This old gem…{Sleep please}

I am torn. I’m worried about Addison’s broken sleeping overnight but the sleep programs offer me nothing I can commit to.  Up until this point she was waking for a full feed so I know it was hunger. However after careful note taking, we’ve cracked her ‘solids’ issues and she’s eating more during the day, so when she does wake now, it’s for a two second feed on one side and then back to sleep. I know it’s habit and comfort for her and it doesn’t bother me once a night but it’s now moving into 2, 3, 4 times and I’m knackered. 
I am good at existing on very little sleep. I don’t need much. But after 8 months of it combined with my insomnia  I’m kinda dying. (My tolerance levels for people are dangerously low and I fear for the life of both the people upstairs and the leaf blower man.) Today, after a particularly rough night, I am actually in physical pain. I feel sick. I also worry what the broken sleep means for her. She needs a proper rest overnight and there are some days where I can see she simply hasn’t had enough. And of course, she will currently, at most nap twice for 40 minutes to 1 hour only no matter how tired she is. What’s frustrating is, for a while there things were going quite well. Up once a night and two 1.5-2 hour sleeps. I thought I’d cracked it. Ha. Nothing like keeping you on your toes by completely reversing the situation huh, kid? But I know if I seek ‘professional’ help or even ask around, the most prominent advice will be to let her cry it out. (Followed by give her a formula top up. There is nothing wrong with my supply, it’s crazy abundant and again I know that hunger is no longer the issue.) I can’t do it. Shrug. I can’t.  Now, there are some of you who will think I’m a marshmallow hippy for refusing to take this route but I have my reasons. I will also state that if it’s what you do, excellent. I have no issue with whatever you do with your own child. You do what works for your family. 
Look, I have no problem with a baby and their settling cry, whinge etc. Sometimes they need to let off steam and settle this way. I don’t rush to Addison for every squeak. But I don’t believe that allowing a baby to scream hysterically in the middle of the night for hours is a good thing as some of the programs suggest. It’s simply too upsetting for me. Alongside this, is the fact we live in an apartment and screaming babies at 3am is going to affect everyone. 
I just wish there was some other alternative besides CIO or permanent co sleeping. (I’m not moving her into our bed. She likes her cot and settles down fine at the beginning of sleeps in there and I need my sleeping space.) So really, I’ve come to the conclusion that there is no other answer and until she is older and will sleep through, this is it. I have to accept the inevitable and live with it. Whilst staying away from smug women who regale you with tales of their perfect sleeping through 6 week old.
If anyone has ANY suggestions for me I am willing to take them. Perhaps you can offer up a version of the CIO that is less distressing? 
Or perhaps you could just deliver coffee. In very large amounts.

7 thoughts on “This old gem…{Sleep please}

  1. Rachel Thompson

    I’m another mum that doesn’t like to do CIO. With my first I tried quite a few things to stop the wake ups happening. I’m not sure what else you’ve tried but if you’ve ruled out hunger then you need to rule out what else is waking her up. Is she Cold? Hot? Needing a nappy change? Has a noise suddenly stirred her? (We put a very quiet radio in my sons room for a while or even white noise, to help keep a constant sound going) Is she having dreams? Is she currently learning a new skill? That can have her mind whirring more than usual leaving her unable to sleep.

    There are so many reasons little ones don’t sleep through and I know how hard it can be and how exhausted you must feel. My advice would be to do whatever you can do help – but just accept if you don’t know why she’s waking and just be there for her. As they say, we never remember the nights we got plenty of sleep! And also be kind to yourself – eat healthy foods, take naps if you can, let everything else go and put yourself first.

  2. Famille Renault-Koroschetz

    I am not for the let him cry either but, like you I had big big sleep issues. What i end up doing is be there for him, feed him but no talking or interaction other then feed and tap on the back with NO EYE CONTACT or he was tempted to talk back or look for a reaction. What I found, and still find hard is the lack of help from spouse… Just growling because he can’t sleep. Some days will be better then others, in the meantime coffee, or grab your phone to call me and complain. i am a good listener…

  3. Shevaun

    Shame Mez, I feel your pain. I was definitely of the more hard core CIO approach because I or my kids would prob have died if I didn’t get enough sleep but a good friend has just spent 4 nights at Tressilen (sp?) with her 9 month old who was waking up up to 9 x a night for a feed. They recommended no feed, no picking them up but you can stay with them and give them a firm pat til they fall back asleep. She says it took him about 4 nights to realize there wasn’t going to be any milk but it’s changed her life. Who knows but good luck and you will sleep again, one day! Xx

  4. Kyla @ Three Quarters Full

    I feel your pain, I’m ok with little sleep but interrupted sleep? Forget it! Totally wrecks me.

