Sleep help please!

Sara - posted on 09/07/2009 ( 80 moms have responded )

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Ok so I have a 7 month old. I breastfeed him to sleep at night. I have tried the "let him cry it out" method. He can cry for well over an hour, so I gave it up and just nurse him to sleep. Every night. My husband works nights so I have no one else to help get him to sleep. He is becoming very dependent on me only. My current problem is that he has been waking up at 4 am and as soon as I pick him up, he goes to sleep. When I put him down, he starts screaming. We did this for an hour and a half today before I gave up and just put him in bed with me. While I know there are benefits to co sleeping, my husband and I have decided thats not what we want to do. We want him to sleep on his own.

Any thoughts or ideas on what I can do to help him sleep on his own? Should I start letting him put himself to sleep at night and stick to the cry it out method my Dr suggests?

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Mandy - posted on 09/07/2009

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yes, there has been scientific studies done on this.

i am getting all my facts from Dr William Sears sleep book. I have found it really helpful.





Infants who are routinely separated from their parents in a stressful way have abnormally high levels of stress hormone cortisol and lower growth hormone levels. These imbalances inhibit the growth of nerve tissue in the brain.

Researchers at Yale Unerversity and Harvard Medical School found that intense stress early in life can alter the brain's neurotransmitters and structure in a similar way to that found in adults with depression.

A study from the Unerversity of Hertfordshire, U.K., showed infants with persistant crying episodes were 10 times more likely to grow up to have ADHD, concluding this may be due to unresponsive parenting.

Research at Baylor University found when chronic stress over-stimulates an infant's brain, the child will grow up with an over-active adrenaline system, causing aggression, impolsivity, and violence later in life.

Studies at the UCLA School of Medicine found the stress hormone cortisol actually destroys nerve connections in critical portions of an infant's developing brain, and when babies are neglected, they can grow up to be violent, imolsive, and emptionally unattached children.

Doctors at Case Western and Duke Universities showed prolonged crying in infants caused increased pressure in the brain, elevated stress hormones and decreased oxygenating to the brain.

Researchers found babies whose cries are usually ignored will not develop healthy intellectual and social skills.

Doctors at the National Intitute of Health found that infants with prolonged crying (not due to colic) in the first 3 months of life had an average IQ 9 points lower at five years of age and poor fine motor development.

Infants with excessive crying during the early months show difficulty controlling their emotions and become even fussier when parents try to console them at 10 months.

All babies cry, and most babies grow up to be emotionally and neurologically healthy children. However, this research is clear on one point: intense, extended periods of crying alone can permanently harm a baby's developing brain. What does this mena about the Cry It Out method? A baby who only cries briefly for a few nights is probably fine. What about crying for many minutes, night after night? We cant say how many minutes and how many night are safe, because no one has ever researches this. We urge parents to be very cautious if they decide to try this method.

Dr William and Martha Sears



sorry i cant offer any suggestions for sleeping on his own, my baby sleeps with me, but i have taken the side off his cot and attached it to my bed next to me so he is right there if he needs me without me getting up. i finally get sleep. alot of the time he just needs to know i am there.

Minnie - posted on 09/07/2009

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Will he be off getting a paying job tomorrow?



He's a baby, a human baby, who is very vulnerable and dependent on you, his mother, for his lifesource and security.



It is no strange coincidence that breastmilk contains soporiphic hormones. No, breastfeeding and sleep go hand-in-hand.



I have nursed my ten 1/2 month old to sleep for naps and during the night (typically four times a night still) since the day she was born. Infants are expected to get at least 25% of their nutrition during the night for at least the first 12 months. For him to be left alone, in his animalistic instinctive mind, is to risk bodily injury, and separation from you through abandonment.



Letting him cry himself to sleep will work eventually- but it will happen at the expense of your child thinking you effectively dead to him at night, that his needs don't matter to you when the lights go out- and may possibly physically harm his developing brain- which will be awash in stress hormones while he is left to attempt to pull stability and security out of the darkness.



Nurse your baby to sleep, keep him within arm's reach duirng the night, and you will be providing him a secure foundation in which he is able to grow and develop optimally, and will naturally develop his independence at his own pace.

Erynne - posted on 09/12/2009

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We're working through "The No-Cry Sleep Solution" right now. I did my sleep chart for last night (miserable... the baby got 7.5hr of sleep, and I probably got about 7hr) but I'm still holding out hope for a gentle way to get my son to sleep at least 5hr in a stretch.

There is more and more research coming out that shows forcing your baby to cry is actually quite harmful. Here's a bit from Margot Sunderland's "The Science of Parenting."

"Prolonged uncomforted crying can adversely affect key systems in the brain and body, leading to a vulnerability to depression, anxiety disorders, and other physical and mental illnesses in later life. Being left to cry means a child learns that he is abandoned just at the time he needs help."

"Early stress can cause cell death in a very important struction in the brain...the hippocampus, found deep within the lower mammalian brain, which plays a role in long-term memory. In the brain scans of children who have suffered intense uncomforted distress, the hippocampus appears somewhat shrunken because of cell death within its tissues. We don't know exactly how much this cell death affects a child's working memory. However, adults with a shrunken hippocampus scored lower on memory and verbal reasoning tasks."

"Studies on other mammals with lower brain structures and chemical systems like ours show that early stress can leave an infant's brain in a highly disrupted biochemical state. Essential systems involving the emotion chemicals opioids, norepinephrine, dopamine, and seratonin, which are still being established in an immature brain, may be badly affected, resulting in chemical imbalances in the brain."

Hope those help a bit. Try to find "The No-Cry Sleep Solution," and you might also read "The 90-Minute Baby Sleep Program" just to understand the rhythm of a baby's sleep habits.

- E

Nikki - posted on 09/11/2009

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Hi Sara - Just so you know I think you may have found the no cry sleep solution book aimed at toddlers and preschoolers - there is also a no cry sleep solution for infants which has advice that i'm sure will seem more applicable. Good luck figuring it all out!

