It’s All Just a Little Bit of History Repeating (Or is it?)

baby blog development diary

I’m having just a little bit of a wobble about Ted’s continued night-wakings and the fact that we can’t seem to break the cycle. We’ve tried formula, a bit of controlled crying, we’ve tried going in and not feeding him, we’ve tried feeding him on every little whim… I think (know) that the problem lies with the fact that we haven’t committed to a single method but I’m still scared that his crying will wake up Angelica/the neighbours, as well as the fact that I simply can’t handle loud screech-crying in the middle of the night.

I keep comforting myself with the idea that this is simply history repeating itself; reading back through Angelica’s 8, 9 and 10 month updates reminded me that she did exactly the same thing until she was around nine months old. Woke every two or three hours for a small comfort feed and then went straight back to sleep. Or sometimes didn’t. I gather from reading back that it was definitely an issue, I just don’t think it was as disruptive because there were no other stresses (trying to find a house to buy, living in a rented house, etc) and only one baby to think about. I’m pretty sure I remember feeling like a total zombie, and that the night wakings were far worse than when she was a newborn, but then all of a sudden she started to sleep through.

So I think that I am constantly hanging on for that moment – maybe tonight will be the night – but not sure whether it’s a risky strategy. (I’m in the sort of severely-sleep-deprived state that means I shouldn’t operate heavy machinery, make big decisions or do any online shopping.) On the one hand, it’s quite possible that he will follow suit, but on the other hand, he’s a different person and it’s likely he’ll do something totally different. Which has me in this terrible pickle: do I make very strong moves to nip this in the bud now, or do I wait it out?

Rhetorical question, obviously, because nobody can decide that other than me (though do feel free as always to share your experiences and anecdotes, I love reading through the comments in the middle of the night!)  but it plays on my mind constantly. The thing is, I’d be more than happy to have struggled through these difficult weeks (months? I’ve lost track!) if I knew that Ted would sleep through like Angelica has since she turned 9 months. A solid twelve hours every night, no waking. The absolute dream. So if I knew that she was so good at sleeping now because I just let her do her own thing without any real intervention, accommodating her night feeds and not doing any so-called “sleep training” then I would feel more sure about battling through with Ted.

But it’s perfectly possible that I just got lucky! And on that note, I know people who did sleep training (or followed a “method”) and had their babies sleeping through from three months, but then have had problems from a year onwards, or two years onwards, with multiple night wakings. And then there are the parents who didn’t follow any sort of routine, Mums who breastfed on demand, and the little ones slept through from quite early on. So is there a method to the madness, or is it just luck?

I’m rambling because I’m so bloody tired, but I like to jot these things down on paper (you know what I mean) so that I can look them up again. Because I honestly can’t remember whether I’ve put a bra on, most days, let alone intricate details of my childrens’ development. I’ve actually found it quite comforting reading back over Angelica’s updates and seeing the same issues arise – though that puts paid to the whole “second baby, more experienced” thing! I obviously haven’t learnt from my mistakes, if they were indeed mistakes…

Angelica at the age Ted is now (nine months this week) was almost identical in her development and behaviour, though Ted had his teeth much earlier. Angelica at 9 months wasn’t partial to a daytime nap either (it had to virtually be forced and took hours to achieve) and she also woke frequently for little feeds throughout the night, with very little in the way of milk intake during the day. But then, like I said, a good sleeper now and still has a two hour nap during the day.

I’ve lost my thread with this post, now, so I’m off to eat a Mint Magnum (the one thing that keeps me going – 9pm treat!) and watch an hour of Netflix before “bed”. Wish me luck – I wonder whether Ted will suddenly start sleeping through now that I’ve written this? I usually manage to jinx myself one way or another whenever I commit things to the internet, so maybe it’ll work in the reverse?!

UPDATE: I couldn’t leave it like that, so I have noted down a little Action Plan to remind me of things I need to do this week in the effort to reclaim some of my sleep.

