Desperate and losing my mind... this baby will not sleep

25 posts / 0 new
Last post
SaraMeow's picture
Joined: 11/02/10
Posts: 406
Desperate and losing my mind... this baby will not sleep

Any of you who are on my facebook are probably familiar with this as I get near losing it every few months, but this time I am literally in tears when I think of it.
I don't know what to do. I have been very anit cry it out but I am very close to giving in as I don't know what else to do.

Roman is breastfed and has nursed to sleep since day one. At one of our well baby visits the ped said I should start laying him down awake.... but at that time he was IMPOSSIBLE to wake after nursing and it never happened.

Roman is now 13 months old and has never... yes NEVER fallen asleep with out being nursed if by me, or rocked if by someone else to sleep, other than in the car.

He wakes MULTIPLE times a night and has to nurse to get back to sleep. Last night he went down at 8.. was up at 10, 1230, 300 and then at 5 he woke and I didn't get him back down until 615... he would fall asleep and then either I would start to lay him down and it would wake him, or he would wake back up 5 mins after laying down. Then he was up for the day at 730.

I am so ready to be done breastfeeding, but I don't know how I would ever get him to sleep... I tried the other night to not bf between 12 and 6 and gave up after almost 2 hours. Roman is 29 pounds, it's a lot of baby to walk and rock.

With all the research about damage to babies done with cry it out, and also my gut saying it is wrong wrong wrong for us I have fought all the suggestions I do it. I also don't think R would be one of those fuss a few mins and go to sleep babies... I think it would be an insane screaming fest , and I worry he would hit his head on the crib.

We have a bed time routine.. I have tried to get him attached to a lovey (no success). I say a key phrase when he is going to sleep nightly. I bought a sound machine for his room. I have tried with and without a nightlight... I have tried warmer and cooler temperatures.

Every once in a random blue moon he will do something like sleep 5 1/2 hours, but I can never see a pattern as to why.

I am so tired... and my back is MESSED up and this is making it worse. I picked up the vacuum the other day and it went out so bad I have been in labor intense pain and picking up and putting down a giant babers multiple times was like torture last night.

I don't know what to do . I am in tears as I write this. I am so frustrated. Last night I was so mad at Roman and that is the last way I want to feel towards him. It makes me feel so guilty.

He is also an incredibly awful teether. He has been constantly teething for months.... months. The only thing that helps is ibuprofen, and I can only give that so often you know?

I just.... I just need some help and perspective here.

For anti cry moms... is there a point that you would give in and try it? Would you let them cry while you patted their backs and sat with them. check in every few minutes...... what? Not give in and keep going because they have to sleep some day?

I am sure this post is all over the place... but I am exhausted. Help.

PatienceW's picture
Joined: 08/06/08
Posts: 857

BIG HUGS! Hang in there Momma! I know this is not a board I usually post on, but I felt you needed someone to respond! My son needed to be rocked to sleep at first and I gave in and did the cry it out... I was a baby that scream and not go to sleep. My dr told my mother to put me in the crib close the door and not go back in. (I turned out just fine!) I was hesitant to do the cry it out with my son, but he needed to go to sleep! and I was at my wit's end. He had learned that as long as he was screaming I was going to come in and hold and rock him. Truth be told. I can't always do that and he needed to learn to sleep without that.. (what if something were to happen and I couldnt be there to rock him?) so we let him cry it out. we'd let him cry then go back in rub his back, tell him it was ok, etc. then leave again. I would then extend the amount of time before I'd go in. (first 20 mins then 30, then 45 etc) He finally figured out that I wasn't coming in and would go to sleep. It was hard at first--and I often sat outside his room crying myself. BUT it worked and he can go to sleep now. As mommy you will also know the difference in the "I want you back in here Im going to scream until you come back" cry and the "something's wrong "cry. If it is the something's wrong cry I go in. I have a video monitor and that helped because I could see if something was wrong rather than just guessing from the cry. I also found that when DS would wake and cry in the night he was never really awake and I reminded myself he wasn't going to starve etc, and eventually he has stopped waking in the night bc I stopped going in to him. I also have a cd player that plays on repeat all night. I have a lullaby cd in there and then if he does wake that comforting sound is still there. You need him to sleep because you need your sleep.. as far as your comment about being mad at him... sounds like it could be the start of ppd? I had feelings like that when I was attempting to breastfeed my son, and I dreaded when it was time to nurse. I didnt like feelin that way. Talk to your doctor and be honest. I waited a while to talk to mine because I was embarassed by the way I was feeling, but truth is, it isnt that uncommon and they can only help you if they know.... As for hte teething. i used Hylands teething tablets for my son and htey seemed to work well. (didn't like the little teethers as they did not dissolve like they shoudl ahve) have you tried some frozen fruits/etc. (we had these neat little bags you put it in and they could chomp on it until it was mush and coming through the netting. I apologize if my answer is all over the place.. I was typing in spurts between chasing a 3 yr old and trying to get him down for his nap. (and the typeo's my computer is about to die on me)

