« Sleep Consultant | Main | Grrls and Boys »

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

my daughter was the same way. at 9 months i gave in and tried cio.

the first night, we both cried for 4 hours. i would go in every 15 minutes to let her see me, but i refused to touch her. she finally cried herself to sleep. (so did i!)

the next night, it only took 30 minutes. the third night....she cried crocodile tears for 2 minutes, gave a deep, disgusted-sounding sigh, and fell asleep.

she's 8 now - and as normal as an 8 year old gets. *g*

it's hard, but it does work. hang in there - you need your sleep!

I think that the first few nights of CIO are really really hard. More for you than him. So my advice is to start on say, a Friday night. So you have a couple of nights behind you before you have to go back to work.

I would consider a comfort toy, teddy etc. And maybe a musical toy that he can pull on a string or such. We had it with my son,Xander. We had a little musical mobile on the side of the cot and pulled the string everytime he went to bed. I guess that sound became related to bed time. Soon enough, he was doing it himself in the middle of the night.

I believe only a few minutes at a time, particularly at first. Just give it 5. Then go in. Talk to him quietly, and tuck him in, or put the musical toy in, whatever. Then leave again. If you want, stay in the same room as him, though I didn't do that. Another 5 minutes. For the first 2 or 3 nights, I wouldn't go more than 5 minutes at a time.

I also strongly advise you to have someone with you. Maybe get your Mum, a good game of cards or something distracting. I did this with my niece (my sister couldn't do it), and I swear, 3 nights, and we were done. The first 2 were heartbreaking, but it worked.


The bottom line is, you need sleep. There's only so long you can go before you crash. Take a deep breath and go for it. If it doesn't work for you, then ok, maybe try a sleep consultant. But it's really worth a try.

The fact is this is a really divisive topic. Lots of people are really opposed to CIO. Most of them, probably never tried it. I don't know many, who after trying it, are still opposed.

Good Luck. I'll be thinking about you.

Again for any reader who isn't clear on this - I have NO children. But, I think I see that you need to at least try a different approach. Test the waters a bit more. You've now sat in the room with him & seen he is fine and that he is being a little bugger. All playful. And why not? You've got a terribly smart boy there who fully appreciates the fact that all he needs to do is fuss and you will be 100% there for him, right?

So, with the spare bedroom in mind, can you move one crib for a week, say, and let him fuss, holler, wail a little bit (not advocating anything merciless, only that it might get loud!) and see in gradual increments just how many evenings he does this, and if you can add a moment or two along the way to see if he gets that you are near, but not going to "engage." With Kate in another room, the pressure may be off a tad to worry about his waking her, and you can let the bugger get loud within your eyesight. I think you can do this in a comfortably placed chair where you are in his eyesight, but not looking at him & engaging with him. He may do just as you've said and you may say, ok, this does not work right now. Or, you may find on the first night or so he does get pissed off, but on the third night maybe not so much. Who knows? You haven't had the chance to see yet, right?

I think of it a bit like this - you've trained him on how to alert you that he requests your presence, and now it is time for you to in a gentle fashion re-train him. That you don't race to him at the first request, the first holler or the first pissed off wail. You will go, obviously, when there is a sound that is not him being pissed, but him need his mommy for something other than play or preoccupation.

I think if he's smart enough to have figured how to summon you and how to "find" you in the room, he's smart enough to begin to understand that he can play by himself a little at night, and that he can sooth himself a bit. I think knowing that he can sooth and relax himself is a terrific thing to help teach him.

But that is only my opinion. You do what works for you, that is all that really matters in life, right? We'll be here to hold your hand if you need us to.

xoxo

Don't get to the point where you see CIO as a punishment for him. It is not. It's your emergency measure to preserve the power you need at work, at home, with your family and yourself. Your motivation is positive, not negative.

Did you think about what he eats before he goes to sleep? Maybe milk alone is no longer "filling" enough. Do you add something a bit more substantial? I don't know how you handle it in SA but in Germany we give some sorts of cereals to 6 month old babies'milk in the evenings. On the other hand, sometimes these things make tummy aches so you should maybe ask your doctor whether to change Adams's evening menu.

Another thing is daytime naps. You should check whether his rhythm is disturbed. If he gets enough sleep in the daytime there is no reason why he should sleep at night. You may have to introduce fixed nap times, before and after noon. You should try to find out how many hours of sleep he needs in the course 24 hours, and check how these sleeping times are distributed.

It may be necessary to manipulate the daytime naps, e.g. to wake him up long enough before the evening and let him spend a very active afternoon. It may be necessary to cut down on his morning sleep where he returns to himself the hours he and you missed at night. I'm sure you thought about this yourself.

How does he go to sleep in the daytime? DOes he know then to fall asleep alone? Are there strategies that you might take over to his night time sleep? (Of course you know that it's worthwhile to keep the daytime naps in a bright room so that his biological clock understands that this is NOT night...)

Write down everything you do, and decide after how many nights you call it quits if it doesn't work. Decide beforehand which intervals of returning to him you will keep (every book does it differently). Ususally the intervals are supposed to increase. Decide beforehand how far you might go.

And do CIO in a gentle fashion. Letting him cry for hours alone would be cruelty. But NOT taking out of his cot anymore, and telling him firmly that it's night and you have to sleep, is no cruelty. Get help for the first nights you implement this - your mother or Rose might be able to help. Don't do it alone.

It may help if for these nights you and Adam go to sleep somewhere else, at your parents' place. Your husband gets along fine with Kate, and Adam might understand that in a different place, there are different rules. This is just an idea, I'm sure other mothers will say you have to train him in his regular environment.

And then try. See it as experiment. If it works, great. If not, you will try a different plan.

Our chap has a mobile above his bed which he listens to and watches when he is going off to sleep or sees when he wakes up. We went in each time he cried and checked him to see if he was O.k and let him know we are there if he needs us. When we started to retrain him out of bad habits and learn to put himself to sleep it was a bit of a nightmare for a few days because we had to keep going back in again quite frequently (as in hundreds of times but we only went in briefly each time). But after 3 or 4 days he started sleeping longer and then through the night. Maybe every time he cries you could go in check he is O.K, maybe say something to him and then go back out. I used to say something like - Its time for you to have a sleep now chappie but if you need me I will come. Just to reassure him. Thing is it will be difficult to change his pattern and he will cry but that will lessen and that is probably what puts you off. I guess you also have to remember that we don't always get what we want in life and that is a lessen he will have to learn. You don't have to be mean in teaching him it but by going in and letting him have his way all of the time - he will just learn that by kicking up a fuss he gets his own way. Anyway, that is what we did.

Good to see you so unapologetic!

You are the one who needs to come up w the solution that works for your family - or not, I mean, it's your right to NOT do anything abt it also. But regarding your fear of hurting him, don't you think you ARE a little bit already? His mum is not rested, his dad is not rested, mum and dad are cranky and he, the little dictator, has learnt that he is absolute king and people will show up when he beckons to entertain his little royal ass at all times. He is far too young to have you this well trained, this is the sort of power he doesn't need to learn just yet and he does need to learn that you are the adults and therefore kick ass, not the little 7-month-old wannabe. "NO", as structure, is a very important lesson, one that stays for life. You are laying the foundation for the sort of child and adult you want himt to be, and for the sort of relationship you want him to have w you and others.

You have these categories in your mind and his crying and fussing is a Very Terrible Thing, whereas your all being exhausted is Not So Bad in comparison. That's simply the way it is w you. Now, it's very easy to theorise sitting here in my European livingroom w no baby in sight but you know you are a wimp w very regimented fears. I am not tellying you what to do (would be a bit afraid to in fact), simply that it seems rather obvious that something needs to be done and soon. And we can comment till kingdom come and offer all sorts of advice but it won't make a difference till you decide on something you are comfortably doing. Or decide you never will be able to do somtehing and resign yourself to it, those are all your rights to some extent.

Wimps do have it harder but you are now the wimp with the two very amazing and permanent responsibilities. Sometimes, not doing what is right for the babies bcs it hurts the parents is a different sort of selfish, but selfish all the same. Don't think of how acting in a certain way will impact you, ask yourself what it would do for your child in the medium and long run and whether it would improve his life quality. And should it turn out that it would do good things, whatever "it" and "the things" are, buck up and do it. It's abt them now.

Yes, yes, I'll fawk off already, no worries. Just wanted to kick your ass around a bit bcs my God, woman, I don't know what the solution will turn out to be for you but the problem as it is depriving you of your children, the enjoyment of them, peace of mind, quality of life. Enough, no?

I completely agree that chronic sleep deprivation is should not be something we just accept as mothers. Sure, for the first several months whent the babes are adjusting to life outside the womb, are learning to sleep oustide Mom's body, and need to eat around the clock we can expect to be tired zombies. But 6+ months later your babies need to be able to sleep at night and put themselves back to sleep.

As I said yesterday, I highly recommend a crib toy. We also turn the aquarium on each night when he goes into the crib. I believe he now associates the soothing water sound with sleep.

All Adam needs to learn is that nighttime is not play time. With no one to play with he'll get bored and hopefully his wakings will end. He will cry, he will fuss. His feelings will be hurt that you no longer want to stay up with him at night.

I don't think you can be too worried about him fussing and waking Kate up. Maybe have her stay at your mom's for a couple nights while Adam is learning to stay asleep?

My other suggestion would be to skip the nighttime bath. Maybe do it in the morning or have Rose do it during the day (I realize you probably don't want to miss his bath...but...) Mabye he's tiring himself out so much by crying when you redress him that's why he's falling asleep at the bottle? Just a thought.

I really wish you the best of luck. Both my kids have slept through starting around 4 months. But I really credit the crib toy for that (and my daughter's paci use).

I've never posted before but this time I feel like I can actually contribute to the conversation :) Ben is now 11 months old. Around 7/8 monthsish I started a nightime routine with him. He had dinner around 5, bath time right after, put him in pajamas, he would play, have a bottle. He goes to bed at 9pm. Now, I know this is much later then a lot of other babies BUT, here's why...Ben wakes at 6:30am like clockwork...He's down for a nap from 9am-11am and then again from 3-5pm. He naps at this time everyday. I never thought I would be the mother who stayed home so her kid could nap in his crib BUT I find that when I go out during his naptime he becomes a monster later in the day.

In the beginning he wasnt neccesarily tired at these nap times or at his bedtime. Thats where CIO comes in. Now, I've NEVER read a book on the subject or parenting for that matter. We did a modified (VERY modified) version of CIO. I would read Ben a story in the rocker, put him down with his little blany thing and put on the ocean wonders toy and walk out. He would cry and I would watch the clock and wait for 2 minutes to pass, go in, rub his head, put the ocean toy on again and leave. He'd cry, this time I'd go 4 minutes without going in. You get the idea. Now, at 11 months, I read the story, put him in his crib, put on the toy (that thing is amazing) and walk out. He doesnt fuss, not even a little, plays with his little blanky (rubs it against his skin) and goes to bed.

I think the hardest thing is listening to your baby cry, no matter what a little jerk they're being! You won't know if it works unless you try, BUT, if it really does make you uncomfortable then wait a little longer (if you can). Trying it on the weekend is definitely a good move since you won't have work.

Hugs--it will get better, and you CAN do it. It sucks, but will only suck for a few days :)

Hi Tertia! A couple of suggestions although they seem to have already been covered.

