Groggy

I just stared for awhile at a blinking cursor on a blank screen trying to think of a witty title for this post, but my glazed over eyes and foggy brain couldn’t think of a damn thing. Shit you guys, I need help.

Stella has never been an amazing sleeper, but she was never a shitty one either. The average m.o. around here for the vast majority of her life has been 9pm bed, 1am feeding, 5am feeding, 7/8am up for the day. Not bad. She would take a quick 20/30 minute nap in the early evening around 6:30 usually (as well as 2-3 naps during the day), and Charlie and I liked having a little time to hang out with her after work/before bed. Also, I honestly had no problem with two night nursing sessions – they’re done in 10-15 minutes and we were both conked back out quickly. I was hoping that as she got older, she would start dropping the 1am feeding (which she has randomly done), but in the meantime, I wasn’t too concerned.
But. BUT. That time seems like a dream to me now. I was chalking it up to teething, but it is not getting better, and I feel like I am falling apart at the seams. I need help.
The last couple of weeks are looking more like this…
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8:15/8:30 – Start usual bedtime routine. Bath (2-3x/week), PJs, book, nurse, sing, bed. More often than not, I end up having to nurse again after singing to get her to the “drowsy but awake” state to successfully transfer her to her crib. How the hell do you put babies down without nursing them immediately prior? Stella gets MAD, arches her back, kicks her feet, and howls if I don’t. Definitely not drowsy but awake.
9:00 – She’s asleep…. though lately, it will sometimes takes up to an hour of rocking to get her to sleep. Other nights, she’s out at 9pm like clockwork.
11:00 – Wake up crying hysterically. (If it’s talking/crying, I leave her in her crib for awhile, but without fail, it escalates into hysterical crying, so I end up going to get her.) Sometimes I can rock her back to sleep, sometimes it requires the boob. Child does not like pacifiers, and I know she’s not needing to eat at this point, so it makes me feel like a human pacifier.
Every 45 minutes from 11pm-6am – REPEAT the section above. Seriously. She is sleeping WORSE than she slept as a newborn.
6:15 – Dad comes in to say goodbye, she usually is in our bed at this point because of the horrid preceding 7 hrs so she stirs and wakes up. I nurse her quickly in bed, then I get up and get ready for my day and she sleeps until 8am.
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A few quick background notes:
*She isn’t swaddled anymore. She can break out of them, plus she likes having her arms up by her head when she sleeps. The problem is that I think it’s harder for her to get BACK to sleep when she wakes up then.
*She isn’t sleeping in the swing anymore. I think that was also helping her to get BACK to sleep when she woke up before. She is just too big now without strapping her in, and I am not bothering to do that in the middle of the night.
*She cut 1 tooth last week and has another one working it’s way through.
*She has been fairly constipated lately (going 2/3 days without poops sometimes).
*The humidifier is running on med-high all night for white noise, which was definitely helping when we first switched from our room to the crib, but lately doesn’t seem to make a difference.
I have NO idea what to do to fix this. I know that I need to teach Stella how to fall asleep on her own (check out this awesome sleep resource), I just seem to suck at teaching that particular lesson. I just read this on her blog, and about cried because THIS IS MY LIFE.

But most importantly, if you haven’t gotten your baby to fall asleep on her own by 6-9 months you are likely to find that your baby who was waking up 2-3 times a night while a newborn has turned into a 6 month old who now wakes up every 45 minutes all night long and if this continues you will willingly shove bamboo shoots up your own fingernails because this would be preferable to another long night of waking up every 45 minutes.

SoΒ there it is. I need help. I need advice. I’m not (quite) ready for CIO, but in the meantime, I’d love to hear your experiences/wisdom on how in the world you got your kid to fall asleep on his/her own.

This extremely sleep deprived Momma thanks you.

My Mom took this of us two months ago, back when I thoughtΒ I knew what tired was.

Um, yeah, so I’ve been actually READING, not skimming this section of that websiteI mentioned above. F*** why didn’t I work harder on this 3 months ago? *sigh* Still, any ideas from y’all would be much appreciated.

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78 comments

  1. I feel I can't really give advice on this because I didn't nurse, Maggie loves a paci, and we did CIO early on so our situations are so different. I just wanted to say I hope it gets better soon!

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  2. I recommend getting her on an earlier bed time. Mac has been hitting the sheets at 7 sharp since he starte daycare and he sleeps straight through til 8ish. It seems counterintuitive but overtired babies are the worst sleepers. Just my initial thought…

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  3. We had to do the healthy sleep habits book CIO method. Two days of torture but best thing we ever did…for all of us. After that she never woke at night unless she was sick.

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  4. I really can't offer advice since I haven't had similar experiences, but I can say I'm sorry and that I'm thinking about you.Actually, maybe I can offer some advice. When Tay was between swaddle and no swaddle, Merlin's Magic Suit was the lifeline and made things so easy.Bridget from The lost stork then tried it with E and she found it solved a lot of her sleeping problems too. May be worth a shot??

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  5. I'm going to preface this by saying that there's probably a good portion of people in the world who think I'm a mean mommy when I tell you what I did. Hence why I probably didn't blog about it ;)But, it worked and this kid is a freaking rockstar when it comes to sleeping and EVERYONE is better of in my house.At the lovely four month mark Lil K started the dreaded four month regression. She was waking up 3 times a night and I was DYING. Her feeds lasted anywhere from like 30-45 minutes. No sleep for me. I was freaking dying.I had head of Ferber but wasn't willing to read about it or consider it until I was desperate. Well, the next day I just about dropped lil K because I was so freaking exhausted and spent an hour crying in the bathroom while she cried in her crib. Something had to give.Got the book from the Library and decided it was…..bullshit. I didn't like the interval waiting thing. I tried it (at 5months), and it just seemed to rile her up more when I came back in the room.I decided I was going to Ferber my way.When Lil K hit the five month mark and there was still 3+ night wakings I did it cold turkey. No interval waiting, no going in an shhhh"ing" them, no more night feeding (I have a 19lbs 5.5 month old lol) she's HEALTHY and sure the heck didn't need to be eating at night – I should preface that with saying that she was hardly eating at all during the day. Hence the night owlness.Night 1 she woke at 2 ish. My husband and I laid there talking and listening to music to drown the horrific crying for a grand total of 52 minutes. Not going to lie to you – worst night ever. I was in tears, my husband was in tears. However, I didn't hear a peep from her until 7am after.Night 2 she woke around the same time. 34 minutes and then out till 5am cried for about 7 minutes and out till 7am.Night 3 same waking time, 12 minutes and then out till 7am.Night 4…….TA DA!!!!!! Not a peep from 7pm to 7am.And….as my blog title goes..its been happily ever after. It's not for everyone, but I firmly believe you gotta do what's best for all of you. PS. I love that troublesome tots website.PPS. Total random thought but what about trying to get her down a bit earlier. I found that when I was putting lil K to bed around 8:30/9 she was actually fussing a lot more. Oddly, now that we start bedtime around 6:30 and she's out by 7 – 7:30 with no fuss at all. It's sucky because sometimes that means my husband only get's tiny bit of time with her but I figure it's for the best if it means she's getting good sleep. We do bath every night (not with soap everyday) but I found that if it's exactly the same routine there's no doubt that bedtime is impending. Must be the ex-teacher in me ;)Crap, that was an epic comment. Sorry!!!!

