Sleep help...again!!! :-(

I posted on here a few weeks ago about my LO not settling on his own & I wondered if controlled crying was the only way to solve it. I havent tried that yet but I'm seriously considering it now.

Unbelievably the sleep situation has got worse!! He goes down in his cot at bedtime then wakes between 1 - 3 hours later for another feed, falls asleep in my arms, I put him down then he wakes after 10 mins & won't resettle. At this point he comes into bed with me (I wanted an easy life!!) if I leave him he won't fall asleep, he just cries.

Co sleeping is fine & I do like it but the problem now is that he has started wanting my nipple in his mouth ALL THE TIME! He isn't hungry although he does snack a bit of the time. He does it for comfort. If he stirs & there's nothing to suck on then he cries. I don't know why he's started doing this but it's driving me crazy, he wakes a lot and is always rooting for me.

He won't take a dummy & believe me iv tried! I don't think he's comfort sucking because he's teething either. I can't feel any teeth under his gums plus teeth are hereditary & I didn't get my first one until I was 15 months so if he takes after his mum he has a while to go yet!!

I spoke to my HV who said don't do CC before 9 months as babies younger than this may still need a night feed. I'm fine with that and I don't mind him feeding but I just need to stop him from sucking on me all night!

Does anyone have any bright ideas????

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40 Replies

  • Lol I could have written the exact same post myself. My little one has reflux so I let him fall asleep on the boob or in my arms as I had to hold him upright after a feed, big mistake now I'm stuck with it. Recently I have managed to put a nipple shield on my boob which he sucked, then a dummy on my boob, so he could still feel boob on his cheek and finally my arm against his face and dummy in instead of boob. This is as far as I've got but he now goes to sleep in his cot with me sat next to it, I'm hoping by the time he leaves home he can sleep without me ;) he's 16 weeks by the way. Sorry I'm not much help but good luck, you're not alone :) x

  • In addition a friend suggested feeding every 2 hours from 3pm to make sure babes is super full before bed to help them sleep. Seems to have made difference to my LO.

  • I can't comment or offer help with the no sleep part as my LO has gone through the night from about 4 wks (to the point I had t wake him to give him milk)

    this might be a silly question but have you tried different shape/types of dummy's? It took us a good few tries to find a type our son would take?!

    Good luck and I hope you get some sleep soon x

  • I feel for you, after seeing my sister doing the same for her 15 months old son I can only imagine how frustrating it might get - would he sleep with anyone else in the family ? for maybe 2 days and then back with u for a day and then repeat for a while.

    My DD did that as a newborn untill 3rd month and one happy day found her thumb to suck (it became easier for me as thumbs cant get lost while sleeping and i was able to wean her to bottle easily at around 6 months)....sad part she loves dad more than me now :(

  • Thanks for your replies. I forgot to mention he's nearly 6 months by the way! Yes we've tried lots of different shaped dummies, I had high hopes for all of them but he still doesn't take it unless I hold it in lol. I will still keep trying though & see if I can phase it in like you have beancarrier!

    I have tried feeding more frequently during the day in the hope of filling him up for bedtime but I don't think he actually wakes because of hunger. He's waking out of habit & because he can't self settle. I started weaning him a couple of weeks ago so he has one portion of fruit or veg purée each day so far. I'd hoped this could make a difference but no!!

    Ritz21 - I have wondered whether he may sleep with his daddy in the spare room but I'm worried that I wouldn't be in the bed to make sure daddy doesn't roll over onto him! I know mums have that natural protective instinct which dads don't have. He'd probably be absolutely fine, I'll definitely consider it.

    He does have breast & bottle. Most recently he's having 2 bottles a day rather than 1. I guess I could try giving him a bottle in the night to see if that'll make him go back down in his cot.

    Any other ideas welcome!! :-) x

  • My OH was always worried about it during initial few months (rolling over Isabella), infact initially he was strictly against me co-sleeping with her (but the HV assured him that it is ok if I choose to do so). But now that Isabella is somehow more attached to dad (i think it started 6 months onwards) he happily sleeps or naps with her (change diapper, make feed and give feed in the middle of night now that she is on Formula) and life has just become a little easier for me (although I complain of loosing my little girls attention and I am not her 'alpha monkey mom' - her dad is ! )

  • I had similar problems with my son & docs & HV didn't seem to have any ideas to help me. I took him to see a paediatric cranial osteopath & bingo! The transformation was amazing ! I still take him now & he's 15months now & loves it! I was at the end of my tether but it really changed all of our lives for the better! Hope this is of some use!x

  • Hi. Iv looked into this before actually but my husband thinks it's nonsense lol. What age did you first take him? What difference did it make to his sleep? How many sessions did it take before you noticed a change? X