Tahnee - posted on 09/09/2009

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letting your baby cry doesnt mean your a bad or neglectful mother. plenty of parents do it, it doesnt hurt the baby. I did it with mine and in a short while he knew when it ws bed time. He would either go staight to sleep or would just lay there and talk to himself before falling asleep. What I did was set a bed time the same every night. fed him and what not. Layed him down, and if he cried I would wait 5min before going in. Put his soother in didn't say anything and walked out. If the crying continued i waited a little long and went in again. So on and so forth. usually after about 20 min he fell asleep and slept through the night. And soon enough no more crying, maybe occassionally. It doesnt make you a bad parent. If you pick them up all the time when the cry theyll except it all the time.

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Susan - posted on 09/13/2009

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When I had my twins I lived with my grandmother and she started to sneak rice cereal into their bottles! I had asked her what she was doing different and confessed. You could try expressing your milk and adding rice cereal to the bottle it only takes a teaspoon or two per 8 oz bottle! Just ask the doctor first if your child has not tried rice cereal you would not want a food alergy in the middle of the night!

Sara - posted on 09/13/2009

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Wow, I never thought that this would become such a debate when I asked for help!

Minnie - posted on 09/13/2009

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Quoting Lisa:

I understand your concern, Lisa. However, I would have preferred that you focus on my second paragraph where I said that it requires common sense and trusting her instincts. I did not suggest strict adherence to any method. I guess I could have been more clear.

I must respectfully disagree that Baby Wise gives "dangerous" advice, although I will concede that taking it too literally could cause problems. The information I gleaned from the book, was much like what I have heard from other parenting "experts". Create a routine for your child that will give them a sense of security and confidence that they can rest, and all will be well when they wake up. It gave me the strength to trust my own intuition when it came to recognizing what my child needed when they cried rather than just attaching them to my breast every time. I did that with my first child and it wore us both out.

Since Sara asked for recommendations, I simply shared what had worked for us. I have to trust that she is intelligent enough to discern whether or not it will work for her situation. It doesn't hurt my feelings if she wants to do something else. Which brings me to the second part of her request.

If you read Sara's post carefully, (sorry to talk about you like you aren't part of this, Sara) you can hear that she is frustrated and heart broken about the way things are currently going. She asked for encouragement, not criticism. It breaks my heart to hear my children cry, so, I can feel her sorrow when she talks about her son screaming and crying for an hour and a half. But I also know how good it feels to lay my children in their beds, watch them smile at me and then roll over and go to sleep on their own. If she can find something in Baby Wise that helps her experience that, why wouldn't I share it?

There are so many things that moms have to deal with in raising kids. Work/stay home, breast/bottle, cloth/disposable, co-sleep/crib, vaccines/no vaccines, public/private/home school, etc. The list is endless. Why does there have to be ONE way to do any of this? Instead of blasting each other for making choices different from our own, we should be encouraging ourselves and others to find what fits our families. Just because homeschooling works for us doesn't mean my neighbors are wrong for sending their kids to public school. That would be ridiculous!

Sara, follow your heart and your son will know that you love him. Personally, I break at about 15 minutes. ;-) You might try sitting silently in a chair in the room (at night) with the lights dimmed, so he can see you. I did this with my now 4 month old as he was learning to fall asleep on his own. It seemed to help him to know that I was close by.

Good luck, Sister.

~Lisa Sanders
Mom of 4, all of whom are in bed sound asleep with no crying... yet. ;-)


The point is that Babywise does not offer sound infant care advice.  Because there are vulnerable, impressionable women here reading this post, they need to be made aware of the issues surrounding the book's contents so that they can make an informed decision about how they care for their infants. 

Alesha - posted on 09/12/2009

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Quoting Tahnee:

letting your baby cry doesnt mean your a bad or neglectful mother. plenty of parents do it, it doesnt hurt the baby. I did it with mine and in a short while he knew when it ws bed time. He would either go staight to sleep or would just lay there and talk to himself before falling asleep. What I did was set a bed time the same every night. fed him and what not. Layed him down, and if he cried I would wait 5min before going in. Put his soother in didn't say anything and walked out. If the crying continued i waited a little long and went in again. So on and so forth. usually after about 20 min he fell asleep and slept through the night. And soon enough no more crying, maybe occassionally. It doesnt make you a bad parent. If you pick them up all the time when the cry theyll except it all the time.



oh man i totally agree!! thank goodness we have never really had problems sleeping. she was sleeping thru the night at 6 weeks ( and dont tell me babies need more feeds duringthe night cos if she was bloody hungry she would wake up!) but wen she was crying wen I put her down I did the exact same thing as Tahnee an it only took 3 nights of this happening.



 



god! women!!  haden up all of u.. your babys dont die if u let them cry for a bit!! all the women i know that have tried the cry it out method only took a few trys an now haave babies sleeping thru the night no problem, hence u get a happy wellrested mum and baby. babys are bliming cunning! they know how to play u. dont be fooled. if they are full, warm, dry and no wind then let them cry a bit. they will soon learn. most of u women must read to many books! wot happened to mothers instinct!

Laura - posted on 09/12/2009

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Quoting Erynne:

We're working through "The No-Cry Sleep Solution" right now. I did my sleep chart for last night (miserable... the baby got 7.5hr of sleep, and I probably got about 7hr) but I'm still holding out hope for a gentle way to get my son to sleep at least 5hr in a stretch.

There is more and more research coming out that shows forcing your baby to cry is actually quite harmful. Here's a bit from Margot Sunderland's "The Science of Parenting."

"Prolonged uncomforted crying can adversely affect key systems in the brain and body, leading to a vulnerability to depression, anxiety disorders, and other physical and mental illnesses in later life. Being left to cry means a child learns that he is abandoned just at the time he needs help."