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  6. Let me just start by saying that we ALL learn from, and make mistakes, with our first baby. B and I agree 100% that we are doing things completely differently "next time" when it comes to sleeping.Have you merged the singing and nursing together? It looks like you have a lot of different things going on at bedtime (we do too). We bathe Matthew every single night because he loves it, and he slept better the nights that he got a bath – so we just made it a nightly thing. We use very gentle soap, and don't always wash him – but he always gets in the tub. Does she like baths? Does she sleep better with them? We read books every night and mix up the first 2-3 books, but the last book before I get him (B does book time) for nursing/bottle is the same. EVERY NIGHT. We noticed that he calms down tremendously when we open that book – it's his cue that bed time is most definitely coming. I NEVER read him this book during the day. He's now to the point where he's hollering for me to come in when that book is half-done (and it's only 6 pages) and he's anxious to settle down with me.I sing to Matthew every night as I nurse him (we're not nursing anymore, so I sing to him when we give him his cup of warm breast milk) and it seems to settle him down. I mix up the order of the songs because he seemed "onto" me and would perk up just before we were done. Since mixing up the order, he becomes drowsy much sooner.This could all be plain dumb luck, but these are the things we did to normalize bed time.I know you're not ready for CIO. We got into a very similar routine as you guys (up every 2 hours starting at 10:45) when we said enough. We did do CIO – but what we found from it is that Matthew just fusses when he goes to bed. He still does. It had NOTHING to do with CIO and it's just him. He can be sound asleep and when you put him down, he fusses for a couple minutes. It took B a long time to accept this, but he has now and bedtime is better. Naps are better than night time, but we still have some fussing with naps (unless I rock him completely to sleep which I shouldn't be doing and results in shorter naps, or so we've found). At night – he's fussing, and even standing up and crying – for about 20 minutes each night. It is what it is, and we let him work it out. This is not CIO – because it's just how he falls asleep. There is no rocking him to a deep sleep and putting him down, because he will still wake up 9 out of 10 times that way. He's just never in the mood to say goodbye to the day.I am so checking out that site and favoriting it.Good luck.And please read the first few chapter of Ferber's book because he explains why our babies can't sleep and it's so interesting! Even if you don't do the Ferber method, his sleep analysis will help you understand what's going on.I'm sorry you're going through this. It's awful.

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  7. I am so with you right now…actually in the process of writing a post very similar today but it wasn't making much sense. Blakely started doing this SAME thing when she hit 8 months old. Before that? Awesome sleeper…11-12 hours a night. I want to punch my previous self in the face for saying I had such a "great sleeper". I thought the no sleeping was a phase so I just went with it. But now it has been a month and I am freaking exhausted. And the crying isn't just whining…I would so just let her do that. It is hysterical screams..to the point where I have been researching infant night terrors *sigh*. And the boob is the only thing that does the trick…nothing else. So, obviously, I am zero help. But believe me I will be stalking the shit out of this post for comments that can help me as well.Sincerely,another supremely exhausted mama 😦

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  8. I second this. This is true. We have an 8-8:30 bedtime only so that B can spend time with Matthew each night beyond just dinner time. I know that if we put him to bed at 7:30, he'd still sleep until 7 in the AM. We will move to this when DST happens this fall.

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  9. We had problems with my youngest son after a hospital stay and lengthy illness obliterated his sleeping habits between 6m to 12m. Getting him to bed earlier was key. If he was overtired he'd be up and down all night and take crappy naps. Once we started putting him to bed earlier he slept all night and his daytime naps improved. We also found that when he cried in the middle of the night a sip of water would soothe him and he'd go right back to sleep. (I didn't want to start nursing in the middle of the night again because he had dropped the night sessions months earlier)

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  10. I will not give you advice bc my 3 year old is STILL the worst sleeper ever. In fact, just last night she was sticking her toe up my crotch and slapping me in the face as she tossed and turned in MY bed! (We have never co-slept bc I was always afraid of crushing her…now I'm tempted to.) The weird thing is we didn't have this trouble with Bud. He's 6 now and we hardly ever hear a peep from him once he's in bed. (Although we did Ferber him when he was an infant and that seemed to have worked.) Babe on the other hand…sigh. Ferber didn't work with her and neither does anything else I've tried. Is it illegal to lock the child's door so she can't get out and come into yours? Good luck!!

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  11. I'm sorry you're having to go thru this exhaustion 😦 Zack has for the most part been a great sleeper.. We had a month or so where he was up every hour.. It sucked!! My Mom told me to bathe him before bed.. We started doing bath time as an EVERY night thing, and it seriously has worked wonders.. Think about it, when you get into a warm bath, or a jacuzzi, you're instantly calmer, more relaxed, and ready for bed.. Same thing for them.. Our nighttime routine is as follows: Eats "dinner" (veggies and fruit) at about 5 or 5:30.. Then we do bath time.. Even it I don't wash him, I still let him splash around.. He LOVES the bath, so it's not a chore (thank God).. Then, we get him dressed, bring him downstairs with us, and I rock him while he drinks his last bottle of the day.. By this time, he's rubbing his eyes and nuzzling his head in my chest, and just wants his bed.. At 7:00 he's IN his bed.. He will take a pacifier, and he has his blanky to comfort him as well.. He sleeps until 6-6:30, gets a diaper change and a bottle, then goes back down until 8:30-9.. Now, it just might be coincedence, but ever since we started to do a bath every night, he sleeps AMAZING!! Unless he's working on a tooth 😦 Then, we're up at least 3 times in the night.. Boo!!! He just cut his 2nd one, so hopefully he gets a break soon!!! Good Luck girly!!!

