Baby sleep dilemma, please help!



  • Sorry, can't start a post from my phone.

    Ladies, I need your help, I don't know what to do. A is 6.5 months and waking every sleep cycle at night and if I'm not lying next to him he wakes and cries. Even cosleeping he wakes every 1-4 hours to feed (bf) and has always been like this. We did pick up put down for naps and it started working quite well but he'd still only do 45 min, with 2 80 min naps. Always waking and crying, usually still tired but wouldn't go back to sleep unless on me.

    I keep swaying between using cc or pupd to tackle his nighttime clingyness and just going with cosleeping and hoping he will be ready for his own bed soon?! I keep doubting myself and I really don't know what to do. My H doesn't really want him cosleeping but understands it does work more than his own bed. I don't want to cosleep long term and I really need him to sleep longer at night, even 2-3 wakings would be better than what we have now :-(

    I'm terrified of all the 'rods' I'm making but how the hell do I anything else, he gets so upset on his own?! Even the hv has said use cc. I don't mind night nursing but I know he doesn't need to eat every couple of hours now, he's on 2-3 meals a day blw and purees and eats really well. Plus 4-5 bfs too.

    Why can't I decide? I seem to be swaying from one extreme 'camp' to the next. Thinking I can't do that to him but then he has to learn to sleep by himself at some point and is sooner better? Arghhhhhhh! My head is all over the place (probably lack of sleep for almost 7 months!) so sorry for the long ramble.

    Thanks xxx

  • From mother of one brilliant sleeper (A) and one totally crap sleeper (L) stop thinking you're making a rod for your own back for starts. That's a load of crap. Do what you need to do to get as much sleep as possible, if that's co sleeping then so be it. It's not ideal but it was a survival method for us. I tried CC, gradual retreat, pupd and god knows what else over the last 3 years. We gave up and decided it was easier if L just slept between H and I like he wanted. Meaning we all got a decent sleep. Then a few months back it was a switch was turned and its been 3 weeks since L slept with us. He does come through for a drink still every night but happily goes back to his own bed.

  • If a bf gets him back to sleep quickest then I'd do it. Can you dose while he feeds? Can you feed laying down/on your side? I found this a life saver.

  • Thanks LR, its so hard as I feel like I have to justify my sleeping to people and I do want more sleep and more babies which we aren't going to have whilst it is like this :-/ I just wish I felt confident with whatever choice I make but I don't think I will. I do bf him back to sleep and can do it lying down (I often fall asleep myself!), I don't try and get him to sleep any other way as this is the most effective (before 5am!) and quickest. Man I'd pay for a full night of sleep, if he'd take a bottle I know my parents would have him but no such luck!

  • I have no advice but do feel your pain. F was waking every sleep cycle for a couple of weeks and I had to resort to cosleeping to avoid going insane from sleep deprivation. He now sleeps in his cot for around five hours before becoming unsettled and I usually bring him into bed to avoid lying listening to him kicking about until he wakes for a feed at three. I wonder if it will ever get better but he has recently started to settle himself to sleep at night provided I sit beside the cot and he is not overtired so maybe they do just fix themselves? I don't have the willpower or patience to stick with any training techniques at the minute so I just go with whatever means I get some sleep (which is what I should be doing now!)

    Do whatever is best for your family now, you don't know what will happen in the future regardless of what you do now.

  • Smarties I could have written this but at 8.5 months. H won't even go down in an eve now and it's so hard.

    I really hope someone has some answers.  

    LR - would your bad sleeper sleep in an eve / day and just wake in the night or did they have trouble going doen as well?

    I don't think people understand how hard it is with a no sleeper until they've had one

    Big hugs xx

  • LM - up until he was 2.5 yrs I had to rock him to sleep on the glider chair and then transfer without waking him into his cot/bed. Now he will go into his bed awake but I have to sit on the glider chair at the bottom of the bed until he falls asleep. Thankfully due to not letting him sleep during the day since he turned three this only takes 10-30 mins now. Whereas it could take up to midnight before.

    He's never had a daytime nap in the cot - ever. Any naps were on me, in the car or in the pram. I'd walk with the pram u til he fell asleep, park it at the patio door outside and I could get some housework done or spend time with A. It was really the only way to get him to sleep not on me. I even resorted to leaving him in the car when he fell asleep (in the drive in front if my livingroom window)

  • None of it was ideal but it had to be done. I couldn't have him screaming all evening when A needed to sleep.

  • Just agreeing with LR in that ignore this rod for your own back none sense.  We are very anti CC here anyway but my thinking is that right now if he's sleeping on or with you then he needs the comfort.  CC and co sleeping are completely different ends of the spectrum and if it were me I couldn't put my baby through that anyway but certainly not from such a gentle parenting technique to cc I'd worry personally that them knowing I'm not coming would make things worse.

    At around this time with my E we did a lot of night feeds having stopped them much earlier at about twelve weeks. It's such a huge development point. Are you weaning?  Could the answer lay there?  We ff but offering more feeds in the day helped too (obviously she refused some). Could you consider a bedside crib/something very close to you but not invbed as a first step.  

    Personally I'm of the opinion they'll just grow out of these bad habits people keep insisting you've created.  I don't think they are bad if they allow better sleep.. E definitely does have stages where she's fab but times when you forget what sleep is!