"Early stress can cause cell death in a very important struction in the brain...the hippocampus, found deep within the lower mammalian brain, which plays a role in long-term memory. In the brain scans of children who have suffered intense uncomforted distress, the hippocampus appears somewhat shrunken because of cell death within its tissues. We don't know exactly how much this cell death affects a child's working memory. However, adults with a shrunken hippocampus scored lower on memory and verbal reasoning tasks."

"Studies on other mammals with lower brain structures and chemical systems like ours show that early stress can leave an infant's brain in a highly disrupted biochemical state. Essential systems involving the emotion chemicals opioids, norepinephrine, dopamine, and seratonin, which are still being established in an immature brain, may be badly affected, resulting in chemical imbalances in the brain."

Hope those help a bit. Try to find "The No-Cry Sleep Solution," and you might also read "The 90-Minute Baby Sleep Program" just to understand the rhythm of a baby's sleep habits.

- E


Can we please refrain from the scary posts that suggest we are horrible moms for letting our child cry?  We cannot protect our children from every unhappiness, as much as we would like to.  I'm not suggesting leaving a screaming and in-distress child in a crib/cot/bed, but this business about permanent brain damage is nonsense- I'd really like to see the reference in a reputable medical journal for this claim.



Besides, as has been posted above, the data for permanent damage just isn't out there- a lot of mommies who have posted here were cry-it-out babies, and they all seem fairly well adjusted, right?  Everyone in our family did that method too, and they turned out OK... except for that one uncle who thinks he is Napoleon... and that aunt who was a serial cat-licker... well, can't win 'em all!  ;-)



Sara- Let us know how it goes!

Lisa - posted on 09/12/2009

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I understand your concern, Lisa. However, I would have preferred that you focus on my second paragraph where I said that it requires common sense and trusting her instincts. I did not suggest strict adherence to any method. I guess I could have been more clear.

I must respectfully disagree that Baby Wise gives "dangerous" advice, although I will concede that taking it too literally could cause problems. The information I gleaned from the book, was much like what I have heard from other parenting "experts". Create a routine for your child that will give them a sense of security and confidence that they can rest, and all will be well when they wake up. It gave me the strength to trust my own intuition when it came to recognizing what my child needed when they cried rather than just attaching them to my breast every time. I did that with my first child and it wore us both out.

Since Sara asked for recommendations, I simply shared what had worked for us. I have to trust that she is intelligent enough to discern whether or not it will work for her situation. It doesn't hurt my feelings if she wants to do something else. Which brings me to the second part of her request.

If you read Sara's post carefully, (sorry to talk about you like you aren't part of this, Sara) you can hear that she is frustrated and heart broken about the way things are currently going. She asked for encouragement, not criticism. It breaks my heart to hear my children cry, so, I can feel her sorrow when she talks about her son screaming and crying for an hour and a half. But I also know how good it feels to lay my children in their beds, watch them smile at me and then roll over and go to sleep on their own. If she can find something in Baby Wise that helps her experience that, why wouldn't I share it?

There are so many things that moms have to deal with in raising kids. Work/stay home, breast/bottle, cloth/disposable, co-sleep/crib, vaccines/no vaccines, public/private/home school, etc. The list is endless. Why does there have to be ONE way to do any of this? Instead of blasting each other for making choices different from our own, we should be encouraging ourselves and others to find what fits our families. Just because homeschooling works for us doesn't mean my neighbors are wrong for sending their kids to public school. That would be ridiculous!

Sara, follow your heart and your son will know that you love him. Personally, I break at about 15 minutes. ;-) You might try sitting silently in a chair in the room (at night) with the lights dimmed, so he can see you. I did this with my now 4 month old as he was learning to fall asleep on his own. It seemed to help him to know that I was close by.

Good luck, Sister.

~Lisa Sanders
Mom of 4, all of whom are in bed sound asleep with no crying... yet. ;-)

Rhoda - posted on 09/12/2009

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Hi Sara,



I'm not an expert and can only share my experiences with my 2 little ones, and each baby is different. One thing you could try is to observe your baby's sleeping patterns. Around what time(s) does he have long sleeps? What I did with both was slowly change the pattern by keeping them awake longer during the day. I found that it shifted the 2 periods of longer sleeps so they happenned in the evenings and it decreased the number of times I woke in the middle of the night. I also noticed that both would wake up not because they were hungry but because they needed a diaper change so I put both in overnight diapers or a diaper one size up from what they were currently in, this cut out waking up in the middle of the night for a pee diaper ( does not apply for a poo diaper) At this point I had them both only waking up in the middle of the night for feedings. What I then did was instead of breast feed in the middle of the night I pumped and bottle fed as much as they could take and I found they would wake up only once a night for a feed. If they were having growth spurts this approach wasn't effective. Once my daughter slept through the night she began to wake up again in the middle of the night at 6mos because her teeth were coming in. After they broke the skin she slept through the night but each time her teeth came in she would wake and I found infant tylenol helped. At 10months she started waking in the middle of the night again and eventhough she was eating solids at this point she was waking because she was hungry. I started giving her a snack a few hours before bedtime and then her bottle and that did it. She slept through the night until her brother was born.



Like yourselves, my husband and I do not make a habit of letting our babies sleep in the bed with us. As for letting your son cry it out, I'm not a big fan of the "Ferber" approach but there are times my daughter won't sleep through the night or after putting her in the crib she cries so I tell her that I will stay in the room until she falls asleep. In the beginning there was crying because she didn't understand that I was supporting her without holding her. The nights when I was just too tired to wait for her to sleep I would just bring pillows and blankets and sleep on the nursery floor with her, I didn't want to bring her to the bed because I had read that after 6 months babies get use to sleeping with parents in the bed. Now she is almost 2yrs and every once and awhile she just likes to hold my hand through the crib railing until she falls asleep, once I hear her snoring and she loosens the hold of my hand I leave. My son is almost 5 months and he only gets up once a night for a feed unless he's teething or he has a cold. I hope this helps.