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  12. I am happy to share more with you if you are interested, but we sleep trained (using the Ferber method as a guide – I don't believe that it is CIO btw) and it worked like a charm. Courtney and I worked together via email (and comments!) on variations of Ferber for our boys, and we had good outcomes. The parts that I took to heart were about creating positive sleeps associations, which even helped me as a adult if you can believe it. BUT I know it's not for everyone, so I'm just an email away if you have questions. :)Whatever you decide, persistence is key. Don't give up! It will happen!

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  13. If we do CIO (to be clear, it's CIO to get her to fall asleep, not to drop a night feeding), we'll be doing that method as well. That website called is the Weissbluth method. http://www.troublesometots.com/ferber-weissbluth-cry-it-out-smackdown/Stella just gets MORE riled up when she sees me, and I feel like the Ferber method would just make her (and me) cry harder and longer. Ugh.Oh – and as far as bedtime goes, we can try to move it earlier. Just hard when I'm often not even home from work until at least 6pm, so by the time we get food ready to eat, it would be straight to bed for her. *sigh* I don't know.

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  14. I do actually sing to her while I nurse her…that's what gets her into the "drowsy by awake" state. I haven't stayed consistent with the books though (which one is last). That's a great idea! Oh – and when I say she is crying, it's not fussing, it is full on hysterical barely breathing sobbing. The fussing I just leave her be!

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  15. That website says that it's probably object permanence that is causing the issue: "Many of you will know EXACTLY when your child mastered this skill. It was the day your once decently-sleeping baby became a short-napper who wakes up all night long."http://www.troublesometots.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-sleeping-through-the-night-part-i/

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  16. What was the variation?

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  17. I'll tell you what I did with my girls who are completely different little people. With E, we did CIO when she was 8 months old. We put her to bed with a bottle and let her cry until she fell asleep. The first night was 22 minutes of awful crying. Night two was 12 minutes. After that we didn't have any issues unless she was sick.With C…I couldn't go cold turkey like that but I think I might have to. With C I used the CIO method where you go in after 3,5,7,10 minutes. It took about a week and a half for her to start falling asleep on her own okay. Now she naps beautifully but she's still getting up in the middle of the night. I think I might start letting her cry though. I am beat πŸ™‚ She's almost 15 months old..Also, with the bathing thing, both of my girls have sensitive/dry skin so we only use soap every other night or if they're messy. Otherwise it's just a warm bath to keep up the routine.

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  18. Damn that object permanence! I'm kidding…sort of πŸ˜‰ I can't get that site to work for some reason…I'll try again later. I just bought the Weissbluth and the Ferber book. Hoping to read them both during the 20 minute afternoon nap…. HA!

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  19. I also have no real advice as we are struggling here. Lexi cries from the second we put her in her crib…mot just the fussing, but the full on hysterical crying – she will cry so hard she will throw up. I can't just let her lay there and do that…so we are also at a loss…and exhausted. 😦

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  20. Totally hear you on the not dropping night feeds…ours was just ridiculous because somehow she got herself on a night only feeding schedule that was just insane for us. I could not figure out how to get her to eat during the day which is why we did it cold turkey. Wasn't my first choice that's for sure!Weissbluth sounds like it might be best for your family and I feel for you guys on the nighttime routine you have now because of when you get home from work :(Hang in there, rumor has it sleep will come for everyone at some point πŸ˜‰

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  21. You don't know me, but I thought I would give some advice. I have a littly boy (21 mths)conceived with IVf. I will preface this by saying, we fed formula, due to my milk never coming in for me. My peds instructed me to drop the middle of the night feed at 8 weeks. He was of healthy weight and he said it was habit. We made sure to stick with the same bedtime routine every night. We fed dinner around 6-7, bath, play time and then rock while reading a book. He was in bed at 8pm. I will say we rocked until we dropped in the beginning (if I'm fortunate enough to conceive again we will probably do it different next time). We would lay him down completely asleep. In the beginning, my husband would do a dream feed at 10pm. If he was asleep he woke him to change him and then give a bottle. He would fall back asleep before he even burped. He would wake in the middle of the night, I would go in and rock him until he was back asleep. But, no feeding until 6am. Since you nurse, your hubby would be the ideal person for this in my opinion so she doesn't smell your milk. The first couple of days he would wake often, but I wouldn't give in to feeding. After a week, he no longer woke. He would sleep 10-6. After he was sleeping all night consistently we started backing off the dream feed. We did a modified version of Babywise. We swaddled until he was 6 months old. Once we were done swaddling, we moved to the Halo Sleep Sack. His feet are still cozy and confined, but his arms are out. He did great and no issue with the transition. He still sleeps in one today for nap and bedtime. But, it's his sleep cue just like swaddling use to be for him. We rocked him in his room, which is dark, quiet and we have a little travel fan on the floor by his crib for white noise. My husband and I also alternate nights so he doesn't get use to only one of us putting him to bed at night. At 12 months, we decided we were done with rocking. If he got up at all at night, the only way to get him back down was rocking. And he too LOVED his swing. We did the Ferber method of CIO. It broke my heart and after the first night of crying a total of 40 minutes I wanted to get him. But, the 2nd night he cried 7 minutes and the 3rd night 1 minute and then no crying. My husband was the one who had to go in during this process because he cried worse if it was me. We bought a video monitor and hung over his bed so we felt better during this process of being able to see him. I never thought I would say this, but he sleeps so much better now. We rock him at 8pm for about 5 minutes, just for cuddles and to get him in sleepy mode. We kiss him tell him night night, which he now tells us back and then lay him down. That is it he may play for 10 minutes, but then he is out. During the process, we also gave him a puppy lovie to sleep with and I think it helps. I slept with it a few days before we started so he would be able to smell me for comfort. As with all advice, this is obviously just what worked for us. You know your baby better than anyone. But, if you are like me I finally threw in the white towel and said what I'm doing is not working. Help me friends! This parenting is HARD work!

