Sleep train or wait it out?(11 Posts)
DD will be 11months next week. Her sleep has been slowly declining basically her whole life. She slept through from 6 weeks to 4 months them started waking once a night. By 7 months it was twice a night. At 10 months (3 weeks ago) she got a bad cold and since then even though she's better about half the time she'll be up every two hours. This week, on the bad nights, she's also started waking up earlier, like at 4:30 to 5:30 instead of 6:00 to 6:30.
Her daytime sleep is okay. Usually an hour and a half sometime before lunch and then an hour in the afternoon (awake again no later than 4). However she will only nap on or next to me/DH or in the pram. She's always been like this with day sleep, even when her night sleep has been good.
In the evenings she usually goes to sleep on the couch with us between 19:00 and 20:00 (I give her a breastfeed then a dummy and soft music so she has a little routine). At 9:30 we take her upstairs, change her and give her a final breastfeed in the darkened bedroom with white noise playing. I try to put her into the crib before she's asleep but she's so used to the routine she just passes out cold on my boob half the time. Gettig her to go to bed is not the problem. She always goes to bed really well.
The problem is she wakes up a lot at night. About half the time she's up around midnight. I try to get her back to sleep without feeding her and manage it about half the time. Then she's always up at about 2:30 and I feed her. Now her new trick is getting up about 4:30 and refusing to go to sleep without a LOT of work, if at all, when previously she was easy to resettle.
She is breastfed when I'm around (I work 3 days) and has bottles of expressed milk and formula when I'm not. She eats three meals a day but no snacks in between. DH and I work on opposite days to avoid childcare costs. She is still in our room and can't be moved yet as work on her room is scheduled for December. Its a tiny house so nowhere else we could put her.
I don't like the idea of controlled crying. She's wilfull and I'm worried she'll thrash in the cot and hurt herself. I've also heard it's hard to do when you're in the same room. We don't have a shared weekend so the first awful few nights will have to be done on someone's work night. And finally I just don't know if I'm strong enough to leave her wailing.
I could night wean but that's gonna result in just as many tears so I might as well go all in if I'm gonna do it.
Honestly in an ideal world she'd go back to just one or two wakings. I can handle that and it might help with my milk supply since I often have to skip day feeds (though if she naturally stopped nursing at night I'd be fine with that).
I want to just wait it out but I'm worried it'll just keep getting worse not better.
Does anyone have positive stories about waiting it out or am I fooling myself?
Depends. Do you like sleep more than you dislike CC?
I'm not sure. That's the problem. If I knew there was a fair chance it would get at least somewhat better in the next month, say, then I'd probably wait it out. But I'm concerned her sleep generally seems on a downward trajectory. If it's going to get worse from here I might be more willing to do something drastic...
Why are you keeping downstairs with you in the evenings and then giving her an additional feed at 9.30? I think that all sounds quite disruptive and is likely creating night wakings
I think you need to change the routine and put her down in her cot after her feed at 7-8pm. See if that change makes any difference to her wakings, and if not, make a plan then?
Their sleep changes A LOT at this age.
Also I think if they go to sleep feeding when they wake up they wonder where you are and it can upset them/make them fully wake. So the ideal is to NOT feed to sleep if you can help it. I know this is hard as I've been there myself!
I guess I'm just scared to change her bed routine because it works so well. It's the one thing that still is working! But I will look at changing it and seeing what happens.
Also back when she was waking once a night she'd occasionally wake at other times and I could always get her back to sleep no problem without feeding so it seemed okay. That's not so much the case any more though.
What strikes me from your post is that the way your DD goes to sleep is all very inconsistent. So in the day she naps in the pram or with you, at night she sleeps downstairs at first before going to bed. So it's not really surprising that she wakes up so much at night as her sleep environment is not always the same.
You don't need to do CC, you can also sleep train by staying with her. I would start putting her in her cot for all naps and for the evening. Yes she'll object at first, but you stay with her and reassure her.
I'm struggling with my 10mo too and have been posting for advice on how to night wean. But what I've concluded is that the important thing for babies is consistency in their sleeping environment and the reassurance that you will come when they need you. If she always goes to sleep in the same place, she will gradually learn to fall back to sleep by herself when she stirs in the night.
Total agree with the pp that you need a really consistent routine here with naps in the cot in the day and then putting down in the cot about 7/8 ish. Tbh we did sleep training with both of ours around 7 months as both were waking up constantly and it worked well for us but I appreciate it's not for everyone. The key is that your child needs to learn to self settle.
Why does she not have snacks during the day? I can tell when dc has had snacks or not by how well he sleeps.
Gummy - she doesn't have snacks because she prefers to have milk at snack time. So she does eat between meals its just still milk. She took a while to get into solids. I often offer her extra food at dinner time in the hopes of filling her tummy but she just stops after her normal amount.
I disagree her sleep routine is inconsistant. She rarely naps in the pram I just mention it because I CAN get her to sleep there if necessary while we have never in her life managed to get her to nap in her cot during the day and boy did we try when she was younger.
But basically day naps are downstairs with me or DH listening to specific music or upstairs at night with white noise. So really only two routines depending on location. Since she always GOES to sleep pretty quickly I don't think she's confused by these routines (which she's had during periods when her sleep was much better).
I do agree getting her down for the night in her cot at half seven is a good idea. Last night we tried that. The bed time worked mostly okay but she was still up two hours later. So we'll see if it works over a longer period....
Is there any chance you could increase the calories in her meals if she doesn't snack?
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