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lone father needs help with baby not sleeping in his cot.

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Showing 1-25 of 123 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 15 Aug 2013 18:50:26 BDT
G. D. Buxton says:
I am a father who is alone looking after a 14 month old and a boy of 4 years. My baby will not sleep on his own, only in my arms or next to me in my bed. Ive tried letting him cry himself to sleep but that as not worked. I work 55 hours a week and look after my kids on my own and it his killing me, I do not even get a chance to eat when I get home or even have a drink. Any tips?

Posted on 15 Aug 2013 21:51:34 BDT
John Burnell says:
My little one used to do that. Have you tried putting him in his cot and rubbing his back until he sleeps? Then a week (or less) later stop just before he goes to sleep, then over time slowly move yourself away, as a gradual process. Or have you tried controlled crying? just letting him cry wont work as he will get really worked up. My little one was the same, I had to breast feed him to sleep, then gently place him in his cot, and he was a poor sleeper. A couple of months after me being strict and following my suggestion (gradual withdrawal) he now goes to sleep on his own after a story, and sleeps all night :) p.s my son was 2.5 yrs when I did this, so even more set in his ways! Good luck, when you've chosen which route to take make sure you're consistent and don't give up :)

In reply to an earlier post on 16 Aug 2013 10:00:24 BDT
G. D. Buxton says:
When I do get him to sleep in his cot he will wake up every hour (sometimes less) without fail. It will take me around 45 mins to settle him back down then he will repeat the cyle again. And becuase of work (and having a four year asleep in the room next door) he end up with me as it is much easier to settle him and he does not wake my eldest. I would be happy of he would sleep for 3 to 4 hours at a time before waking, that would be ok, but every hour is getting so hard.

Posted on 16 Aug 2013 16:00:10 BDT
Hello, I wonder if I may be able to help? I wrote a little booklet on getting your baby to sleep through. If you can find a way of sending me your e-mail address in private, I will forward on to you free of charge, as perhaps it will help. You are a star for bringing up your kids and working and I hope I can help!

Posted on 16 Aug 2013 19:51:56 BDT
I had a similar situation with one of my children. He started not sleeping and being really unsettled when I returned to work and I would end up coming in at 7pm and sitting with him - singing reading and all usual tactics but nothing worked until we changed his room and put him in a big bed and really made a fuss of him needing his lovely new bed. It was like magic, he slept! I think a change of situation jolts them out of their waking habit. Very god luck I know it's all so tiring you must be at the end of your tether. I'll be thinking of you.

Posted on 22 Aug 2013 12:38:05 BDT
Sorry it's called tough love. Put them to bed at the same time every night (this is important) after a nice warm bath. Make sure they are comfortable. These hot nights don't help.

When they get a bit older remember they may not be fully tired. Put a book or somet hing similar near them. I had a daughter who thought if it was daylight it was time to wake up. Fine in winter not so in summer. Once she could look at books it got better.

Remember not all children are the same and if they pick up you are worried they will play up. Kids are crafty, especially if you keep picking them up and pandering to them. They will use it. Routine is necessary. Don't forget the goodnight kiss and tell them you love them though. Kids need regular confirmation. You should put on these posts the age of the child. What is suitable for a three month old is not the same for a six month old or year old.

Keep trying it will work eventually.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Aug 2013 14:47:16 BDT
Mrs. B. Howe says:
Maybe a musical mobile in his room or something cuddly in his cot will help.

Posted on 23 Aug 2013 16:25:42 BDT
G. D. Buxton says:
Tried the cuddlies ect, but it more of a case that he doed not want to be on his own.

Posted on 26 Aug 2013 21:32:03 BDT
Susieb says:
My son was like tat and we tried the gradual approach of our company by standing outside the room door, eventually worked but anxious time. Very difficult doing it alone. Maybe speak with your health visitor for advise. Can no one help and gave you a break?

Posted on 28 Aug 2013 20:16:54 BDT
hi hi, we have the same age kids- at 12 months we did the following:
baby in bed awake, i sit on chair next to bed untill she falls asleep, repeating key phrases like 'its sleepy time' nightynight. You're allowed to stroke/ comfort baby but dont take him her out of the cot!
After doing this for 3 nights you move your chair to the middle of the room, further away from the cot and you do the same keyphrases etc. after 3 nights of this you move your chair next to the door and use the same keyphrases. If baby wakes up at night you resume your position in your chair untill baby is asleep. worked with both of my kids. so its a 9 day process where you give your baby comfort by being in the room. after the 9 days if your baby wakes up you - wait 10 minuts ( seems to be a magic number- baby may fall asleep by herself) if not- stand outside the door and say your keyphrases again and leave, and dont go in. Both my kids are great sleepers now!! little one did go through a phase of waking up early, but i did the same thing for a few mornings ( go in, sit in chair, dont engage too much, just be there) and it worked, just be consistent and dont give up too quick. GOOD LUCK and be CONSISTENT!!

