Sleeping through the night without letting him cry it out

Esther - posted on 02/26/2009 ( 13 moms have responded )

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My son is unfortunately still not sleeping through the night. It seems there is always a reason for him not to. Teething, dad traveling, disruption of schedule, stuffy nose, sick, family visit etc. I'm beyond exhausted at this point (I'm the one who gets up with him every night) but I'm still not willing to let him cry it out. I respect people who decide that that is the way to go for them but it's not for me. So is there anyone out there who has a different idea that I might try? Unfortunately he's not attached to anything like a blanket, toy, etc. and he's also not taking to sippy cups yet (I've heard people leave sippy cups with water with their babies). Any tips would be appreciated.

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Esther - posted on 05/21/2009

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Knock on wood - but for the last 3-4 weeks or so he has been sleeping through the night! He goes to bed at around 8 PM and gets up at 6 AM. Not as long as some kids sleep (he takes a good nap during the day though so he gets enough hours total) but it works with our schedule and I'm getting some rest again - YAY!!! I have been able to train him to fall asleep on his own in his crib and that has made our lives much easier and I think it has helped him sleep through the night too. Sometimes he still wakes up but usually he'll just sit there for a while (sometimes cracking jokes at himself) and then he'll go back down and back to sleep. So keep your fingers crossed that this will last! Thanks for checking in on me and I'm glad Hakeem is sleeping reasonably well too!

V - posted on 05/21/2009

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Hi Esther,

Is your son sleeping any better?

We bought Hakeem a toddler bed not long after I posted the last time, and after a couple of nights where he fell out in the night, he's now sleeping through until 3 in the morning. He then gets himself up and toddles through to us, gets in our bed and sleeps then until 6 when the alarm goes off.

Still not perfect, but we now get sleep!

Esther - posted on 03/05/2009

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Verity - I feel your pain! Your son sounds just like mine. Putting him down, routine etc. is not the issue. It's the night waking.



CIO isn't for me either. It just doesn't seem to work for my son or my husband and I. My friend did it and it worked for 3 weeks (after 1 week of crying for a minimum of 2.5 hours straight each night) and then she was back to square 1. She says she's not doing it again and it doesn't seem worth it to me either, although I'm DYING to get some good sleep again. I respect moms who make different choices and maybe it is right for your family and your child, kudos to you, but it's not for me. So what to do? I'm reading the "no cry sleep solution for toddlers" now. Maybe we'll find some magic bullet in there.



I think my son is just very sensitive to anything that disrupts his normal routine and unfortunately that is not something I can control 100%. There is teething, colds, different class at daycare, dad traveling (this month even more than usual), family visiting (they all live in Europe) etc. My husband has now been home for about a week and the family left last Friday. Teething seems to have paused temporarily and he does not have any colds. And voila - last night he slept through the night like a champ! I didn't do anything differently that I don't normally do. I think it was just that for a change, everything was normal.

V - posted on 03/05/2009

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I've tried the whole CIO method and all it does is wake everyone else in the house and cause bad feeling between me and my partner, whilst making my son even more upset and unsettled.



Putting him to bed in his cot at night is not the problem... he's always had a good bedtime routine of bath and bed, falling asleep by himself knowing I'm just in my room next door. It's the waking up and not being able to put himself back to sleep several times a night.



He's worse if he's teething, and when he's poorly my partner puts him in bed with us (although he doesn't sleep any better).



Just last night I let him cry until he was hysterical... again trying the CIO method. Eventually I stayed by his cot to soothe him back to sleep. Every time I thought he was deep asleep, I moved slowly away until I got to the door and up pops his head with another wail.



My son has never slept any longer than 4 hours. We've tried milk, toys, water, bottles, cups, dummies and nothing has ever worked for long. He's as bad in his own room as he was in ours.



I have 2 teenagers and I know they were never this bad when they were little!



 

V - posted on 03/05/2009

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I've tried the whole CIO method and all it does is wake everyone else in the house and cause bad feeling between me and my partner, whilst making my son even more upset and unsettled.



Putting him to bed in his cot at night is not the problem... he's always had a good bedtime routine of bath and bed, falling asleep by himself knowing I'm just in my room next door. It's the waking up and not being able to put himself back to sleep several times a night.



He's worse if he's teething, and when he's poorly my partner puts him in bed with us (although he doesn't sleep any better).



Just last night I let him cry until he was hysterical... again trying the CIO method. Eventually I stayed by his cot to soothe him back to sleep. Every time I thought he was deep asleep, I moved slowly away until I got to the door and up pops his head with another wail.



My son has never slept any longer than 4 hours. We've tried milk, toys, water, bottles, cups, dummies and nothing has ever worked for long. He's as bad in his own room as he was in ours.



I have 2 teenagers and I know they were never this bad when they were little!



 

[deleted account]

My son started sleeping through the night when he was 3 months old. He started waking up in the middle of the night (about 2-3) when he was almost 1 and it was because he was usually thirsty. So I would get up him him, change his diaper get him a cup of water then put him back to bed and he would fall back asleep. He hasn't woken up in the middle of the night for a couple weeks now.

Nadine - posted on 03/02/2009

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I must admit that we used the crying method for our 15 month daughter and it worked.  But, a friend suggested sitting in the room with the child right beside the crib and soothing them to sleep i.e. patting their back and lying them down when they try to get up with soothing words like 'night night' until they go to sleep, once they calm down to move the chair a little ways from the crib and continue moving the chair away from the crib each night until the child will sleep on their own.  This way the child knows you are still there and part of the reason they don't want to go to sleep is they don't want to be parted from you.  This method takes longer than the leave them alone to cry method, there may also be times when he won't stop crying and in that case you may have to pick him up and sooth him before trying to get him to sleep again, but if it works you'll both be happier in the end.  This method worked for her children.  Also you could try playing some soothing music like lullabies before or during putting to sleep.  It might relax him.  Hope you both get a good night's sleep soon!