  • Haha! My husband thought it was nonsense too until he saw the difference it made! I first took him at 10months but treatment can begin at birth. It's particularly beneficial for children who have had an assisted delivery or a very quick delivery. The change was immediate. He had his first treatment & that night he woke up once to have his nappy changed! It was amazing! He used to wake up after 40 mins to an hour then maybe last two hours but be crying & all that would pacify him would be a bottle or nipple. As I said to my husband, even if it is nonsense, it's not as though they'll pump him full of drugs, break anything or damage him in any way so what's the harm in trying it. Although it sounds pretty melodramatic but this treatment changed our lives! He goes every month or so now. On his first visit the look of relief on his face reduced me to tears and by the second visit he was placing the osteopaths hands where he wanted them! Just make sure you find a paediatric cranial osteopath. Does that help? X

  • Thanks so much for that, it sounds like it really has helped you! I hope I can convince my husband to try it. I think it's the cost that will put him off but I want to give it a go. Thank you :-) x

  • Hi, my LO is six months old & wasn't settling at night & waking up afew times during the night & only fell asleep if I either sat with him holding his hand or brought him into our bed, I was losing the will to live cos 2 hours to get him down even at nap time I was getting nothing done so after trying everything I could think of I decided to let him cry, at first I made sure he was fed, changed & winded, put him down & let him cry for ten mins went back in to reassure etc and he cried for ages, I thought me going in was feeding his reaction so after afew nights I didn't go back in unless I thought something was wrong, first night I did this just as I was getting ready to go in at half an hour he went to sleep, next night 15 mins & now bearly afew mins. I know it sounds cruel but I came to the conclusion I'm the parent I know better when he needs sleep & he wakes up smiling so I don't think it's doing him any harm, good luck x

  • Hi thanks for replying. Did u do this at nap times as well or just at night time? I tried for an hour to get him to go to sleep for his nap earlier and then he only had 10 minutes :-( I have to think of something coz my knees are knackered from bouncing with him all the time!

    Does he still wake in the night for a feed? This is what I'm not sure about. Would I feed & put him down then continue with the crying again if he doesn't settle? I'm worried that I won't know if he's waking for a feed or waking just wanting comfort! X

  • I have just done cc with my son whose 8 months nxt week and breastfed and since Saturday has slept through for 11hrs. I started with his naps so he learnt to settle himself then and I think daytime theres more too occupy urself with. It took 3 days for naps. My reasons for doin it as I get up at 4.30am for a 12hr shift at work so cannot b waking all hrs too pick him up as I had only fed him hr previous and it cudnt go on. If he wakes in the night its usually for 30 secs and its a little groan and he settles himself again. If u r gonna do it ubneed to prepared for it and u need to b firm.. its hard but i am glad I hav done it.. x

  • Hi, thanks for this. Did you go in to reassure him at regular intervals or just leave him until he fell asleep like littlebean did? My husband is off work next week so I really want to give it a try. Iv told him already that we'll both need to be involved and be consistent! X

  • Did at first but I think tht didn't help so just left him. My sons in his own room. I giv breakfast at 8 30 we play for an hr.. I then feed him and when hes had enough I put him down awake and close curtains tho. then leave. It was gd my boyfriend was here. . I sat down stairs with him and cleaned and wgen went quiet I checked on him and he was fine.. first few days were hard but now hes great and much btr for getting 11hrs a sleep a night. Xx

  • Thanks a lot for your comments, it's helped a lot :-) xx

  • I do it at both nap time and night time, when I put him down I feed just before so I know it's not hunger etc & then leave him, sometimes he wakes after a short while & I always wait if this happens & to see if he soothes himself & goes back over & if not then I lift him. I do the same at night if he wakes chatting to himself I leave it afew mins if not i feed & put straight down & leave him. I was really torn about doing if this way but I now realise he is alot happier cos he is rested & it hasn't affected him towards our bond or anything I was worried about if anything I think he is learning to settle himself & not automatically scream for me plus I am feeling alot better. It's not an easy thing to listen too the first few nights but after night 3 you should see a major difference. I think you will know your baby well enough to know if he is waking for a feed.

