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Thread: Please help - Serious Sleep Dramas...

  1. #1

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    Default Please help - Serious Sleep Dramas...

    Sleep has always been the biggest issue in our household. My little boy is 2 in October and is still breastfeeding. I stuffed up when he was newborn and let him breastfeed to sleep and now nearly two years later am still suffering the consequences. He won't sleep in his own bed, never slept in his own cot, will only sleep with me in the spare room and must have breast milk to fall asleep (or the car - then will need breast milk to settle once he's been brought in from car). I have a husband who isn't overly supportive and "knows everything" and believes that our son "just needs his Mum" but he won't transition from REM to deep sleep as he can't self settle. Any help??????????


  2. #2

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    It's so hard when you're sleep deprived but i wanted to offer big hugs as i know what you're going through! you haven't 'stuffed up' at all!! It's fantastic that you're bf your little one but i know from experience what a dynamic and challenging journey that can be.

    If you're looking for a book to read to offer some ideas of solutions, many on here recommend Elizabeth Pantley's No Cry Sleep Solution. I tried a few of her strategies, one of which was decrease the feed (in time) before sleep so that you feed to sleepy rather than sleep and then eventually he will be able to self settle. For me it was about changing the bedtime routine. So for one week, i gave a feed close to bedtime but then DH put DD to bed. Sitting in the rocker, lying in bed beside her, whatever worked - and kept offering a cup of water. It wasn't easy the first few days but became the new routine. Once he went back to normal work hrs, i continued the pattern of feeding close to but not at bedtime. so about 10 mins before going to bed. I also introduced a supper just before bed of porridge & or a banana to fill her little belly before sleep.

    With DD1, it worked at around 16 mths and DD2 it worked at around 19 mths (she was far more booby dependent). I found with DD2 after a couple of weeks, she started sleeping much better through the night (up till that point it was 5 times a night EVERY NIGHT!!). TBH, it also coincided with all her teeth coming through and there being no more teething pain.

    Sorry, i've gone on. If you want to change things, i would look at a few different ideas and strategies then engage DH to step up to help at night. He's had 2 years of more sleep than you so he can help out for a bit now until you find something that works for you. That's what i told my DH anyway!! Good luck!

  3. #3

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    DD was fed to sleep until she was 9months, so a different age - but I found the thing that worked was, as RoyaUk said, a change in routine - we started doing the bedtime routine differently, it took a week or so, but in the end, we got there and without tears. having said that, the routine has changed a number of times since! We also introduced a teddy for her - she had never shown much interest in one, but I started to put her to sleep with the same teddy and soon it became a sleep association.
    And I also second the Elizabeth pantly No cry sleep solution - I may be wrong, but I think she might have released one aimed at toddlers Another thing we introduced was key words which Elizabeth Pantly talks about, which become another sleep association. To start with, you say the words as they are almost asleep, so that they associate them with sleep, and then you'd start saying them earlier in the settling process. Our key words were night, night, sleepy time, see you in the morning.
    Good luck, I hope things improve!

  4. #4

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    OH hun you most defintiely havent stuffed up..you have followed your intincts so thats not a stuff up in my eyes!

    The main problem I found in co sleep[ing and feeidnt to sleep was everyone elses opinions made me second guess my own feelings and judgement. None of my family ever so slept so I visited a friend who did it with all of her kids and she made me feel so much better and happy with my choices.

    If you really want to wean him from BM and co cleeping then go about it very gradually and calmly. If it doesnt work out one night dont stress about it just ket hime sleep with you and try again the nect night. the slower and more gradual it is the better for both of you. the no cry sleep soloution is great as to "helping your baby to sleep" which you can buy in the BellyBelly online store I believe.

    you have done a great job xxx

  5. #5

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    oh wow i actually feel so so much better. I cannot thank you all enough for taking a few moments out to reply to my thread I had heard of Tizzie Hall, but not Elizabeth Pantly - I'll definitely look into that one. Thank you so much for the advice and support - everyone I know just says "tough love - it's hard, but you gotta let them cry it out it's the only way they'll learn" but it just isn't working for us. He sobbed his little heart out last night and when i couldn't bear it any more and opened his door, his little eyes were all red and puffy and he rushed to me, wrapped his arms around my neck and his legs around my waist and wouldn't let go for anything. I felt so horrible for doing it to him and I vowed never ever again!! I honestly think the psychological effect is way too damaging for the sleep factor. The little love then fell asleep in my arms on the sofa and slept from 10pm til 2am without waking up which is the longest stretch he's done in ages bless his heart. I don't mind co-sleeping when I'M ready to go to bed, but i need him to sleep by himself til at least 2am first!!!
    Thank you thank you thank you all for being so lovely. I will definitely look into this no cry sleep thing
    xoxoxoxoxo

