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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Eric's Mommy
15 years ago

My son had no bedroom until we built one when he was about 3. His crib was in our bedroom at the foot of our bed because the room is so small, but most of the time he slept in our bed. It’s kind of hard when they wake up in the middle of the night crying, and can stand up in their crib and stare at you.

Carrie
Carrie
15 years ago

You have gotten so much advice here, but I just wanted to share our story with you as well. Our son, who is now 4 1/2, loved his bottle, and that was the ONLY way he would go back to sleep at night. It was awful and he continued to wake up 1-3 times a night wanting his bottle to go back to bed. It was so hard NOT to just give in and give it to him because you knew, hey 15 minutes and he will be back asleep and I can go back to sleep too. However, the continual night wakings just wore me down so bad that finally at 18 months (hangs head in shame) we decided to go cold turkey on the bottle. He was only taking a bottle at night at that point, was totally on sippy cups during the day, so one day we just decided to go for it. That night at bedtime, my husband took over and dealt with the wrath of the baby screaming for his “baba.” We decided to let my husband deal with it all because our son was so connected to ME bringing him his bottle. It was seriously 3 nights of him crying and me crying in the other room and Matt getting up with him and then BAM, he started sleeping through the night. Seriously, like 12 hours a night and he never looked back and never mentioned the bottle again. He was just so used to having his bottle to get back to sleep that we had to remove that part of our routine and thank goodness it worked. I think that having my husband deal with the wrath instead of me helped as well. It just broke that bottle/mommy routine all together. He has been a great sleeper ever since. I am currently pg with #2 and am telling myself right now (easy to do right now but wait till I have a screaming infant on my hands) that I will not let them get used to falling asleep with a bottle and wean them off the bottle way sooner than I did last time!

Good luck to you and I hope that you start getting some sleep soon!! I wish this whole thing didn’t have to be so hard!

Violet
Violet
15 years ago

I’m going through the same thing – my oldest just turned 3, and the youngest is 9 months. I’ve been playing music in his room, softly – classical, “sleep baby” cds – and it seems to really calm him. We did it for my daughter because my husband was convinced that Mozart would make her smarter :), but it just really made her calmer and sleep. I wish I had remembered it earlier, because all the nights of listening to him cry and finally going in and feeding him have been wearing me out! I just started playing it for him about 2 weeks ago and it has worked like a miracle! I think it makes him feel less alone in his room, and just relaxes him. Good luck!

Sharon
Sharon
15 years ago

Not that you would want to ask anyone to do this, but could you have grandma come and do the cry it out for a couple of nights so you don’t have to hear it? You definitely have to do this now before he can get out of the crib and come find you at night. Then you’ll be involved in walking him back to his room all night or letting him get in bed with you. Been there and it’s not easy.

Sharon
Sharon
15 years ago

You might have this but I found it to be the only helpful sleep book and we had a major sleep problems. Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child but Dr. Weisbluth.

Tracy
Tracy
15 years ago

This might be completely counter-intuitive and ridiculous advice, but what worked for us was putting my daughter to bed earlier. The more sleep she got, the better she slept.

Laura
Laura
15 years ago

So, this is the first time I’ve ever offered any assvice, but you asked for it, and I feel for you.

My son (who’s 3 1/2) slept through the night at 3 mos. It was frigging awesome. My daughter (1 1/2)? Not so much. She was KILLING ME with the getting up 3-5 times a night. I was really convinced she wanted me dead. So, somewhere around 10 mos. we decided to do something about it. And it was haaaarrd. Hard. But you have to do it. We live in a teeny, tiny, old-ass house. We are on top of each other, and there is nowhere to go to escape her wrathful screams. And my kids share a room. So, if we let daughter cry it out, we were ALL going to have to listen to it ALL night long. And that’s what we did. Our son ended up in bed with us most nights, because he couldn’t sleep with her screaming in his ear. We just closed her door and our door, turned a fan up to high to help cancel out the noise, and dealt with it. Eventually, I learned to sleep through it. And you know what? It only took 3 nights. That’s it. If I would have known earlier that I could be getting FULL NIGHTS of sleep by just going through hell for three nights, I would have done it a lot sooner.

