Crying. Sleeping. Sadness.

What a horrible evening. Poor Bub just took an hour and a half to get to sleep and he was really, really upset. We are still doing our halfway house crying-sleep approach and sometimes I just hate it so much. About half the time he goes to sleep in the cot really happily, just rolls over, shuts his eyes and he’s out. It’s fab and a complete revelation that he can do this. Some of the rest of the time he grizzles a bit in his cot, gets a bit frustrated but basically goes to sleep ok. And then some of the time it’s AWFUL. Sometimes he just gets really, really upset and despite the fact that we are always there with him and talk to him and try to soothe him he just cries and cries.

I wish I knew another way. I wish there was another answer. We are here doing this after much agonising and the exhaustion of other preferable and no-cry solutions. I’d love to still breastfeed him to sleep, but he became unable to sleep for longer than a 45 minute stretch. I’d love to do things gently using the Pantley Pull Off but he began to wake just five minutes after being put down. I’d love to rock him to sleep in my rocking chair but he seems unable to settle and calm down when being held in this way. I’ve love to lie down next to him in bed whilst he dozes off but he just grabs at my face and arms for hours. I’d even consider driving him to sleep if it weren’t for the fact that he wakes as soon as the car stops moving. I feel trapped in this approach as the only other options seem even worse.

This is not the sort of parenting I wanted to do. I’ve read my Sears and know that there are many negative consequences of crying approaches to sleep. I comfort myself with thinking that at least we are there with him. He’s not alone. But after listening to your baby cry his little heart out for 90 minutes that’s scant consolation.

I’m keeping records and trying to figure out what we do right, when it works so well, and what we do wrong, when it doesn’t. I have no answers yet but I hope that this will help us to increase the good nights and decrease the bad. I also hope that with the passage of time he’ll find it easier to drop off. But right now sometimes it just feels dreadful.

[Note: This is one my most visited posts and so I wanted to let readers know that this approach didn’t work out for us – find out how we managed to help Bub sleep, positively and lovingly and without tears.]

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13 Responses to “Crying. Sleeping. Sadness.”

  1. Lydia Says:

    Wow, this could’ve been me 5 months ago. My baby was still waking in the night at 8 months and I, like you, tried all the no-cry solutions. We were so exhaused and controlled crying was our last option. Night one, he took 90 minutes. Night 2, 45 minutes. Night 3, 20 minutes and from then on he’s slept like an angel all night. Hope this brings you some hope! Good luck 🙂

    • jenmum Says:

      Thanks. It’s good to know this can be successful. But we have been doing it for a month and it’s very up and down. He no longer feeds to sleep but it may be because I still do nightfeeds on demand. Perhaps this is creating inconsistency? Oh well no alternative but to keep at it. 😦

  2. existere Says:

    Can you babywear him to sleep? Are there ANY co cry ways that work? Not judging, just trying to be helpful.

    It takes longer with no crying, I think, but we got there is the end. I don’t know. Stay strong!! Babies and sleep can be so frustrating. Can you buy yourself a little treat?? That’s my new feel good technique.;)

    • jenmum Says:

      Thanks for the advice. A sling does work quite well if I get a good walk going and we often do take him for a walk for his afternoon nap. However it’s almost impossible to transfer him (in fact it’s almost impossible to stop walking) without him waking. So it’s less helpful for night sleeps. Treats definitely good suggestion though – will have to give that some thought 🙂

  3. Jane Says:

    I do feel for you becuase I know what it’s like. My daughter didn’t sleep through the night at all for the first 12 months. Some nights she woke up 8 times. After she turned one I went to the ‘sleep clinic’. I don’t know if these are still run by the NHS. My daughter is now 11 years old. Anyway, the sleep clinic solved the problem and at 13 months old she was finally sleeping through the night. The clinic didn’t advocate controlled crying. Their solution was to establish a 24 hour routine. Apparently, an evening only routine is not enough. Anyway, it worked. Good luck.

    • jenmum Says:

      Thanks that’s really helpful. I have noticed an improvement when we try to stick more to a routine so maybe I just haven’t taken it to it’s logical conclusion. Thanks very much.

  4. Jane Says:

    As an additional thought, the sleep clinic told us to set up a ritual for bedtime which the baby would recognise as a prelude to sleep. In our case, it meant my daughter would kiss her toys in the same order everynight – a horse, a teddy bear and a dolll. They were her favourite toys. It worked.

  5. liveotherwise Says:

    hi there. the crying is so very tough, isn’t it? I did crying it out for one night with my first child, and never again – she made herself sick before I’d got properly out of the bedroom!

    She had a very tight routine enforced by me working and us using nursey and the sleep sorted itself out quite quickly.

    no 2 was a completely different story. Only thing that worked was dp putting him to bed and usually falling asleep next to him. even then he fed in the night up til about 18 months old, then night weaned himself just like that.

    no 3 is 11 months old. She’s just fallen asleep for the night, though will probably feed a couple of times through the night. I’m trying to drag her waking time back earlier so that I can get her going to bed earlier, but that is as far as I go with the training this time around.

    I know how incredibly tough sleep deprivation is though, hugs.

  6. angelsandurchinsblog Says:

    Good luck. I don’t know a single mum who hasn’t been there! After barely waking up for the first six months of his life, by eight months my oldest took a long time to settle himself to sleep. Controlled crying worked to a certain extent, but I hated it (and am sure he did too!) but I think he was hungry. I started feeding him a little later at night and it seemed to do the trick. All my four sleep pretty well now, though the second one (aged four) has a nasty habit of popping up in our bed during the night. He does it incredibly quietly so that we only notice in the morning when he gets bored – usually at 6am or so – and decides to pull our eyelids open!

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