Greetings from Sleep Deprivation Land! Population 3!
This post is not destined to be long or terribly coherent as Lily will NOT settle at night and has been finally falling off into a completely exhausted sleep between 11.30 and midnight. If we are having a really shabby night she then wakes again around 3 for another feed and then Amelia might wake us with a nightmare or her usual early morning cheerful chatter. All this compounded with the heat and I am feeling utterly shattered.

Lily, who was once “Our perfect little sleeper” has now become wired and hysterical in the evenings. She might fall asleep in our arms (as she has always done! Naughty us, I know) but then as soon as she is gently put into her cot her eyes snap open, her arms start jerking and her mouth twists open into that huge wide open chasm of WHAA-WHAA-WHHHAAAA. And after that? She utterly refuses to settle.

… ugh… sorry, I am having trouble stringing these sentences together.

Two nights ago Big-P and I decided we might try a little “controlled comforting” but we couldn’t go through with it. I can’t remember how we managed with Amelia but hearing our little baby scream and scream made me feel quite physically ill. It lasted three minutes before we caved… I left an SOS message on my Maternal Child Health Nurse’s message machine yesterday hoping she would get back to me with some advice but she had obviously taken an early Friday… I just can’t imagine how we will ever get her to go to sleep on her own.

Any thoughts? I don’t want this to turn in to a Ferber vs. anti-ferber debate, but I would really like to know what worked for … um… anyone!

And this has only been going on for four nights! I know some people endure it for months… I don’t know how.


And quickly I want to mention that sign-ups for the new Mini-swap close today over at Mommycoddle. We’re signed up and ready to create and package.

And don’t forget to bid for beautiful items at the Kim Family Auction.

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115 Responses

  1. Claire, I think that it is time for a Zaki!! πŸ™‚ LOL!! I know that that doesn’t help much but, I can feel your pain. My little one is now 5 months old and he too is starting to gear up at nights. It is so hard to hear him scream and I cannot bear it either. Sometimes I just put him in the swing and let that lull him to sleep . . . even though my mother doesn’t agree with it. I hope that you find relief soon! Good luck!

  2. Before our daughter came along, I was convinced we would never co-sleep; she, on the other hand, apparently had other plans! It quickly became clear she wouldn’t tolerate a cr1ib, and I ended up falling asleep every night with her in my arms. In our bed. Where she– at 15 months old– continues to sleep every night. πŸ™‚ And I’m not saying this is the way to go for every family, but it turns out that we all sleep better this way, and that’s important to us– we’re all ogres without enough shut-eye! Safety precautions are important (no spaces between the mattress and wall, no heavy comforters, no impairment on the part of the parents, etc.), but as long as they’re followed I feel we have (for our family) the ideal sleeping arrangement. My only lament is that we have a crib collecting dust in storage, LOL! Perhaps I should use it to hold all the diapers…

  3. hicksfamily@earthlink.net says:

    Hi! I’m delurking to comment on this one! I have a 5 yo, 3 1/2 yo, and a 1 yo. I’ve definetely been there! I feel your pain. Tracy Hogg’s Baby Whisper saved me. It’s hard work at first, but oh so worth it. Someone mentioned that falling asleep by yourself is a skill learned like potty training and whatnot. I totally agree and I believe the approach by Tracy Hogg helped me teach my lil ones that skill. Because they for the most part got it!! I still deal with sleep regressions to, but I have skills and practice -lots of practice. I recommend her books all the way!

  4. I read the “No Cry Sleep Solution” which gave some helpful hints. However, my daughter is almost 3 and she still has trouble getting to sleep (but now sleeps through the night–I am so very thankful!). I hope this is just a short phase for you.

  5. Good sleepers are born, not made. πŸ˜‰ Another vote for Pantley!! And the biggest farce of modern parenthood: hello?! Sleeping through the night?! Whatever. Mastering aloneness is a by-product of the modern individual. Poor kid.
    My 18 mo old has always been a terrible sleeper, but it’s gradually getting better as he gets older. I weaned at 16 mos, and I think that helped.