  • Thank you, it's reassuring to hear from someone who has done it successfully. Is your son in his own room? The cot is still in our room, not sure if this will make it harder x

  • Yes he's in his own room, the same principles apply the only thing is you and you husband mite be actually disturbing his sleep when yous are going to bed. When my little boy was 5 months old I noticed his sleep cycles got different & he woke with every little noise. Of course it's all about what you feel comfortable with. You may not see the full benefits until he is in his own room, this last week most nights my LO has slept through but also started feeding

  • I play white noise next to his cot all night so I'm not worried about him being disturbed but I do agree it would probably work better on his own room. Thanks a lot for replying, it's really helped :-) x

  • Good luck, it's harm to do but worth it x

  • maybe if u can get him in his own room first, even if u hav to sleep in there with him for a week to get used to it, or as I did do naps first, u never know he might sleep better without the disturbance of u, not saying ur noisy but obv we don't know what we do in our sleep, I snore so I know tht my son wouldn't b able to sleep in with me, xx

  • Hey, can totally empathise! 7.5 months here & woke every 2 hours from 01.30 this morning until we got up! I feel like I have tried all the tricks to get him to settle himself with exception of CC but I am reluctant to go there at the moment. He wakes throughout the evening, I hear him have a little moan but can put himself back to sleep sometimes. He's standing in cot so this makes our job even more difficult as need to keep laying him down.

    I believe he wakes like clockwork most nights, wants a feed, partially for comfort and for me partially for nutrition as I don't think he feeds enough during the day!

    His naps are generally shocking, 2 40mins usually and then over tired by bedtime!

    I plan on speaking to a health visitor tomorrow when I go to breast feeding cafe to see what advice they can offer.

    If you go onto my profile you will probably find my own 'sleep' discussion where you might find more tips or ideas to help you Xx

    Here you go

  • Hey. Iv already read your post, I was keeping a close eye on it!! I think I just want someone to wave a magic wand & come and sort it all out for me! Iv tried a lot of things, just like you have, but we're still no further forward. Please do let me know if you get any help from the HV tomorrow! Xx

  • Yeah of course I will. Another mummy I know was at end of her tether with similar problems and she in my opinion has a very laid back attitude to everything so must have been bad for her to seek help. She spoke to HV at the baby cafe last week and things have already improved for her, my LO was tired after group this morning so didn't get to hear all the details.

    This little man tonight went to bed at 7.15, woke 7.45, daddy went to settle, 5 mins later crying again, resettled and awake again 9.45, he won't settle, tried to reassure him with cuddle, no chance, boob it is then and he's just nodded off in my arms as I write this. This will now be my cue to get to bed as no idea when he'll be up again :-( xx

  • He stirred again in my arms, making odd noises, rooting, fed and nodded off again.

    I should add that he woke 11.30, I laid him down got him back to sleep quite quickly, woke again and once more before 12.30, no feeds given, just lay him down and he makes the I'm trying to go to sleep noises. Had a feed at 2.30 and got up again at 6 so I took him into our bed to feed and sleep as am so shattered!

    Take a look At this site another GF recommended xx

  • I've bought the baby whisperer and just reading the first chapter was lovely I like the way she does things and the pupd method I'm going to try just been so busy and knackered but am def going to try. .... my lo was exactly the same but now he has started solids well puree... He does sleep longer the first part of the night and he has gone in his cot. .. I'm hoping with the combination of food and reassurance from the book we'll both get a decent night sleep! I feed him from about 5-6 as it seems the best time as the mo....He is having half a jar of puree fruit ... and Im introducing some food at around 11 am this seems to be when he is interested. ... I've never had a baby who has been so difficult to start solids... sleep ... Not take a bottle or dummy! I thought it was going to be easy that i was well used to babies. it has come back to bite me in the arse! When they say every baby is different is damn right!

  • I'm going to check this book out, iv heard good things about it! I was hoping that solids would help but it hasn't made any difference so far. I was hoping that would be my miracle cure haha! As I type this he has fallen asleep in my arms after waking up only 20 minutes after I finally got him to sleep :-( if I put him back in his cot now he will be 100% awake in about 10 minutes. Early night for me as I keep him in bed with me now!! X

  • we have the same, lo waking every two hours during the night, and like you, i knew that half those feeds were just to help him geet to sleep.

    i've been expresing during the day and toping up in the evening feed, that way, we knew he was full. we have therefore started resettling at the 10pm wake up, and not feeding until after midnight, and then resettling if he was within 2 hours of that feed. he's therefore beginning to learn hoow to self settle. have only been doing this two nights, but it actually isn't taking too long to settle - 40mins, and he has also settled himself completely on his own once per night.

    it's really hard, couldn't do it without my oh. we have read the baby whisperer book, and a fair bit of it makes sense, i got it off amazon for less than £4.

  • Hi, thanks for replying. How are you resettling him without feeding? Do you pick him up or just calm him in his cot?

    Iv just been looking online for the book & there are quite a few with 'baby whisperer' in the title! Which is the best one?? Is it Secrets of the Baby Whisperer by Tracey Hogg? X

  • Yes that's the one look on amazon they do little books on different topics too x

  • Yes, Tracey Hogg, there's a sleep only one that we got. We're not picking him up, figuring that unless he's gone to sleep, he's going to hate being put down. So, encouraging to suck his thumb and general soothing, then waiting a few mins and going again.