Does Adam have any toy/mobile/something to keep himself occupied with in his cot so he doesn't get bored without you? This may keep him happy until he tires out. Daytime sleeping can lead to bubs needing less sleep at night. It also happens for me. I go "I'll just have a short nap" wind up sleeping most of the afternoon away and then not sleeping at night. I'm not recommending waking him, but lots of naps during the day could result in less sleep at night when YOU want it. Enough assvice from me for now. Stay gorgeous and divine Tertia.

Hi there - quite simply (is it ever simple though?) I'd start dragging out his routine a bit so he finishes with his bottle later ... some children just need less sleep, most of mine have been 8-9hr sleepers at night so in bed about 9pm, awake at 6am - and that with a couple of naps during the day is enough. So I'd do the same routine, that obviously spells bedtime and sleeptime - but start a bit later, drag it out a bit, and keep doing that for a few days until he's going to sleep later - hopefully he will be more tired AND even if he wakes the same times, you probably would have had time to get in a few hours solid sleep before he does.

... and something my mother always told me (probably to make me feel better! LOL) - babies who are awake a lot tend to be very intelligent :)

Well, one thing is sure, CIO or no CIO you have to change some of your behavior. Because same behavior=same results. Adam will need to learn not to be a PITA at night.

If you are afraid to CIO, maybe change his sleep schedule during the day? He'll be a crabby tired baby, but might sleep at night. It sounds like he really enjoys mommy time with his batteries partly charged.

At the same time, he needs/is going to need to have more continous blocks of sleep in order for growth hormone to cycle properly. It pulses from the pituitary gland while they sleep and less sleep=less growth hormone. It may not be an issue in the short term--but if this goes on through the rest of his infancy, he could suffer stunting (theoretically).

You and Rose and Marko will have to help him regulate his sleep, not just so you can get some sleep but for his health and growth. In your case, I don't think the only motivations for helping him learn to self-soothe a bit are selfish. He needs the sleep as much as you do.

That being said: I do not have kids so if this is all a bunch of assvice, please ignore with my apologies.

Am I missing something - if he's done with his bottle why does he need to eat more? Is it a preemie thing? I might be completely wrong, but I always understood it was a baby's body weight and not their pre-bed meal that allowed them to sleep through the night?

I had to set a limit I could stand on the crying. I think the most I ever waited to go in and check on my daughter was 5 minutes. When one of us went in we didn't stay, we checked, we patted, we left.

It might get noisy - can you move Kate to another room for a bit? Will Marko go in instead of you - my daughter behaved differently when her father went in.

Good luck - most every parent has been where you are. Every baby I know has had to cry a bit - and everyone is fine. You can do this.

Tertia - Do you read Monica's blog (monica.typepad.com)? She recently did a modified CIO with her son and it worked out well. Perhaps her success will be a comfort/inspiration for you.

I recently wrote an article for my local paper on getting babies to sleep and in the course of my research I realized something: Most of the anti-CIO advocates remind us that babies' sleep patterns are neurological and can't be changed - which is true - but that is not the crux of the issue. We aren't trying to change their sleep patterns per se, we are trying to change what happens when they reach the light sleep/wakeful part of the sleep cycle.

So we aren't going to be able to change the fact that they wake briefly every hour and a half or so, but we are able to decide what to offer them when they do. We can either offer them comfort and the opportunity to be 'put back to sleep' or we can offer them the independence to put themselves back to sleep. We need to decide which is most important to us, individually, and what works best in the context of our lives.

Good luck and I hope your solution comes really soon.

A year and a half before the arrival of our first daughter we got a puppy.

As a part of the puppy's house training, it was slept in a crate (the theory being the dog won't shit or piss where it sleeps). The breeder warned us that the first few nights the puppy would cry pitiously and we should ignore it.

Night One, lights out.

The dog begins howling in the worst possible way. This continues non-stop for *hours*. Finally I decide that no animal could cry that long or that miseralbe without something being wrong. I get up, go to the room where the puppy's crate it, turn on the light, only to see the puppy smiling back at me, tail wagging. I turn out the light and return to bed. The dog howls till morning. Neither me nor my wife has slept a wink.

Night Two, lights out.

Repeat of night one. Dog howls loudly and continuously until morning. Neither of us sleeps a wink. By morning we're beyond punchy, but the puppy is bright-eyed and cheerful. That afternoon I find out the howling is so loud it's keeping our neighbors up to.

Night Three. Lights out.

Oh God will it ever stop. Remembering Odyseus, I stuff wax in my ears. It doesn't work. The dog is louder than the Sirens. My wife and I are sitting in bed, staring at each other, and entire set of Louis Vaton under each eye. The dog howls. From the sound of it, you'd think each of her limbs were being pulled of joint by joint. Morning comes. Three days with no sleep. We are beyond the beyond. The puppy is happy and full of life – tongue and tail wagging.

Night Four, Lights out.

What? Do you hear that? Do you hear that! Crickets and peepers, the air rustling the leaves. The puppy is silent. Is the puppy dead? I don't care. I'm going to sleep. I'm too tired to sleep. I lay there in the dark listening to the sound of the puppy not crying. After some few hours I drift off.

-----

Our daughter was not boysterous, but she feed every two hours, then twice a night, then once a night. At 12 months my wife was still getting up and wandering down the hall to answer her cries with a little boob-snack.

Around this time Mrs.C went away for a long weekend with her girlfriends. Unlike my wife, I'm a heavy sleeper. I don't know if the daughter cried the first night. If she did, I didn't hear it. She may have cried the second or third night to, but I sleep like the dead, so he cries went unanswered.

What I do know is by the time my wife returned, she had given up crying. Mrs. C's first full night of uninterupted sleep was the first night back from her time way. The daughter gave up the boob too. Three days with smelly, hard-sleeping old dad "cured" her. We'd still go out for our morning thing, because I enjoyed it, and I know that my wife sleeps better (even today) when she knows that what ever she hears it can't be the baby.

I have no plans to write a book ("The Three-Day Way to Train Your Kids, Dogs, and Other Dependants!") but I do suspect that some sort of threshhold gets crossed in 72 hours. We've got another coming in a few months, and will probably try the same tactics. I expect they'll fail miserably. Damn these kids, each one has the nerve to be an individual human being.

Good luck, hang tough.

-TC

...again, not reading previous comments -sorry if I repeat them.
I don't think he is going to learn to put himself to sleep with you offering all sorts of lovely options to him.

It's all or nothing and you must "grow a backbone." He is getting what he wants from you and until you stop completely he it will continue.

I know.
I am a genius.
(okay, maybe not a genius, but I have raised three boys and that's close.)

Tertia-
Have you asked your mom or Rose to do the CIO thing when you aren't there? I think I remember you saying K&A spent one night a week with either Rose or your mom. It's tough to do - we did it with Zach and only had to do it two nights - the first was about 20 minutes of crying, and the second was about 5 minutes.

If he's sleeping well (or a lot?) during the day, maybe he's not quite aware of night vs day? When you go to get him, I wouldn't turn on any lights or anything, and don't talk to him (hard to do, I know)- basically just limit your interaction with him - he wants to interact with you. You can still hold him and make sure he's all right, but limit the enjoyment he's going to get out of it and maybe he'll limit the amount of times he does, 'cause it's not fun for him anymore.

Whatever you decide to do, good luck.

Sleep is right up there with water as far as basic needs go for sustaining human life. Do NOT allow yourself to dwell on the thought of Adam crying some in order to establish healthy sleep patterns. You are NOT selfish, you are NOT unrealistic, you are NOT a bad Mommy for NEEDING your basic need for sleep to be met.

Whatever you decide, and ultimately it is up to you and Marko to decide what to do about the situation, make a plan and STICK TO IT. It is incredibly unfair IMO to be wishy-washy when embarking on any kind of sleep training. Not to say that you can't make modifications as you go along, but be conscious of sending Adam mixed signals.

I'd suggest enlisting your mom's help in the matter. It sounds like she is on board as far as something needing to be done. Maybe even Rose could help for a few nights as well. Either separate Adam and Kate for a few nights til the worst is behind you, have your mom take Kate to her house for a few nights, better yet..have your mom take ADAM for a few nights and bring him back when he's putting himself back to sleep in the middle of the night.

Or get Rose to help out for a few nights. Decide how many hours of sleep you simply MUST have to function, put in some ear plugs, and let your mom, Rose, or Marko deal with Adam for that time. There's no reason you have to do this alone.

Also, I would suggest you go into this with a solid 10+ hours of sleep from the night before. Send one munchkin to Rose, one to your mom, have some wine, and get A LOT of sleep. Maybe on a Thursday night? Then go to work on Friday, with Friday and Saturday nights being the first two nights of sleep training. You won't be absolutely exhausted the first night of the ordeal that way. Make sense?

Waiting it out will almost guarantee an even worse time later down the road IME. Sure, if you're able/willing to sustain this level of sleep deprivation for 2-4 YEARS, he might eventually sleep through the night. But from what I've seen, the parents that wait to sleep train either end up with a kid in their bed for 2+ years, with a kid that wakes up repeatedly through the night for 2+ years, or trains them after they are able to pull themselves up or stand up in the crib. THAT, my friend, is a nightmare. You do NOT want to wait til he can stand up to do this. They can pitch a much greater fit for a much longer time at that point.

One more thing to my way too long post....perhaps consider having someone else offer him a bottle during the night. If he is TRULY hungry, I would feed him. Period. And if he IS hungry, he will take that bottle from whomever is offering it to him. I personally wouldn't wait til I'd been up with him for 2 hours to offer a bottle. Give him the bottle, put him back down. The end. Quiet, dark, very little interaction with him. All business. No playing. Intervene only if he is truly distressed, then only long enough to calm him before trying again. That's the part that's easier with help from mom, Rose, and/or Marko.

One of my three woke for a bottle from 7-11 months after sleeping through from 8 weeks on. We'd just moved 5000 miles away though, and our life was chaotic, so I went with it. She'd take the bottle then go right back down, 10 minutes max from start to finish. Then one day she just stopped. I didn't mind 10 minutes in the middle of the night, and she really did seem hungry. But hours? Nope. We'd have done SOMETHING if it had been affecting my ability to be a mom during the day, ya know?

And it sounds like that's the point that YOU are at my friend. You gotta do SOMETHING.

Jackson tortured me by not sleeping through the night until he was four and it was my own darn fault. That being said - It "sounds like" Adam is not getting tired enough to sleep the whole night. Also they might need to be in different rooms so that you don't have to worry about him waking up Kate. Those are the two things that jump out at me, everybody else has great suggestions. Good luck.

Hi Tertia. You say he wakes up & the bottle puts him back to sleep, but he's not really hungry. Have you tried a pacifier? Are son (9 1/2 months) wakes up several times in the middle of the night, roots around for his pacifier, and goes back to sleep. I only know he's awake if I'm still up, otherwise once I go to sleep, I don't wake up until my alarm goes off in the morning. It's worth a shot.

Believe it or not, Adam may need to go to sleep earlier, especially since he is falling asleep during his bottle. We had night waking issues with my daughter, we ended up moving her bedtime earlier until she was going to sleep at 5:30 p.m. I worked at the time, and hardly saw her during the week, but she quit waking up at night.

Also, you might try making sure he gets a longer nap during the day, that might give him the extra rest he needs to make it past his evening bottle, therefore falling asleep a little later.

I used the Ferber method, and his general theory is that sleep begets sleep. If a child is sleeping poorly, they usually need MORE sleep. I kept working in longer naps and earlier bedtimes. My first child was a sleeper, with naps and an early bedtime, she slept about 16-18 hours her day, even as an older infant. I worried about it a lot, but when I asked the doctor she said, "Be thankful."