    Pantley gave me the confidence to not Cry It Out. (I like Sears’s take on that: what the heck is the “It” they’re crying out?)

    Hang in there. You’re not alone! Go with the flow, lots of lavender baths for all parties involved. You rock!

  6. We loved the “Happiest Child on the Block” book and DVD by Dr. Karp–they worked for our son Leo from the beginning. It’s mostly common sense, but it strings together 5 techniques to get a baby to sleep (or at least to calm enough to think about sleep). Good luck!

  7. EAFinley@dsthealthsolutions.com says:

    The only thing that worked for my daughter is for me to leave, come back in one minute and sing her a song, leave, come back in two minutes, sing her a song, etc. The same song and the first time I might go through it three times, next time two and of course I would first sing it to her when I laid her down with me near by, like 4 or 5 times through. It’s just a little sing-songy song “Go to sleep, go to sleep, go to sleepy little ba-aby, when you wake you’ll have some cake and all the pretty little ponies” – silly, I know. But to this day (7 years old), if she is having trouble sleeping, I can sing this once or twice and she is out. Best of luck to you all! Could she have an earache? Just a thought.

  8. Thanks KM and Elizabeth — I don’t think she has an ear ache Elizabeth. She isn’t showing any signs of pain (no ear tugging / touching, fever, etc) and she calms as soon as we pick her up which makes me think she is definitely just wanting to be held. I like the song idea. Amelia still drops off quickly to Under African Skies by Paul Simon! πŸ™‚

  9. Oh, I feel your pain. I really, really do. We haven’t had a sleeper yet. Lots of co-sleeping, and holding to sleep, and nursing all night long around here too. I try to remember that it’s really just a short time in our lives. But when things get unbearable, I usually revisit The No Cry Sleep SOlution by Elizabeth Pantley for a few tips. It’s a gentle, loving approach that seems to feel right and I always get something from it that helps. best of luck, claire !

  10. cherylvandaalen@hotmail.com says:

    Hi Claire: Greetings from Across the Miles….all the way from Louisville, Kentucky. I enjoy your website so much and check it every day for inspiration!
    Well I have vague memories of sleepless nights lol, as our daughter is nearly 15 years old now so the details are a bit fuzzy. I do have a couple of thoughts ‘tho. What is her daytime nap schedule like and has it changed at all recently? i.e. is she having longer or later nap times than usual? When our daughter went through a period like this one thing we tried was to shorten her afternoon naps by about 1/3 the time, and then try to do a very late night feeding say close to 11:30 to midnight. I found that making her afternoon nap much shorter helped her be more tired, and altho’ an 11:30 falling asleep wasn’t as pleasant as a 9;30 or 10 o’clock going to sleep time, the combination of a shorter afternoon nap and a feeding late helped her sleep through at least to 6 a.m.

    Good luck!! If I think of anything else I’ll post again.

  11. We had two no-sleepers. We used to stay in their rooms with them and stroking their hands through the crib slats or rubbing their backs until they fell asleep. Honestly, I think falling to sleep by one’s self is a skill or emotional standpoint that must be mastered, much like walking, potty-training, etc. That’s just my 2c. But I’m with you, I couldn’t listen to my boys scream. Hang in there!

  12. Hmmm,All of my babies were like that, and I couldn’t bear to hear them cry either. So I’m with Amanda.. they slept with us..on us..beside us..behind us..on the sofa at wild parties .. in the buggy at posh dinner parties..in fact anywhere. As long as we all got some bloody sleep.
    I’m far too soft hearted to do the strict thing, so I’m probably no help at all with the advice.
    I’ll be back if I think of anything helpful though.

  13. My advice… try to get yourself a nap sometime this weekend. I think half the problem with tackling sleeping issues is that you are in such an exhausted fog you can’t think things through clearly. Then at least you can make a sensible choice about what’s right for you and Lily.
    We did controlled crying with one and not with the other – whatever keeps you sane at the time.