Michelle - posted on 09/12/2009

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I have a little boy, almost 5months old and i nurse him to sleep and then again somewhere between 1 and 3 and then again around 5 before i have to get ready to work. when he falls back to sleep and falls of me, i put him back in his own bed. I'm not a fan of co-sleeping. in my opinion that is to dangerous, I'm a crazy sleeper-blankets and pillows all over the place. plus i have a friend who just got her 9year old son to sleep in his own room this year-he's been in her room/bed since birth. i know the sleepless nights can be tough but they will eventually sleep on their own, that's what i keep telling myself. hang in there

Minnie - posted on 09/12/2009

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Quoting Lisa:

We used Baby Wise for 3 of our 4 kids. One of those is a special needs child. Each child is different in how long they take to the program, but none of them feel rejected or unloved. They are well adjusted kids.

It requires common sense to make the decision regarding what to do for them, i.e. feed, change, comfort, or let them cry. Trust your instincts as a mom. Mom's have done it for thousands of years without Baby Wise or Dr. Sears. You can do it, too, regardless of the method. Good luck.



Babywise has been condemned by the AAP, has been linked to failure to thrive and dehydration and an early end to the breastfeeding relationship.  There is no scientific evidence to back up the claims in the book, it is written by a pastor who was disciplined by his church, his children have disowned him, and the book has not been peer-reviewed.



 



There is plenty of scientific evidence to prove that CIO harms infants.



Babywise offers extremely poor, if not dangerous infant-care advice.

Minnie - posted on 09/12/2009

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Quoting Lisa:

We used Baby Wise for 3 of our 4 kids. One of those is a special needs child. Each child is different in how long they take to the program, but none of them feel rejected or unloved. They are well adjusted kids.

It requires common sense to make the decision regarding what to do for them, i.e. feed, change, comfort, or let them cry. Trust your instincts as a mom. Mom's have done it for thousands of years without Baby Wise or Dr. Sears. You can do it, too, regardless of the method. Good luck.



Babywise has been condemned by the AAP, has been linked to failure to thrive and dehydration and an early end to the breastfeeding relationship.  There is no scientific evidence to back up the claims in the book, it is written by a pastor who was disciplined by his church, his children have disowned him, and the book has not been peer-reviewed.



 



There is plenty of scientific evidence to prove that CIO harms infants.



Babywise offers extremely poor, if not dangerous infant-care advice.

Lisa - posted on 09/12/2009

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We used Baby Wise for 3 of our 4 kids. One of those is a special needs child. Each child is different in how long they take to the program, but none of them feel rejected or unloved. They are well adjusted kids.

It requires common sense to make the decision regarding what to do for them, i.e. feed, change, comfort, or let them cry. Trust your instincts as a mom. Mom's have done it for thousands of years without Baby Wise or Dr. Sears. You can do it, too, regardless of the method. Good luck.

Sarah - posted on 09/12/2009

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Don't do the cy method, I think that is horrible, he might just still be hungry my doctor always told me to feed on demand

Jaeda - posted on 09/12/2009

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Nursing to sleep is great.you may want to get a wedge for his crib to elevate him so he doesnt get reflux, which can wake him as soon as he is flat on his own. I found it helpful, that when me son was having a rough night i would sometimes lean over the side of his crib and let him nurse to sleep while laying in hes bed. that way when he was done i could just leave the room without moving him. i dont mean the whole half hour that he may nurse, i just mean the last few minutes. also you may want to pump some just before bed and let him have it from a bottle in the middle of the night. my sone is 11 months and he still nurses for bedtime and naps, it is a comfort for him and he needs that before you leave him at night. it is alot easier now though then when he was younger, so it does get better as they start to understand betime. hope that helps you.

Emma - posted on 09/12/2009

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I can soooo relae to you!!!! I have a 13 months old that has only started sleeping through a month ago... I had hit a wall so enough was enough.... It took two weeks to get her to sleep from 6.30pm (sometimes 7pm) through to 6.30am (sometimes 7am)...

I don't believe in control crying.... I used the "trizzie Hall" book - save our sleep! It is worth the buy... You have to be persistant but i can guarantee you it works! I still feed my litlle one to sleep at night as i love breastfeeding but she is sleeping through and WOW does she look and act better for it...

You have to believe in yourself.... Good luck i am sure you beable to get there...

Sara - posted on 09/11/2009

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Quoting Nikki:

Hi Sara - Just so you know I think you may have found the no cry sleep solution book aimed at toddlers and preschoolers - there is also a no cry sleep solution for infants which has advice that i'm sure will seem more applicable. Good luck figuring it all out!


Thanks Nikki, I just saw the toddler one. It seemed like good ideas, just for older kids. I will have to look for the infant one.

Stephanie - posted on 09/11/2009

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Try maybe rocking him to sleep. In the middle of night, don't pick him up, try maybe rubbing his back and shushing or singing a lullaby to him until he falls asleep.

Sara - posted on 09/11/2009

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Just an update for those who care. I have looked over 5 books since yesterday on sleep. No real help just yet. "healthy sleep habits, happy child" and Dr Ferbers, "solve your child's sleep problems" both follow the cry it out method (saying you can let them go for up to a few hours) and "sweet dreams" and "nighttime parenting" both follow the co sleep method.
I did get some good tips from the no-cry solution but it is geared to toddlers and preschoolers who you can talk to and reason with somewhat. It does stress precise scheduling which is something I am going to work on for a bedtime routine. I follow one but it is flexible and starts at various times. I am going to set up a rigid routine bedtime that starts at the same time everyday so he knows exactly what to expect and know that bed time is coming. Will work on that this weekend and start things on Monday. Wish me luck!

Nicole - posted on 09/11/2009

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I've been a mum for almost 5yrs now and have 3 children and l don't think l have slept through the night more than a handful of times. Just knowing that makes me feel less tired. I go with the flow, my baby daughter is now 6mths and has just stopped crying with day time sleeps we did the sit by the cot with a hand on all three and this works eventually but does take time (take a book with you!!). At night l often end up in the spare bed with my babies, my theory is that each day is one less day they need you so enjoy being needed while it lasts cause soon you will hear "I can do it myself" and your out of a job!! Also it does get better and they will eventually sleep through the night, it just may take a couple of years!!

