1 year old getting to sleep (not using CIO)

(17 Posts)
lightningpeach Sun 13-Jun-21 16:35:14

1 year old DD sleeps fairly well once shes asleep but she cannot get herself to sleep. She has always breastfed to sleep or has bf then been held until asleep because she goes off pretty quickly and then I'll put her down in her cot. I need to get her to go to sleep herself, as she still wakes around 3am, cries and will only go back to sleep in our bed.

Ive tried waiting until shes sleepy and putting in the cot but she immediately wakes and stands up and cries. Also tried sitting in a chair at the side of the cot but she just stands up and gets more and more upset.
I cant wait for her to get sleepy because she just keeps standing up no matter how many times I lay her back down.
I cant see any other ways to persuade her to sleep without using some kind of CIO or leaving her to get upset and I dont think leaving them upset and crying and getting stressed out is healthy.

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lightningpeach Sun 13-Jun-21 18:30:34

Bump for help!

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lightningpeach Mon 14-Jun-21 12:58:44


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FATEdestiny Mon 14-Jun-21 13:54:59

You are suffering from a lack of consistency and giving up too easily.

You have always attachment parented (ie you are your baby's comfort). Your baby doesn't know how to sleep without you as a comfort and has never been given any opportunity to develop independent methods to comfort herself.

The stressfree answer to dealing with your DD's sleep would be to properly embrace attachment parenting. Bring her cot next to your bed, take one side off so its a sidecar cot. Then cosleep with her between the cot and your bed.

If you intend to have her sleeping independently (in the cot) she needs to go from fully awake to fully asleep all done in the cot. Not going into the cot asleep, or even nearly asleep, but awake. Then do all of the settling in there.

She's going to hate that.

She's going to be extremely distressed. She will cry vast amounts. Don't kid yourself anything else will happen - it won't. You just have to carry on and work through it.

Every time she stands up, lie her back down. Repeat a million trillion times. Don't get annoyed or angry at her, she doesn't understand why you aren't just cuddling her to asleep. Be caring and compassionate about it - but keep on lying her back down.

Even when/if she gives in and lies down for a bit, she'll still be very distressed and cry massively. So again, set your expectations that this will happen. It will not be easy and quiet, it will be distressing and very stressful for everyone involved. Stay caring and compassionate though, leaving her to cry alone is the last thing I would suggest. Stay with her, comfort her in the cot best you can - bend close to her, stroke, pat, tickle, be compassionate to her.

Then just keep on going.

Do exactly the same at any wake up in the night.
Do exactly the same at every bedtime, every night
Do exactly the same for every daytime naptime

Always keep going, be consistant.

lightningpeach Mon 14-Jun-21 17:36:39

Thank you for replying, I did a similar thing with my DS in that I bf until a year (and he was worse for falling asleep whilst feeding) and I somehow got him to sleep independently in his cot at around this age. From 6 months he would go to sleep then be put into cot but wake in the night. But he somehow transitioned to staying in his cot all night without much drama or persuading. This was really ver 4 years ago and can't remember exactly how I did it!

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lightningpeach Mon 14-Jun-21 17:39:01

I think the difference with DS was that he was happier to stay laying down so I could read or play white noise until he went to sleep and gradually I was able to just put him down.

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MistyFrequencies Mon 14-Jun-21 17:42:42

We lay next to ours (also mostly BF or hugged to sleep prior) in bed awake until they nodded off. Then once they had that sorted did the "I'm just going to check something, I'll be back in a minute" once they were tucked up. Had to go back initially and lay with them again after few minutes but gradually we stretched that time out until they go to sleep themselves.
Fair warning, with my first she mastered it at about 18 months. My second is 27 months and still often needs us to lay with him. I don't mind, he will get there eventually.


MistyFrequencies Mon 14-Jun-21 17:43:17

Obviously they were in big bed, not cot

lightningpeach Mon 14-Jun-21 17:55:59

That sounds similar to what we did with DS, maybe i'm being too optimistic about doing it at this age!
She will lay next to me and sometimes drops off like that.
@MistyFrequencies when you say they were in a big bed, were your DC in your bed or their own big bed?!

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MistyFrequencies Mon 14-Jun-21 19:08:46

With my first she was in a double. We had an Ikea pull out sofa bed thing (maybe Hemnes?) In her room with her cot and just pulled that out to a double when we started to realize getting her to sleep in the cot from awake was just a pipe dream.....we aren't able for a cry it out approach so this was best option for us. She goes to sleep now with a kiss, hug and high five so all worked out ok.
With my second they have tri sleeper bunk so I lay on bottom double bed with him. Like I said, still hit and miss but getting there.

lightningpeach Mon 14-Jun-21 19:52:27

Ah ok, I think I'll wait a bit longer then start trying that when I take the sides off her cot.