  14. aoifeclifford@bigpond.com says:

    Hi Claire

    Can you increase that population number to six. My little G at 18 months is currently leading us a merry dance into the land of sleep deprivation. I’m blaming it on the weather and praying it rains and gets cool today but then it takes a good 24 hours for our house to cool. You may be aware that Banyule Council runs some very popular sessions on sleep settling techniques as well as other info for kids up to 3 years old. Your maternal health nurse will have details or if not give me an email and I can track some down. At the moment we are getting through it by extra feeds in the night and a bit of cosleeping once we get to about 4am – which is a very short term solution. I tell myself she is getting completely weaned next cool break.

  15. I’m not sure how old Lily is, but I am guessing it’s a sleep regression. Check out Ask Moxie for details – http://moxie.blogs.com/askmoxie/

  16. tjman@lisp.com.au says:

    Hi Claire,apparently with sleep cycles there’s this thing after about 35 -45 mins where babies will either drift into a deep sleep or wake up. I had the wake up kind, but he slept with us during the night so at least we got a good sleep at night.
    I only learned about the sleep peak thing after he was older and it was no longer relevant so I can’t tell you how to get them past that peak – except perhaps to sit beside the child’s sleeping place and just quietly rest your hand firmly yet gently on them and hopefully that will comfort them into sleep.
    Good luck. Sleep deprivation sucks!

  17. leetusdesigns@optusnet.com.au says:

    At daycare we have a child who does a similar thing at every sleep time. We wrap him up in a muslin wrap quite snug so that his arms are firmly by his side and then lay him on his side and pat him gently. Each time we do this you pat less and less. Until he gets use to the ritual of just being placed on his side. Some kids just feel more secure if they are wrapped tightly. My own kids are 5 and 2.5, so I kind of dont remember much about their sleep,though I know it probably has something to do with why Im not having anymore children. haha!! Good luck with all these ideas.

  18. jen@tassie.net.au says:

    I don’t have any solutions but I thought it might help to know that we are going through this too.
    My son is 10 weeks old and he will only go to sleep when he is being held/rocked/sung to and or fed.

    We have to try and sneak him into his cot once he’s asleep, it’s like placing down a hand grenade.

    In the evening he takes several hours to settle to sleep and normally goes off to sleep between 8 and 10 after hours of screaming.

    I’ve got no idea how else to get him to sleep. Nothing else we’ve tried works and I think if we just left him to cry he would last for hours.

    I hope you find a solution that works for you!

  19. teenydreams@gmail.dotcom says:

    yes what amanda said and yes check out moxie for info on sleep regressions. This is one of the most emotionally loaded topics out there! Witness the discussion when dooce brought it up: http://www.dooce.com/archives/daily/03_31_2006.html
    My boy is 13 mos and we co-sleep/nurse all night to deal with it. I can’t imagine dealing with this and a preschooler. Pantley’s suggestions help a lot. It’s all about you and your baby, you will figure it out. Get your sleep any way you can, get your bearings, and then get a plan.

  20. I also like The No-Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley; she has a website (www.pantley.com) and even replied personally to my sister-in-law, who struggled with her son’s sleep issues for a long time. I remember that it was the first “sleep book” I found that acknowledged my experience with both of my kids, who liked to nurse not only to sleep but also during sleep. All best wishes!

  21. Claire,
    What worked for us was the Baby Whisperer’s “pick up put down” method. I’ve passed this method along to other folks, and it’s done the trick for them as well. There are detailed instructions in the book “Secrets of the Baby Whisperer,” but basically it’s this: when she’s crying, try to soothe her using only your voice first, then, if that doesn’t work, with a touch, then, if neither works, by picking her up. But the key is that the *second* she stops her crying, you put her back down again. It’s a big commitment to make; Tracy Hogg (the Whisperer) recommends you do this as long as it takes for the baby to fall asleep on her own. You may have to pick up put down for several hours before the baby gets the idea that you are not abandoning her,it is safe for her to sleep, and you will help her, but that she can and must learn to fall asleep on her own. (I only had to do it for about an hour for two consecutive nights, and presto: my girl got the idea.) E-mail if you have more specific questions. Swaddling also really helped us in this endeavor, as did the other suggestions by Dr. Karp (Mr. “Happiest Baby on The Block,”) as mentioned above by another commenter. By the way, a similar method – going to the baby to help them fall asleep on their own, rather than leaving them to cry it out – is endorsed by Penelope Leach, my most favorite baby lady in the world : ) Very, very best of luck – and best wishes for some quality sleep – no matter which solution you try!