[deleted account]

Quoting Jamie:



Quoting Cristina:

The one thing that I can tell you for sure is to not let your child take over your bed, it really strains a relationship, I have seen it happen, the love and passion takes the back burner or flies out a window. Children have to learn to sleep in their space. it get's harder the longer we parents put it off.





I have to say that's really not always the case.  We have co-slept with both of our kids and our love life is more exciting.  We don't use our bed, so we use the shower, floor, couch, whatever.  IT actually makes us spice up our love life.  Our love and passion has not changed for the worse because of our kids in our bed.  We both love sharing that time with them and each other.  Our passion is as strong as ever.





I agree, Jamie. We co-sleep too and it forces you to be a bit more creative, which is actually fun. With my husband's work schedule, we sometimes find that we have to schedule a "play date", but it still doesn't make it boring because just because you know what day, the time and place happen on the fly.



As for children never learning to sleep in their own space if they co-sleep is incorrect. We all learn to sleep in our own space, or to share it with others. My eldest son decided to sleep in his own room one day, all on his own at just under 2 years old. We bought him a new "big boy bed" and he loved it. As I write this though, he's currently sleeping with us (and his baby brother, 9 months). We've all been ill and sleep better with a humidifier on. So we're all sleeping together (in a queen sized bed with a cot side carred against my side of the bed for baby) and sharing a humidifier. Once he's well enough though, he'll go back to his bed of his own volition. It's happened before. It'll happen again too.



Sara, as for your sleep problem. If you find yourself co-sleeping, it's not a bad thing. I didn't start out thinking I'd co-sleep. It just provided the best sleep solution for me since the babies have been breastfed. But, if you find that he falls asleep while feeding, yet wakes when you try to put him down... you may be trying to put him down too soon. I can understand being in a sleepy daze, you'd want to be getting back to bed sooner rather than later, consequentially trying to put a baby down that's not ready yet. Give it an extra 5-10 minutes and then try. You may find that you're putting him down before he hits the deeper sleep stage. Another trick that I sometimes use is putting a worn t-shirt in the cot. Lay him on it and he'll still smell you and feel as though you're still around.



It is natural that your son will become dependent on you, because you are his primary caregiver. It's normal. This does not mean that he's going to be dependent on you forever. Trust me, it won't happen. I'm already seeing a lot of independence out of my co-slept, breastfed, never left to cry son. He's 2 1/2 and wants to do everything for himself (and us). What I am grateful for is that he was really attached to me as a baby, because I think that's given me the edge as he goes through the "terrible twos" and the upcoming "even worse threes". He throws tantrums, like any good 2 year old, but because I'm like #1 in his eyes, it only takes a few words to get him back on track. Unless he's really putting his foot down (gotta love an independent thinker!... I think), then it takes a bit more work (time outs mostly) but he always goes back to being mummy's helper and minds me very well.



Another poster mentioned the No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley. This is a brilliant book with heaps of suggestions to use depending on what you think will work for your family.



It all goes by quickly, so before you know it  you won't have sleep issues any more (unless you have another baby like I did).



Good luck!

Jamie - posted on 09/10/2009

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Quoting Cristina:

The one thing that I can tell you for sure is to not let your child take over your bed, it really strains a relationship, I have seen it happen, the love and passion takes the back burner or flies out a window. Children have to learn to sleep in their space. it get's harder the longer we parents put it off.


I have to say that's really not always the case.  We have co-slept with both of our kids and our love life is more exciting.  We don't use our bed, so we use the shower, floor, couch, whatever.  IT actually makes us spice up our love life.  Our love and passion has not changed for the worse because of our kids in our bed.  We both love sharing that time with them and each other.  Our passion is as strong as ever.

Cristina - posted on 09/10/2009

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Hi,
Well all babies are different, when my son turned 11 months it all changed (mine started to sleep alone in his room right away at four months), he wanted to be with us at all times, and woke like clock work every night at 3 am, so we did the whole crying thing but, if you weren't aware babies can cry up to 4 hrs straight with no reason whatsoever, and that's normal, so i didn't want to take that road again, the thing I did was bathe him later at night get a routine going for bed time, milk came next in a bottle, what i used helped me was putting a shirt of mine in the crib with him, that did the trick for me, he always in his crib, no if's or buts about it.
Don't lose hope it gets so much easier later on.
The one thing that I can tell you for sure is to not let your child take over your bed, it really strains a relationship, I have seen it happen, the love and passion takes the back burner or flies out a window. Children have to learn to sleep in their space. it get's harder the longer we parents put it off.

Becky - posted on 09/10/2009

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I have a three month old who used to have the same problem. she is now falls asleep on her own and sleeps throught the night. My help was a book called the "Baby Whisperer". You have to stick to your guns if you do follow the book. You can get this book from the Library or any bookstore. Good Luck and Remember that you have the support to do what is best for you and your baby!

Kayla - posted on 09/10/2009

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I breastfed all 4 of my children currently feeding babe #4,each one of my kids were different.I did nurse them all to sleep.I had 2 that would sleep all night and my son drove me crazy,similar to your situation. My newest addition wakes up every 2 hrs. on the dot and I feed her solids before bed time and she still gets up all night, And she is 61/2 mo.I wouldn't let him cry himself to sleep if it were me,not at such a young age.