Good luck, it's no fun. My son woke a lot at night wanting to play and I can't remember what made it stop except time. He was a younger baby when he did it, though.

daytime naps - our pediatrician told us to help with the night sleeping, from the time he was a newborn - no nap should be more than 1 hour. She told us to wake him and make him fully awake after that 1 hour was up. He only took 2 1-hour naps a day until he was 1. After a little bit, he knew when the hour was up and would just wake up himself. Limiting sleep during the day will help the night sleeping. My son slept thru at 9 weeks old ( from 9:30 until 6:30 , formula fed ). You might try limiting day sleep first.

to begin with... love your blog. also, i don;t really know shit, only my experience but here are some thoughts. i have boy/girl twins who are almost 2 1/2. i don't have a huge problem with CIO. i tried at 3 months with my daughter. we tried for several nights and i listened closely to her cries. she wasn't ready. at 6 months i went to a party and at that time she was only getting up once for about 15 minutes. that night she was getting up a lot... clearly checking on us. i let her cry. the next night she cried for about 15 minutes and since she has not ever gotten up at night. she was ready. as adam's mother, you will best understand his cries. my advice is put down the books and trust yourself.

my son was like Kate... always slept. he was doing 11 hours at 2 months. the flip side is that he ate ALL DAY LONG. anyway, at almost nine months we had to do CIO for 2 nights because the bedtime routine changed. because he always just slept he never had to learn to be awake on his own. i don't know if this helps at all but i hope so.

one final thought, my son could sleep through hours of violent screams from his sister. it's amazing to me how much tolerance they have of each other.

good luck.

Tertia-- Change Your Perspective.

Tony!!! I have a book on training dogs-- that includes training children, husbands and associates to do what you want, or at least treat you with respect!!! I have to get you the name of that book, because I think of it's dog training principals often when dealing with my daughter! LOL!

Anyway, Tertia, you will need two things darling: No. 1: You must change your outlook. Sleep deprivation is DANGEROUS for humans, and especially Mommies-- so your getting sleep is for the PROTECTION of Adam and Kate.

I mean, what if you were so sleepy you drove yourself of the side of the road on the way to work, or something? When I told my OB that I couldn't sleep and was on the verge of delerium, he didn't blink a second before prescribing something to get me to sleep-- because he knew I was in a dangerous place. PUT YOUR SLEEP FIRST for the sake of your children, if for no other reason. *Remember, on airplanes they say put the oxygen mask on yourself before assisting those around you.

No. 2- In my personal experience, children have hurt cries, sad cries, hungry cries and angry cries. The I want you to come play with me and you are not starts out as an demanding cry, then turns into an angry cry, then turns into a sad cry, then turns into exhaustion, boredom and......SLEEP!!!!

CIO for three nights, and DON'T interupt the process. If you want to, rock to sleep for the first time you put him to bed...BUT DO NOT ROCK TO SLEEP FOR ANY OTHER WAKINGS UNTIL IT'S DAY LIGHT.

I know some people say go in and re-assure a crying child every 5-15 minutes or so. I'm not in favor of that personally, because I think it REINFORCES the behavior of crying for night time attention. In other words, you will be sending a mixed message to someone who can not communicate with words and does not understand nuances and exceptions to rules. And thus he will learn to cry longer and louder because he knows that Mommy has a time limit on her duration, and she will eventually come and get him out of the crib, or reward him with play time, etc. You really don't want him to learn how to wait you out, do you? As Doctor Phil says, pick your battles carefully. But if you choose a battle with a child, you'd better not lose.

With Dharma, I do a nightly ritual that signals to her that "The Party's Over." I dim the lights. Perhaps I read to her. I put her in her bed and turn on her musical mobile. Then when just before the music stops, I turn out the lights, shut the door, and walk away. She may protest a teeny bit-- but she knows that when it's dark, she will not see me until morning no matter what, so she might as well go to sleep. There are toys in her crib, so when she wakes up in the daylight, she plays with them at first. But at the first sound of her voice, I get up and go to her in the morning and feed her because I know she is hungry. I don't wait for her to cry. I go to her at the first utterance.

Dharma sleeps 9 straight hours at night. I have monitored her during the night, so I know she DOES stir and even wake up from time to time. But considering the darkness, and her routine, she knows no one is coming to get her until there is light in the room again, so she goes right back to sleep.

You can do this Tertia. But you really do have to re-frame your point of view that you are doing this FOR your children's saftey, not because you are weak or a working mother. I'm not a working mother. But getting my sleep is definitly for Dharma's safety. And Dharma's getting sleep is to preserve her health, and mental, emotional and physical developement.

Best Wishes, as Always!!!
We will be behind you no matter what you do, or how long it takes!

Faith

This is not the MOllie that told you to grow a backbone, but all Molly(ie)s are wonderful people, so I am sure she gave you excellent advice.

I am going to talk completely honestly with you.

You ALL need sleep. Adam is old enough, big enough, and PITA enough to sleep all night, every night on his own.

Step 1 - put the babes in separate rooms. If one is waking the other, you will go stark raving crazy. We separated our twins till they were two. Just put them back together and they are just fine.

Step 2 - do your same little night-time routine that you are doing.

Step 3 - put Adam in bed

Step 4 - drink 3 glasses of wine, not one, not two, three.

Step 5 - shut Adam's door and go take a shower - a long one - shave your legs, wash your hair. Be careful, because you should be a little tipsy at this point.

Step 6 - watch TV

Step 7 - Shag Marko

Step 8 - (If Adam is still crying) - drink another glass of wine

Step 9 - Damn, is he still crying??

Step 10 - write a drunken blog

Step 11 - wait, what's that I hear?? It might be silence. The little crap, I mean, the little darling has fallen asleep???

Step 12 - go pass out in bed and don't get up again. We turn an air purifier on in our room for white noise and so we don't hear every grunt. I don't turn the monitor on. I can hear if they are freaking out.

See, easy 12 step program. Maybe I should be a sleep consultant. I think Adam is working you and pushing your buttons. They can do that at this age. Hold your ground. You can do this.

love you,
Molly V

PS-If he really is still FREAKING out after a little while (and only you can decide how long a little while is) I would go in and check on him. I never let mine freak, cry a little, yes, but not freak. If he is playing, however, I would not even go in the room. Maybe get one of those cool TV monitor things so you can watch him from outside his room??

After 8 months of uninterrupted sleep I finally braved CIO w/my twins. My dd was the better sleeper but still awoke during the night. My ds sounds like Adam. At the first cry I went in to make sure all was ok but would not take baby out of the crib for rocking, bottle etc. Once it was determined that all was well I left the room and let him/them/her cry. I did this routine each time they cried but I did not keep going in during the CIO period.. Just listened carefully on the monitor and paced outside their door. Took about 5 days and they both began sleeping through. Ironically, my ds became the better sleeper and has never needed re-training. My good sleeper dd had been through CIO several times but at 2.3 both are great sleepers who go to bed awake and love their cribs. They climb in happily for naps and bedtime. The older they get the harder CIO becomes because they have more endurance and can yell at you w/real words. As I type this I recall that a few months ago my dd started waking in the night demanding milk. I would go in and tell her milk in the morning and to drink her water (always have a water cup in their crib) she threw the water cup at me but I just put it back in her crib told I love her and to get to sleep. She yelled at me for a few minutes (no crying) and put herself to sleep. Had I given her the milk I would have been back to nightly wakings. CIO is hard and not for everyone but I am a mess on little sleep and I think sleep is v important for kids.

Sorry this got so long.

Good luck.

I wish I had some great advise, or words of wisdom for you, but I don't. When Jonathan was a baby he would take 30-40 minute naps throughout the day. He would SCREAM if I layed him down, and he would SCREAM when he woke up. CIO would not work with him. He would be furious within minutes, which just made him more awake. I started trying to let him learn to sleep in 5 minute time spans. Then I tried bumping it to 10. I never got past 10 because he was just so upset/pissed/hysterical.

I really hope you get this figured out soon.

Yes, turn the baby monitor off - you will hear him if he needs you. I couldn't do CIO with #1 - his cry was too much, and he would puke. #2 we did CIO - with him crying no more than 10 minutes, and it worked. At Adam's age both my boys were taking 2 naps during day, going down around 9 waking for a feed in the middle of the night, and then waking at 7 or eight. It seems like his sleep is out of whack for the entire day. If that could be regulated than perhaps night sleep would have more order? I am guessing. I feel your pain honey, you need sleep. Best of luck.

Perhaps you could change the veggie routine after work? Make it something more substantial, like cereal, or even cereal with sweet potatoes or carrots mixed in. This way, when he wants to sleep an hour later, you can let him. Perhaps he'll sleep longer, til midnight or later. Then, for a while, perhaps he'll take a bottle during the night, but he'll actually be hungry for it, then it'll put him to sleep? You could be down to one waking.

Maybe he just needs an evening nap and he's not quite ready for bed yet. Maybe he could nap around 6:30-7:30 and then go to bed a bit later?

Adam sounds a lot like my son. I really fought CIO and as a result I spent a lot of nights getting up 8, 9, 10 times a night. The only thing that worked for us was to teach him to put himself to sleep himself. For us, this meant CIO. By the time I did this, Ethan was pretty old- old enough to stand up. It was REALLY REALLy awful. But, it worked and he started sleeping.

I don't call it CIO. I call it: learning to comfort oneself learning to get back to sleep on your own. And I think it is a great gift to be able to be comfortable on your own and be able to comfort yourself instead of being depending on anybody.. So I never felt bad about it (I don't believe in this for young children but at 6 months they can learn. My daughter needs 15 minutes crying at the ultimate most (Usually I have the doorhandle in my hand and than notice the silence) and often she wel chanmge it into talking to her bear and than fall a sleep..

It is doable and I don't think it is cruel it is just learning and learning is sometimes hard!

Mijk

Sounds to me he's going to sleep too early, then waking for the day when he thinks he wants to play. My son sleeps between 8 and 12 hours for the night. But he still wakes up. He was also a giant PITA, but he managed to work things out on his own for the most part. I did sort of sleep train him early on, as he slept with me at night for about 2.5 months after he was born, that really did help teach him a sleeping pattern, then he wanted to sleep by himself, so that's what we did. I could go on, but i'll be taking up too much room. You can email me or something if you like. (:

Forgive me if I'm wrong on this, but I have always thought that doing CIO does not necessarily mean that you have to leave the room.

Tertia, if you are worried that Adam will feel abandoned or think that something has happened to you if you leave the room when he is crying, why not stay? Kneel on the floor next to his cot, stay silent and don't interact with him. That way he will know you are there for him and are ok, but are unwilling to play with him. Get up and do the reassurance thing every five minutes or so, but then get back down on the floor. And of course, if he gets hysterical, then this may not be the answer, but I think some sort of modified version of CIO is worth a try, for your sake.

I know a few people have quoted the putting your own oxygen mask on first thing, but I want to reiterate that.

I am 12 weeks pregnant and was made, yes MADE, to go off my anti-depressant medication by my shrink who was afraid I would sue him if anything goes wrong. There is an unproven risk of early labour with the particular medication I was on, but I made the decision that I wanted to stay on it, because I firmly believe that I can't possibly grow a healthy baby if I am in any way incapacitated myself. Gave in to his demand and several weeks later I ended up in a place where I was wishing the pregnancy would terminate itself just so I could feel better. Surely having long term thoughts like that could be as detrimental to a baby as a drug? What I'm saying is - sometimes you HAVE to put yourself first, even if there may be some detriment to the child, because if you don't put yourself first, the damage to the child could be even greater. Do you get what I mean?