  1. Prepare the back room and make into a nursery. It’s actually my office but who cares? I’m too tired to work in there anyway! It’s also the only room that doesn’t have a wall with neighbours behind it. We never had this problem before (detached house) and won’t again (also detached house) but I can’t get over the idea that Ted’s crying will make them into angry pitchfork-wielding people who might knock on the door and/or hate us.
  2. Work on the daytime naps – he’s obviously overtired as he’s generally not sleeping enough, so we need to perhaps start really pushing for two proper naps and noting the times.
  3. Continue with the formula and the aim that we get down to three big milk feeds a day rather than eight million snacks. I’m not sure Ted even really likes breastfeeding – he’s constantly distracted and letting the milk squirt about the room, so maybe it’s time to just stop.
  4. Stop giving in to every night whim and sticking him on the breast – send husband in with bottle of water. That’s not so much of a treat, is it? Ha. Man with dressing gown on and bottle of water / woman with warm chest and nice milk…

 

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35 Comments

  1. Jeanne
    October 30, 2017 / 10:20 pm

    I can totally sympathise, Ted sounds a lot like my first, I was so sleep deprived, I really should probably have stopped driving, i don’t know how I didn’t write the car off! We ended up co-sleeping and feeding lying down, seemed liked the best way to get the most sleep all round. My second is totally different and has pretty much slept through from a few weeks old, there is no rhyme or reason to it, just luck!
    Hope things get better for you soon x

  2. Ciaragh
    October 30, 2017 / 10:29 pm

    Ruth, as someone in a very similar situation albeit a bit further along the sleep-deprived path (3 year old girl, 11 month old boy) I would say there are no ‘solutions’, just whatever works for you.

    However, I would say that my frustration with a baby boy who only wanted to sleep being snuggled by me abated after committing to doing that. My husband+I decided that in the big scheme of things, this is a relatively short phase in our family life and responding to our son’s demands was ultimately easier for us than anything else.

    As soon as we decided this, it was like a weight lifted from my shoulders and I now see it as an investment into my child’s longterm well-being, as everything in these formative years will shape the person my son becomes (slightly hippy-dippy sounding now but inherently true)

    The 9-12 month old window is notorious for sleep disturbances too (teething, learning to crawl/walk/talk) so it’s comforting to know that this is all perfectly normal+something virtually every parent goes through and that it WILL end eventually. The Wonder Weeks app is great for outlining periods of baby’s development+what disturbances to expect with it.

    Also, above all else you are a great Mum who can look back on this time confidently knowing you did your absolute best for both your babies. So you will never be laying awake wondering about that at least!

  3. Kim
    October 30, 2017 / 10:54 pm

    I feel your pain. It’s so hard when you can’t get the sleep you need. My baby went through this when she was about 11 months old. She would wake up every 45 minutes and then nurse for a 1/2 hour, basically leaving me with no sleep at all. What worked for me was to go in, nurse, but set a timer on my phone (silent) and nurse for 1 minute less at each waking each night. Of course, that would have taken forever, so I started out by cutting the nursing time down to 15 minutes right off hand. So, night one, 15 minutes/waking, night two 14 minutes, etc. That was a suggestion from someone on the Sleep Lady facebook page. It worked really well for me.

    By the time I got down to only nursing for a couple of minutes, she was waking less often and I was getting more sleep overall, just from not letting her go for as long as she wanted to. And eating more during the day since she wasn’t filling up at night, which I think also helped.

    Good luck!

  4. Jessica
    October 30, 2017 / 11:14 pm

    We have exactly the same thing at the minute! Please don’t wake the other child!!!! I think they just find their own routine eventually. Fingers crossed for you. Xx

  5. Naomi
    October 30, 2017 / 11:17 pm

    I think it’s partially luck. I’m at almost 5 months with baby number 2 and have boobed him to sleep from day one, partly because i worry so much about him waking his brother. From about 8 weeks old he slept through and I couldn’t believe my luck. We had a few hiccups with colds but it was generally good. Then we hit the 4 month sleep regression hard and now he’s figured out how to roll, the past 2 nights have been horrific. So done with it, done with boobing to sleep but currently have no idea what else to do as I feel he’s too little to do anything else and still trying to minimise disturbing his brother. So I guess I’ll just carry on blindly for a bit longer and hope that things might improve once he’s in his own room.