jojogun's picture
Joined: 07/17/09
Posts: 561

*lurker*
Your post sounds just like me about 9 mths ago! I coslept and exclusively bf'd DS and was not willing to do cry it out even though he was up numerous times at night. I finally stopped bfing him cold turkey one Saturday. I had been up with him every hour to hour and a half the previous night and had had enough! I was expecting a week of pure hell but it only took 2 or 3 long nights and he was sleeping better than ever! After 5 days he was sleeping all night - still cosleeping bit not waking to nurse at all. I think that he never really ate enough food to get full and since breastmilk wasn't enough to sustain him for long he was hungry at night. He was older (20 mths) than your DS but he only weighed about 23 lbs when I weanned him. There was an immediate difference in his food intake and his naps and nighttime sleeping improved by leaps and bounds. I hope this helps....sleep deprivation is the worst!

SaraMeow's picture
Joined: 11/02/10
Posts: 406

Thank you for jumping in here ladies... I have been in tears on and off all day and I haven't been the most interactive mommy today.. he has been doing a lot of solo play. So..... if I do this.... do I start with going to bed? Like.. .instead of bf to sleep maybe bf a little earlier and then read books until he is sleepy.. maybe rock him a little then lay him down? He SCREAMS the second I lay him in his crib if he is awake. SHould I start with one of the night wakings instead of the going to sleep one, or does that not make sense.

He is not eating as much as you would expect a chubster 1 year old to and I suspect it is due to his intake of breastmilk. I am ready not to be his primary food source any more.... Everything in my mommy soul says crying it out is wrong... but I don't think he is getting enough sleep, and I think I would be better at everything if I had a little more. I am tired of having anxiety all night.

PatienceW's picture
Joined: 08/06/08
Posts: 857

I would feed him before getting ready for bed. make sure he's got some food in him (Who likes to go to sleep hungry?!) then maybe read a book or 2. then talk to him. let him know it's bedtime and he needs to go to sleep. You can start off with staying in the room. Then work your way closer to the door. then out the door, etc. Its going to be hard. I won't lie. But he needs a good sleep and so do you. start with small time increments- 10-15 mins of crying before going in. Then go in, pat him, tell him it's ok etc. then leave. then increase to 20 mins before going in etc. Remember the screaming could be him manipulating you too--to get what he wants (not going to bed) (he's already "trained" you to pick him back up and nurse or rock him when he goes into the crib. .....) When your mommy soul tells you crying it out is wrong... make sure you remind yourself it won't last long and is better than having not so good feelings towards him. He needs to learn to be independent on some things, and going to sleep on his own is a great start... he can sleep whenever and wherever he needs when his body is tired....and therefore a happier healthier boy! (I say all of this as a person who cried it out, my son cried it out, I hold a bachelor in psychology, and i teach..... and as a teacher I can say I have never had a kid upset because they had to cry it out when they were a baby... they do remember when mommy wasn't nice, or didn't spend time with them.... so don't let yourself think it is wrong, the wrong part would be not being able to enjoy the time you have with your son. they grow super quick.. mine just turned 3 and I still regret how I felt at the beginning when I was struggling with nursing him... becuase I lost out on precious time I dont get back. dont let worry about letting him cry it out take those moments away from you bc you are lacking in sleep or still nursing when you don't want to. Hang in there! Keep us updated