Please look after yourself, Tertia. We all love you and will stick by you, whatever decision you make regarding your darling little PITA.

Oh, yeah, here's a solution that's been suggested to me for if and when my future child won't sleep - give them some beer. "It'll knock 'em right out!" Wanna try that one?

Hey T,

Meant to let you know Turner is being a pill also but we've done a little CIO and it does help. Know how hard it is but you've got to get some sleep. I think both Adam and Turner don't have the sleep skills that Kate and Ryley have. In with you sister on this. V v hard to do.

Lauren

I just have to throw something in, about the comment from vhmprincess, In my experience, some children need more sleep, and in order to sleep better at night, they need their sleep in the day also. My son will take 3 naps a day, for 2-3 hours, and still sleep 12 hours through the night. He requires lots of sleep, if he doesn't get his sleep in the day, I can tell, he wakes more through the night and WON'T go back to sleep until I come fix it. So, that 1 hour nap may have worked for yours, but it would have caused me nothing but hell. :)


If you're TOTALLY not going to be able to handle more than 5 minutes of him crying (I'd say 15 at a time), then there's no sense trying CIO because it's probably not going to work. And he shouldn't get too freaked out if you go in and pat every 15 minutes or whatever. And he shouldn't be scared, if you do go back in every 15 minutes. I wouldn't leave him long enough to drink three glasses of wine. I think I've said it before, but once he's able to stand up in his crib, CIO isn't going to work very well because babies don't easily put themselves to sleep while standing up.

From an outsider's view, you are heading toward miserable and CIO seems to be the logical thing for you to try, but he's not my kid so I'm not emotionally involved, and I don't have to hear him cry. So I guess you just have to decide if you can do it. It will probably be painful for you for a couple of nights to listen to him, but I think you can do it (I'm SURE he's just bored and not scared... that kid doesn't look like he would be intimidated by much).

If you deicde to, here is what I would do: I would put the babes in different rooms and put a couple of toys in his crib. I'd put him to bed as usual and when you hear him crying (not just playing with his toys or gurgling) in the night, go in and pat him until he returns to calmer fussing. Do NOT pick him up. That way he knows you're around. But when you leave the first time it's going to piss him off, so be prepared... it will probably be the most intense crying he'll do. After 10 more minutes, go back in and pat him again, until he calms down a little. Don't pick him up... Keep doing this until he either goes to sleep or is freaking out. If he is totally wigging out, I would pick him up to calm him but stay right by his crib, and when he does calm down, put him back down. Remember, if you do go in every 15 minutes, he's not scared, he's pissed. I know you're more stubborn than he is. Good luck to you if you go for it.

No advice, because I am going through the same thing and also exhausted, but thank you for soliciting advice from everyone else. I am writing this down.


Oh, and if what's done during the day is different than at night, he could get confused. Might want to coordinate with Rose. If they're sleepy during the day, they don't need much fussing time, but if he gets rocked during the day, he might expect it at night... Again, good luck with whatever you try.

Here's my assvice. I'm a mother of two grown children. I had one easy baby (like Kate) and one difficult but adorable baby (like Adam). Strong willed children are a good thing, but the drawback is you have to civilize them so that they don't tromp all over the rest of us later in life. They have to learn the rules early in life, or they pay for it later. I found myself saying, "Wait a minute, who is the mother here?" and it did seem to help my perspective. Mothers have to be cuddly,nurturing, and loving. Mothers also have to be firm, not mean, but firm. Some children learn very easily that night is for sleeping, while others have a harder time. I think I had it easier that you do, because nobody thought CIO was terrible and so there wasn't any social pressure connected to letting your baby cry if you had made sure they were warm, dry, fed, clean, and loved first. I always checked all those things when they cried at night (though not at the first peep, because sometimes they do settle right back to sleep)but if they just wanted company and to play, they got a kiss and pat and I left the room. That way they knew that Mom was still here, but that they had to back to sleep. This worked very well for us, and if they didn't go back to sleep, it was usually a sign that they were sick. When they're sick, you do have to stay up with them sometimes to rock and comfort them. Anyway, good luck with whatever you decide to try. Being a Mom is not easy, is it?

Tertia, I think that your exploration of this topic is truly wonderful. You obviously have both your and Adam's best interests at heart and that is just great! That said, here are a few things I think about helping Adam fall asleep on his own and stay asleep.

1. If he's tired at 6pm, give him a short nap. Let him sleep for an hour. Then try your CIO tactics a little later in the evening after he's had some play time. My son (who is not your son, but just as reference), is 8 months. He takes three naps during the day (10-11, 3-4 and 6-7) and then sleeps from 9pm until 6:30am. Sometimes, they just need a quick rest to be able to play until a little later and then get themselves to sleep.

2. A toy or specific item they can comfort themselves with is important. My son likes his Tigger blanket. It's a little Tigger, holding the small blanket that has teething bits on the corners. It's little but he likes to hold onto it.

3. Bedtime routine. Like I said earlier, if he is falling asleep with the bottle, give him a quick nap and then wake him up for some playtime. He's old enough to play in a stationary gym or something like that if you have things you do in the evening, but this will allow him a short rest and then he can really go down for the night a little later. (Notice that he's doing that anyway, but the playtime is at a time that doesn't work for you...make it a time that works for you...routine, routine, routine.)

4. He's not going to be hurt if you let him cry. Start slow and work up the time. A few minutes and go in to reassure him. Then increase the time little by little. Good advice from others as far as keeping busy during the first couple days and starting on a weekend. YOU NEED TO REST TO BE ABLE TO BE A COHERENT AND SUPPORTIVE MOTHER. You're worrying so much about doing the right thing, and that is wonderful because it shows how important your children are to you, but remember that they will be fine. It's just something new and that's a little scary at first. Just reassure him, pat his back or tummy lightly, TALK TALK TALK to you baby. Let him know you understand that it's hard for him and that you are here for him, but you're not picking him up because he needs to go to sleep now. Everytime you leave tell him that you love him and that you will be back. Then wait 2 minutes longer than the last time to go do it again. Make it a routine of saying the same things each time. It takes some doing and a good amount of strength on your part. DO GROW A BACKBONE. As long as he is not hurt in any way (and you can tell the difference between a "I'm hurt" cry and a "I'm pissed off" cry) he is fine crying. Remember all the times you cried for days and you're none the worse for wear, right?

You can do this, Tertia! Remember that your health and well-being are paramount to all the other things because YOU ARE THE MOMMY. You have to get your sleep and remain functional. This is a small sacrifice in the grand scheme of things. I know it is tough, but you are a formitable woman and I have faith in your ability to pull through this stage. AND, then you'll get more sleep. I still occassionally wake up once or twice a night with my son, but I get WAY more sleep than if I had to rock and cuddle him to sleep each time. Now, after doing CIO and getting the routine down, I just pat him and tell him it's okay, go back to sleep and he does. I feed him around 8pm, put him to sleep at 9pm and he doesn't get out of his crib until 6:30am (unless we miss the feeding or hes not hungry in the evening and then I'll give him milk in the middle of the night, because that's usually my fault for messing with the schedule). It's wonderful and vitally important to be able to sleep, especially if you are a working mother. I have every confidence that you will work this problem out. Go for it! You have nothing to lose.

I had the same kind of keyed-up high strung boy who freaked out continually over everything and rarely slept more than two hours at a time. He was also the kind of persistent person who would cry until he puked, and even then continue screaming--he had a level of persistence way beyond anything i'd ever encountered in my life. ripped my heart out.

However, after 9 months of this, sanity demanded that I try a modified CIO with him--

night one: put to bed, let screaming commence. allow to scream for 15 minutes, go in, reassure, no touch, no pick up. screaming continues. go in again after a half hour, reassure, etc. go in again after an hour, reassure. keep the visits to every hour until he falls asleep.

night two: put to bed, let screaming commence. allow to scream for a half hour, go in reassure, no touch, no pick up. screaming continues. go in again after a half hour, and then again every hour after that.

night three: put to bed, let screaming commence. allow to scream for an hour--by night three, ours fell asleep after 15 minutes.

This whole awful routine (you can make the check-in times shorter if the freakout is too extreme) has to be repeated every so often--teething, colds, other types of disruption in the sleep schedule.

It works, but it's gruesome to do. but it works.

good luck. by the way, my boy slept through an entire night for the first time when he was TWO. he's now 18, a great healthy sane fellow, we all survived, and he sleeps 12 hours at a stretch.

my thoughts are with you all who are going through this now!

Ditto on the shorter naps in the daytime. Ditto, too, on the crib toy.

Our alternative was a cd player and lullaby cds. At bedtime, we start the cd (alternating them so we don't have to listen to the SAME ONE EVERY NIGHT FOR THE NEXT 6 YEARS), do the whole bedtime routine, pop him into bed, rub back for a few minutes, kisses, leave.

If he woke up in the night, we'd start the cd again, check the diaper (and for fever/teething/whatever) and pop him back in bed - rub his back for a few minutes, kisses, leave.

You know what each of his cries means. You can tell the difference between pissed off, sad, and frightened. Pissed off should not get a visit, the others should. Pat his back, give kisses, leave.

And ditto starting on a Friday so that you can have a few days grace before you have to go back to work.

I don't have any advice only this - don't wait for him to just suddenly start sleeping well by himself. I have been waiting for this for 19 months!!!! My darling daughter is 19 months old and still does not sleep through the night and we are dealing with all sorts of bad habits and I wish so desperately we had done something earlier.

And if I had done, I would have got a consultant in. I too have read all the books and I still can't bring myself to do anything! I need someone to come to my house to show me and take over.

Can't wait to hear how it all goes.

If part of the issue is not getting enough food to last him the night, I was wondering if you would consider giving him cereal before bed instead of the bottle. Possible advantages are that it is more filling and also that he is less likely to fall asleep before he is finished. Maybe give him some cereal and a small bottle to finish up and fall asleep (if you are not ready for CIO, that is).
Alternatively, you can try the bottle before you dress him. He is less likely to fall asleep while he is naked.

If you do decide to try CIO, could you get your Mom to take Kate for a night or two? That way you don't have to worry about Adam waking Kate.
When I did CIO with my daughter (after she was sick-- she slept through the night before that, but decided that it was nice to have mommy come in all the time while she was sick and miserable. So she kept it up after she was well), I came in every 5 to 7 minutes to tell her that I love her and that everything is fine and that it is night time and she needs to go to sleep now. Only took an hour that night, and she went right down the very next.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

I'm not reading the other comments, just pointing out something I read in your post. If giving him a bottle gets him back to sleep, and you really, really do not want to CIO, then give him the bottle.

I honestly feel that a lot of parenting is doing what works right now. For us that means Jamie sleeps with me a good part of the night. No, I don't want him sleeping with me forever, but it works without CIO and at some point it'll either stop working or I'll get sick of it, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Also, I'm not a CIO fan, but honestly, you've got to sleep. If you go that route you should do so without feeling any guilt whatsoever. You're a fabulous mom, Adam is in a loving home, a few nights of CIO aren't going to change that.

[Disclaimer: childfree, clueless, and militant about my own sleep]

Reading the comments so far it sounds like CIO amounts to one night of absolute torture, one night of semi-torture, then one night of mere minutes of torture before the babe conks out. As my mom says, you can do anything for a little while. If I were in your shoes I would enlist Marko, your mom, and Rose to take Kate/shore up your morale/refill your wine, start on a Friday and just grit your teeth through those 3 nights. Maybe take Friday off if you can and start Thursday, so that hopefully Adam will be sleeping better by Sunday and you can catch up a bit before work Monday.

