Sleepless/Seattle

We had a great meetup here in Seattle last night. There were around 15 women who came, with or without kids, to have dinner at the Seredipity Cafe. (Which was excellent, we thought. Mmmm, mac and cheese with truffle oil…)

We talked about a bunch of things, ranging from food allergies to couples' therapy to baby signing to food and politics. But one thing we talked a lot about was sleep.

I've been saying for years that I think sleep is our generation's thing. Our big problem, and the thing that seems to hurt us most and make us feel most inadequate. Past generations had different things–my grandmother was upset that my dad wasn't potty-trained by the time he was a year old, for example. But sleep is ours.

I think there are several reasons for that. Probably the single biggest one is that we don't put our kids to sleep on their stomachs. Our parents put us down on a full belly and we'd fall and stay asleep easily. Since we know we can't do that because of the SIDS risk, we lack the one surefire trick past generations used to use. (I also think this is why we don't get much sympathy from older generations about the sleep thing, because they just didn't experience the same number of problems we did.)

Another factor is that past generations were more likely to have an adult at home during the day, which meant there wasn't that same crazy pressure to get everything Perfect before maternity leave ended. Past generations were also more likely to live closer to home, and have family support. Lots of us now don't have any kind of safety net, and are doing it all alone or close to alone. That makes the sleep thing more high-stakes.

And yet another factor is that we have so many more "experts" now. In the past, there was basically Dr. Spock and maybe one or two others. So if what he wrote didn't work for your kid, you just confronted the Dark Night of the Soul of being a parenting failure, made peace with it, and moved on.

Now, if you absolutely can't conform to what an expert says, you feel like a failure, but you move on to another expert, and the cycle begins afresh. How many times have you heard "Weissbluth made me feel like a failure and Pantley was totally useless but the Sleep Lady Shuffle saved me!" or "Dr. Sears can suck it but Ferber changed my life!"? So much drama, trying to follow someone else's Method. If you'd just been allowed to trust yourself, and given a list of possible things to try, you'd have gotten there in the same amount of time, but feeling empowered by your ability to figure your own kid out. (this is also why there's such passion about CIO vs. not–if everyone just was allowed to figure it out for their own kid without feeling like it indicated anything about them or the kid, it wouldn't be such a huge symbol of everything that we all had to get defensive about.)

Any thoughts? Lamentations? Words of hope for those in the trenches? Other hypotheses?

236 thoughts on “Sleepless/Seattle”

  1. I was just thinking about this, as a friend noted that they did one night of CIO (essentially) at ~8 months old for a habitual waking-to-snack (but not really EAT) problem – and it worked, and she wished she’d tried it sooner, and… and I still knee-jerked into trying to make her feel better about having figured out her own path, which then I think confused her because, er, she seemed to be actually okay with it in the first place.Oy.
    But it made me think – not just about the ‘why is sleep OUR CRISIS’ but also why we check our timing so much. A part of it definitely is the WHEN. When do they sleep through? My baby isn’t sleeping through YET. There’s a linearity to the expectations – that they will start at X age and then stay in that state forever. No regressions! No no no.
    I think that we’ve added the ever-onward, ever-upward, space-race, technology-advance, improve-upon-improvement concept to our psyches, and we apply it to our kids. I even encounter educators that don’t know that development can be step-wise, and that there can be (GASP) a backtracking on previously mastered skills as a new set of skills is coming on board. We say ‘two steps up and one step back’ but we mean ‘backsliders are going to hell!’ Reality is that we develop in that up-and-then-retreat manner. Kids develop more independence, then come running to touch down for comfort, then try it again. Cycle, spiral, corkscrew, whatever – it isn’t linear.
    So add that into the set of factors, I think – the expectation of linear improvement is part of our technology-based culture, and is applied to biological systems inappropriately.

  2. I think the problem with sleep stuff is that we have so little control, despite our best intentions. Making it worse is that sleep happens in the middle of the night when we are tired, less coherent, more easily frustrated, etc. Plans go out the window and then in the morning there is guilt, regret, should’ve, would’ve, tonight I will…., I will never again….

  3. Um, big sleep lamentation here. We’ve got the nighttime stuff down (knocking on wood even as I type this), but cannot break the 1 year old Pumpkin of the habit of wanting to nap in someone’s arms. I’m embarrassed to even let the secret out, as no one beyond our innermost circle knows. Sometimes she’ll let the babysitter put her down, or my mom; but with me, it’s a nap while being held or nothing. I honestly don’t see how we’re ever going to get past this, and I’m reluctant to go down the sleep training road (even though I think that’s where we’re headed). It makes me feel so ridiculous that I can’t even put my baby down for a nap… Oy. Just needed to vent.

  4. I don’t think the Back to Sleep campaign can be the biggest factor – after all, it only really contributes to the very earliest months (pre-rolling over.) And people seem to suck those up, but when it goes on for months and months and months…. In 1989 they were still saying you should put your baby to sleep on her belly to prevent SIDS 😉 I still had a truly lousy sleeper – she was quite capable of wailing belly down. But by 3 months she could wail in whatever position she preferred…! OTOH my second was the amazing sleeping baby. And belly sleeping may have contributed to that.Also, we had plenty of conflicting experts even in the dark ages. I was given an entire library of parenting books by a librarian friend of mine, and tried to follow all of them 😉
    Words of hope? Eventually one of two things will happen. Your child will learn to sleep through the night or she won’t but it will NO LONGER BE YOUR PROBLEM. Well, okay it will still be your problem a little bit (she may call you to whine about it from across the globe…) but it won’t make _you_ lose sleep. I think that’s a huge part of the issue. Would you mind having a baby who didn’t sleep through the night if YOU got a solid 7 hours? Not so much, I think! That sounds hard hearted, but you know, babies can catch up during the day….

  5. I think you must be right about better sleep for earlier generations. And that infant potty-training was a bigger issue.There were probably a lot of “experts” in the form of other community members, which had its own pressures…
    Word of hope: I’m excited to finally report that I think we’ve made lasting changes in our non-sleeping boy’s sleep. He just turned 11 months and has finally begun sleeping decent stretches of 4-6 hrs at a time. This from a boy who regularly nursed every 1.5-2hrs straight through to 9 months.
    We co-sleep and, despite the fact that Kaiser’s lactation consultant said it wasn’t possible, we have almost entirely night-weaned. A “no nursing in bed ever” rule seems to have made the difference.
    Next step, getting him to sleep in his own room. I’m guessing that’s going to make me want to stick a fork in my eye, as Moxie is wont to say. He naps in his cribs and sleeps in it 6-10pm when we go to bed, but beyond that he protests mightily. With any luck, after a few nights of hell, he’ll give in to sleeping in the crib.
    And yes, sleep has definitely been my albatross. I read a few of the books early on and periodically talk to friends who have read others, but I have found it much easier to just listen to my intuition and keep a mild awareness of the theories out there.
    And yes again, there has been some CIO, mostly modified with small visits for reassurance, but a few infrequent hard-core sessions when Mama Just Couldn’t Take It Any More and CIO was the kinder option.

  6. I read this, then saw this article about sleep and teenagers. http://blogs.wsj.com/juggle/2008/10/28/dealing-with-sleep-loss-in-teens/So, apparently, the plan is to be anxious about sleep until they are in college now …
    I’m so happy to have gotten my primary sleep information from here, and summed up in the words, “by any means necessary”. When my MIL was letting me know how much I was wrecking my 10 week old I just kept thinking that she only gets an opinion when she is in the middle of a 3a shift.

  7. What hedra said. Sleeping is not linear. At all. It bad and better and bad and good and horrific and ok. In the space of a few days/weeks/months, rinse and repeat. And eventually the good stretches get longer.There might be a magic bullet to make it better, but you won’t know what it is until you’re already upon it. (For my daughter, it was being potty trained–from being up 1-2 times a night, crying, to sleeping 12 hrs straight.)
    I think you just have to go with what works, you know? Don’t share with people who will think you’re crazy.
    My kids hated hated hated sleeping in a crib. #1 was awful to share a bed with, so she spent ages 9 months to 15 months sleeping on our bedroom floor. #2 wakes up between midnight and 6 am (different time every night–right now it’s on the early side because I think his molars are waking him up) in his bed in his sister’s room and comes running into my room, clambers into my bed, and goes back to sleep without any intervention from me. He likes to have warm body near him, and he’s polite co-sleeper. We’re not fighting it. ‘Cause he’s 2. It’s not forever.
    My son likes company to go to sleep for the night. I’d love to not spend that 20/30/40 minutes in the dark, messing up my own sleep (my husband will do it if he’s home), but this is just something that we’re not ready to throw down on with him. Eh, second child. Parents: too lazy. Nobody’s the worse for wear.

  8. I have been relatively lucky in the sleep department with my three, but I generally have no opinion on how other families deal with this. I am always surprised at the number of people who have such strong opinions on things that don’t affect them at all. However, in general, and I’m not talking about forums like this, I am equally surprised about people who complain about their situation and are not willing to try different things that might work. For example, Moxie you always talk about how your kids are very different sleepers. Why not try 5-15 minutes of crying if nothing else has worked, provided the child is old enough? It just seems strange to me that so many people have issues with behaviors and then refuse to try a solution.Hope that makes sense – once again I am talking about in the larger world, not people seeking answers in groups like this.

  9. I just asked my mom about this, 2 weeks into 4:30 am wakeup with an 18-month-old after waking up every hour all night hell. She had two fabulous, all-the-time sleepers and then one social, energentic, crappy-assed sleeper like my child. She’s one of the few people who makes me feel better about the sleep thing aside from this website because she knows its not my fault, from experience.She says, however, that it just didn’t seem like THAT big of a deal because she napped every day with my little sister. She says she couldn’t have done it if she worked OTH, which I do.
    She and my dad had very seperate, very traditional responsibilities–he worked, she stayed home and took care of the kids and house. While I have deliberately chosen to do the polar opposite of this, I can see that it made things less complicated. My dad was well-rested; my mom was tired in the mornings but napped in the afternoons. None of this both of us stumbling around in the kitchen at 5 am trying to make coffee with a baby in one arm, hairbrush in the other, dog underfoot, everyone barking at each other.
    Their life was slower, more peaceful from the onset. I think that made the sleepless baby chaos easier to deal with, for them.
    I hope this doesn’t sound like I am advocating stay-at-home roles for everyone, or saying that stay-at-home parents have it easy. I had a hard time in that role myself. It just worked out that way for my parents; they made deliberate choices to have the lives that suited them. And that just happened to enable regular, long naps for the primary caregiver!

  10. I think our own bad sleep habits contribute to the problem. Not only do we obsess about everything you identify (and I am so there with hedra, too), but we stress about our sleep habits.And they’re bad! As a society, we don’t sleep well, we don’t sleep enough, we don’t feel good about our sleep or its duration. We over-caffeinate (me!me! I love my tea.) and then stay up late, etc. etc.
    So I think part of the freakout is that we’re fatigued before the baby comes along, then we add baby fatigue to the mix and then we stress about whether baby is sleeping right or we are and who is andandand…
    We’re lucky. Mr. PoopCannon sleeps a lot, and sleeps by himself. But the anxiety is always there, on sleep and so many other things, too.

  11. Yes, if it isn’t one thing, it’s another. But those first few months are so HARD when you are juggling all sorts of emotions, issues and burdens…on NO sleep.I think the lack of local family support was what really did me in. Well, that, and an unexpectedly intense bout of PPD (isn’t it always unexpectedly intense?).
    Attiton’s thought for the day: When you hear other mothers putting down their parenting skills, why is that easier to hear then them just flat-out putting _themselves_ down? Why is, “I’m just not having any luck getting little Sally to sleep. I guess I must be doing something wrong,” any different than, “I just can’t seem to meet any of my goals. I must be a deficient person somehow”?
    I’m beginning to think that we all presume we have too much control over our children’s behaviors (and most situations), and the onslaught of parenting books does nothing to dissuade us.

  12. Totally agree about sleep not being linear. My kiddo was a perfect sleeper until 20ish months. Then he HATED the crib and shortly thereafter got an ear infection plus bronchitis and only wanted to be held by mommy. Yeah, that was not a fun couple of months. I think he mostly co-slept with us.@ Suzy Q. Don’t feel bad about your 1yr old wanting to nap in your arms. My nearly 2.5 year old toddler will not go down for the night unless either my husband or I lie with him for 10 minutes or so. We lay down on our bed, little one says “I luv you” and snuggles into my side. He drifts off to sleep in minutes and then I transfer the sleeping kiddo to his toddler bed for the duration of the night. Sometimes I think this is silly but then I remember that he will only be little once and I cut both of us a little slack because he’s just 2.5 and this isn’t going to last forever.
    He does come into our room and climb into bed with us anywhere from 2 am to 5am. While I am not wild about co-sleeping, it just hasn’t bothered me enough to change that. I could easily cuddle him for a minute and put him back to bed. But um, I’m tired and just take the path of least resistance. Again…he is 2.5 and this won’t last forever.
    For a while there I would freak the hell out that I cannot get the kid to sleep before 8:45ish (on a good night) or 9pm. But he takes a 2-3 hour nap a daycare, sleeps 9.5 hours at night and isn’t cranky but generally easy-going and agreeable (terrible 2 tantrums not withstanding). So I FINALLY came to realize that this is what works for him/us and I should stop worrying about everyone else in the world getting their toddlers to bed sooner.

  13. Here’s my confessionLast night I reached my breaking point and it makes me so sad. T cried by himself in his crib for 27 minutes from 4:58 until 5:25…and then slept until 7:30. I just couldn’t do it anymore. I physically couldn’t stand there and hold him while he slept. Taking him to my bed makes him mad and cry and fight me and I wasn’t going to play in the living room with a sleepy, cranky baby who would just be miserable if he started his day at 5 in the morning with no nap in sight until 1:00 at daycare (because we’ve done it before, so I know). So after multiple put down cry/pick-up sleep/put down cry, I put him down for good and pulled up the side of the crib and he started to scream.
    On guilt v. regret – this is real guilt/shame over my inability to figure this out. I wish I could do something to change it. Even though he fell asleep and woke up in a great mood – it’s the feeling of standing there in the dark listening to him scream and cry that’s with me and weighing on me. I can’t shake it.
    And yet I *know* that this is insignificant in the long run. And yet…

  14. I remember when we first did CIO with our guy. He was 3 months, it was 3 am, and we had tried everything, and I do mean EVERYTHING to get him to go to sleep. We finally just let him cry in the cradle in our room for about half an hour and he conked out. Now I’m able to listen to the little guy cry and can almost always tell whether he’ll be out in 10 minutes or needs mummy (or daddy) for some love and reassurance before going back into the crib. We’re very lucky–at almost a year he almost always sleeps through, usually waking up around 5 for some boob juice and then back down for another couple hours or so. But when he has a hiccup, I don’t feel guilty for doing what I need to do to get us back on track, whether that’s holding him and walking the halls in the wee smalls or letting him cry for 20 minutes. The way I see it, he needs sleep, I need sleep, but most of all, he needs me to have sleep. 20 minutes of crying in the crib won’t mess him up–Mean Mommy all day will.

  15. Suzie Q. – Oh I went through that too. Please don’t feel embarrassed! When my daughter went through that, it was OVERNIGHT sleeping. She had to be in our arms or snuggled right next to us in bed for the entire night. It went on for a couple of months. We tried to fight it, but nothing seemed to work. I wish I could remember how old she was, but I think it was maybe 10-14 months? Now, at 26 months, she puts herself to sleep in her own bed at night and for naps. We thought this day would never come! We still have some wake-ups, but I’m so used to it at this point, I’ll take what I can get.Want to hear my humiliating secret that might make you feel better? We let her nap in her infant swing until she was probably 15 months old. She has always been tiny, so she wasn’t over the weight limit, and it just worked. I was entirely too exhausted to care that it was the “wrong” way to do things, but oh the looks I’d get from people when they’d find out!
    I think we all have these little parenting secrets that we are ashamed of, but we just shouldn’t be. Who cares, in the long run. There aren’t any teenagers who need mama to rock them to sleep! My mom used to act like we were nuts for holding our baby while she’d fall asleep at night at the ripe old age of 14 months. This was when I remembered that my brother, at age SEVEN, could not fall asleep at night unless he lay across our dad’s lap while watching TV and having his back rubbed. So that was OK, but not holding an infant? (Don’t even get me started on the “You’ll never get her out of your bed” lectures. And even though she’s a good sleeper now, in her own bed? I still get, “Well, I’m sure you learned from your mistakes with this one and won’t repeat them with your next.” UGH!) We all do what we’ve gotta do to get our sleep, so just own it. 🙂

  16. I don’t have a hypothesis, but I just want to say THANK YOU. Your blog rescued me from a Guilt Coma after reading The Baby Book by Dr. Sears. I realize now I’m not raising a child who is destined to become a sociopath thanks to my not adhering 100% to his advice.

  17. It drives me crazy that the grandparents (especially my parents) are just so… amazed? flabbergasted? indignent? I don’t know… something! about the fact that my daughter is such a poor sleeper. Both sets have told me that none of their children (three each) had any problems going to sleep. Honestly, I don’t believe them. I think Moxie is right and that for some reason the lack of sleep just wasn’t a big deal so they have forgotten just how bad it was. I mean, out of the total of six kids, how likely is it than not even one was a poor sleeper?In fact, I remember having trouble sleeping a lot during my childhood (4 or 5 and up), so how likely is it that I slept well as a baby?
    Also, I think that a lot of people used to lie about how well their children slept. I really do. It wasn’t a big deal, so they either didn’t talk about it or lied about it.
    The Pumpkin is not a good sleeper, and we’ve tried everything but CIO (and neither she is nor I am a good candidate for CIO). Latest thing? At 19 months we’ve put her in a twin bed. It seems to be helping, but I never expect a magic cure for her. We’ve held her for too many naps to count, coslept with her for at least part of the night many more nights than not, and slept in the recliner with her one us. Randomly, she will sleep through the night with no problem. But there is no counting on it. Only thing I can count on is that my parents think she should be sleeping and that my husband will always be there to take a turn or take over if I’m losing it.

  18. Last night I tried a new strategy with my non-sleeping 5 year old. She’s recently been having a lot of trouble falling asleep (on top of her usual difficulty staying asleep), so I let her have a flashlight and some books in bed. She looked at the books and then happily fell asleep, but it was 9:30 by then. I know it’s not really enough sleep for her, but it seems to be what is working for her, for the moment. Without the books, she’d probably fall asleep at about the same time (before 9pm is unusual for her) but I would be tearing my hair out trying to get her to BE QUIET and let sleep come. And last night, she slept all night without waking up! That is not unheard of but pretty unusual for her. So on one night’s experience, I’m pleased and I’m writing mostly to say that the sleep challenges don’t necessarily end with babyhood, but they change. Being able to discuss what might help and let her do some of the work is a wonderful change. When I suggested this plan, she did remind me that, “I don’t know how to read, Mama!” so there is more change to come.

  19. I am VERY passionate about sleep and children. I work with families helping to improve the quality of the sleep of their children and routinely consult with the pediatric sleep specialist at the local hospital. Thus I have formed some pretty strong beliefs about the whole sleep issue.1) Most children are chronically sleep deprived. And the sad part is that there is overwhelming evidence that shows that small reductions in sleep or interrupted sleep (ie waking up 3 times a night after the first 6-8 months) can have a significant impact. But nobody is talking about how much children need sleep or how important it is for us to help them get that sleep.
    2) Little guys who get the sleep that they need are MUCH happier. Every family we work with reports the same thing after 3-5 days of good sleeping. “I can’t believe this is the same child. He’s so much more happy and alert! He babbles happily all day!” Or my personal favorite that I heard last week, “The less desirable behaviors that I had attributed to the terrible 2’s simply EVAPORATED.”
    3) Day sleep and night sleep are all part of the same package. You can’t just look at “how do I keep my child from waking up 3 times a night” without looking at how things are working around the clock. Sleepy children sleep poorly. A lot of people who are trying to figure things out with various books (and I’ve read THEM ALL) miss this important component.
    4) I love about 85% of what Sears has to say. The remaining 15% has the unfortunate and I’m sure unintended consequence of making people feel guilty about their parenting (sadly I see this ALL the time). Sacrificing our health and sanity for what we perceive as our child’s needs until we smoosh ourselves into a puddle of exhausted goo is NOT what Sears is trying to say.
    5) For children who are old enough to sleep through the night, if you look at the WHOLE day and come up with a comprehensive plan that takes into account schedules, sleep associations, and sleep routines, CIO does not need to be some horrible traumatic experience for anybody. In my experience working with many families, the normal pattern is 30-40 minutes of protesting on the first night, 10 minutes the second, and none after that. In exchange you get a healthier, happier, well-rested child and I believe that this is a wonderful tradeoff.
    I’m sure I’ve tweaked a few people on this site who don’t share my beliefs on this. But sleep is really important. I also believe that good sleep (early bedtimes, uninterrupted nights, religious naps) really form a critical basis for happy kids. Everything else becomes so much easier once the sleep is under control.
    Ok…getting off the soapbox. Waiting for flying tomatoes 😉

  20. @Mom2Boys – I am sooo familiar with that feeling you describe. It is possibly the worst, most horrible feeling I’ve ever felt. Good luck. You *will* get through it 🙂 I had to just keep telling myself that “it will all be different in 2 weeks…even if things haven’t changed, I’ll be proud of myself for having survived 2 weeks of this!” I have no idea if that is an encouraging thought or not…but it sure helped me (and seems to be helping my cousin who is also in the middle of a giant sleep issue with her daughter).

  21. I’m in the group of parents with kids who are terrible sleepers. Now that my DS is almost 3 (and still rarely sleeps through the night all the way through), I’ve come to realize that there are different camps of poor sleepers.1. Poor sleepers as infants, as almost all infants are before they can organize their nervous systems;
    2. Poor sleepers who sleep poorly because of a temporary issue (illness, teething, new sibling, etc.);
    3. Poor sleepers who will likely sleep poorly their whole lives because of how they’re wired. My son falls into this group. He’s on the autism spectrum with possible Asperger’s Syndrome, and children on that spectrum have a difficult time falling and staying asleep. They don’t get into REM sleep very easily, and don’t stay there. This results in broken sleep, sleep deprivation and sometimes behavioral problems.
    I guess I’m saying all of this because it’s not just a simple issue…”If you did THIS, your kid would sleep.” It’s not always true, and it really has nothing to do with parenting choices or styles. I can no more change my child’s brain chemisty than walk on the moon.
    So if you have a chronic poor sleeper as I do, it might be worth it to look at other causes. Diet also can play a part. We’re probably on the path to going gluten-free in our house.
    I can only hope and pray that baby #2, due here in a few months isn’t wired the same way!

  22. Alexis – I just deleted the comment I was going to post. Instead, I just want to say that you make is sound like CIO is the only way to get them to sleep. I would just like to say that there are many other ways that have been used for millenia. There is no one-size-fits all when it comes to kids, especially their sleeping.

  23. I have never felt like such a personal failure as when baby wouldn’t Sleep Through at 3 months. I cried through my entire birthday.Thank god I found your blog around then (and the Zoloft and chocolate helped, too).
    Now, at 2 years, I actually ENJOY getting to rock a sleepy guy in the middle of the night. Well, sometimes. Yay regressions.