Erica - posted on 09/10/2009

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I think Lisa's response is a little harsh. read secrets of the baby whisper...do u give a paci at night? my 3mo old sleeps through the night with 5 feedings a day

Kate - posted on 09/10/2009

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Quoting Ashlei:

Sara-I have been in your shoes and didn't think there was any hope for sleep! First, I wonder how you put him down for naps...I made it to where my guy was put down and just left to go to sleep. Then I stopped nursing during the days and only at bedtime/middle of the night...then I stopped right before bed (he did great with this I think because of how he takes naps)...then just a few weeks ago, when he was over 13 months old I had enough and we did the cry it out method, well kinda. We let him cry the first night for 10 minutes and then my husband went in there to pat him, give him his pacifier, a drink of water and then back to sleep. He wanted nothing to do with him at first, wouldn't let him rock him or anything...he was mad. After that we just let him cry because he would get too upset if we came in. He cried 35 minutes. He woke up 4 times that night and we did the same thing. 35 minutes, 15 minutes, 15 minutes, 2 minutes. The second night was much better. The first time he woke up was always the worst. He finally got to the point where he let his dad rock him for a few minutes and then back to bed. If I go in there now we just rock and then back to bed. He finally slept all night when he was 13 months old!!! We still have times we wake up but a little rocking and he's back to sleep. I would try to find a time your husband could take off time or maybe the christmas break. I was so nervous how it would go and didn't ever think he would do that great, but he surprised me! You just have to do it eventually, so why not now! I wish I would have done it sooner! Good Luck!!!


Ashlei,



 How did you work his naps? My daughter used to sleep through the night and go to sleep on her own quietly...that has since changed. I'm having the same probelms that Sara is having at night but I can't get Lily to nap at all during the day unless we're in the car. Any thoughts? My little one will cry for well over an hour if I let her, she just doesn't give in and go to sleep!

Cleopatra - posted on 09/10/2009

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Hi Sara,
Like you my husband works at night and my daughter is 8 months. What I do is I put her in the bed with me until I know she is sound asleep and then I put her in her crib.

Ashlei - posted on 09/10/2009

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Sara-I have been in your shoes and didn't think there was any hope for sleep! First, I wonder how you put him down for naps...I made it to where my guy was put down and just left to go to sleep. Then I stopped nursing during the days and only at bedtime/middle of the night...then I stopped right before bed (he did great with this I think because of how he takes naps)...then just a few weeks ago, when he was over 13 months old I had enough and we did the cry it out method, well kinda. We let him cry the first night for 10 minutes and then my husband went in there to pat him, give him his pacifier, a drink of water and then back to sleep. He wanted nothing to do with him at first, wouldn't let him rock him or anything...he was mad. After that we just let him cry because he would get too upset if we came in. He cried 35 minutes. He woke up 4 times that night and we did the same thing. 35 minutes, 15 minutes, 15 minutes, 2 minutes. The second night was much better. The first time he woke up was always the worst. He finally got to the point where he let his dad rock him for a few minutes and then back to bed. If I go in there now we just rock and then back to bed. He finally slept all night when he was 13 months old!!! We still have times we wake up but a little rocking and he's back to sleep. I would try to find a time your husband could take off time or maybe the christmas break. I was so nervous how it would go and didn't ever think he would do that great, but he surprised me! You just have to do it eventually, so why not now! I wish I would have done it sooner! Good Luck!!!

Jackie - posted on 09/10/2009

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Sara,

I feel your pain about the not sleeping through the night. We too have tried everything. Nothing seems to change. But in my mind I just keep thinking he he is only little once. Small price to pay for God's greatest gift.

Jamie - posted on 09/10/2009

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Quoting Sara:



Quoting Lisa:
Letting him cry himself to sleep will work eventually- but it will happen at the expense of your child thinking you effectively dead to him at night, that his needs don't matter to you when the lights go out- and may possibly physically harm his developing brain- which will be awash in stress hormones while he is left to attempt to pull stability and security out of the darkness.







Are you serious? Do you have any research backing this statement? That I am harming him by doing this? If so I would be interested to see it.






As stated, my husband and I have chose NOT to cosleep so I was looking for some alternatives. Thanks for making me feel as though I am killing my child for not doing so though.





It's ok if you don't want to co-sleep, you need to do what works for you.  I put many links in my post about CIO and the stress, etc. it causes on their bodies if you are interested in checking them out.  Here is another good summary of research (written by a mom) http://www.blisstree.com/breastfeeding12...  Anyhow... what about just putting the crib in your room?  Or a co-sleeper?  My son nursed to sleep and learned how to fall asleep without nursing as he aged.  I read the book the No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantly and I think it really helped.  It may help you too!

Kate - posted on 09/10/2009

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Quoting Sara:

Good luck Kate! I also had to Cry it out as a baby and I think I am ok. I don't have emotional, agression issues. No ADHD, no violence. And guess what, I have a college degree and a pretty high IQ! (I am no genius though or I would have figured this out by now!) Hope your weekend isn't too bad. I will be thinking of you.



Haha, thanks for adding some humor to this situation! It does get hard though...you go into it all tough, she's going to take a nap cause I said so. But after an hour it wears on us! I'll do just about anything to get naps out of her duing the day. I know people keep saying that crying it out is bad, but like you said, college degrees, no aggresion issues. I'm just afraid that if I don't tackle this now I'll be doing it when she's 2 years old, and it's so much easier now! She has no memory of crying...she'll be in there for 20 minutes screaming and as soon as I pick her up she's all smiles and ready to play. It's funny how babies already know how to minipulate their parents into getting what they want...maybe it's a girl thing but Lily has it mastered!!! :-)

Sara - posted on 09/10/2009

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Good luck Kate! I also had to Cry it out as a baby and I think I am ok. I don't have emotional, agression issues. No ADHD, no violence. And guess what, I have a college degree and a pretty high IQ! (I am no genius though or I would have figured this out by now!) Hope your weekend isn't too bad. I will be thinking of you.