  6. Moo
    October 30, 2017 / 11:53 pm

    Who am i to to say Ruth but I do have a feeling that every child is unique and you just muddle on as best you can. My son slept like the proverbial angel from 3 months to 3 years, then it all went Pete Tong!!!! No rhyme nor reason to it. I think growth spurts and hormones (testosterone) do impede a decent nights sleep routine where baby boys are concerned, just my observation/mad deductions at 4am. It’s still a mystery to me… I hope you find solace in whatever method you end up adopting x

  7. Lara
    October 31, 2017 / 12:39 am

    You’ve said you wònt have the problem again, for a that mean you’ve found a house?! If so very excited for you

    • Lara
      October 31, 2017 / 12:40 am

      Good Lord I can’t spell on my phone.
      *Won’t
      **’for a’ was supposed to say does

  8. Lucy
    October 31, 2017 / 1:12 am

    Hey Ruth,

    I so wish i’d kept a diary with my other children for some guidance/reassurance. My other two gradually just got the memo I think but we went through some crap phases with the 7 month old now and the other two (I think) I just went with it. I was always too tired to enforce much other than a good pre bed routine (bath book bed). I also thought if I did do anything too laborious that when it was kicked out of whack with teething or illness or godforsaken daylight savings I’d be devastated. So not much help but I’m just rolling with it hoping tomorrow is a better night, or the next night or the next night.

    Lucy x

  9. October 31, 2017 / 1:39 am

    We did sleep training with our first at 7 months (but he started sleeping through himself around 4 months but ran into trouble with object permanence at 6 months), it was done within 3 days and he’s slept through the night since (4 years old now). So I totally thought I knew what I was doing…

    Tried the same with our second, but he is just way more intense. He had wicked separation anxiety and no matter if I did all the right things, he just would cry until he could see me. He finally slept through around 12.5 months. He is a great sleeper now at almost 2 but it was definitely a hard road compared to the first and I had to put my foot down or he’d want to see me hourly.

    I got a lot of great information from Precious Little Sleep – a blog written by Alexis Dubief and she also recently published a book. Science based advice combined with lots of experience working with families and a sense of humor. Getting good day sleep is definitely a great thing to work on! And sending dad in as well seems to often be effective. Good luck with everything, getting uninterrupted sleep back is a beautiful thing for everyone!

  10. Holly
    October 31, 2017 / 5:07 am

    My son is 16 months and has only slept through the night without nursing a bit a handful of times. I tried various methods, but also couldn’t commit. Cry it out was almost as hard on me as him, and he just seemed to get angrier and more awake–I couldn’t picture him actually crying to sleep. I sometimes wonder if people who are quite successful with sleep training have babies who are already prone to be good sleepers.
    The idea of 5-10 minutes of crying being enough for a baby to settle–mine would have been just getting warmer up–seems far from universal. My son co-sleeps. It’s the only way I’ve found to get enough rest, and I love the coziness (My husband’s feelings are a bit more mixed). I’m not sure I have a point with all this either–I would neither advocate co-sleeping nor my noncommittal sleep training methods to anyone whose natural inclination wasn’t already going in that direction.
    I think though, from talking to various mothers, my feeling is that siblings do often have some overlap with basic devolepmental behaviors (though certainly not always). I also think a good, mellow night time routine, generous dinner, and sufficient activity to wear him out a bit during the day are the best helps toward solid sleep I’ve found so far–no magic or rocket science there, but it’s the best I’ve got. Hang in there, and get as much rest as you can!

    • Kate
      October 31, 2017 / 9:55 am

      Me too, Holly. I’m very much of the belief that, like any other developmental milestone, we should let babies do what they need to do when they need to do it – and try and work around it as much as possible. Despite what some books say, they really are all different and, one day, Ted will sleep through! I didn’t push my baby to walk before he was ready and I feel strongly that, if he still needs comfort at night, then that’s a legitimate need too.

      My number one aim was to get more sleep so I said ‘sod off’ to all the “rod for your own back” remarks and we’ve been co-sleeping quite happily for a number of months. And, just to make it clear, co-sleeping is not some sort of perfect answer (because there is no perfect answer). My baby loves to kick me and smack me in the face – but co-sleeping means I get more sleep than I would if he wasn’t with me in bed – and that’s all that I care about right now!