  24. Moxie, as always, a thoughtful post.my take is not that our parents did anything better, or that we are doing something wrong, but that many, many, many parents don’t know what is ‘normal’ for a given age/developmental stage. When I talk to a mom of a 2 month old baby, going crazy with lack of sleep and lack of schedule, a significant portion of her frustration is misplaced. are there kids that sleep through at that age, yes. is it the norm, HELL NO! so, is the lack of sleep frustrating, yes, painful, yes, something that will pass for the most part, yes.
    when I look back at my mother’s generation in terms of parenting, I see a general sense of kids will be kids, that things are not static, and that they will eventually change. now, I see women feeling like they don’t have the right to allow their children to go through each stage at their own pace. if the books say something should happen between 6 and 12 months, and your baby is 6 1/2 months and not doing it, doesn’t make them delayed, this is just where they are right now.
    eventually every child will sleep, yes we as parents can play a role in helping that to occur. but we don’t do anyone any good by forcing our kids to do what they aren’t ready for. I think the best book every parent can read it a developmental book, to know what we should expect at each stage, but to also read it with the understanding that every child is their own person and comes to the table with their own stuff,
    Abby

  25. Weighing in with my first ever Ask Moxie comment … if anything can get me writing, it’s sleep.We have a terrible sleeper. It weighed so heavily on me and made me feel like a terrible mother until I came to terms with the fact that our beautiful, wonderful son just doesn’t sleep well. And I can’t thank Moxie, and everyone who contributes through their comments, enough for helping me get to that point. He’s not wired for sleeping well at this point in his 9-month old life, and there is nothing I can do to change it. Accepting that this is how he is has made it so much easier to deal with the bad nights – it’s just the way it is so let’s just get on with it and make it through one night at a time.
    The key for me was to redefine what “a good night” means for our family. It’s not sleeping through the night. A good night is when our son sleeps soundly but wakes a couple of times for comfort (needs a rub on the back – we co-sleep so this is easy) and another couple of times to nurse (I barely have to wake up, just give him access to the boob and he does all the rest). By re-defining our sleep expectations to fit with OUR reality, rather than what our friends, family, co-workers, strangers, etc. think our reality should be, we have taken back control over our happiness as parents and as a family. We know we need to go to bed a bit earlier because there WILL be night wake-ups. We know we need to continue co-sleeping for the foreseeable future because it is easiest for responding to baby during night wake-ups. And most importantly it makes it so much easier to deal with the inevitable “Is he sleeping through the night yet?” question that we get asked all the time, a question that used to make me feel like a failure as a parent but now, just makes me laugh, shake my head, and give my little guy an extra tight hug because he’s just fine the way he is.

  26. PS.I just realized that my post may contributed to the “your child isn’t sleeping thus you are a bad parent” guilt that I was trying to address. My apologies if it reads that way, I didn’t mean it to.
    There are always those blessedly lucky parents who get the baby who naturally sleeps 10-6 without waking at only a few weeks of age, who goes down for naps without a struggle, etc. And then there are the rest of us who have months or years of sleepless nights while we wrestle with our little guys and sleep. All I was trying to say was that sleep is really important and IF a few tears will help your child (and you) get better sleep all around, then go for it and God bless.

  27. The sleep issue has been tough for me because now my sleep is now so screwed up. My 14 month old sleeps most nights now, but if I wake up during the night due to say snoring or purring, I can’t get back to sleep. The other night beginning at 2am I filed paperwork, read, visualized oceans and streams but I couldn’t get back to sleep. Ohh…and I used to be such a good sleeper, I do miss my sleep.

  28. No tomatoes here, Alexis! 🙂 I think you’re right on, with the key being, as other people have mentioned, that we’re ALL chronically sleep-deprived.I feel like we’ve lost the margins in our lives.
    My busy family’s life is a delicately balanced house of cards and the stress caused by kids not sleeping can just be too much to bear. I wonder if our mothers’ and grandmothers’ lives were just better set up to accommodate infant and toddler sleep irregularities?

  29. T slept with a hair dryer on for the first 8 months. We ran through three of them. He’s never been attached to any sort of blanket or lovie but I’ve always had the same two blankets (I know blankets in crib – bad) in his crib with a little lamb blanket for a lovie. He also never took to using a pacifier. So far he refuses all external sources of comfort that the experts tell me will make it easier for him to self-soothe. It’s me or bust for the Bean. We’ll see how tonight goes.Thanks for the words of encouragement. 🙂

  30. Sorry Dr. Sears, but CIO rocks. We spent almost 5 months rocking and shushing our baby for hours on end, getting zero sleep, and feeling like it would never end.Two weeks ago we just couldn’t take it anymore, and gently put him in his crib to CIO. He cried for 40 minutes. It sucked, but now he falls asleep after about 5 minutes of fussing.
    Our quality of life is SO much better.
    The older my baby gets, the more I realize how right my parents are. Too much liberal B.S. has made us not trust our instincts. Every generation has a different method – you should be able to pick and choose the one that works for you without feeling like a loser.

  31. I totally agree with theklamsays: “The key for me was to redefine what “a good night” means for our family.” YES!I have friends whose kids slept 12 hours straight at 8 months. My daughter is 22 months old and usually wakes once during her 8-to-6:30 night. If I expect my kid to sleep 12 hours straight, I am bound to be disappointed. If I go to bed at a reasonable hour and expect to be woken up at midnight, I am not resentful when it actually happens. Now if I could only get the cats on my daughter’s schedule…

  32. Oh, the sleep issue. The only silver lining was having Moxie answer my desperate email and for once not feeling so alone and *weird* as all the comments poured in.The older generation is a bit heartless about this, in general, but what bothers me more is my own generation. I can forgive that grandma forgot what it was like 40 years ago, or lied so much about how her baby was sleeping that she began to believe the lies over time. What I can’t forgive is my brother giving me that “I doubt it” smirk when I tell them CIO didn’t work for us, because his precious angel was sleeping through at 6 weeks, of course. Or my friend saying, “children can be trained to do anything, including sleep,” when her precious angel was sleeping through from just about day one. And on and on – parents of perfect sleepers drive me totally insane, because they never seem to think they were blessed by fate or luck or God, but that their “good sleeper” is really a mark of good parenting. That their one damn hour of CIO was all it took, and why can’t you do the same thing? What are you, stupid or just weak?
    And if you have a kid like mine, who never slept at night, he’s probably not going to sleep much during the day either, which doesn’t help you catch a nap even if you do SAH. So you go crazy alone instead of in the office. Same problem, different devil.
    Also, I hate the many people who don’t take you seriously when you’ve said you tried everything. I’ve consulted sleep experts most of the know-it-alls have never even HEARD of, so enough about the fucking Babywise already.
    My kid is almost 2, and though we’ve got nighttime down pretty good at last (THANK GOD), he’s in his room SCREAMING right now because he doesn’t want to nap. We go through this every day. If he doesn’t nap, he’s an absolute miserable terror to be around, and he screams. But he hates to nap so I put him down and he screams. Either way, my day contains a huge chunk of screaming. I have a headache all the time. And with a family hundreds of miles away, it’s not like I can call my mother (well, she’s a crazy alcoholic anyway, but assuming she was sane) to give me a break. I love my son, but I have yet to come to a point where I enjoy parenthood. Even though I’m blessed with a saint of a husband who does everything he can, parenting is still lonely and hard and frankly not very rewarding yet. And a lot of the reason why goes back to the issue of sleep, even though the worst of our problems are thankfully behind us.
    So yeah. It’s a big issue. I can see why it gets people so riled up.

  33. @Suzie Q, lessee… Mr G slept on my lap a lot (overnights) around 2 years old. Me in the recliner. He had a spine issue and reflux, so there was an underlying condition involved. But still. And then Mr B, who either put himself down for a nap on the floor (on a mat) all on his own choosing, or napped on an adult body in a chair/recliner/sofa – no other options. GREAT at putting himself down for naps on the floor. Bed? NOOOOOO! Crib, pack-n-play, whathaveyou, NOOOOOOO! Mat, at mom’s feet. Yes. Had to sleep in the middle of the action, or on someone. Okaaay. Whatever. And bedtime? Again, he was where the action was, and that ended up meaning we all went to bed at the same time, and the grownups just got up early instead of going to bed late.Miss M and Miss R? Even the daycare provider, who got both the other kids to nap at her house, in her manner, at her timing? Nope. No go. Neither would nap for her. They were huge nap failures. They just stayed up and got cranky. Joy! or something.
    My mom said we all napped well, all seven. We all potty trained early. Or the six healthy ones did. And she looked at my kids and said, ‘here, let me try’ – and I let her. She failed, too. No idea if it is light pollution at night, or less outside time in the day, or forced earlier rising, or color tv, or diet, or lifestyle, or what – but it is different, and she’s admitted as much. She also admitted that us ‘good sleepers’ would only go to sleep if she contorted herself half-into the crib so that she could rest her cheek on our backs and press a hand on our heads at the same time. We’d sleep that way, eventually. Er, good sleeping, easy peasy. Back pain be damned.
    I wonder if they just dropped the ‘sometimes’ in their memory. If I add that back on, most people’s stories make a lot more sense… “my kids slept perfectly, sometimes” “my kids ate what I gave them and liked it, sometimes” “my baby sleeps for four hours straight during the day, sometimes” – see, now it reads as ‘likely’!
    Anyway, just nap the way they nap, and don’t fear speaking about it – you’ll find people more likely to come out of the woodwork with their own tale if you tell yours. Especially if you tell yours with a smile and a shrug.
    And @mom2boys, I think you’re still being too hard on yourself – give yourself permission to completely blow it in your own measure now and then. It’s the B rule – a B is a mighty fine grade. Old scale, that’s 80%. Which means that the other 20% you’ve completely and utterly missed the boat, failed, catastrophically splattered. It isn’t 20% of the time we get partial credit for being mostly perfect. It is 20% total miss. Even if you’re giving part credit on the rest of the time, there will (!!) be times were we do not meet our own ideals in any way shape or form. I did that this morning. It happens, often when I’m tired, often when I’m depressed, often when I’ve reached the end of my ideas and still don’t have a solution. I just get up the next day, and try again, look for another answer, or grit my teeth and hope they grow past the issue soon. Sometimes the answer presents itself (in some margin or footnote or casual comment), and sometimes it doesn’t. But in two weeks, everything will be different, and I’ll have a new issue glaring me in the eye. If you put those I’ve-fallen-and-I-can’t-get-up parenting moments into the category of ‘proof that I’m human and imperfect and normal’ instead of ‘proof that I’m not as good-as-I-promised-myself-I’d-be’ you can convert the guilt to regret again. Regret that we’re human and have limited knowledge and no magic ball and no telepathy. Don’t berate yourself for that one night (or the other day, or whatever) when you couldn’t figure out what to do so did what you said you wouldn’t do. Forgive yourself and your child for the fact that it appears to have worked, even when if you’re like me you probably hoped that it wouldn’t so you could safely never have even the slightest reason to try it again.
    And remind yourself that it isn’t about the disruptions in your relationship, the relationship is about the positive process that comes after. Like, me putting Miss M’s coat on for her at school, gently and willingly and all, after having yelled at her that I wasn’t going to help her get dressed for outside, at home – I was tired of helping, I … er, I had a hairy tantrum at her. Yeah, not brilliant, out of resources, tired… and so later, I try again, and do different, even if not all the way better.

  34. Sears isn’t working for us AT ALL.What do you all think of Weissbluth? It’s been recommended to me by two different people in the past week….

  35. I didn’t completely stress over sleep but I also reaped the benefits of the 1-year-mat-leave so that probably has a lot to do with it. Even more though I have a sister 5 yrs younger than I am who was a terrible sleeper and I remember her being up all the time forever growing up, so I never had any expectations.I have another couple of theories.
    1. If one has a tension releaser/does well with CIO type (I do NOT), I’m guessing that the lack of baby monitors helped a lot because parents might not have woken up for some of the middle of the night crying.
    2. Whiskey on the gums was more popular.

  36. Grandparents lie (or they just forget).I just want you all to know that.
    And, I keep this rather quiet in real life, I have said it here a ton of times: I drove Chuckles in the car for his naps for a year. I didn’t have to drive the whole time, just 5 minutes until he fell asleep and then moved him to his crib. Eventually, I just had to buckle him in to the car seat and sit in the garage for a few minutes and then move him. And he knew what was happening and would ask for his blankie to go to the car. He had a sleep association that I just couldn’t break. Maybe I was weak, but whatever. He needed sleep or he was a miserably human being. He got his sleep (and I got my break). Win-win.
    By any means necessary.

  37. I don’t think much has really changed with the way that babies sleep. I think the expectation that babies actually sleep is more of the issue. We live in such a time constricted world now that we have to schedule everything down to the last minute. We work, we are busy, we don’t get enough sleep as it is therefore the baby MUST SLEEP NOW.I think another problem is the need for instant gratification. So what if your 1 year old can’t nap anywhere on you? Trust me, this is not a permenant problem. My son did the same thing. Now, he’s two and a half and I miss those lap naps so much.
    I also wonder at times why we expect babies to sleep so well. I’ve spoken to a lot of adults that don’t sleep very well either. It’s pretty common. The only difference is that as adults, we don’t need anyone to attend to us when it happens. And I KNOW that Dr Weissbluth says it’s because our parents didn’t make us sleep when we were 4 motnhs old, but he can stick it.

  38. I think people just remember the past differently to what it actually was. I know I do and my eldest kid is only 3 and a half. Over say 20, 30, 40 years, you can’t help but remember things differently. In hindsight, things are definitely not as bad as they were, so your non-sleeping 9 month old, becomes a child that ‘didn’t sleep so well’, and eventually may even become ‘a not bad’ sleeper over 2 or 3 decades.That or maybe people did unintentially resort to something like CIO, as many of us still do, finding it did actually work.

  39. @Alexis, no tomatoes for suggesting CIO, but a little cherry one from me for not acknowledging that children have DIFFERENT sleep needs, and humans have different sensitivities to undersleep or oversleep (yes, the latter exists, I have the kid to prove it). Kids need enough sleep *for them as individuals* and more sleep is not always better for every kid. Not all kids fall apart if they’re a little short on sleep (I know plenty who do, but mine is much better 2 hours short on sleep than one hour long!).What I found most exhausting when my daughter was little was the constant chorus of “any problem with sleep must be due to not enough sleep” and “every kid is sleep deprived”. Sorry, I call BS. Many parents are, some kids are, but it’s not universal, and humans actually used to sleep very differently–uninterrupted nights as an expectation even for adults are an invention of the industrial age. See this very illuminating NYT magazine article called “The Sleep-Industrial Complex” from last year:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/18/magazine/18sleep-t.html
    (might require login)
    …and now expecting some folks to throw tomatoes at me–I don’t mean to get on my high horse either, but having a low sleep need kid (and being a lowish need person myself with low reaction to short sleep) the “everybody has to sleep more always” thing really frosts my shorts.

  40. I have three kids, and all three had different issues relating to sleep. The details of each is really insignificant, and they were all heart- wrenching, desperately- grasping- for- a- solution times, but the important thing is that we got through them, and now they are but a faint memory.My dirty secret is that I never read ANY books about babies. I don’t know if that’s good or bad. Thanks to my mom giving birth to twins when I was 11, I had lots of hands- on experience, I guess, and felt like I already knew what I was doing. And of course I read the things that the Pediatrician gave me, and the pamphlets from the hospital, etc., but not books.
    The thing that worries me the most is that, with all of them, I’ve done a lot of co- sleeping, and they say that’s ‘bad’, but in every cell of my being it feels like what I need to do for my babies. How can you deny a tiny person, who’s been nestled so snugly in the softness of the womb for so long, the comfort of being next to you when that’s all they seem to want? But despite the fact that I feel I’m heeding my instincts, there’s always a hint of panic I feel when I wake up, checking to be sure the baby is still breathing.
    Which is why I don’t think anybody really has definitive answers for anybody else. It’s a dance, as Hedra describes, and what works for one may not work for another. But it will pass, and they will get it eventually, so keep lots of Chocolate on hand, try to get some excercise, and HANG IN THERE!!!! It will get better.

  41. @pennifer – apparently ‘Kaiser’s lactation consultant’ who said you can’t co-sleep and night-wean never warned my 17 mo.He was waking every 3-4 hours and would mostly only nurse back to sleep (start in crib, after waking we’d co-sleep). Now, he’ll nurse the first time, back in the crib if we’re still up, or with us if it’s later – and then wake to just kvetch: Mr. “Mommy is my pacifier” will turn his nose up at my offering to nurse him at 2 am. But he still wakes. Go figure.

  42. Stacy, I don’t have any advice for you, but I just wanted to say sorry you’re having such a rough time. Look on the bright side–eventually ALL kids give up their naps, ha ha! Just kidding. We have done CIO at night with success but I will rock, rub his back, take a ride in the car, do just about anything to get my son to take a nap. He needs that time to recharge and the days I’m home with him, so do I. Is there any way you can get a break for a few hours a week so that the napping or not becomes someone else’s problem for a little while? Sometimes for me that’s a great relief, even with a pretty good sleeper.

  43. there was a comment recently on one of my multiples groups that ties to this, too – a mom was talking about the sleep thing, and a friend of her who is I think polynesian (er, I’ll have to check) said, “Wait, they don’t sleep deeply until they’re weaned, around 2-3 years, yes? We don’t even bother wondering about sleep until then…” (or words to that effect) – they’re expected to nap best in a sling, on mom’s back or belly or hip. They’re expected to co-sleep well into childhood, and girls co-sleep with their moms much longer. They’re not expected to sleep ALL night, period, until fully weaned… so what’s the deal? Why are Americans all over this sleep thing – they are babies, they don’t sleep nonstop.I think they’re closer to the biological norm, there.
    I do agree with Alexis that sleep deprivation is a big deal, and that it needs to be addressed. Mr G was moved out of our bed because *he* didn’t sleep well there. He slept better in his own room (despite needing to sleep on someone for a while, but the non-sleeping resolved immediately when the health issues were handled). The rest slept better with us. Most of the time. Sometimes, someone needs to sleep somewhere else. The same thing all the time isn’t mandatory.
    Sleep is a priority for our family – we had a rule with the twins that I was not permitted to get out of bed until I had 8 hours of sleep. If that was 11 AM, or 1 PM, didn’t matter. Eight hours. And then there were naps, too.
    We still put a premium on sleep. It comes before almost everything else in the health world, for us, except diet. That said, we don’t use CIO as a training method, though we did learn to listen for whether Mr G was cycling up or down (he did both, but it was obvious which it was).

  44. professor mama – Weissbluth worked great for my sister’s kids. Perfect, even! He was speaking to her and her child completely. But… nothing he said was true for my child AT ALL. Nothing. So it all depends. I figure they are all worth a try, but I don’t get caught up thinking that THIS one has to be the ONE. You know?

  45. @professor mama: Weissbluth did not work for us at all. Our kid just screamed for hours and hours and never slept. It was horrible. What did eventually work? A unique combination of the Sleep Lady Shuffle, Ferber, and tips I’d read on this website.But that’s me, and my kid. If the sleep adventure has taught me nothing else, it’s that what works for one child may not work for another. As you can see in these comments, some people let their kid cry once for less than an hour and all was solved. If you’d done that on advisement from Weissbluth, then you’d think he was a genius. Those parents who have success with him, who just have those kinds of kids, think he’s the best thing ever. And I don’t blame them! But we weren’t among them, so I don’t generally tout that book. I’m sure, however, someone with an entirely opposite experience is waiting in the wings. It’s really all trial and error.
    If you’re looking for answers, it’s worth giving Weissbluth a shot – even if he doesn’t end up being The One True Sleep Expert for you, you’ll at least pick up a tip or two from him. I liked some of his advice about scheduling, and his bits about the importance of sleep were relevant, even if I found them patronizing. I wouldn’t go back and change all the reading I did, even if none of the authors alone had The Answer. Every bit and piece was *something.*

  46. {{hugs}} to you stacy. We’ve been through almost 3 years of this, but it can still get the both of us down.I do think we as parents believe we have FAR more say over how our kids turn out than we do. Look at any parent with more than 2 children, and they’ll tell you that the easy kids made them think they were great parents, until the more challenging kid came along and knocked them on their asses.

  47. Oh goodie, a sleep discussion, just the place to vent my sleep frustrations. My year-old son has never been a good sleeper. His main problem isn’t frequent night wakings or a difficulty falling asleep when he first goes down, it’s that he wakes up in the middle of the night and will be up a couple of hours wanting to play.It is killing me and my husband. We just started CIO last night and it was pretty painful. He squawked in his crib from 3 to 4:30. Not out and out crying, just the pissed off wails and moans of a baby who wants to be up playing. Hopefully tonight is a little better. I really believe though that he is “ready” for CIO, in a way that he wasn’t just a month or two ago. His cries don’t have the same anguished feel and he has gotten great at putting himself to sleep when he first goes down. It is hard though, and like mom2boys, I feel guilty. Last night I felt guilty for not feeling heartsick at hearing his protests, I just wanted him to GO TO SLEEP!
    I think there are so many reasons why sleep is the issue for our generation of parents; more hectic schedules for both working and at home parents means we less time to relax and nap, unrealistic expectations set up by our parents and grandparents who don’t remember what it was like, and the competitive nature of parenting where having a good sleeper is considered proof of good parenting.

  48. @pennifer, the twins were night weaned while cosleeping… so, er. yeah.@professor mama, if you want to review what all the different methods say, and get a good cross comparison, try the Ann Douglas Mother of All Sleep Books book – she tends to draw in research, a variety of methods, and illustrates how they work with different kids, WITHOUT throwing a lot of ‘if you don’t do this, your child will call you a failure’ stuff. She doesn’t care which one you choose, she just wants to provide you with a way to choose effectively. So, try there, first. I’d also consider Ferber’s latest as a likely option. The book specifies which method to try for which kind of issue, and they’re not all the same issue.

  49. @meggimoo, I think we got the ONE easy-sleeping baby just to prove that not everyone whose baby sleeps well is a liar. Heh. I agree, we don’t have as much influence as we’d like to think. And also with enu – eventually it isn’t our problem anymore.Okay, back to the hem sewing, now. I may not be on here much for a lloooooong time, as I’m re-employed and it is a No Internetz Play kind of place. Dangit.

  50. Neither of my kids (almost 4-year-old daughter and 11-month-old son) are decent sleepers…and both still sleep with us. I remember the waking-up-every-two-hours-to-nurse bit with my daughter–my son has been doing it since he was born–and I think this time is actually worse. My son will not take a pacifier or comfort object in the middle of the night–throws them across the floor and howls with ire–and he will not let dad comfort him. My little guy is LOUD and persistent–I’ve listened to him shriek with dad for almost an hour, before I gave everyone a rest and held him. Instantly quiet, except for those overworked-crying hiccups. I know this will pass. It did with my daughter; she just moved on to other tricky-sleeping habits. But the physical toll this is taking on me is substantial. I’ve dropped to fifteen pounds below pre-pregnancy weight, which is too small for my body, and I spend a good portion of my day dizzy and shaking. I know, losing weight, cry me a river. But I can count every rib on my torso and my collarbones look like those in the scary tabloid “this-celebrity-is-dangerously-thin” photos. And my milk is slowly drying up because I think I just don’t have the physical reserves for it anymore. As I said, I know this will pass. And I’m really looking forward to that time!

  51. {{hugs}} to you stacy. We’ve been through almost 3 years of this, but it can still get the both of us down.I do think we as parents believe we have FAR more say over how our kids turn out than we do. Look at any parent with more than 2 children, and they’ll tell you that the easy kids made them think they were great parents, until the more challenging kid came along and knocked them on their asses.

  52. @Shandra – Man! I was just going to say that one thing different between now and 30 years ago is baby monitors. Now you can hear every little whimper, squeak or mew. There are even video baby monitors!One of the things is that sleep is just something that you can’t do for the baby. You can try to read him/her, and figure out what you can do to promote sleep, but you can’t *make* the baby sleep. Just like you can’t make the baby eat or make the baby learn to use the potty by 18 months. We can’t do any of these things for them and we can’t make them do it either. It can be very hard to be in the spot where you know something would make your child feel better, but not to be able to do much else about it.
    I agree with the previous commenters who’ve mentioned that there are (broad) ranges of normal for developmental miletones and that kids do seem to loop back on themselves.
    For my step-son, the major issue was eating. He was underweight and it caused a lot of stress for DH. Between how DH was raised (eating was a big issue for him & his folks) and the feedback from the doc (He’s too little! Give the kid a PB&J or bologna sandwich every night!) and the monkey’s own autonomy, appetite, growth curve, developmental spot, etc., it was No Fun.
    I think that even if sleep isn’t the family’s hot topic, there will be something that is particularly challenging in the realm of things that you need the baby to be able to do but he/she is having trouble with it (eating, sleeping, potty, etc.)