Emily - posted on 03/01/2009

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I wasn't comfortable with letting my daughter crying it out either. I kind of instead did a modified crying it out. I would let her cry for about 5-10 min. at a time and then go in and comfort her. Sometimes I would have to get her what seemed like 100 times!! But it worked eventually she started to go for longer stretches of time and now sleeps though the night ( at least most of the time). We also play music for her which also as seemed to help. Hope this helped, and hope things get better for you!!

[deleted account]

Its sooo hard when your still getting up during the night, you think by the time they get to this age they should be sleeping through.  My first gorgeous baby didn't sleep through till he was 10mth and I think between 4-8mths I was up every 1.5-2hrs and tried everthing and nothing seemed to work, I couldn't do the letting him cry thing I ended up outside his bedroom door crying myself :-) 



Even after 10mths he still woke 2 to three times overnight and I just resigned myself that this is how it's going to be.  He's three now and goes to bed at 7.30'ish and sleeps all night - so it does get better.  What ever you do make sure it works for you and your comfortable with it.

Esther - posted on 02/27/2009

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Thank you Emily & Bronwyn. I'm sure eventually crying it out may work but I'm really not willing to go there.



My son wakes up usually once a night. Sometimes he'll go back to sleep fairly quickly, sometimes he's up for hours. Those are the nights that really kill me. I let him cry for 30 mins once and I'm not doing it again. His whole body was shaking when I went in there and when he woke up again later that night, he woke up crying. He never wakes up crying. He just sits up, muddles around for a bit, stands up and then calls me. He will only cry if I don't respond to his calling me for more than say 5 mins. As I said though, the night I let him cry for 30 mins he started crying the second he opened his eyes when he woke up again a few hours later. Not to mention the fact that when I did the 30 mins, he was so riled up that it took me forever to get him to close his eyes again because he was keeping an eye on me constantly. It's not worth it to me.



Having said that, I could really use some sleep!! I have always picked him up and rocked him back to sleep (usually with a bottle). All wrong I know. I shouldn't pick him up and I should get him off that bottle. However, I have tried both and I can't seem to get it to work. Maybe I started too late.



He is always standing by the time I go into his room and he will not lie down. Sometimes he gets so tired that his head drops and he will hit it on the rail but he still won't go down. Patting him on the back does nothing. When I lay him down he will stand right back up, pull on me to pick him up and scream until I do. If I stand a bit further away from the crib he will cry hysterically, throw pacifiers & stuffed animals out of his crib to get my attention and just keep going "mamamamamamama". I have tried lying him down again over & over, I have tried singing to him, I will give him a hug and then put him down, but he won't have any of it. I don't know how to change that.



I am almost resigned to the idea of having to do this until he moves away for college, but if there is any method that people have tried that works, short of the crying thing, I am willing to give it a shot.



p.s. putting him down for naps (although I use the same method of rocking him to sleep) and putting him down at 7/7:30 PM initially are a breeze. He's almost always off to sleep in under 10 minutes, the problems are with the waking up in the middle of the night.

Emily - posted on 02/27/2009

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I have a post on here about my son, who is now 14 months. I totally understand how you feel! My son does not sleep thru the night either, but just this week he is starting to improve. We found that if we put him to bed at 7pm (instead of 7:30), he sleeps for a longer stretch of time, until between 2-3am. That's 7-8 hours at a time, which is a HUGE improvment for him! He used to only sleep for 3-4 hours at a time. I also quit giving him a bedtime snack, though I do nurse him before bed. I used to give him yogurt and cereal right before bed, which I think stimulated his metabolism during the night. I've decided not to nurse him til at least 4am, so when he wakes up at 2 or 3am, I go in, and get him to lay back down (he's usually standing up). Then I tell him to be quiet, and go night-night. I tell him it's time to go night-night, and "I love you" a few times, and he usually goes right back 2 sleep. It takes about 2 minutes of my time! Then, he usually wakes again around 4-5am, and i nurse him, and it's back to sleep for a few more hours. I know it's not sleeping thru, but it's MUCH better than waking every few hours expecting to be nursed. I tried CIO just this past week, and it did not work. He cried for 1 1/2 hours after doing CIO for an entire week! Definitely not your easy baby who only cries for 10 or 20 minutes! Sorry this is soo long, and I hope it helps! I know how hard it is, and I'm learning along with you. Good luck!

Bronwyn - posted on 02/26/2009

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The crying method worked for me, and it only took a week! I didn't want to do it either, but nothing else worked for me. I was like you, I would get up all the time with my son. But finally I was soooo tired one night that I let him cry (only for like 10 min) and he realized I wasn't coming to hold him. He went right back to sleep. He is 14.5 months old and has been sleeping all night since he was six months. I know that you might think that it is mean, because I thought so too. I used it as a last resort, and it worked.



I have heard about the sippy cups with water, but I don't know if it works. My doctor always said to never have a drink in the babies bed, so idk on that one. But I understand with the teething thing it is hard for them to sleep, so give him meds if you think that is the case and he should sleep. I also use homeopathic teething tablets that are 100% natural with no side effects. And they soothe him to sleep as well. You could maybe give him those to try to help him to sleep. Also make sure that he is full at night before he goes to sleep...How is you routine at night before he goes to sleep? Does he have a bath, or read him a book? I'm a massage therapist and I have always given my baby a massage with lavender lotion after his bath....I hope some of these things will help you! And good Luck!

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