  11. India
    October 31, 2017 / 5:46 am

    It’s so funny, isn’t it, with all things baby, how if someone told you how much longer you have of any one ‘phase’ it would make it so much easier to handle! I’ve got a 9 week old boy who in the past 2 weeks has gone from waking up every 2 hours in the night to throwing in some longer sleeps, going from 4 to 6 to 8 hours in a matter of days and then doing 12 hours one night as a surprise. My mum always says it’s generally just when you think you can’t take any more that things naturally change but I’m not sure about that…I think my advice for you would not to do anything drastic, go with it. And don’t worry about the neighbours! We live in a terraced house and the first night home from hospital I was majorly paranoid, and still am if we have evening crying. But we chatted to our neighbours about it and they claimed they can’t hear anything and say it genuinely doesn’t disturb them…
    Xx

  12. Suzanne
    October 31, 2017 / 7:05 am

    We had similar with my little boy and was advised by a health visitor to go cold turkey during the night as it was just a comfort thing. I’d offer water and yes it was horrible but he soon understood – took 2 nights to rectify. He stopped wakening up as he knew they’d be no yummy milk on offer. I have vague recollections of sitting next to his cot at 2 am singing quietly ‘you’re not getting any milk’ over and over again as crIed and cried. Heartbreaking but worth it in the end. X

  13. Holly Edgar
    October 31, 2017 / 7:11 am

    Hi Ruth — I’ve never posted before, but am going through the same thing with Baby O, our little guy, and share the same concerns about upstairs neighbours and not having a clue whether to sleep train or let him figure it out. No helpful advice, I’m afraid, just a post in solidarity. AND totally agree about the breastfeeding too. Baby O gets more squirted in his eyes than into his shouty little mouth…

  14. Laura
    October 31, 2017 / 7:20 am

    I honestly would nip it in the bud.
    My first was a dream. Slept through from 3 months. Now at 5 years old he wakes 3 times a night for a ‘wee and a cuddle!’

    Second never slept through, at just over 12 months after a particularly rough 6 months I snapped and said enough was enough.
    She HATED being alone. It wasn’t even milk she was after.
    So I implemented a plan.
    My eldestbhad a routine from the get go, she didn’t.

    I worked on the daytime naps first.
    Then set up a bedtime routine ( though she did always go to bed at 7 anyway just got up every hour after!)
    I tried controlled crying but I couldn’t hack it ( her cried never woke my son!)
    Eventually I brought her cot into our room, by the side of my bed, with the side off.
    I would sleep with her in my arms for a week ( I’d been doing this for months just to get some shut eye… I hate co sleeping!) Then I’d put her in the cot next to me…over a few days we put the side back on and eventually managed to get her used to being in there alone and then she was happy to be moved into her own room.

    We found Ewan the dream sheep to be a fantastic sleep aid. When that when on she knew it was sleep time.
    I also made sure she had a little bit of porridge before bed.
    Things are MUCH better now at 15 months old.

    I really do think routine is key but it’s so hard to do when you have more than one.

  15. Laura
    October 31, 2017 / 8:14 am

    I hate to tell you, but mine still wakes once a night at 25 months. She is still breastfed on demand and never took a bottle no matter how hard I tried. She slept great until she was 4 months then she was up every 1.5 to 3 hours until she was about 18 months. I don’t know how I did it. I love breastfeeding but I’m done now, however she is now older and even more headstrong so I don’t know how to stop!

    The period around 9 months was intense for us, really bad nights. There is a massive growth spurt. I’m not sure you can do anything to help, maybe he just needs the comfort. Hopefully he is like your daughter and if not, at least you know he will take a bottle x

  16. October 31, 2017 / 8:21 am

    Please, please, take care of yourself!
    When our baby was 4 months old, he started waking and nursing hourly, two-hourly when I was lucky. After about two months of this and insisting on doing it all by myself, a mean bout of postnatal depression hit. It got to the point I had to medicate to get through it. I’m off the antidepressants now and happy again. But I’ve learned my lesson: Sleep deprivation IS a form of torture, so don’t, never, go it alone! If your husband can take the nightshifts, or do whatever he can so you get some quality shut-eye during the day, every day, then GOOD! I now let both my mom as well as my mother-in-law come up from six to eight hours away regularly to help out. I don’t care!
    I doubt there is this one fail proof recipe that works for every child. But employing as much help with the baby as I could, and learning how to take care of myself better, helped me just go through with the nightly breastfeeding. I just accepted that that’s what it was gonna be, maybe for the rest of my life. We didn’t start any tricks, no training, we just went the way of least resistance. I have no idea if there was anything we could have done “better”. We just simply did what worked best for us, even if it was still hard. And now he is slowly, slowly but surely, starting to sleep better by the by, with that odd night where he miraculously slept through the night.