  53. Little Girl is just shy of 5 months, and when people ask me whether she sleeps through the night “yet”, I say that she’s pretty much always slept well (once you get her there), except for nursing – but she’s always slept next to me, so I just roll over and pop a boob in her not-quite-awake mouth, and it’s all good. Don’t hate me, I’m very grateful for how well she sleeps!But.. she sleeps the way she sleeps, and while we’re a bit frustrated with it now and then (especially with how poorly she sleeps during the day, generally), there’s not much for it but to do what’s needful. I grant that I have some luxury here, since I’m a SAHM and she’s my first – and she *does* sleep pretty well most nights.
    On the other hand, it would all be much worse if I hadn’t planned to cosleep since before I got pregnant! If I had planned to sleep apart and then found I had a velcro baby, I would probably be much more stressed about it all. I’m also glad that I’ve always been very comfortable just doing what I thought was right, and not worrying too much about what anyone else thinks, a trait this group has helped me realized is pretty uncommon.

  54. I think unrealistic expectations have a lot to do with the guilt that many parents feel about their child’s sleep issues.There are also these perceptions that there are right and wrong ways for babies to sleep. The “right” way is that baby is in crib for naps and nighttime sleep, no night wakings, no feedings at night, baby is in crib drowsy but awake and falls asleep on their own, and on and on and on… We do everything the “wrong” way. My daughter wakes at night, nurses to sleep, has a pacifier, cosleeps occasionally, takes naps on me, and I could just keep going. I don’t really talk about it much with friends or family because I know they will tell me what I’m doing “wrong.”
    But my daughter is a happy, happy baby. Yes, she naps on me. But I’ll take having her sleep on me for 2 hours and waking refreshed over her taking a 10 minute nap in her crib and then being a demon baby for the rest of the day. Once I let go of my ridiculous insistence on doing everything the “right” way, I was much more relaxed, and my daughter was happier too.

  55. Thank goodness. I think we all go through the mommy guilt and I do think it is about sleep, for all involved, baby, mom and dad. I have a 1 year old son who goes down easy for the night, but for naps, it could be 30 minutes or 2 hours. We still swaddle him for naps. We got him out of the swaddle for the night, but for naps, swaddle works wonders. One time recently he wasn’t having any of the leave him in the crib at night and instead wanted to sleep with us. We haven’t coslept since he was a newborn, and I wouldn’t have a problem with it except for the fact that the little one literally is a gymnast in bed and woke both of us up constantly. My mantra…Do whatever works for you. I had the 4-5 wake up a few months ago where he would wake up with a poop, so I felt bad and went and changed him. He would go back to sleep only in my arms. That was a couple of hard months. Now he seems to have changed and wakes up after 6, which is like, thank god to me because it allows me to get more sleep.

  56. gonna jump in after reading most posts.@professor mama: Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child is the title.
    okay- we have a fighter/fitful sleeper in this house. she’s tiny. she’s strong willed. she’s smart. she came home from the hospital scanning the joint. never seen anything like her….
    her not sleeping was a HUGE issue to my adjustment; my spirit; my confidence; and my mental health.
    my support system was limited to 1 or 2 people. my pediatrician was ‘against’ me (she sees the smallest window of this kid and she’s the expert?)…
    i was so lost; so alone.
    until AskMoxie.
    sure this is many of your stories too.
    i would go to Target and see other mom’s hoping to find an honest “yep my kid won’t sleep” and found smugness and disconnect.
    ***being a communal driven person- this was the hardest part for me;
    the disconnect to other Mom’s i thought i was journeying with.***
    i have that community now and i also will always be available to other new Mommies i see anywhere/anytime…
    and yes, i saw a tired tearful one in Target the other day and gave her a hug.

  57. Two things: bingo on the sleep on the stomach thing! A little trick that helps now that you can’t put baby on his/her stomach: hold infant close and let him/her feel your calm breath and heartbeat.Two: If Dr. Spock’s suggestions didn’t work, you didn’t feel like a failure. You thought Dr. Spock was a failure. My generation of parents (same age group as Moxie’s mom)were somehow not convinced that it was all up to us, except of course where emotional frigidity was concerned. But if the baby didn’t sleep, colic, we said and got on with getting on with it.

  58. @MLB – Thank you for writing this: “I am always surprised at the number of people who have such strong opinions on things that don’t affect them at all.” YES! What’s up with that?!All of you out there who are just trying to make it through the night – I support you. “Whatever gets you through the night, it’s alright, it’s alright.” By any means necessary. Yes! Yes!
    Now I’m going to grouse a little bit about people who choose not to mind their own business about the sleep stuff. We have a 12-month old boy, and we co-sleep, because having tried “Literally Everything,” we’ve found it just works for all of us. We had to buy a king-sized bed, and it’s been very well worth the investment as the whole family is well-rested. But who knows if this will work for the next child. I’m certainly not naive enough to assume they’ll be the same in the sleep dept…
    Anyway, ever since one of DH’s coworkers (a man) came to our home the first time and noticed there is no nursery, and there is a crib in our bedroom (for kiddo’s naps), this rude jagoff just looooves to make these totally unsolicited comments like, “You need to get your baby out of your bed!” Excuse me? Every time he says something like that, I have to pinch myself to keep my mouth shut. DH has to work with him, so our temporary solution has been to avoid him socially. I think how poorly he must have been raised to think those are acceptable comments, and I also think what’s it to him? Why something that has no effect on him is nevertheless such an issue for him; why we’re so threatening to him? In my pseudo-psychoanalysis, I often wonder if it’s due to the fact that we have a son, and somehow this guy’s American Manhood is threatened.
    One more to file under “What’s Wrong With People?!” — I have an acquaintance who routinely gives expectant mothers a gift copy of Weissbluth’s approx. 500 page sleep book. Whatever one thinks of the book (it bored me & even worse, his methods did not work so feel I wasted entirely too much time with it, while others just raved about it), I find that extremely presumptuous. It’s just as presumptuous as wrapping up for an expectant mother a huge can of formula – you have no idea what her plans are! To me, it’s the very worst kind of unsolicited advice. End rant.

  59. Hate to hijack the thread BUT I’m in *need* of the Moxie communities help and advice!Just found out that my niece has a bad uterine infection after giving birth 12 weeks ago. She has to stop breast feeding for 10 days. We’re getting her in touch with a breast milk bank BUT she’s feeling like this may be too much of an interruption for the baby and she fears that it may cause her son to prefer the bottle —you know the drill.
    Here’s my question, it’s been way too long since I breast fed. Is there a product, tip or trick that can help her keep breast-feeding after the pump and dump is done? I remember years ago a product came out for adoptive moms that fed breast milk through a tube so the mom could bond and gain the breast feeding experience. Did I dream this?
    If you have any wisdom on this PLEASE send me an email so we don’t hijack this thread. Please send all tips, tricks, products and advice to sharon@proactiveparenting.net.
    She has to begin the antibiotics by tomorrow morning.

  60. To add to the chorus of those grateful for this site, I, too, stumbled upon it searching sleep related advice and the feeling of acceptance and “yeah, me too” for what moms/parents go through no matter the issue has been so comforting. There is spot on advice, lots of humor and sympathy and support and it’s been a life line.So really, thanks to Moxie for making this place possible and to everyone who shares their story here.
    On tummy sleeping, I put Bean down on his tummy at about 12 weeks because he would not sleep on his back. Ever. He was way to herky-jerky and had a super strong whatever that falling reflex is. He had to be swaddled so tightly.
    But the other day I was talking to an acquaintance who had a SIDS scare with her little one. Had to give him CPR and he ended up in intensive care for two weeks and has an apnea monitor now. No obvious risk factors. Not sure I’d be so certain about putting Bean on his tummy again. SIDS just seemed more remote at the time and the fact that he slept, when he slept at all, the best on his tummy seemed more important.

  61. My 9 month old has never been a great sleeper. Well, he’s terrible really. Occasionally we get the nights where he sleeps for two or three hour stretches instead of 1.5, or he just needs a quick hug and then goes right back to sleep, but lately we’re back to major rocking to get him to calm down enough to go back in his crib or even lay down with us. Thankfully, the initial GOING to sleep for the night isn’t the problem (anymore anyway), just the staying asleep. He used to really suck at going down for the night, and it got worse and worse until I realized that I was spending three hours every night patting his back or nursing him or rocking him or whatever– and God forbid if he finally got full! No boob, no sleep. I finally said enough, and had a few fuss it out nights (no full on screaming, I can’t handle it) and now he goes down awake, barely, rolls around for about thirty seconds and passes out at 7pm (and then sleeps until 11 at which point it gets crappy.) It was so easy it was a little irritating– I was like, whey didn’t I do this before? I don’t really let him fuss it out in the middle of the night because a) we share a room with him and b) we have housemates, so I feel my job is to make sure as many people get as much sleep as possible, even if it means that I have to wake up a lot. Hopefully soon we can really work on the in the middle of the night thing.As for the older generation’s take on things, when I told my mom that I was finally going to let him fuss it out a bit to get to sleep, but was starting out with me sitting by his crib with one hand over the rail, she said that I was lucky that I wouldn’t have to listen to my little baby wail away forever, crying of loneliness and breaking my heart. She felt that she was forced to leave us in our cribs crying as babies, because that’s what she was “supposed to do.” It made me sad for her, and a little happier that I learned to take all advice with a grain of salt, pick and choose what works for me, etc.

  62. Alexis, I don’t want to flame you for your comments on sleep because I’m not even sure up to what age children you are referring to, BUT I did want to make a few points.I agree that good sleep habits are important to build and I have wholeheartedly been a proponent and practitioner of good sleep habits in our house. However, I also really believe in the importance of not getting too caught up in numbers like “my child should be sleeping x hours at y age”.
    We know tons of children who are bad nappers from age 0 but are perfectly happy and healthy. There are also some kids I know who are good nappers and are also happy. I think that a solid night’s sleep is probably the most important thing you can help your child accomplish by any means necessary. Naps are icing on the cake. Why do I think this? Because I have one of those kids who has never been a fabulous napper. She is too social, too involved, too interested in the world around her. She doesn’t want to miss out on anything. She was quick to give up her 3rd nap, her 2nd nap and now at age 2 she is sort of on the path to giving up her daily naps too. Now, I could beat myself up about this (been there, done that) or I could just accept the fact that she is an individual who would rather stay up to look at her books and play with her toys than to nap. Do I try to get her down for the evening earlier than normal on the no-nap days? Yup. Sometimes it’s lights out at 6:30 for her.
    To try to get back to my original point, I guess I just wanted to say again that people who focus so much on sleep for children can go overboard a bit and can put undue pressure on already stressed out parents. Parents who don’t give a damn about their kids won’t be paying attention to sleep experts anyway, so the only ones whom you are stressing out are the ones already trying to do a good job.

  63. My six month old is still a pretty lousy night sleeper (up four or five times). But frankly, it’s almost liberating (note that I’m not currently working outside our home): I don’t hesitate to travel or leave him with a leave him with a sitter, cause hey, it’s can’t get much worse, can it? I think if he were STTN, I’d be worried about screwing up a good thing.

  64. I really do agree with Moxie on the back-to-sleep. I’ve had two awful sleepers and I really do contribute a lot of our problems to that. The couple of times I let my infants nap on their tummies, with me hovering over them every second until I had half worried myself to death, they slept soundly. On their backs, terribly.I’ve had several older women with grown kids comment on the same, they all had kids that slept well, and grandchildren who don’t.
    As for when they can then roll over and their sleeping not improving, I have nothing to base this on, but I think they’ve just had poor, restless sleep ingrained in them by that point. After 5? 6? months (when do babies start rolling over? I’m too sleep deprived to remember when mine started) of poor sleep, that’s just what they know.
    My theory at least. 🙂

  65. I have to throw out a sleep suggestion (for us mamas) that made a big difference for my sanity! I am someone who really functions best on 8 hours/night, and I can’t nap, I just can’t fall back asleep once I’m fully awake. Around 12 months old, our daughter was waking up at 4:30 AM and she was UP until her midday nap. By that point I was just exhausted from never getting enough sleep. My husband (who can nap easily, any time) began getting up with our daughter on weekend mornings, and I went back to sleep for 3 hours. He then takes a nap later in the day. We are still doing this, almost a year later, and it has made a HUGE difference to my mood, concentration, patience, sense of humor, our marriage, etc. If you can’t tweak your baby’s nighttime sleep, I highly recommend trying to engineer more sleep for yourself, at least 1-2 nights a week…

  66. meggiemoo Thank you! She is taking Cipro and it’s classified as an L3. I will tell her to go to that website. This is the 2nd round of antibiotics so I think she has to do this because she isn’t getting any better. I’m looking into ways to support her with natural remedies, but the infection and it’s a good one, needs to be cleared up. I am also looking for ways to fool baby into sticking with the breast for 12 days as she does this.Any other help is really welcome. Sleep info to follow, if I can find a way today.

  67. I’ve read you for a while and so appreciate your breath of fresh SANITY.I’ve always attributed the generational differences about sleep habits to the fact that many of our mothers had us when they were in their early 20s and many of us are having ours in our 30s (this is true for me, anyway). I don’t know about you all but I used to be much more flexible and resilient about sleep loss than I am now.
    Also, when I really, truly press my mom about how it really was as a mother to two young children, the glorious stories about how it was all roses and unicorns disappear and I hear about how lonely and miserable she was a lot of the time. In many ways, she martyred herself because she didn’t feel she had any other choice. I refuse to martyr myself but that sets up conflict after conflict with my needs/wants smacking up against my child’s needs/wants.

  68. This really struck a chord…especially this statement. “Past generations were also more likely to live closer to home, and have family support. Lots of us now don’t have any kind of safety net, and are doing it all alone or close to alone.”Wow – I am lonely.
    And, yes, I can see how lack of family support makes the sleep issue all the more pressing.

  69. I’m the kind of person who needs to have a plan of action. I do the research and apply the results. So when my 7-month-old baby isn’t sleeping through (and here in the UK that means 7-7 to most people), I look for answers.I generally don’t mind when people offer advice (b/c the first question from EVERYONE is “how is he sleeping?”), but what I hate is alongside the advice is the implication that “you’re doing it wrong”. That’s how I hear it anyway. From co-sleeping to breastfeeding, these are apparently my problems. If only I hadn’t co-slept until 4 months, he’d be sleeping through. If only I would give him formula, he’d sleep through. I know it’s all bollocks, but I wish there wasn’t such a judgement attached to seemingly innocent advice.
    I think it’s b/c people look for validation of their own parenting style/skills: “if you do what I do, and it works, then *I’m* a good parent”. It’s competitive parenting, and it sucks.
    What is frustrating for me is that I know what my baby needs: he wakes in the night b/c he’s hungry. He needs my milk and I’m committed to BFing. I get through it b/c I know eventually it will stop. But I tell you, the pressure (and the temptation) to give a bottle of formula or CIO is huge. B/c what if it works???
    I take comfort, though, in that I know what he needs and that I’m willing to give it to him b/c I feel *instinctively* that it’s the right thing. We need to give ourselves more credit b/c “by any means necessary” is often just responding to our babies and their needs.

  70. @ Michelle: Looks like our little boys are cut from precisely the same cloth! If you ever need to commiserate (not saying you don’t seem fine ;-), I’m at onetiredema at gmail.

  71. @ Sharon aka Mommie Mentor: how ooked-out would your niece be about cross-feeding (that is, getting someone else to actually breast feed her baby rather than just bottle feeding with donated breast milk)? I can’t begin to think how you’d go about finding someone or arranging things, but I imagine a local LLL, or even the milk bank you’re putting her in touch with, *might* be able to help.

  72. Stacy, we were in the exact same situation when A1 was your child’s age. He’s now 2.5 yo and although he never naps, he mostly sleeps through the night and will fall asleep much easier (my husband lays in bed with him–sometimes it takes 10 min, sometimes up to an hour). It was *so* *effin* *hard*, especially with a newborn thrown in, too.My second is a terrible sleeper. I thought it couldn’t get worse, but it did. The thing is, I’m so much more relaxed about it. I’m getting waaaaaay less sleep than I did with my first, but I feel so much better about it. I know it will pass, I know I’m doing the best I can, and I know he’s thriving.
    A previous commenter said that we should ignore the “liberal b.s. and trust our instincts” which she seemed to imply meant CIO. Now, I’m fine with what ever you do, what ever is best for your family, but my choice to not CIO is based on my instincts and for some reason it really offended me that my choice must be stemmed from “liberal b.s.”
    My MIL has commented many times to me, my parents, my husband at how well we parent and how wise we are to trust our instincts. When she was parenting young children, instincts were strongly discouraged. A mother listened to her doctor and that was that. She’s both a little perplexed and impressed that we do so much gut-parenting. But she sees how well our boys are doing (despite the lack of sleep!) and knows we’re doing what’s best for our family.
    And I really believe the older generations have their fuzzy rose-coloured glasses of memory on when talking about sleep. I know my dad is the loudest at complaining about how poorly our boys sleep, often saying that *his* kids weren’t like this. Well, he didn’t really do a whole hell of a lot parenting, so I just roll my eyes at him and say “oh yes, you must have been such a better parent than me”. I try not to let it drive me crazy. Sleep isn’t a value judgement on parenting and I hate it when it is made into one.

  73. I totally agree it’s all about expectations. I mean, sleep deprivation sucks, but I felt so much better about it once I ditched the books, except Pantley (not that it helped, but her intro made me feel better and I liked her tone) and finally convinced myself my MIL was full of shit and the boys would just sleep the way they slept. I was tired, but at least felt competent. Ask Moxie was my wake-up call, and I am so grateful for finding this site. My boys woke every few hours at night but what was really killing me and had me doubting everything was their 40 minute limit on naps. One Ask Moxie post about short napping did so much for my confidence as a mother.Our current situation (19 months) is no more nighttime boob, boys mostly sleep in their cribs, but more than half the time I am on the futon on the floor in their room with one of them, and the other is in bed with my husband, by the end of the night. MIL thinks this is crazy but I think it’s sleeping. The most amazing thing is they now nap (once a day) for 2-3 hours!! They started the > 40 minute nap around 14 months, I have no idea why. I had stopped trying to do anything about it.

  74. Sleep was relatively easy with the first one, with the normal regressions. The second is a different story, but in the last couple of years we have learned about some medical issues he has which cause him problems with going to and staying asleep. It makes me feel guilty about the times we tried cio and other fix-its. But I would say if your child is beyond toddler and still not sleeping well, talk to a doctor you trust- not one who will blow you off or offer a sleep aid, but one will listen and look for the possibility of a medical issue.

  75. So many good comments today. A few thoughts from me (the Seattle/Ohio mama from the fun meet-up last night).I agree with “m” who said that for her, going by her instincts means NOT doing CIO. I have a neighbor who felt very pressured by her husband to do Babywise with their brand-new, still pink newborn (adopted, no less). It was heartbreaking, mostly because it felt that she was working so hard against her instincts. That and the fact that they were wearing earplugs to ward against the screaming. Which made me want to kidnap the babe. But anyway….
    My girl is 15-months old and wakes often at night. She naps for 55 minutes a day. She has never slept all night through. My husband and I have agreed that we’re not doing CIO, largely because our daughter screams in such a way that we are convinced it will not work with her in a reasonable timeframe. The times I have let her go for 20 minutes or so, she is shaking and twitchy and it has been horrible and has felt very wrong. My instincts say that a baby needs to be held and sung to. And, years from now, I know I will have a million happy memories of doing this, even if I don’t always love it now. And, I’d far prefer to have memories of rocking, singing, and nursing than memories of screaming and resisting the urge to pick her up.
    I have found it beneficial to surround myself with people who have chosen similar methods of dealing with their kids’ sleep difficulties. The last thing I need at 3 a.m. is to feel guilty for not going against my instincts.

  76. So many of you have mentioned all the *different* ways you’ve dealt with lack of sleep. There are as many ways to put a child to sleep as there are people, because each person, big or small has individual needs when it comes to sleep. That’s why I don’t give sleep advice, I give as many sleep suggestions as I can and empower mom and dad to choose what ever works best for their sweet pea.Difficulty putting a child to sleep or difficulty having them stay asleep is one of those things, as Dr. T. Berry Brazelton says, “parent and child have to make their way to each other and figure things out for themselves.”
    Difficulty surrounding sleep does sucks but it also does one good thing. It introduces parents to a new part of themselves, a new level of their reactions and a new depth of their emotion due to the stress of lack of sleep. Being sleep-deprived means you’re raw and not thinking at the top of your game, but you still have to decide how to deal with the situation.
    You have to decide, do I change what I’m doing? Do I keep doing what I’m doing? Do I do a ton of research? Do I listen to that research? Do I call my mom, my friends? Do I listen to my mom or my friends?
    Being sleep-deprived is one of those times when a parent begins to use their own parental radar, they begin to rely on their mommy/daddy intuitive sense. Lack of sleep takes you to that raw place where your head is no longer in control and all you have are your instincts. You begin to balance many things at once as you decide what you want to do. Do you want CIO, do you want to try and wait it out, do you want sleep training, what does your child need/want and what do you need/ want and how does that affect your life and those in your family.
    Why do I bother bringing this up? Because this is the beginning of a process that you will be dealing with for years, it’s the: My-child-has-an-issue-that-is-causing-her-to-be emotional-and-I’m-emotional-too-but-I-still-need-to-handle-this-so-I-can-change-it type of process.
    As your child grows all parents will be dealing with issues and situations that not only can cause an intense reaction but cause lack of thinking too, just like being sleep-deprived and yet a decision must be made. So consider lack of sleep, as ridiculous as this sounds, as practice for your parenting future. And as far as I’m concerned I would have gladly traded that practice for a few more hours of sleep!
    Just my two cents, on a very busy day.

  77. As for previous generations: Don’t forget that the Betty Friedan’s Feminine Mystique was written by a women’s college grad of the mid-fifties. Life wasn’t a bouquet of roses then, either. I didn’t take well to sleep deprivation and was hauled off to a psychiatrist for depression and anxiety problems, medicated and suffered a lot. It was sleep deprivation that triggered it. I’ve spent the rest of my days urging new mommies to get enough sleep.

  78. I haven’t had a chance to read all the comments yet. But oh. This is BY FAR our biggest issue. The little lady (21 months) has never been great in the sleep department and it has deteriorated even more the past few weeks. She’s up MANY times/night. I’m past the point of caring how it’s “meant” to be done. I just need sleep- badly. Actually, all 3 of us do and I’m really seeing how much the sleep deprivation is affecting my daughter. Hoping to read all the comments later and find some insight. I, for one, am definitely sleepless in Seattle.

  79. @Alexis’s comment about “30-40 minutes of protesting”? That is awesome. The first and only time my mother ever tried CIO with my sister (or any of us) the baby cried so hard for an hour she threw up.I totally understand that some people use CIO a lot, a little, or whatever, and if it works, yay for you. But it’s disingenuous IMHO to assume that listening to your baby scream for 30 to 40 minutes “doesn’t have to be traumatic” for any parent. It’s traumatic for *me* to listen to infants or toddlers cry for more than a few minutes, and I’m not even a mom yet.

  80. I think there are a few generational differences. Breastfeeding has become more common again, and babies need more nursings at night than formula bottles. If I remember correctly, women of the current reproductive generation are spacing their children more closely, meaning that napping with the baby is difficult with a toddler to supervise as well. Also, more mothers are working outside the home, at more challenging positions. I found it impossible to work up to my former level while sleep deprived. I heard it’s called “baby brain.” Tighter schedules definitely put the pressure on too.

  81. I think there are a few generational differences. Breastfeeding has become more common again, and babies need more nursings at night than formula bottles. If I remember correctly, women of the current reproductive generation are spacing their children more closely, meaning that napping with the baby is difficult with a toddler to supervise as well. Also, more mothers are working outside the home, at more challenging positions. I found it impossible to work up to my former level while sleep deprived. I heard it’s called “baby brain.” Tighter schedules definitely put the pressure on too.

  82. I think there are a few generational differences. Breastfeeding has become more common again, and babies need more nursings at night than formula bottles. If I remember correctly, women of the current reproductive generation are spacing their children more closely, meaning that napping with the baby is difficult with a toddler to supervise as well. Also, more mothers are working outside the home, at more challenging positions. I found it impossible to work up to my former level while sleep deprived. I heard it’s called “baby brain.” Tighter schedules definitely put the pressure on too.

  83. I’m lucky, I have a good sleeper (for the moment). But I don’t dare say it out loud for two reasons. 1) The sleep gods might be listening and I hear they have a wicked sense of humor. 2) I know that it really has absolutely nothing to do with anything I am or am not doing (other than respecting his schedule) and that if I pretend it does, something else will come back and bite me on the bum. Hard. I hate it when folks act like aspects of their baby’s development are a direct reflection on the parent. You should have seen my neighbor’s face when she found out the little one wasn’t rolling over at 7 months.