Joined: 01/10/11
Posts: 113

I was in the same position as you about a month ago. For almost 10 months I rocked my son to sleep for every nap and bedtime. He is also a big boy, 25 lbs, and he wanted to be rocked while I walked with him. His sleep started getting worse and one week we reached the ultimate low where we were up all night with him and he would fall asleep in our arms and the minute we laid him down he would wake up crying. I thought that I could never CIO with him because when he cried he would get upset and sometimes get sick.I also hated to think of my baby crying in his bed. But I realized it was the only option. I have to say it has been the absolute best thing we have ever ever done. Now, we go in his room, do our bedtime routine (pjs, bottle, books) and then kiss him goodnight, lay him in his crib, cover him with a blanket and leave while he is wide awake. He doesnt make a peep. The past couple nights he has actually waved bye bye to us! I never ever thought I would reach this point. He is so much happier and me and my husband are so much happier.

belzy's picture
Joined: 11/01/10
Posts: 522

I would stop BF'ding at night......when i stopped giving Brayden his night time feeding i started giving him a small bowl of pablem right before bed, so his tummy would stay full a little longer and then i gradually weaned him off of that feeding. i also let him cry to 10 minutes before going to get him but he has been sleeping through the night since 8 weeks so he has never been a bad sleeper and learned to self sooth early on, but Roman probably knows that if he cries you will come and might not have the self soothing skills quite yet because you are always there to comfort him? As far as Roman is concerned his routine is waking every few hours to be fed and is the only routine he knows and until he is put on a different routine i dont think it will change, it might be hard for the first few days because you are introducing something completley different to him but im sure he will eventually get use to it. Brayden does have nights where he is more fussy, maybe Romans teeth are bothering him? Brayden will go a week or two every now and then where he cant sleep and just needs to cuddle. I also keep a few stuffies in his crib, sometimes i lay him down crying and after a few minutes he stops crying and starts talking to his stuffies and after a few minutes he is asleep. I hope something works for you! I cant imagine going that long with no sleep!!

mommys's picture
Joined: 05/08/06
Posts: 6264

Every book I have read says that a baby will drink their calories vs eat them if they are given the choice. I totally agree with that and feel like stopping breastfeeding can be tough because they are used to getting their calories there and it takes them a few days to adapt their eating to replace the nursing. That is why when I wean, I tend to do it one nursing session at a time. If you are still feeding at night, I'd cut those out first, then work on the before bed feeding.

If you don't want to do cry it out where you leave the room, you can do a version where you put him down and stay with him, rubbing his back or tummy and putting him down each time he stands up (not sits). DO NOT pick up or you will basicly be starting all over again. This version takes longer than basic cry it out, but feels better for moms that don't agree with a basic cry it out. If you absolutely don't want to cry it out, there is a book called "no cry sleep solutions" or something similar.

jojogun's picture
Joined: 07/17/09
Posts: 561

For us cutting out a session at a time never worked...he knew milk was there and wanted it! Going cold turkey & telling him milk was all gone was what worked best for me. I always made sure to get him full before bed..egg, yogurt, cheese and crackers. I didn't change anything else at bedtime and still laid with him while he fell asleep and just offered water (I even put it in a bottle for the first couple of nights so he could suck) when he wanted milk. There were some tears but not nearly as many as I thought and I was there to comfort him. He is now 28 months and is sleeping through the night in his own room in a toddler bed. I just baby stepped to get him there and have never had to do CIO. I just felt really strongly that it wasn't our best option.
Good luck. Follow your gut and you'll get there!

blondiess4u's picture
Joined: 11/08/07
Posts: 1450

*lurker*
First off I want to say I feel your pain. I've been there (still am some nights) My DS2 (11 months) just started sleeping longer then 2 hours at a time at night, he is breastfed as well. One night ( 1 week ago) I did nothing different and he just decided to sleep all night. I am a true believer that a baby will sleep when they are ready and not a moment sooner. I am not into CIO. After almost a year of sleep depervation. I have to say, I miss the nighttime nursing and holding my sleeping baby. It's crazy!!! hang in there!!!

