, at the weekend (that's why your thread resonated so much) with an "I don't know what to do" wail, hence sitting dh down with mumsnet threads about pick up put down! Hoping it will naturally reduce his feeding in the night if he can get himself to sleep without it.
Unfortunately we really need to wait for the weekend.....
If going back to work, I would seriously consider controlled crying / rapid return. It's considered ok to do after 6 months and it's alright to want to sleep in a bed at night.
we did gradual retreat following a thread called "what worked for us". Much slower though.
Aww Scottish, you sound like me!! Lots of tears my end too-just feel that I am failing this bit of parenting! I get upset because I feel so frustrated by the sleep situation and tired, then horribly guilty for feeling this way. It's silly I know but I just thought I'd be a bit stronger. My boy has been crawling for few weeks actually?! I read an article somewhere that 8-10 months is a difficult sleep period similarly to the 4 month sleep regression.
I had waited to try avoid co sleeping till my partner was able to do the night shift with me. Keep me motivated not to cave and bring him into our bed. Good luck with it all. I'll be thinking of you.
Nan- I have heard about those methods just not sure I can do it. I've surprised myself at how hard I find it to hear my boy cry. Having a baby has made me soft!! I will see how things go and who knows if I get desperate perhaps I'll try it.
Thanks for the advice/support!
Scottish, just to add, me and my partner did exactly that, sat and trawled mumsnet, read various articles!! We still rock to sleep, having fairly recently stopped bf I am offering a bottle in the night too but not sure if I should be?! He fed so much during the night when bf and doesn't take the amount of formula it says on tin in a 24 hour period so it's possible he is hungry despite a good eater now.
Try not to be too hard on yourself and know your not alone!! X
Aww, thank you, I'll be thinking of you too.
DH put ds down tonight after I'd fed him so we got 2 hours to have dinner and chat, whoop!
But I struggle to settle him without feeding so I've just fed him back to sleep. I did consider stopping the bf, but I know I'll cave if he nuzzles me and I do enjoy it, just not 10 times a night!
Be strong tonight, hope dh can still help and keep posting!
Interesting about the crawling, I had some rose tinted ideas that once he could crawl his mind could relax at night, and he'd also be more tired, but this is clearly just wishful thinking!!
Can i join you all?
Ds bf to sleep, we cosleep too. Since 4m he has gotten really fussy with feeding, he doesnt just feed and drop off anymore - its a battle. Only recently managed to stop rocking whilst feeding every feed (still do it if overtired but rarely)
He hates his cot, screams anytime he is put down in it. I have success at moving him.across maybe 1/10 times but he tends to wake more often than not which is a total pain as can take 30+ mins to get back to sleep. Left him to CIO yesterday for a nap after he'd been bf for 40mins and still wide away but obviously tired as he'd been up for 3.5h - he screamed and I mean proper screamed for 1h 40m before projectile vomiting all over himself and cot, obviously couldn't leave him like that so picked him up, stripped cot etc and he fell asleep after 5min bf in our bed. He was very clingy all day after this as well I'm at a loss as to what I can do as DH hates cosleeping so I'm in a lose lose either way!
I would maybe wait until you have gone back to work as it may be too many big changes for him in a short period. I know you probably want to try and 'sort' this before you go back but he's probably going to need you even more at night if he's away from you in the day.
This is quite interesting to read.
Everyone is different but I got more sleep and was a lot less stressed when I decided to stop obsessing over trying to get them DC to sleep on their own. Once I had accepted that it won't last forever and just to do whatever it takes to get them back to sleep in the quickest possible way (so b/f back to sleeping lying down and co-sleep) I found I actually slept better as I wasn't lying there getting angry and stressed about them waking up, not sleeping in cot etc.
I know that doesn't work for everyone though and you've got to find whatever's best for you.
Just thought would share as I wish with my first someone had told me it was ok to carry on co-seeping as I spent so much time stressing over it and trying to sleep train.
Good luck whatever you decide to do!
Are you able to put the cot next to the bed and drop one side, perhaps, like a co-sleeper? That way you can still sleep in your bed and him in his, but still more or less next to one another? And then you won't have to lower him into his cot Judy scootch him across? We found it was the lowering that woke our ds during the transfer - apparently it triggers their falling reflexes and startles them awake. Once he's used to being in the cot next to you you could gradually move further away, eventually raise the cot side and finally move the cot away from the bed. It all depends on available bedroom space though!
The key thing though, difficult as it sounds, is not to blame yourself, either for him waking up or for getting upset about it! I can say that more easily than I can do it myself though...
Sorry you're having sleep stress too. I'm sat here now on the sofa, just fed ds to sleep as I knew he was tired but would not settle with a rock. I haven't tried putting him down in the day since before Christmas because it would always mean loads of time settling then hardly any sleep!!
Will your lo drop off with anyone else? I was poorly at the weekend so dh had ds all morning after I'd fed him and said that he fell asleep with just a short rock then slept for over an hour on dh chest!
We are trying to use this at night, so dh puts him in his cot and he does go a bit longer, but when it's me at night, as I've said before I just feed then cosleep.
Do you have a spare room you could cosleep in? Then it shouldn't bother dh? We're much more comfy in the spare room!
So, again, no advice I'm afraid, but as 1sttimemamma said to me, you are not alone with this xx
I would love to scottishbride but I'm about 90% sure DH would take great offence to that plus we have two other dcs in the two other bedrooms so no spare room as such though there is a spare bunk bed
@scottishbride - please don't stop bf for sleep related reasons It's often said it helps babies sleeps, don't get me wrong sometimes it does but not always. Also only stop bf when you feel ready and don't feel pressured, as I was very happy with my decision to stop but it was still very difficult time. Hormones went nuts which doesn't help.
So last night, I put DS to sleep in cot at about 1845. He woke twice before partner got home 1030/11. Partner decided to sleep on floor in DS bedroom as doesn't hear him wake, even with monitor-this was the case when co-sleeping too?! Anyway DS woke 3 further times in total but partner was able to settle him back to sleep although this included DS sleeping with partner on the floor part of the night! Regardless much improved than previous nights and DS in his room. I slept 4 hours without waking up. Literally have t slept that long since way before boy was born!!!
@iamdivergent, like @littledinaco says don't feel bad about feeding to sleep, co-sleeping if it works for you. But I get your partner doesn't like it-maybe suggest he tackles getting your DS to sleep elsewhere? It's been positive for us so far although one night haha. Before this my partner couldn't settle DS at night at all, him seeing to our son in another room without me there is what I think has made it possible.
@littledinaco you are so right, go with what works. I'd always slept fine with him in our bed till recently otherwise would of kept him in with us for sure. There is so much pressure on parents-don't co-sleep you'll make rod for your own back, don't feed to sleep bla bla bla it's so unhelpful when your first time mum struggling through it all.
Thank you @QueenRefusenik we don't have room for co sleep cot but think would be good option to transition perhaps for @scottishbride and @iamdivergent
Honestly, @littledinaco has it right! I found exactly the same thing. As soon as I chilled out, ds did too
I had to 'teach' myself to go back to sleep straight away and it took a bit of practice.
I remember going away with my sister and staying in the same room. We woke up in the morning and I said I was surprised DS slept right through as I thought he might be unsettled being away from home-she looked at me like this and said she'd heard him wake up a couple of times and heard him feeding but I just hadn't registered it at all.
It might be easier to sleep train yourself than it is to sleep train the baby
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