Posted on 28 Aug 2013 20:18:34 BDT
BTW make sure room is dark ( we have a blanket between window and curtains to darken room)

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Aug 2013 08:20:30 BDT
G. D. Buxton says:
I can settle him fine the trouble is that he wakes up every hour. It then takes a good 45 mins to settle him again. My first who is now four was simalar but he would sleep 3 to 4 hours before he woke and settle him again. At least with my first he was only waking 3 times a night. Beacuase of work I have no option but to just get the baby in bed with me. other wise I would get no sleep at all. It is the waking every hour that is the problem. If I could get that sorted we would be fine.
Last night I put him down at 7.15 he woke at 8.30 I got him back settled at 9.30 and he woke at 11pm I need to be up at 5am so he was in bed with me after that. Even in bed with me he still wakes every hour but at least I just give him a little love and I can get a little sleep myself.

In reply to an earlier post on 29 Aug 2013 23:41:01 BDT
Last edited by the author on 29 Aug 2013 23:41:21 BDT
Mintyman says:
I feel for you buddy. I know there is tons of conflicting advice out there and everyone has a different solution but I was told about controlled crying and tried it. Can't say it was easy as it takes a solid week or two to work, but once you are through it you won't look back. Before trying it, I was like you and my little boy had got used to the attention. Put yourself through the pain of a fortnight of trying it and i'll eat my hat if it doesn't work for you. I could explain it all here if you haven't heard of it but there's this thing called Google that can point you in the right direction.

Posted on 30 Aug 2013 12:44:35 BDT
Suzanne Rice says:
Change the bed to a different position (never tried it, just heard). When my son was 6months I put him in his own cot and he hated it. Everyone told me to let him to cry it out and by day 3-5 he would stop. It actually took 3weeks, same time going to bed and he cried hysterically every night. I used to do the dishes so I could not hear him as I would give in. It was very hard but was so worth it. Good luck

Posted on 30 Aug 2013 13:00:03 BDT
G. D. Buxton says:
I have triied both Suzanne, first he was in my bedroom in his cot and I got told to put him in his own room, that made no difference then I have tried letting him cry to sleep, 3 hors later he was still at it. Tried this for weeks but as not got any better. Really tiring when you are working 50 odd hours a week and looking after 2 boys.

In reply to an earlier post on 30 Aug 2013 18:34:57 BDT
Suzanne Rice says:
Yes must be so hard :( sorry I can't help more. Hope your situation gets sorted soon

In reply to an earlier post on 31 Aug 2013 08:53:07 BDT
G. D. Buxton says:
The main problem seems to be his sleep cycle. My first would sleep 3 to 4 hours then wake up, but my baby seems to have a sleep cycle of just an hour or so. If I could just get him to sleep 3 to 4 hours at a time I would be ok. I guess he might just miss his Mummy, And I am no Mummy.

Posted on 5 Sep 2013 13:19:04 BDT
Sam Brooks says:
I have personally found that my baby wakes more often when troubled or unsettled, around growth spurts and developmental leaps. For me the key was allowing her to gradually learn that mummy was still there even if I wasn't in the room, it allowed her to sleep more deeply. For this to happen I simply went along with it, I did whatever I needed to do right next to her while she slept, or relaxed downstairs while she slept in my arms until I wanted to go to bed. It wasn't easy, it was downright hard at times, but before long she learnt to feel secure and to trust that I wasn't going to disappear, and since 2 years old she has slept all night long. I don't know your situation, but it sounds to me like baby is feeling very insecure to be waking every hour.

When they are so young, it's hard because they don't really understand where you are when you're not around. There is a lot of evidence that shows CIO is harmful to brain development, and the ability to cope with stress in later life. They don't learn to just sleep, they learn that you're not coming regardless of whether or not they need you. As parents we all do what we need to do to get through the early years, but I do urge you to throughly research CIO and controlled crying before trying them.

I really hope you find the answer that's right for you and your baby and you get some rest soon

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Sep 2013 16:41:29 BDT
G. D. Buxton says:
So what you are saying is that it is ok for him to sleep next to me and hold him when he wakes. That makes me feel alot better. He is a sensative little guy. I just worry he might not sleep in his own bed if he sleeps with me. Now it as turned cooler he as been sleeping for a good 1 and a half hours to 2 hours in his cot. I hope this the start of him sleeping longer.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Sep 2013 19:26:22 BDT
At this point, anything that gets the most people the most sleep is the best thing. We co-sleep with twins if it is any comfort, they lay on a sheepskin rug on a bit of the bed with a bumper behind it and I feed them in the night from there. Sounds like you're doing a great job. How about when he goes to sleep having him in a sling so you can eat while he sleeps on you? Also - get in touch with Home Start via your health visitor, they can give you some support. Good luck!

