Dylan has never slept through the night, but for quite a while he was only waking up once and I found that to be totally survivable. Not pleasant, exactly, since having someone jolt me out of a drooling coma at 2 AM is never my idea of a good time, but it wasn’t garment-rendingly horrible either. I got so I was basically dealing with him on autopilot: at the first few cries my legs would swing out from under the covers on their own and I’d be down the hall with bottle in hand before my eyelids even cranked to half-mast.

In retrospect it seems this wasn’t maybe the best strategy in the entire world, if the goal was for everyone to eventually sleep through the night unaided. With the exception of a few horrible nights when I tried to let him cry it out but eventually caved, I’ve apparently been doing my level best to teach this child that room service is available 24/7, no matter how many times he presses the call button.

I thought the situation would get better over time, but it’s just gotten worse. He now wakes up an average of 2-3 times per night, and that difference seems to represent the proverbial straw on the camel’s back for me. It’s not just that it’s annoying, or tiring, the real problem now is that it’s making me angry and resentful. When he first starts complaining, I lie there for a few minutes just feeling this overwhelming sensation of GODDAMN IT TO HELL, KID, before trudging in his room and making irritable shh! shh! shh! sounds at him. Once I pick him up and we’re settled in the rocking chair, I find myself calming down almost immediately, and the ritual of rocking him back to sleep — his body burrowed against mine — is soothing and pleasurable and part of me really enjoys it. I just don’t enjoy it enough to do it at 11 PM, 2 AM, and 5 AM, you know?

I’m also having a really hard time waking up in the morning. JB usually gets up before I do and dresses the boys and starts Riley’s breakfast while I creak my way out of bed, and thank god for that, but even once I’m up and moving it’s a while before I feel ready to deal with two small loud-ass children, which is unfortunate, because THERE THEY ARE, and shockingly no one’s willing to leave me be for twenty minutes while I suck down half a pot of coffee. Now, to be sure, I’m not much of a morning person to begin with, but I have to assume that the interrupted sleep is no small contributor to the way I feel at the start of each day: cranky, headachy, and generally mentally impaired. I had quite enough of that during my drinking years, thank you very much.

So: sleep training. I hate having to do it — not because I think it’s cruel, but because I hate the feeling of lying there listening to the crying (there is no escaping it, by the way, sound travels at an alarmingly effective rate from one end of our house to the other and easily permeates earplugs and Unisom-dosings, both of which I have tried) and feeling something like a full-body heart attack in response and KNOWING that if I just got up and went in there I could be back in bed and sleeping in less than 15 minutes — but I don’t know what else to do. Dylan’s over a year old now and there seem to be no signs that he’s going to figure it out on his own.

Things we have tried:

• Different bedtimes (7:45-8 PM is his usual bedtime, at least before the beshitted DST, and it doesn’t help to push it back later.)
• Feeding him as much as possible before bed. Makes no difference.
• Adjusting his temperature (using warmer/cooler bedclothes). Makes no difference.
• Benadryl. Shut up. Also, doesn’t really help — he maybe goes a little longer before the first wakeup, but that’s it.

Things we aren’t willing to try:

• Bringing him to bed with us.
• Messing with his naptime: it’s pretty steady at 12-2 PM or so and I see no reason to fuck with a good thing there.

Things I tried before that sucked and I didn’t stick with them but I guess I’m willing to try again:

• Crying it out, Ferber-style or otherwise
• Watering down the milk in his bottle (oh my GOD. He was SO FUCKING MAD. It was like holding a LIVE HORNET. A FAT ANGRY BOTTLE-THROWING HORNET)

Your sleep-improvement suggestions are more than welcome, as always.

Lastly, to hopefully offset my kvetching in some small way, here’s a video I posted on Flickr this weekend of Dylan first learning to walk. Ah, babies. Even if they suck up your sleep for an entire year and change, they’re worth every compensatory Red Bull.

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Catherine
15 years ago

I let kid #1 CIO. Kid #2 not so much (they shared a bedroom, we moved, blah blah blah). She’s 3.5 and I’m still paying the price. So, uhm, no advice but I hear ya sister and I wish you luck. Maybe you and Riley need to go stay in a hotel and have JB bootcamp the sleep thing for a weekend? At least you’ll get to swim and order room service.

Sadie
Sadie
15 years ago

I have no suggestions, I can’t even keep a fucking plant alive. Just wanted to say: A FAT ANGRY BOTTLE-THROWING HORNET = hilarious!

