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So you always nursed/rocked your baby to sleep, and then they slept perfectly, right? They were really good sleepers, once they started to settle themselves? Right?!! RIGHT!?!?!?!?!?!?!

(25 Posts)
theSuburbanDryad Sat 16-Aug-08 21:55:25

Ds is just starting to settle himself but he's still not sleeping through. He's just taken over 3 hours to get to sleep - it's not a case of just putting him in bed and leaving him, I or dh have to stay with him while he whittles himself to sleep. He then needs to nurse in the night still and comes into bed with us.

I don't mind this in itself, but it's getting slightly wearing - especially as he's 19 months now and I assumed that he'd be sleeping through in his own bed by now. If you always nursed to sleep/co-slept then your child once they started sleeping through they slept forever and ever, right? They were perfect sleepers for the rest of their perfect little lives, right?

Could really do with some reassurance here. Am starting to tear hair out.

VictorianSqualor Sat 16-Aug-08 21:57:15

YEs. DS1 nursed to sleep until about 9 months, when I went onto bottles of ebm, then bottle to bed until about 2, then just ebd and sleep after a few nights of rapid return.

Have you tried giving him a bottle of ebm to himself in bed without you?

MatNanPlus Sat 16-Aug-08 21:58:14

Does he need the night time breast feed?

Could you do water in a sippy cup/bottle?

Can you just sit near him or do you need to actively soothe him to sleep?

How does he sleep in the daytime?

theSuburbanDryad Sat 16-Aug-08 21:59:12

Not enough milk to express at the moment, more's the pity. I've thought of giving him a cup of water or follow-on milk but i'm not keen on the idea because i have a feeling that even a "non-spill" cup will end up with him soaking the sheets, and if it's follow-on milk then he will end up with wet, sticky sheets. Also the amount of sugar in follow-on milk is probably not the best. He won't drink cow's milk.

Habbibu Sat 16-Aug-08 22:00:14

Yes, pretty much - she was nursed to sleep until 10 months, maybe, when she packed it in of her own accord. We had a grim few months from 7-11 months ( or possibly older - all a bit of a blur!) BUT we did a kind of gradual retreat thing, which took a couple of weeks (seeing progress all the time) and apart from a bit of a glitch at about 18 mo, she goes to bed and sleeps like a lamb. Still feels like a miracle!

theSuburbanDryad Sat 16-Aug-08 22:01:42

He only needs the night time bf from the point of view that it helps him get back to sleep. He doesn't need it nutritionally.

He sleeps ok during the day - often in the car or the buggy - but he sleeps well in his or my bed as well (depending on how desperate I am to get him to go down for his nap!) and he sleeps fine at nursery.

cadelaide Sat 16-Aug-08 22:02:20

I have the same with DS, he's just two.

The "anywayup" brand of cups don't leak, all 3 of mine have had those in bed, may be worth a try.

theSuburbanDryad Sat 16-Aug-08 22:05:03

cadelaide - do you put them in their beds with a cup of water and just leave them to it?

He's in a travel cot at the moment - although tonight he's in a ready bed as we're staying with the IL's - and I'm wondering if he needs to be in a bed. But then getting him to sleep in a bed is going to be a nightmare as at the moment we put him in the cot and let him settle himself. Tonight in the ready bed he just refused to lie still.

fishie Sat 16-Aug-08 22:07:50

YES. ds is 3.4 and for at least 6m now goes to sleep by himself (so long as somebody is there, but it is not lengthy). no crying, no returns, just very many long hours of time put in.

he was in own bed in own room from about 20m. he does appear in our bed around 4am but no longer requires us all to get up at 5 so i don't care. soon enough we'll have to wake him up.

Habbibu Sat 16-Aug-08 22:08:53

tbh I'd see if you could work on the first going to bed initially, trying to speed this up somehow (I know, easier said, and all that), and then apply same techniques to night wakings when he's getting the hang of it, and understanding "cues" to sleep - dd's, fwiw are: bath/shower/flannel wash, pyjamas, 2 stories with cup of milk, brush teeth (in bedroom, on knee), bed, lights out, then we recite the Going to Bed Book.
Sometimes she asks for music, and gets that - if she wakes in the night she'll sometimes ask for music, and so we stick it on again. Sounds very pat when put so simply, but it took a few weeks of talking to her about it, sitting and patting, sitting and resting hand, sitting, sitting further away, introducing Going to Bed Book, etc. Felt like a bit of a long haul at the time, but we did see progress before long, and I'm really happy with how we did it - it was calm and stress-free, if time-consuming. Of course, my survey has a sample size of 1, so may not be counted as a valid clinical study!

Twinklemegan Sat 16-Aug-08 22:09:44

Yes to all your questions. DS started to settle himself and consistently sleep right through at around a year old. I don't know if there's a difference if your DS is still needing help at 19 months, but he's still young. It'll come.