  22. mandykittie@yahoo.com says:

    As the proud mama of two reformed bad sleepers, I think I have the key for you. You have to get get her to bed earlier. It’ll be tough the first few nights, but she will sleep later, she will be happier during the day, and her sweet little eyes won’t snap open when you put her in her bed. I think she’s just overtired. At this age, she needs around 14 hours of sleep, and if she doesn’t get it she’ll be wired and have a horrible time sleeping (what a painful paradox!).I love the book “Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child” by Marc Weissbluth. I wasn’t religious about it (and fairly coddled the second one, particularly with letting him cry), but it really works. Oh, and speaking as the mother of a now 16 month old who doesn’t sleep all that well because I didn’t let him cry it out early (do the Ferber controlled crying thing) — do it NOW!
    best wishes and love from my kiddios to you.

  23. nicolem@objectif.org says:

    I wish you the best of luck. Dealing with lack of sleep seems like the hardest thing about parenting so far. Of course, I’m only 4 months in…

  24. serj@bigpond.net.au says:

    I’ll make this brief, as everyone has an opinion on kids sleeping. I have 3 boys -all have been wrapped – tight – for settling. My 22 month old is still wrapped, but I think as soon as I leave his room, he wriggles out, it is just the routine of it. I used to rock # 1 to sleep because I had the time & inclination. Then I went to a settling class – brilliant! #2 was wrapped and settled as per settling class, but he would wake in the middle of the night, just to play. Eventually we went to the Queen Elizabeth Centre(Springvale way) and it sorted him out quicksmart. If you decide to go that way, go for the sleepover visits, rather than just the day visit. It gives you time to put the routine in practice confidently, before going home and back to old habits.#3 has been a great sleeper & I am sure it is because of routine. (My friends call me the sleep Nazi – I will not interfere with my kids routines if I can help it -it makes life easier for everyone!)But if you do try QEB or Tweedle, they usually have huge waiting lists. Be persistant and keep calling to say how desperate you are – they do have cancellations. Good luck. Life is so hard with nobody getting sleep!

  25. Hi, you’ve got a lot of great advice up there, and I hope something works for you and you all get some sleep. We are an attachment-parenting family, and my first daughter used to spend her nights screaming – I don’t think Lilly has this problem, but for you and anyone else who may be reading, if you try all the gentle approaches you can think of and they’re just not working, consider that it may be a food allergy or intolerance and an elimination diet may help. Dairy is a huge culprit for a lot of babies, as are wheat, eggs, and soy, but there can be other culprits too.
    With my second baby, she went from great sleeper to wouldn’t sleep after about 5-6 months and we had to do some sitting by her crib holding her hands and singing to her while she cried at bit. She just wanted so badly to be awake and playing even though she was exhausted – but even she still comes to our bed in the middle of the night once we’re ready for sleep too.

  26. smoonen@earthlink.net says:

    hi claire…i am so sorry that you are going through not-sleeping issues with your sweet girlies! i know that can make for a long, long day. we just had our third baby 2 months ago, and our oldest is 3 years old. BIG kudos to “Secrets of the Baby Whisperer” and “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child”. Follow through with what these books suggest, and I promise it works. it might take a few days, but these authors’ suggestions are really valuable. I have seen it work for many other friends, and we have used these methods too. It is hard to be consistent, but the hard work pays off…!

  27. Are you wrapping Lily? Maybe that might help.
    In the middle of the night when the baby is screaming you can feel all alone. Now though you have all these comments from people who are thinking of you.