Sadie
Sadie
15 years ago

oh, and also, I can’t wait to hear what Gillian suggests!

Stephanie
15 years ago

The book Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child is a MUST. I don’t know anyone, no matter what the age or gender or personality of their child, no matter what the parenting style of the parent, for whom this strategy has not worked. It is somewhere in between hard-core CIO and touchy-feely attachment parenting – very balanced and rational, although there is, at the end of all the tactical maneuvering, a need to let your child learn to get to sleep and return to sleep unaided, and this, of course, will probably necessitate some crying at first. Three nights, no more. It is magic. Best of luck!

js
js
15 years ago

No suggestions, but…for what it’s worth, my daughter is nearly 8 and STILL does not sleep through the night. Thankfully the requests for juice/milk/HOLDMENOWWOMAN have subsided and it’s just a “can you tuck me back in”. And I want to scream “how did you get UNTUCKED?!” Never fails it’s around 3am and it makes me want to cry!

I’ve heard the crying out method works wonders though. And those people can SUCK IT!

None of that probably helped though!

Melissa
Melissa
15 years ago

That video is adorable! I see you already tried the water in the bottle trick which was what I was thinking. I hate to say it but I think no matter what you do now – it’s going to piss him off. He is taking advantage of you now (not intentionally) and since he knows that the crying makes you do what he wants to do…he cries for you. I would personally try crying it out again. It totally and completely sucks ass but it’s amazing when it works. I have done it with my kids and most recently with my 10 month old son. He has his setbacks now and again with teething and colds, etc. But it’s been working for us. Do whatever it takes – even if it means throwing on your IPod or putting in earplugs. You have the video monitor so you can make sure he is okay at all times. It is complete and utter torture for 3 or 4 nights but he has to learn to comfort himself and put himself back to sleep. You can’t do it for him. And you need your rest. I’m sure a bunch of people will disagree with me but you are suffering and something needs to be done. Good luck!

Erin
15 years ago

Have you tried cutting out the night time feedings but still going in to soothe him? My son, who is just a few days older or younger than Dylan was a night waker until very recently. We ended up just not feeding him at night but going in to give him his pacifier back and assure him that we hadn’t completely abandoned him. After the first few nights, he realized it wasn’t worth it to wake up if I wasn’t going to feed him.

Good luck!

Ang
Ang
15 years ago

I agree with Stephanie – HSHHC does work! You may be actually putting him to bed too late depending on when he wakes up, according to the book. My 2nd was up at night until we did do some CIO at about 9 or 10 months. She’s now the best sleeper in the house, nothing wakes her up!

And this is totally crazy – but my 7 year old was waking up recently – we had a joking conversation – me asking her to tell her sleeping self to please not wake up. It actually worked!

If you do plan to CIO, and have a basement, sleep there! With earplugs. And a white noise machine set on 11. Good luck!

honeybecke
honeybecke
15 years ago

(this is very long, sorry!)
Oh Linda, I know I KNOW! Our 2nd was about Dylan’s age when he was still waking 2-3 times a night and I too was getting seriously pissed off at him for it. I didn’t like feeling mad at him for it, since it was all he really knew from the beginning. He cries at night= Mama and Milk. Why wouldn’t he cry, right? But then it just got to be too much. Way too much. I was a cranky and pissy mom because of the nightly disturbances. Adding to the problem was I would stay up way too late, because duh, that’s MY time right? I wasn’t willing to give up my evening dinking around time by going to be earlier in order to deal with h is night time wakings. So. Big problem. I so get it. We tried keeping him up late, musical toys, rubbing his back but not pickign him up, and god I don’t know what the hell else but nothing worked. NOTHING. We tried to let him cry it out but always caved.
At his 15 month appointment we finally talked to his doctor about it. Our doctor said there are some kids where nothing will work. But putting them to bed with a kiss, and a “see you in the morning”. He said that if we wanted him to sleep through the night we’d just have to endure the crying. And not cave, not ever. He said be prepared for a week or two of hell. Another thing he said (in a very nice and un-offensive way) that stuck with me was that I needed sleep and I wasn’t getting what I needed and it was affecting my ability to parent the way he knew I wanted to. Oh. Uh. Yeah. Probably right, doc.