Now, here’s one tip I will give you: at about 1, she started getting up again. I. don’t. ever. go. in. Never. Husband does. (He does get up, because by this time we figure she’s teething or having nightmares). He never picks her up. He just goes in, tells her to lay down and go back to sleep, and she does it!!! It’s amazing. Now, when he goes in, when she sees it’s him, she just shuts her piehole, and lays herself down. If I go in? She expects to be picked up.

So, moral of the story: 1. you have to let him cry it out. 2. Down the line, only HUSBAND deals with waking children.

Good luck… it’s tough, but you can do it!

Niki P.
Niki P.
15 years ago

My kids are now preteens. When they were babies I was a bit of a Nazi when it came to bedtime- they developed very good sleep habits and stuck to them and to this day they are good sleepers. It wasn’t easy then but boy oh boy is it paying off now. CIO will be worth it to you in the long run. Stick with it and reap the rewards later.

Tony
15 years ago

Not sure if it applies, but one problem we’ve had is the diaper blow out.

To combat this, I buy one box of diapers which are one size up from the normal size. We use these just for bedtime. The larger diaper holds a little more pee.

amanda
15 years ago

You poor thing. I completely understand that horrible feeling when the baby wakes up and your whole body going into total anxiety mode. I swear I have post traumatic stress disorder from having to get up so much during my daughter’s early months, and you’ve had to go through so much more time than I did. You never realize how precious sleep is until you have kids…I haven’t read through the comments, and maybe you’ve already tried this, but maybe a white noise machine of some sort (fan, vaporizer, something like that) would help. I always have something running in my daughter’s room, and I know I have a fan running in my own room because it helps me sleep. As for CIO – if she wakes up and I get a sense that she will be able to get back to sleep at some point, I let her cry it out (which of course keeps me up for much longer than her). But if she’s totally freaking – I go in. I guess I would recommend, as much as it sucks, to try CIO again…but it truly does bite it. Good luck!

patois
15 years ago

For such a sleep-deprived woman, you are one hell of a funny writer. I was laughing throughout. Oh, wait, you were looking for sympathy? Sorry. Really, just let me wipe the tears from my eyes and say in all sincerity, “Sorry.”

Claudia
15 years ago

Oh, how I feel your pain. And it’s a deep deep pain – a HUGE SUCK. I tried all kinds of things but the only thing that really worked was time. Waiting for this massive ball of shit to roll away.

Our oldest goes to sleep all by herself and has for years (she’s 8). Our youngest (almost 5) STILL needs help falling asleep and almost always wakes in the night and crawls into my bed for the remainder. I don’t mind having her since she sleeps pretty solidly now. But, one of us has to lie with her in her (small!) bed until she falls to sleep. At 9pm. Or later. Last night (thanks to damn DST), she didn’t finally fall asleep until 11pm. But that’s rare.

Good luck – he WILL eventually sleep through the night.

Nancy
Nancy
15 years ago

I’ll add in my support for an earlier bedtime… for whatever reason, it has just always worked for us. It was about 6pm in the twins’ first year, and now at 19 months they can make it til about 6:45. It’s worth a try! (DST doesn’t really help with this, but hey, what can you do.)

pam
pam
15 years ago

my boys were also doing the middle of the night wakeup/feed and (well, there’s a whole triplet dynamic thing here that you don’t need to hear about) we finally ended up doing CIO. it was really hard for all the reasons you’ve already stated (easier just to zombie-like stumble into the nursery and just feed them than to lie there and listen to screaming) but so worth it in the end.

we put the boys down at 7 – is earlier an option? sounds counterintuitive, but worth a try.

Debbie
Debbie
15 years ago

We did a Ferber-style CIO where the hubby was the only one who went in there. He would go in right at the first cries, rock him a few minutes, tell him he was leaving and put him down. Then we’d let him cry for 2-minutes and go back in and repeat, and then went up to 4 and then 6, etc. The first night sucked big time — mostly because he didn’t want my husband and it took a while to settle him in the rocker. It did get easier pretty quickly and I think he quit getting up at all after five nights. This could work if Dylan is mostly wanting you but maybe not so much if he is wanting a bottle.

We did it around 10 months so it might be a little harder now that he is older and set in his ways. And he could be in one of those sleep regressions right now that will pass in a week or so but then I guess you still need to deal with the regular wakeup. Good luck.