  28. Sounds just like what happened with my second one. Turned out he just wanted to play. Dad would take the early shift and I would sleep from about 9 or 10 PM till the little monkey woke up, bright eyed, around Midnight or 1AM. Then I would feed, let him play and caught up on my TV-for-GrownUps. I rented all the Gilmore Girl and Sex and the City DVD’s and watched them till he was ready for bed – around 3 or 4 AM. I did this for about 2 or 3 weeks, as he gradually switched his days and nights back to normal on his own. During the day, I just tried to go easy on myself and both kids – not making many plans outside the house, doing lots of cuddling and not a whole lot of cleaning or crafting and just surrendered to it while it lasted. I know this is probably against every baby book ever written but it was the only thing that worked, and he never got his days and nights mixed up again.Sorry for being long winded! Hope you get lots of naps this weekend!

  29. I did sleep training with both my daughters when they were three months old. It is much easier to do when they are that young because it only takes a night or two of not going in there when you put them down and not going in there when they wake at night and it’s over. They sleep 12 hours. I have a good tolerance for enduring some crying, though, because it is worth it to me. Once they are trained, I know they rest so well and we are all so much happier.
    All I can say is that a lot is known about infant/child sleep and I recommend getting ahold of some of the books and reading the research yourself and coming to your own conclusion about what might work best for your family.

  30. I consider myself an expert on sleepless ness and getting children to sleep (my degree came by having 5 babies in 6 yrs & the only thing that has worked and worked well for us for any extended period of time is co sleeping and when its just the child that needs to get to sleep laying with them till they are asleep..Nothing else ever worked..I’m still laying thru the day with my 4 yr old and 6 yr old, they love it ..i love it too.. it gives little spots thru out my day for me to rest and recoup and dream about projects and recipes i wan’t to put together–delightful little moments for pause– i treasure them

  31. oh how could i forget –when i lay with them i always play music

  32. K@aol.com says:

    Could teething be a possibility? Maybe you could give her a little Tylenol as you put her down and that might smooth the rough edges that are keeping her up. This isn’t a long term solution – just to get her (and you) over the hump.
    I also agree with the previous poster about an earlier bedtime. Weissbluth is a little too much for me as he’s pretty judgemental it seems, but he does give good explanations about sleep.

  33. Hi Claire – I totally empathise with you! My first child didn’t sleep thru until she was 18 months old (getting up 2-5 times a night!). So with my 2nd, we were keen to get her into a good routine from Day One – we used “Secrets of the Baby Whisperer” initially.
    This was helpful the first few days but I soon realised that it resulted in my baby being fed too often (making her uncomfortable and gassy and depending on my intervention to get her to sleep.

    So I tried “Save Our Sleep” by Tizzie Hall (which involved some crying to allow her to settle and longer times between feeds). It suited my second child much better. I think the routine really helped as she started sleeping thru at 3 months and goes to sleep on her own when we put her down in her cot for her nap.

    I didn’t have a routine with my first child and we basically rocked her to sleep for every sleep so it was hard to break the habit.

    For me it was trying lots of approaches before finding one that worked for my child’s temperament. I hope you will soon find an approach that works for Lily and for your family as well.

    Best wishes.

  34. I had the worst time with sleep deprevation for 14 months. My son did not sleep more than an hour or two at a time. We tried lots of things, co-sleeping, rocking, rubbing his back, dropping feedings… everything. And it felt like the more desperate I was for sleep and the more I read books about sleep, the more obsessed I became and the less my son slept. Sleeping in the same bed worked so that I didn’t have to get out of bed to nurse and it soothed him so we had minimal crying (probably overfed him but it worked). My advice is just to manage however you can. Naps and co-sleeping and doing what your baby needs. And not over-reading! Eventually Carson slept through – as soon I as stopped nursing all together at 14 months and he has gotten to be a great sleeper – even in his own crib. I believe in miracles now! And your little one will one day show you the same.
    Good luck!