I see it as a few horrible nights with a clear end in view versus endless horrible nights with no sense of when it'll get better. You are the mom and this is probably just the first of many times you'll have to practice "tough love" with your kids.

You've got the whole Internet supporting you and cheering you on. Heck, given the time difference, if you start to freak out at 3 a.m. because Adam is wailing, you could probably phone some of us in the States for a pep talk. Let me know if you want my number. (^_^)

I've read some, but not all comments, so forgive any reapeats. A couple of suggestions:

-I have one good sleeper/one not so good. I have a little air purifier/fan in the good sleeper's room (white noise) to help drown out the noise from bad sleeper. This may help Kate, if you haven't done it already.

-I have done CIO, but a little modified for my piece of mind. I put my daughter down and say goodnight/give kisses, etc. Then I sit in the rocker, or on the floor near her bed. I say one time that it's time for 'night, night', 'sweet dreams', etc. After that ONE time, I say nothing, don't look at her, don't talk at all. It's hard, but once they realize you aren't going to play/talk/etc., they will stop crying. It's hard, because you are there when the baby is crying, but it I felt at least that she knew I was there for her, but at the same time, it was time for her to sleep.

-I see that people have suggested that you have people help you - which is a great idea, especially when you need a break. However, it has been my experience that my kids will act one way for me (badly!) and one way for their grandmother/aunt/etc (great!.) The kids need to know what YOUR rules and expectations are.

-Be consistent, don't give in. Never let 'em see you sweat :). Honestly, this is probably the most important part.

End of assvice. Good luck - you are a wonderful mother, never doubt that, no matter what.

I agree with the lovey and or crib mobile/aquarium idea. I also think you should try CIO, definately not until he gets sick, but give it 15 minutes. I know my DH used to help me stick to CIO. We'd lay together in bed and he'd stop me if I tried to get up. He'd be the strong one for me and to tell me it's OK. Try enlisting Marko's help over the weekend when neither of you have to work the next day.

I have a 6 month old. Well almost 7 now. We've been going through pretty much the same things you have with my baby, Will. He is used to taking a bottle to bed. He also will Cry till he starts to Gag and make himself sick. So my rule is as long as he isn't doing that "hysterical" crying, I stand right outside the room and go in as soon as he starts, because he can't settle himself down. If he is just fussy I let him try to settle himself. Then I go in and try to rub his back, pat his bootie, and then see if that works, if it doesn't, I pick him up and then hold him, if that doesn't work, bottle. I'm trying to make a bottle a last resort. I'm not a fan of crying it out because maybe I'm a wimp but maybe I just really dont' have a kid that can take it. My goal is to make what works for all of us. A lot of the issues is he wants to see me and make sure I'm there. I removed all the toys from the crib, made his room black dark so he doesn't have anything to look or play with. All the mobiles and all kept him up longer....because he was too interested in them. Also I have a fan going on low speed and not facing him but the noise helps. I also have one of those 'Heartbeat' bears. A lot of times I just have to roll him on his side when he's screaming, rub his back, his nose, and eyebrows and just calm him to sleep.

Our bedtime routine is a bath when he starts to get fussy with the Johnson's bedtime bath which has stuff to calm them, get him out and massage him with that lotion, and he has learned that it's bedtime after that, and usually he gets a bottle when he is going to sleep. I make sure he doesn't eat a few hours before so he gets a full tummy.

Hope this helps. I know how difficult it can be!

Hi Tertia,

A thought: can you sleep in the same room as him, but not in the same bed?

I like the other suggestions about routines & CIO, too, of course. But this may help instead of or as well as one of those. If you're in there too, trying to sleep, rather than being awake and ignoring him, maybe you can get some sleep as well as teach him that he doesn't get full attention at night time so he might as well sleep.

You can use earplugs if you're worried you'll wake up constantly. And if he's in his bed he can see you, and still learn that you're there for him, and he's not alone. But you won't soothe him every time he makes the slightest noise. Also, if you're not sleeping in the same bed as him, it's a lot easier for you to sneak out when he IS asleep and get back into bed with Marko again.

I know with my daughter, I like sleeping near her because I can be lazy and not move very much to soothe her. She goes back to sleep very easily and rarely (not never, but rarely!) wants to play at night. I don't soothe her the second she makes a noise. I leave her for a little while and see if she'll go back to sleep, which she does, often.

However, of course, the opposite side of the coin is that it's harder to get 15 mins, 35 mins, 10 mins, 20 mins of sleep than it is to just be awake the whole time. At least, it's harder for me. I rarely get that any more, THANK GOD.

So maybe that ain't a good idea for you. What do you think?

I, as G&D as I am, was apparently a lot like Adam. My mother, in the end and in a sleep deprived state, bought me a full size bed (which is G&D and I still have) built pillow walls upon it and stuck me in there with every imaginable toy she thought would not kill me in some fashion. I think that night was her first, of many, good nights' sleep.

I don't have as sleep depriving a son as you, though he does have his moments. Many of them currently. I have learned to tell when he is crying because he is tired (where upon he can CIO, at least until my husband will go in and cuddle with him) or when he is a manic frenzy. When the manic frenzy cries come, I have to do the following:
1. talk myself out of running away to a deserted isle
2. pick him up and cuddle in bed together
3. try to soothe him
4. try to talk my self out of running away from home again as he cries as if I have put him on a bed of nails, continue to soothe.

Once I am done moving: he is so getting his own G&D bed.

From a mom who has slept 12 hours (not straight through, though she has fantasies) in three days...

julie: we put him to bed at 630 as usual, but he kept waking up crying with gas -- finally slept at 830.
julie: AND SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT until 630.
julie: !!!!!
tertia: hate you
julie: hahahaha, he kicks adam's ass.
tertia: this is like tell a person they are pg while the other person has just received a BFN. or eating chocolate cake in front of someone who is dieting.
tertia: weeping now at your insensitivity
julie: i am doing a dance of superiority.
julie: waggling my pelvis to and fro.
tertia: and any way, adam has hair
julie: i'm comfortable with that.
julie: i can buy charlie a wig.
tertia: just use off cutting from your 'fro down below
julie: but you! you cannot buy adam some sleep!
julie: ha ha ha HAAA.
tertia: asshole

I had a train that attached to the crib railing, and played music for a long time. When my son woke up, I'd go in there, reset the music, pat him, or adjust the covers, and tell him firmly "It's nite time, it's time to sleep, Goodnite, little one. 15 minutes and then he was out for the rest of the nite. It took 4 nites, decreasing each time.

You're really not going to lose anymore sleep than you already are by trying this. The difference is that you'd be progressing in the right direction. I don't think it'll get better, as long as you keep picking him up. You might try adding some 'white noise' in Katie's room - a fan, or a very low radio, to block out Adam. I have a feeling she'd put herself right back to sleep tho, if you didn't rush in there.

Giving him a bottle to make him stop crying is also reinforcing the fact to him, that you've got to be there for him in order to fall asleep - again... he's engaging you to be involved with him at nitetime.

He is very strong willed, and smart too. All the more reason to get a handle on this. Strong willed kids test EVERYTHING, and you need to find your groove with him, so you're running a peaceful household, and not him.

I admire your researching every source and being able to ask for help.

Here's what worked for me, I hope it helps you. When my kids were old enough not to need to nurse or have a bottle at night, but were still waking to play or just out of habit, I would go into their room, leave the lights off, lay them back down and pat their backs for a few minutes. I didn't talk to them - I wanted them to get the picture that this is not playtime or social time. I would then leave for 10 minutes and if they were crying, I'd go back in a repeat the whole scenario. This definitely means that you don't get sleep for a night or two, but once he realizes that he's not going to be played with or get out of his bed he will (probably, hopefully) stop waking. You are a great mom and you will figure this out in way that is comfortable for you. Good luck!

I really sympathize with you, Tertia. My son is 15 mos. old and was a terrible nighttime sleeper from about 4 mos to about 10 mos - the toughest 6 mos of my life. I felt the same way about CIO as you do - I kind of wanted to try it, but just couldn't bring myself to let him wail (and it sounds like he was very much like Adam, easily got himself worked up, so much so that he was all congested and mad and seemed far from sleep). We, too, have been rocking him to sleep since about 4 or 5 mos. Bottomline, we never did do CIO. By the time we were desperate enough to try it, he was already sitting up or standing up in his crib, which made it seem even more impossible. The good news is that he started to become a better sleeper all on his own by around 10 mos and around 11 mos he was sleeping through the night most of the time. And, we still rock him to sleep at night because we enjoy it - takes about 5 -10 minutes and it's some nice snuggle time with our boy. Not much advice, I realize, but just wanted to say that I have pretty good idea what you're going through and I hope it works out for you, one way or another.

We eventually did a little bit of CIO when Peanut was >6mo (I'm a bad mom who doesn't remember when exactly). I say a little bit because it seriously took less than a week for her to get good at getting herself to sleep.

One thing that is standing out to me in so many other posts is the people that had success either staying in the room with Baby or going in to check/reassure Baby every so many minutes. We found the exact opposite was necessary. If we stayed in the room, Peanut would fuss a bit, drop off to sleep, and just when you were convinced that she was 100% asleep and try to leave the room, she'd wake up and scream with outrage that you were leaving. It didn't matter how long you stayed with her or how quietly you tiptoed out of the room.
If we went in to calm her down after 5-10 min, she'd figure we were there to rescue her and scream in outrage that we were in the room and she wasn't yet out of her crib. We had to put her down and leave her alone and let her get to sleep without any interference.

If it makes you feel any better, she still didn't stay asleep the whole night but woke about once or sometimes twice for snacking and snuggling until she was about 14 months. She's 19 months now and routinely sleeps through from 8:00 to 7:00 and it is a beautiful thing.

I've skimmed the comments (and I love Molly's 12 step program).

I agree. Do CIO. Do it the way the doctors say. It will be fine.

Yes, they cry when they need things. They also cry and scream to get attention that they just want. Frankly, it looks like you're letting Adam manipulate you. He screams, it upsets you, and you go running. He is invoking all of your fears just to get some playtime. I understand that he doesn't have the capacity to realize all of what he's doing, but you've put yourself in the situation where that's what's happening. Obviously Adam is not going to change this, so you should. You need to.

My assvice:

1) Make a decision. *Today*. You have way more than enough knowledge to make this decision. You don't need a countdown to make this decision. You just need to make it. MAKE IT!

2) Implement that decision TODAY. If you decide to do CIO, then start tonight. It's not getting better, Tertia. A countdown is not necessary. The sooner you start and do it, the less time you spend full of anxiety about it.

I hope everything works out, regardless of what you choose. You are a great mom.

Tertia, this is going to sound totally ridiculous but have you tried white noise? I have a CD called Hush Baby that is a miracle product. If my baby is fussing, I turn it on and within seconds he melts. We leave it on repeat all night and he sleeps like an angel, 11 hours. I'm not bragging, I'm just saying that I truly believe we owe it all to Hush Baby!!! As long as he's not hungry, it works. you can order it online, hushbabycd.com

Dear Tertia,
I have been reading your blog for a while now and it's one of my favorites. You and your family are simply gorgeous & divine to the max! I have never chimed in before but I felt compelled to share my opinion today.