  84. I really can’t stand Dr. Sears and his “attachment parenting” b/c it makes it sound like anything OTHER than what HE prescribes is UN-attachment. He makes HIS way sound like the high holy grail of parenting and that anything short of that is just child abuse.I love my child intensely, like any other mother loves her child, but I don’t listen to Dr. Sears.
    Anybody who makes me wonder if I’m a good parent gets thrown out the proverbial window. And that sometimes includes my mother and MIL!!! Go with your instincts!!!

  85. As far as family support goes? Sometimes it is perfectly awesome, sometimes it really isn’t. I live literally within 2 miles of my parents, grandparents, and a couple of aunts, uncles and cousins. My daughter is one of 3 small children in my family that were born in as many years- she is the youngest.I had ideas about raising kids that did not gel well with what everyone else has done- parents, grandparents, cousins, aunts, everyone thinks I am a weirdo…. My daughter was the only one out of the three to exclusively breastfeed (because I wouldn’t let anyone undermine me, btw, one of these kids moms was told by her mother in law that she was starving and was browbeaten into giving formula) I put my daughter in the bed with us the first night we came home and she has slept without us maybe 7 nights, ever, when she slept with someone else…
    I think what I am trying to say is that with family help, you also get family advice and people thinking that they actually have a say in how you raise your kid… My dad will come by and take my daughter off on an hour long adventure on some days, which is a blessing- but he also tells me that letting her sleep with me is a mistake, that being a vegetarian is going to make her stunted, and that I am going to go crazy and weird from being a stay at home parent. I dare not say anything about sleep problems because all I will get is a smirk and an “I told you so” and that really isn’t any help, is it? If I tell people to butt right out of my business, people get hurt. If I tell them that they are not my kid’s parent, they don’t get to discipline, they don’t spend time with the child. If I tell them that I don’t like one specific type of interaction, they pull out of ALL interaction ( this is based on the idea that if my two year old tells you to stop tickling her, she should be listened to- you should stop. It is her body. Treat her like a human being.)
    Ranty, my bad. Kids’ sleep sucks, except when it doesn’t.

  86. Oh, jeebus- I didn’t put anything back into this discussion at all… I reflected on what I posted here while putting the kidlet down for the night and I am not saying my entire family is “evil” or even hateful sometimes- I AM overly sensitive and take things the wrong way, plus? That generational divide thing.My mom? Formula fed her kids.
    Maternal grandma? No idea, not topic for discussion
    Paternal grandma? Concocted some formula in her kitchen for her three.
    All of experienced the topic of the day differently because of their needs and expectations- husbands that didn’t do well with middle of the nights, their own sleep needs- all of their kids were in a crib in their room and all cribs were out before two, I am sure. And they are sure that their way is the right way, leaving no room for how I am doing things. I am wrong, I need to “fix” it their way, I shouldn’t expect my husband to do anything because he makes the money, I am the primary parent. So we differ in opinion. And I get angry like a flash flood.
    Someone above said that maybe kids get used to broken sleep? Maybe so… my daughter wakes up to nurse in the night still, and when there isn’t any more milk, she asks for a cup of water… most times when I make it back to bed she’s back asleep again. She is waking up at that time as a routine. I am not quite ready to force the issue yet, I am just waiting to see how it will turn out- I will probably try harder to get her in her own bed come spring- we want another kidlet and plan to try in the fall, I don’t want for it to seem to her like we are kicking her out in favor of a new baby so we want to do it soon.
    *sigh* I still didn’t add much to the dialogue, but that’s all a load off my chest… ASK MOXIE is my therapy today. 🙂

  87. are you working on a book? because i would have felt SOOO much better reading this when mine was little than all that crap that made me feel inadequate!

  88. Babies were expected to soothe themselves in their own room in the 60s and 70s. Attachment parenting makes decent sleep difficult as the momma is often the soother. I know it’s considered a myth, but I also think formula fed babies sleep longer.

  89. Oye Sleep.I have 2 very different sleepers.
    First Panda bear was not such a great sleeper. He started off sleeping in a co-sleeper moved into our bed and did not leave until he was about 18 months (even then he slept in a crib sidecar style) now at 2+ years he sleeps on a mattress at the foot of our bed and crawls into our bed anytime between midnight and 5am most nights. He did not start sleeping through the night until he was about 15 months. He had a long stretch of about 3 weeks when he was about 11 months but consistently it didn’t start until he was 15 months which also coincided with weaning (his choice).
    Baby bear has been a better sleeper from day 1. I will say no more as to not anger the sleep gods.
    They are definitely different people but I also did things differently with baby bear. I was not ready for endless cosleeping again since I was exhausted from previous sleep issues and plus we could never get panda used to the crib or any such thing which made life very difficult when he wanted to crawl of the bed in the early am or middle of the night.
    So with baby bear I used the co-sleeper at first and now the crib more often. All naps are in there and most nights too. Some nights he starts off in the crib and then ends up in bed with us (end result= all 4 of us in bed). And some days I like to nap with both boys.
    So more separate sleeping (same room different bed) plus, with baby bear I don’t jump at every noise that he makes. Someone mentioned this earlier about baby monitors and rushing to the baby’s aid and I think it makes a difference. With panda he could have sighed and I would stick the boob in his mouth. With baby bear I wait and see and sometimes he makes a noise while sleeping, or goes back to sleep or needs us.
    But lastly, and this is my dirty little secret is that baby bear has been sleeping on his stomach primarily since he was 2 months old. Some nights he slept fine while on his back swaddled in his blanket but for the most part he will not sleep unless he is on his stomach. I did not sleep very well and constantly checked on him but in the end I had to give in. He just would not sleep on his back at all. He would be miserable, I would be miserable and so I went with any means necessary. Plus by that time he could also roll over from belly to back and so that comforted me. It may not be the medically approved choice but it works in our house.
    In the end I know that the root of all of this, they are both different sleepers I do think that I could have been a better sleep parent with panda baby in that I think I contributed to his frequent nightwakings by constantly sticking the boob in his mouth. I think there were times that he needed it and then there were times where I just got him used to it. But that’s just a speculation in retrospect.
    All in all I think that other commenters have hit the nail on the head with why Sleep is such a big issue. I will just nod my head in agreement that I think it has to do with the fact that we have more going on in our lives with less support and that we have less opportunities to make up sleep through naps etc..
    Perhaps we should all create a Moxie commune and watch each other’s kids to allow us to catch up on our sleep.

  90. I have nothing really constructive to add (i’m so fried that I just have zombie jokes running through my head) but wanted to echo that “Dr. SearsCAN suck it!” I really want that man in my bedroom at 3 am after I’ve spent *hours* “meeting my baby’s needs” and he’s still not asleep.You’ll all get a kick out of this – my darling husband, who is generally a reasonable man, thinks that it’s time that our son sleeps through the night in his own bed and goes to sleep on his own in said bed. Mind you, for the past 19.5 months, this child has slept in bed with us and enjoyed frequent and barely restricted breastfeeding at night. And wakes up at least 4 times before midnight, not to mention after. I agree that these are worthy and admirable goals, but have not yet figured out how he is going to achieve them within the timeline he’s set (basically immediately).
    The poor guy just got back from 3 weeks of business trip and got used to sleeping through the night in a bed by himself (ok, he always sleeps through the night anyway). I just have to laugh…

  91. Sue, if your husband wants it, then your husband should do it. Get your son into the crib, and then figure out what to do in the middle of the night. He can do it. He totally can! I have faith in him.(IOW: It’s not really your problem, so don’t take any of it on yourself.)

  92. Listen, people, all you need to do is put a lettuce leaf under the baby’s pillow! You do let your baby sleep with a pillow, right? On their stomach (it makes them strong!)? ;)In my corner of Mexico, tummy sleeping is the norm (and lettuce leafs are, apparently, the answer to all your problems!). I’m not sure whether the tummy sleeping leads to babies who sleep better or not, especially as what constitutes good sleep seems to be a lot different than what my expectations are. Kids are allowed to stay up quite late here, and if they don’t go down for a nap without incident, it’s just assumed that they aren’t tired. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of guilt surrounding the sleep issue, as there seems to be less of a feeling that you need to make sure your kid gets X number of hours of sleep. Everyone here is more worried about how much their kid eats, because everyone wants a fat, “healthy” baby.
    We’ve done our own thing, so my little boy goes down to bed at night between 6 and 7, and the other babies in his play class go to bed whenever they pass out from sheer exhaustion. They all have their crankypants moments, but I think it’s more due to the fact that they’re a bit older than my son and just starting to get into the temper tantrumy stage. It’s quite interesting to see the results of completely different approaches to parenting side by side and not be able to see much of a difference in the babies…although I can say that tummy sleepers do seem to crawl sooner. It really does make them stronger! Now I just need to find some lettuce leafs!

  93. @Moxie -That’s what I’ve told him. If he ever gets really serios about it, I plan to get a hotel room for a cople of night so I can’t hear the drama. Might take the older kid, too so she doesn’t wake up. I don’t think he’s as serious as he says he is (last night the baby woke up after they had both gone to bed – I was cleaning – and I thought I’d let him take care of it. Next thing you know, he’s gone into my daughter’s room and she’s yelling ‘Mom! your brother is escaping! he’s in my room!’ that husband is a sound sleeper) and the sleep issues are currently taking a back burner to the “I don’t wear clothes. EVER” issue, which was a little cute in the summer but is kind of a problem now that we’re closing in on November in upstate NY. I my actually write you and see if folks can give feedback about similar situations. I’m torn – power struggle or sensory issue? Both? Cussedness? I blame cussedness.

  94. @ Alexis: no tomatoes from me…I agree with most of what you said. I used the Sleep Easy Solution method, which does involve some CIO, but seeks to minimize it through weaning night feeds via a dream feed method that progressively and gently reduces the length of feeds. The CIO comes in when you put them down to sleep drowsy yet awake (a la Weissbluth) which, for babes like mine who were used to being nursed to sleep, is an adjustment. But, any way you package it, it is a CIO method.However, now my daughter is sleeping from 7-7 with one feed in between, and napping 2-3 times a day, and there is hardly any crying to sleep. This is a baby who was waking every 2-3 hours to nurse and fought naps valliantly. What prompted me to try this method out was not my own sleep deprivation (I’m still on maternity leave – in Canada it lasts a year – I can deal with sleep dep.) but the fact that she was super fussy and tired during the day. Now she is happy and well rested.
    I have the opposite issue to what many people are mentioning. I feel judged for using a CIO method, despite the fact that it worked wonders. I am a warm, loving, and compassionate person/mother. I hated hearing my baby CIO – it was torture, *but* I do not regret letting it happen because she now knows how to self-soothe. And, to your surprise, I exclusively breastfreed, wear my baby in a sling or carrier much of the time, and hug and kiss her every chance I get.
    The judgment goes both ways – I don’t judge others for co-sleeping and following Dr. Sears (even though I think he’s the most judgmental of the lot), or for using formula, or for having elective C-sections, so don’t judge me for my methods or label them cruel.

  95. A couple things….I never considered myself a co-sleeper until I looked at pictures of Alex’s early years – many of them are with the both of us asleep in our bed. Huh. Go figure.I also cannot qualify him as a “good” or “bad” sleeper….he has good days and bad days. At 5 months he went through that awful phase of napping for only 40 minutes at a time and was a total bear…he did not sleep through the night by even the most lax standards until he was nearly a year old, at 3 he still wakes up in the middle of the night and wants some “milky milk”…..yet he can put himself to sleep at night, often runs around the house announcing excitedly that he’s GOING TO BED NOW NIGHT NIGHT!!! and cheerfully waves at all around. So. Which is it? I honestly don’t know. I think I’m lucky on many counts, but STILL we struggled (and still struggle) with sleep issues.
    I’m pregnant with #2 (25+ weeks) and reading the comments, it sounds like if you had an “easy sleeper” the first time, the second one was a “bad sleeper” or vice versa. So now I’m worried. Mostly Alex was a good sleeper I think. I would say, if pressed, he was a good sleeper. And IS a good sleeper. My good friend whose child is his age would say “Hey. Wait a minute. I remember……” and list things about his sleep I have forgotten. I think this is the blur of parenthood. But I step back and say “Hm. Maybe he wasn’t the BEST sleeper. I do remember struggling a LOT.” But still….I see him as a good sleeper, and isn’t that what counts the most? (the fact I’m not sure also tells me that compared to what many of you are going through, he is, in fact a good sleeper)
    So, is there anyone out there who had TWO good sleepers? I’m scouring the comments to see someone say “both my kids were good sleepers”. Other than my mom (who is in her late 60’s and can’t POSSIBLY remember the truth) no one has ever said that.
    So somebody out there, please……tell me about your two kids who were, for the most part, good sleepers.
    I am, however, looking forward to having a kid who has no eating issues…..that was our big struggle the first time. Looking forward to a kid who will eat anything, anytime, anywhere (of course, I’m aware there are no guarantees). I think a lot of it will also have to do with my anxiety issues over eating – I simply do not have the time or energy to obsess about it as much as I did the first time around – which I suspect is why many second children are classified “easy babies”.

  96. I haven’t read all the comments, but based on Moxie’s original post and Hedra’s first comment, I’m wondering if the sleep thing is a convergence of two forces for our generation. I’d argue that pre-WWI, *most* American babies/children co-slept with either parents of siblings. In my own experience, difficult sleepers sleep better when they co-sleep (I say this after having a difficult sleeper with whom I did not co-sleep and having had a difficult sleeper with whom I still sleep… and I wouldn’t even qualify him as difficult anymore. Naturally, I’m generalizing based on my own experience.). Post-WWII, with the GI Bill and other economic advances, families suddenly found themselves with more bedrooms and could separate children from parents and siblings. But it was also an era of Spock. Parents were told that coddling children was bad, that you would spoil them if you answered every cry. So you had babies separated for sleep who were allowed to CIO because this is just what you did. Enter our generation. We have been taught that you can’t spoil them… we *should* hold them, coddle them, respond to their every whimper… but the basic structure of our lives/homes is still that old post-WWII ideal–3 bedrooms, babies have a nursery, children sleep separately. It’s no wonder we struggle. I doubt babies really sleep any worse now than they ever have… I think we just can’t be allowed to deal with it in ways that make sense b/c we are made to feel guilty by our parents’ generation for doing whatever it takes… and we have been told it would be different than it was b/c our parents told us we slept by ourselves in our cribs from day 1.Please don’t read any of this as a criticism of any method or approach. I’ve got a bad sleeper (who is still a bad sleeper at 8 yrs old), a great sleeper who still naps and sleeps 10+ hours at night at 6 yrs old, and a toddler who falls somewhere in between those. I’ve co-slept, I’ve used one of those door knobs that kids can’t turn to keep them in their room after lights out, I’ve used Weissbluth, Ferber, and Moxie. I think if a bunch of mommies had told me when #1 was born, “Hey, just go with the flow–by any means necessary,” I could have saved myself a lot of guilt and tears. By the time #3 got here, I’d already adopted that as my mantra… therefore, despite some sleep issues, it was so much easier to take it all in stride.

  97. Julie, I can’t qualify my first as a good or bad sleeper. He’s a freaking awesome sleeper now (at 6 1/2). My second one was a much better sleeper in some ways (slept 8 hours in a row at 3 weeks!!!) but teethed early (shot that sleeping all to crap). And he needed to cry himself to sleep. Which was good in some ways (once I figured it out, of course) but bad in others.I think kids are just different. And not always in a good/bad way. Which is good, because otherwise you’d compare them, which we all know leads to lifetime problems from having read the Siblings Without Rivalry book.;-)

  98. @professor mamaI read Weisbluth after reading BabyWise (the former a purchase, the latter a gift). BabyWise made me laugh. I got the general concept, but their examples almost literally said, “do this or your child will be a self-absorbed ninny.”
    Right. Weisbluth felt, at first, like a nice, balanced approach. But he, too, does a bit of the guilt game. In his case, the guilt revolves around the idea that if you fail to impose a particular sleep pattern on your child, you are harming him/her for life. Literally. Brain chemistry, later problems with insomnia, obesity, anti-social behavior, learning problems, all of it traceable, Weisbluth suggests, to sleep deficit and thus cognitive problems.
    He makes a really good case for the value of lots of good, solid sleep. I liked that and it helped me to survive CIO and sleep training and all the things we did to get Mr. Boy to sleep. But you have to take Weisbluth, just like all the others, with a grain of salt.
    @charisse: I am a historian, and you are right on. In fact, there’s a theory about the witchcraft trials in Salem in 1692 that is partially based on sleep research showing that societies without electric light tend to sleep in 2 stages.
    First from dark until midnight or so, then again from 2am to dawn or so. In the middle, people got up and moved around, worked, and occasionally got into trouble (hence the witchcraft connection).
    It’s a very interesting set of concepts, and it certainly suggests to me that our belief in sleeping all night (for anyone) is culturally and temporally specific, rather than innate or “natural” (whatever that means, this week).

  99. @JUlie -I personally have two TERRIBLE sleepers. However, I have two friends who both have two very good sleepers. They are close enough, and I knew their children at a young enough age to say that yes, they really did have good sleepers and aren’t lying about it. So it can happen.I actually told one of them that if I ever have a third child I want her to be an egg donor, because I can’t cope with my temperament being passed to a kid again (ever remember when your mom said “One day, you’ll have a kid, and she’ll be JUST like you!” Well, it happened.)
    So take heart – it may happen for you!

  100. Wow. I’m short on time so haven’t read through all the posts, but wow. I think this is an amazingly accurate summary of our obstacles the context in which we parent.

  101. There are several things that I have used over the years and they have worked for me each time.1) In Germany we have a folk remedy that is fennel tea. In Germany, you can buy it in powder form and pre-measured. It is made from the seeds of the fennel plant. It has a way of relaxing the children and allow them to sleep easily. Because it relaxes, it also helps with passing of gas and gastrointestinal problems.
    If you choose to make this tea from scratch, make it very mild, so the color is very light yellow. If you make it too strong, your child will sleep deeply. I have even been told that it can cause problems. Mind you, I”ve been told, but have never actually heard of anything happening. Here in San Francisco, I just go to my local German store (Lehr’s) and buy the powder form. You can also get it from the internet.
    2) Bath time is very important to relaxation. When any of my charges have tough time sleeping, I tend to warm their bath by just a degree or two or three, not even close to hot. Then I raise the water level a little so their body is in the warmth a bit more, and I leave them in a little longer than usual. That knocks them out for the night usually. However, I notice that if you do it all the time, the effect leaves, so be wise about that. AND:
    NEVER EVER LEAVE THE KIDS ALONE IN THE BATHTUB. I know that should go without saying, but it never hurts to say it one more time 🙂
    3) Warm milk – I don’t know if there is a real effect, but there certainly is a perceived effect. My little ones tend to trust me very much (with good reason). So when I tell them that I will warm the milk for them and that it will relax them enough to sleep, they tend to believe me and relax. That darn placebo 😉

  102. Re what’s causing us to feel like failures …I totally blame the Internet for my regular freak-out cycles. It’s as much a hindrance as it is helpful. There is just so much information out there that every aspect of parenting (and life in general) can be disected and obsessed over. Great for empowerment but it also makes you doubt your strongest mother-tool: intuition. I find myself trying to get things ‘right’ when other mothers who aren’t as research-obsessed just take whatever comes as ‘normal’ and move on.
    Ah, Internets. I loves you and I hates you.

  103. I would love to read every comment, because I am somewhat obsessed with the sleep thing. Not even in a bad way, but just in an interested way.Someone asked about Weissbluth. I always have to put in my “defense” of him. I think he’s got it nailed, honestly, but I think he’s a terrible writer. Or he’s got a terrible editor, or something. The information is good, but man is it presented in a way that makes it impossible to find what you need. At least that was my take. He is definitely NOT a CIO-or-nothing guy (which is often how I see him characterized). He’s a be-consistent guy.
    I had one with sleep difficulties (no way no how did she want to be put down to sleep and if you managed it, the first time she woke up, she screamed until you came and held her — but she is also super-sensitive, so the slightest sound or movement woke her, so you can see the problem) and one who was easier. The one piece of advice that I think holds true for EVERYONE, no matter the issues, no matter your philosophy, no matter the age or gender or developmental stage or anything else is this: Pick a schedule and stick with it. I first heard the 2-3-4 rule here (for kids on two-naps a day: first nap is 2 hours after waking for the morning, second nap is 3 hours after waking from first nap, bedtime is 4 hours after waking from second nap) and I think it is dead on for lots of kids. You do have to feel your way around to find a schedule that works, but once you’ve found it, you gotta protect it at all costs. Don’t keep the baby out ’til 9 to go out to dinner or because you want to run to the grocery store “just this once”. Save it for when grandma’s turning 100 or your very best friend in all the world has a 3-hour layover in your town on her way to spend the next 3 years in the Peace Corps in Zimbabwe.
    I chose very different methods with my kids. My older we did CIO when she was about 6 months because she was getting totally overtired from waking up a thousand times a night and no, letting her cry for 45 minutes was not pleasant, but neither was forcibly holding her down when she needed staples in her head and I did that, too, because it was the lesser of evils. Sometimes neither choice is all that awesome. At least the CIO pain was brief (comparatively speaking). I firmly believe that if we’d never done it, we’d now have a 4-year-old who needed an adult (who am I kidding? she’d need ME and only ME) to lie down with her until she fell asleep every night.
    With my younger, I got lucky. His sleep patterns developed the way the books suggest they ought to. I didn’t even try to put him down until he was past the 6-week hellish mark (I slept on the couch, somewhat reclined, with him on me) and I held him until he was COMPLETELY asleep (by which I mean past the first 45-minute sleep cycle) until he was probably 3 months and then gradually started transitioning him to the cradle, then the crib. If he woke up in the night, I offered him food and rocked him back to sleep. Eventually he got to the point where when I offered him milk, he looked at me exactly the way you would if I offered you a sandwich when you woke briefly in the night. I never deliberately let him cry, but we did use a video monitor with the SOUND OFF. I could hear him from his bedroom if he really got going, but the fussy stuff I either didn’t wake up for or delayed long enough for him to get over himself and go back to sleep.
    If I had to make a top ten list of Things I’m Good At, figuring out how to get babies to sleep would be in the top three. I’d consider hiring myself out, but I’m hoping to retain my amateur status for the 2012 Olympic Games.

  104. @Jutta, there’s an actual biological component to the bath thing — apparently the drop in temperature you experience going from the warm bath to the less-warm bed is a natural sleep trigger for our bodies (correlated, I guess, with the sun going down?)

  105. @Julie, I’m pregnant with #2 also and also wondering. #1 was a cuddly little cosleeper who night-weaned at three, luckily a great fit for us. But I have one friend who has THREE great sleepers. Easy kids, mellow mom, and they all three were tummy sleepers.I forget who asked, but there is a physical component to formula-fed babies sleeping longer–cow milk isn’t as readily digestible by babies as human milk, so babies don’t wake up hungry quite as fast.
    I’m sympathetic to those for whom cosleeping doesn’t work, but I have trouble believing that babies are biologically doomed by parents who cosleep and nurse on demand at night for longer than the first few months. I know it’s not always possible or desired, especially with strict and long work schedules, but I was very taken by the bio/anthropology theories that humans evolved that way in Our Babies, Ourselves.
    One other generational thing I haven’t seen mentioned is the crazy long work hours we have now. I always have to laugh when my grandparents complain that my lawyer husband should only work from nine to five because he works for the state, whereas we count ourselves lucky that he is home for dinner most nights. I think when you had mostly a parent at home and a working parent who left work at five, the whole evening was less rushed–time for children to soak up time with parents, have dinner, and then a not-too-rushed bath and bedtime. Whereas if one or especially both parents comes home at six or seven or later, it’s much harder to have a calm evening with enough time to wind down before bed.