Michelle
Michelle
15 years ago

I know it sounds crazy, but he could be sleep deprived; sleep deprived kids wake up more at night. I know, I know, counterintuitive, but true. If he’s not taking a nap other than 12-2, and you can’t try a morning nap, then I would try putting him down earlier. You didn’t mention what time he wakes up in the morning, but I would try putting him down at least 12 hours before he has to wake up. You could try moving his bedtime earlier in increments of 15 minutes. when my 2nd baby dropped her a.m. nap we had to move her bedtime up so she was sleeping 13 hours at night w/ a 2-3 hour nap. Then she stopped waking up at night.

seadragon
15 years ago

What a fantastic video! That reminds me to make sure to capture these last few (?) moments of tottering/falling before Squeakles finally figures out how to walk!

Kim S.
Kim S.
15 years ago

Well, I was going to suggest an earlier bedtime too since all three of my kids would fall the hell apart by 6:30, so I just put them to bed at that time and voila! Magic. That said, I would definitely talk to your doctor about food allergies. Night waking is a sure sign. I have twin toddlers with food allergies and the night waking? Deadly.

Korinna
15 years ago

How have you not gone completely off the reservation with getting so little sleep? I know you may feel snarly, but if you’re managing to keep it even a little bit together after waking up so often, that’s better than most.

Am also tres happy that nobody has called CPS given all the pro-CIOers on this here blog.

And will voice with the masses that yes, it sucks but yes, it works.

Hang in there and keep chugging coffee…

Alexandra
15 years ago

Hey – I was lucky enough not to have this problem; my daughter slept through the night from 8 weeks onwards, until she was about 15 months … then for about a three week period I went through what you are going through now …. I couldn’t understand why everything changed! However, since she was old enough to understand my presence, instead of picking her up out of her crib or giving her a bottle, I sat on the floor in her dark room, put my hand on her, just rested it there so she could feel it and stayed silent … she usually went back to sleep in a matter of minutes. Each day I stayed less and less time until all I needed to do was go in there and touch her briefly and she went to sleep. It was just knowing I was there if she needed me (not a bottle, not a rocking chair, not any interaction) and she never woke up again in the middle of the night. It worked for me – and it taught her to go back to sleep with me picking her up and rocking her back to sleep.

GOOD LUCK!

misguided mommy
15 years ago

I just went through this with my kid and I talked to his doctor who gave me a GENIUS solution. Put my youngest 15 months in bed with my oldest. BAMN! Sleeping through the night or waking up once (usually when one of them rolls on the other). The doctor was telling me it works because the baby still feels a warm body next to him so it tricks him into thinking he is with me. They both sleep better and I love having them together for some of the sweetest pictures!

Deb
Deb
15 years ago

Ok, I know you have gotten 117 replies, but I’ll chime in since I have been there.

First baby always woke in the night wanting milk. Well, since this is how it had been since he arrived, and we were stupid first time parents, we did not know any better. At his 8 month checkup, I asked the pediatrician when he would sleep thru the night. She looked at us surprised and said that her baby was sleeping thru at 6 weeks. Apparently we were also responsible for sleep training. Who knew?

So, she said that babies are physically capable of sleeping thru the night without feeding when they hit 10 pounds. After that, they wake up partly out of habit. And then their all like “hey, I’m awake, might as well have a snack”. You said Dylan was a year, so he should totally be able to go 8 hours without a snack. We would jump up the minute we heard him wimper and get him his bottle (to avoid a full on meltdown). This just reinforced the habit of waking up at that time. She recommended that when we heard him wake, to wait a minute and see if he would go back to sleep (not!). Then when he was truly awake, we went in and cuddled him in his chair – but without a bottle. We waited an hour before giving him the bottle. The next night, he didn’t wake up until 3 am! So amazing. Again, we waited, cuddling him for an hour, before giving him his bottle. The next night he didn’t wake up until a little later, then a little later, then finally one magical morning, we slept until 6 am. It was like a miracle. And the whole process took only about 5 days. 5 DAYS, dude!

So it was never a cry it out thing – that just never worked for me. It was more of a gentle tug toward sleeping longer. Also, we have always let out kids have sippees of water in thier beds (they get thirsty in the night, just like me), and they have always gotten soft books and thier Elmo dolly. Which helped him play quietly when he first went to sleep, and if he woke up early. And I got one of these:

http://www.amazon.com/Ocean-Wonders-Musical-Aquarium-Attachment/dp/B0007WWZKY

which really helped him self-sooth either in the night when he woke up (we would hear it over the monitor), or in the morning when he woke earlier than usual.