Anyhow, I know you said you wouldn’t try cry it out. I understand that! I did NOT WANT TO. I’m just telling you what finally, thank THE HEAVENS worked for a baby who seriously, nothing else worked for. It took a week and a half of him crying (and yeah, us crying too) for like, an hour and maybe he even made himself throw up once or twice. I’m not happy about that. But he’s fine and he sleeps through the night and I feel good about that. This was def a last desperate attempt for us and damn, it sucked but we got through it.

robin
15 years ago

first: yuck, sorry.

second: yes, it’s counterintuitive, but try an earlier bedtime.

third: an intermediate step on the way to CIO (i’m assuming you’ve read ask moxie on sleeping, and her theory that some kids will get more upset by CIO while some just need to cry a little so they can relax? she’s more eloquent than i feel at the moment): go in without the bottle and pat him and shush him. don’t make eye contact.

fourth: i guess it would help to give you the origin of these suggestions, which is ‘the no-cry sleep solution for toddlers and preschoolers’

good luck!

Susan
Susan
15 years ago

I can’t weigh in on the sleeping issue because we don’t have kids. The video of Dylan learning to walk, however? Oh Em Gee. Priceless. What a gift to have that cut together so beautifully – I’m sure it will forever be a cherished piece of his childhood.

Nicole
15 years ago

Okay I’m still growing this one (and if her in utero activity patterns are anything to base her forthcoming activity patterns on, I am in some big trouble when it comes to sleeping) HOWEVER I did pick up a copy of “The Baby Whisperer Solves all your Problems” and she details how to do sleep training on older babies as well as newborns and inbetween. She’s somewhere in between attachment parenting and crying it out – she doesn’t believe in allowing a child to cry it out alone, but offers alternative solutions to lead them to self-comforting.

Blah blah blah. Get the book. Or have JB bootcamp it for a weekend while you go far, far away :)

Jan
Jan
15 years ago

We were in the same boat until last month when I finally got my one year old to sleep. The big thing was to cut out the middle of the night feeding. That changed everything. Instead of giving him a bottle, I would pick him up and rock him back to sleep. This took much longer than me giving a bottle, but necessary. After a couple of nights of this, I stopped picking him up and just went to him and gave him his soother and rubbed his back. A few more nights and I didn’t even go to him and just let him cry. Now he sleeps from 7:00 until 5:30, I give him a soother and he’s good until just after 6:00 which is awesome. Some nights he wakes and gives a little cry but I don’t go into his room. I’m just happy that he is finally sleeping. Good luck!!

Meredith
Meredith
15 years ago

I have had really good success with the Baby Whisperer’s method of “Pick Up/Put Down”. You basically stay in the room when your child is crying and every time your child stands up in the crib you lie him back down. Guaranteed he’ll pop right back up, but you just keep doing it until he stays lying down. It will take a long time the first night, but usually 3 nights (as long as you don’t give in!) is all it takes to see a massive improvement. I did this when I was trying to break my 13 month old’s soother addiction. There is also a really great website that you can post any questions you have and get feedback from other people who have tried it.

Here’s the website:
http://www.babywhispererforums.com/

And here’s the book:
http://www.amazon.com/Baby-Whisperer-Solves-Your-Problems/dp/0743488946/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1236641266&sr=1-2

Good luck!

Angharad
Angharad
15 years ago

CIO in combination with some kind of white noise sounds, either in Dylan’s room to calm him down or through your headphones to block the crying out?

Angela
Angela
15 years ago

I second Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. I seriously think you need to put him to bed EARLIER. I know this sounds crazy, but if he gets too tired before you put him down, he’ll be restless and wake himself up all night long. My oldest (now 5) was IMPOSSIBLE to get to sleep and would wake up every 2-3 hours IF we missed his bedtime of 7pm by more than 5 minutes. He still goes to bed at 7pm and sleeps until 6ish. He always slept 7p-7a when he was a baby up until about age 3.5, so long as he was in bed on time.

Erica
15 years ago

Dude, CIO is a shiteous process but totally worked for my kid. It took 5 or 6 nights before she realized that we weren’t going to cave (which we had ALWAYS done), but after that, we were golden. Now at the age of 2, she rarely wakes up and cries. I hear her talking to herself sometimes, but she always puts herself back to sleep.

I cannot stress enough how shitty the “training period” is, though. You have to be rock solid in your goal. Both you and JB, that is. If one of you caves, it makes it that much harder for Dylan to learn.

Kristi
15 years ago

I am so sorry! Sleep deprivation totally sucks and is definitely a viable torture option! Neither of my kids slept all the way through the night until after 2 (!!!!) and I was a psycho-walking-zombie for OH ABOUT 4 YEARS! Anyway, ahem, I don’t have any assvice for you because I pretty much just stuck with the up-and-back-to-bed-in-15 approach – just wanted you to know that they eventually started sleeping through on their own without help from me! There is hope! They are now 4 and 6 and sleep awesome all the time.