  6. #6

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    Oh hun it must have been heartwrenching listening to him cry I have never let my babies cry and my 3 yr old sleeps all night now in his own bed....and you know what I miss him being in bed with me So they will sleep eventually

    I dont I would sleep very happily after crying my eyes out! go with your heart hun they are only little once...and you are the mum so it doesnt matter what anyone else thinks if YOUR happy with feeding him sto sleep and co sleeping then do it! Your doing a top job xxx

  7. #7

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    You have most certainly not stuffed up!!!!!
    You have done wonderfully meeting your little man's needs. It's hard, I know, especially when their needs don't seem to fit in with certain expectations or what the books say, or whatever, but you're never doing the wrong thing if you're doing what your child needs you to do.
    Forget about Tizzie and the crying thing - it clearly will not work for you. It is NOT the only way.
    DS actually grew out of feeding to sleep around 12 months, and then would only do it ocasionally if he was really, really tired up till he weaned at around 2. So they're all different.
    Some kids just take longer to get the hang of being alone to sleep - I reiterate, it does not mean you've done anything wrong. You sleep with your son and breastfeed him to sleep because that's what he needs you to do, not the other way round (if you see what I mean). You might be able to try some gentle techniques (Pantley is a great place to start) to wean him off this. I hope that you can find a way to get the rest you need while meeting your sons needs

    Just for some perspective - I fed my DS to sleep most of the first 12 months. I co-slept for most of the first 20 months. I tried all sorts of things to fix our 'problems' but nothing actually worked for us. And yet..... DS now sleeps alone all night (unless sick), in his own bed, and even sleeps all night without waking for us sometimes! Sometimes I can't believe this is the same child that went months waking to feed 5-6 times a night and would scream if left alone.

  8. #8

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    Just wanted to offer a

    My DD is 19 months and sleeps with us and still breastfeeds to sleep etc. I used "No cry sleep solution" ideas when she was a bit younger and it definitely helped us.

    Although I parent this way because it is easier for us, it is comforting to know it is the natural and most effective way to help your child feel secure and safe emotionally. Studies show children have less anxiety and emotional problems in adulthood when given a stable loving childhood, and what is more loving than sleeping with your mum, cuddled into her breast. It is beautiful, natural and the best way to parent IMO.

    Enjoy it while it lasts, and make those steps to change in your own time.

  9. #9

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    i know what you mean about missing sleeping with him! I have no problem co sleeping with him - i just need him to sleep in the evening to give me a bit of a break and to let me do my work - I work from home and find myself doing documents at midnight and 2am because sometimes it's the only time I get twenty -forty minutes to myself. It's hard listening to all these mum's whose kids sleep perfectly and have done the "controlled" crying thing but I just can't and Ronin doesn't respond to it. i refuse to do it anymore and I just have to accept that while ROnin's not the kind of kid who can cope with controlled crying, i'm not the kind of mum who can either. I've done a bit of reading on it in the last 24 hours and i haven't liked what i've read - it can be really harmful!!!! I had no idea. Ronin is a very affectionate, cuddly, kissy kind of kid and will always kiss you better if you hurt yourself and cuddle you if you're upset etc and has done for months and he's not even two so i'd rather have a child who is cpnfident,affectionate and considerate (mostly haha)!! hope he can learn to transtion from rem to deep sleep soon though!!

  10. #10

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    Have you considered buying a bed for him? I fed DS1 to sleep until I weaned him at 2 1/2, because I can't do the crying thing. Once he got too big for me to confortably feed him in a chair and place him in the cot, we got a race car bed for him and I lay down & fed him to sleep. After we weaned, I still lay down with him, then when I was too uncomfortable 'cause I was pg, DH or I sat next to the bed with him, now DH says goodnight after reading stories and he goes to sleep without us there.

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