I also found a lot of good tips in the book “The No Cry Sleep Solution” by Elizabeth Pantley. I did the “No Cry Potty Training Solution” for my son and it worked like a charm.

Good Luck – I hear you on the no sleep = not the kind of mom you want to be. It is really amazing how that half hour of being awake in the night really screws with you. Oh, and get this – the waking in the middle of the night was a subconcious habit for me, too. Even after we got him sleeping thru the night, I would find myself awake at 2 am wondering WTF?

Jennifer
15 years ago

I hope you figure it out, because I feel as if I’m following in your path. Right now we have a 5 month old who we’re trying to get to sleep in her crib rather than her swing. It would go so much better if her father would stop sabotaging my efforts by sticking her in the swing. I think we’re going to have to resort to the extreme measure of getting rid of it as you did.

autumn
autumn
15 years ago

I know everyone else is saying the same thing, but I’m going to put my two cents in anyway. When my daughter was almost exactly Dylan’s age, she did the same thing. I was nursing her before I put her to bed and she went from one feeding in the middle of the night to three feedings and finally FIVE! I couldn’t take it and at her 18 month checkup I asked my pediatrician about sleep training and she told me I already had sleep trained her, I’d just done it wrong. I had (accidentally) conditioned her to only fall back asleep if I nursed her, even though she wasn’t really hungry. So she told me just let her cry. IT SUCKED. I cried, my husband had to hold me in the bed to keep me from going in to her, but IT WORKED. IN THREE NIGHTS. She cried for for successively shorter periods each night and by the fourth night we would hear her wake up and fidget a few minutes and talk to herself and then go right back to sleep. She’s slept twelve hours straight every night ever since. It may help you to think of it as doing the best thing for Dylan. Waking up that many times a night isn’t good for him either. He’s growing, and he’s walking now, he needs good solid sleep and so do you. If you feel like you’re doing CIO because you just can’t stand it anymore it makes it seem like going in and giving him a bottle is the unselfish thing to do. If you think of it as getting him to do something that’s good for him it feels more like dealing with his temper tantrum when you won’t let him shove a butter knife into a wall socket. Not that he would ever have a butter knife, I’m just saying. CIO sucks but once you work up the resolve and just do it, it does work. And two weeks from now, you’ll be sleeping through the night as if there never was a screaming toddler just down the hall. Good Luck!

Missy
Missy
15 years ago

Someone else mentioned this already, but The No Cry Sleep Solution really helped me, too.

Bumbling
15 years ago

With my oldest, I let him CIO 2 days straight and it worked. He sleeps from 8pm to, well whenever we go in and wake him on the weekdays, and till 9 ish on the weekends. Our second was having the same issues as Dylan; he expected the 2 AM milk bottle and comfort. I started off by no longer going in with the bottle and just comforting him for a few days. After about 6 days then I stopped picking him up at all – I would just go in and say Shhhh Shhhhh from the doorway and eventually (took about 2 weeks total) he learned to put himself back to sleep.
Good luck sweetie, it will be hard but so very worth it for BOTH of you.

cbrks12
cbrks12
15 years ago

Commit to letting him cry it out for 1 week. That is all it will take. 7 days. Do it.

Larisa
Larisa
15 years ago

As a side note: We missed the easy stage for sleep training (4-5 mo. olds). Sleep training a 12 month old is different because they are also going through the “separation anxiety” phase of development. I still say use CIO, but maybe not “cold turkey” = kinder, gentler Ferber. (BTW, I didn’t read Ferber’s book so I don’t know if it’s in there, but Ferber himself noted this on a morning news show not long ago regarding 12 month olds. Basically he said that he never advocated completely ignoring the baby).

The only difference is you’ll still want to let him know you’re there once in awhile rather than totally tuning him out. We leave the hall light on and I’ll go in his room when my gut says to and pat him or give a paci or something. I like the blankets-on-the-floor recommendation. I’ll also readily admit I brought in recruits to help…well my mom (very anti-CIO before my kids came along) took the reigns when I started blubbering on her shoulder about my lack of sleep and spent 2 nights with the baby while he cried. No matter what you do (eg: patting, lullibies, pacifier), tho, don’t pick him up when you go in. Oh, and the weaning is a must. Personally, I’d do that cold-turkey no matter how mad he gets.