  35. At once time I worked at a nursery and I was in charge of about 6 infants. One of them would scream all day long because of gas. We held her, we rocked her, we walked with her, we even tried begging her-nothing seemed to help. Then one magical day, we happened to find an item in the nursery cabinet. It was a little sleeping bouncer/lounger. It was soft, comfortable, and streatchy. But not only did it all this, it also had vibrating action! A vibrating baby bouncer. We nestled her inside and voila! Instant calmness. This baby that had nearly made us weep with her non-stop screaming was settled down and was able to enjoy things instead of being in pain all the time. She could sleep, she could smile; and all due to this magical little contraption. She was not the last baby that we were able to use this with. Since then, the
    I’m in the US, so I don’t know exactly what stores you have in you area. but here are a couple of links that might help you if you’re interested.

    Deluxe Vibrating Baby Bouncer
    Activity Rocker

    Well, I certainly hope that your little angel is sleeping soundly real soon. Good luck!

  36. I know exactly what you are going thru you poor thing!! At 7 months my (now 9mth old) son went from only waking once or twice a night to waking every hour for 2 months. I was beside myself with exhaustion, but like you, my hubby and I refused to let him scream – it just doesn’t feel right for us. Finally, over the past 2 weeks he has started to settle down and is back to only waking twice (I think the excitement of Christmas and all the activity exhausted him). I seriously thought I was going to lose my mind!! But it has passed and things are getting better. One thing that helped me stay sane (well a little bit anyway!) was reading other peoples’ similar experiences and how they coped – but most importantly reading that it did get better.
    Can I suggest you try Tresillian? I haven’t used them myself (I had given my son until mid-Jan to improve then we were going to try their sleep clinics) but I have heard good things. They also do over the phone advice and it’s free. I know they have clinics in Sydney, not sure about your neck of the woods.

    Another piece of advice we recieved, but that I didn’t try was to try Phenergan (sp?). A friend suggested knocking him out with it to “reboot” his sleep system. Sometimes babies can get into a bad sleep habit and they just need to be reminded that they can sleep.

    Anyway, just a couple of suggestions – I’m thinking of you and sending lots of sleeping vibes your way!!


  37. I’m not sure if it has already been mentioned but for us what worked was routine, white noise and an entirely dark room. I think the darkness has worked the best. We have blackout fabric tacked across the window so that not one single bit of light gets in.We let our son cry it out. It was hard but I don’t regret it. He’s 3 now and one of the best sleepers I know now! Good luck! It will get better.

  38. Khassandrayianni@yahoo.com.au says:

    Re: Phenergan – according to my MCHC nurse (after inquiring about its use for a long haul flight) occassionaly it can hype kids up, so do a test run.
    If its any consolation I met up with my mothers group yesterday with a whole bunch of littlies same age as Lily and they seem to have all become horrid sleepers in the last few weeks. Christmas, hot weather, developmental ????

    I liked Dr. Sears ‘The baby sleep book’, good info on sleep cycle e.g. if shes a rock in dads arms bub wait for fists to unclench in a deep sleep before even attempting to put down. And if movement seems to be the key I know you can rent those swing sleeper things from the big baby shop in Surrey Hills.

  39. The greatest advice i received was:to put baby to bed at the first tired sign they show and while still happy

    And found with my 4 that sleep begets sleep…the more they slept the more they wanted to!

  40. jeanettepec@hotmail.com says:

    I have forgotten Lily’s age.But I had a similiar problem when my third turned 6 months. She went from being a great sleeper all night to waking up every hour or so. I tried everything suggested so far. Nothing worked. I had two other kids and I was single. I was desperate. I did notice that she always screamed after I had given her yoghurt in the day. She was breastfed and just starting solids.By coincidence after a few weeks of sleepless nights I had some allergy tests and I eliminated dairy from my diet for 2 weeks. The change was remarkable. Within two days my baby was sleeping all night again. But every time I even gave her one tsp of yoghurt as a trial she screamed all night. She was reacting to the traces of dairy in my milk. She was highly allergic to dairy foods. I stayed dairy free and my baby slept well from then on. She was also my only child to suffer frequent ear infections and she did not get fevers with them. So I suggest an ear check, getting her down earlier, going to sleep soft music and most of all checking your diet and hers.Cheers

  41. kennedysensei@yahoo.com says:

    I’m sure the hot weather and all the Christmas excitement wouldn’t have helped things.
    I just chanced upon this site so I don’t know how old this baby is or its history. But boy do I identify! My non- sleeper is now 25years old so I know it’s a stage which will soon pass (and there will come times when you think they sleep much too much!) but of course it doesn’t help at the time when all you want is a good night’s sleep.

