Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Seeking advice

I'll skip the chit chat and just get strait to the point: HOW ON EARTH DO YOU GET YOUR CHILD TO SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT?????

Baby K is soon-to-be eleven months old, and he continues to wake multiple times through out the night. We did go through a phase where he only got up once, but that has long since been replaced by at least 3 or 4 wake-ups. Now, I mostly think it's out of habit. Things I have tried:

-putting cereal in his last bottle
-putting oatmeal in his last bottle
-using calming baby bath/lotion
-keeping him up later

I am at the point where I really need to let him cry it out, but I'll confess: it breaks my heart to hear him cry, especially between babbles of ma-ma and da-da. Heartbreaking! And, when he is physically standing up in his crib while he is crying with his eyes closed, you can't help but give in. Sometimes he needs to be changed. Sometimes he wants another bottle. And, sometimes he just wants to be rocked for all of 5 minutes and he drifts back off to sleep.

Christmas was exhausting. I will have pics up soon. I'm also very excited (yet, sad) that I had to order Baby K's first birthday party invitations. February will be here before I know it, so I'm trying to get that under control.

Hope you all had a wonderful, restful holiday!

What do I do? What do you do? What works for your family?


Mindy said...

Hi Elaine. Before B was born, I would have just said "let him cry it out." --- That worked with my girls. That worked with them. They would cry for a couple of minutes and then go to sleep. At least my first two did. Then #3 was harder and now B? He's impossible. He is 16 months old and just in the last few nights have we had two consecutive nights of him sleeping all night in his bed.

I know it is frustrating! I'm so sorry. I just wanted to let you know that you aren't alone.
in HIM -

Janna said...

Is there a comfort toy or blanket that might help him? Could he be teething and the tooth just hasn't broken through yet? We tried the CIO with Little Bit, but she would just cry for hours, and when we'd go in to soothe her it would make things worse. After thinking about all she had eaten (or not eaten) throughout the day (she eats like a bird), we finally figured out that the nights she wasn't sleeping she was just hungry. So we added a small night time snack (cheerios, cereal bar, half a banana, etc) about an hour before her cereal. That did the trick. I hope you're able to figure out why he's not sleeping. I know that can be SO tiring and frustrating.

Amanda said...

I can't offer any real advice, but I can tell you how we do it in my house. The boys are put to bed at 7 with full tummies. If they wake up at night we let they cry for up to 20 minutes. Trip will still occasionally cry past that or will do his I'm-not-going-back-to-sleep-so-you-better-come-get-me-before-I-wake-up-Jack cry. If that's the case he usually needs a bottle or a few crackers. Both of the boys still wake up periodically throughout the night, but usually if we just ignore them (I hate the way that sounds), they're back asleep within 10 minutes.

The ONE THING that seemed to make the difference and has allowed us a couple of wake-up free nights was a ceramic space heater (completely safe since the outside doesn't get hot and if it tips over it shuts off immediately) set to 73. I figured they'd get too hot, but it's what they want!

I don't know about you, but I've had actual arguments with my sister about my boys not sleeping through the night. She swears she doesn't know anyone whose kids weren't sleeping through the night at 6 months. Well, she does now!

You're not alone!

Mel said...

For what it is worth, I think a lot of babies don't sleep through the night at this age. I talk to a lot of friends who struggle with the same situation, so know you are in good company!

I did the Babywise program with L from the time she was 2 weeks old. It is controversial, but I didn't follow it to the letter of the law, I modified it to what I felt comfortable with. I am also not an attachment parenting style of mom. I want my child to be very independent, because that is how I am and that makes me feel most comfortable. Everyone is different, though! The key principal to Babywise is basically just scheduling and sticking to a fairly structured routine. A lot of babies don't sleep through the night because they are OVERTIRED from their day, as weird as it sounds. Naps are so very important, so you might evaluate how he is napping at daycare during the day. And is he napping in his own bed (a dedicated sleep area?). I think that helps if they always sleep in some sort of designated area just for sleep.

You also want to figure out if he is eating on a solid schedule or if he is just eating at will. L is eating every 3-4 hours at 10 months and unless she seems like she is starving in between feedings, I don't even offer food or water. I think it is a myth that keeping them up later will help them sleep better at night. There was one transition in our schedule where I kept thinking L needed to go to bed at 9 so I was keeping her AWAKE on purpose to get her to sleep though to 7 AM but she kept waking up at 3 and I realized that she was cranky and ready for bed at 7:30, so I started putting her down at 7:30 and sure enough she slept until 7 AM almost every time. Right now, she eats dinner at 5:45, gets a bath and a story in the glider, nurses and then goes to bed at 6:30-7:00 now and sleeps a solid 12-13 hours almost every night. And I STUFF the girl at dinner. She eats and entire jar of a 3rd food, 1/2 a jar of a fruit with a sippy of water and a handful or something finger food-ish.

We do a solid bed time routine every night so she knows exactly what is coming every time and she has a sleep sheep, a "lovey" and side soother in her crib that she really loves. She can hit the soother as many times as she wants and it plays music and projects up on the ceiling. She rarely hits it more than once before she is fast asleep.

I will also confess we did have a few nights of crying it out here and there along the way. It was HARD. I hated hearing her, but I read somewhere that it always seems longer than it is and to make sure you watch the clock to see how long is really is before they stop. I found she never really cried more than 10 minutes and she would pass out. I believe at 12 months, there is no reason why you cannot let them cry for more than 15-20 minutes at a time... I don't know that I could EVER go longer than that. :(

I hope that helps some. I am not an expert by any stretch of the imagination. I know that every baby is so different and we, as moms, are all very different as well. I hope you can find a solution that works for you both. (and results in much needed sleep!)