Posted on 8 Sep 2013 21:49:54 BDT
Miss Park says:
Hi G.D. Sounds as if you have it tough at the moment. I'm not sure how long your little boys' mummy hasn't been around but I imagine it's hard on both you and your sons. 14 months is an age where he may be struggling with separation anxiety (google for more details) but its very common and does eventually get better with consistency, love and patience which it seems you are trying hard to maintain. Do speak to your health visitor, GP, local children's centre or Home Start if you haven't already there's so many people out there to offer support if you go in search. Rule out any medical issues too. The lady who noted letting babies cry for extended periods without being acknowledged or attended to was right to say that this has been proven to be detrimental to their emotional and brain development (the stress hormone cortisol isn't good for brains and they do start to wonder why no one is attending to them when they're obviously distressed.) So making sure a simple acknowledgment such as a gentle patting, shushing or stroking at intermittent times can reassure them even when they seem to be screaming. I've found library books on baby's sleep to be of some help and interest. Although i know its hard to find the time. If you've anyone who can help ask them to stay over for a few nights to give you a little break if necessary. Take a holiday from work and try to instill a new bedtime routine every night and sticking to the his bed every time mantra. It can take approx 1-3 weeks to break habits especially when your son may be missing his original care giver like you say (if that was his mummy?) but it sounds as if he's very lucky to have you. Also i've heard if you go and change their sleep position just before their wake time it helps jog them into the next sleep cycle more smoothly and breaks their waking habits and i've heard sleeping on a sheepskin rug can work wonders. Try your best to know it will change as he grows and you're trying your best. I hope none of this sounded too patronising. Best wishes.

Posted on 9 Sep 2013 10:00:17 BDT
G. D. Buxton says:
I have just got through one breakthrough and that is putting him down while awake. He is qiute happy to be left with his cuddly and fall asleep on his own in his cot. It is now when he wakes up, he does not settle back down. But at least he is gowing in his cot.

Posted on 10 Sep 2013 15:28:45 BDT
For a well-founded discussion of how to help you children sleep well you should read Richard Ferber's "Solve your child's sleep problems". On Amazon you can even Look-inside. Our children are no longer babies, but it still serves as a reference for making sure that our kids get the right amount of sleep.

For small children who cannot get to sleep, Ferber basically advocates the "controlled crying method". You can see a brief summary of the points on Wikipedia under "Ferber method". As noted there, this method does not mean letting the child cry until it wears itself out. Some people do not like the idea, but it has many followers, as also noted in this forum. Personally we have had good results and I would not advocate deviating from the general principles of the method.

I recommend you buy the book.

It gets better!

Posted on 11 Sep 2013 01:37:25 BDT
Sheddoctor says:
Sorry you're having such a tough time. My 8-month-old wakes every hour or two, especially in the hot weather. He goes to sleep quite well in his cot after his bath, but then I take him to the double bed in the spare room when he wakes so I can feed him more easily. We went through a similar stage with our 3-year-old but he improved gradually and now sleeps through most nights. Crying of any kind is not an option for me so we allow the boys to come into our bed if they wake. I can understand that sometimes they just need someone and it means I can go straight back to sleep. I've never encountered a teenager who was still co-sleeping, so they must all get there eventually! Good luck because sleep deprivation just ruins your whole life, so if cuddling baby helps you both get more sleep, go with the flow.

Posted on 12 Sep 2013 11:52:00 BDT
Mrs. H. Wood says:
I had same problem. Learned this technique at a Chinese Health Arts course, works for babies as well as elderly with Alzheimers. Stroke back of baby's hand from fingertips to wrist in gently continuous strokes. Worked , before taking the first hand off repeat with your second hand. Guaranteed to fall asleep after a few minutes. BUT do NOT do more than 2 nights running as the little one will laugh at you and refuse to sleep!!! Then stroke from bridge of nose to top of forehead in gently continuous strokes. Worked well for my child and also for my neighbour who had Alzheimers.
Also if you use an aftershave or something that smells of you like a well worn sweaty shirt, leave in under the cot so that if the baby stirs the scent of you will reassure him.
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Discussion in:  baby discussion forum
Participants:  74
Total posts:  123
Initial post:  15 Aug 2013
Latest post:  30 Mar 2016

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