  17. October 31, 2017 / 8:35 am

    I am crossing fingers that you have reverse jinxed it! Sleep deprivation is gnarly. I breastfed ondemand for 6 months, then did sleep training because it was breaking me. Now she sleeps like Angelica, but who knows if that was method – I strongly suspect it’s just luck. Trust your gut Ruth, it will work itself out. Sending love.

  18. Jen
    October 31, 2017 / 9:24 am

    Hello – your blog and writing is so great. I’ve just been through this with my second and things are so much better now, so I’ll tell you what we did in case it helps. I found with my second I was much less willing to ride it out and see what happened, plus he was getting worse not better – I also had to be back at work at 6 months and was barely functioning. It was v unlike me, but I went for a rock solid daily schedule (I used Gina for the schedule and ignored the rest) and sleep training. What we did at night was pick a time that he’d slept to once (4am) and didnt night feed before that, although my husband would go in and shh him. It took 3 nights – He now consistently sleeps 7-5, quick feed and back till 7 (guess we’ll try and push the 5am feed later and later). A website I thought was good on sleep training (not too aggro) is an American one called precious little sleep but I think the main thing that made sleep training much less painful was seeing “sleep training” as an overall sleep ethos (!) i.e. the fact that we’d got the daytime naps sorted first and he was used to going to sleep on his own, thanks to that Gina but also the pressures of manic job/toddler, made it way better. Also I do think consistency is key – I wanted to do it absolutely by the book so I knew I’d given it a decent shot and not put us all through it for nothing. Whatever happens it’ll all be ok in the end though – my husband and I refer to this dark time as “the tunnel”! Good luck.

  19. Antra
    October 31, 2017 / 9:42 am

    It’s totally luck and I have the worst luck in that I have birthed two crappy sleepers (who are delightful in every other facet). My eldest used to wake up for THREE HOURS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT at least every other night, between 14 months and 2.5 years. I used to hate with venom all the parents who had babies that slept through form six months.

    We did have success with gentle sleep training my youngest (now 11.5 months) a couple of months ago when I couldn’t take any more of the hourly boob (we were co sleeping at that stage). 5 nights of leaving for her for five minutes and then patting and shushing in the cot instead of rushing to whack the boob in resulted in our first (and only) sleep through on night 5 before colds, two bouts of gastro and travel derailed it all. I keep vowing to “try again with the sleep training this weekend” but in a tiny terrace house with shared walls and a three year old in the next room, it’s easier said than done.

    Good luck with whatever approach you go for.

  20. Vicki
    October 31, 2017 / 9:55 am

    Your plan of action sounds perfect and all those things will help, they just require perseverance, but you must persevere. Doing a bit of everything won’t work. Routine was key with our son as over tiredness is a big cause of waking up lots at night. Also make sure he gets enough food & milk during the day so he isn’t expecting it or needing it at night. Use the Whisbear, or get him attached to a teddy that he can cuddle to self-soothe. When we weaned my son off his dummy at 10 months, I slept with a teddy up my pyjama top for a few nights before putting it in his cot and he would cuddle it back to sleep. It did take a few nights of perseverance though. I always found Penelope Leach’s advice wonderful and so kind and sensible. Remember what the sleep doctor said. You do need to make changes for your own sanity and you will be able to appreciate their milestones and playing with them if you feel rested. Get all the support you need. Could your mum come and stay for a week to help you implement these changes and take him out in buggy at set times to establish a napping routine, etc? A bit of work now will really pay off. It sounds like you’ve reached crunch time. Good luck with it! Sleep depravation is absolutely awful. I really feel for you!

  21. Rhonda
    October 31, 2017 / 9:57 am

    Ruth, not much to say except that I feel your pain! My 12 month old has resumed the 2 hourly wakings and most of the time, only a comfort feed will send him back to sleep. I don’t think i can do controlled crying but also don’t think it would work on him anyway! It does really help reading your posts (and the other comments) so that I know that we are not alone in this. Am starting back at work in a few days, so fingers crossed for the sleep fairy!