Kate - posted on 09/10/2009

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Sara, my daughter has the same problem! She's 4 1/2 months old and always falls asleep while nursing at night. Then, as soon as I put her down she screams until I give in and put her in our bed. If I can get her to sleep in her crib she awakes in the middle of the night doing the same thing your son does. She's getting so clingy with me she doesn't want anything to do with my husband after about 5 pm. I know she sleeps better with me, but then I don't sleep. I struggle with letter her cry because she'll cry for well over an hour and just not give in. However, we have to break this habit. I plan on trying to do so this weekend. I'm going to make her sleep her in crib even if it means I don't sleep! Haha, I'm going to start with going in to her room every 5 minutes to calm her, give her the pacifier, rub her head and such. Then I'll move to every 10 minutes and then 15...I won't let her go longer than 15 minutes without being calmed but not picked up. We'll see how it goes, but I hear ya on this issue! My Mom let me cry it out and all of my younger siblings (the youngest is now 7) and none of us are scared or have emotional issues because of it. I think it's harder on Mommy than it is on baby and just takes a lot of dedication but after a few nights it work and baby should go down easily. Good luck!

Sara - posted on 09/10/2009

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I do keep a nightlight on in his room all night. After some issues earlier on sleep, the light really helped. It seems once I get it under control, a new issues arises. The joys of motherhood right?

Sherry - posted on 09/10/2009

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This is probably a silly question, but do you turn a light on when you go into his room? Even a very dim light will stimulate him. If you do, try having a nightlight on all night in his room so he is used to the light and you can still see. That being said...he is probably teething and nursing soothes him. Good Luck!

Saira - posted on 09/10/2009

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Why dont you stick the cot right beside the bed (i.e. join the cot to the bed) and take one side off. That way you can feed the baby during the night and still have him at a safe distance where you can hold his hand or pat him to sleep if he wakes up during the night.

Jaime - posted on 09/09/2009

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Have you tried a co sleeper? It is a pack n play type bed that pushes up next to your bed..really good for breast feeding. That way baby is next to you but in their own bed at the same time.. both happy! Breast feeding babies are really attached to Mommy, its a bond.. dont try and break that it goes away to soon :)

Jamie - posted on 09/09/2009

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I strongly say do NOT let him cry it out. It raises cortisol levels and may cause PERMANENT changes. Here is what I do....

Nurse him to almost-sleep. When he starts to fall asleep, remove your nipple. If he cries, give it back, wait a few seconds, then take it again. Keep it up. After a week or so, they start to learn they can fall asleep without nursing. I did this with my son and he started sleeping through the night, just like that! This is one strategy I loved from The No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Panty. I highly recommend getting that book. We also co-sleep and we all love it. I have two kids in the bed. Enjoy it while you can, because they grow too fast! This is one strategy I loved from The No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Panty.


http://parentingfreedom.com/cry-it-out/
http://www.askdrsears.com/html/10/handou...
http://www.sleepnet.com/infant3/messages...
http://www.kathydettwyler.org/detsleepth...

Sara - posted on 09/09/2009

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Heather, He is on a pretty good solids schedule. We have fruit in the morning (1/2 jar), veggie at lunch (1/2 jar) and cereal at night before bath time.
Theresa, what are wheatabix? Never heard of that.
Narelle, I am adding that to my book list. Thanks. I am going to just scan them all and try to find something that works, maybe even combine some suggestions.

Julia - posted on 09/09/2009

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my daughter is now two but i had her sleep in a swing and the motion and snug feeling kept her asleep she did wake up when she was hungry but other than that perfect baby...she slept in her swing until 6 months

Theresa - posted on 09/09/2009

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me again, just been reading some more reply's you've got. I think the cry it out thing works better when they're a bit older maybe 12-18months plus. I don't like the idea of putting rice in the bottle but instead i give Kian supper, i give him wheatabix (which he likes) before bed this would do the same thing it just fills them up a bit more, but unfortunately in my case it seems no matter how much he eats or feeds he will still only sleep 4 hours and the same sort of routine as you as come 3/4 o'clock he wants to be with me. Like some have said before listen to what YOU feel is right for you and baby take advice yes, but he's your baby and you'll work something out that is right for you both. x

[deleted account]

Hi. i can suggest save our sleep by tizzie hall. Her method does involve some crying but only for a few minutes. i dont follow her routines exactly but some good tips in there and you should just do what u feel comfortable with. my son is 14 weeks old and has been sleeping through from 6 weeks. i am also breastfeeding and he sleeps in his cot in our room. if he does wake in the night for a feed i breastfeed him in bed then re-swaddle him put him in his cot and he settles him self without crying within a few minutes.
some tips i found helpful was to keep the lights low (only enough light to see what u are doing). put your baby to sleep drowsy but awake so they can learn to settle themselves.
i know it can be really hard when you have to do it yourself (my husband works away), but the earlier you can sort it out the easier it will be.
good luck. don't be hard on yourself you can only give a few different things ago and see what works for you.

Heather - posted on 09/09/2009

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Hello. I could not tell from the posts I read, is your baby eating cereal and baby food consistently?

I have a 3 year old and 9 month old twins. They all seemed to start sleeping thorough the night at about 6 months. This was about the time they really got the hang of eating cereal etc. We also take them to the Chiropractor at least once or twice a month. Although when we started Chiropractic we went at least once a week. It really helps!

I do feel your pain with the "cry it out method". However, I have found that if they know you are going to come back in for them, they will keep up the crying. We did the soothing at 5, 10, 15, mins. and so on. I think what really worked was the combo of knowing that they aren't hungry, are well adjusted and are just looking for attention be cause they know you'll come. Our twin girl really sleeps well and did start sleeping through the night before the food and chiro really took effect. Our twin boy had more trouble sleeping through the night, but once he was fed and adjusted he calmed down pretty much on his own. Our 3 year old went to the chiro at 6 months and the day after his first adjustment he slept through the night and has ever since.

I don't know if any of this will help, but do know that you are not alone and it will get better!

