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We want our bed back | My baby won't sleep alone

Parenting. The learning never seems to stop and I'm told it never will.

The smallest decisions that you make can seem to impact whole heaps of problems, like for example allowing Ethan to 'stay up' on holiday with us (bad move!!!). And like bringing him in to bed with us when he wakes up at night or in the morning.

See, we've got ourselves into a sort of sticky situation. A situation where we no longer seem to own our bed. A very nearly fifteen month old little boy who goes by the name of Ethan seems to instead.

Since coming back from holiday our sleeping arrangements have got a whole lot worse. No longer do we have 'evenings', we now have Ethan up with us right up until we choose to go to bed. And then when we do go to bed around 9pm to 10pm to watch television, he comes in too. And that means he's in the middle of us.

All night Adam and I sleep on the edges of our bed, scared that we'll make him too hot if we are too close to him, scared that he might roll under one of our pillows if they're near him, so they get yanked right off to the side. We get kicked, my hair gets pulled, we get hot, we wake up all night. It sucks.

In the beginning, it wasn't like this. It was nice. 'We like snuggling up with him' we said. And we do. But not like this. We are now in a situation where Adam and I get zero time alone together. We get zero amount of break from Ethan to recharge ourselves. And that second baby we'd like to have, well I can't see how that's ever going to happen since not only are we never alone in bed together, we are never alone together full stop.

So, now we're desperately searching for a solution.

Controlled crying seems like the only thing that we can do. We just cannot go forward like we are right now.

We've tried controlled crying with him before on a couple of occasions, I'm trying it right now as I type this. He's been crying for forty five minutes and I've been in a couple of times to reassure him but he doesn't seem to want to stop anytime soon. In fact, I think he just gets worse.

When we do go in to reassure him this just seems to make the situation ten times worse. And then there's our own personal guilt and our upset. It's not easy leaving your baby to scream, any parent knows that. All I can think is, does he think I'm abandoning him?

I ask myself - Would I take him out of school just because he was crying and he thought that I had abandoned him? And the answer is clearly no, I wouldn't. I'd reassure him that he was safe and that I would be coming back. Surely then, this is the same thing?!

If I go and get him like I have been doing, then I feel I am feeding his insecurity and am responsible for his clinginess that has been so bad lately. Ever since we've 'given in' and let him sleep with us, we've been unable to leave the room at anytime in the day, even to go to the toilet.

This isn't healthy for any of us.

I need to do something about this. But my heart and my head is torn. And I often feel alone with what quickly seems to become a situation that I don't feel I am able to control anymore. But I know deep down that I'm not alone. I've spoken to lots of other parents and they've been through this too. The health visitor is sending someone out to see us who she says is the 'baby sleep person' and I am counting down the days. We've hit a point where we literally need some support to get through this. Because it's driving us mad.



9 comments

  1. I'd personally never resort to controlled crying, it's so unnecessarily stressful for baby. We had the same issue so we did sleep training loosely based on the no cry sleep solution which I recommend looking into. Firstly though I'd start by getting him into a normal bedtime routine eg bath, bottle, story and bed at a certain time and stick to it. Our son now self settles and rarely wakes up in the night any more and we have our bed back! It's not been easy and we had some very sleepless nights but perseverance and consistency is key. On the first few nights it took me two hours to get hin to go to sleep but he did and from then on it got easier. There is hope and you don't have to do controlled crying, there are much nicer methods out there! Good luck!

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  2. Aw hun, I hope you manage to find a solution soon x

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  3. This is a tough one. We've had our eldest in bed with us for several nights in a row at different times but only when she's been poorly (teething, heavy colds etc). My husband always worries about her getting used to being in our bed but she hasn't, luckily. I'm not tough enough to leave them to cry but have loosely used the pick up and put down method, have a google. Whatever you try, good luck x

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  4. Let's Talk Mommy13 July 2014 at 04:57

    I hope the sleep specialist can set your mind at ease and give you great advice. I have found with control crying the first three times you do it it will last forever and going in does make it worse as they think that's it because they don't know what control crying is yet. So they will cry harder of course when they see you but after three days they will realize oh Mommy or Daddy is just checking in on me, and the crying will lessen and they will learn to self sooth and it will get easier if you are completely consistent. I did it with both of mine. Within a week I never had to go in and if they cried out it only lasted two minutes and they trailed off. It's important whatever you decide to try to stick to it for two weeks and be consistent. It's the only way you can teach them what they are supposed to be doing, sleeping. If you try a bunch of different things back to back they will not learn what command to follow or what you expect of them. Kids just need to train their body clocks as fast as it is to get out of a routine on holiday its that fast to get them back into one if you stick to whatever you decide. I hope all the blabbing made sense. Good luck and hope you get your bed back soon!

