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How to stop this vicious cycle?

  1. #1
    carolc is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2008

    How to stop this vicious cycle?

    My 8 month old son has gone from being rocked to a deep sleep to sitting in my lap, half drowsy and placed in his cot, while I pat and sing to him into a deep sleep. As I started this process, it seems to be getting worse and worse as he is waking more often (5-6 times and increasing!) to be patted/sung to to sleep. He wakes up, screams and as soon as he sees me enter the room, he settles and waits for me to pat/sing to him and he falls asleep again. I've tried not to pat him, just sit next to him, or even just put my hand on his back, but he ends up fully waking and playing in his cot. Unfortunately I don't have the patience to wait 10-15mins to see if he'll just end up playing a bit and falling asleep on his own 6 to 7 times in the middle of the night.

    Does anyone have any suggestions to end this cycle? It's getting worse and worse - he just wants me to be sitting by his cot for 12 hours patting and singing to him. :(


  2. #2
    audlin's Avatar
    audlin is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Lam Tin

    Hi Carolc. I am so sorry you are having to go through this and the solution as far as my experience goes isn't easy but it sounds like your son has to learn to settle himself and the only way to do this is to let him cry.

    It breaks your heart and you do have to persist for three or four nights but it does work, eventually. I promise.

    Good luck!

  3. #3
    southside852 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2008

    like audlin said he has to cry it out. there are tons of threads about the method on this website, but I found that there is a balance for everyone and not everyone has to be so extreme. Your son is associating you with his sleep and if he doesn't learn how to settle himself back to sleep then the cycle will never end and you will never get any rest. it's an important skill and babies need to be taught.

    i would start off in small increments to find out what your comfort level is. Maybe go in every 3 minutes (which might seem like 20 mins at the beginning). Give him a pat on the back, but don't pick him up or give eye contact. As you feel more comfortable, you can increase the length of crying. My son is now 17 months and sometimes regresses and we've let him cry up to 20 minutes straight because I believe he's strong enough to handle it and without fail he goes to sleep just fine.

    This should sort itself up in about a week.

    be strong! it can work! :)

  4. #4 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Sham Tseng

    Hi Carolc,

    Is he teething/cutting new teeth? In which case the touch sensation from his mother
    (pat him on the back) will be pretty solacing. I have there before. My baby boy was a good sleeper until "THE" Teething hapenned! What I would suggest is that you try to tell him over and over that you love him, hug him, play with him. Try your best to give him a cold teething ring as soon as you see that he's in pain again. In brief, try to show him that you are aware of his pain. And when the night comes... Same as Audlin and Southside... Let him C.I.O!!!!!!! DON'T STAY BY HIS SIDE!!!!!!!!


    If all other methods have failed, controlled crying is the most effective way to sleep-train babies over 6 months.

    It is an intense technique and takes a lot of commitment and perseverance but can be very successful in getting your baby to sleep through. If your baby is still feeding in the night, however, it's a good idea to try the core night method to ensure he isn't crying from genuine hunger.

    Start controlled crying in the evening on the first day. The same procedure should be carried out no matter how many times your baby or toddler wakes up in the night.

    Day 1
    Step 1 Decide on a regular time to start the bedtime routine and stick to it. Allow at least one hour for the bath, milk feed and settling.

    Step2 Settle your child in his bed before he gets too sleepy. **** him goodnight and leave the room.

    Step 3 Allow a minimum of five to 10 minutes of crying before returning to reassure him. Reassurance should be kept to the minimum. You can stroke him or say 'ssh-ssh' softly, but resist the urge to pick him up. Leave the room after two minutes even if he continues to cry.

    Step 4 After the first half hour of crying, the times between visits should be increased by five to 10 minutes each time, to 15-20 minutes between visits.

    Step 5 Continue with the checking plan every 15-20 mins until your baby or toddler falls asleep. Reassurance should still be kept to a minimum of no more than two minutes and he shouldn't be lifted out of the cot.

    Step 6 If your baby wakes in the night, continue to follow the same plan for the evening, gradually increasing the time between visits, until you are going in every 15-20 minutes.
    Day 2

    For daytime naps, it is important you start where you left off in the night.
    Step 1 Wait at least 20 minutes before checking your baby and continue to keep visits to him to a maximum of two minutes, with the minimum of reassurance.

    Step 2 If your baby or toddler falls asleep closer to the time he's meant to be getting up, allow 15 minutes in the morning nap and 45 minutes at the lunchtime nap so he won't end up sleeping after 3pm in the afternoon. If your baby's very tired he may need a short nap of 15-20 minutes late afternoon, so he doesn't become over-tired.

    Step 3 Follow the same settling procedure as the first night in the evening, this time waiting 20-25 minutes before returning. During visits on the second night, reassure your baby by saying "ssh-ssh", but don't stroke or touch him.

    Step 4 If your baby is still crying after the first hour, the time between visits should be increased to 35-40 minutes.

    Step 5 If he wakes in the night, you should wait 45 minutes before checking him, and you shouldn't speak to him or stroke him. Reduce visits to one minute.
    Day 3

    By the third day, the majority of babies and toddlers will be settling themselves at all sleep-times within 20 minutes and there's no need to check on them.
    Step 1 If your baby backtracks at one of the steep-times and you have to go back to checking him, start off with looking in on him every 15-20 minutes and increase the interval until you are back to 4-5-50 minutes.

    Step 2 Once your child has done a few days of settling within 20 minutes, you should be able to use the crying-down method for getting him off to sleep. Within a couple of weeks, the majority of babies and toddlers will be going to sleep without any fuss at all.

  5. #5
    carolc is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2008

    I guess CIO really is the way to go. I'm so scared though!!

    We tried CIO one time before, but he might have been a bit young then (5.5mo) and still feeding at night so I was never sure if he was hungry. He now no longer feeds at night, so if he cries, I'll know its not from hunger. When we tried before, I don't think I was executing it properly, cuz he cried for 3+ hours (with reassurance checks) and I was picking him up. How long did your babies cry for the first night?

    I will try again, but I'm worried I will fold if he cries for more than an hour b/c last time it was very traumatizing for him.

    Also, for daytime naps (his morning nap is only 45mins long), if he cries the entire time, what do I do? Or if he falls asleep after 30 mins, I just let him sleep the remaining 15 mins?

  6. #6
    Suv is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Hong Kong

    CarolC, if you fold once you start, then 1. you would have made him cry for no reason, 2. teach him that longer and harder he cries, you will finally give in. The older they are, longer it takes..... they simply have more energy.

    My baby cried 47 min the first night but he was 5 months and I knew he could do without a feed at night.

    If he is waking up 5-6 times, clearly, he is not getting the kind of sleep he should have. So

    For his naps.... if he cries the entire time- behave as if you are picking him after a good nap! Take him to a different room, soothe him, cuddle him, play with him, change his diaper, walk around without making a big deal of the entire crying episode even though you may want to just pull your hair out with sadness, frustration etc.

    If he goes off to sleep after 30 min. let him sleep as long as he wants and adjust the rest of his schedule to get to sleeping time on time. He needs that day time sleep to sleep better at night. if he is overtired during the day, you might have a harder time during the night CIO.

    By the way, you have a sleep ritual, right? And repeating key words is very valuable tool you have as well.

  7. #7 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Sham Tseng

    DAY: Repeat and demonstrate your Love to him over and over.

    NIGHT: CIO. It is hard. Be patient.

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