SaraMeow's picture
Joined: 11/02/10
Posts: 406

I sincerely appreciate all of your opinions and advice. Just having someone listen and respond is amazingly helpful. Thank you as well to all of you that have dropped in from other groups. I thought I would try some crying last night.. but I ultimately wasn't ready and didn't want to start it without a plan and commitment because I have heard starting and stopping can make it worse. I did however not feed him between 1230 and 545. I held him two separate times while he cried. I knew he wasn't hungry because he only ever "empty sucks" at these feedings. I am going to do that again for the next few nights (as long as my tired self doesn't give up... sometimes all my ambition goes out the window in the middle of the night). I think I will then consider the crying in crib while I pat him, I can't leave him all alone and crying. I come from the train of thought that he isn't manipulating me or training me, that he truly desires and needs me at night. Stephanie.. I have read the No Cry Sleep Solution- no solutions here. It got me to realize that I didn't have a good routine etc.. but he is still waking waking waking. I guess I will have to read over some options for parental involved cry it out. I hate that I am thinking about it... I think Patience is right... I think R really needs better sleep. He is overall a wonderful happy baby.... but I can tell he needs more sleep. It would also be great if he took a nap in his crib for longer than 30 minutes instead of sleeping on me during nap time....

bumblybees's picture
Joined: 03/24/10
Posts: 559

its totally hard and HUGS that you're dealing with this but you and Roman will be happier campers once you get through it.
i know that when i stopped BFing during the night that that helped alot. What we also did was i got DH to help me at night. he gave me 4 days Friday-Monday to try it and he put Eve down at night (i nursed her earlier) and went in if she cried during the night. well that WAS not what she wanted. she wanted mommy. but he kept at it. he'd go in and not pick her up but lean over and give her a hug and lay her down. and then walk out. 5 minutes go back in and repeat. once she figured out that Mommy was not coming in then she actually went to sleep. (did DH get any sleep....no, did i no....cause i was crying in our room, but it worked). Saturday night she woke a few times and we did the same pattern. Sunday night she woke 3-4 times and went back to sleep much faster. Monday night woke 2. so DH did it again on Tuesday night and by weds night she STTN. so were we exhausted Hell yes. but 98% of the time after that she STTN. and what was really cool was that naps improved all on their own because of it.
so its awesome that you gave up nurisng in the night. that's the best first step you could have done. good for you. stay strong and try to get your DH to help in the night. need to break that Mommy habit.
HUGS! vent and cry any time!

rebgrace's picture
Joined: 03/28/08
Posts: 596

I know we've been talking on facebook, but I thought I would reply here too! As you know, I have been letting S CIO. She was up every 2 hours for the first year, and I just can't function like that anymore. She is my 2nd non-sleeper, and you know what I've learned? Some kids just have way more trouble learning to self-soothe than others. An 8 week old baby can't develop habits or manipulate yet, but some STTN at that age, and some don't. I thought I learned from DD1 what works and what I did wrong, and you know what? None of the same things worked for S. Also, S went from getting up every 2 hours to STTN (10 hours straight!!) the day after she started walking. And I did NOTHING to make that happen, she did it on her own.
What I'm trying to say is, R's night waking is NOT your fault. Some kids learn easily to self soothe, some don't . He obviously doesn't. And what works for one baby, will not work for another. CIO didn't work for DD1. It was, in fact, an epic failure. But it HAS been working for S. I tried going in and patting her back, and comforting her... It just makes her MORE mad. She does better and calms down quicker if we just leave her. And she isn't mad or detached at all, she is the same happy snuggly baby she always has been.
Eventually, you need to weigh your mental health against your anti-CIO feelings. You will be a better, happier mommy if you can sleep. And if CIO works, it is worth the stress believe me. I HATE hearing her cry. But sleeping for 9 whole hours a night has sure made me a better person.
HUGS!!!! I hope you can decide what to do!!

SaraMeow's picture
Joined: 11/02/10
Posts: 406

I think everyone WILL be happier once there is a lot more sleeping. Last night was rough... He cried and jerked around for like an hour and a half while I held him. My husband took him for a bit but that just pissed him off more. We made it through those hours without nursing. Today was the first day of no boobies pre nap. NIGHTMARE.. He seemed tired at 1130... my husband held him and he kept almost falling asleep. He was rocked and walked and almost fell asleep and then woke up a million times. Tried a sippy of booby milk... made him mad... didn't fall asleep until 230 and then only slept until 315 when I moved and he woke up SCREAMING! Tried to get him back to sleep... even took a drive... just wouldn't go back down. Sad He is very cranky right now