  • JRJ, I'm the same...whatever is easiest! Hope things continue to improve for you. I'm trying to start him off in his crib, keep hoping that one day he will surprise me and just sleep!!

    LM, it is tough and I'm sorry you're still having a hard time too. Hugs!

    LR I don't know how you coped! :S He started falling asleep in his pushchair recently but wakes if I stop pushing him!

    LittleMadam, I have the cosleeper crib but it makes no difference...he knows I'm not right next to him! He's weaned, eating well but it hasn't helped. It's all sleep cycle related and he needs me there at each one but I need some evening/time with my H :S

    Thanks everyone x

  • Ha we had one that would only sleep in the car or pram if it were moving. God help us if we hit a traffic light,  she gets right grumps! Haha.  

    Really hope that you are able to find a solution. I'm guessing you've tried the white noise type apps / bears that activate when they stir to help them nod back off?

    My friends also did this technique where she knew when he'd wake,  every two hours as he entered lighter sleep so she woke up after 1h45m just enough to stir not fully awake and shh'd him into the next sleep cycle. She had some success with him eventually not waking and making the transition himself but even then had to resort to CIO. Tbh though it doesn't help. He's not crying to be naughty or for attention he himself wants to be sleeping and wants help from his mom.. think how you feel after 30mins of crying?  Headache?  Thirsty?  Snotty? .  After a couple of hours of screaming he does go back to sleep but the cycle then repeats himself as he if thirsty/hungry and hurting so he screams as much as he sleeps. This pretty much continues all night

  • Yep, tried everything out there! I'm not considering CIO and never mentioned it, that's different to cc and I'd stay with him to start but just not bring him into my bed. This is why I'm asking for advice as I don't know what to do for the best and that I'm so torn.

  • No advice but just to repeat what I've said before, you're doing brilliantly and are always doing the best for your lo so please don't beat yourself up about whichever route you choose, and clear all that well meaning 'advice' about rods etc as it's just clouding you and not helping practically anyhow.

    I don't think anyone knows truly how you feel and how hard it is (me included), unless they have been there themselves. I also don't think they can say what they definitely would or wouldn't do either, they aren't walking a mile in your shoes. Also, remember they don't know your baby, but you do :)

    Big hugs x

  • :( sorry things are so rubbish :( and i've just realised i never properly replied to your FB message from a while ago...sorry!!

    PUPD worked for us, but we stuck at it rigidly, and it really only worked for night time. We tried it during the day as well, but it only seemed to make a difference at night. We stuck at it though even when we thought it wasn't working, bt she did eventually start responding to it and we relatively quickly got our sleep/evenings back. I guess what I'm saying is, if you do want to do something about it and you think you know what method you want to do, make sure you do it strictly and don't give up after a bad day/night. Don't be afraid to adjust it slightly though if you think he'll respond better a certain way. After a while of us doing it, A started to roll onto her side and suck her thumb, so we let her to that ather than trying to pick her up (which would anger her), and now she settles herself that way with very little input from us.

    At the end of the day, you know A best, and while you should try and do something to change the current situation (only because you seem to be indicating here that you want to), just follow your gut instinct and get as much help/support from your H as possible xxx

    FB me if you want, I promise I'll reply this time Laugh

  • It's hard isn't it (wasn't suggesting you would do CIO but what's where can waking took my friend iyswim). I'm sure though you'll find something that fits.

  • I think that when it comes to sleep there are no right answers and what works for one family won't work for another.

    And babies change so much that what works this month may not work in two months time.

    And whatever happens, you have not got a 6 month old into bad habits. Babies are still so tiny and the have lots going on - developmental changes, teething, colds - which can all affect their sleep. My daughter (now 6) was on the whole a good sleeper. However, she went through many phases of waking up at night for various reason (or sometimes no reason at all) and we often used to co-sleep with her (we had a spare double bed in her room so one of us would sleep with her in there).

    I would often let her sleep longer on me during the day as I felt it was important that she slept as much as possible. I would have a rest, it was the winter and cold anyway, plus I didn't have another child with the demands that brings.

    Our priority was to make sure that we all got as much sleep as possible and this worked for us (in the long run I'm not saying it was easy at the time).

    Don't doubt yourself. If you want to try something like pick up put down then try it, but you will need to give it time to work which means trying it for several days consistently. If you don't want to feed every hour at night then you will have to be hard and stop offering the breast as the way of getting the baby to go back to sleep. If however, you just want everyone to sleep then go with whatever works for you for now.

  • Thanks so much ladies, your replies are really appreciated x

  • S is 6 months today and not a fan of sleeping for too long at a time.  She has managed 5 hours about five times in her life but generally wakes every 2 hours.  I am on my knees.  Sometimes she does one 3 hour stint over night, woo hoo...

    My older daughter is an amazing sleeper so I really do believe some just take their time to get there.  Please be soon.  I feel your pain x

  • Oh VE, that sounds exactly like us....count on one hand the number of 5+ hour stints! I am hoping that they all start getting it soon, I guess you're right and its different for every baby. Trust me to get a faulty one, it is payback for sleeping 8-10 hours straight all through pregnancy!! Hugs though,it must be even tougher with another Lo in the equation too x

  • I couldn't sleep when pregnant either! She has been a nightmare tonight, the longest I have been in bed is an hour. On the positive, she has self settled twice which is k step in the right direction.

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