In the meantime I'll try laying next to her in our bed maybe to get her used to going to sleep like that.

Thanks for the tips!

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kitten789 Mon 14-Jun-21 19:56:49

We used a great booked called the baby sleep solution by Lucy Wolfe. It involves gradually moving from the cot, so for a few nights you lay them down and shhh pat them to sleep and then after a few days you stay by the cot and don't pat and over a period of a few weeks get further and further away. It took perseverance but we stuck with it and it did work. We also found that some stages took longer than the book suggested so we stayed at the previous stage a few days longer and this helped a lot.

FurrySlipperBoots Mon 14-Jun-21 20:44:08

I did a course on this not long ago, as a follow on from maternity nurse training. It was very much focused on 'attachment parenting'. The solution offered was to get into the cot with your little one! How practical this would be in reality I don't know. The idea is that you make the transition from nursing to sleep to putting down awake and them settling themselves in lots of little steps rather than one big jolting change.

So initially your new routine would be:

Breastfeed her in the same place you usually do, but only until sleepy, not asleep.
Lay her in the cot and get in with her.
She may well get upset because it's not what she's used to, but she has the reassurance of having you there as comfort.
Lie with her until she falls asleep. It may take a long time. Don't let her nurse after the initial feed before bed - you're trying to disassociate between your breasts and the ability to fall asleep. But Shhh, stroke, pat, sing, whatever works for you. BUT bear in mind any other sleep props you introduce now she will expect going forward. Does she have a special teddy? If not now would be a good time to get one. You can keep it in your bra/down your top for a couple of hours before bed, then it's hers. ONLY for bedtime, not to be played with during the day.

Continue with this every night. If she wakes you can get in with her, but not feed. This is the first step in the transition.

When she settles well like this (and make no mistake, it could take weeks!) try lounging in a beanbag next to the cot instead of getting in with her. You can stroke her hand or pat through the bars if your arm fits. Continue this for the next few weeks, or however long it takes for her to settle well.

When she's consistently settling with you next to her, move the beanbag nearer the door so you're in the room but not next to her/patting any move. You can still Shhh or sing or whatever but you're too far away to touch.

When she's used to this sit in the doorway.

When she's used to this stop sitting with her at all.

It could take months to crack it this way (or it could take a few days, every child is different and so is their ability to adapt to new 'rules'!

You could look into controlled crying (NOT cry it out!). The introduction of a teddy you've been 'wearing' and maybe a soothing sounds app or something will help you feel like you're not abandoning her, and doing what you can to keep things positive. She's likely to 'get it' much faster with Controlled Crying, and be consistently falling asleep alone within a couple of weeks, but there is the fear of deeper longer term effects.

You could just continue as you are, feeding to sleep, even go full 'attachment parent' and co sleep until she's ready to stop (could be another 8 years!!)

It is a tough one OP. The thing is what works like an absolute charm for one might just be traumatizing for another, and there's no way to know until you try. But whatever you do, try to be calm and consistent. Good luck!

lorisparkle Mon 14-Jun-21 21:31:08

My best ever purchase was a book called 'teach your child to sleep'.

It has practical fact based information and different strategies for different ages / problems/ parental preferences.

We chose a very gradual withdrawal/retreat method for our ds as it suited us as a family.

With any technique you have to feel ready both physically and mentally to tackle the problem.

It did take a while but was very successful

lightningpeach Mon 14-Jun-21 21:59:36

Some great tips here, Ive just about finished bf and shes not relying on bf to sleep so a new sleep prop sounds like a good idea at this stage.
Definitely not keen to do controlled crying, Id rather take a bit more time and do it without her getting upset. I don't remember any crying or stressful nights with DS but I do remember he took a while to keep him asleep all night without us going in to him at some point but he got the hang of it eventually!

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Bookishnerd Mon 14-Jun-21 22:25:03

No advice OP, except to say that I came into this thread with literally the exact same issue.

My DS is 14 months old and does the same thing. Very occasionally, I can get him to lie down in the cot and he'll go to sleep while I'm holding his hand through the bars.

But most nights, it's a battle to get him to lie down, so I give up very quickly.

This advice is helpful thank you.

I have two practical questions:
- how do you GET IN the cot? I am trying to work out the mechanics of actually getting in!
- I know it sounds silly but when my DS cries he's LOUD and I worry about the neighbours. My NDN has breast cancer and is undergoing chemo and I have that in the back of my head when he's screaming

lightningpeach Mon 14-Jun-21 23:27:47

@Bookishnerd lol there is no way I would be able to get into or out of DD's cot without breaking it or falling in/out!

Im starting with the sleeping next to me and then working on the cot when the sides come off. DD currently asleep on the sofa next to me (not on me grin)

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