Nell4Him's picture
Joined: 10/25/06
Posts: 2455

I was in the same boat with my DS#2.. he eventually slept through the night at 2.5 years old. We were severely sleep deprived at 6 months old and tried giving him formula before bed (DS#1 was STTN [6hrs] at 2 months old and all night at 4 and was supplemented with formula for supply issues).. didn't work. Then we tried CIO.. he screamed for 2 hours. We eventually just started stand rocking/bouncing with a binky every other feeding til he fell back asleep. The thing that got me was he'd sleep very well for naps and would transfer easily during the day, but at night was the same as you are describing. Anyway, at a year old we were waking 2x at night and my eyes were blood shot and I was cranky and ... I don't know how I lasted. He was almost 2 when he started only waking 1x at night. Then when he was 2.5 we started only waking 1x at night every 3 or 4 nights. Now he only wakes if he has a nightmare (3.5 years).

Evie.. on the other hand... she is 1 year old today. She is waking 3x every night, but she's not consistent on the times she wakes. There was a waking pattern with DS#2, same time every night. Very predictable. Evie has a time frame, but it is not exact like his was. We just finally got down to nursing every 4-5 hours two months ago, though. I think she definitely falls under the food category for waking. I'm trying to feed her more during the day and more solids. When we were nursing every 2 hours, it was round the clock. Now that she's going 4-5 hours between feedings, it's the same, it's round the clock.

Over the next few days, I'm gonna work on feeding her more table foods and try the purees again (she never liked them much) and then cut out one of the nursings at night.

Hopefully we will all be getting the sleep we need soon.
:goodluck:

grovey2's picture
Joined: 04/08/08
Posts: 938

i feel for you. I have been sooooo anti cio for so long until i was just living the motions...i needed sleep...i was working full time and then taking care of baby and waking up every 1.5-2hrs....i just couldn't do it. I agree that EVERY baby is different, what works for one might not work for another. O would get even more upset if i stood there patting her or singing to her or talking to her.....she'd get so angry and it made me feel HORRIBLE. I tried laying on the floor, sticking my hand in hte crib...NOTHING. I have a sound machine, she has blankies, etc. So, i decided i'd give her 5 mins. I also agree that a baby cries cuz they need something, weither it's an extra hug or just to know you're there, etc.....i hated the idea of leaving her feeling sad and abandoned for 5 mins.... i cried myself for like 3 days until she cried less and less nad honestly, more times then not, i hardly wait the 5 mins...unless i'm super frustrated and i just need to have 5 mins to breathe...then i go do something for 5 mins to keep busy....in the summer, it was watering the flowers outside or i'll go take our dog out to potty. I have a video moniter and it helps BIG TIME! I also agree with Patience that you know the difference between a "i don't want to go to sleep" and the "i need mommy" cries. I more often then not in the begining, could only wait probably like 1-2 mins max....and there are days now that i go in there 3-4 times til she just lets me put her in the crib (sometimes still awake) and will just roll over and go to sleep....sometimes, i can put her in her crib kinda awake and she just rolls over and sleeps..... There is no rhyeme or reason to her sleeping habits at night.....i never know if she's going to wake up at 11p, 1, 3, 5 or if she's going to sleep til 4am.... i never know. at night though i am able to nurse, then rock and put her down with no tears.... i haven't tried it without nursing over night, but i'll probably just try rocking her and then have a bottle on back up cuz i do the same where i know if i just give her the boob, it's way easier.....lol. Have you tried feeding him dinner like 45 mins before bed? I noticed when O eats close to bedtime, she tends to sleep a little longer for me. I also look at my milk as an added bonus and not the main food source....R should be eating meals and snacks and try using your milk as an addition, not as the main source...i know that helped too with weaning during the day and such, i just added more foods, knowing she wasn't getting as much milk anymore.. GOod luck and keep us posted.

SaraMeow's picture
Joined: 11/02/10
Posts: 406

Oh my.... why can't I just decide what to do! I have R down to nursing first thing and right before bed... and then once if he wakes up before 11 pm. We are still having marathon rocking screaming jerking sessions when he wakes between 1 and 3 that take anywhere from 30 mins to 2 1/2 hours to get him back to sleep without boobies...... he IS sleeping longer sessions now that we are cutting out the tatas.... I just don't know what to do when he doesn't wake until 2 and then wants them. I have given in a few nights like last night.....