It was hard at first, but after a day or two, when I’d hear the clear anger (toddler-esk) in his voice, I had to giggle a little at the indignance! Sometimes it helps to find a little humor in the ridiculousness of it all! Good luck! :)

Deb
Deb
15 years ago

Oh, I thought of some more stuff. First Jay @ 4:57 – I love it when “defenestration” gets worked into a conversation!

Also, I forgot to mention that we gave him less ounces each time when we finally did break out the bottle. And I totally second the eat a huge dinner suggestions. And we waited longer each time before going into his room – first 5 minutes, then 10, then 15. I never would let him cry longer than 20 minutes though. The one time he did cry for 20 minutes was right when he was learning to pull himself up to standing. he had stood up and couldn’t figure out how to sit back down! Oh my gosh, I still beat myself up for that one. I have found that their sleep is more restless when they are learning new things – and I know Dylan is all about the walking now, so maybe that is part of the problem.

And on the white noise front – I have always had CD players in their rooms playing relaxing music. It’s almost Pavlovian – my daughter falls asleep by the 4th song. I bought tons of lullaby cd’s before finding some good ones (one actually had like polka’s and marches. stupid). The best ones were: Fisher Price Lullaby Baby, Tender Lullabies and Little Tikes Sleepytime Songs. My son is 4 and my daughter is 2 and they listen all night, every night. It also helps mask other sounds, like when one of them wakes in the night or when we are getting ready for bed, or have the teevee up too loud.

P.S. The other day we got a box of formula in the mail. When my husband brought it in I yelled “I am tired of all this motherfucking formula in the motherfucking mail” and then cracked up. Husband just looked at me like I was losing it – which cracked me up even more.

jen
jen
15 years ago

i hope sleeping for dylan gets better one of these days. i can barely manage on eight hours of sleep, boy i can’t wait to have kids!

and for the real reason i am commenting. ;p i finally got 30 day shred and holy crap it is amazing. jillian will be the death of me and i love it. thanks for recommending it!

mrspooley
mrspooley
15 years ago

Linda – Have you ever heard of the sleep lady? I was lucky to hear of her very early on with my son (3 mos or so) and so didn’t have to use her more drastic or detailed methods but I love her advice and she has methods where they DON’T HAVE TO CRY. Her name is Kim West and she has books and cds and a free monthly newsletter with tips and tricks and things you have look out for as your kid grows. Check it out at sleeplady.com

MRW
MRW
15 years ago

OK I haven’t had time to read all of the comments, but I wanted to at least second (?) the recommendation for Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. Yes, CIO sucks, we did it with my first in an 1100 sq foot house and I could hear everything, but I was exhausted and fed up and determined to make it work. Unfortunately, I think CIO gets harder as they get older because they get more determined, but in the long run it worked for us.

Also just wanted to say God DAMN IT I hate DST. Spring forward my ass. For two weeks (if I’m lucky) twice a year my kid is exhausted and cranky and irritable because we have to change the damned time. Just another reason I’d love to move to Hawaii.

Stacy
Stacy
15 years ago

I know this was said earlier but it may be that he’s going to bed too late. Of course you can’t just change the bedtime right away. I think 15 min. incremental changes are the most you can do. My 22 month year old won’t last past 7:00 pm and sometimes I put him down at 6:30pm. It seems early but he never wakes up earlier just because he goes to bed earlier. The book Health Sleep Habits, Happy Child really helped.

jetsy
jetsy
15 years ago

hey linda, i had the same experience with my daughter at the same age. she was waking up every two hours at night to nurse, and i was going batshitcrazy.

at her 15 month appt, the pediatrician discovered she was anemic. my theory is that her body knew she “needed” something, and so she woke up to nurse. so we started her on iron supplements and night-weaned. she still doesn’t sleep through the night at 3 years, but i really think her anemia was the reason for her frequent night-waking back then. (now she just comes to our bed and we all sleep the rest of the night.)

i would rule out any allergies/medical issues before you try any sleep method.