  22. Chas Breez
    October 31, 2017 / 10:33 am

    Some ideas:
    1 – give last feed with some cereal, not just breast/formula. I weighed 8.9 lbs and the Dr sent my mum home from hospital with cereal, saying just milk would never let me be satisfied long enough for proper sleep. So she always gave cereal w breast milk as last feed, and she said I slept 6 hrs every night from day 1.
    2- Have you tried giving him a binky? (Pacifier). If he starts crying in the middle of the night, have Mr AMR walk in, re-give the binky to him and walk out. Eventually, most learn to search around for their binky themselves, and self soothe that way
    3 – it could be an attachment to YOU. Have you tried only having Mr. AMR sort it out for a few nights in a row?
    4- my daughter had her days/nights mixed up almost it seemed for about 6 weeks when she was first born. So my mom had me do this, and it worked a dream… cut out ALL naps and sleeping from 4 pm and later. When she would start to get sleepy.. we would make noise around her, give her a bath, wipe her face with a cool cloth, use face mists, etc. anything to keep her awake. Then we ditched the idea of being people who could put their baby to bed at 7-8pm… so we kept her up until 9:30pm or later. Then put her to bed… it only took about 3-4 days of this until she was sleeping from 9:30 pm or so until 6:30 am. She would take about a 2-3 hr nap in the middle of the day, and then sleep well over night. This actually continued ever since. Even in high school!! She would come home from school and sleep from 4:00pm to 6:00 pm. Every day. Even nap on weekends! She is now a junior in college and says she still naps every afternoon when her schedule allows. Lol

  23. Rachel
    October 31, 2017 / 11:45 am

    Hi Ruth,

    I have two little girls who are similar ages as Angelica and Ted and have been going backwards and forwards mulling over the same issue recently. My little girl is awake 8-10 times every night and has been for 7 months.

    At times I decide I can’t take any more and have to do something. Then I wonder if she’ll just grow out if it. I didn’t realize how much it was getting to me until our playgroup leader asked how we were going with the plan to night wean (having mentioned it a while back) and I burst into tears in front of everyone.

    So as of last night there is no more milk at night. We had two wake ups with 15 min of screaming and one where she was awake for an hour protesting until she eventually put her little head on the mattress and gave in to sleep. I stayed with her the whole time (lying in the full size cot bed). At the time it was truly awful but when the sun came up this morning it didn’t seem so bad and she’s been her usual happy self (albeit quite tired). I’ve also seen that she really wasn’t hungry she was just used to the comfort and outraged that I was changing the rules all of a sudden. I feel really guilty for that but I’ll be better mother to both my kids if I get more sleep.

    Only you can decide when enough is enough (but given that you’ve posted twice in two weeks on the issue that could well be the case). If it is, I think you just need to come up with a plan and stick with it. Looks like you already have a solid plan already, but I know having the strength and courage to go through with it isn’t easy!

    Good luck whatever you decide.

  24. Sarah
    October 31, 2017 / 1:01 pm

    Aaw Ted sounds so similar to my first, who woke multiple times through the night, every night until he was 10 months old-absolutely a form of torture! But spontaneously he did start sleeping through around 11 months…and touch wood at 19 months continues to sleep beautifully! I’m now pregnant with baby two and would love to pin point what magic it was that made the difference-was it going in with water instead of putting him on the boob, his own room, eating more solids etc etc??…but really I think they just do it when they are ready!! Keep the faith, it will happen!!!

  25. October 31, 2017 / 1:02 pm

    After two that now (more or less)sleep through the night I feel like it is just luck. Or maybe motherly instinct that takes over even if we are too tired to even realize it.

  26. Heather
    October 31, 2017 / 1:53 pm

    Ruth, I feel for you. I’m going/went through a similar problem with my baby girl, who is just now 11 months. She stills gets up twice a night, but it used to be 5 or 6. Anyways one thing I found that helped with naps especially was the Lulla doll. It has a heart beat sound and breathing sound and she just snuggles right into it and she’s out.
    Hoping you get some sleep!

  27. Jenny
    October 31, 2017 / 3:20 pm

    It’s been 20 years since my boys were babies but my god I still remember the utter exhaustion. My first slept through at 3 months and my second at 5 months. This is what worked for me. I bottle fed both of them from 10 weeks, I think that helps because you can see that they’ve had enough food. Put them for a nap on their own room in the day, when they are still awake. Same routine everyday if possible. No night feeds. No comfort feed until they fall asleep. At night, no lights on, go in and check, give him a little pat, a few soft words and yes let him yell for a bit. The neighbours will just have to put up with it for a bit. They can get earplugs. He just needs to learn to self soothe. Good luck!

  28. Emily
    October 31, 2017 / 9:01 pm

    When my kids reached the too distracted to feed stage I started feeding them lying down in a dark room. That way they were getting in lots of calories during the day and I think it helped with the night waking. Good luck!