Hang in there!

jen
jen
15 years ago

My first son (middle child) was like this. He got up between 2-5 times a night varying with age from birth till he was at least 18 months old. It frustrated me to no end but the path of least resistance was to just nurse him and send him on his way. It was what he wanted because he went RIGHT to sleep without any grousing, even though he was usually awake after he finished nursing.

I never let my kids CIO. One day he just stopped, after having gotten down to just once a night, then it was sporadic, and then it was done. Ther was a definite surge around 1 year of age where I thought we were going down, but suddenly at 15 months I found myself getting up three times a night with him! It drove me to tears, literally, since I was pregnant with his brother and thought that I’d be up with TWO babies. But he did stop on his own, and he knows how to put himself to sleep thankyouverymuch.

I honestly believe they have needs at night and we should do the path of least resistance thing. Have a bottle made and kick JB out of bed every other night or something. I don’t care what the pediatricians say they aren’t good for the night by X weight! Especially now that he’s just starting to walk, I think he really is hungry. Just my opinion. I am not a dirty hippie but I’m not into CIO either. It totally sucks and I hear your frustration but it does get better, and what will happen will happen no matter what you do.

Mimi All Me
15 years ago

When I was having trouble with my #1 son waking up multiple times a night, I bought Ferber’s “Your Child’s Sleep Problems” and followed his instructions word for word. After about 4-5 days, he slept through the night and hasn’t had any sleep problems since (he is 3 now). It does suck for most of a week, but it is so worth it in the long run.

Kona
15 years ago

I don’t really know what type of CIO method you tried, but here’s what worked for my 5-month old:

I’m breastfeeding, so when he started waking up 2-3 times a night, I eventually just said “to hell with it” and brought him into bed with us and fed him until we both fell asleep (which was usually about 5 minutes). But then, there were some nights that it was just plain uncomfortable for me, and I couldn’t do it any more.

What we did a few weeks ago was start a very regimented bedtime routine. At 6 pm, he gets fed. Afterwards, he gets a bath, during which I sing to him. After that, I lotion him up and put him in his jammies, at which point we turn on the “rain on the roof” white noise and his daddy comes in and rocks him mostly to sleep and puts him in his crib, and he is asleep by 7.

The first night, he slept until about 11 or 12, at which point we waited 5 minutes, then instead of feeding him, like I had been doing, we went in there, put in his pacifier and rubbed his head until he calmed down. The next time he cried, we waited 10 minutes and repeated the process. In all, he woke up three times that night, finally waking up for good at 7:30 am, full of smiles.

The second night he woke up twice, and the third night, he woke up once. Since we started this about two and a half weeks ago, he either sleeps through the night, or wakes up once at around 5, at which point we put the pacifier, rub his head, and get back to sleep five minutes later.

He cries a little bit, but he’s learned to fall asleep on his own. What’s better, is that he seems to be in a better mood when he wakes up in the morning.

It’s awesome.

Swistle
15 years ago

I am snorting at myself for even TRYING to offer a SUGGESTION on a sleep issue, because DUDE. Sleep issues! Are the worst! And if they were solvable by any method, we’d all have used it and have babies who slept through the night. It’s like dieting techniques: if there was ONE diet that worked, no one would be fat. But instead it’s like this MAGICAL COMBINATION LOCK that works for each individual differently.

Where was I? Oh, yes. My only advice is to stay up during the training. I found I was 100x madder if I had to get out of bed each time I dealt with the baby. If I was sitting at my computer or sitting in the recliner reading a book, I was way less angry and way more able to cope.

But obv this is not practical if we’re talking (1) all night, (2) every night, (3) for years. I mean more like stay up during the ferocious screaming hours, then sleep until the next batch of ferocious screaming.

Amanda
15 years ago

I’m not sure what to say, every kid is different and that sucks because how the fuck are we supposed to know what to do with them?

I think you just might have to CIO. Plan on life sucking for two weeks then hopefully be pleasantly surprised when it doesn’t take that long. You can do it. It’s for both of you. It’s not good for him to be getting up that often either.

