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  1. #1
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    Default Exhaustion

    Hi guys, my 10 month old has been waking multiple times throughout the night for a fair few months now. He used to sleep through but I wonder if teething or separation anxiety or both are causing him to wake up usually at least 5 times a night, but anywhere from 3 to 7 times. I have to rock/ feed him to sleep each time and wait for him to get into a deep enough sleep to go back in his cot. He won't go if he's in a shallow sleep or awake, if I try to fight it there is hours of crying.

    I used to cosleep quite often, but now I only bring him to my bed if I am just so exhausted and beside myself, as I don't really enjoy cosleeping, I need my space to have a decent sleep.

    But I don't believe in the cry it out or controlled crying method. I want to teach him to self settle in small steps, I have lately been cutting his feeds down in the night, limited to two per night. Which has been quite successful but tiring as it takes him longer to go back to sleep. But next I want to put him to bed in the evening and day sleeps awake and try patting his bum, singing, etc. but at the moment this just stresses us both out too much and seems very impossible. I don't know if I'll ever get there anytime soon but I'm just trying to teach him to self settle for my own health and sanity.

    But in the mean time I do want to give him all the love I can give and I really don't mind rocking him that much, I can tell its forming a special bond with us. But I just need to find a way to keep my own sanity, be able to function in exhaustion, and somehow able to get all my housework done as I only feel good if my house is clean. The only time I get to do housework and sleep is in my baby's naps, but that just isn't enough time for both as he only sleeps 45 mins twice a day. And he's very clingy when he's awake. He follows me around everywhere no matter who else is in the house, cries when I leave the room, will be worn for only a while, and play by himself for only a short while so housework while he's awake seems impossible.

    I can get a bit of help from my family and husband, but they are very busy so I find it hard to organize a time. My hubby has always refused to go to him in the night, and the few times he has lately when I forced him to, bubs just cried louder and for longer, and I got stuck settling a screaming baby.

    But as you see from my previous posts, I did used to be worried about my bubs bond with me, so I love the strong bond we have, it is everything to me. And I love the attachment parenting style because I want to teach bubs that I am there whenever he calls, and it's good to communicate his feelings. I am so happy and filled with joy because of my baby in my life, just exhausted at the same time.

    So if anyone can help with either getting him to sleep more in the night and self soothe. Or even better how to function in this complete exhaustion and how to manage your time on days and nights between caring / settling / playing with the baby, sleeping and housework. I know there is no quick fix or one right way to do it, but I'm just at a point where I am beside myself with exhaustion so any tips would be appreciated.

    Thank you so much in advance.

  2. #2
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    I really don't know hun. 2 out of my 3 kids were like that.. Nothing worked, it actually stopped when they reached close to 4 years of age. Are u sure he's not hungry?

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  4. #3
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    Have a look at the baby sleep site, I purchased a plan, and although a bit expensive it really did help me. This was for my third child, so I knew what I needed to do to help him sleep better, but somehow just couldn't get started. The most important part of teaching them to self settle etc is consistency, so having everything written down of what to do on day 1, day 2 etc really helped me. They make you a personalised plan based on your child's temperament and your parenting style, it really isn't all CC or CIO.

  5. #4
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    Personally, I wouldn't bother trying to teach self-settling. Kids learn to self-settle when they are ready and it sounds like it's just exhausting you even more. When my son was waking frequently through the night, I just did whatever I needed to do to get him back to sleep as quickly as possible so I could go back to sleep too. None of the so called self-settling techniques ever worked on him either, I did try when I was desperate

    What I did find was that he slept way longer when I settled him in other ways besides rocking. Rocking took ages and I think it was because the change from movement to laying in his unmoving cot woke him up. So I settled him by laying down in bed feeding him and then once he was asleep I just moved him back into his bed. He barely even noticed he'd been moved Just something to try.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DarcyJ View Post
    Personally, I wouldn't bother trying to teach self-settling. Kids learn to self-settle when they are ready and it sounds like it's just exhausting you even more. When my son was waking frequently through the night, I just did whatever I needed to do to get him back to sleep as quickly as possible so I could go back to sleep too. None of the so called self-settling techniques ever worked on him either, I did try when I was desperate

    What I did find was that he slept way longer when I settled him in other ways besides rocking. Rocking took ages and I think it was because the change from movement to laying in his unmoving cot woke him up. So I settled him by laying down in bed feeding him and then once he was asleep I just moved him back into his bed. He barely even noticed he'd been moved Just something to try.
    I agree with everything

  8. #6
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    Default Exhaustion

    Hun I'm going to go against the grain here and say something had got to give. 2 x 45 minute naps for a 10 month old is definitely not enough - it can't be good for bubs health if bub is tired (perhaps that is contributing to the clinginess). You sound exhausted too which is not good - you deserve to enjoy parenthood while not being under a cloud of sleep deprivation and stress.