  106. The next time you’re up in the middle of the night with a non-sleeping baby, consider what occurred to me last night at approximately one a.m.Sometime in the not-so-distant future a couple will be walking along a beach at sunset. One of them will be your adult child. Picture the scene:
    Man, taking woman in his arms: “Honey, you know what? I am so glad my parents never used a pacifier.”
    Woman, gazing back into his eyes: “Me too. Because otherwise you wouldn’t be the thoughtful, loving, and disarmingly attractive man you are now.”
    [The man smiles widely and the sun glints off a perfect tooth.]
    Man: “And I am so glad that your parents never let you CIO, or coslept, or left you sleeping in a car seat or baby swing, or failed to keep you on a nap schedule.”
    Woman, wiping away a tear: “I can only imagine the result if they had. I think of my cousin. She didn’t sleep through the night until 18 months, and now, poor thing, she’s not nearly the beautiful and dynamic career woman that I am today.”
    Man, pulling the woman’s head against his chest: “Don’t think of all that, dear. Just be grateful that we have each other… and our healthy sleep habits.”
    Woman: “You’re right, dear.”
    Man, after a pause: “Darling, *you* are my sleep association.”
    They kiss and their silhouettes fade to black against the setting sun.
    No wonder we all feel so guilty. Our children’s future happiness is at stake and nothing less!

  107. OK, Parisienne Mais Presque … that was HILARIOUS. Thank you thank you for that.One thing I try to keep in mind when dealing with the judgmental older generations many of us have to deal with: how different are things going to be when my daughter has children? What if all the research says breastfeeding is horrible, that CIO is better in all cases, etc.? How on earth will I ever feel like I can trust that the way I have done things isn’t the right way? That will feel like a huge slap in the face, even though she’ll just be doing what is right for her at the time. Because of these thoughts, I try to be gentle with my mom and not be hurt by her judgments, and I try to be gentle with myself so as not to put myself in that judging parental role to my daughter in the future. I’m not saying I give everyone a free pass, but I do try to put it in perspective.

  108. Not to dampen anyone’s hopes if they plan to formula feed for a better sleeping baby (as if) but T has been on formula his whole life and he has always been a voracious eater. Frequent wakings to feed and he tummy slept in his crib from about 12 weeks on and he slept on me (on his tummy) up until that point.So, in my case study of one, a tummy sleeping, formula fed baby does not always a good sleeper make.

  109. I don’t know if this has been mentioned (and hope I’m not repeating anything) but I think ‘Kelly Mom’ mentions that breastfed children whose mothers are away during the day to work do most of their feeding at night. I wonder if those of us who have bad sleepers or all night feeders are also mothers who work during the day. I wonder if it would apply to bottle-fed kids too, for different reasons though. Just a thought. Any stats?

  110. I struggled with this as a FTM for months on end! I read every book I could get my hands on about sleep, and they were all different. My husband’s mom said CIO, and my mom said that was cruel and she never did that with me. It was enough to make me want to pull my hair out!Having a kid that doesn’t sleep well is not easy. Even though you shouldn’t, we compare our kids to the neighbor’s baby or our best friend’s baby. My struggle, “They all seem to sleep, so why doesn’t mine???”
    I had to get out of this mindset! I had to put the stupid books down! All I needed to do in the end was to listen to my own child and what his needs were. My child isn’t a CIO child. He gets hysterical in a matter of seconds and ends up throwing up because he is crying so hard. Every method out there may not fit your child, so ditch the methods and listen to YOUR baby! That’s my two cents.
    When I did that, I stopped comparing, I stopped being frustrated, and I accepted my child for how he was. I learned to cherish those middle of the night rocking moments that I know won’t last very much longer. I tried to understand why he was waking up – teething mostly.
    From my observation of my own son, I think babies mature differently when it comes to settling into a sleep pattern. It took my son 6-7 months to settle down and sleep through the night. That doesn’t make me a failure or a bad parent because my child had trouble sleeping. I just had to be a little more patient than some.

  111. Re: sleep training using CIO – is it really ok for a child long term? I want to try it when my baby is born, but I’m not totally convinced that it doesn’t contribute at least somewhat to increased cortisol levels in the system, which then can lead to mental health disorders like depression/anxiety in adults. I want to believe it’s totally safe… because I honestly think it is very effective and useful.If anyone has a study disproving this type of link, could you please share it? Thank you – and please don’t hate me for wondering…

  112. @Betsy, Moxie did a really helpful post on this a while back. Search for CIO in the “Search Ask Moxie” box on the right and you should find it.

  113. @sueinithica, yesterday was the screaming fit because I insisted Miss R wear something warm, and (GASP!) socks and shoes. To school. In the rain, 45 degrees, windy.Sensory issue here (though the tendency to decline clothes happens around the same time as some decline to use the potty, so it probably also has a cognitive issue in there). A hand-held massage thingy helps rather a lot. She’ll scream at the clothes because they did something wrong (pulled against an armpit, she could feel it at her waist, etc.), run and grab her massager, buzz her armpit or ask me to buzz her back, and then put on the clothes without much protest (sometimes we have to do that run twice). And, er, we only had a short bout of her playing with the vibr.. er, massager in the peace corner by herself (or offering it to her siblings, eek?). Heh.
    We’re up to I think 5 dresses she’ll wear (two are a duplicate set), and she mainly wears crocs (in the freezing cold), but at least we’ve added a coat to the mix. She’s declined leg warmers, socks, and pants entirely. I don’t even ask about tights.
    ***
    Back to the topic.
    One of the things that made me a huge Moxie fan was an early post about books and experts, where Moxie noted something along the lines of ‘most experts have too much of an opinion about how things should be done’. I’m not a true fan of any baby ‘expert’ but Ann Douglas, who is an anti-expert – she has no agenda except evidence and information, and wants you to choose what works for you.
    I’m way more about philosophy than method. I read the Sears books, saw through the checklist to the philosophy, adopted large portions of the philosophy and don’t even remember all the items that were on the checklists (some of which irked me no end; the major Attachment research organization actually states that they do not advocate ANY specific child-rearing activities, because how attachment functions is a process of relationship and not a checklist). I can figure out how to protect my child’s attachment function on my own, work my way through that process just with us, and I don’t need to follow a checklist to make my choices work out to the same conclusion.

  114. @Julie & @Heather — #2 is 5 weeks old and so far a typical sleeper — naps on and off most of the day, sleeps 4-5 hours for the first stretch at night, then up every 1.5-2 hours until morning. FWIW, we are EBF. #1 STTN (8-10hrs.)at 8 weeks, but I think that’s really unusual, and certainly not due to anything I did, so I will be satisfied if #2 keeps up with this pattern for a while.@ProfessorMama — I read & liked Weissbluth, mostly for the justification and scientific background on why good sleep is so important. We did not necessarily use his techniques for getting there, though.
    @Alexis — no tomatoes. You’re dead on. IME, good sleep is paramount, regardless of how you get there — CIO or Pantley or Sears or whatever.
    @Julie — on a personal note, #2 had similar DS test results as you got a little while ago (we had no amnio) and is fine. Thinking of & praying for peace for you, regardless of your outcome.

  115. @ Betsy: This recent study addresses exactly your point of concern but only as far as the age of 2 years old. They conclude “The sleep intervention in infancy resulted in sustained positive effects on maternal depression symptoms and found no evidence of longer-term adverse effects on either mothers’ parenting practices or children’s mental health.”Hiscock H, Bayer JK, Hampton A, Ukoumunne OC, Wake M (2008) Long-term mother and child mental health effects of a population-based infant sleep intervention: cluster-randomized, controlled trial. Pediatrics. Sep;122(3):e621-7.

  116. @Betsy, if you want to consider CIO, I HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend you buy Dr. Ferber’s book (latest edition only, it has the new content). He ‘invented’ the method, and he specifies exactly when, why, and under what conditions it is useful and effective. And also when NOT to use it.High cortisol levels are a real issue over a longer span of time (the three days that is the usual marker for success with sleep training methods isn’t that long).
    BUT. Whether your individual child will find sleeping alone stressful enough to spike cortisol, and what signs they’ll show when/if they DO spike into severe stress will be unique to your child and probably won’t be relevant to other kids. I have one child whose native anxiety level is so high that she spikes into catatonic so quickly under stress that she bypasses crying and goes directly to quiet and ‘coy’ looking. If I hadn’t figured out that she was so panicked already that she had ceased to function, I could have made some very wrong choices with her very easily. How I have to respond to her in order to maximize her function is vastly different than how I have to respond to my other kids. She literally ‘broke’ under even short-term, verbal-reassurance distress conditions (crying for a few minutes in the car while I was driving, for example, would change her behavior for days to disorganized attachment – panic on seeing me, fleeing when she wanted to be comforted, etc. – she didn’t reach for me ONCE until she was 15 months old, after I’d figured out more how to handle her function failures). The same conditions that caused her total crisis were blips for the other kids.
    There are other factors of uniqueness, too. One of my kids randomly cycled between tension-increaser and tension-reducer when he cried at night. I had to understand that he wasn’t always going to respond exactly the same way, and just listen to figure out which way he was headed *this* time, and respond accordingly. Another child is very certain and demands to be attended to, but goes to angry and not broken if there is a delay. And the last is more quietly determined, and simply declines to sleep under certain conditions, but also puts himself to bed under others. Four entirely different planets – as mentioned, there isn’t just a ‘good’ and a ‘bad’ sleep type, and there isn’t just a ‘kid who thrives with CIO’ and ‘kid who breaks with CIO’ nor is there just two options on ANY aspect of this.
    I kind of expected my second child to be either just like my first, or the opposite. He was just different. Sometimes 90 degrees different, but mainly just a whole different kind of different. (My favorite example is: Mr G, the first time he pulled up on a table, he glanced toward us to find out if it was okay to touch the things on the table before proceeding. Mr B, the first time he pulled up on a table, promptly ignored all the stuff on the table and tried to disassemble the table itself by digging at the screw heads. UTTERLY different planets.)
    I’d suggest you start with Dr. Ferber’s book, or Ann Douglas’ book (or both), since they are the most likely to give you a wide range of options (Dr Ferber is not opposed to cosleeping, by the way). Toss in The Happiest Baby on the Block (Karp) as a backup study for biology and sleep in infancy. (By the way, sleep training isn’t recommended by pediatric sleep experts until 6 months old, when they have the cognitive skills to learn what you are trying to teach, rather than learning something else entirely.)
    And then work on figuring out your child, because when it comes to books, the child is the book on themselves. Learn to read *them*, and you’ll have more information than any printed book available.

  117. @scantee- according to my Mom, I was exactly like your son: up every night at 2 a.m. wanting to play. I have no advice on how to fix the problem- my parents were sharing a house at the time, so my Mom just got up and played with me. But if it helps you to know- I turned out OK and don’t seem to be scarred for life by the 2 a.m. play sessions. I’m not even a night owl now.@Stacy- at about 9-10 months, my Pumpkin went through a phase where she would not nap for me unless she was moving. Luckily, she went to day care 4 days a week, or I would have gone insane. I took a lot of walks and drives during that time. Now she naps just fine for me- although she still goes down easier at day care. (I think it is the peer pressure of seeing all the other kids go down for a nap at the same time.)
    What has most helped me deal with our not so great sleeping Pumpkin (now 18 months old, and still up at least once a night) is knowing from my Mom that my baby is just doing what I did. So it is easier to push aside the guilt and feelings like I’m failing (although those do come), and just work on figuring out how to make things work for our family. My Mom says she must have been tired during the day, but doesn’t remember. So I’m hoping I’ll forget about the tiredness, too. Also, my older sister slept through the night from very early on. The only difference my Mom thinks there was in our baby days was that she ended up weaning my sister early, whereas I nursed until I was about 2.
    The other godsend, also a gift from my parents: they come over and give us a night off now and then. They stay in our house with Pumpkin, and Hubby and I go away to a hotel and sleep. (We also eat dinner together and have uninterrupted conversations and maybe even an adult beverage or two- it is fabulous.) I think Moxie’s comment about the extended family support is right on. I feel very fortunate to have the support I have, and I still want more!
    I’ll also occasionally take Tylenol PM to help me actually sleep when Pumpkin’s asleep. Sometimes I find it hard to go to sleep, because I’m waiting for Pumpkin to wake up. And then she has a great night and I’m STILL tired which is the most crazy-making thing ever. So every now and then, I medicate. The “PM” is just benadryl, so its even safe to do while nursing (which I still am). My ob/gyn suggested this while I was pregnant and having trouble getting enough sleep, and I’ve just kept it up post baby. Honestly, it is the best advice he gave me- and he was a pretty good ob/gyn with lots of good advice.

  118. I’m not the only one obsessed with sleep just because, um, I love sleeping – right? I mean, I don’t have any guilt over the kiddo not being a great sleeper, or feel like I’m doing the wrong thing, I just – want to sleep. Because it makes me feel good.(Hence my top two essential baby gear recommendations to expectant friends: king-sized bed and espresso machine.)

  119. @professor mama: I’m not fond of Weissbluth, mostly because his writing style is patronizing, he’s incredibly redundant, and he takes credit for basically inventing the wheel (IOW, he takes credit for lots of old-school wisdom that’s been around way before his book). However, he’s got some good info if you’ve never heard it before, interspersed with all the vitriol (sorry… I know some people like him, I see his strengths, but can’t get past his limitations). Want to save yourself some money? I’ve summarized his approach before. Here’s the gist:The rationale for this approach is that babies and toddlers have natural, neurologically-based sleep rhythms that should be respected. It is the parents’ job to structure the child’s day and night such that sleep is optimized. The goal is to get babies and toddlers to sleep for age-appropriate durations throughout the day and night by watching the baby’s cues and following a handful of tips. There are about five main tips that can help children fall into healthy sleep habits. Some may be counterintuitive, but they are generally all “tried and true” techniques.
    (1) Sleep begets sleep. The more a child naps during the day, the more likely it is that she will sleep longer and wake less frequently during the night.
    (2) If a child is waking up frequently during the night or waking up far too early, put the child to sleep earlier in the night (rather than the more intuitive later bedtime).
    (3) Do not allow babies younger than 4 months or so to stay awake for more than 1-2 hours at a time during the day. Try putting them down to nap after this short interval throughout the day.
    (4) Watch for tell-tale signs of fatigue and put your baby down for a nap or for bedtime as soon as you see these signs (even if they occur only one hour after the baby has woken up). The sleepy signs include the baby rubbing her eyes, yawning, batting her ears, whining or fussing, and so on.
    (5) Use the same bedtime routine every night (often including bath, bottle, breastfeeding, stories, rocking, and so on).

  120. @Chicago Mom: I had read Moxie’s previous post about the difficulty we have asking for help, and it didn’t really hit me till I saw your post. I almost cried. I’ve chosen to live near family, but I feel so lonely, too. I never ask them for the kind of help I really need. I can’t even imagine how you feel not having that option, and my heart goes out to you.

  121. I think what helped me with not having to listen to my in-laws or friends or other relatives’ comments on our parenting (“What? No pacifier?” “You’re not circumcizing him? He’ll hate you for that!” “You’re STILL breastfeeding? That’s totally for you and not for the baby”) is that I stopped talking about stuff except to a very select few.Yes, we were miserable with our sleep problems, but I figured out quickly whom to talk to about it without judgement (mostly, just my DH and my sister). I didn’t ask for advice from anyone else, and if asked about a specific situation, changed the subject as quickly as possible.
    My MIL, in particular (all of the quotes above are direct quotes from her) became VERY defensive about her parenting if she noticed anything that I happened to be doing differently than she did.
    One thing I did that was a bit of a throwback was put my DS to sleep on his stomach. He wouldn’t ever EVER sleep on his back. I researched the risk for SIDs, concluded that we were very low-risk indeed, and went for it. IMHO, the Back-to-Sleep campaign has gone overboard.

  122. @meggimoo, there’s recent research showing that having a fan circulating air in the room makes a big difference for the SIDS risk, as well – so for those for whom front-sleeping seems like the only sanity possible, there’s another way to reduce the SIDS risk along with. Doesn’t take it to zero, but reduces it a lot.”Having a fan on during sleep was associated with a 72 percent decrease in SIDS risk compared to sleeping in a room without a fan. Fan use in warmer room temperatures (above 21 degrees Celcius/69 degrees Fahrenheit) was associated with a 94 percent decreased risk of SIDS compared with no fan use. Fan use also was associated with a decreased risk of SIDS in infants who slept in the prone or side position, shared a bed with someone other than their parents or did not use a pacifier.”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/10/081006180648.htm

  123. Thank you, Moxie, for continuing to post about sleep. My son is now two, and sleeps like a little angel. It wasn’t always this way. In those endless first 10 months when he was still waking frequently, I would read and reread your posts and readers’ comments. They were my only solace.Parents of little ‘uns who are still not sleeping through the night: have hope. They they will sleep. Eventually.

  124. Oh, and for the no-back-sleepers, the pediatric hospital made a ‘recliner’ out of firmly folded flannel blankies for Mr B when he was in hospital at 5 weeks old. Stacked them under his legs and arms until he looked like a mini astronaut on his back in a capsule – arms and legs both bent at a comfortable angle. The nurse said that babies (like him) with a strong startle reflex when their bodies are extended will *not* sleep on their backs without good leg and arm support. It isn’t whether they’re tummy down or back down, it is whether their body is extended or contracted (contracted sleep is typical in tummy-down position). She said that sometimes a hand on the belly will prevent the startle, but you have to stay there… I used to sleep with my hand on his belly when he was back-sleeping, because it just worked.So many things they don’t teach in the books…

  125. Ah Mrs. Haley! Congratulations!!! I had my amnio about a month ago and all results were normal. Thank you for your good wishes. We are on track for another 9 lb baby. Hoping to go a bit early as I did the last time. I’ve been thinking about you and wondering, so I’m glad all is well.:)

  126. @shayneegray- I just saw your comment and want to send you big hugs. Is there anyway you can actually get out of the house for a break? We went through a hellish period at some point (maybe 13 months?) where Pumpkin was up 4-5 times a night. My parents came to let us go away for a night. I was so worried that they’d have a horrible night, since she would scream for me if Hubby went in. But she did just fine with the grandparents. They took her in and showed her I wasn’t in the bed. She cried a bit, demanded a cracker, and then went back to sleep just fine.Meanwhile, I was sleeping the sleep of the dead in a hotel somewhere.

  127. Regarding why our generation seems to have so many more sleeping problems; my suspicion is that the our parents didn’t co-sleep as much and that co-sleeping isn’t best situation for uninterrupted sleep. (I know, personally I sleep better when I’m not sharing a bed with my husband). And (to continue wildly hypothesizing)I think so many more of us find co-sleeping appealing because we have to work OTH more often to support our families (dual income = more and more necessary as time goes on). That’s my two cents.Personally, we tried CIO/Ferber at 6 months and it’s worked pretty well for us with the occasional rebellion.

  128. @Bella, yes, patronizing AND patriarchal–his book may have been one of the most offensive documents I’ve ever read as a hardcore feminist…I do understand that the information is true for a lot of kids, but I also feel compelled to reiterate that in fact, the sleep begets sleep thing and the 1-2 hours thing are not universal. I had a cheerful newborn who stayed up 4 hours at a time from birth, who became a 2 1/2-year-old who was a raging disaster with a nap and a gracious joy without. She’s now a cheery, curious 4 1/2 who goes to bed a little later than her friends. YMMV on all of these “rules”–there isn’t necessarily anything wrong with you or your kid if you don’t fit.

  129. Amy, that’s a really interesting observation about how working outside the home makes sleep that much more critical for parents. And definitely true for me.My daughter is 19-months-old and my husband calls her “the Madonna of sleep deprivation” because she is always reinventing the pattern.
    She was an awesome sleeper until four months of age and then it was just erratic–great for one week, horrific for the next two–until fifteen months of age when she started sleeping deeply and soundly eight hours at a stretch. I really thought at the time that it was tied to her mastering the big motor challenge of walking because there was nothing we had changed with the to-bed routine.
    Then something happened around 17-18 months and she cannot handle being apart from me. We had transitioned her to a mattress in her own room but she would wake up, scream her head off, and come running into my room after just a couple hours of sleep. So now we’re cosleeping again and I’m trying to push aside my fears of disordered sleep for years to come.
    I initially started out very anti-CIO, but now fully get why parents pursue that option. I honestly can’t see it working for my kid. She was born mellow, social and easygoing. She not a tantrumer. She only cries when something is wrong. We have let her cry–sometimes with Dad present, when I am just spent–and it just never levels off, it just ratchets up in intensity even after an hour or so.
    I am curious to know, from the parents who have great sleepers, is teething never an issue? Or is it just my kid who seems extra sensitive to teething pain at night? We had almost nightweaned when the canines starting coming in and now it’s “Milk! Milk! Milk!” two to three times a night. She’s so insistent and fussy that I suspect pain is the issue.

  130. @Keri, kids seem to have hugely different responses to teething. One friend of Mouse’s (actually, a lifelong great sleeper with no training or anything) would just seem a wee bit fussy for a couple days and then turn up with a new tooth. Mouse? Weeks of rough nights for every group of teeth (she got them in clusters). I think they’re just different.

  131. I’m putting this out there for anyone who reads anywhere that “they’ll grow out of it by x age” and wants to pull her hair out because her child is already way beyond that age.We struggled and struggled with sleep with #2. I think I was the most frustrated when I was bound and determined to fight it out, figure it out, make it work. MAKE him sleep. Ha. After 2+ years of cyclically obsessing about his sleep, I gave up. Path of least resistance all the way, baby. When the boy wakes, he comes into bed with us. Or if we’re still awake, because yes, he very often wakes around 10 p.m., I get him back to sleep in his own room and he joins us at some point later in the night. 90% of the time, I couldn’t even tell you when he comes in, he’s that stealthy. We’re all a lot less frustrated, and I’m not crazy insane from lack of sleep.
    What was most frustrating for me, was that all the elements that were supposed to make independent sleep easier just didn’t have any effect on this kid. Sleep begets sleep? Not for him. Nightweaning? No difference. Able to fall asleep on his own? Sure, at bedtime, but not in the small hours. He’ll grow out of it? Not any time soon.
    The boy is 3.5 now. When asked why he can’t stay in his own bed all night he says, “But I get lonely, Mama.” I occasionally think I should ban him from our bed, but I can’t see a reason to fight that battle and make us all sleep deprived and frustrated again. I really, really like sleep, and I’m not willing to lose sleep pursuing a battle of wills with a preschooler.
    Incidentally, my mom, who is usually incredibly supportive of how we’re doing things, sometimes acts like we should force him to sleep in his own room. But guess where he ends up when he sleeps over at Grandma’s house–in bed with her. He’s just a snuggly, company-loving kid. Someday he’ll sleep all night on his own. And honestly? We’ll probably miss having him snuggled in with us.
    For the record, our first kid slept 12 hours at night from about 18 months or so, with daytime naps on top of that. I can’t take credit for that, and I refuse to take blame for #2.

  132. @Valerie…I know that it may not be your ideal to have him sleeping with you, but his explanation of why he comes in melted my heart. We’re one of the few societies who expect our kids to sleep all alone in their own bed and room. Most other cultures have, at the very least, siblings sleeping together.

  133. @Hedra -I think we may have had a breakthrough in *my* understanding of the clothing refusal. Mr. man is potty training right now, and is 99% effective when we are at home or a friend’s house. *But* has tons of accidents if we are out (he won’t wear a diaper and is 20 months old. This is not asurprise to me, but he feels strongly about potty training right now, and I feel like any child that wants to use the potty should be encouraged, regardless of my readiness). Anyway, it seems that he’s not quite able to get his pants off in time, and really hates wet pants. So he’s chosen “no pants” as his solution. Not actually a bad one except that it’s 33 degrees, windy, and snowing here. We’ve begun a dialogue about how mommy will help him pull his pants down if he needs it, and will help him learn how. My hope is that once we’re in the very cold weather, he’ll have worked through this. I do think there is a sensory component, but that that is more minor than the easy potty access issue. He’s had fits in front of a friend whose children have sensory issues (mild autism + a host of other things) and she has offered to have us over for a playdate sometime when her daughter’s OT is there to witness a dressing incident and give her opinion. Of course, our babysitter is an OT and he dresses perfectly well for her (but then his expectations of pottying are different with her than with me) – she thinks it’s a power struggle. I don’t think it’s a power struggle, as he seems panicked and distressed rather than angry, and he doesactually keep the pants on instead of taking them off and throwing them across the room. Right now I’m pushing legwarmers. If I can get him to wear legwarmers, a coat, and his fuzzy crocs, I think we’ll be ok for a month or so.
    For your daughter – will she wear the fleece-lined crocs? Those have saved us this fall.