Joy
Joy
15 years ago

Getting your children to sleep through the night is probably one of the hardest things you will ever do other than potty training. We had a horrible time with our first child. Your experience sounds so similar to mine. He was 19 months old and I really had my fill of getting up at night. I love him dearly, but I was really starting to resent the frequent night wakings. I lived on autopilot at night and during the day. We had done CIO when he was much younger, so I knew he could fall asleep on his own. He just couldn’t stay asleep. We ended up having to re-do CIO with the night wakings. Not thrilling to have to do it more than once. In fact it was torture for all parties involved. After a few nights he was eventually sleeping through the night. Contrary to some people’s belief system he is not scarred for life. He is now a happy, well adjusted 5 year old who sleeps 12 hours at night.

We followed Dr. Weissbluth’s CIO method.

Aneets
15 years ago

Sadly there is no easy solution- Dylan could be my youngest daughter. I dabled in CIO a few times before she turned 1 but would always cave- as you say, it’s so tempting when you’re tired and know you could be asleep again in 10-15 minutes!

I finally had to accept that though CIO felt like torture, the constant waking wasn’t far off either.

I just gritted my teeth and got through it and she began sleeping through within 4 or 5 days. They were LONG days though. Good luck.

Jay
Jay
15 years ago

Not just an iPod (which I fully credit with preventing the defenestration of my first daughter), but an iPod with noise canceling headphones! The full over-the-ear plug into your 80s hi-fi set kind (Bose are ideal, but there are cheaper ones almost as good). It’s not a total block on the heart-wrenching scream, but it kind of pushes it into the background, like the annoying but ignorable bass thumping from the idiot with the spinning rims who just pulled up next to you intent on sharing his musical taste with the world through seismic waves.
It makes tolerating the screaming worlds easier for me, so I can focus on my audio book instead of wondering just how high up a second story window is.

Jessica
Jessica
15 years ago

I read all the books (7 or 8, I was that desperate) and none of the techniques worked for us outright. My daughter progressed from waking once or twice a night to nurse, to waking every hour and needing to be rocked back to sleep, and then to refusing to sleep at all except in my arms. This was at 10 months old. There were no naps during the day, either. It was sleepless hell, and I begged doctors for a solution but of course they weren’t any help. Finally I tried my own version of sleep training and combined tips from several books (baby whisperer being my favorite). When she cried, I hugged her and comforted her without picking her up and then laid her back down. She stood back up, I laid her back down. I did that over and over and over again, all the while singing a lullabye (more for my sanity than anything). The first night it took 2.5 back-breaking hours before she eventually passed out. The second night took an hour. The third night took 10 minutes. The fourth night she went to sleep on her own and slept 12 hours. After that I did the same thing at naptime, and she’s been a great sleeper ever since. I think the key for her was that I didn’t leave her when she was upset, but I also sent a clear message that it was time to sleep. Good luck!

Swistle
15 years ago

Oh, did I say my “only” advice? Because I have one more thing. When I wanted to cut out the night feeding(s), what I did was take the baby into the kitchen, get a sippee cup out of the fridge, and stick it in the scream hole. Repeat each time. Some of my babies accepted this and went back to sleep. Others of my babies were INFURIATED by my FAILURE TO UNDERSTAND, but when it was all they got offered again and again during the night, they sort of stopped expecting the cozy recliner and the warm feeding. But these were nursing babies who had already started taking a cup during the day, so this may not be even remotely applicable.

Kate
Kate
15 years ago

I was in about the same place when my daughter was a little bit younger – about nine months, I think – but I wasn’t really up for crying it out, either.

So this is what worked for us, and it is similar to some of the other comments: we put in place a strictly regimented bedtime routine and put in her crib sleepy but awake. And then, that was it – I would not, under any circumstances, take her out of her crib. I would leave her room, wait the few seconds for her to cry, then go back in there (although I’d be a little slow about it, maybe wait a minutes) and rub her back, sing her a song, give her her pacifier, hug her (while she stood up), or do whatever to make her happy, but I wouldn’t feed her and I wouldn’t take her out of her crib. I’d just keep telling her to lie down, or whatever, and then once she calmed down I’d leave. If she started crying again, I’d go back in and do in all over again.

It was pretty brutal (for me, not her), but it only lasted about a week. A week during which my husband slept peacefully, I might add. After a couple of nights it was better, and by the end of a week, ten days at the most, I would put her down, say goodnight, turn out the light, and she would literally roll over and go to sleep until morning. It was wonderful.

