View Full Version : sleep issues
04-18-2008, 10:37 PM
Background, my son is 16mos old and does not sleep through the night. He had "colic" for the first 6mos of his life and would scream for hours and hours on end with nothing soothing him. So, my husband and I would hold him, or whatever else would soothe him and allow him to sleep. Now, he does not fall asleep on his on and the longest he has ever slept in a row is 8hrs. He has gotten into the habit of sleeping in his crib until 12am or so and then when he wakes up, he will not go back in the crib. My husband and I being exhausted give and and bring him to the living room and hold him in the recliner the rest of the night. Our bed is not big enough(full size)to bring our DS into it with us so one of us ends up spending most of the night in the recliner. In the beginning, we would do anything just to get our DS to sleep for a little while. He also started having ear infections and had tubes put in on March 5th after 5 infections in 4 months and testing revealed hearing loss due to fluid build up. With the ear infections, sleeping laying down would hurt him and so we'd end up holding him in a more upright position to allow him to be comfortable.
Any way, now we need to figure out how to break the cycles that we've started with holding him while he sleeps and rocking him to sleep. Crying it out will not work for us because his crying stresses me out and I get really upset. I really need a method somewhere in between letting our DS scream until he gives up and falls asleep and giving up and holding him most of the night. My back and neck can't take much more of spending nights in the recliner and I am so sleep deprived that I don't know how I function some days.
If anyone has any book recommendations or suggestions somewhere in the middle ground please help a desperate sleep deprived, aching mother.
04-18-2008, 11:08 PM
Florence I do understand how you feel my son to was sick with pnemonia for the first 4 months, we had to have him sleep upright so he could breath. Now my son is 16 months right now. One thing to think of first do you really think he is really tired, is he taking 1 or 2 naps, maybe he can go down sooner and wake up earlier. I had to deal with sleep issues with my daughter as well and she is three. What worked for us was what I heard as the 5 minute rule. You let them cry for 5 minutes and then go and sooth them don't take them out of the room or don't turn on any lights. Once they have calmed down then you add another 5 minutes so you let them go for 10 minutes, each time you go in there room you add another 5 minutes. Eventually they cry themselves to sleep. I remember the first time I tried I felt like the worst mother in the world! I cried right along with her in the other room, we stuck to our guns and eventually she learned to sooth herself. It takes a few days but it worked you have to make sure you are consistant, and if he wakes up at night do the same thing wait 5 minutes. I know it will be tough but you can do it, good luck!
04-21-2008, 10:12 AM
I agree with kfiedler. My daughter had tubes put in as well, and I assure you that he feels so much better now so he is ready to learn to soothe himself. The more you breakdown and take him into the recliner the longer it is going to take to teach him. It stresses all moms/dads out when little one cries, but him learning to fall asleep on his own is so advantageous to all of you. Making sure his day time nap schedule is in line goes hand in hand with night time sleeping, like kfiedler said. By 12mo, my daughter was firmly into just one nap a day around the noon hour.
Do you have a good sleepy time routine? A good routine before bedtime or nap time can really make a world of difference! Does he have a blanket and/or stuffed animal in the crib with him? That can give him some extra security when he wakes up at night. I will also let me DD take a sippy cup of water to the crib with her. She hardly drinks any of it throughout the night, but she'll nip at it here and there.
You've got to stick to your guns. He is too young to understand getting one night in the recliner then the next night you want him to stay in bed. You have to stick to it even when it gets hard. It will probably only take a few nights to get him into sleeping through the night, but you can't break down. Like kfiedler, there were many a nights in my daughters room when I was crying right along with her when she was learning to self soothe. She was much younger than your ds, so it was frustrating not knowing if she could understand what I was trying to accomplish. When she wakes at night, even now at 18mo, we do NOT leave her room. And unless she is sick, she doesn't even come out of her crib. It will be hard, but so worth it!! You may not see results right away, and you'll spend time wondering why bother when you can just take him down to the recliner. Don't break down, you can get you both through it and be so much better off in the end.
04-21-2008, 08:15 PM
Thank you both for your replies. We do have a bed time routine: jammies on around 6pm, story 6:30, then he gets to "read" to me/look through his favorite book with pictures of kids(ABC look at me), then around 6:50 my husband comes in and takes over. He plays a soothing music CD until DS falls asleep around 7pm most nights. He's been waking up around 12am lately but has gone until 3am. If it's my night to get up with him, I try to get him back in his crib at least once before resorting to the recliner. He'll sleep in mine or hubby's arms until between 6and 7 am.
As for naps, he takes one a day that lasts between 1-2hrs. I do a modified version of the sleep routine before naps. He gets a short story and then music.
I am going to try really hard to allow him to soothe himself back to sleep. The idea of lengthening the amount of time between going back in may help us all adjust. At least I won't feel like I am abandoning him. He has a choice of a couple stuffed loveys in his crib. He has not really taking a liking to any one favorite thing even though I have tried to introduce different loveys. I guess he figures why does he need a stuffed lovey when he has mommy or daddy instead, LOL.
I will discuss things with my hubby so we can come up with a plan to stick with. We both handle night time wakings so we need to make sure we are being consistent. I'll update in a few days to let y'all know how things are going.
Oh, and sorry it took a few days for me to reply, I started a PT job recently and haven't been able to get online as much.
04-22-2008, 09:30 AM
Sounds like y'all have laid all the groundwork for a good sleeper, he has just figured out the recliner is more comfy. :) You can do it! As long as you are both (you and dh) on the same page and resolved to see this through, you'll be surprised how fast it will happen. I was just reading in my What to Expect the Toddler Years how fast little ones will stick to a routine, even a bad one (waking up every night at the same time). They have no reason to be waking up in the middle of the night at this age unless they are ill. You all need to be getting full nights of sleep. Especially him!! :)
Good luck to you all. Can't wait to hear the update!
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