  134. I haven’t had a chance to read comments yet, but I just have to say how timely this post is. I was logging on to send you an email about my daughter and, you guessed it, sleep. This makes me feel a little bit better about everything that we’re doing in the middle of the night to make her life easier (even if it doesn’t make ours easier). Thanks so much for being here for us, Moxie!

  135. @Sueinithica, we haven’t tried the fleece crocs yet – I only just saw they existed a couple weeks ago, smack in the middle of the unemployment (new job starts Monday). So, er, pay first, then spend. ;)@valerie, ‘I’m lonely’ is the usual reason our kids want to be with us (though the cause of waking often is ‘refuses to wear PJs or teeshirt or anything to bed, then kicks off blanket, then freezes’). And by the way, once you get past 2, it is not typical to get them to WANT to sleep alone until around age 5 or 6 (you may succeed, but they don’t want to). The highest rate of cosleeping worldwide is age 2-5. A) they can get to you on their own, and B) they have a lot of cognitive skills and emotional processing developing at once, and they prefer to have company when that results in something mentally uncomfortable! Bad dream, dark room, whathaveyou, they wake, they want company, safety, security, etc. They can figure out what the answer is as easily as you can, and it isn’t ‘Mommy needs her sleep’…
    We had two in with us last night. In the queen, now that we’ve reduced the beds and separated the bedrooms. Sigh. Jumped the gun a wee bit on that (they’re almost 4). In another year or so, we’ll probably stop having visitors…

  136. @Valerie- I, too, to this day, get lonely sleeping by myself at night. (I’m 33.) Ever since I can remember (and I can remember a lot even from when I was Very Little), I’ve not liked sleeping alone very much. My brother, 2 yrs. younger than me, slept in my room until I was 4, when we moved to a really old house (like 100 years old, which I loved) and I got my own room with my own giant bed and never really liked sleeping there alone, had terrors at night, would lie awake, petrified, imagining mice crawling inside the thick walls and the trees reaching out and grabbing the house, because I knew I would not be welcome in my parents’ room. Until my sister was born and moved into my room with me when I was 12, and then I was fine. Now, when my husband is gone, I stay up as late as I possibly can keep my eyes open watching TV, because I still don’t relish going to bed alone.My kids sleep in their own beds, although they share a room, and usually stay there all night. But I will never deny them crawling in with me when they need to.

  137. @Valerie – I really admire your outlook on things. Both of your kids are lucky to have a mama who is so flexible and accepting of their unique needs.

  138. @KeriMy elder child was never fussed by teething ever. Not even the 3 year old molars had any effect on his sleeping, but he has always been an amazing sleeper (except recently since starting kindergarten and it’s one virus after the next and lots of night-waking as a result).
    My 22 month old ‘seemed’ to suffer through every single tooth at some point of their eruption. I went as far as saying she suffered for 2 weeks for every tooth, until the ped told me that if the tooth isn’t through in a week, it’s not a tooth that is keeping her awake. Now that all her teeth are through (except the 3 year molars)I see those same patterns and signs (sucking on fist etc) and realise I must have been wrong about the influence of her teething on her sleep. So, in hindsight, I would go as far as saying, teething did not have a great influenece on my kids’ sleep.
    I do tend to agree with Charisse though: it does depend on the individual child.

  139. Thanks, all, for the support.@meggiemoo: He melts my heart, too. My older is 5.5 and can be…prickly…sometimes, so I am definitely enjoying his wanting to be near us (but primarily me) for as long as it lasts.
    The situation has improved in the past year-and-a-half, to the point that I’m starting to forget what it was like before that (which is why all our moms and grandmas say we were perfect sleepers, right?). I just remember when I first found Moxie and read about sleep regressions. My thinking was along the lines of “regressed from WHAT?!?!?!?” As it was pretty continually sucky for, oh, 2 years.
    But we’ve survived, and if, as Hedra suggests, we have another year or two of midnight visits, I think we’re in a place where we can live with that.
    Oh, and when he turned 3 we tried bribery–$1 for every night he stayed in his room earned toward a coveted toy. He earned a few dollars and then decided “I don’t really need a Dinoco McQueen as much as I need to snuggle with you.” So.

  140. My mom gave me some fabulous advice, not long after I had my son.”You cannot make them eat. You cannnot make them sleep. So just relax about it.”
    It meant a lot to me to hear her say that. My mother was 34 when she had twins (me & my sister). She always worked full time. She gets how hard it is.
    Until you’ve walked a mile in someone else’s shoes….

  141. I don’t know if I think that sleep is OUR issue – although I do agree that it’s a huge one. My mother tells me that she had forgotten how awful it can be with a baby not sleeping until she got flashbacks of crying to her mother as I cried to her on the phone.I really think that being so darned judgmental and the consequent guilt over not doing the right thing just might be OUR issue – coupled with the fact that there are so many experts with their “right” way of doing things and so many different mediums with which to access these opinions.
    I read through some of the responses here and all I can say is – HOLY JUDGMENTALISM! (If that’s even a word.) People were making me feel awful about my parenting even as they were saying they are not judgmental.
    I won’t pretend for a second that I don’t judge, but I do try not tout my way of parenting as the end all be all. I know that so much of this comes from good intentions – if you did something that worked you want to share it with the world so it can work for them too- but perhaps if we didn’t all feel so guilty that we’re not doing the right thing we’d all sleep a little better.
    And isn’t that what this site is about anyway?

  142. WARNING Thread Hijack:I just wanted to come by and post that there is a November DC area meetup for bloggers, commenters, moxie readers, and anyone else who is interested.
    There is a poll up at caramama’s blog about when and where. Please visit and respond!
    http://caramamamia.blogspot.com/

  143. More parents than you would think have their babies sleep on their bellies. I am one of them. There is an increased risk of SIDS, but belly-sleeping does not equal instant death sentence.

  144. Alexis, what should you do if CIO doesn’t work though? We tried it for a week when DS was 8 months (and wasn’t teething/ill) and for five nights it was exactly the same – at every wake-up (and he wakes every 90 minutes) he screamed for 20-45 minutes, nothing could reassure him and it never improved!It was an ideological wrench for us to try controlled crying and it is even more disheartening now it has failed 🙁

  145. @Sam, we never tried CIO (for a lot of reasons not really relevant to anyone else), but we did have a phase where Pumpkin woke up A LOT. Maybe not every 90 minutes, but sometimes every two hours. For us, it was 6-9 months that were just horrible. I only remember when it was and how bad it was because I blogged about it, and then blogged about how much I’d forgotten later. This post is the last in the series and links back to the earlier ones:http://wandsci.blogspot.com/2008/03/selective-memory.html
    We tried all sorts of ideas to make things better, but what probably worked was just time. Pumpkin (now 18 months) is still not a great sleeper, but most nights she only wakes up once now. I now consider it a bad night if she is up more than twice. Looking back at those old posts, she was often up 5-6 times a night back then. Ugh. Back then, our current sleep schedule would have sounded like bliss. Now, of course, it still isn’t enough and I want more!
    I don’t have any advice, just commiseration, and a heartfelt- it will get better.
    The big change in my life was when I stopped trying to fix Pumpkin’s sleep and redirected that energy into figuring out how to make sure Hubby and I stayed sane and able to function.

  146. Thanks Cloud – he has been like this since birth so at least we haven’t experienced any sleep “regressions”! I think my body has got used to the lack of sleep…

  147. @Sam- have you confirmed its not a reflux problem? A friend of mine had a son with reflux, and the difference in sleep when they got that under control (with zantac, I think) was astounding. I wished our sleep issues would have been so easy to resolve, but we never could find a medical reason, except for the occasional night when she’d wake up from gas. That phase is thankfully past us now.

  148. Yes- he was treated for reflux (with zantac) but it turns out he has an intolerance to cow’s milk protein (which he was being exposed to by the amount of chocolate I was eating whilst nursing him). We are both dairy free now but sadly his sleep has stayed awful…

  149. @Sam, that sounds so familiar. Pumpkin had the cow’s protein intolerance, too. I didn’t have to give up chocolate, but boy did I miss ice cream and cheese! That resolved at about 9 months and I got dairy back.I hope your son turns a sleep corner soon. For us, it was at about 10 months. We decided to nightwean, which may or may not have helped decrease the number of wakings. We got her down to one nursing a night. For awhile, we pushed that to 4-4:30. I could never get rid of that last nursing, and Hubby was working sooo hard to get her back down at 2 w/o nursing. So I caved. I still only nurse once per night, but we do it whenever she wakes up and wants it- usually at 2. On a good night, she wakes up once to nurse, goes right back to sleep and then sleeps through until 6 or 6:30.
    For what its worth, I remember thinking she was ready to nightwean at 9 months. But then she got a tummy bug (we all did- fun times) and was nursing lots. So we didn’t do it until she was 10 months old.
    Good luck!

  150. As it happens, Alexis and her partners worked with our family a few weeks ago, and in our case it worked exactly as she said. (She didn’t send me here! I am a regular reader and I only realized who she was after going back to look at her link.) I would add, however, that they build in a lot of structure and preparation to help the baby make the shift. We went from absolute misery, with my 1.5-year-old waking every two hours, walking him around most of the night, etc., to peaceful bedtimes, sleeping through the whole night long. It’s rare we have any crying, and if we do it’s a couple minutes.It took me a long time to get to the point where I was willing to accept CIO. One and a half years, right? (After about a year of slowly decreasing sleep quality.) I finally realized there was no physiological cause to my son’s poor sleep, and that neither my husband nor I could physically sustain the status quo any longer. Now I look back and question a lot of what I thought before we got to that point. I was always attributing poor sleep to sleep regressions, teething, my child’s individual needs and special qualities, etc. Now I think CIO was a way of providing structure that my baby desperately needed. He needed to learn that he could fall asleep on his own. He needed to fall asleep in the same place that he would wake up. He was pissed off that first night of CIO, but he’s not emotionally damaged now; he’s well rested and happier.
    I don’t think that CIO is the answer for everyone. And I think it has to be done carefully, well planned out–I can’t emphasize how much I think the surrounding structure made it a good thing instead of bad. But I also think that I was wrong to fear setting out boundaries and structure in sleep–something I had no problem doing elsewhere, even if there were tantrums or grief caused temporarily by those boundaries. That doesn’t mean that I would CIO with a little newborn, but next time around (god willing), I will implement more structure earlier along in the game.
    Regarding sleep deprivation. I agree that not everyone is sleep-deprived. I did want to note that one thing Alexis told us is that toddlers, at least, don’t manifest sleep deprivation entirely like adults do. They get super wound up in addition to the crankiness. That was one thing that had confused me; I had always thought, well, his sleep sucks, but he doesn’t seem tired or droopy at all, so maybe that’s just the way he’s meant to be?
    Anyway. Everyone’s different, so I’m not trying to evangelize. But I did want to throw in a word as someone who, for the longest time, would not have touched CIO with a ten-foot-pole; and now is really re-evaluating a lot of what I believed and did. It makes me wonder what else I will have to re-evaluate eventually!

  151. Very timely post for us as well. After recovering from the 55 week dev spurt and then two new teeth, the Goose had 5 good nights of sleep (I only went to his room once in 5 nights). Funnily enough, I thought to myself last night that we were due for a bad night. Little did I know. He was up from 8.30 until 11 including one puke when I left the room for 1 minute to get a sippy of water. Bizarre. Something must have been wrong but I don’t know what it was. he would fall asleep and then cry after 10 mins, etc. Of course, I immeditately questioned everything I have been doing (even though all has been going relatively well). Sigh. My guess is that we will be back to normal tonight. I figure we all have bad nights now and then and for some reason he just could not sleep. I am hoping it was just a flukey night.

  152. @Sam”We tried it for a week when DS was 8 months (and wasn’t teething/ill) and for five nights it was exactly the same – at every wake-up (and he wakes every 90 minutes) he screamed for 20-45 minutes, nothing could reassure him and it never improved!”
    Hard to say without more details but crying for that amount of time every 90 minutes all night makes me think that something either in his health or environment is an issue.
    Less likely scenarios:
    – DS is EXTREMELY overtired in which case you would try pushing bedtime even earlier and starting with a super long relaxing wind-down (bath, books, etc.)
    – there is some external irritant in his room which is an issue (allergens, noise, etc.) If he is waking up every 90 min (or every REM sleep cycle) there is some source of discomfort which is preventing him from falling back to sleep.
    More likely scenario:
    – The irritant which is waking DS every sleep schedule is physical. Reflux has been conclusively ruled out? It occurs in less than 1% of kids but is a common sleep disturber (when they’re prone, the acid bothers their bellies).
    – With the existing food allergy I might be inclined to look at other possible food allergies. At 9 months I’m assuming his diet is fairly limited so withholding other foods to test should be pretty rapid.
    Without CIO – is DS still waking up every 90 minutes all night long? And if so how are you getting him back to sleep now? And how old is he currently (you said you tried at 9 months so I’m assuming that was in the past).
    PS. For parents with young babies, although nobody has mentioned it yet, I can’t say ENOUGH about Happiest Baby on the Block by Dr. Karp. A few comments mentioned having new babies on the way. Check out the DVD – the swing & swaddle is your friend 🙂

  153. Sharon: My husband is an infectious diseases physician. He says if this is an Endometritis than there are other treatments other than cipro and these include: Augmentin, Unasyn (IV), or a combination clindamycin and gentamycin.He’s curious what the first round of antibiotics was, as cipro is only active against some of the agents that cause endometritis and the other options listed above are recommended by CDC guidelines.
    The best website I know of for information about medicine in nursing mothers is the lactmed database (http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT) I have found that most doctors (even OBSs) have VERY poor knowledge in this area, can’t be bothered to look it up, and just make blanket assumptions that NOTHING is safe. My husband now always looks things up on lactmed when he is considering treatment of a nursing mother.
    I think it isn’t too much to ask a physician to come up with a treatment plan that is compatible with the mother’s desire to nurse, especially given other options might be available. I didn’t ask my husband for details about the medicine options so she could make requests about specifics, because I think patients should trust their doctors, but just so you and she know that there are multiple options. It just happens to be my husband’s job to be knowledgeable about the multiple options. For all he knows she’s allergic to all the other medicines and can only take cipro (as he just said, he doesn’t know anything about her).
    Cipro is used in other countries to treat infants and the lactmed website has more information for you about what is wrong with it.
    I hope she gets better soon and no matter what she decides to do I hope women in GENERAL feel more empowered to question their physicians about the real Safety of medicines while nursing, and ask for modificiations to treatment plans if they don’t allow you to continue you nursing if you want to (for instance, I chose to undergo a procedure rather than take a prescription that my phsycian told me would require that I stop nursing. Turns out that was a false dilemma as the medicine didn’t require that, but I demanded an alternative and I got one!)

  154. I just want to make clear, neither my husband or I think she is getting the wrong treatment and he is just trying to be helpful and empowering to patients.Also…
    My almost 2 year old wakes up 4 times a night on average (sometimes more sometimes less).
    We tried a few versions of cio at different points in his life. The child WILL Cry for 1.5 hours (and I don’t mean fuss, I mean, jump up and down cry constantly till you vomit, scream for 1.5 hours straight kind of crying) So… no, cio doesn’t work as a blanket rule. It works for some people and good for them.
    We have worked with him to the point that he just needs to be told to get into bed, he goes into bed, and we sit there until he falls asleep. This is a major victory… so I kind of am of the mind that someone else mentioned. Your standards of what good sleep means might have to change. And for us, good sleep means easily goes back to sleep most times, most nights.

  155. Alexis and (I think) hedra mentioned Happiest Baby on the Block by Dr. Karp. I have to put in a plug for that book and especially DVD. It really helped put me understand the newborn stage, what the transition was like for a new baby, and provide real tips that worked for my fussy girl. Very worth it for new parents or any parents of young babies! (I’m currently reading Happiest Toddler on the Block, and while interesting, I’m not sure it’s helping yet.)Sam – Have you tried propping one side of the crib up so his head will be elevated? I know that sometimes that will help. Alexis makes a great point about thinking about the environment. Something we did that really helped the Pumpkin’s sleep was to put in something that made white noise (a humidifier in our case). I didn’t want to put one in because then she’d get used to having it, but when we finally did, it was so amazing how much longer she was able to sleep. Apparently, she can hear all the little noises in the house and they would wake her up.
    We went through a couple periods of the Pumpkin waking up every 45 minutes or every time we put her down. Our solution was to sleep with her on us in a recliner and slowly transition into bed to cosleep. But for her, it was a phase. Good luck to you guys!

  156. @hedra -We managed to score handmedowns for my son, but for my daughter we got crocs knockoffs at Big Lots for $7-8. Much cheaper than the $30 for brand-name.

  157. I’m just writing to say that I find it interesting how different people respond to different methods. For ex, some have posted that they found Weissbluth patronizing. I found him terrific. I also really liked Ferber and Karp books. I did not necessarily use any one particular method (partially b/c I had a very easy sleeper) but mostly to educate me on soothing, the importance of sleep and how to recognize when changes were happening (i.e., lengthening night sleep, consolidating naps, etc.) They gave me a bare bones framework and point of reference for what to expect. I found that helpful.I am loathe to judge anyone re: sleep methods. While I never did CIO, it is only b/c I never had to (I did let her “Fuss it out”, however). But, I can imagine wanting/needing to do it for my sanity. I value sleep -intensely- for my child and for ME!!! It would have been very, very difficult for me to do it but I would have.

  158. @Sam–Hang in there. When he’s 30 and working late nights as a high-powered lawyer, be sure to call him every hour all night long several times a week. Pay back, you know.Seriously, do whatever it takes to keep you all sane. My eldest was a difficult sleeper, and I got caught up in making him do it the way the experts said he was supposed to do it. This made us all miserable. I think if I had just gone with *his* flow, I would have adjusted faster.
    Night-waking is so tough b/c by about 3am all your resolve is out the window and you’d sell your soul for 4 hours of straight sleep. Do you and your partner take turns? You might assign nights so that you can sleep longer. If he’s night-nursing, you might consider allowing him to nurse but then making it your partner’s job to get him resettled. My third was an all-night long night-nurser (he was reverse nursing b/c I was working outside the home during the day). My husband couldn’t help much (we were already co-sleeping so there wasn’t a lot of other baby stuff to be done when he woke), but my husband did get up with him on both weekend days so I caught up on my sleep on the weekends.
    Anyway, none of this may apply to your particular situation… I just want you to know that you aren’t alone and that there are a million things out there to try… either something will work… or he’ll grow out of it while your trying to find the magic bullet.

  159. After reading so many great comments I did want to say on a more personal note…We coslept in various forms. We used the arm’s reach cosleeper until he was about 5-6 months (well, with a basket, long story) and then side-carred the crib until that horried 11 month-ish stretch and then brought him into bed. At which point we started getting more sleep. (My son is pretty much a mid-range sleeper. Not great. Not awful except at some phases.)
    We also ‘parented down’ – nursing, walking, rocking, cuddling, reading books, etc.
    We still do cosleep some nights, and almost all nights after 2 am or so.
    My son does sleep better cosleeping. It’s the nights he chooses (as he does more than half the week) to sleep alone that he wakes up and comes to find us. Otherwise he must just roll over. One of us often wakes up with him clinging to our pajamas.
    My son is just like that.
    I think these things are very personal but now that my son is over 3 and can express some things I think I get some of what has gone on with him. He is a class-a extrovert (I suspect this will continue, but who knows). I swear when he was 9 months old we had to take a break from some playgroups and he got mopey.
    Anyways for him the biggest deal, always, is being separate if he doesn’t want to be. He is totally capable of playing on his own in another room. But his preference generally is to be with people. He hates going to sleep (and tells me so each night). He hates stopping talking. He hates closing his eyes. He hates that I leave the room when he is asleep. It’s not a fear thing; he just doesn’t like it. He is a people and family person.
    Looking back I am glad we honoured that in him. It actually took me a while to learn to sleep while cosleeping but now I get a good night’s sleep.
    Since then he’s gradually chosen to start sleeping in his own bed and I am utterly confident this process will continue (not always linearly) and that he will do fine in finding his way in sleep in life. It doesn’t mean this is for everyone. But it was for my son.
    Peace!

  160. “Night-waking is so tough b/c by about 3am all your resolve is out the window and you’d sell your soul for 4 hours of straight sleep.”HAHAHA!!!
    I think the most help I ever really got from a parenting, sleep issues book was the piece that said not to make your night time parenting decisions at 3 am when you’d sell your soul, etc. That is the only sleep advice I ever give anyone. Make your plan when you are thinking clearly.
    I’m suddenly drawn back into how infuriating it was when people with their easy sleepers would ask if we had tried x,y, or z. And all I could think was… OH.MY.GOD! Why are you even talking to me I’m so tired my brain is going to run out my ears and I tried your inane “suggestion” and 100 other suggestions from the FIVE different books on sleep that I’ve read, but thanks so much for your thing you read on babycenter once.
    I’m feeling much better now, though.

  161. Just wanted to mention that early generations started babies on solids much sooner, too, and that seems to really affect sleep. Or it did with our 9 month old for a week or two, until the wicked teething kicked in.@ Paola, I think your ped is a dirty liar! My DS has been teething more than half his life. Our ped. has said that his two front teeth will come through “any day now” at his last two appointments, three months apart. In between, it’s been teething off and on, more on than off.

  162. Nutmeg. Thanks for all the information, I knew you weren’t trying to tell me she made the wrong choice, there weren’t enough details. This isn’t Endometritis; she has a uterine infection after a C-section. Cipro is being used because the first course of treatment didn’t work at all.Thank you to you and everyone else who emailed me with tons of info. A few more sleep tidbits.
    I wanted to echo what someone said about tired children. When little children are really tired, they act WILD. It is so counterintuitive but true.
    This has worked for us, and for a lot of my clients, it may work for you. Add a ¼ of Epsom salt or table salt to a warm bath, it relaxes any tension out of the body, no drinking the water. If you stay right beside the child the entire time, try filling the tub a bit higher so they can really relax. You may want to try one of major brands bedtime bath with lavender, if you are so inclined. Then cap the evening off with a cup of warm milk-no sweetener. We added cinnamon and pretended it was a rare treat or vanilla. It seemed to have the one two punch to really *slow a child down*.
    We had two children and two VERY different sleep issues. One required CIO. I mean that was what he needed; it was NOT what I wanted to give him. Several mentioned that their child needed CIO because the child’s chemistry needed to blow off steam and the child NEEDED to learn how to self-soothe. For my son self-soothing allowed him to learn how to tune out the world and comfort himself as he did it, he was and is very sensitive. This was a need he had that I never even considered. The ability to self-soothe was an invaluable skill for him, even though I was against doing it. The lesson *for me * was that I had to stop thinking and look to see what he needed, not what I wanted to give him.
    The other one, needed me more than I realized, he needed to feel secure until he fell asleep and he did that until he no longer had that need, and he would NOT back down. So we would stay until he was asleep. I can’t tell you how many times I was caught mid-roll because I thought he was asleep, it was horrible, and then it stopped. I have no idea why, it just stopped, I guess he was filled up.
    Two children, each one different, each one taught me to look at them and to use my instincts and not just rely on the books to see what was needed. I began to decide what I wanted to do and then go look for how to do it. That’s just me.
    Here’s hoping all of you get some needed rest tonight.

  163. I haven’t read all 172 comments before me as I am reading this before I head off to gym/work this morning so someone may have already addressed this but I think the problem isnt’ so much with sleep itself but rather the fact that parents these days have too much on their plate! We think, myself included, that a baby will just fit seamlessly into our perfectly orchestrated pre-child days and it just ain’t going to happen-no matter what. I am the biggest offender, trust me. So when the baby can’t go down to sleep so we can resume our old, “normal” life, it really upsets the balance in the home. Just my 2 cents.

  164. How do you transition the sleepy bath child to the sleepy bed child when in between you have the I.HATE.GETTING.MY.DIAPER.AND.PJS.PUT.ON child? I don’t see going to bed naked as an option just yet. :)I will admit that for all my complaining and worry about this phase in our lives, I am very grateful to have this time with him, even if it is at 4 in the morning because it really doesn’t last forever and the baby that needs you to hold him in the middle of the night will fast become the bigger boy who gets up on his own and gets himself dressed so he can play video games before school. Being with two so far apart in age does at least provide a little perspective there.