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  22. I'm sorry Josey. You sound like you've had it. So I totally understand if you're not ready for the CIO method, but have you thought about maybe it not being you to go in to comfort her. There is no way she's going to try to nurse off of Char; unless he's magical:); so maybe if she knows it's not an option she will give in a little easier when he goes in to calm her. I have no idea what I'm talking about though so take this with a grain of salt. Just a guess.It'll get better. 😦

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  23. Yeah, Charlie is not so great in the middle of the night. *sigh* I might have to force him to be soon though. I am spent.

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  24. I wouldn't have been ready to drop the night feeds at 8w, but now at 7 1/2 months, I for sure know that she doesn't NEED to nurse, it's obviously more of a habit. That being said, I cannot get her back down without nursing. I think she smells the milk and is SO used to nursing that it doesn't work for either of us. Either my husband is going to have to help with the nights or we're headed for Weissbluth's CIO method I think. UGH. I hate this.Oh yeah – and Stella is definitely still in a sleep sack. She loves it!

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  25. Have you tried using the swing at night first? We had to do that for awhile before Stella did the transition to the crib. The movement definitely helped to settle her down. I'm sorry you're struggling with this as well. 😦

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  26. I think we need to start doing baths nightly. It's SO dry here in CO that I haven't bothered, but I guess we could do the no soap bath. Thanks for the suggestion!

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  27. I read this, saying "that is how/when we put LB to bed… that is what happens to us… this is our life right now!" Big sigh. And at the 11:00 cry, I just pull LB into the bed with us and then I too become the human pacifier for the rest of the night:[ (And I'm trying to wean so wth will I use when that does happen?!?) So I was anxious to comment/advice "steal" and knew you wouldn't mind:] I think we'll try the earlier bed time too and I will try to bring the paci back…maybe work on some kind of security stuffed animal/toy. I don't know because I'm too tired to think about it! Now constipation- we are working through those issues so maybe I can offer some advice here. Actually, I'll just put it on my blog asap because it is kind of crazy, but we have a regular poop every day- yay!!!

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  28. You know I have no advice but I'm so sorry I hope it gets better soon.

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  29. I live in Colorado Springs so I understand the dry skin issue, but I still bath my daughter every night as part of the routine sometimes just a little warm water for 5 minutes, sometimes longer she is about the same age as Stella. I have noticed the more food not breast milk but food she gets the longer she sleeps. I give her a bowl of organic oatmeal/rice cereal in the evening with a little organic baby food, but the rest of the time she eats what I eat during the day dry cereal, chunks of fruit, veggies, ground meat, bread, etc… I know you are doing baby led weaning I try for most of the day as well, but like I said the bowl of food before bath and bed time has really helped. She still takes 2 naps a day I got rid of the third, and put her to bed between 7:15-7:45, she also used me as a pacifier but it was too much feeding 4 or 5 times a night. So I did CIO just for 3 or 4 minutes then I go in calm her down try it again, it took a couple weeks of going in 4 -6 times between the hours of 8-10 but then she would sleep for a solid 8 or 9 hours. Now she sleeps 9-10 hour stretches eats and back to bed for 2-3 hrs. This is the first time I have comment but just wanted to give you a little scenario of what we do. Not advice I think your methods are good just a few ideas. πŸ™‚

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  30. Uggg… So sorry to hear about Stella's recent sleep issues. You must be exhausted!!! 😦 I wish I had advice but I really don't. I can tell you what we do just in case it can help at all but I think the whole 'all babies are different' thing really comes into play here because we haven't done anything special to help Alidia sleep. We have changed things a little over the past few months because she changes her preferences but I'll say what is happening now because it seems to be working for us at the moment.We have moved her bedtime earlier because I had heard this helps and she had started waking more through the night.Now at 7:30pm, she is due to feed so I nurse her as I normally do through the day, then I get her into the bath, give her a little lotion massage, change her into her pajamas, then nurse her again in the rocking chair in her room, while singing or telling her a story. This top up is more to get her groggy than to feed her. When she gets sleepy, but not asleep, I stop, say goodnight and put her in her crib, making sure she is not already asleep (asleep obviously works too but we want her to learn to fall asleep herself which she now has). Sometimes at this point she moans a bit for 5 up to 20 minutes, but not real crying. Then she is asleep. At 11:00pm, as I am going to bed I go in, pick her up carefully, she wakes up a bit but not wide awake, then I nurse her (dreamfeed style) to top her up for the night. I then put her back down either asleep or half asleep and she stays awake until around 8:00am most nights now. I am glad lots of others offered their advice and hope something works for you!! When Alidia was having new 'waking up a few times a night' issues a couple weeks ago, I was going to try a very relaxed version of CIO to get past one of those wakings but she just started really wailing after I let her moan for 10 minutes, so I give in right away 😦 I really don't think the wailing would have stopped on her own. I know the moans can but those weren't just moans. Okay, good luck and hope things get better soon and you get some sleep!!!

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  31. Simon's early sleep sounds very similar, and we went through a crazy wake up all night around the same age 6 monthsish – I've tried to block it. I could barely function. For us it only lasted a week or so? Could've been longer. BUT what helped was, other than the wake-up around 4-5, we knew he wasn't hungry. So since if I go in and I have the boobs, it was only making it worse, so DH would go in and rock bounce calm whatever. I honestly put my head under a pillow because it was tough. After a few nights of this we were back to our 1-2 night wakings. At 12 months our routine hasn't changed much – bed around 8:45/9:15, up between 3-5 to nurse, up for the day around 7. I'm committed to one waking. Any more than that and we go back to a week of DH tough love no nursing until 4. Good luck. It really really sucks.

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  32. Holy crap, you already have 31 comments on this post. Let's make it 32. But just a short one since I'm sure you've gotten tons of good advice. Every baby is different, temperament makes a huge difference in what works. I can only add that in our experience we did the ol' Ferber "let cry, but check and console in ever-lengthening intervals" at 6 months. It took 3 days of some brief crying and ever since they have been dream sleepers. We put them down for naps and bedtime fully awake and they put themselves to sleep. When they wake in the night, they put themselves back to sleep. I don't know that it works for every baby, but it may really be worth a try. I really feel for the parents out there who are dealing with sleep issues! I hope something works for you SOON!

