Caroline - posted on 04/30/2012 ( no moms have responded yet )
Hello fellow mommies,
I am writing this post in the hopes of getting some advice from those who may have gone through something similar. I am very tired and very discouraged at our present situation. I haven't had a good night's sleep in so long! I apologize in advance for the length of this post, I just figure in order to get advice I need to provide some background information. I have an almost 17-month old son who is still waking up multiple times a night (on a good night he wakes up 3 times... on a bad night, every hour or more). He's never been a great sleeper. Since he's been born, I can count on one hand the number of nights he's slept through the night. We currently do a part-time co-sleeping arrangement. We put a mattress on the floor in his room and that's where he sleeps (he wouldn't sleep in his crib so we decided to take it down). I still breastfeed him at bedtime (I try to unlatch before he falls asleep and just rub his back which works sometimes, but other times it doesn't). He sleeps by himself until the first awakening (which seems to be between midnight and 1am these days ) at which time either DH or myself goes in to comfort him. Most of the time if DH goes in, DS will cry and cry until I go in and nurse him (or he will get up and come looking for me). Other times he will cry, sort of fall asleep for 10-15 minutes but be very restless, start crying again, fall back into a restless sort of sleep, and do this for about an hour/an hour and a half at which time he starts crying harder and harder unless I nurse him. I know part of the problem may lie in the fact that he doesn't know how to fall asleep on his own. I just don't know how to get there without letting him cry it out which I refuse to do mainly because I'm not very good at listening to him cry. I hate it. If he cries for more than 30 minutes I tend to give in and give him what he wants (which I know is not good because it's teaching him to be persistent but did I mention I hate listening to him cry?). I don't mind a slower approach to helping him sleep better. I'm ok if it takes a bit of time for his sleep to improve, but I would like to see some kind of improvement. About two months ago DH and I tried the Jay Gordon approach which sort of worked for a while (DS would still cry/fuss every time he would wake up but for only about 5 minutes or so near the "end" of the training, about 2 weeks later). A few times he slept until 3am without calling out for us and if he did wake up before, he seemed ok with just being patted/rubbed on the back to get back to sleep. Since then there were a few nights when our routine got disrupted and things went downhill. Since then he always wants to nurse when he wakes up. I don't know if we should try the Jay Gordon approach again or try something else or give him a bit of time. I suspect he is working on his 2-year molars (at his last doctor's appointment, his doctor thought he was teething and those are the only teeth he has left to pop). We will sometimes give him Advil at bedtime but that doesn't seem to help his sleep. He is a very happy little boy during the day and always wakes up happy in the morning. I would just like some advice as to how to help him sleep better at night (gently). He seems to be a totally different person at night compared to during the day. Anyway, thanks in advance for your help and wisdom!