SO.... if I decide to let him cry.... How do I start? Do I start with bedtime and put him down awake? He HAS NEVER gone to sleep by himself.... would it be easier to start with one of his night wakings? Bleh.

bumblybees's picture
Joined: 03/24/10
Posts: 559

Hi Sara. i'm sorry this has been a trial, but at least you know that you're doing something right if he's going longer stretches between feedings.
Would you mind describing your evenings to us? from what time you do dinner and what you feed him through a "typical" night?
someone made the suggestion of feeding him dinner later. i know for Eve that wouldn't work but a small snack of crackers/oatmeal/cheese/yogurt/etc might be a good idea right before bed and then the boobs.
when i weaned Eve i actually stopped the night feeding first and had my DH feed her a bottle then and then He put her to bed. that first week SUCKED because she was used to Mommy doing it, but you know what. She slept better cause it wasn't Mommy doing it so she was less likey to get up in the night if it wasn't Mommy coming to the rescue.
i've got another friend that in the night would give her daughter a bottle of warm water if the rocking thing didn't work.
i can tell you this that figuring out the getting him to sleep on his own now will be a ton easier than if you wait and try to do it after 2.

Next question is could he have a physcial issue with laying down after so many hours? like fluid builds up in his ears or something like that. is he a wiggler at night? if not maybe try propping the end of his crib up so his head is a bit elevated.
is there anything happening in the middle of the night noise wise that could be waking him. noisy neighbor, barking dog, your AC system banging on?
Have you tried a white noise something? like a box fan running or the like?

hugs.... and please take all of this with a grain of salt. just trying to throw out ideas. EVERY child is different. i've got 3 and NONE of them are alike.

belzy's picture
Joined: 11/01/10
Posts: 522

When Brayden would wake during the night i would normally rock him in my amrs, he was awake enough to cry but not awake enough that he was wide awake. I would normally just calm him back down, he would doze back really quickly, all he needed was a cuddle. But it was a very fine line, i had to be in his room as soon as i heard him waking because if i waited to long he would start screaming and would be wide awake and ready to party for the night. The biggest thing is learning what cry he has, Brayden has a very soft whinny cry when he is tired and will almost always be asleep within 10 minutes of being put in his crib, he is tired and cranky and if i left it to him he would just cry and whin and fight anything that i did. Other times i knew by his cry that i shouldnt even bother trying my 10 minute rule because he is past falling back asleep, those times i normally give him a bottle of regular milk and try to start the bedtime routine all over again, but even that isnt always a given, sometimes he is beyond sleep up and i have to let him play until he is tired and then try again with the bottle. If he wakes in the night and you think the best thing is milk i would maybe give him a bottle and just stop the breastfeeding, alot of babies are comforted by the closeness of breastfeeding and he might just want that close comfort, if you give him a bottle he still has that close contact but it might be easier to transition him from the night feedings, i would at least stop the breastfeeding and then slowly try cutting the feedings down until you find he doesnt need them. I really think if you get a routine that works for both of you and stick with it things will start to settle down. The biggest advice i would give with the CIO is you know Roman and if you think he is so upset that crying isnt going to work then go get him, someone else here said it might be 1-2 minutes of crying and then going to get him but you can slowly make it longer and longer and he will eventually understand that you will come for him if he really needs it and start to self sooth on his own, another thing that i do is if i hear him waking from a nap and he is content i let him play until he starts to fuss, it might make start to get more comfortable to be on his own in his crib. I hope things start to settle down for you!

belzy's picture
Joined: 11/01/10
Posts: 522

Another quik response, I started the 10 minute cry rule during his afternoon naps when i knew he was tired but was fighting sleep. I needed to do things around the house and he needed to sleep so i got frustrated and decided that if he wanted to fight sleep then he was going to let me unload the dishwasher or shower or whatever needed to be done, and to my surprise after 2-3 days of doing that he started napping! maybe starting with naps is a good idea because it might be an easier routine to establish initially and then when you think he is more comfortable falling asleep on his own you can add it into the night time routine.