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  33. Ugh I hope you are able to get some sleep soon! I feel ya as when Sam was so colicky when she first came home, sleep was non-existent. Im so scared that now that she is sleeping great (pretty much through the night) that she's gonna change things up! Especially since Im going back to work in Sept, Im terrified of what her sleep schedule will be like then! Nothings ever easy, is it?!? Not easy, but worth it πŸ™‚ Just keep telling yourself "This too shall pass."

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  34. Sorry no advice here, but I'll let you know I'm praying for a solution for both of you. Raegan has started cutting her teeth and woke up at 4:30 this morning. She hasn't gotten up before 7AM for 4 months. And she was up every hour on the hour until 7:30 when she slept until 9:30AM. Then she wouldn't take her morning nap and her afternoon nap turned into an early evening nap…I'm afraid we'll be in for this again tomorrow if she doesn't wake up soon.GOOD LUCK! I'm thinking of you guys! And Charlie is gonna have to jump in…you need sleep too πŸ™‚ My husband doesn't even hear her cry if I'm home. He's fine when I'm at work, but other wise he's dead to the world!

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  35. I so so so recommend the Sleep Lady book! I'd link to it but I'm writing from my phone with a newborn over my shoulder and a toddler at my feet :)We were already doing the early bedtime and bath/book/bed routine, but I was also nursing at night knowing it wasn't necessary but not being able to get her down without it. Her way is not a CIO method (there was no way I'd be strong enough for that). It'd be too hard for me to type it out right now, and McMister's gone tonight so I could try to orris but I'm sure if you Google it, it'll give you a pretty good idea of the method. (though I definitely suggest getting the whole book).Gracie still goes through periods of bad sleeping but her book got us out of the craziness you're I right now and have us BOTH the confidence to handle sleep. And I know your C doesn't do a TON of baby nighttime business like my C, and mine was fully on board after I read it and explained everything. He thought her sleeping more would mean he'd have me "back all the way" (basically sexy and fun). So he was all for whatever I assigned him. Little did either of us know I'd pretty much he pregnant again rig after that we'd start all over πŸ™‚ but I think you might like it.

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  36. Sorry for all the typos. And I was trying to say our C-hubbies are similar πŸ™‚

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  37. Um I didn't read all the replies do sorry if this is redundant. I know CIO sounds really cruel but sometimes it is the ONLY thing you can do to get a full nights sleep. I was against it too until around 9 months when I just couldn't do it anymore. I have an e-book that said to go into the room every 10 minutes at night to comfort them until they fall asleep. It sounds brutal and I'm not gonna lie, the first 2 nights were. But the 3rd night… He slept all night and has every since. So that's it. 2 fucking terrible shitty gut wrenching nights. Followed up by sleeping bliss forever. The book also has advice for nap times. I will send it to you if you want to just read it. One of the things that really stood out for me in the book was how teaching them to fall asleep on their own is a gift. One they will use every night for the rest of their lives.

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  38. I am going through the same sleep deprived fog! Addie wakes constantly through the night and only wants to be nursed back to sleep. A friend told me about the book "The No Cry Sleep Solution" which has a gentler approach to sleep training. It caters to lots of different situations (breast feeding, bottle feeding, crib sleeping, co-sleeping, etc.) and has lots of helpful solutions. The results may not be as instantaneous as CIO (can take a week, or maybe a month), but it helps to teach babies how to sleep by themselves as opposed to forcing them to do it with CIO. We have just started, so no results yet – but I wanted to tell you about it as I didn't think there was a CIO alternative. No matter what you do, I hope to see a happier update from you guys soon!

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  39. Ideas and experience are MORE than welcome. Thank you for your suggestions!

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  40. Thanks Fiona! I'm definitely going to start shifting her bedtime earlier before anything else. Such a learning experience…

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  41. It's great there is so much support out there for you because when your little one isn't sleeping great it can be lonely and frustrating. I just wanted to share some of what worked for us when James was up and down all night. Hopefully you can get some inspiration. After not sleeping for a couple of months I was ready to try CIO. I did a heap of research and worked out a plan that we were comfortable with. It's really a mix of a few sleep plans I'd read. BJ and I made the commitment to give it a go and have trust in James that he will fall asleep. We were not going to pick him up unless he got hysteric or was in pain. After one bad night and a couple of okay ones, James has now slept through the night for two weeks! Last week he cut his two bottom teeth and this week he has a top tooth coming through and he is still sleeping! And now he's so much more happier and I can enjoy being the best mum I can without having a rock in the pit of my stomach every night. I hope this helps you in some way. Good luck!

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  42. Bless your heart. Having ZERO experience here, all i can offer to you is my SINCERE sympathy. Wow…..I cannot even imagine what you're going through. Sending up a prayer for you and baby girl.

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  43. We also tried the No Cry Sleep Solution and No Results. Everyone is different OF COURSE and I truly hope it does work for everyone else who tries it. But after it didn't work for our family, and I wasn't willing to go to the other extreme of CIO, we went with the Sleep Lady book I mentioned above. It's a great (for us) compromise between the two: gentle enough to ease your heart and hers and strong enough to actually move the needle a bit.

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  44. Oh I forgot to add that since we have never given Alidia a pacifier at night and didn't want to start during her recent rough sleep patch, we instead introduced a stuffed toy donkey who we now give her for all her naps and bed time. She definitely likes to cuddle the donkey already and we are hoping it will help her both in knowing that donkey is there for sleep time and also he is there to keep her company and sooth her. So far so good. Of course we don't know how much the donkey is to thank yet but it is cute to look in at her cuddling him while she sleeps! PS – I know babies are supposed to sleep with stuffed toys but I figured she was past that stage, right?! She is more than capable of moving it away from her face if needed.

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  45. I forgot one thing. Does she have a lovey? That really helps – it gives him something to hang onto when we transfer him to the crib. I didn't think it was doing us any good, but when we watch him on the monitor when he's crying, he carries it around with him in the crib. And now when he wakes up, he's standing up in his crib with Lovey in hand. I kept it between us when we nursed so that my scent was on it. It's always up by his face, and often times, we cover his face with it. He loves the softness on his cheeks when we're holding him (we don't cover his face in the crib!!!!).