  29. Someina
    November 2, 2017 / 1:57 pm

    My 8 month old son wakes on an average 10 times a day. I just co-sleep because I think I would’ve passed out if I don’t. My eldest daughter has slept through since 9 months, no sleep training. I’ve asked countless doctors whether there is something actually medical wrong with my son, like does he have a disability to have caused him not being able to sleep? They all tell me that it’s just his temperament and I just have to roll with it the best I can. One thing that keeps me going is the fact that I don’t really know any grown person to still wake up 10 times a day, so somehow, someday, he will sleep…… RIGHT?

    In regards to what you should do to “encourage” Ted to sleep more, I think you just need to trust your gut. As Dr Sears say, ask yourself how would you like to be put to bed? How would you like to be treated when you wake up in the middle of the night? You will never get it wrong.

    Lots of love and hugs.

  30. Sarah
    November 2, 2017 / 2:42 pm

    I feel your pain Ruth – you sound like you are just at the end of your tether. My wee boy R is 13 months now and generally sleeps through from 7(ish)pm to 6.30ish am. However – we only got to this point after we sought help from The Sleep Lady. After months of horrendous waking every 90 mins through the night and it getting to the time when I was returning to work full time I knew something had to change. I also breast fed (still do) and I think it didn’t help that I was feeding in the night still. The Sleep Lady held a consultation with me and R and she drew up a plan based on our then current routine (fairly non-existent to be honest). Key points for us were to drop morning nap (or reduce to 15 mins if really knackered). Lunch at 11.30. Nap at 12/1 for 2 Hours max. Within 2 weeks we had a 11/12 hour sleeping through the night pattern. F***ing amazing!!! She’s based in Edinburgh so I was able to meet her face to face but there will be others like her I’m sure or you could have a phone consultation. If nothing else she was extremely nice and it felt good talking to someone who seemed so capable – which she was!!! I highly recommend. Sleeplady.co.uk. As others have said – take care of yourself. Sleep deprivation drives you mad. I know! Xxx

  31. Shireen
    November 2, 2017 / 9:00 pm

    I’m sorry you’re still so very exhausted Ruth. Some babies are indeed more sensitive and will not fit the “placid baby” (but not very common) ideal of sleeping through consistently in the first year of life. The reason that the controlled crying did not work might be that he is likely scared and unsettled from your recent major life changes, and not comforting him when he wakes and seeks reassurance that you are still a constant in his world will probably be counterproductive. Encouraging him to “self-soothe” which is itself a misleading term (see link below) could lead to more wakings, and perhaps a less secure child down the track with less ability to regulate stressors.
    https://sarahockwell-smith.com/2014/06/30/self-settling-what-really-happens-when-you-teach-a-baby-to-self-soothe-to-sleep/

    This position paper from the Australian Association of Infant Mental Health is a useful review of controlled crying:
    https://www.aaimhi.org/key-issues/position-statements-and-guidelines/AAIMHI-Position-paper-1-Controlled-crying.pdf

    And this is a summary of the main infant sleep experts’ views (not the “book ladies” who push CC, who are mostly uninterested in, and unqualified to speak of, its long-term effects on babies)
    https://www.bellybelly.com.au/baby-sleep/cry-it-out/

    It’s a real shame the NHS still promotes CC as they have no good evidence that it is not harmful, but then authorities also promoted corporal punishment in the not-so-distant past, and we now know for sure that it is harmful and attitudes have changed.

    I hope Ted is sleeping better soon, just keep giving him the cuddles and reassurance he needs and in the medium-long term he will be all the more secure for it. For myself, I have found that hiring a mother’s helper weekly for a few hours so that I can nap or exercise, and she can sort the house out, is a massive help. Also bringing baby into my bed when she is unsettled, while still putting her in the cot at other times so she gets used to independent sleep.

    • November 3, 2017 / 9:39 pm

      Thank you, those links are really helpful. Yeah I’m not that down with CC really, even when I’m shattered I still would rather cuddle than listen to crying! Or perhaps it’s BECAUSE I’m shattered. Either way, it’s never appealed to me. x

      • Shireen
        November 7, 2017 / 7:46 am

        You are very welcome. The above poster Someina has summed it up nicely too – mama instinct is there to help us as well as as well as the science. Hope your nights are peaceful soon x

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