    My daughter always had trouble getting to sleep but this became worse over the summer and peaked at age nine months. We tried everything – including long drives up and down the freeway. I don’t know what really worked – I think a combination of controlled crying – the go in, check, no speaking, no lights, leave when the crying stops kind of thing. Maybe it was just timing. She didn’t really sleep throough until she weaned herself at about twelve months. Then of course she started cutting out the daytime sleeps but that’s another story!

    In retrospect, what we did wrong was the endless patting and top-ups. So I was determined not to fall into those traps with the second. So what did we get? The perfect sleeper for whom I never had to employ any ‘strategies’.

    Hang on in there and do what you think is best – there is no one correct way to parent. And as my Grandmather was so fond of saying, “This, too, shall pass”

  42. louise.papas.@bigpond.com says:

    Hi Claire – we have been having just the same problem with our 12mth old and the problem is she’s hot and overtired (like yourself!). We have managed to cool her down by putting her to bed in just a nappy and a sheet (which she kicks off anyway) and giving her a damp wash cloth to hold. She has cried herself to sleep a bit but she has slept well. If she wakes my husband goes in and gives her a drink of water and she drops off again quite happily. I like you rocked her to sleep until she was four months and then she got too heavy for me – so I decided to just put her to bed and after a bit of a sook (5 – 10 mins) she went to sleep. I couldn’t believe how easy it was. I have had few problems since and she knows her little bedtime routine and happily chatters away to herself and her dolly for a while before she nods off. I think of the crying as a bit like a tantrum from an older child without the words. Finally with baby no. 3 I feel like I vaguely know what I’m doing! Good luck!

  43. I don’t have time to read all the other comments, so forgive me if I repeat … We have a 1-month old who frequently startles and upsets himself, which causes problems for sleeping. We let him fall asleep on us and then try to lay him down and he jerks awake and starts crying.
    So we started using the swaddle (learned from Dr. Karp’s Happiest Baby on the Block DVD, a must-see) and it works really well — it keeps his arms from flailing which seemed to be the biggest problem.

    Hope you find something that works!

  44. maranos@bigpond.net.au says:

    The Tweedle book,”Sleep right sleep tight” Following this book got out little BB to sleep for 6 hour stright at a time at night from 3 weeks and from 3 months sleeping throughout the night. You can buy this on line. It uses common sense and gives you scientific factual information,,,and Works!! for My sister in law and us aswell,, god bless this book!!

  45. what helped us was figuring out the ds was a tummy sleeper. putting him in his crib on his back and he woke up and screamed. laying him on his tummy and all was well. i discussed it with our doctor re: SIDS and she okayed it. made life TONS better that we didn’t have to hold him every moment he was sleeping.

  46. I empathise Big Time. the first time my 18mth old slept through without boob was when he was over 1!
    we found really helpful though the Aust. book One hundred Ways to Calm the Crying by Pinky McKay. A great book for people like yourself and myself who just couldn’t do the control whatevers on their bub.

  47. I used the book, Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. It worked for me, I had tried other books that were incredibly rigid in the scheduling of a baby and my baby would not go for it.
    I don’t remember exactly how it worked out, it has been 2 years, but he was sleeping through the night, or pretty close, at about 6 months. Which was incredible and people were amazed. We were also putting him in bed for the night at about 6pm, he would want to be fed one more time before midnight and then he would wake up at about 5am. That is early, but is still about 5-6 hours of solid sleep for you.

    It talked about looking for their mellow, chilled out stages and putting them to sleep then. This book was a miracle for our family and we still us it now. My 2 year old son, ALWAYS sleeps through the night now. Unless he is really sick or teething or something. He now goes to bed at 7-8 and wakes up a 7-8.

    I highly recommend this book for anyone with sleeping problems.