  165. Oh, this has been fabulous…so rich. And Moxie if this isn’t making you financially rich, it is certainly making you rich is so many other ways!I originally posted in the beginning and at that time…3 days ago?…my 14 mos. old was sleeping through the night and taking a 2 hour nap every morning. Since then he’s been up twice at around 4AM and naps have been HORRIBLE. I lost it one of the nights…stomping around before I went in to get him, my temper just flared…my husband went in. Regression, teething…who knows? He’s walking/running everywhere, but now the language is starting to come…so busy brain again. Tired mom again.
    In terms of CIO…we held, rocked, walked, coslept, breastfed 24/7 for the first 9 mos. and I was falling apart from the lack of sleep and not being able to soothe this child, so I did CIO beginning at 9 mos. It sucked but there was a change, he did learn what I was trying to teach him & I did stay with him during the crying…being in the crib after being nursed means you need to slow down and sleep. Now…sometimes there is CIO and sometimes there is still rocking and nursing and singing and walking. My point is that for this child, I try everything…he changes from week to week and day to day.
    I am a still at home mom…supposed to be going back to teach next Sept but not sure yet. Financially we’re tight, so something will have to change. But I still have stress, the day is LONG. Naps are irregular so often I’ll just start to drift off and he’s awake, screaming…there’s very little cooing and singing. Often I just don’t even try to rest during the day. I do envision being at work and going to the bathroom alone, without pounding on the door or screaming from the other room. And lunch…oh to go to lunch that would be blissful.

  166. Neither of my kids could be counted as a good sleeper. I had both Weisbluth’s book and Pantley’s book, but I think I was too sleep deprived to actually digest and implement either one. Our first child has slept through the night only sporadically and is now 3.5. The second didn’t sleep through the night until he was weaned at 17 months and has slept through probably 5 of 7 nights or more since. Child 1 coslept a lot, but child two never wanted to until recently. DH never really wakes up without physical prodding due to years of sleeping in random places at random times. We’re both blessed with an ability to wake, take care of the kids and go right back to sleep. Several things that have helped:1) A pretty tight schedule with bedtime (as early as we can possibly do it- which seems to be around 7:30) and naps. 2) That bedtime routine. 3) We generally lie down with them until child one falls asleep and child two is pretty sleepy- for us that takes 10-15 minutes and 4) they started sleeping together this summer when the youngest started climbing out of his crib (thanks to demo from the eldest) and now they are both sleeping through with far greater frequency. Essentially, we’ve tried to provide structure and then listen to their needs within that and it seems to have finally come together.
    There was definitely a period of time when I was so sleep deprived that I couldn’t safely drive during the day every once in a while. Now that they’re 3.5 and 2, I feel like I’ve been getting reasonable sleep (when I get myself to bed) for a while and its pretty incredible how much easier life seems.

  167. Echoing sudru’s comments, this thread has been fantastic. So many wonderful suggestions. (I only wish my daughter would consent to a bath. She’s a full-on shower baby these days.)For those who get their little ones in early, how do you manage it? DH and I get home either at 5:30 or 6:15 (we trade off); dinner is on the table usually by 7 and the bedtime routine starts up immediately afterward. To get her into bed any earlier would mean forgoing a family dinner. That feels like such a big sacrifice right now. But if it meant that I might regularly get a good night’s sleep…

  168. Keri: We definitely forgo family dinner. It’s not that big a sacrifice to us, because the nugget eats better alone, unwatched and has had a few weight issues so we didn’t want to push the issue of eating, but wanted him to eat the best way for him. My husband regularly gets home around 7:30. So I start dinner with the nugget (almost 2 now), dad finishes it, does a bath if it’s a bath night (combo of time since last bath, dirtiness from daycare, and how late it is) and then puts the kid to sleep. While he is doing that, I make dinner for the two of us (or order dinner, if I have too much work to do that night). And when I make it, I make enough so there are left overs for the nugget to eat another night.If we did it any other way, the kid wouldn’t go to sleep until 10 and his sleep style requires earlier bedtime for sure. (He was asking me to go Night-night last night before my husband got home)
    It’s a tough sacrifice, and one I often feel bad about, but it IS how we do it.

  169. @Keri- I’m home with Pumpkin by about 5:30. Hubby is home at about 6. We still have family dinner, but have found quick recipes so that dinner is on the table by 6:30, sometimes earlier. We trade off nights cooking. Right now, Pumpkin is asleep by about 8:30. The bath starts at 7:45 or so, followed by stories and then lights out.If you want to find quick recipes, check out Cooking Light. They have a bunch of 20 minute recipes, and they’re usually pretty tasty (and healthy, too). We also have one leftover night/week, and one “easy” night, which is usually the fish sticks Pumpkin likes with soup. Or sometimes it is pancakes and smoothies. We save our more involved recipes for the weekends. The other key to fast dinner- we plan our dinners once a week, before grocery shopping. That way there is no time spent looking at what is on hand and figuring out what you can make. We just look at the list on the fridge and do what it says we’re supposed to….

  170. @Alexis, your more detailed information is useful – because you’re using CIO exactly the way Dr. Ferber recommends – as a way to take a child who really wants things to be the same when their eyes open as when they closed, and creating a situation in which they are. Some kids are like that, and some are not. If you have one who is like that, they’ll be VERY certain about the waking and not going back to sleep (I recall on one of his interviews that one of the hints that you have a child who habituates to their surroundings and needs them the same when waking up as falling asleep is that they ‘peek’ while falling asleep – eyes open, close, snap open, close, open again, close). Anyway, Miss M is one of those kids. But she also has a very touchy stress response. There are other solutions, we found ours (cosleeping) – but it was STILL useful to understand the mechanism behind it. It also explains why she gets angry or scared if I get up before her and am not there when she wakes up. For her, ANY difference in the environment between going down and getting up is disturbing. CIO done properly sets up a very clear set of expectations for what is when falling asleep, and what is when waking up, and that these two are the same, same, same.I also have a child who couldn’t give a … er, something, about what is different or the same on those two points. And two who are somewhere in between.
    If you do have one of those kids who peeks to see if you’re still there while falling asleep, it IS worth checking Dr. Ferber’s info, because he also has other options than CIO for those who don’t want to do CIO, but that relate to the same cause.
    And in the long run, it is still the philosophy that matters, not the actions. That long-term study of kids who coslept (18 year longitudinal study) shows that on the plus side for cosleeping – it MAKES NO DIFFERENCE if you cosleep, it is the type of parenting (authoritative, democratic, high expectations but respectful and warm) that makes for kids who are the kind of kids we want – self assured, positive, confident, empathetic. The same study therefore presumes the opposite – that if you do NOT cosleep, the same will be true – if you are in general a positive, authoritative (not authoritarian not permissive) parent, your kids will be fine. No matter where they sleep, or how you managed it. If cosleeping is your thing, that’s good. If it isn’t, that’s good, too. If you’re handling your decisions using a philosophical framework that includes the kids as humans worthy of respect, you can still make either choice. Stressing about the choice also makes it harder to choose, rather than allowing us to choose at EACH stage, which may be different choices.
    One of the things that I see in the comments of the people who chose CIO, is that ALL of them also chose to NOT use CIO as well. Six, nine, 12, 18 months of intentionally not using it. IMHO, classifying parents as ‘used CIO’ and ‘didn’t use CIO’ under real life conditions is similar to saying ‘used formula’ vs ‘didn’t use formula’ and lumping in people who used infant or toddler formula at 9, 12, 18 months after nursing that long as ‘formula users’. It is treated like a ‘taint’ issue, isn’t it, linguistically?
    Cognitively, CIO is not recommended before 6 months old. Okay. But after that, if you’ve always rocked your child to sleep, or nursed them down, or whatever, that fact isn’t erased by changing tactics later, is it? I remember telling someone once (when she was bewailing having weaned ‘too soon’ at eight months due to needing chemotherapy) that not one of the feedings she had given was lost when she stopped breastfeeding. Every single one was a thread that carries the child’s full lifespan – the research suggests that just three days creates a measurable difference in system function, so it certainly isn’t wiped out. Just like every night that you responded the best you could is a night you responded the best you could. The change isn’t a negation of anything. The change is just a change, with a child who has different cognitive skills and abilities.
    There’s a myth in parenting psychology that parents parent exactly the same for each child, and for the full lifespan of each child. A lot of studies that put emphasis on peers or other factors assume that parenting is static, and that the choices cannot and do not change, vary, adjust, adapt, or evolve. Only in 2005 did a new area of study come out that suggested that hey, a lot of parents think about the process, try something, think again, try something else, adapt, shift, go through the entire set of viable scenarios until they find one that works, and then when the child changes or their lives change, they find a NEW set to go through, try, observe, try again. I think it sounds like the parents here who used CIO (and the ones who didn’t, but who also had to adapt and change methods or expectations or function) are all just doing exactly that. Being dynamic rather than static parents.
    Not sure if that made any sense… and hopefully managed to not offend anyone. MUST go sew, now.

  171. I think my baby’s sleep problems became directly tied to my self esteem for awhile there. My worst moments as a mother have been related to her sleeping. Actually, she sleeps pretty good. Fights naps at times and does not sleep as much as all the experts say she should, but I literally drove myself crazy with guilt and shame that she was not doing what the books said. I work two days a week and we live some distance out of “town” so getting her on a solid scheduled is not really possible. Sometimes she will nap at 5:00 on the hour long trip home since she is tired from her day at daycare – impossible to get her in bed at 7 or even 7:30 pm after that! But I do my best and she is a happy 14 month old.

  172. @Alexis: Can I ask a question about CIO with older kids (like 3.5)? My daughter used to be a pretty good sleeper (a bit restless) until 2 weeks ago. Then she suddenly became terrified of going to sleep by herself, and would wake up every 3 hours hysterical. We were convinced to try a kind of CIO approach by a doctor friend. We just kept putting her in bed and then when she got out of bed, put her back in. The idea was that she would get bored and give up. But she didn’t. For 3 nights she stayed up all night. We had been told consistency was key so we didn’t give in – but she got increasingly hysterical to the point where she was shaking.After 3 nights of no improvement, I said this is just not working and sat down with her to figure out something better. Now my husband or I sits with her when she’s going down, and she’ll sleep for a few hours. When she wakes we go in and rub her back and she’s usually right back down. But after 2 am or so, her sleep gets more fitful and restless and she’s up every hour. So we’ve set up a mat in our room and she’ll come and sleep until 6 on that.
    Now, this solution works for us right now, but I am worried that she’s still not getting enough sleep, but have no idea how to edge her back to where we were. Any ideas? And why would the first half of the night be so restful but the last half so interrupted?

  173. Not a thread hijack, but: how do people deal with the rage they (well, I, anyway) feel during persistent nighttime wakings? They’ve gotten so bad that I don’t even WANT to pick him up to see if something might be physically wrong. I’m so angry and exhausted that it is hard to comfort him. I’m (essentially) a single mom, so pinch-hitting from dad is not an option…and no, hired help and relatives aren’t either. I feel so guilty about my anger and all the gritted-teeth “SHUT UPs” I say into my pillow when he starts yelling at 4 AM and won’t go back to sleep. Help? Or commiseration? Or am I truly a rotten human being?

  174. @anon, no you’re not rotten (or at least if you are, so am I.) I so, so sympathize. I have been there, angry, frustrated, and singing lullabies with poisonous new lyrics like “go to sleep, little fucker.”I never did anything, but I remember the rage.

  175. Mom2Boys great question, How do you transition the sleepy bath child to the sleepy bed child when in between you have the I.HATE.GETTING.MY.DIAPER.AND.PJS.PUT.ON child?This is a trail and error thing. Try turning on a white noise machine or tape before bath begins and have it loud enough to hear in the tub. Or try using the same classical music each night as bedtime and bath begin. Use very low lights and very little or no words, especially as he protests the diaper and clothes. You are dropping your end of the struggle, he will not drop his end immediately.
    What used to work for him to postpone bed time, fussing about diapers and clothes, will now be ignored by a warm, non-angry, non-smiling mom.
    Using whispers and soft music creates a new ritual, one that he will translate into his bedtime clues and the clues help signal his own process of going to sleep. I have no babies and I didn’t sleep at all last night so I hope that makes sense.

  176. @Anon: No one feels the sane feelings at 4am after the third or fourth (or fifth or seventh) wake up and you’re too tired to even cry. The only time I can get my boyfriend to help at night is when he realizes I’ve completely lost it because I’m flailing around bashing my pillows. That said, if those feelings are consistent and getting in the way of gentle parenting, you might want to talk to someone about it.

  177. Mom2Boys, oops. I scanned through these comments and saw that you used a hair dryer for years and it didn’t work. Sorry about that.I would still try soft music and no or very little words, and see if the combo of warm bath, lavender bedtime bath, warm milk and music has some effect.
    Don’t know if this helps. I’m the first to admit my specialty is teaching parents how to respond not react by using different words and actions while correcting behavior or trying to gain cooperation, I am not one who has the end all be all sleep solution, my boys will attest to that.

  178. @Mom2Boys- we have had some luck with distraction while putting on the diaper and PJs. Right now, Pumpkin likes to say her animal noises, so we’ll ask her “What does a sheep say? What does a lion say? etc” while we put the diaper on and then the PJs. She still sometimes squirms away and runs naked to the kitchen, but at least it is not every night….@anon- I have a lot of support and I get angry with the nighttime waking, too. I don’t have any solutions, since my usual response when I get angry is to work with Hubby to find a way to get me more sleep, and you said that wasn’t an option for you. I find that I get angry when I’m in a really sleep deprived state. When I’m just moderately sleep deprived, I’m fine. I’ve forgotten what not sleep deprived felt like. Good luck. I hope you can find a way to get some more sleep soon.

  179. Thanks for the suggestions – Sharon and Cloud.The hair dryer worked to a point – it was a miracle device when he was itty bitty. I just don’t think he’s a bath to bed kind of kid. The diaper/clothing struggle happens every time there is a diaper/clothing change and it’s always been that way. Distractions work but they have to be good, new distractions.
    This sleep thing is just on-going and ever changing and I so feel for Anon! It’s got to be so hard to never get a break from irregular/very little sleep. I don’t think you are a bad parent at all. Just stressed to the max.
    The Bean woke up at 2 and fussed on and off until 3 at which point I realized he just wasn’t feeling well and it turned out to be gas. We hung out together, paced the floor a bit, he had an early morning snack of juice and bread and he eventually fell asleep with me holding him on the couch. But it was just one night, not every night and mentally (and physically) that’s so much easier to handle.
    Moderately sleep deprived is the new well rested.

  180. baths always seem to wake Bean up, as an infant, we switched to morning baths, and I seem to keep forgetting that. he has about a bath a week, and I have to do it on a night where he gets dinner promptly at 5.this child always fought sleep as a newborn & infant, had to be swaddled as tightly as possible for serious startle reflex. naps were always a fight. I was relieved when he dropped his morning nap, and just gave up his afternoon nap after it caused him to stay up until 10pm.
    Now that he’s going through his fall growth spurt (oh the 3.5 disequilibrium, joy) & is in playschool 3x/wk he’s soooo pooped in the afternoon but refuses refuses refuses. I need to get to bed earlier so the loooong days don’t get to me.
    and whoever was talking about teething, I swear Bean worked on his 2 year molars for near a dang YEAR, inching & twisting & tormenting through his gums. teething has been seriously hellish for us. I’m dreading the adult teeth.
    Weissbluth freaked me out telling me if I didn’t get Bean’s sleep right on he’d have developmental problems, etc etc etc. the scary stuff outweighed any positive methods or info I might have gleaned from it. I know several people for whom his book was tremendously helpful.
    One book that helped me a great deal was Sleepless in America, by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka. not so much helped me sort it out, but as information & pep talk that everything would be ok.
    right now, w/this disequilibrium, we’ve had to give up & go back to pullups at night. While he’s having growth spurts, we always had diaper failures at night, and w/underpants, he’s had accidents & been so upset. but I couldn’t take being woken up & he was a mess from his sleep being interrupted. he’s needing me to stay in bed w/him again while he falls asleep & needing me more in general (going to potty w/him, helping him dress, playing w/him.) it’s been driving me nuts, but at the same time helpful to know it’s related to developmental stuff (thanks Ames & Ilg..and Moxie!)
    blah, I need to go to bed. hugs to all, and sweet dreams I hope.

  181. @KateI do have a few suggestions for you that are more age appropriate for a 3.5 year old. And also a few more questions for you. If you want to follow up, could you contact me via email? alexis at motherloaddoula.com.
    What does your daughter tell you when she is up? Has anything changed recently in her life/environment/schedule? I think there are some methods that have worked well for us involving special nighttime routines (for older kids) and reward systems for staying in bed. She also may need some extra help feeling safe in her room (extra light, “monster-b-gone” spray, etc.). Fill me in on some more details and I’ll see if I can’t offer some helpful alternatives!

  182. @Anna–LOL at your lullaby. I’m right there with you.@Anon–If saying “shut up” into your pillow at 4am makes you terrible, what about screaming it in the car at 7:30am b/c the toddler won’t stop shrieking at you for a bite of his sister’s breakfast. Screaming that leaves all three of the kids in the car silent. Yeah, super mom right here.
    You are not alone. You are not terrible.

  183. anon – I totally hear you and have been there. I think the rage can be pretty common. For me, three things helped the most:1. Readjusting my expectations. Now, I just expect that she is going to get up. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that she will get up and could be hard to get back to sleep. When I expect to get up at least once a night for an hour, then I’m less likely to get mad when it happens.
    2. Going to bed earlier. Because I expect to be up at least an hour in the middle of the night, I know that I need to go to bed really early or I won’t do well. When we are in the middle of a bad phase, I will often go to bed within a half hour of her going to bed.
    3. Cosleeping with her. She put her down in her bed, but when she wakes up, my husband or I go to her, rock her back to sleep (it’s the only way for her right now), and then we slip into her bed with her. She tends to sleep better, and we at least get some sleep, even if it’s not the most restful.
    When hubby is out of town and I do it on my own, I just go to sleep early, expect that I’ll have to get up, and then cosleep with her till morning.
    But, the multiple wake ups and the not falling back asleep for over an hour still drives me nuts! Even if I expect it.
    Oh, one last thing… When I’m feeling the rage, I really try to catch myself and remind myself that it’s not her fault. She’s tired too. And deep breaths. And put her down and walk away for a little if I need it.
    Good luck to you, me and all of us!

  184. Hi Moxie … I know people will take issue with this, but I have to say it because it saved my sanity.Not all babies have the same risk of SIDS. In fact, if I recall the research I read 4+ years ago, some of the biggest risk factors were things that are very difficult to change — premature birth, low birth weight, race, smoking in the house, etc. were all bigger risk factors than sleeping position.
    For me personally, for my kid, I took a look at the risk for US and concluded that a happy baby who slept well was worth the (small) risk of SIDS. I feel like the “back to sleep” campaign is overblown — making ALL babies comply with something that is necessary for only a few, and has a detrimental effect on some.
    I really wish that people were educated fully and encouraged to make the right choice for their baby, instead of given reflexive scare-tactic advice. The way it is often taught, people act like putting your baby to sleep on his belly is tantamount to tucking butcher knives in the crib.

  185. It makes me crazy when I hear people say their child didn’t sleep well until six months when my husband and/ or I are still up all nights, most nights, and my daughter is 16 months.This is not a constructive comment, I’m afraid. I sympathize with anyone who is sleep-deprived for any amount of time, but at this point I am feeling frustrated and alone, a little paranoid and persecuted (um, addled brain?) and have read all the books and tried diet changes and a chiropractor and nothing has helped and I feel totally defeated.
    This site helps. Thanks.

  186. I can’t get enough of this thread.@anon, my husband, who sleeps like a log, learned to hear a particular “I’m going to flip out” tone in my voice which still can rouse him from a deep sleep into ‘ready to hold the baby’ in about 30 seconds flat. The reason he learned to hear it? I would put the baby down and (quite frankly, and not to my credit) go in and take it out on him.
    Anyways, if you have support, that is the time to draw on it!
    @Keri – we get home around 5:15 or 5:30 and have my son in bed by 7:15. How we do it is basically by using the crockpot or my meal plan o’doom to get around prep time. This week we were in Ottawa over the weekend and I did not meal plan and so it has mostly been just plain old doom, err, tuna sandwiches and grilled cheese with canned soup.
    But in all seriousness, for us, sleep trumps fancy food. We do have a meal. But it is nothing that takes 45 min to prepare. We also have joined the raw food movement (ha) in that a good portion of the time our vegetables are a raw veggie tray (we wash and chop on the weekend.)
    General more advice:
    after 12 months, when we fixed our mealtimes at pretty set times, naps and sleep improved DRAMATICALLY after 2 weeks.
    We take our son out into the sunlight as early as possible every day to get his biological clock going, even in winter (as a bonus he has learned to shovel)
    We do the bath in the morning. It just revs him up and adds time to the bedtime routine.
    Ditto the book reading. I know the book at nighttime is sacred. But for my son it just gets his brain going and he spends 20 minutes asking me about the inner motivations of humpback whales or lying there spelling words out in sign. So we read a book in bed… every morning.
    Not that we have perfect sleep or anything but all these things helped.

  187. @Joanna- I hear you. The only less helpful comments are those from people who tell me how their cats woke them up at 5 a.m. wanting to be fed. As you say- I’m sorry they lost sleep, but I never really know what to say to them.You’re certainly not alone in having a 16 month old who still doesn’t sleep through the night. Hubby and I are celebrating because for two nights in a row, our 18 month old was only up once and then slept through in her own crib until after 6:30. We’re giddy with sleep!
    Good luck, and wishing your house a visit from the sleep fairy soon.

  188. I’m so glad I found this blog. I have a 5 month old and we struggle with sleeping, with nursing, with almost everything it seems! All I hear from other moms is how they have their child on a schedule and they sleep so well and nap great and eat at scheduled times… I really sometimes feel like a failure as a mom, because I stay home with him and I feel like we should have mastered those things by now too. My little one nurses to sleep and really doesn’t want to nap at all!!! It’s a great day if I can get him to take just one, one hour nap. I really enjoy reading your posts.. they help me to know that I’m not alone and not a bad mommy just becasue my child needs my help to sleep and he isn’t on a schedule.

  189. @Jessica- we didn’t have a schedule at 5 months, either. We had some loose “expectations” based on what she usually did. She settled into a schedule by about 8-9 months, I think, but my memory is fuzzy. Now she definitely has a schedule, and woe is us if we mess with it. But she’s 18 months old- very different! I’m told a lot of kids give you more leeway to fudge the schedule after she turns 2. That would be nice, but I think we’ll just have to see what works for her.

  190. @Jessica, my eldest had his own schedule – he set it, it was obvious what it was (I’d glance at the clock when I sat down to nurse him, and it would be literally the same exact times every blessed day – until a growth spurt or fussy stage, when it would go haywire briefly, then set to a new schedule).But my second had more of a jazz rhythm thing going. Everything was in response to what went before. So I learned (SLOWLY) that if he had an active morning, he’d be tired and hungry sooner, and then about two hours after whatever time that was he’d want to eat again, and then if it had been active earlier he wanted calm later, and if it had been calm earlier he wanted active later, and… WAY more seat of the pants, but there was still kind of a pattern in there. It was just responsive to previous events rather than responsive to the clock/internal daily rhythm.
    The twins are somewhere in between, each in slightly different ways with different patterns – Miss M eats and then pauses and then eats, that’s her usual deal. She needs to stop, go away, come back, regarding food. Her naps are really just ‘slower times’ in her day, not really naps. Miss R is steadier, draws out her interactions and activity longer, and then when she’s done, she’s DONE. Neither is daily clockwork, but they seem to shift back toward the clock pattern when their daily responsive pattern goes too far from the daily clock pattern. Like two overlapping curves, with the peaks taking the priority – it makes for a kind of bumpy pattern, hard to follow if I don’t know that there really are two patterns in there, and different parts take priority. I think with either of them, I could take a daily pattern and apply it with moderate success, but would have to expect about a 20% no-go rate. Going with the flow with them seems to work, but I can’t trust the rhythm the same way I could with Mr B – I fall into one pattern just as they shift to the other. I just learned to shrug and deal, since there isn’t too much reason to fight it. If I was more tired or frustrated, then I’d try harder to figure it out.
    You can try keeping an activity journal for a week and then looking for relationships between the patterns – say, ‘went out in the morning’ might be followed by a cranky day the rest of the day. Or ‘nursed early and long’ might be followed by an early sleepy/fussy period or a longer nap or a shorter nap or whatever. It isn’t so much that you can set a schedule using those (you might or might not), but with Mr B I learned that if I could estimate ahead, I could schedule my life for the day, and then I felt sane (saner, anyway). I just needed to know how long before I need to do X, or will he be happy enough today to be able to enjoy a trip out? It took a good long while for me to figure out his pattern, but it became a seat-of-the-pants thing eventually. I just KNEW if it was going to be one of those days, or if he was going to be hungry early. Until then, though, it was really exhausting and discouraging. After all, the first one peed, pooped, slept, and ate by the clock. Literally, the DCP would put him on the potty at the same time every day and he’d pee. If she put him on at a different time, he wouldn’t – he’d just pee at the usual time, in his diaper. Clockwork. It was really easy. None of the rest were like that. (He also HATES being late, having his schedule messed up, etc.)