    I get that you are wanting a more gentle approach. It is possible to encourage solid sleep with bub using gently methods of encouragement. Some things to think about:

    1) hunger - could bub be hungry? At 10 months if bub isn't on 3 x solids per day (including protein and carb) bub could be hungry.

    2) timing of sleep - when are you putting bub down to sleep during the day? At bedtime? To early and bub is tired enough to catnap but not tired enough to sleep. Too late and bub is overtired and you're screwed too.

    3) sleep environment - if you want bub to sleep more than one cycle you need to ensure the sleep environment is the same from beginning to end. Which means if you have a sleep aid at the start (boob/patting/rocking/music/dummy), and it's not there when bub stirs between sleep cycles bub may crack it and think "wtf! Where is my boob/back rub!". If you don't want bub to need you to resettle then find a sleep aid that doesn't require adult intervention - such as a cloth comforter with a teddy head. Use it at every sleep time regardless of whether it is in the car/cot/pram. Only use it at sleep time. Don't give up right away - it can take 2-3 weeks for bub to fall in love with a comforter. Once bub is loving the comforter then slowly wean back on other sleep aids (patting/rocking etc). If you want to continue rocking/patting/feeding to sleep that's more than ok as long as you are aware that night waking is part of the parcel.

    Good luck
    Last edited by VicPark; 15-04-2016 at 22:15.

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    Quote Originally Posted by VicPark View Post
    3) sleep environment - if you want bub to sleep more than one cycle you need to ensure the sleep environment is the same from beginning to end. Which means if you have a sleep aid at the start (boob/patting/rocking/music/dummy), and it's not there when bub stirs between sleep cycles bub may crack it and think "wtf! Where is my boob/back rub!". If you don't want bub to need you to resettle then find a sleep aid that doesn't require adult intervention - such as a cloth comforter with a teddy head. Use it at every sleep time regardless of whether it is in the car/cot/pram. Only use it at sleep time. Don't give up right away - it can take 2-3 weeks for bub to fall in love with a comforter. Once bub is loving the comforter then slowly wean back on other sleep aids (patting/rocking etc). If you want to continue rocking/patting/feeding to sleep that's more than ok as long as you are aware that night waking is part of the parcel.
    I have to disagree with this, especially the last sentence. All babies are different and while this might have been the case for your babies, I always found that my bub slept far longer and better when I fed him to sleep. And even when he eventually started going to sleep on his own with his teddy he would still wake up throughout the night. I know lots of other people who have had the same experience, I even know one little girl who slept through from only a few months old while still being rocked to sleep each night. There is no reason to assume that helping your baby get to sleep will always result in night waking, and there is no "one size fits all" approach. You can do all the same things as someone else does with their bub and get very different results.

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  11. #8
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    Default Exhaustion

    Quote Originally Posted by DarcyJ View Post
    I have to disagree with this, especially the last sentence. All babies are different and while this might have been the case for your babies, I always found that my bub slept far longer and better when I fed him to sleep. And even when he eventually started going to sleep on his own with his teddy he would still wake up throughout the night. I know lots of other people who have had the same experience, I even know one little girl who slept through from only a few months old while still being rocked to sleep each night. There is no reason to assume that helping your baby get to sleep will always result in night waking, and there is no "one size fits all" approach. You can do all the same things as someone else does with their bub and get very different results.
    I agree with your last sentence, but the OP is struggling with exhaustion and needs help and wants to change up how she's doing things.

    How do you know the OPs baby isn't like VPs babies or my DD (but not my DS)? Her baby has 2 x 45 minute naps, there must be a reason. If the OP is exhausted and not coping, telling her to not bother changing anything because your baby slept better being fed to sleep isn't helpful.

    You never know, maybe implementing VPs suggestions may not work for the OPs baby, but keeping the status quo will be accepting exhaustion for the OP, which doesn't sound like it's an option anymore.

    OP, I think personally addressing the awake times and timings of sleep is more important and has more impact on a baby's likelihood to sleep longer stretches than the method in which you out them to sleep.

    In other words I would focus on getting the timings right, then maybe switch up the settling method as you may not need to change that. Then if you do, VP has made some good suggestions.

    If after it all (changing up the timing of sleeps and / or settling methods) bubs sleep still doesn't change, that's okay and perfectly normal too, I hope you'll be able to find some support to cope with your exhaustion.

    At the end of the day telling a parent who is struggling from exhaustion to not bother trying to help their baby sleep better because in their experience, changing things up or 'sleep training' hasn't worked for them or all of their friends, can be quite dangerous IMHO
    Last edited by A-Squared; 17-04-2016 at 14:00.

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