MatNanPlus Sat 16-Aug-08 22:10:59

Yep, the 18m toddler here has a non spill cup - tommee tippee - in bed with water and now you hear him stir, rooting around in his travel cot (moved from wooden cot as kept crashing around waking himself up ) and then you hear the hissing as he drinks and the settles and sleeps on, before the cup went to bed with him, by the time we got in and gave him the cup he was wide awake and took an age to settle.

katiepotatie Sat 16-Aug-08 22:11:05

BF, Nursed, rocked all of the above for 14 months, was at the end of my teather, especially as was going back to work...not good on 2 hours sleep! resorted in controlled crying i'm afraid, it worked for us though and LO sleeps for approx 11 hours after a bottle of cow's milk. She did hate cow's milk at first as was EBF, did half and half with boiled water and reduced it gradually. She will not take milk out a cup though.
cadelaide - might give that cup a try

MatNanPlus Sat 16-Aug-08 22:12:42

What is different about your settling of DS in the day as opposed to the night?

theSuburbanDryad Sat 16-Aug-08 22:18:56

MNP - no idea i'm afraid. I was wondering if it was just because I was less stressed? Tonight is not a good example, to be fair, as we are out of our normal surroundings, seeing the IL's and MIL has just confessed to me she gave ds 3 chocolate buttons and a chocolate mousse just before I took him for a bath. So that could explain his jitteriness tonight. angry

theSuburbanDryad Sat 16-Aug-08 22:20:56

Habb - how old is your dd? I wonder is ds is just too little for nighttime cues like that. He does have a going to bed song, and that seems to help but it didn't seem to tonight (but that could have been down to the surfeit of chocolate he had).

cadelaide Sat 16-Aug-08 22:21:08

Yes, I did that with DD.

She used to bf before bed until she was 2, and she'd wake lots in the night for a feed. When she stopped bf I put her in bed with a cup of water and she dropped off to sleep beautifully. She pretty much started sleeping through from the day I stopped bf. Interestingly, she wouldn't take cows milk until I stopped bf, but then she took to it quite quickly, almost as tho' her body was demanding it.

I've yet to get there with DS2 though. He still likes to bf before sleep, sometimes he'll settle straight away, sometimes not. He wakes in the early hours to feed and is then in with us until morning. I take heart from our experience with DD, and also from the fact that he is graaaaadually settling better at bedtime.

I feel I have garbled, hope it makes sense.

Thomcat Sat 16-Aug-08 22:22:59


For first 6 months she was BF to sleep in my bed with me.

Now she's BF in her nursery and put in her cot, sometimes still awake, in fact more often than not she's awake, and I just leave her and she goes to sleep.

Twiglett Sat 16-Aug-08 22:23:19

I used to bf my children to sleep I suppose but I would never be roped into staying with them till they settled .. I firmly believed that fosters a reliance on your presence to fall asleep that will then need to be either broken by retraining, or grown out of

but then I suppose different parents believe different things

theSuburbanDryad Sat 16-Aug-08 22:24:57

This is my worry Twig. But if we leave him he will cry and I can't leave him to cry himself to sleep. sad <<soft touch>>

Habbibu Sat 16-Aug-08 22:26:43

22 months, Dryad, and she got her cues better than we expected, tbh - she now recites them at us! She went through a phase of refusing to get into bed at about 18 mo, so we bribed her by promising a story when she was in bed. This eventually morphed into the going to bed book, etc. Frankly, I don't know how she just goes to sleep like that - I read and have the radio on to get myself to sleep, and she's quite bright and breezy when she gets into bed. But I will not question it. Oh No.

Habbibu Sat 16-Aug-08 22:28:05

Wasn't my experience, Twig, but we did reduce what we did, little by little, so we'd sit further away, and then by the door, and then outside the door, etc.

MatNanPlus Sat 16-Aug-08 22:30:27

TSD what about starting to have a bedtime cd playing and just being with him as you are now and just repeating a phrase like "sleepy time, night night"

then you can by with hime not actively patting etc but still having the cd and the phrase?

Maybe also use the cd for day sleeps when he is settling well so it will trigger a memory/feeling as he hears it at night?

hmm chocolate won't have helped wink

Peachy Sat 16-Aug-08 22:30:58

ds4 has slept whilst not being held twice in 4 mobths, both in the last week in a swinging chair


ds1, 8.5, still awful sleeper

theSuburbanDryad Mon 18-Aug-08 08:48:59

Right - update. We got home yesterday and ds went to sleep in his cot, with dh playing him music, like a dream. Dh was still there in the room with him, and obviously we need to work on retreating from the room but I think he just wanted his own bed and he was very glad to be home again! Also, I didn't pump him full of sugar just before bedtime like someone else did ("I'm really sorry - I just didn't think!" angry) so a better night all round for us.

I think we will work on the night weaning - but we're hoping to move house in the next month or so (assuming it all goes through...fingers crossed!) and I want to wait until he's settled in his new room before I try night weaning him.

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