And she still does, basically, except for a slight case of 18 month sleep regression that seems to be on its way out.

annie
annie
15 years ago

They say you forget the pain of labor, and that may be true, but you never forget those mind-numbing months when the child wouldn’t sleep.
One night, in utter despair, I went in and went to sleep on the floor next to his crib. I didn’t pick up him because I was really ticked off at the screaming diaper ball, but he could see me. He stopped crying after he realized I wasn’t going to pick him up and went to sleep in a little while. After that I wised up and send husband in to sleep on the floor. After the boy was asleep, he would come back to bed. It only took about two weeks before the child stopped waking up every night. I know that sounds like forever, but we were desperate.
Once we got him over the hump, the child would wake up occasionally. Sometimes husband would go in. If he was out of town, I’d go in, arrange some blankets on the floor to look like an adult and crawl out when the child wasn’t looking. Eventually I wised up and would just arrange the blankets on the floor before I went to bed at night. Just remember to kick them out of the way before the kid wakes up or he’ll be on to you.

dorrie
dorrie
15 years ago

FUCKIN A.

I hated having my kids CIO but it was the ONLY thing I could do because I was going to lose my mind. It SUCKS huge, hairy donkey balls and you and JB have to agree to do this thing together (of course my husband never woke up anyway so it was easier for him, butthole) and then just strap on, sister. It’s worth it and I promise there’s no (permanent) damage.

victoria
victoria
15 years ago

I think you should leave JB alone with the kids for 10 days. Let him figure it out.

Jennifer
Jennifer
15 years ago

Our method is CIO Ferber style with a strict bedtime routine and not taking the baby out of the crib once she is in it. But since each kid is different, I know that’s not too helpful.

The one thing I did think of when seeing the watered down bottle was that I’ve read that you offer slightly less and less formula over time rather than water it down.

God, sleep is just the one thing that caused me the most problems with the post-newborn, pre-toddler stage. That and being behind with the gross motor skills, but at least fixing that occurs during daylight hours.

Cass
15 years ago

We have sleep issues too. Lexi was sleeping and then one day she decided she should get to eat at 2:30. And then she thought that she should get to eat at 5:30 too. I’m tired. I’ve tried to swaddle her again because that had her sleeping through the night at 2 months old and here we are at 7 and she gets out of the swaddle before I have the sound machine on. The CIO thing hurts me- I can’t hear her crying for me and not go to her. I want her to know that when she cries Mommy will be there. I’m not projecting any issues – lol. What I need her to do is not cry in the middle of the night. Or I need to be given a week spa vacation in tropical location while husband lets her cry it out because he doesn’t hear her at night. He believes every night is a great night. So I’ll be coming back here tomorrow to see what people have to say. Thanks for throwing this out into the sphere.

Debby
Debby
15 years ago

My daughter is 14 and I still remember the horror of getting up every 2 hours with her until she was over a year. My husband worked nights, so I got no relief at all.

Desperate, I went to my pediatrician and after he quit laughing that I had allowed it to go along for so long he told me that I needed to buy a pair of ear plugs, get a fan in my room for white noise, one for her room turned away from her for white noise and to let her cry.

That first night was the longest night of my life and I think I cried more than she did, but it worked. Within 3 nights she was sleeping most of the night, within a week all night.

It was horrible, but after that first night of more than 3 hours of interrupted sleep it was worth every tear.

Once she slept through the night her personality, which we already thought was great improved dramatically. She took better naps, was happier and when she was happy we were happy. She also started sleeping until about 8:30 or 9:00 in the morning.

Anyabeth
15 years ago

Oh dude I am SO SORRY. Because well, I am sure everyone can sympathize how hard it is.

We are in a similar situation. My one year old sleeps almost all night. She goes to bed at seven and usually wakes up at five. This worked for MONTHS for us because I happen to get up for work at five. I would feed her and settle her in and then her dad would get her up for the day. And I think a lot of people would just go with ten hours of sleep in a row (but believe me my kid needs 12).
But now I want her to sleep straight through. And while I was willing to let her cry at night and still make her tough it out if she wakes up too early (like three am) (and GOD it is awful the first week and now not a big deal, like thirty seconds of screaming but it is still hard so I understand not wanting to do it no matter what). What is working so far is cutting out the feeding. She is fully off of that feeding and now I just have to go in there, lay her back down and tell her it’s still night. I think she legitamately isn’t sure. In a week or two I think I am just going to let her re-settle herself. So it’s a super slow version of what the poster above said. Not the instant fix I really want but less painful than the full monty. MAYBE

Amanda
15 years ago

My second kid KILLED me with the not sleeping (no seriously NOT EVER). I tried everything including hard core CIO and it still took me 2.5 years to get her to sleep through the night.

