I have a 7 month old that won’t sleep.
I have a child that will not go to sleep without her pacifier, who wants to play in her crib instead of nap in it, and sleeps – only if I’m holding her or laying next to her in my bed. If I hold her to go to sleep, then put her in her crib, she wakes up every few hours (or on the bad nights every hour) and wants her pacifier or to hold my hand while she goes back to sleep. She refuses to let her dad calm her back to a slumber.
None of my other kids did this. They both slept beautifully. Before I had Gummy I had the strict opinion that babies and kids did not belong in their parents beds. Or rather – my kids did not belong in my bed. I knew, though, that because the new baby would be sharing our bedroom that there would be some sort of sleep issues. I should start a damn psychic hotline.
Lately, to just be able to sleep a decent stretch without having to get out of the bed and soothe Gummy back to sleep, I’ve brought her into bed with me. This usually means that Mike and I are sleeping uncomfortably, while she has the space she needs or poor dad is sleeping in the chair in the bedroom and letting the girls spread out. None of us are getting the restful sleep we need.
I have read up on the Ferber Method of sleep training lately, knowing that it was most likely my only choice to get her to learn how to sleep on her own in her own bed (even if I try soothing her without picking her up, she still wakes up throughout the night).
I also knew that I didn’t have the balls to actually let her cry it out. So, I put it off. Or I totally half-assed it. There is no half-assing Ferber. You’re either all in or you’re waking up multiple times a night, sleeping while standing up with your hand inside a crib so a baby can cuddle it.
I agree that it will probably traumatize me more than her. I tried again yesterday with her naps and with going to bed. She started to get the hang of going to sleep, but the most she cried was for 30 min (this was with me checking on her several times per the Ferber “rules”). This can be torture. She went to sleep last night in her crib. Exhaustion finally took over and she was sitting up, slumped over, with the crib slat in her hands, sleeping. This totally broke my heart.
I can probably deal with that for a few days, but the real problem is this: we share a room with the baby and she can sit up and stand in the crib. In the middle of the night when she wakes, what am I supposed to do? Let her stare at me crying, wondering why I’m not coming to her? I can’t do it. I just can’t.
I read an article that said that to really use the Ferber Method of sleep training correctly and successfully, you need to have reached that breaking point. The point that you will do anything to get your child to sleep – and in turn – get some sleep for yourself. Maybe I haven’t actually reached that point. Maybe I’m not so against her being in the bed. Maybe I’m not strong enough. Maybe Ferber can kiss my round ass.
I don’t know. But, what I do know is that Gummy really likes being next to Mommy. I need to take steps to break the separation anxiety if I can. Hopefully it will work itself into her sleep pattern. Other than that, after searching for what seemed like forever online, these are the solutions that I found:
1. Put up a room divider to block her view of the bed, if I’m going to try the Ferber Method again.
2. Move her to a pack n play in the living room when it’s time for Mike and I to sleep. That way it’s easier to comfort then leave in the middle of the night.
3. Every time she wakes up in the middle of the night, comfort her, then get our asses out of the bed and leave the room until she settles herself. This ensures that we will be getting no sleep. I don’t really find this an option.
4. Ride it out, because a) she will magically start sleeping completely through the night when she’s ready b) milestones like teething and learning to sit, stand, crawl, etc. disrupt sleep habits (She is doing all of these – and by the way – has not cut a tooth yet. When are the damn teeth coming?!)
5. Continue to put her in bed with us on an as needed basis. I don’t mind doing this during the day, but at night I’d really like to cuddle with my husband. I also don’t want to give Gummy mixed signals.
Any thoughts or advice on this? Pointers? Even moms of two older kids come across something they’ve never had to deal with before…
- Transitioning from Co-sleeping to Separate Beds – The Ferber Method & Gradual Transitioning (everydayfamily.com)
- The Sleep Trainer: How I came around to the cry-it-out method | Babble (babble.com)
- Getting Babies to Sleep (barbsdailydose.typepad.com)
- Should Crying Babies Be Left To Cry Themselves Back To Sleep? (medicalnewstoday.com)
- How do i get my son to sleep in his crib all night? (parenting-success.com)