Nichole - posted on 09/09/2009

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Sounds like my first baby, he was a very hard baby to get to sleep unless he was nursing. He wouldn't acutally be eating either, just soothing himself. He would cry forever if I would have let him. I am now trying to wean my one yr old right now.. and wow is it hard work. I have been doing a lot of reading on how to wean gentally for the baby and they say it could take a few months! So I kinda have been doing my own thing, I have cut out the day time feedings except nap time and bedtime. Those seem to be the hardest to get rid of. I have been trying to rock him to sleep and then putting him in his bed once he's almost asleep. He cries for about a minute and then he's out like a light. But my first son was a totally different story. He slept with me every night so when I tried to wean him it made it really hard. I tried using those lullaby cds and rocking him to sleep, they seemed to help out a little. Letting them cry it out is not mean as long as you don't let them scream their heads off for more than like ten minutes. My middle son was bottle fed and we did the cry it out method, and now he's 2 1/2 and he's so easy because he can go to sleep on his own. I let my one yr old cry and I find that the easiest way for me is to put him in his room after I have fed him and leave the room so I can't hear him cry. When I go to check on him a few minutes later he's usually asleep or almost asleep. But if he is fighting it really bad I will go in and make sure he's ok and give him a few minutes more. And if he just doesn't stop then I give into nursing him. Now I haven't really figured out how to stop the middle of the nite feedings yet, I'm still working on that. Its really tough to wean them, but as long as you stick to a routine I think he should get passed the nursing. Trust me, I know how hard it is to wean, I've been trying to stop for the past month! lol...

Sara - posted on 09/09/2009

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Thanks Laura. I figure I will check out all the books recommended and see what will work for US. I think every child and family is different so what works for one will not work for all. Thats why I love the library. No need to waste money on a book that will not work for me. And yes I said I would NEVER give my baby cereal in a bottle, however the idea is VERY tempting from time to time. I have not done it but have thought about it.
Hope your 1 year old doesn't continue the 1 am playdates!

Laura - posted on 09/09/2009

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PPPS OK almost done... A few more things, Sara- it may be possible you just had a bad week, like you said. Just when you think you have your baby figured out, they try something new. 2 weeks ago, my 1-year-old thought it was awesome to wake up and play at 1 AM. Not awesome, it turns out. I'll spare you the story on how we figured that one out. There are a lot of good ideas above- try them, certainly, but the best advice I've read is trusting your instincts. You are obviously a very caring and thoughtful mother based on your posts.
PPPPS BTW HATED Babywise, LOVED The Happiest Baby on the Block. Took ideas from both.

GOOD LUCK!!!

Laura - posted on 09/09/2009

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I'm probably going to get in trouble for this, but I'm just trying to help, so don't get too mad! I had the exact same problem with my son when he was that age. By that point in time, he was not really taking milk from my breasts (he was not a good sucker), so we were giving him expressed milk in bottles. I was about at my wits end (sounds like you are close) and asked a friend at work what to do. She suggested adding a bit of rice cereal to his bottle at his night-time feed. I know this is blasphemy, but I don't care. It worked for me, and it might work for you. I hope this is helpful!
PS The co-sleeping ideas suggested are OK, but I eventually found (at least in my case) that none of us slept well once my son got to be about this age. We transitioned him from his Arms-Reach bassinet to a crib by about 6 months... what a difference! I love my son dearly, but I never realized how I never fully went to sleep when he was in the room (again, speaking for myself only- there are probably lots of Zen moms out there who do a much better job than I).
PPS GOOD LUCK! I feel for you!!!

Sara - posted on 09/09/2009

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I want my son to learn independence. No, he is not an adult with a job. Yes he is a baby. But I believe that teaching your child independence at an early age will be good for him. You may not agree but that is what my husband and I believe. I don't let him cry non stop. The theory my dr. gave is to let him cry 5 minutes, go console, lay back down for 5 mins, and so on. It doesn't work for us. I did try because it was recommended by my pediatrician. He strongly urges this. Co sleeping doesn't work either. I toss and turn A LOT during sleep and am afraid that I will roll onto him or elbow him, or kick him, etc. Our house is very small and so is our bedroom. With our bed and dressers there is not room for his bed in our room that would allow us to still move around.

However, the past 2 nights he has done great. Maybe last week was just a bad week for us. Maybe he wasn't feeling well. Who knows. I have gotten some great suggestions though and appreciate all the help. I take my son to story time at the library on Thursdays so I will be sure to look for some of the books suggested.

Meaghan - posted on 09/09/2009

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I'm am very against letting a baby "cry it out". Why do you want him to "sleep on his own"? If sleeping in the family bed helps everyone sleep better why is that such a bad thing? He's still very young to be sleeping through the night. If you don't want him in bed with you what about in your room? We don't share a family bed but we do co-sleep in the sense that DS is in his own bed (pack-n-play) right next to my side of the bed with in arms reach.

Liz - posted on 09/09/2009

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i don't really have any advice cos i am in the exact same position as you so i am really just offering my support. i was surprised to read the advice you got cos i've been told by everyone just to let him cry even if its for hours, but i could not bear it. he will even scream if anyone else comes to him at nighttime so i can't share the bedtime with anyone. sleeping with me makes him happy and he sleeps most of the night (although fidgeting) but i worry that by giving in to him now that it will lead him to have sleeping issues later .i don't believe that letting him scream himself to sleep for a FEW nights with you in the same room will have the effect that people are saying as long as you show him that you are still there and that it is only for a couple of nights. it also depends on your will either way there is no short term solutions for children like ours and sleepless nights happen. I survive by napping when he does and by having a partner who does not mind that the house is not always spotless. good luck

Chanell - posted on 09/09/2009

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I really liked the way you put that.. I agree.. It was very blunt.. but I feel the same way.. When my daughter was born I said.. Shes not sleeping with us... and she is.. I said.. shes going to be in her own room... Shes not.. her crib is in our room.. and I feed her to sleep every night.. and some nights she sleeps thru the night.. and others like last night shes up 2 or 3 times.. I just go with the flow.. and feed on demand.. and it works great for me.. I figure shes only 4 mths now.. and she has the rest of her life to be independant,,, nows the time to rely on MOMMY AND DADDY.. so I say Cry away.. and ill always be here for her.. I believe that once you have a baby.. that baby is now your world..



Thank you.. and everyone just give your little ones tons and tons of hugs..

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