Are you rocking him to sleep? Because if so he probably needs to learn to fall asleep on his own so he can do it without you in the night. My other assvice would be to just cut the night feedings entirely – go to him, rock him, but no bottles. He’ll be pissed, but at this point, he’s going to be pissed no matter what you do. If you don’t cut the feedings now, you’ll have to do it eventually and you might as well rip the bandaid clean off all at once.

Whatever you decide to do, at first you’ll get less sleep, so be prepared for that and maybe try starting the new method on a weekend so JB can let you nap the next day.

GOOD LUCK, man. Not sleeping SUCKS.

sarah
sarah
15 years ago

After a year we let our first cry it out and it was LIFE CHANGING!! The second night she fell asleep standing up in the crib – her little head resting on the corner of the crib. I’ve done it for the next 2 and they all sleep through the night. The way I look at it is sometimes they cry when you put them in the car seat, but you are doing what is best for them and you and your family as a whole. Good Luck.

Beth Fish
15 years ago

Whatever sleep advice I offer, I would consider you wise to do precisely the opposite seeing that Mia slept through the night at 21 months and Owen is 13 months and showing no signs of taking up the habit. However, night weaning made a tremendous difference with Owen. I did it gradually, first no milk until 2 AM, then 3 then 4 and now we are at a 5 AM milk call, which I can deal with. Sucked donkey balls for about a week each time I pushed it back, but he eventually decided that since he wasn’t getting any boobage he may as well just sleep.

samantha jo campen
15 years ago

I used “No Cry Sleep Solution” and it worked great. I know she has a book like that for toddlers. Like Swistle said, what works for one doesn’t work for another so I’m not saying MY WAY OR THE HIGHWAY. I’m just saying.

Also: hel-LO white noise! Couldn’t live without it. We have a $13 box fan from Walgreens and face it towards the wall so it’s not blowing in the room. The noise is the key. We have one for our room too because it helps downplay the URGENCY of Theo’s crying/screaming. We can hear him over the monitor for sure, but it’s less RED ALERT RED ALERT and more “hey, go check on that will ya?” Also, if Riley is having trouble sleeping through Dylan’s injustices I recommend one for his room too–works WONDERS.

Also, is your bed time routine always the same? I’m sure it is but thought I’d throw that out there.

Other than that I can’t offer anything but the utmost sympathy. God speed good woman to the Land Of Nod.

Tiff
Tiff
15 years ago

My daughter is the same age as your boy, and she didn’t start sleeping through the night until a few weeks ago. I was on the same page as you. I couldn’t stand to hear her scream, and she would go on for HOURS, until I caved and ran in there. I was actually wondering if you rock him completely to sleep for his naps during the day, or if you just lay him down awake and let him work it out. That was how I started the CIO thing. It’s easier during the day because you aren’t trying to sleep while your baby screams. It’s also easier on them because there is daylight, and it’s not so scary. Once I got her to start settling herself down for naps I stopped rocking her to sleepiness in the evening. I sat her on the floor and read a story to he and my 3 year old. When we were done I put her in the crib, and turned on her aquarium deal, and let her figure it out. Once she was able to soothe herself to sleep (read: 2 weeks) she started sleeping through the night. It was a process, and some nights I did end up in her room rocking, but sure enough it started to work. So I have been sleeping through the night (more or less) for a few weeks now. Unless she gets a cold. Then I’m fucked.

Pete
Pete
15 years ago

Let him cry it out. Worked for me.

jen
jen
15 years ago

Someone’s already suggested it but my first thought was earlier bedtime. We used the Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child book as well. Some people hate it but it worked for us.

Mine goes to bed by 6:30. It’s ridiculous and as a full-time working parent it nearly kills me that I only get to spend an hour and half in the evening with my son. In fact, it makes me angry to write that right now because I want more time with him. But I have found the later we keep him up, the crazier he becomes, which in turn makes me crazy and then he starts waking up in the night. So it is early to bed early to rise for us. Now he sleeps from 6:30 to about 4:30 or 5:30, then he’ll go back to sleep until 6:30 or 7:30. Eventually I’ll drop the 5 a.m. feeding but he’s still under a year and don’t ask me how I’ll do that when the time comes…I have no idea.

I would agree you shouldn’t mess with the nap. Another thing to consider is re-introducing the morning nap? The HSHHC book suggests that occassionally for babies under 2 I think. We switched daycares recently and mine has given up his morning nap even though he is not ready to (he gladly takes a morning nap on the weekend). Which is also why we have such an early bedtime for him. At the old daycare, he was getting two naps and would go to bed a bit later, around 7.