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  46. We were in the same situation with the twins. It was miserable especially because it seemed when I would get one down the other one would get up. I got no sleep unless I ended up with one in bed (usually my son). What use to take us a short 20 min to put them to sleep started taking an hour of rocking and singing. We finally said we want our nights back. We started with the no cry method for several nights. We would put them down in the sleepy state, let them fuss but when they started crying go in and hold them by the crib till they calmed down then lay them back down. That was taking about 3 to 4 hours sometimes and they wouldn't sleep more then a few hours till they were up again. Finally, I did what I said I would never do, let them cry it out. I did our usual routine, eat solids, bath time, get dressed for bed, read a book or sing a song then warm breast milk. After bottle was finished love on them, tell them night night, lay them in the crib awake or sleepy, and shut the door. We luckily have video monitors and we sat our bedroom (couldn't hear it as bad), turned down the volume on the monitor, turned up the TV and waited. Both of them cried for about 30 min but then they fell asleep. The first night J woke up at about midnight, had a bottle and went back to bed. Madison woke up at about 3 and did the same. The second night was actually worse then the first night but I have read that is normal, they cried about 40 min and then fell asleep, this night however they sleep from about 8-6. Now, I would say they cry about 10 min (if that some nights). They will wake up some nights but I check the screen and let them cry and usually they fall back to sleep in about a min. Its amazing! I miss the rocking and sweet time I had with them when they would fall asleep but I need my sleep, they needed theirs, and we needed our nights. It was the harder thing I did and my children screen (surprise the neighbors didn't call the cops on the 2nd night) but the book Healthy Sleep tells you they cry to see if you will come in there so they will change their cries thinking that will trigger you. The best advise from the book is you have to tell your self "Do they need something or are they just wanting my company?" I ask my self that every time they wake up in the middle of the night because obviously my instinct is to go in there but I have yet to and they have always fallen back to sleep very quickly. I know its hard to commit to the CIO method but I am telling you….its work the first few nights of misery.

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  47. I enjoyed reading all of the posts and will take some of the advice for myself. My boys have been sleeping through the night for the most part for a little while now, knock on wood, but it wasn't until we started the nightly bath routine and an earlier bedtime. However they are the worst nappers ever. They NEVER nap for longer than an hour and it is so frustrating because they wake up still tired.I have been following a sleep advice page on facebook (www.facebook.com/#!/goodnightsleepsite)where you can post questions and the "sleep expert" will post a response. I enjoy reading the questions and hearing about what I am in store for. From what I have read your situation is common and teething really changes things up.Anyways, good luck, I look forward to hearing how things go.

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  48. Goodness! I am soaking these comments uo like a sponge. Thanks for the warning! I had no clue really about sleep regression or sleep patterns getting worse. I have a lot to learn but these are awesome comments and suggestions. Hope you get some sleep using some of these new techniques. I feel so bad your so sleep deprived 😦

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  49. Oh I feel your pain…Figlia had slowly graduated down to one feed (waking up sessions not included), but she seems to have gone back to two feeds a night…Also, I did read that part you have quoted about babies learning to sleep on their own between 6 to 9 months…and I am not acing that either.Tuesday night, Figlia just fell asleep with her last bottle. And sometimes, we need stuff for colic, a car drive around the block and rocking to finally close our eyes for good for the night.She gave up swaddling a few months back…The only thing that I realize is that she seems to nap for about half an hour in the evening…and that pushes her nighttime sleeping….Can your hubby take over the middle of the night Stella calls…especially the ones where she does not require feeding? The only thing I have found is that some sort of equilibrium of no tummy ache, no teething pain and no hunger has to be achieved, things need to turn super-quiet, and then the needful needs to be done.

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  50. I wish I could offer advice, but I can't. All I can say is I went through the same thing with Fable. She slept great months 2-5 and then at 6 months we went through this. And we just survived day to day, somehow. For a very long time. I'm going to be reading all of the suggestions and tips left on this post and I'm going to try to teach this new baby to fall asleep on her own early on because I do not want to go through that again. I feel for ya mama. Been there!

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  51. I like this idea — still the slightly later bedtime, with one wake up to nurse. That's totally doable to me. Hm… the problem is getting DH to help out with rocking in the meantime. He is all about CIO.

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  52. Bought the book and am reading it right now. Thanks for the suggestion Sheelah!

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  53. Thanks for sending the book, hon. Can't wait to read it!

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  54. Stella loves having a soft blankie (I guess people are calling them 'lovies' now days?) or stuffed toys in bed with her. I need to sleep with the blanket to get it to smell like me asap!

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  55. I convinced him to rock her twice last night (once around midnight and once around 5am when he is getting up for work ANYWAY), but it's always an argument b/c he doesn't hear her, so I have to poke him and ask him to do it, and then he grumbles "just let her cry." *sigh* Frustrating to me when he has gotten up to rock her maybe 5 times in her entire life. !!

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  56. G will be 4 months next week but I feel like we're going through this already. He's starting to teeth, wakes up when the pacifier falls out of his mouth, will only fall asleep when nursing, fights naps, smiles as soon as you walk back into the room to calm him down. It's already a game for him… He never napped well, but did awesome at night until a week or two ago. Now he's waking up every couple of hours after we first put him to bed. I'm going to be coming back to this post to read the comments/advice because I know I'm going to need it. I want to CIO so bad, because I have a feeling it will be the only way to teach G, but our living situation doesn't make it easy at the moment. The website you linked to also seems really good from what I skimmed through so I'll be going back to that and making Hubby read it!

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  57. My hubby claims the same thing! I believe him since some nights I'm woken up by G and then kept awake by Hubby's snoring *sigh* I think making Hubby calm G down is also going to need to be part of our process, at least for the times I know G isn't hungry.