Joined: 01/10/11
Posts: 113

We started CIO with bedtime The first night we let him stay up a little later to make sure he was really tired. My husband and I gave him a bath and then we went into his room and dressed him and gave him a bottle and read about 3 books. Then we kissed him goodnight and laid in his crib and left. We checked on him after about 10 minutes after crying but I think it made things worse. The first night he cried for about 20 minutes. He slept through the night that night, which he had not been doing before. After that night, if he woke up in the middle of the night I would go in and feed him but I would put him back in his crib awake and let him cry after. After about 3 nights he was constantly sleeping through the night. After about a week we started doing this for naps.

rebgrace's picture
Joined: 03/28/08
Posts: 596

Hugs Sara!! I KNOW how much this sucks. I am still BFing first thing in the am, before naps, and before bed. I only BF at night if nothing else calms her down. HOWEVER- BFing does NOT put S all the way to sleep. She gets drowsy and calm, but 90% of the time she wakes up when I stand up or put her down.
I started the CIO at bedtime. I would BF, put her down, and leave. I do it for naps now too, and I only let her go for 20 min max. Less if she is really upset. It has been about 2 weeks since we started, and she still screams bloody murder when I leave the room most of the time. But now she stops and goes to sleep within 5 min! It is amazing, I feel SO much better.
1 thing that was crucial for doing CIO for me- having someone for support. I can't do it alone. Either DH has to be home with me, or I call my mom when she is crying. They confirm for me that I HAVE to do it, and she isn't hurting, just mad!
CIO did not work with DD1, we used pick up/put down with her and it was a miracle. Total failure with S though. It is SO true, every baby is so different.

Good luck, KUP!! We are here for you! You can always message me on FB too.:)

Joined: 03/02/07
Posts: 473

**lurking**

I skimmed a lot of the posts, so sorry if this has already been suggested. I love, love, love the book "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" by someone with the last name Weisbluth. It saved my life when my daughter was small. She was a horrible sleeper, had to be held all the time, was always tired and cranky, and I was exhausted. The book talks about having a "well rested family", not just baby! The book talks about the timing of night sleep and naps and how just changing the timing can help, and also how some kids don't know how to self soothe, which is why they need attention all the time to sleep. It took my guilt away about leaving baby cry, because the end result was so worth it. It worked great with both my kids. They were pretty young when I let them cry, and it was difficult, but so worth it. Happier kids, happier mom.

Just a suggestion of what really helped me. Good luck.

Joined: 10/05/09
Posts: 672

***lurker here***
We are/were in a similar situation with out 9 month old son. He always nursed to sleep and wanted to do so 3-8 times per night. We tried CIO a while back with little success but I think it was because we were not totally consistent. We just couldn't handle it. So when after 5 nights he was still crying way more than we would like, we quit.

I then worked on breaking the nurse to sleep habit by holding him upright and rocking him for about 30 seconds to a minute before putting him in his crib after nursing. If he fussed (which initially he always did), I picked him back up and rocked him again. This carried on for about 10-15 minutes every time, until he would fall asleep in my arms and I would lay him down in his crib. I often picked him up about 10 times+. But over time that became less and less, and after a while I managed to just pick him up 2-3 times.

But he still would wake up multiple times, now wanting to be rocked back to sleep. This is when we decided to try CIO again. And to my surprise this time around he cried for 5 minutes, I checked and rocked him for a bit, then 7 minutes and was out the first night! He then proceeded to sleep for 6 wonderful hours in a row! That was a huge improvement over what happened when we tried CIO a few months ago, when he would cry on and off for 2 hours (with us checking every 5 minutes).

Also, this time around, he did not do the hysterical crying he did before, it was more like fussing. We are on night 3 now, and he now cries/fusses about 5 minutes, sometimes even just babbles instead of crying, and then goes to sleep. All by himself! I am so excited! We've had one wake up to nurse (and I'm fine with that) in the past 3 nights each, and I feel well-rested and refreshed.

I cannot believe this worked. I never wanted to do CIO and with our initial bad experience, I definitely didn't want to try it again. But I think the stepwise approach worked for us: First break the nurse-to-sleep habit (this took me about 2 weeks because I didn't want much crying), then proceed to let baby learn to fall asleep without our help.

I honestly didn't think our baby would ever learn how to sleep well but now I think it's possible!!

How are things going for you?

Joined: 03/06/09
Posts: 1054

Jumping in late on this, but I hope you found a solution that worked for you. It's very true that every baby is totally different. I've probably tried every method described by the moms here with all three of my kids and each one of them required a different method. Hopefully you're getting some sleep by now!