In summary, earlier bedtime, maybe try and occassional morning nap, CIO. It will suck and sometimes you’ll question yourself on it (last night mine was crying so much I had to go in there…so I say I am a firm believer in CIO but there are times you just know it is not “oh hai, milk plz” and sure enough today he has a raging ear infection but those times are now so few and far between and you “just know”).

Sorry this is long but I so feel for you because I was up last night so much and feel like a zombie today. I don’t know how you’ve functioned for as long as you have.

Shawna
15 years ago

Have you tried putting him to bed earlier? I hear this often helps, though it wasn’t any magic bullet in my household.

Badger
Badger
15 years ago

I didn’t have time to read all the comments, so my apologies if this is a repeat comment. But I wholeheartedly support CIO. The key is to STICK WITH IT. Do not give in once you start – that will just reinforce the crying. And, I hope this doesn’t sound bitchy, but why isn’t JB helping out at night once in a while? Maybe you guys worked out that he would do morning duty if you did night duty, but right now it seems unfair (to me). That is total assvice, but maybe you’ll find it helpful

Kirsten
Kirsten
15 years ago

Another vote for an earlier bedtime. I know all kids have different sleep needs but when my daughter was that age, she was taking 2 solid naps per day and went to bed around 6:30-7. I can’t quite believe it but I know it’s true.

How does he go down when you first put him down? If you’re not CIOing for that, then do it at that time. It may carry over to his other wakings. If he’s already falling asleep on his own (CIO or not) then you might have to bite the bullet on the middle of the night. I did all difficult things like that on the weekend when we could take turns sleeping in, so at least one of us was well-slept.

Brenna
15 years ago

I was having the same thoughts, problems, cave-ins at my daughter’s 9th month. I think I actually wrote a near-identical entry. What our pediatrician suggested was simple and genius, and for us, at least, it has worked.

Listen for the cry, wait a few minutes (we tried to get in there pre-hyperventilation) pick up baby and repeat the bedtime routine – for us it’s the click of a nightlight, turn on the sound soother. Then put baby back in bed. He’ll cry again, and you’ll repeat the whole thing again. We went from 3x to none within 2 weeks. There was no blood-pressure spiking CIO and Anna worked it out in no time. My boobs caught on pretty quick too so I was still able to roll over in bed at 2am.

I feel you, good luck man.

Courtney D
15 years ago

I highly HIGHLY recommend the ‘wake-to-sleep’ and ‘pick-up; put-down’ methods as described in the Baby Whisperer Books. Both are no nonsense plans that fall nicely between the extremes of attachment parenting and the CIO crowd. Interestingly, both are somewhat counter-intuitive, but have worked flawlessly AND WITHIN DAYS! for both my babies.
GOOD LUCK AND KEEP WITH IT- You’re on the right track!

Lesley
Lesley
15 years ago

I am no expert on these things but totally back whatever you decide because you need sleep and getting up three times a night is ridiculous, especially when you’re working (but even when you’re not) is ridiculous, since being mom to two kids is a full time job anyway.

There may be a way to wean him back to once a night and from there to zero.

A couple of things. Feed him enough before he goes to sleep that he’s satiated. When he wakes up the first time, try not bringing the bottle in. Just hold and soothe and put him back to bed. If he’s grumping when you put him down, stay in the room without holding him or touching him until he settles. Just your soothing voice. (I can already hear the Parent Dishers sending lightning bolts my way for this.)

Second time, have JB go in (maybe this can be a weekend trial?). A bottle may or may not be required but I’d avoid bringing it in. I don’t know how hungry kids get overnight. The trick is the food though because as long as he’s used to being fed overnight, he’ll continue to want to be fed and he won’t sleep until morning. He’s also timed to wake up for the food at specific times in the night so you need to change it up.

Third time (5 am), bring him a bottle. This is ideal because if the kid slept from when you first put him down to, say, five and you were in bed by, say 10 the night before, you could probably cope with being up at five and feeding him anyway.

Any variation of the above as long as you’re changing it up. Right now he’s habituated to being fed at specific times and he wakes up for that.

It may take a few nights to wean him off of his habit, but it will be less acutely painful for you and him.

I know, it’s kind of like ripping off the proverbial bandaid on a hairy arm isn’t it.

dcfullest
dcfullest
15 years ago

I also vote for earlier bedtime, it works for a lot of kids. And it generally doesn’t effect their wake-up time or only makes it later.

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