    He's 4 months btw.

  • Oh hun, there is nothing worse than a sleep deprived mummy! I too tried absolutely everything with my LO. She would be using me as a dummy to settle (easier life) but I got to the point where I thought "this cannot hapoen anymore" I did not want to create sleeping issues for her and us!

    My last resort was controlled crying. It worked wonderfully! Don't get me wrong through, it is not for the faint of heart and is tough to hear your LO. The older they are, the harder it generally is as they have more will power.

    Within 2 weeks she slept soundly for 8 hours. She would waken butnot make a sound, she would resettle herself and doze back off.

    Some kids just don't want to take dummies. Mine certainly did not. Now I am relieved she did not.

    Fingers crossed for u! Xx

  • Thank you! Out of interest, how old was your LO when you did this? X

  • 4 weeks! :s. She had her night and day the wrong way round. Because this was the case of having to do it with her night time routine it had the same effect when it came to nap times.

    My husband works away from home, with no family I was completely unable to function being awake 20 hours of the day.

    Im not sure if this will help, but, I used to find that my LO would want to "comfort feed" (not actually feeding!) at night as opposed to during the day, after a day feed she would happily sit or sleep. At night she would fall asleep on me, as soon as I moved her off she would wake screaming or in a desperate attempt try to re latch.

    This is when I started to try and settle her earlier at night. Feed her at 6pm, then bath,nappy,pjs. Another feed and put her down 7/730 (whether or not she was tired). Went up and dream fed her 10pm then put her down again. That would be until 6am.

    As other mums have said. If LO has clean nappy, been fed and winded and is feeling ok. Then let them cry! Its basically the same as them shouting "mum, come get me" for first few nights you will feel worried/concerned so I would recommend checking in on them after 15 mins of consistent crying. I would not pick LO up though as this is exactly what they are looking for. Just give a visual check to set your mind at ease he is fine. The dream feed should help him sleep through and again assure you he has a full tummy.

    You will notice a difference in the "wilfulness" of his cry each night will deteriorate as he will realise that is time to sleep not play or feed. So he may also start feeding more throughout the day you may notice.

    My LO was a lot more active through the day and ate a lot more because she knew when she went to bed it meant sleepy time! Mummy is off the clock! Lol.

    Sorry for lengthy message x

  • This has really helped, thank you so much! :-) Im nervous about doing it but it's driving me crazy how he wants to latch on all night every night. I guess you have to be cruel to be kind! I'll report back in a couple of weeks! Thanks again xx

  • Glad it has hun! Only natural to feel nervous and feel bad. I can assure u that once he sleeps you will wonder why you didnt do it sooner and u will feel like u have got bk to ureself rather than being too tired to do anything other than be mummy.

    I will be doing it with my next one thats due any day now if need be.

    My rule with my daughter was also to let her eat as much as she needed to throughout the day. You may find that after a few nights when he realises that his last feed is his last the he will cluster feed to fill himself up. As soon as he starts using you as a dummy or falling asleep. Pop him off and give him a couple chances to feed. If he fails to then wind him and put him down. This will help takeaway the factor of using mummy to getting settled and he shall soon learn to self settle.

    When u do the dream feed, keep room as dark as possible and dont speak to him. Try keep him sleepy as possible so he doesnt stir so much. Once u have him sleeping through the night you will be able to refocus on his day routine as u may find that will disrupt as he is having to re adjust. Give him more solids if needs be.

    Personally i made my last feed (one just before i put LO down at 730)by formula once she hit 6 months then BF for dream feed. It will allow u to relax from 7-10 then dream feed then go to bed. It wont be long before u can cut out his dream feed either.

    Yes keep us posted hun :). Best if luck! First few nights are hardest! Xx

  • It took finley 3 days.. u will b fine.. x

  • My oldest son was a nightmare to settle until he was about 20 weeks (BF for 12 weeks then onto formula) I started using the EASY (eat, activity, sleep, you) method and found it helped. The act of removing the association of eating(milk) with sleeping really helped. My friend who BF on demand until over a year and co-shared at night used the No Cry Sleep Solution and within 2 days her 14 month old was sleeping through the night ( her HV had been pushing her to try CC but she really wasnt kean. Hope you find something that helps hun x x

  • Hi Jacksonian,

    I don't have much to add to all the good advice, just a quick note on the Osteopath suggestion. I don't know where in the UK you are but if you can get to Wandsworth in London easily, there's an Osteopathic charity that excepts donations for treatment. I'm taking my LoO there at the moment and they've been fantastic. If not maybe there is a similar place near to you?

    Hope it gets better soon xx

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