Friday, January 18, 2013


After the past few weeks, I am convinced we desperately need help with E's sleep.  I am at my wits end.

Before she got sick, she was starting to fight going back to sleep when she wakes in the middle of the night, but I could usually snuggle her or nurse her back to sleep.  Then when she was sick, she got completely out of her routine, and now she WILL NOT go back to sleep at night. She violently thrashes around, screams "NO NO NO NO!", kicks, hits, slaps, and claws us (even when just laying next to her on our bed).  Last night, she flung herself out of our bed and hit her head on the nightstand, leaving a gash on her forehead.  It is no longer safe for her to sleep in our bed.   Something has to change.

This is where we are at:

E still sleeps in our room.  We don't want to change this yet, unless absolutely necessary.

We put her down for the night drowsy but awake into her Pack N Play next to our bed.  Sometimes she goes down without a fight, other times it takes one hour or longer.  I bring her into our bed when she wakes during the night.

She will NOT go to sleep on her own if we leave the room.  We have let her CIO for 2+ hours before, with no success.  She only gets more angry and upset.  At bedtime, we usually sit next to her PNP and pat her as needed.

E sleeps at least 10 (interrupted) hours per night.

When home with me, she takes two naps per day, usually totaling 2-3 hours of nap in all.  She goes down for her naps consistently between 10:00-11:00 and 1:30-2:30.

On days when she goes to the babysitter, she has no consistent nap schedule.  Since she will not go to sleep on her own, she is at the mercy of when the babysitters kids nap so the babysitter can get her down.  I assume this is part of the problem, but don't know how to change it.

E has been nursing a lot at night.  I also suspect this is part of the problem, but am hesitant to stop cold turkey because she doesn't always eat much during the day.  I want to make sure she gets enough nutrition.

We have tried every sleep training method, even Ferber and straight CIO, with no success.  (And yes we have been consistent and tried each method for long enough we should have seen an improvement.)  We have had the most luck with The Sleep Lady's methods, but they only work for bedtime and not E's many night wakings.

We cannot spend all night fighting with E about sleep.  S is in medical school doing his rotations and frequently has 12-15 hour days.  He cannot afford to miss what little sleep he gets.

Our house is small enough, we can hear her screaming from any other room, even if we did try to just leave her somewhere else and let her CIO all night.

I think that is all relevent information. PLEASE HELP.  I am about to have a mental breakdown.


  1. I feel your pain. Alice has been sleeping through, but waking at 4.30am every morning for the past week wanting to play. Nightmare.
    The only way I think you could make this better (and I am NO expert, just another mums advice), is to STOP feeding at night. I know you're worried about her getting enough nutrients, but what I have learnt about babies is that they will survive. If E no longer gets food at night, she will start eating more in the day. For definite. Babies want to survive. She is only eating at night because she is in that routine, believing that she can eat whenever she wants to. If you change the rules, she will change hers too.
    CIO doesn't work. Trust me, Ive tried it. It's blooming horrible and I don't particularly like the idea of Alice crying herself to sleep every night!
    All I can say, from the struggles I have had with Alice, is that routine is key. Yes, even when they are sick! Have a bedtime routine and stick to it. Even when Alice is sick and I know she wont sleep I still give her a quick bath, get her in pyjamas and read her a story in her room.
    If you have to stay with her till she falls asleep, do it with as little physical contact as possible. This has worked wonders with us. No talking at all, no eye contact, no rocking. Just sitting by her, holding her hand. Make it as boring and uneventful as possible so that she knows it is bedtime, all you are allowed to do is sleep now!
    But in all honesty, how well they sleep at night seems to completely depend on their day time events. Don't let her get over tired, even if she sleep a little longer than usual, start upping her food intake in the day and reducing it at night (she will need to do that sooner or later!) and try to keep the last 2 hours before bed quiet, followed by a good bedtime routine.

    I do feel for you though. Oh also, everything you try will take about 4 nights to kick in! It wont happen the first time!

    Good luck xx

    1. Thank you for all of your suggestions! I am so sorry you are going through this too!

      We do have a night routine, but it doesn't seem to do much, other than get her all worked up because she knows bedtime is coming. :-(

      I agree she needs to stop feeding at night. Trying to get her more food during the day and eliminating night feeds is going to be my new goal. I hope that will help everything else fall into place!

  2. This must be so draining on you. CIO only works to an extent - when I put Aiden down, if he protests I leave him for a maximum of 20 minutes, then ill go up and give him a cuddle and a lullaby, then pop him back down with his favourite teddy and pop the mobile on. Usually, he will scream straight away, but after 20 min... Silence. I wouldn't ever leave him any longer if I felt he was just working himself up because then he will most certainly not sleep.
    Do you or E set the bedtime? I just wait till Aiden is tired (usually 7:30) - makes for less protesting! And I wholeheartedly agree with Emma; routine is everything. Good luck! Xo

    1. Thank you for your response! I know routine is important, but I don't know how to enforce one while I am working part-time and she has to go to the sitter two days per week. Going to the sitters always throws her off of her game. :-(

      E does have a rough bedtime. She almost always goes to bed between 7:30 and 8:30, whenever we notice she starts acting sleepy... which is usually right around 8:00.

    2. And by "rough" I mean "typically between those times", not "difficult"... although I suppose that definition applies also, HA!

  3. I have no words of advice but all I can say is I am sorry you are dealing with this!! Maybe your hubby can bum some xanax off his residents and you can sneak some in her sippy cup.....or yours....
    Good luck! I hope it sorts itself out soon.

  4. Oh honey I am so sorry! I know that Nicole from The Kav Report had a hard time with her son and they took him to a behavioral therapist for his sleep problems. She wrote a few posts on it. Let me find them and I'll forward too you. I know you don't want to move her but she may be waking up bc she knows you are in the room or can see you. This sucks and I'm sorry I can't be more help. Have you talked to her doc?

    1. Thanks so much for letting me know! I just searched her blog and found her posts on that. She detailed their sleep plan (from the therapist) and I sent it to S. We are going to discuss trying some of those methods and see if it helps.

      I have talked with her doctor. He is fantastic in all other areas, but not much help in this department. When she was younger he only wanted us to let her CIO, and now his only suggestion was rocking her to sleep and putting her in her own bed (which obviously does nothing for night wakings/helping her go to sleep on her own). Sigh.

    2. Yeah I have found that here is tons of help out there for putting the baby to bed but not a lot of solutions for night wakings besides crying. A was standing in solidarity w E last night bc he was up three times and from 3.30 to 5.15. What's makes it so depressing is that he officially sttn from 8.30 to 7 two nights before :) physiological warfare?