My daughter is only 11 weeks old so I have not "BTDT" as regards the sleeping issue...I stay at home, so it's OK if she keeps me up at night since I can nap w/ her during the day. But as someone who is keen to research every aspect of parenting and childcare, I have read quite a bit about the whole infant sleep thing, same stuff you have. I've also followed a debate board on BabyCenter (yes, that same site that asked the ridiculous question about infertility and family size) that basically argues CIO vs. non-CIO. It's been very interesting and the regulars there (on both sides of the issue) are very well-informed. So from reading posts there for the past year, here are my thoughts:

1. CIO, whatever one may think of it, does seem to work for the majority of babies if they are developmentally ready for it (doesn't Weissbluth say 4-6 months?).

2. However, most parents who do CIO sleep training end up having to "re-train" periodically when there is a growth spurt, a change in routine, etc.

3. For some "high-needs" babies CIO absolutely WILL NOT WORK. For particularly determined babies, it will become a test of wills and the parents will not "win". The baby will keep screaming and screaming and screaming.

4. It sounds like Adam might be one of those aforementioned tots.

SO...

My opinion, FWIW (and I know that ain't much! - no sleep consultant I) - is that you should try to avoid the CIO, BUT start laying down the law at night. Meaning no light, no playtime. He cries, you go in, pat his back, don't talk to him, hang out until he falls asleep again, repeat. If he cries and won't be consoled, rock him, but in a businesslike manner - no playing, minimal talking, no lights on. (When my daughter is wakeful at night I nurse her and then rock her with white noise playing in the background - try the fan or the babbling brook at www.iserenity.com.) And I think it is fine to let him "fuss" a little in his crib; maybe hang out right out of his sight until you know whether the fussing is going to escalate into crying (in which case you should go to him and pat or rock as described above, with minimal interaction) or wind down into sleep.

Perhaps Marko could try this routine w/ him? I know you said that he can't calm A. down, that only you or Rose can, but the change in nighttime caretaker might throw him off enough to change his habits. And perhaps Marko would be better at the "minimal interaction" since he is not in the habit of doing otherwise w/ A. at night. Just an idea.

The pragmatic reason I would not let him cry (regardless of my feelings about whether CIO is "right" or "wrong" etc.) is that with a strong-willed babe it seems likely that crying will just agitate him further and that he might become hysterical if not tended to...and I definitely think it's a bad idea to continue w/ CIO in that case.

It seems to me that after a few really "boring" nights from A's perspective, he may stop being such a night owl. I don't know if I agree with others who have suggested that you limit his daytime sleep in order to induce him to sleep more at night - one of the sleep experts (Weissbluth?) says that "sleep begets sleep" and it seems to hold true for my daughter - if I try to keep her up in the daytime, she just gets overtired and seriously fussy and cranky and hard to put to sleep for the night.

But hey, what do I know. This is just what I think I would do in your situation. Keep us posted. I agree that you've got to get your rest.

Oh, one more thing. I really don't think (from reading others' experiences) that if you don't sleep-train now, it means you won't be able to do it later. From what I can tell, babies go through phases of good and bad sleep whether they have been sleep-trained or not, and whatever routines you set up for them now will not necessarily work in 6 months - conversely, if nothing "works" right now, that doesn't mean it won't work in 6 months.

Best of luck!

~Piegirl

(The BC board is at www.babycenter.com/community under "Baby"/"Great Debates"/"Crying: Go to your child or let him be?")

Oh, and CIO. DO IT. It will give you your life back.

I say try the 5 minute CIO thing. It's going to be hard but shit, you've exhausted every other option and you need some sleep girl. You've already set ground rules. You won't let him cry 'til he pukes (or in my case shits himself; like Elle did) which is obvious evidence of distress. At least to me, it is. So try the 5 minute thing. And to cut down on the noise thing for Kate, maybe get her one of those little whitenoise machines. You know, the ones with the waterfall, ocean type sounds? I wish you luck, my friend.

I'll be there soon enough, I'm sure!

My assvice:

Take Kate to your mom's for the weekend.

Try Monica's (monica.typepad.com) modified CIO technique.

While he is crying (if he is crying) keep reminding yourself that he's not scared, he's angry. He wants you to play with him.

Good luck my dear, I hope you get some much-needed rest soon.

P.S. You're one my all-time favorite bloggers.

I'm mostly a lurker but I read every day. I love your blog. For us CIO was all or nothing. My daughter M is 8 months old and at around 6 months she started refusing to sleep through the night. This was a big shock to us because she had slept through the night since she was 2 months old. We introduced a lovey, put her on a schedule during the day and began the CIO process. We waited a few days after starting her schedule and introducing the lovey before we tried nighttime training. I admit I still rock her during the day for naps. But if she's still awake after finishing her bottle I put her in her bed awake and she will now go to sleep on her own. The first day she cried for 40 minutes. There were no real tears, just screaming and throwing a major fit. The next day she cried for 15 minutes, then 10, then 5...now she almost never cries. She does still fuss but only for a few minutes. At bedtime we started doing the same thing and after a week she was going to bed at 8 and waking up at 6:30! We still have the occasional night waking, but now I know it's because she really does need something. She'll wake up and "sing" to herself if she wakes up and gets bored. If she starts crying she's usually just thirsty and after a drink of water she is ready to go back to bed. We also put a fan in her room since it is summer here and that helped a lot. We're looking for a loud air purifier to use in there during the winter so it has the same noise.

I also had the same issue you have with her crying. I worked so damn hard to have this baby and I just hate seeing her cry. It breaks my heart. I don't want her to be upset or scared for any reason. I cried the entire time she cried those first few nights. It was horrible. But it did work and she's a much happier baby now. It sounds like Adam will benefit from CIO if you can be consistant. I wouldn't recommend trying it if you can't stick to it though. I'm not a "book parent" so I just went with my instinct for CIO. If I thought she had cried to long I would have went to her. I think books for parenting are pretty useless. They just make me worry and stress more. Do what feels right for you. Maybe CIO will make Adam less of a PITA.

oh! I just read the commenter who suggested a aquarium! Excellent idea - a nite light, soothing sound, and distration/relaxation all at the same time. She also said maybe skip his bath. Because he cries so much getting dressed, this might mean the bath over stimulates him, and maybe even the massage. Maybe save those for mornings or daytime? Maybe the transition from relaxing bath to getting dressed is too much of a stretch for him.

I don't think reassuring him by talking that you're still there will help. That's still engaging him, and he might learn that you won't pick him up, but you will talk to him... which is better than nothing in his viewpoint. Just a firm goodnite, and that's that.

Also, everyone has great advice, and I think that's wonderful. My generation was really isolated - the beginnings of lack of family nearby, working moms more prevalent, the beginnings of all the "expert" books coming out, so we learned not to trust ourselves, or be confused cause each book said something different. Plus... we didn't have the internet. I envy new moms so much these days. So write down a list of the statements that reasonate within you, and set up your plan and routine. Cause trying something new every couple of days isn't going to work, either. Consistancy is the key.

No first hand experience here, but what if Marko put Adam down? I know it wouldn't start out well, but would it work eventually? Maybe Adam knows exactly what it takes to get you to do what he wants and won't have the same sense with Dad. It might work.

Sorry if this is a repeat - I didn't get a chance to scan through the other comments. And since it isn't firsthand experience, it's totally disregardable, if you'd prefer.

I forgot the most important thing. You HAVE to get Marko on board. Explain to him that you can't do it anymore, you have to sleep. It's teaching Adam to sleep, you quit working, or he starts to get up with Adam every other nite. The second two options don't, however, accomplish the most important thing - which is to teach Adam self-soothing measures, which are important in so many areas.

What happens when Marko goes in to check on him? Just curious as you mention that only you, your mom, & Rose can settle him.

I'm pregnant and very interested in what you do to get him to make it through the night. Its my first and I'm very scared of the all night crying fests.

I sympathize with your dilemma. Is Adam trying to crawl yet? I found that when James was mastering a new skill, his favorite time to practice was at 2 a.m. :-/ We tried CIO with disastrous results. James was about 8-9 months old, newly crawling so my solution was to put a blanket on the floor in his bedroom and sleep there while he crawled over my basically comatose body. He had the freedom he wanted and my presence. Because I was sleeping, he couldn't engage me in any manner and he quickly learned that sleeping mom=no fun and would lay down next to me and go to sleep. Desperate times call for desperate measures. :-) Good luck!

6:30 may be way too early for him. Like others have said, he may just need a late afternoon/evening nap, then play for a bit, and then he can go to bed about 9:00. My son does this a lot (10 mos.)

I think the problem is that you're assuming two completely different people should have the exact same sleep pattern.

Send Kate to your Mom's for the weekend. Try starting the bedtime routine earlier so he finishes his bottle before he falls asleep. Put a toy/animal/etc in his crib. Let him cry when he wakes up. Just do it.

Commit to yourself to try it for one weekend, if it doesn't work, you can try something else the next week. But you can't do it half-assed.

I tried for a few months to get my daughter off her one nightly feed - I knew it was out of habit rather than need. It finally happened when I left her alone with her dad for two nights.

Her nightly feed was given by breast, so seeing as her dad was missing those, they sorted it out on their own. When I came home problem was solved. :-)

Don't be so hard on yourself if you can't bear to use the CIO method not matter how modified I never could stand it myself) Everyone parent and every child is different. You have to listen to your inner voice, then you will know how to parent your child at that time. The crazy things about babies is that things change all the time! Sure, the ability to put yourself back to sleep is a great skill but some it better than others as you have alredy seen.

You've alrady gotten some great tips about looking at his nap schedule etc... One thing that was a problem for my dd was that she had a tiny tummy and liked to eat frequently but small amounts (at 5 yrs old still prefers to eat this way) so getting through the night was always tough.

Also my dd went to bed very late as an infant 9-10pm and used to get up about 8am (with two naps). I liked that schedule as I work full time so I had a few hours to spend with her and also time to shower in the AM before she got up.

Be kind to yourself....this like all phases in your life as a parent will pass one way or the other.

Julia

Couldn't read all of the comments, so sorry for repeats...

I found with my daughter (18mo), daytime sleep did affect night time sleep. As soon as she was getting enough sleep during the day, she would sleep during the night. I am of the camp that believes if you take sleep away during the day, you are screwing yourself for the night. Even now, if my dau misses her nap there's a really good chance she'll wake up at night, and most certainly will wake up earlier the next morning.

Can't remember how old Adam is, but I do believe he's old enough that he doesn't need to eat at night. Of course, you are the best judge of this.

Earlier bedtime may help, too. My dau has always (since about 2mo) gone to bed at 6pm, sometimes a little earlier. She's now at 7pm, so it does eventually move a little later. I know that your baby going to bed so early when you are getting home from work in the evening is not all that great, but I do think you have to consider what you are giving him (hopefully wonderful, uninterrupted sleep), and yourself (ditto), and go with it. If your job allows you flexibility, perhaps start earlier in the day and get home a little earlier? The other thing about an earlier bedtime -- I've found my dau routinely sleeps til 6am. Some people ask why I don't keep her up later so she'll get up later. Well, because if I keep her up later, she still gets up at 6am, and is all pissy and sleepy to boot. Not worth it.

Other thoughts: Consistency in bedtime routine (sounds like you have), naptime routine that is similar to bedtime routine, consistent naps (i would get him on a schedule, albeit one that is in accord with his internal clock -- you can fiddle with it a little at a time as needed), perhaps some white noise for kate's room so you're not so worried about him waking her up. Also, we've found that telling the baby "it's time to go to sleep" over and over is helpful -- crazy, but for us, true. Perhaps this will become more helpful as he gets older.