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  5. Hey! Just a quick comment, because we went through the same with our first and we try to avoid it with our second.

    Have you read 'the no cry sleep solution' by Elizabeth Pantley? It worked with our first and now I work with the book to avoid the same with baby 2!
    I am not a fan of controlled crying because I'm always worried that it might break their tiny heart. I really think you can help your kids to sleep in their own beds without leaving them to cry for hours.
    It takes a lot longer, that's for sure. But I can't stand to just listen to my baby cry for hours. It breaks my heart too!

    I hope you will find a way that suits you and your child!

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  6. Controlled crying is difficult but works wonders! That is what I did with my first child - she now sleeps in her own bed all night! I love it! Good luck!! xx

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  7. mummyofboygirltwins13 July 2014 at 19:37

    I really hope you get this sorted soon. It can feel just terrible when you're back to not sleeping properly again. I am quite a fan of routine, routine, routine so maybe try and get him back into one? And quickly, before he starts deciding your bed is his now!! We had this same situation a few weeks after one of my twins was ill; we got into the habit of bringing her in our bed so as not to wake her brother, however once she was better again, it was straight back to normal!! Good luck, it is hard but try to be a little tougher with it, as he'll need it as much as you! :) x x

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  8. I really understand your pain as my little boy is 14 months old too and has only ever slept through the night once. Not having any alone time in the evening is very hard isn't it?

    Not sure how to put this without it sounding patronising, but have you read up about controlling crying and why/how it works? It is very stressful and confusing for a baby (and of course horrible for you too!), especially if they have been used to being very close to you and sleeping in your bed.

    All of the gentle/No Cry solutions take a lot longer to implement than CC/CIO and it's obvious from your post that you are at breaking point and need a change to happen soon, but I would recommend to look into the other options and research around Controlled Crying so that you are aware of the possible long term effects now before you can't go back on it. Yes it works but it works because your baby learns that there is no point crying as you don't come.

    This may help explain better than I can: http://babycalmblog.com/2011/09/12/controlled-crying-miracle-cure-tough-love-or-dangerous-misunderstanding/

    I am sorry to type a negative comment and I'm sure this is the last thing you want to hear when you are so desperate for sleep but I have a friend who did Controlled Crying without researching it and was devastated afterwards when she read about how it can affect your child long term.
    I hope you start to get some more sleep soon and that the Baby Sleep Expert helps you xx

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  9. Argh I too have a very nearly 15 month old and in May (when he was 1) we started having real sleep issues - it is now getting better so I really feel for you. I have tried controlled crying and it doesn't work that well for my son, but you have to do what is the best for YOUR family. Our going to bed time is getting much better and this is what we have had success with: we started sitting by his bed laying him down every time he stood up, never talking. He did cry but one of us was right next to him and rubbing back helped. We sat until he was deeply asleep (snoring) about 30-45 minutes. After a couple of weeks I sat a bit further away, reading or ipad with my back to him, he whinges a bit, plays (we put a non spill beaker of water and he drinks from this too) and now settles to sleep himself (again it took half an hour each night), gradually I moved to sit at the doorway and now I sit outside and shush when he cries - the last 3 nights I haven;t needed to go in he settles himself with shushing. Ok so it's not a miracle cure and it takes ages but he settles a bit quicker each night so is definitely getting better. I really hope you find something that works for you. I know several people who have had great success with CC, I have tried it but each baby is different and it just doesn't work for my son. We still bring him into our bed when he wakes at 5 but I am starting the same routine as we use at night now in the morning (45 minutes this morning :( ) sleep is a nightmare, I really feel for you and hope you find what works for E soon x

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