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  58. You dont know me, but I've been following you for a while. I definitely feel your pain. I have three kiddos and have dealt with sleep regression with the first two and I think my 3.5 mon old is starting the 4 mon sleep regression early, ugh. Out of desperation we eventually did CIO, and it worked wonders with my first. After 3 nights of crying she started sleeping thru the night,it was great. So with number two we decided to do the same thing, and it did not work at all. He eventually got better on his own, but we tried everything. I guess I don't know what my advice is, but that is my experience. Every baby is so different, who knows iwhat will work with number three! Try one thing and stick with it for a week or so, if you aren't see positive changes try something else. Do what you think is best for you and Stella. Good luck! I'll think of you when I'm up multiple times with my little one, helps to know someone else is going thru it too:)

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  59. I'm going to chime in here and just say that working through the Ferber method with SRB was so helpful! It's so nice to have the support because sleep training can be hard. Matthew was the "rare" baby who didn't take to it in 2-3 nights – it took us a full 2 weeks and I was tweaking it like crazy. I would have quite but SRB helped me keep going and tweak the process, and it paid off. We are all here to support you. It's such a rough time. What I can tell you is that after doing modified Ferber, Matthew doesn't even wake up in the night when he's sick or teething. He cut 2 teeth without us knowing, when the first 2 got him up multiple times a night before sleep training. He just knows how to sleep now – even on vacation. It's a hard thing to do, but having support is the key.Thanks, SRB, for all you did for me πŸ™‚

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  60. Mine too. It was all me doing the sleep training, even though the pediatrician told B that he had to do it because it would go faster that way (because M would know that there was no nursing from Dad). The few times that B did get up with him during sleep training, he would get him out of the crib and rock him (big no-no). Beware of this. Husbands just want the kid to sleep, so they'll do anything to get it, even if it goes against what you're working towards πŸ˜‰ Every time he did that (twice, I think), we had to start all over again.

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  61. Hi! I don't comment often, but try and keep up with your blog when I can! I saw this post and had to comment, because….well, we've all been there!I have an 11 month old, who started sleeping through the night around two months. GREAT, right? Well, regression hit us hard about 7-8 months, and we did the wake-up-every-45-minute thing. We weren't interested in trying CIO either, but after a month or two of some pretty horrible sleeping patterns for ALL of us, I realized that I was starting to RESENT rocking my baby rather than loving it for the special time that it should be. And I didn't want to be that mom, so we rejuvenated our discussion of CIO….we agreed we were more open to it, although I'd never be a mom that could let it go on for more than 30 minutes. That just wouldn't work for our family, although I know that other families have done that very successfully. We really still didn't make any plans to give it a try, but one night I just threw in the towel when he woke up crying (for the fourth time that night) at 2AM. I sat outside his closed bedroom door and cried right along with him, until he finally put himself back to sleep. That night it took maybe 20 minutes. The next night it took 10. Now, he doesn't make a peep all night long….or if he DOES wake up, he fusses for maybe a minute before rolling/scooting/rotating himself into a more comfortable position and going back to sleep. Other than that, the only tips I can give are routine (sounds like you have a great pre-bed one) and keeping things consistent so Stella knows what to expect. Have you introduced a lovey for nighttime? Our little guy has that Fischer Price light-up Seahorse thing, and he LOVES it. When he wakes up at night, I'll often glance on the monitor to find that he has found it, turned on the night light, and cuddled it close as he drifted back off to sleep. I think it's been really helpful, and we just started introducing it to him every night at bedtime and leaving it in his crib when he'd CIO. Helping him become a great night time sleeper has also helped him become a great napper. It's been great for all of us. Just remember that this too shall pass!!!

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  62. I hate to say it but we did CIO. We have never had a good sleeper. She was constantly waking up and screamed bloody murder when we tried to get her to put herself back to sleep.It was AWFUL. So we finally gave in at 6.5 months and did CIO. There were a few awful nights, but wow it has made such a difference and I am glad we did it sooner rather than later, so she couldn't get too set in the bad habits we had created for her.I hope you find a way that works for your family, but nothing is worse than being severely sleep deprived.

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  63. It sounds like we have the same problem and I'm also at a loss how to fix it. Baby G is about 2 weeks younger than Stella but he's been doing this for just about 2 months now. Not every night but he has these phases where he will wake up screaming frequently during the night and I suspect it's either teething (although no teeth yet) or cramps because he usually farts during that phase and usually he also has a few days between poops. I must say baby G also does not sleep through yet (except for about 3 or 4 nights) and he also still nurses 2-3 times every night. The thing is I really believe he is hungry, because he actually drinks and for quite some time. During the day he also nurses frequently and he eats solids 3 x a day, anything from 1-2 tablespoons at a time. Last month he actually lost 100g from 5.5 months to 6 months, so I'm sure I cannot even try to get him to drop a night feed. So for that reason I will not even attempt CIO. Baby G normally goes to sleep around 7 at night so earlier than Stella, so I'm not convinced that her going to sleep later is the problem at the moment. Like I said with baby G I suspect that its either teething or cramps, but I do think that its due to some kind of pain. I know its frustrating, but if its the same as baby G has then it will get better soon, as he rarely has these spells for longer than 4 days. I've read quite a few sleep training books and instituting a routine has not helped with his night sleeping, although his day time sleeping is a bit better. People have advised me to give him formula at night, rice cereal at night and things like that, but that also did not help. I know from my own experience that a lot of the abovementioned advice did not work for us, but I will keep reading here to see if someone does have some kind of advice that may work, and I also hope something works for you guys!I'm also really tired, because we've had this problem this week from sunday night to tuesday night, last night was a bit better and I hope tonight will also be better…

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  64. What is SRB?

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  65. SRB is the initials of another blogger. πŸ™‚

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  66. I JUST blogged about this, like, five minutes ago (after taking two full days to get the darn thing written because no naps = no time to blog. I wrote the Weekly Summary this morning at 5:30am because I'd already been up for two hours and what the hell). http://unbrokenworld.blogspot.com/2012/07/the-thing-i-dont-want-to-talk-about.htmlI am going to go through every one of these comments, and then I am going to both links you posted. I am losing my mind.

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  67. Seconding the magic suits! My girls are having some major sleep issues now too, but the sleep suits got us off swaddling. Just use them in an air-conditioned house because they are warm!

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  68. Josey… THANK YOU for linking me to Troublesome Tots (which I've seen before but had completely forgotten about). My ECE degree all came rushing back when I read it– of course my girls won't sleep; our sleep routines are unpredictable and all messed up! Husband comes home late and we often use "getting the girls to bed" time to catch up. Obviously a "hey, tell me about your day" adult conversation over a nursing baby isn't helping matters. And now I feel like I know what to do. THANK YOU.

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  69. Ok, coffee coming at you sister. I bet you've heard my advice being as you have 68 comments. So I will send you to a site for a little toddler sleep humor. http://Www.honesttoddler.wordpress.com Called 7 stages of night grief….