    For us the alternative to CIO was co-sleeping, our son wanted to be in our arms or close to us so we gave that to him – he used to scream himself into vomiting when we didn’t so the choice was kinda made for us. Late last year (at almost 3) he decided he was ready for his own bed and overnight moved into it. Best thing we ever did but is not for everyone… have you thought about doing half/half? D settles in his own bed and when he gets up to pee (sometime around 2am) he crawls into bed with us, I’m happy because he settles well in his bed and we get some time on our own but also happy because it means I have one interruption when he crawls over me and then we all sleep through the rest of the night.

    Sorry probably not the most helpful suggestion for you. I hope you find something that works for your family soon.

  5. theviblog

    My last baby is about to turn 5 next week so I am so out of the loop I don’t even know what CIO stands for! But I assume it’s something to do with whatr was called “Controlled Settling” in my day. With my first baby I had totally decided I wasn’t going to use it… but then I too got to 8months of no sleep and realised I couldn’t go on. The main thing that changed my mind was that even with 3 meals of solids and unlimited breast feeds he was acutally getting WORSE at night! He went from waking at 1.00 am for a quick top-up feed at 4 months to waking every 2 hours at 8 months.

    So I did it and after 3 nights he never looked back. Started sleeping from 6.30pm until 5.00am and I was a whole new person. However I might add that I still remember how tough those 3 nights were. So I guess what I’m saying is… your wellbeing is crucial to your daughter’s wellbeing. I hope you find something that works for you really, REALLY soon! Rach xxx

  6. Kylie Purtell

    I hated it when people used to say “You should do this” so I will just tell you what we did, take from it what you will.

    Mia started waking again 3 or 4 times a night for a ‘feed’ at about the same age, after previously having been quite an ok sleeper, only waking once early morning for an actual feed. Around 8-9 months there is huge developmental stuff going on, not only physically (learning to pull-up/stand, etc) but also mentally, which means babies often get more fussy and wakeful at this age. I knew that she didn’t NEED to feed 3 or 4 times, so I would feed her the first time she woke, but then the second and third times she woke up, Dave would go in, not me. He would then spend however long it took settling her back to sleep. The first couple of nights it took him over an hour of rocking and patting to get her back to sleep (we didn’t CIO) but it then got shorter and shorter till after about a week or so she stopped waking that second and third time at all and only woke the twice, once around midnight, the other for her early morning (5am) feed. I knew she was probably going through a growth spurt as well which is why I gave her the midnight feed, but by 10-11 months I was ready to drop that and did the same thing, when she woke, now out of habit than actual hunger, Dave would go in and settle her and after a few nights she stopped waking at all.

    That is what worked for us but I know for many people having their partner go in isn’t an option but for us, it was preferable for Dave to have a week or so of being sleep deprived himself rather than even more months of me being the sleep deprived one and really starting to suffer for it. Having him go in meant that she realised that when she woke she wasn’t going to get a feed and eventually stopped waking at all.

    It’s so hard when they change their ways and when they keep waking up. Mia has just in the last week or so started to wake up really early again, this morning it was before 6am when previously she would sleep till almost 7am. Thankfully she has been mostly happy to sit and talk to herself in her cot till about 6:30am when she finally has enough and starts calling out for me but its been hard adjusting to super early mornings again and I am really missing the convenience of being able to give her a breastfeed back to sleep like I could months ago! We just have to hang in there, one day this will all be a thing of the past and we will be lying awake waiting for them to come home, wishing they were babies again, Lol! I’m sorry I can’t help more.

  7. havealaughonme

    Hang in there, I’ve had years of horrible broken sleep with 3 kids in 3.5 years and it’s still going. I think after a while I just accepted the waking, crying, lack of sleep. I hope you find a solution/peace soon. x


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