Sarah
15 years ago

You have my sympathies because sleep issues SUCKS! My first has always been a terrible sleeper. When she was about 18 months she stopped taking naps. We used to ask her why she stopped taking naps and she replied “they waste my time”. She is now almost 5 and does sleep through the night, most of the time. Although if you ask her she insists she never sleeps. I am another huge supporter of the book Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. It was the final solution to getting my 1st to stop waking up 3-5 times a night just like Dylan. Like a few others have mentioned if possible try putting him to bed earlier. That helped with my daughter we started putting her down between 6:30-7 and she immediately started sleeping better. With my 2nd daughter we used the techniques in “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child” from the start and she was sleeping through the night by 6 months. She is now almost 2 and sleeps from 7/7:30pm to 7/7:30am every night, goes to sleep on her own with little to no fussing and still take a 2 hour nap every afternoon.

Laurie
15 years ago

I know someone has probably already suggested this but here we go –

we had the same problem and moved R’s bedtime to EARLIER – like 7:30 with great success.

Also, how about a lovey that he can use instead of the bottle? Like a toy or a blanket?

Good luck!

Ang
Ang
15 years ago

You have a crazy bunch of comments, and I didn’t read them all, so, please, bear with me if I am repeating something you have already heard. I have an 11-month-old son. He, too, struggled with sleeping through the night. He was doing well, then he backpeddaled, and I thought I was going to lose my mind. Anyway…..we tried everything, including letting him in our bed (big mistake), but the craziest thing worked: Huggies Overnight diapers. I know it sounds crazy, and I have to give my husband props — he contended all along that the baby didn’t like to be wet. Anyhoo, I think that’s what worked because literally from the day we put him in those things, he’s slept comepletely thru the night and later than normal in the mornings…… Good luck!

Kate
Kate
15 years ago

Another vote for Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child. Worked on my two girls. Good luck and I love your writing.

Angelique
Angelique
15 years ago

I know you don’t want to bring him to bed with you, but have you considered putting his crib mattress on the floor next to your bed? That way, when he wakes, you can just reach down and provide some quick comfort. This worked with my now two-year old for awhile, and by 18 months he was sleeping through the night in his own toddler bed in his own room. I know it may not be comforting, but I’ve read that babies wake more often as they’re mastering a new skill (like crawling or walking). Maybe Dylan will start to sleep better again when he masters walking.

kim
kim
15 years ago

‘The Baby Whisperer’ rocks. Seriously. We never let our son cry, but never let him sleep with us/use any other crutches to sleep, either. It’s a great middle-of-the-road solution. I think for an older baby she recommends the pick-up/put-down method as someone mentioned above. You’ll have to work your ass off for a few nights and be willing to be patient enough to stick with it. But teaching him to get back to sleep on his own will be SO worth it.

Emily
Emily
15 years ago

No advice here. I just had to say that reading the first part of your entry is like a diary of my own life. The 2 AM feeding is soooo like that – first dread, then joy as they melt in your arms. I know Camden is only 4 months, so I have no right to complain yet, but I have already begun to wonder how long the middle of the night feedings/wakings will go on. I sometimes wonder, is he really hungry, or are we forming an unfortunate habit here? My friend had a similar issue as yours and they finally let their babe cry it out – first for 5 minutes, then 10, or something like that. It has sort of worked. Helpful, huh?

Lauren
Lauren
15 years ago

You’ve ruled out all of the medical stuff? Mine never slept through until just recently (he’s 11 months) and the magic solutions were: learning to walk and Mylanta/Zantac in the evening. He has some reflux symptoms, which seem to be worst at night. He would want to nurse, since he was uncomfortable, and the whole tortuous round-robin cycle would start. I never did the CIO thing, since he would just get PISSED.

Theresa
Theresa
15 years ago

My first kid always slept in her crib because i was scared shittless about s.i.d.s. Apparently I got over myself because my youngest has been sleeping with me for the past 5 months. She will be 1 on Friday. We started CIO last night. She goes to sleep on her own at 8pm every night. When she wakes anywhere between 11pm and 4am I take the path of least resistance and bring her to bed with me, because I knew she would go right back to sleep. I trained the little stinker to sleep with me and now I am kicking her out of my bed because she flops around like a fish out of water all freaking night long and I get no sleep. I need sleep. I don’t know how my husband sleeps through it. So last night was our first CIO night and she woke up screaming like a banshee 6 times. I would either ignore her or pat her on her back while leaving her in the crib. After all the advice about CIO here I know I just need to tough it out for a couple of nights, I hope. It really does suck. I totally feel for you.

spacegeek
spacegeek
15 years ago

There are two issues here–he’s waking up *and* you are feeding him. Right?
Perhaps separate the two? Remove the food part but continue to soothe. Then start removing the soothing part?