Remember, you are the parent. You are doing your job when you are making sure adam gets the sleep he needs. You are doing your job when you are teaching him to go to sleep on his own. You are doing your job when you teach him to sooth himself back to sleep. Parenting isn't all warm and fuzzy moments; there will be plenty of times when we will piss our kids off by doing something that is in their best interest. The measure of good parenting isn't always how your kids feel about you. Kids need to experience boundaries; they are not able to navigate this world alone and need you to guide them through this stuff. CIO will be hard hard hard, but I believe, from my experience, adam will be better off, as will you. Good luck.

Hi Tertia! I love reading your blog but I've never commented before. Here are my 2 cents on sleep issues (I have a 16 month old girl). I do firmly believe you have to find an approach YOU are comfortable with -- if not, it just won't work.

1. Do not -- I repeat, DO NOT -- try CIO unless you are really, really, really ready and can stick to it. If you let him cry for a while and then fold, you will make things worse (hard as it is to imagine). Especially with such a clever little bloke as Adam seems to be.

2. The one trick that always helped us was, until our daughter was a year old, waking her up between 10-11 pm and giving her a bottle/nurse. This might be useful if Adam is not drinking all of his bedtime bottle.

3. One thing I have heard of that works with some kids is to let them CIO, but with you in the room. You don't talk to them or take them out of the crib -- pretend to be asleep -- but you are there. I am not sure if this helps the kids more or the parents, but it seems to be a technique that works for some.

4. Some kids -- and I hate to say this -- just don't sleep well until they are older. Adam and Kate are what, 6 months? Our daughter was a pretty good sleeper but didn't REALLY sleep through the night until 1 year. Not to say that you can't do something about the 2 am play dates with Adam, but I think some people expect too much out of young babies.

Good luck! Sleep stuff can be awful.

One other thing:

Babies are purpose built noise making devices. Look at the design; a big bellows, a connecting tube and a resonating chamber. The arms and legs are superfluous; the only reason they eat and shit is to keep their strength up so then can make a lot of noise if they have to.

Over the eons, natural selection has given rise to babies that make the loudest, most plaintive, most impossible to ignore cries. (Babies that just quietly wimpered died of hunger, cold or were eaten by saber tooth tigers or wolves.)

Do not beat yourself up over having a hard time ignoring the noises your precious little ultra hard to ignore cry generating machine. This machine is designed with the express purpose of making you pay attention to it. This machine has no malice. The machine cannot distinguish between its requirements and its wants. This machine only knows need, and been refined over the milenia to employ a virtually irreistiable strategy to try and get it's needs from you, no matter what. The pitch, tenor and volume are finely tuned to borrow into brain and cause you to be willing to do anything to make it stop. (Yes, it's freaking sci fi movie and I'm not kidding.)

But this little noise making machine he one vulnerablity. You are a human, not a machine. Even if this machine cannot distinguish between its wants and its requirement, you can. You can know when your cute little noise making machine is feed, burped, dry, clean, healthy. You can know if you're giving your machine enough love, attention, and affection And you can know when your cute little noise making machine is squalling for something that's not as important as your being well-rested and physically and emotionally health.

There is no reason that resist the urge to attend to your machine when it's making noise for no good reason should be easy. The machine is millions of years in development and is nearly perfect. You are fallible human being, burdoned by empathy, love and other human weakness. It's an unfair fight, but it's a fight you can win.

-TC

Usually just a lurker on your blog, but I figured, everyone else did, so why not weigh in with my $.02?

Anyway, I never really had to do CIO with either of my kids (now 4 and 1.5), but that said, I do believe it works. It sounds to me like Adam has learned a couple of bad habits -- he (a) does not know how to settle himself to sleep, (b) he likes to wake up in the night and play, and (c) he is rewarded for both of these things because he gets you to come in and play and help him go back to sleep. So, a couple of thoughts (these are all things I have done or still do with my kids):

(1) Adam has to learn how to go to sleep by himself. That means you need to start putting him down for naps and bedtime while he's drowsy, but awake, so that he can learn how to settle down in his bed. No rocking until he's asleep. No falling asleep with a bottle.

(2) Help him learn that when he's in bed, its time to sleep. Give him his lovey or blankie or whatever, put him in the crib, lay him down, pat him, and say "night night" (or whatever you want to say, just make it consistent). If he tries to get up or reaches for you, pat him, lay him back down, and say "night night" again. Turn off the light, turn on his mobile or aquarium or whatever, and leave the room.

(3) Decide -- ahead of time -- how long you will let him fuss before you go back in, but make it at least a minute. Use a watch, as a minute is much longer than you think it is. If he's still fussing at the end of your designated time, go back in, but DO NOT PICK HIM UP. Pat him, give him his lovey, tell him its OK, and repeat your "night night." Leave the room. Repeat process as needed.

(4) If he wakes in the night, use the same technique -- do not turn on lights, do not pick him up, do not give him a bottle. Make any mid-night interactions as brief and as uninteresting as possible. Pat him, give him his lovey, say "night night" and leave the room.

(5) Be consistent. You need to use the same bedtime routine everynight, so that Adam starts to learn the cues of when its time to sleep. I am a big believer in the pre-bedtime bath, as I really think it helps kids to relax. My kids are always easier to put to bed if they've had a bath first.

(6) Regulate his nap schedule -- he should take two naps during the day; one before lunch and one after. Make sure that after the afternoon nap, he has some good play time, so that he's worn himself out a bit before bedtime.

(7) Don't move back the bedtime. If he's falling asleep during his bottle, it suggests to me that he is tired by 6:30, and doesn't need his bedtime pushed back.

(8) Eventually, you should start to lengthen the window of time that you let him fuss before you go back in. Start with one minute, work up to two, etc.

(9) Treat bedtime as a happy time -- it should not feel like its sad or lonely to go to bed. Rather, just that its been a long and lovely day, and its time to rest, so that you can have another the next day. I think too many parents make bedtime seem stressful or unhappy and the kids pick up on this -- (not saying you necessarily do this, but I think lots of people do).

(10) Don't feel bad about doing what you need to do to get Adam to sleep. You need to sleep. He needs to sleep. Its a win-win situation for both of you. Look at it this way -- when he's two, and starts screaming in the store because you won't buy him a candy bar right before you go home for dinner, will you break down and buy it for him just because he cried? I assume the answer to that would be "No." Sleep is really no different, although for some reason, we all treat it as if it were.

Sorry so long; and sorry for so much advice (although you did ask...). In the end, you've got to do whatever works best for you and your family, regardless of what others think. But if you aren't getting enough sleep, its perfectly reasonable to try and make some changes. Good luck!

I'm wondering if it could be teething - if he's going after the bottle at night not because he's hungry, but because it's comforting to chew... and he's looking for comfort at night, too.

I'm just asking because a few times when I've been at my wit's end with cranky baby/sleepless mommy, it turned out to be teething or (once) an ear infection. Now I try a dose of pain medication when we hit a cranky time - just in case.

It's worth a shot anyway.

As for sleep methods - I have no opinion. We've tried everything, and my favourite method is whatever worked for that night and that kid - and that changed as the kids changed.

I can't offer you a solution, but I can sympathize. Good luck and best wishes.

Well, I don't know what good I can do except to say that my girl was EXACTLY like that. I just let her live HER schedule, though, until she was 2. Yes, 2 (two)as in TWOYEARSOLD. 2. Then one night, after nursing causedher to vomit pflegm due to a cold, I said, "No boobies tonight." She cried for 1.2 seconds and then SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER. She does sleep with us, though, but still. I could never do CIO at all. Didn't last 1 minute. But I bet it would have worked. I just wasn't able to determine that the cost was worth the benefits. I'm glad I let her lead the way. And I'm really glad she sleeps through the night now!

I'm confused about something... you said he falls asleep without finishing his bottle. Then later you say you "give in" and give him a bottle later in the night.

Why is that "giving in?" It sounds like he really might be hungry.

Have you tried giving him as much bottle as possible at bedtime and then another one at the 9/10/11 waking or at the 12:30 waking?

That works really well for some babies. Basically, you are cutting them off at the pass. I started by waking my son up a half hour before his usual time and feeding him. He really didn't wake all the way up, but he would eat and then he would sleep longer.

Another idea is to spend some one on one time with Adam after Kate goes to sleep. Either you or Marko could read to him or snuggle with him or anything else that really soothes him. That might set him up for a more restful sleep.

You'll find your way. Hang in there.

I just scanned the comments and it looked like everyone covered good ways to get Adam to sleep (I have to agree with dearest Mollie). As far as him waking Kate up have you thought of something to make white noise? We use a fan still in Xavier's room (and ours for that matter) and you would be shocked at how much sound it drowns out. Remember that you ARE a v wonderful mother and Adam knows how much you love him.

I wanted to pipe up and add:

-Not being comfortable with CIO does NOT mean a woman needs to grow a backbone. Good grief, that is really irritating the shit out of me.

-Babies who are not CIO trained do still learn to self-soothe eventually.

-Babies who are not CIO trained do not automatically grow into the dictator of the house or the two year old at the supermarket throwing a fit.

-Let's all try to remember that Tertia herself said she can't go longer than five minutes.

Tertia,
One thing I forgot to add...I agree that getting Marko invovled in this is important. Children do react differently to different parents. You both work full time, you both need to sleep, you both need to use every tool available to get through this.

We kinda worked backwards. We let the boy stay up as late as he wanted for the first couple months since we both stay up til midnight anyway. Then we worked towards an earlier bedtime by putting him down when we thought he looked tired. We don't let him CIO but if we know he is very tired and will not stop crying even if we hold him we do set the egg timer for 5 minutes before we go back to reassure him. He now goes to bed between 9 and 10 and usually sleeps through til I wake him up to feed him at 6:30. Although the more we tell people this the more he seems to wake up in the night! To teach him to put himself to sleep we often put him down awake, talk calmly to him and go in to reassure him when he cries.

Tertia-

I have totally had the crazy feeling in the middle of the night. You only gave brief information about Adam's daytime routine. He needs to sleep less in the day. Rose, who is now insisting on CIO, needs to keep him awake more during the day. He needs only 2 naps in the day. Not short ones- long. He needs to be awake the rest of the time. Also try keeping him up later. Let him sit in that crazy SA chair or a bouncy you have and watch you eat your dinner or take your shower or "play" with Marko.

Let Marko wrestle him for a few hours. When you are ready for bed then pop in the bottle and let him sleep. Also, I don't have a problem with the night time bottle. If he goes back to sleep faster- go for it. Wipe his little mouth after. I did do Ferber after a lot of nights where it took me 45 minutes+ to get my son to sleep. He did not sleep through the night until after 8-9 months. Alert babies sleep less. After you get him sleeping well at night, you can start moving that bedtime up gradually. Kate does not seem to be bothered by his screams, so let him. It hurts you way more than him. If you cannot do CIO, then you are going to have find and alternative that you can live with even if it means less sleep.

The babes love you and will continue to whether you CIO or not. Hope you find answer. I wish deep restorative sleep.

Yes Kathleen, we all remember that T said she can't go longer than 5 minutes. We get that it's irritating you. But lets just remember this...It's NOT WORKING FOR HER! It is time to try another tactic. All we're doing is attempting to support her in CIO.
He may learn to "self soothe" eventually. Or not. But she needs, for her own sanity, to do this now! And this is the quickest way to teach him. Noone is giving Tertia a hard time.

If Tertia was completely opposed to the idea of CIO, and was in no way prepared to consider it, then none of us would be here telling her to do it, or how to do it. The fact is, however, that she has been wanting to get this going for a long time now. By people saying she needs a "backbone" (which you know people mean lightly, and are not trying to offend), they/we are just stressing the importance of sticking to her guns, if she does start this.