  191. 5 months into kid #2 here…Kid #1 (C) would not stay asleep on his own until he was nearly a year old. He also had an extremely hard time falling asleep on his own until the same time. We tried all of the non-CIO methods, read many sleep books (Ferber who was thrown against a wall, Pantley, Weissbluth, a few others I don’t remember as well), and NOTHING was getting us more sleep. Perhaps it was our first-time parenting naivete or anxiety, but this kid did not follow anything that we thought he should based on the books. He did for a while follow a pattern of getting tired 2 hours after his waking up for the day, then getting tired 3 hours after a possible nap, and then crashing 4 hours after a second possible nap. That was a VERY brief time in his life. We ended up doing a modified CIO after reading Weissbluth and now have a kid who sleeps reasonably well (wakes up once a night MAYBE, goes through usual toddler stalling tactics, and that’s it).
    Kid #2 (E) seems to be the sleep kid that the books all describe. The only thing I can say that we have done differently is that we were more aware of her sleep cues (Kid #1 didn’t show “typical” cues) and we actually listened to them rather than pushing her past them. Thanks to Kid #1 having a pretty regular schedule, Kid #2 experienced a routine from very early on. She slept beautifully for months 1-3, horribly for month 4, and has resumed somewhat reasonable sleep in month 5 now that she is in her own room away from our snoring. She seems to sleep more lightly than my son does.
    I didn’t read a sleep book for Kid #2. I just followed her cues and voila! The other day I was slightly concerned that maybe she wasn’t getting the right amount of sleep, so I pulled out our Weissbluth book. Lo and behold, she follows the pattern for her age as he describes it to a T. No CIO with her – not yet anyway.
    Seeing such different sleep experiences for my 2 kids has led me to believe that every kid figures out sleep in his or her own unique way. Our job as parents is to help them figure out what that way is.

  192. For those of you like joanna and so many others who are still struggling with lack of sleep one thing that hasn’t been mentioned in this thread is Homeopathy and Osteopathy for little ones. It may be worth a try?There are two very safe brands for homeopathic remedies and both are sold at most health food stores. Whole Foods has the added benefit of knowledgeable people who can help if you have a question. The two brands I use are Boiron and Hylands.
    The other thing, and I’m sorry I didn’t mention this sooner is Osteopathy.
    When my little one wasn’t sleeping, at all, we went to see an Osteopath and he found that his skull was compressed in one area and was causing him discomfort. This compression was due to the way he was born. He was born while still in the water bag, until the very last moment.
    Lack of sleep was one side effect from this compression and his gag reflex was the other much bigger problem, that’s a whole other story.
    I have no idea if one of these two ideas will help you and your sleep situations, but it’s worth a try.

  193. @Rachel H…I agree with you with the SIDs thing and the Back to Sleep campaign. It’s not a perfect solution for everyone. There are risks to having your child on his back 100% of the time, sleeping on his back, in his carseat on his back, playing on the floor on his back, etc.Besides the Stewie from Family Guy football head that unfortunately children of the past 20 years have developed, not having adequate time spent on their stomachs has implications in crawling. And crawling, or not crawling, has implications in many other things.

  194. Alexis, I am fine with your post, nothing horrific in there…But I am curious about this part: “1) Most children are chronically sleep deprived. And the sad part is that there is overwhelming evidence that shows that small reductions in sleep or interrupted sleep (ie waking up 3 times a night after the first 6-8 months) can have a significant impact. But nobody is talking about how much children need sleep or how important it is for us to help them get that sleep.”For my children, when they sleep more it’s true that they are happier and behave better, but sleep interuptions had nothing to do with it. What is the “overwhelming evidence” that waking up 3 times per night after 6-8 months has a significant impact if otherwise, your child makes up the sleep? My son wakes up often but he has developed to the point that he takes care of himself. He doesn’t wake us. He is in bed for 11 hours so I think, “no wonder he wakes up at night”. And he loves his nap. His total sleep is 13 hours and he is a happy boy. So based on my experience, sleep interuptions are not inherently bad for babies/children. It is the sleep-deprivation that needy night wakers cause in their parents and the lost sleep if they are not able to make it up that are the problem.
    Personally (and this is a respectful difference of opinion), I think it is within normal limits for babies to wake up at night after 6-8 months and it is not unhealthy and I think it is sowing unreasonable expectations to believe otherwise. I am not against CIO or other attempts at getting those children to sleep but if it doesn’t work, it is not unusual and it is not directly harming your baby (maybe it is indirectly harmful if the family is dysfunctional due to parent exhaustion).
    One of the main reasons I believe night-waking is normal for babies over six months is that so many babies do it, so many parents struggle with it, and there are dozens and dozens of sleep books adressing this. If it was so natural for them, why the constant, ubiquitous struggle?
    Even thought this is my belief, my mind can be changed. It has in the past. So I want people’s opinions. Am I wrong? And again, what is this “overwhelming evidence”? (Again, I understand that not getting enough sleep is harmful. But why are interuptions harmful, if otherwise, the baby gets enough sleep?)

  195. Oh lordy, the sleep issue. I have been obsessing about my sons sleep since before he was even born! I read Dr. Sears and was so sure that I would never be one of those mothers who put her baby down to sleep and let him cry. One lesson I have learned as a first -time mom is that I should not judge people for the decisions that they make when it comes to raising their children. You do what works. Period.So my 4 month old Little has just cried himself to sleep for his second nap of the day. And two nights ago he cried himself to sleep after 45 minutes of screaming. He slept for 8 hours without a peep. My husband was sold. The soothing routine that we had been using (rocking, singing, white noise, nursing) was simply not working any more, so we are trying CIO. Not that I am saying that it is for everybody, but it works for us. And my Little loses steam as he cries, rather than building tension, so that may be why it is effective. I believe that having him learn how to go to sleep on his own will benefit him more than the crying will hurt him. This belief helps to assuage my guilt, so I am sticking to it. The next step will be to get him to go to sleep in an actual crib and not in his swing…

  196. My son sleeps on his tummy and we put him to bed after making sure he’s tanked up but he still doesn’t sleep through the night. Our pediatrican does not believe the hype around back sleeping and neither do we. My son has been a tummy sleeper since he was a newborn. He had a really strong startle reflex and would not stand to be swaddled.I was reading these comments and came across Alexis. She states what ALL the books say as something simple we can implement and all of a sudden have an easy baby sleeper. Everyone is different and babies are too about their sleep. Believe me I have tried EVERYTHING she suggested and we have worked with a sleep consultant as well. I get really sick of that same old hype about babies and what we should do to get them to sleep. If babies were meant to be automatic sleepers, they would be. I agree, the problem is our society NOT our babies.

  197. Sarah Price – I am soo impressed by this! I was spohping at West Elm over the weekend and fell in love with this headboard, but I agree it’s too spendy! I more or less feel that I can follow your guidelines to make my own, but I was wondering if you could go into a little more detail on how you did the tufting. It doesn’t look like you used buttons, and all of the DIYs that you linked too seem to use buttons. I like the exact look you have gone for so would love to have a better idea of how you did the tufting!! Please let me know. Thanks so much! Sarah

  198. Well I put my daughter into bed Big Girl When She was 21 / 2 years. It just all deepnds on how big they are. But the thing is I Brought a bed rail. I think that’s what i really can not remember Called ITS. Anyway ITS like you put the plastic gate by the stairs but the bed for ITS. . You hook on one side of bed there. So If They Will Hit That They roll and not fall. I used to put my daughter in the very middle of her bed she know if she roll Would Would Either roll into the rail or gate It Would Take Her a bunch of rolls to get to the other side where she Could fall off. That problem I never had she never fell off. I think it was Because of the size of the bed and put her on it where I. I Looked around for some sources but could not find any. I would look at a child store. . . maybe kid to kid where you can trade old stuff for newer things. You Might even find one there, since there kind of a older items.

  199. Oldest child was moved at 19 months. Had anohter baby, needed the crib, refused to buy a 2nd crib. Put her in a full size bed. She still rolls out at least once to month. No long term damage, we just pick her up and put her back in bed. Middle child moved into a bed at 14 months. We moved, the crib did not. Went into a twin bed. Still falls out of bed 2-3 times a week. Does not even wake up. We put her back in bed When we go to bed. Youngest child at 22 months ago I moved. She started climbing out of the crib, we Took it apart and Threw it away (Turned Out To Be Recalled to one anyways). Put her in a twin bed. The only child Who does not fall out of bed on a regular basis.

  200. Hahaha I guess its time to invest sa King size na bed tsang para igo kamo. Si Koala nako ga co-sleep sa amo-a since birth pa.. bisan naa sia inaahyg room.Tapulan man si lola mag bugtaw kon gab-i so co-sleep na lang hahaha..

  201. I’d prepared the bseianst for use up to about 4 months I’d read That Because it’s best to have baby in same room as a newborn up to the 4th month. Well, it was a waste of a purchase Because I ended up co-sleeping with her Because she just Seemed to hate the bseianst and never stayed more than 15 minutes asleep in it. I’m surprised to hear a doctor That Would express surprise. Did he / she elaborated as to why?

  202. – AWESOME JOB and GREAT choice of frabic!!! I absolutely LOVE it! I was planning to mock one up myself for my master bedroom until I found a near-new West Elm upholstered headboard on Craigslist for only $85! Wasn’t sure that I could make one for much less, so I snagged it! LOVE yours though and cannot wait to make one for my guest bedroom!

  203. Keep HIM in there for as long as you want. Some babies grow out of the bssniaet Sooner than others, but my daughter was in one until she was 6. 5 months old. I had to move her to the crib by then she was literally Because Trying to climb out of it.

  204. This music wasn’t actually part of the sutdnorack was it? I have yet to see this movie, but I m looking forward to it. Although, I’m a major fan of the original with Pat Morita and Ralph Macchio

  205. I understand the qusetion but can’t really give a name for it. That’s not tough love..it’s umm. A reality check maybe(not really though). Wish I could help more if I can think of it I will come back. Btw I have the same theory as far as parents being so strict that when the kids grow up they will get wild because they have been essentially locked up. My parents sheltered me to a certain extent I was around people who drank alcohol, smoked(cigarettes), It wasn’t this taboo thing I was around it. I knew what could happen to you if abused. To this day my brother nor I have ever drank, or smoke.References :

  206. Honestly, I could relate to this post so much so that it felt like you were wrtniig my daily life here. My son just completed 15 months and I’ve been doing this one-time-up-in-the-night routine for god knows how long. The bottle with formula is the only thing that has helped me else we are subjected to a loud orchestra that just goes on and on. He is not awake but makes that weird sound out of hunger and probably teething too.Anyways, I just realised this is not my space to whine. I just hope Maggie gets better and you get your due share of sleep.Lakshmi’s latest blog post:

  207. Quite a post here Lars. I did like the information on using the Design Binder. It is soithemng that I tend to pass over just like the design library. I am going to request that our IT department Whitelist your blog so I can your blog at work. Now time to cut and paste your post of wisdom into my TiddlyWiki for reference. Thanks Lars, JRU_1962

  208. 05/10/2009 at 10:53 pmTo Candycane: By dare darkness I mean that soeemimts people hear others tell stories or personal experiences or for fun they might go in a cementary or play ouija board and basically laugh and dare death or spirits and say they are not afraid of them and invoking, asking them to show themselves to you and manifest movement of some kind. When several people are together in a circle or hold hands for instance. There no doubt that different dimentions exist but it is not good to believe in them. If we hear of them then be afraid and protective of your soul because God gave us something to guard better than our own life and that is your own soul. Our soul is not something we can dispose of or give it away to no one. We will go back to God and if we do not have our soul to use as a highway then how will you know how to go back to heaven? You would be lost. Protect your soul and if we are not strong enough to handle the different dimentions called paranormal .then let’s not watch the horror movies, read the occult books or dare evil .because it is outhere! lurking! taking every depressed person who thinks his/her life is all he/she has to loose. Then again .. there are some of us who do nothing dareing yet these spirits in need of help .who have lost their highway to heaven (soul) look for the living person with the skill to see them to help them. If you happen to be one ot them then don’t be scared . hold on to your seat because you will see horrible things that are not currently there yet you must soak yourself and learn more so you can help ..and it seems like when you see these spirits or dead people ..well pretty much you have no other choice but to go forward .other than that you will think you are crazy and go crazy. Yes there is only a handfull of people you can open up to and tell what you are going through. You must be careful if you want to keep your social life intact. When I said go to church and talk about it, well I meant go to the Catholic Church because they probably are the only church that has had the highest level of incidents talked to about this. I don’t know why I say that .. but when I get holy water, It has to be from the Catholic Church and the Catholic Church is not the Church I attend to when I go to Church. Well, about the Tarot Cards .. eyepriestess is right. When we read cards like that, I have heard there is a spirit standing by next to us playing these .. (what we see as an innocent game) cards. Tarot cards envoke. Candy were those cards given to you or did you buy them? Apparently there is a difference. And about discarding them, well there is a way of doing that! But do not burn them! I would ask the church. I had a friend whose sister had the ability to read tarot cards, but all she could tell/see was the tragedies, bad things happening (nothing possitive) her standing spirit was something else. Well, I am so relieved to hear you haven’t had an SP incident since. I am sure you have already done something different in your thinking or in your life that has changed that and now you can not change back. Candy please don’t let it change back! You have the power and the will to change what happens to you and if it still happens to you then you will have the ability to change the way you feel about it (scared if you have done something bad or NOT scared if you owe no one anything because you are a good person and nothing can hurt a good, innocent soul). Sometimes God needs a few souls to show others here on Earth that only God has the power of healing and those souls’ only job is to stick to prayer and God’s will. All of us around that soul learn. God has a destination and a job for each of us when we are born. If you happen to be God’s warrior helping against these praying souls, then you will see horrible things you must get used to and you must learn to protect yourself from these things trying to take momentaneous possession and all we need to not learn protection then they might possess indefinitely, and that is when people we know start acting differently and talk differently.

  209. 03/10/2009 at 9:24 pmthanks guys, thanks for your rpeyls, i have never used a oija board i would be stuped and too scared to mess with that stuff but may i ask what you meant by *dared darkness* MINA* ? im not too sure about that, but like i have tarot cards they are unicorn type ones which are pretty looking ones which i never use i just chucked under my bed really.years ago i used to dream about me being in a church and demon posessed figures crawling all over the church and i would just pray and wake up to find a evil looking man standing in front of me he didnt do much..just stood there really, and i saw this man every night at the exact same time and i would break out in sweat and when i was lying down somethign whispered something in my ear it sounded evil, creepy i dont know what he said though. Then once i was about to sleep and it felt as though my soulso badly wanted to come out of my body my mind said let it go but my heart said no in the end i just said to myself this is not real then it went.when i stopped at my friends house on the first night my friend told me that a man that killed himself talks to him and wanted his help i just laughed and took the mick out of the man and said he wasn’t real, the next day we all went to the pub and like i felt angry and snapped at everybody that night im not sure why but i felt so angry i wanted to actually stab my own friend but i never understood why so i just went back to my mates where i was saying then i understood why i was in the room and all of a sudden i burst into tears saying things like why is this happening to me its not fair im so upset then i stopped crying and thought what am i saying why am i crying? then something said to me HELP ME! and i just said no then the idiot spirit tried to get inside me i couldnt breath then i just asked for jesus help and i got out the house i never went back to that houseNow i’m always scared to be alone in my own house i’m not sure why, most of it is deffinately due to me being scared of past experiences i convince my self something is in the room but other times i really think theres something there.This sleep paralysis thing is just the ice-ing on the cake im so annoyed i think to myself why does this spirit world want to come to me to torture me? my sisters dont really believe in jesus my mum doesnt either and my step dad deffinately doesnt, i’m the only one and sometimes i think so myself maybe they only torture me because i’m the one that has an open mind and believes this stuff and believes in god my mum has tried so many things to get rid of it but failshummm well i’m off to church tommorow anyways but i can not bring myself to talk to anybody about this thing because its strange and its been happening for so long that i kind of given up i even think to myself jesus is not real because he doesnt help me, aparrently he’s *always with us* but somehow i think to myself hummm is he really ?anyways this sleep paralise hasnt happened for 2 days now so im sooo happy, but im sure theres a scientfic explanation as well as paranormal thanx x

  210. Phil #3November 6, 2011If the incentives, of which there are many, were remvoed, divorce and unwed birth would virtually end in the US. (this would require true joint legal/physical custody as well as truly equal responsibility for parents).However, that would cause a lot of lawyers, FOCs, analysts, psychologists, welfare case workers, GALs, judges, etc., to be unemployed and unemployable.Of course the children would fare better but that is inconsequential when compared to the benefits for so many for the act of birthing for bucks.Funny thing about child care, it is considered to be an add on by many states. That means the child support amount is determined and then child care is added on. This applies when the child is in school and even when the child is up to 21 years of age in some states. I paid such child care for my 18 year old son until the day he turned 19. Not once in 17 years of paying child support was my son ever in child care (grandma kept him, free of charge). What do you imagine the mother did with the money? If you say personal use , you are correct.Holly, what you mention is the norm. Parents are free to do as they wish until they request the government into their personal lives. The couple can draw up their own custody and support agreements if both agree to it and there is little a judge can do to thwart them. It is when one makes demands the other deems inappropriate or unfair that the problems of unfair and unrealistic court ordered custody and child support come about.This is me what you’ve given is an argument against abortion. Equal parents should be able to spend equal amounts of time and be required to spend equal amounts of money on their children. You seem to favor men paying women for sex, which is what child support actually is.For others: Divorce changes everything about the family. Men do not want to pay their ex-wife to be a SAH mother any more than the ex-wife wants to clean and cook for him in his home. Don’t you get it? Divorce changes everything.Also, men want the best for their children but buying, or even just helping pay, his ex-wife an expensive house it NOT doing much for the children, especially when they turn 18 and she has all the equity and they are turned out.

  211. Posted on yam brother it’s an aprppeciateable effort on ur part to promote our culture.can u plz upload some old ginans like by hashim,shamim Alam ke especially(Alam-e-baalaar nichm shulguyo muhabbat galingay dal hun akesh shanan blum me shahi merdan bama beyam) meher angez’s starting ginans Amir hayat’s especially (A warisay immamatay dauraan khosh aamdeed, thanks

  212. 07/10/2009 at 3:55 pmTo Candycane: I also do not own the Healing with the Fairies Cards any more. Candy would you write about it here whenever this hanppes to you again? And write it down on a calendar as to what nights this hanppes and at what time. Pay close attention to when these events happen more pronouncedly like when the moon is waning (meaning when the moon has past full moon and is going down). In my calendar I have written the 13th through the 16th nights at around 2:40 am to 3:45 am. About you not playing with the dark Ouija or anything else, you could probably be a Sensitive You might have the same need I have which is to learn how to protect ourselves. I must buy a book or something that teaches that! I know you do an imaginary gold ring of light around you and tie an imaginary gold thread to your body so you are able to comeback. Let me see ..Body, Spirit and Soul or is it Body, Soul, Spirit . I can’t remember but I have to use the Spirit as my gold thread /highway to come back to which several entities will attach to and if I do not have the strong fearless character to order them off my gold thread then don’t try it. Gosh! I heard this as a small child from a very experienced Medium who would take Astral Trips . I was too young then .. to wouldn’t know what questions to ask him then. That Medium Person has passed on. He was also a VERY GOOD DOCTOR. He would sleep days and consult people at night. Strange! if I think of it – He was already very old when I learned about him and got to meet him in company of my parents one night at 2:00 am in Monterrey, Mexico. We miss him and all his wise knowledge!

  213. 11/03/2009 at 1:56 pmThank you for the comments . What I find collmetepy interesting is the fact that, in this state of mind, your conscious is engaged; when you wake and find your physical body unable to respond to brain impulses of movement and the like, yet your brain is in full capacity of function in thought. It is my understand, in having this experience, that the only thing you cannot do at this point is move or speak, everything else is fully conscious. So, the only logical explaination of the lack of ability to physically move, is that you must be under some kind of external invisible power. Because you feel pressure, but you know that it is not a physical person sitting on you, as you cannot feel physical contact, though the pressure feels external. So it is the only logical explaination to your current state. What happens after that is the run of the imagination ? The last experience I had with this condition was the breath in my ear and the evil laugh. I did not talk to the entity for two reasons, one I was busy calling out the name of the Lord to free me from my state, and two, I did not think he could hear me. But that might be because of education (religious). As I believe that satan cannot read our minds. And it was my plan to be freed and confront the entity after I gained full capacity of all senses.What I also find interesting is that pretty much the entire human race all have similiar experiences and give claim to demonic entities regardless of race, creed, religion, age, etc. I would so love to know why. Because enquiring minds want to know .Liderien

  214. 03/09/2010 at 1:14 amsleep paralysis is sonethimg common to me, i always had it since college and during our retreat before graduation i bought a rosary, in the retreat house when it is under my pillow i dont experience sleep paralysis. I still have the rosary and it is 9 years old now, i still use it to protect me in my sleep paralysis sometimes i still have sleep paralysis when i dont have the rosary what i remember about sleep paralysis is that you can see everything around you are awake but you cant move i remember i am sleeping beside my mom then during the sleep paralysis attack i memorize the folds of my mother’s nighty and her position, then eventually when i am out of the sleep paralysis i felt a chill when i saw her nighty fold and position same as what i saw during my sleep paralysis. Another thing, during my sleep paralysis i saw this pink silhouette above the cabinet, when i woke up it is a pink victoria secret paper bag. But the weirdest experience i had during sleep paralysis was when i was having an attack and there was this strange creature facing me and he is whispering sonethimg in my ear just like what Abby has said above, but i refuse to listen to him, he seems angry while whispering sonethimg to me, but i dont want to listen, so while he was saying sonethimg i am praying to GOD. I know there is so much mystery in sleep paralysis and even science cannot explain and there are more untold stories about sleep paralysis experiences but prayers always brings me back so i know God is always watching me .

  215. Binang Masimege Posted on i am a 23 year old lad.completed my Bachelor of Science in soil and water conservation Engineering at Botswana College of Agriculture in Botswana and due to graaudte in October 2009. i would like to be offered a scholarship in relevance with my study to do my Masters Degree. i would be happy to hear from you and looking forward forward to a positive response.i will be willing to relocate to wherever the school will be.Thank you.

  216. After I originally commented I seem to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on each time a comment is added I recieve four emails with the exact same comment. Is there a means you are able to remove me from that service? Kudos!

  217. Hi there! This post could not be written much better! Looking through this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He continually kept talking about this. I’ll send this article to him. Fairly certain he’ll have a good read. Thank you for sharing!

  218. I was pretty pleased to discover this website. I need to to thank you for ones time for this wonderful read!! I definitely savored every part of it and i also have you book-marked to look at new things in your website.

  219. Next time I read a blog, Hopefully it does not disappoint me just as much as this one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read, but I genuinely believed you would probably have something helpful to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of complaining about something you can fix if you were not too busy searching for attention.

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