I still soothe if they wake up (2.5 yrs old twins), and even sometimes offer a drink or water. But it isn’t that often any more.
Of course last night is was twice. Yawn.

Annie
Annie
15 years ago

Hi Linda… I know it sucks to hear this – but crying it out is the way to go. There really isn’t anything wrong with him, other than he wants to see you. My girl slept thru the night on her own like a breeze – my boy was different. We had to let him cry it out – sometimes he’d scream, and I mean SCREAM – for 45 minutes. Eventually they figure out that you’re NOT caving and go to sleep. Give it another shot… and use those ear buds if you have to. GL

Sara
Sara
15 years ago

My little guy (now 25 days away from 5 yrs) spent the first year of hi life sleeping in 1-2 hr spurts. He did not sleep through the night until he was 4 despite us trying all sorts of things (painful to us, of course. The thing that worked for us was chiropractic. Don’t know how or why, I just know that I LOVE my chiropractor!!!! (and not because he’s nice to look at)

Karl
Karl
15 years ago

Looks like you have plenty of answers here! Mine are grown, and we didn’t have the same kind of sleep problems when they were little. We DID have a problem kid who would wake up and run to the family room sofa each and every night, starting at about age 4. This was a problem because a) the sofa started to smell like little boy, which is NOT the same as baby boy (alas!); and b) he would turn on the light which would shine into our room and wake us up! (closing the door didn’t help, there is a strange window; i’d have to draw a picture.)

Anyway, we finally put a stop to it, but it took a pact between the two of us to stop the other from caving, plus a couple extremely unpleasant shitful nights. Afterwards we both wished we had done it a year sooner.

The point of all this is that HE doesn’t remember any of it, and he was 6 when it stopped. Dylan certainly won’t either. So however you decide to handle it, don’t guilt out on what you are doing to the baby, because you aren’t. YOU need the sleep!

Good luck with whatever you decide to try. For what it’s worth, I’m in the cry-it-out camp, especially when he’s this young.

And oh yeah, DST sucks dead moose dicks. Just try to write time-based software where ONE day of the year is 23 hours long, ONE is 25, and the rest are 24. For no good reason. Gah.

sara moon
sara moon
15 years ago

i feel ya, linda.
i have lived and died by the book Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. Buy it. Love it. Memorize it. It is meant to be read as you need it, so it’s not a sit down and plug through it kinda book. You will have a new strategy TONIGHT. THIS BOOK ROCKS. I PROMISE!

Jess in Nebraska
Jess in Nebraska
15 years ago

Seriously, I am a HUGE acvocate of Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child…..It has answers that WORK if you are consistent. Although I HATE HATE HATE crying it out….with my now 15 month old, that’s what I had to do at 12 months because I HAD TO SLEEP! It was a few nights of having to hear crying…but it has been SO WORTH IT Seriously….it is worth it in the long run. (In my opinion…) And PLEEEEEEASE for all the naysayers who say it “damages” the child…WHAT THE HECK???? I, and about everyone else I know had to “cry it out” as a kid…and I feel pretty well adjusted….(and I don’t recall feeling ABANDONED)

Rachel
Rachel
15 years ago

I agree with giving him an especially big dinner and slowly weaning him off the feeding. Since he slept in the swing for so long I imagine he’s pretty attatched to the rocking and that might be another thing to wean him off of. But I’m putting my 2 cents in for doing it gradually. Any kind of abrupt CIO seems like a bad idea at this stage. He’s doing enough processing with walking, talking and some big mental leaps about object permanence. Throwing in having to process why mommy is suddenly ignoring him seems like asking for trouble.

I really strongly recommend against the white noise. Yes, it does work but it’s like methadone to a heroin addict – just one more habit to kick. I have nieces and cousins and friends kids who as old as 13 are not capable of sleeping without some kind of white noise. They have to take whatever machine they use every where the kid spends the night. Otherwise perfectly well adjusted kids, taking white noise machines to sleepovers. Ridiculous.