This is harder for her and Adam, if she goes at this in a half assed way.

I see that you probably have issues with CIO. And that's ok. But Tertia was asking for our opinions. Try not to be offended by them, just because they may be different to yours.

First you need him to finish that bedtime bottle.

Does he really need a bath every night? Most experts agree the answer on this is no. You can move up the bottle time then. It's seems like it is making him too sleepy to carry on. Alternatively, can he drink his bottle while you massage him?

Second, can he be fed dinner earlier? Can Rose feed him? If you have your heart set on feeding him, I totally get that. But it seems he isn't hungry for his bottle, the gets too sleepy from the bath. If he is going to stay on the schedule you have him on, I would leave him naked after the bath till he wakes back up for the bottle, give him the bottle then put him down.

Third, I've never done CIO as a form of sleep training, and I think most people are too quick to jump to it, but Adam is a textbook case of a kid who needs it. So just do it. But do go in every 5 minutes and let him know you are there. DOn't touch him or talk to him just re-arrange him so he's comfy and leave.

'cause once he can stand up you can forget about this being an option!

Delurk
I did not have time to read all of the length comments. With my twins I had one who did the same thing as Adam. I just let her do it. I know it seems like it will never end but it did. Eventually, she just stopped waking up to talk to herself in her crib.
I never did CIO with my girls. I just could not handle it.

Going back into lurker mode :)

I haven't read all of the above comments, am looking forward to it as I have a 2 year-old problem-sleeper. He vomits after crying for 5 minutes or so. Every single time. So we have not been able to do CIO, even if we desparately want to.
Thank you for posting. I hope we both get some more sleep soon!!!

P.S

I never did even a modified CIO with my daughter until she was past 1 year (just didn't have the heart/backbone/mental fortitude/whatever). So DO NOT feel bad about it being hard to hear Adam cry at 6-7 months.

I did a lot of soothing with the baby in the crib -- patting, sshing, etc. between 6-12 months. I found I could stick to the rule of "baby stays in the crib all night" very well, even if she was crying and pissed, but the rule of "let the baby cry and I'll go in the other room," not so much. And if mommy can't stick to it, it ain't gonna work.

I second/third/fourth the suggestion of a "pre-emptive bottle" at the first waking (9/10/11).

You can do it!!!!!

The only advice I feel qualified to give on this subject is *The Starving Artist Sound Proofing Technique (TM). In my youth I lived for several years in various "hippie pads" (old houses with thin walls and a lot of bed rooms) and the easiest/cheapest way I found for getting a peaceful sleep was this: Take ALL the blankets I wasn't using and drape the room with them. Walls generally needed one layer but doors usually needed two. (one inside, one outside) It is truly amazing how well even one fuzzy blanket over the doorway cut down the noise of my roommates incessant chatter. In a fully blanketed room (I only had one small enough to do this) even the sound of my roomies' dogs going ape shit over someone pounding on the front door was reduced to a v. dull and v. muffled noise that was easy to ignore.

~Adi V.

* Do Not blanket windows or heating vents and keep EVERYTHING at least 8" away from the front & 18" away from the top of baseboard heaters. Also doors need some room left clear at the bottom for free flow of air and any household cats.

I'm 30, childless, and an insomniac (a condition, which, I'll have you know, has absolutely NOTHING to do with my coffee addiction!). So I'm afraid the most help I can offer is that I'll take the night shift and entertain Adam when I get back home to SA again!

I didn't read any of the comments but wanted to tell you our experience. I can remember at least four different times this first year that I would be absolutely ovwerwhelmed with the sleep issues. I found the issue typically worked itself out. About the night bottle: I gave my Eddie a bottle in the middle of the night from 3-9 months on - everyone screamed at me "you are going to have a night-feeder, he doesn't need it 'nutrionally', thats wrong, he will never sleep through." He slept through fine when he was ready and hasn't had a "night" bottle since he was 9 months. Lovey: We gave both Eddie and Anna a doll that they both didn't show much interest in at first but now I notice they use it to babble to, hug, etc. Eddie is great friends with Clancy. BedTime: After trying to keep them up so they would sleep, I decided to put them to bed at 6 pm instead. It worked perfectly. They watch a 15 minute video every night from 5:45 - 6:00 pm and that is there cue that it's time for bed. There are those that will say you should never have them watch a video before bed but it works like a charm for us. They have seperate rooms but they watch the video from Anna's crib - when it's over we pick them up, give them a four ounce bottle and put them in their cribs. Bottle at Bed: We do it, every night and at nap time. They love it and when others threaten they will never sleep without it then I just remind myself that it works for us and I doubt at 10 they will need a bottle to go to bed. In our house, we do what works and we don't worry about the experts. NapTime: Naps were the hardest for us to get going - we kept trying the morning and afternoon and it never worked - now we do a two hour morning nap and it works great. The best part about our schedule is my husband and I have time together at night which is so important to us. I was obsessed with checking out other schedules for ideas so I will share ours:

5 - 5:30 - Wake, bottle
5:30-7 - Play
7 - breakfast
7:45 - 8:45 - PLAY
8:45 Video together in Anna's crib
9:00 am - seperate in own crib - 4 ounce bottle
11:00 am - wake
11:00 -11:45 PLAY
11:45 - Lunch
12:15 - we usually go out and do something - shopping, visit friends, etc.
2:30 am - 3:30 play or tub if a tub night
4:00 - dinner
4:30 - daddly play time until 5:45
5:45 - video in anna crib
6:00 bottle, good night in own cribs
Sleep through, repeat the next day.

On the subject of waiting until he is older - DO NOT WAIT. I have an almost 6 year old who JUST TWO MONTHS AGO learned how to NOT wake up Daddy or Mommy for every little thing in the middle of the night, and it wasn't a cheap feat to accomplish...you have to bribe them. With toys. And they know what the good ones are at that age!

Whatever you do, do it soon - he will never remember it. My almost 6 year old, however, will probably write a book on the ill effects of child bribery one day just because he couldn't pull the sheet up in his bed by himself.

I can't give you much advice, I am very 'to each his own', but I will give you my experience.

My oldest daughter was very mixed up re: days and nights. Around five months, I was very sick, and my husband had put my daughter down before he left for work (around 10pm). She started crying as soon as he left (about 10 mins later). I rushed into the bathroom to be sick, and by the time I came out--less than 15 mins later--my daughter was asleep. If she woke that night, I didn't hear her, but I'm pretty sure she did not.

I had never left her crying for more than a few SECONDS at that point, just to make a bottle or use the bathroom. I didn't realize she was capable of falling asleep somewhere besides in my arms.

The next night I was not sick, but decided to let her cry for a bit before getting her, in case this miracle happened again. She was awake for about ten minutes--I could hear her babbling-- but she did not fuss or cry at all, she just became quiet and I looked in. She was asleep!

My younger daughter I let cry around five months the same way, less than 15 minutes the first day. She did cry the second day, but only for about 6 or 7 minutes, and the third day no crying.

Although this may sound wonderful, I can say from reading others experiences over the years, it doesn't sound like the norm. I think you need to find something that works for you, something you are comfortable with. Also, I've heard if you try CIO, and it doesn't work within a week, the baby isn't ready. Don't know if it is true or not, as I never had to go there, just what I've heard.

Tertia, I'm a working mother, too, and believe me when I tell you that I feel your pain.

We have never done CIO, partly because we don't believe in it, and partly because it simply WOULD NOT WORK with our child. Every child is so different, what works for one will not work with the other.

I think you need to take a step back and think about whether or not you will a) really be able to do this, and B) what Adam's reaction will be. We never even thought about CIO because we knew it wouldn't work with our son's personality.

As for the late night, bottle/playing I say, give the bottle, skip the playing. Make it dark so that he can't see you to play. Make it very boring.

In the end, you may have to resign yourself to dealing with nightwakings. However, it's important to remind yourself that everything with babies is short term. Eventually he will sleep well at night even if you don't do anything.

FWIW, I actually think that Kate's the "abnormal" sleeper. You really won the lottery with her!

Didn't really read all the comments and don't have much constructive advice as I am parent of child who would puke if we did CIO and its only at 4 1/2 that we got him to sleep without us sitting in the chair in his room until he was out cold. All I can say is that Adam and my son sound like clones of each other and I feel for you. I've been there (including the having to go to work and pretend I was engaged in XYZ project) and it sucks. Also have a husband like Marko who responded to it by raising his voice at kid (as if that would work) and it made me more worked up and less likely to trade off (him do a night, me do a night).

If you find the magic cure, let me know before I have my next kid. :)

I'm not going to write a book and I obviously have no experience with this but just from your schedule I thought I'd ask if you've tryed feeding him before his bath. Perhaps that way he'll be awake enough for the entire feed so he won't wake up hungry later. Anyway, I hope you find something that works for you all soon.

You can do it, but only when you're ready! I would suggest that you enlist Marko in a weekend expedition to the land of CIO (followed by a lifelong vacation home in the land of regular sleep).

With our first we made the mistake of letting him set a schedule -- and we paid and paid and paid for that error. Luckily with #2 we had a plan, and all went smoothly.

I would suggest that you consider making his days a little more scheduled. Sounds to me like he might be getting too much sleep during the day, if he is up to play in the middle of the night. My first used to be "up for a party" at 3 am - 5 am (ugh). I doesn't matter that I was SAH with only one kid -- it utterly wrecked me for the next day. Of course I let him sleep in and take a long afternoon nap -- and guess what, up for a party again the next night. Blah.

My one cautionary advice is to say, don't do it until you're really, really ready. Half-hearted attempts at CIO just make it worse for when you are truly ready. The last thing you want to teach him is that if he puts up enough fuss, you'll cave in and give him what he wants.

Oh lordy i don't know. I had a good sleeper then a bad one, I was too lazy (or to tied) to do controlled crying with number 2 so I just aged 10 years instead through lack of sleep - she has just started sleeping through now at nearly 2 - before that it was 6 or 7 times a night every night....I guess what I am saying is either try to fix it or just live with it because eventually they do improve on their own.

I'm not going to read the other comments because I suspect its a big old CIO discussion and I've been there, done that. I'm just going to hit and run. Drop my comment and leave.

I did do CIO with my daughter ( I may have commented before) and it worked for us. It may not be your thing but I don't think it is something you can do a little or (I believe) you just teach them to cry *really* hard to get your attention.

I think Adam's sleep deprogramming is going to have to be a plan based on a 24 hour day. I mean, I think whatever you decide to do, you will need Rose to follow the plan during the day. Since you said he snoozes on and off during the day, maybe he needs to be on more of a napping schedule during the day (I know its a rythym and its working but maybe a new rythym would work during the day and carry over into the night).

Sorry I don't have any concrete advice on HOW to get him to sleep, only that I don't think its going to be something that can just be worked on during the nighttime hours.

Good Luck!

Tertia -

Congrats on the beautiful kidlets!

Sit down with Marko and discuss this with him. You both need to make a plan - how long will he cry? How long is too long? Who needs to get up? etc, etc...this way you'll both be on the same page and don't run the risk of anyone changing the rules mid-game.

Crying it out is brutal. I really, really didn't want to have to do it....then one night I woke out of a sound sleep, vaulted out of bed and smucked my head full tilt into the wall. Some times Mommy has to take care of Mommy.

Good luck, darlin'.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Adgator



  • Medsitters Au pairs

More Ads


| More

Alltop



Bloggy Stuff


  • Living and Loving


  • SA Blog Awards Badge




  • Featured in Alltop


  • Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape


  • RSS Feed
Blog powered by Typepad
This is the Reviews Design