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  70. I just noticed all these new peeps headed my way and realized it was because you're sleeping like crap so THANKS!It's Alexis a la Troublesome Tots. I hope you've figured something out based on all this great advice to get out of your dreaded "put baby to sleep" problem. If not feel free to ping me via email. Someday soon sleep will happen and everybody will breathe a huge sigh of relief. Much like I will as soon as the Olympics are over. Because I'm also suffering from self-imposed too-much-Olympic watching sleep deprivation. And it's EXHAUSTING.;)

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  71. Holy crow, I don’t have the time to read through all 70 comments but I’m sure you’ve gotten plenty of great information.

    Before Leah started miraculously sleeping 12 hours straight on her own (Sorry, not trying to rub it in) I started reading The No Cry Sleep Solution to try to figure out how to get her to sleep better. She was up twice per night at that point.

    I didn’t read the entire book, and I was pretty sleep deprived at that point, so I can’t remember all of the in’s and out’s. But here are a few things they really stressed: Consistent bedtime routine, Early bedtime – before 7pm. (Leah has her self imposed 6pm, no later than 6:30 bed time). Make sure baby is dressed well. Warm enough, cool enough. We just switched her over to sleep sacks, since she was being swaddled with both arms out, and rolling out of it by 1am. But mainly, I credit her great sleeping habits to finding her thumb.

    I still have the book, and would gladly send you my copy if you’d like it. You know how to track me down! Hang in there mama!

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    1. For some reason this just reposted from 6 weeks ago when I added a new tag to it. GRRRRR. I’ll be posting a sleep update soon. Thanks for the offer Melissa!

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  72. Holy crap…70 comments already….It’s almost bath time here so I haven’t read what everyone else said. Raegan is currently struggling with sleeping. Her naps haven’t been stellar and at night she wakes up a couple of times. Only once she has woken up screaming, almost as if she was terrified. I’m chalking it up to teething, but I can’t figure out where the teeth are coming in. I’m not very good at the CIO method, but I have found letting her cry for 15 min without going in, even if it is an escalated cry, she works through it and falls back to sleep. I’m still putting her down at 8:30 and she sleeps through until 8-8:30AM. The past week has been super busy with a lot of running around so I’m guessing that’s part of it, and my being super stressed is probably causing her stress.

    I wish you the best of luck…I feel your pain…maybe it’s a 9 month thing…let’s go with that and say after their 9 month birthday they’ll be perfect sleepers…trying to think positive here πŸ™‚

    Oh and if you find the magic trick…please PLEASE share!

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  73. seriously…I think I may have commented on this before…I just read back to your reply…sleep deprivation will do this to you…hope things are better now!!! Obviously I have some work to do…off to bath time!

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  74. Okay, looks like you got a MILLION comments and you’re probably exhausted enough trying to read through them all, but here’s mine anyways just in case I can be helpful!

    Today is the FIRST DAY since my girls were maybe 4 months old that they have taken two good, solid daytime naps and have slept well (so far) at night, and it’s the first time EVER that I have been able to put them both down for a nap TWICE in one day by laying them in their cribs, awake, and then leaving the room! Three times today I have laid them down with milk, a quick song, and a kiss, then said “Goodnight, girls, Mommy loves you” and left the room– and NOT GONE BACK IN. This is amazing after hours upon hours of leaning painfully over the edge of a crib rail, patting a back or pinning arms down or rolling a squirming baby back over again and again, and days of leaving Chicken to scream and returning to her in three minute increments for up to 40 minutes. BUT we stuck with it– we officially did Ferber, with our own modifications but pretty close to the program, and CONSISTENT– and today, three times, I was able to leave her while she was awake and while she uttered a small cry or two, she didn’t actually cry consistently and I never had to go back in! This has NEVER happened before. And, as you know, she now sleeps through the night.

    On that (I know I told you already but here it is again, in more detail ): I started by cutting back her night feedings, since I knew she was waking out of habit at this point. I timed her the first night and found she was eating for about seven minutes, but slowing down after the first few minutes. The next night, I cut her down to 5 minutes, then 4 the third night, then 3 the fourth night. On the fifth night, I did 3 minutes again because I was noticing her starting to protest a bit when I popped her off– I think 3 minutes definitely cut her off soon enough that she wasn’t having time to fully nurse herself back to sleep. On the next night, I trimmed her down to 2 minutes per feeding, but I didn’t have to start that right away because she slept through her first waking! I did 2 minutes again the next night and she woke to eat, but when I picked her up out of the crib, she fell back asleep the first time and I didn’t have to feed her again. And then… she just started sleeping. She’d occasionally wake around 2am or so, so Husband went in to settle her (so she didn’t associate me with being fed). She still occasionally wakes in the middle of the night, maybe once or twice a week, and we’ve found that if we leave her to fuss/cry for a few minutes, she’ll fall back asleep (Ham doesn’t wake up from that unless it’s prolonged for, like, 40 minutes, and even then she’ll just make some happy noises and roll around in her crib until it’s quiet again). If we try to HELP Chicken, it becomes an hour and a half long affair to get her back to sleep. It’s been good for several nights in a row now, which is good. They both wake in the morning between 5 and 6:30 at some point and I go in and feed them, then lay them back down. We all get up for the day between 7:30 and 8:30, usually. Naps are whenever and for however long (usually sometime between 10:30-12 and 2-5, not in duration but in total start-to-end).

    So my advice? Ferber. You will feel like shit for a few days, and the only thing that will help is your knowledge that you’ll be helping Stella to not wake up crying all night all the time. She’ll feel so much better once she can learn to be comfortable in her crib and stay sleeping, and you will too! Life is TRANSFORMED when you go back to sleep after no sleep. It’s like the clouds parting and the angels singing.

    Definitely check in with Courtney and SRB if you decide to go the Ferber route! If you have a Kindle, I can lend you my Ferber book– I felt SO much better reading the actual damn book than I did when I just read “about” Ferber online. I was all “Oh– that makes sense and doesn’t make me feel like a big mean CIO-er.”

    ❀

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  75. […] sleeps through the night now, but I really haven’t minded getting up with her (well, except that one time when she was getting up every 45 minutes and I was ready to tear my fingernails out – that […]

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  76. […] – This was the month that we were never sleeping and about to lose it, and Groggy was my call for help from all of you. You guys came through in epic proportion with help and […]

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  77. […] can spoil a baby by holding her too much, especially those first few months of life. When we hit the bad times around 7-8 months though, I researched the hell out of it and settled on what felt right to us […]

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