  48. janetnedra@yahoo.ca says:

    Hi Claire,I am also going through the sleep troubles with our little eight month old, although in the last week she seems to be making some progress. I read both No Cry Sleep Solution and Lullababy Sleep Plan and formed my own opinions. I’ve started adding a “lovey” to the bed-a cute little bunny toy (safe for her and not too stimulating-no music or crinkle sounds on it) and I’m trying to ensure the main point in both books that she learns to fall asleep in her crib. I’m not always consistent, but quite a few times now I’ve placed her in there sleepy but awake and in a good mood with her bunny. From there I sit beside her with my eyes closed (not above her though or she will think I’m going to pick her up) and hope that she sees me “sleeping” and eventually-about half hour later after playing and talking to herself she falls asleep. This is the key point: if she falls asleep in the crib then when she wakes up she isn’t confused as she would be if she fell asleep in my arms. Hope that helps…all babies are different though and have lots of willpower!!

  49. setissma@yahoo.com says:

    If she’s suddenly sleeping really badly, I think the likelihood is high that something has changed – maybe she’s not feeling well, maybe the hot weather is bothering her, or maybe her routine has changed. Babies, since they’re so small, are very, very sensitive to temperature changes. What might be bothering her when you put her down isn’t so much the sudden lack of holding as the sudden change in temperature – you used to be keeping her warm through body heat, and now you’re gone! It might help to keep her bedroom temperature as constant as possible – no open windows or doors. It’s certainly very warm where you are now, so perhaps a towel in the fridge for a bit to cool it off might help – wrap her in it while you’re letting her fall asleep, and keep her in it when you move her. If it’s not too hot for it, put a towel in the dryer or someplace warm for a bit, then stick it in her crib just before you put her in. You’ll move her from your body heat to more heat, tricking her into thinking she hasn’t actually been put down at all. You might have to sneak it out later for safety, but the change will be gradual instead of abrupt, and she might just sleep through it. Good luck! πŸ™‚

  50. I have the smae problem – and we co-sleep – doesn’t change the night crying and whinging and 4.30am start! In my opinion nothing works and I think it is psychologically easier to give up and give in to it – they can’t be controlled or tamed or changed. I just drink a shitload of coffee!

  51. A week at Karitane or Tresillian or equivalent. I went to Karitane in Sydney for a week and it saved our sanity and I started enjoying my children again.They were loving and caring and did not leave my baby to cry uncomforted. Good luck.

  52. I couldn’t believe how easy it is… NOT. One of my favourite parts of the ‘No Cry Sleep Solution’ is where Elizabeth Pantley discussion on how a problem is defined having a huge effect on the ‘solution’. For example if 56 percent of children under 3 exhibit the same abnormal sleep behaviour then it’s not abnormal by definition is it? And that having a child that young rely on you and trust you to parent them in EVERYTHING through the day but teach them to settle completely independently when they wake (As we all do) through the night is a big ask on both sides. If it helps at all even if things don’t ‘improve’ you probably won’t feel worse than you do now, you adjust to an extent as long as everyone is calm and gets back to sleep as quickly as possible. For us that means bringing Lorien into our bed and still night nursing (for 30 seconds) at 18months, which I’d never thought I’d do, but we’re OK.

  53. ABISS71@AOL.COM says:

    I have 2 children myself, now 5 and 2 and both are good sleepers but I believe only due to the fact that we encouraged them as babies to learn to settle themselves – which is the parent-friendly way of saying we left them to cry! And yes my husband and I would stand in the bathroom in the dark whispering to each other “should we go in?” …”let’s give her another 5 minutes”. The worst occasion we had was 45 minutes but we realised that after about 20 minutes if you go in then, you realise that tomorrow night they know that they have to cry for at least 20 minutes before you go in so you have to brave it out. The best way to do controlled crying I think it so go downstairs and not listen to the noise incessantly but pop out every 5 minutes or so to see if it is still going on. In the end the way I justified it to myself was that it was better for them to do it when they were tiny babies and would never remember what we did than have them grow up with sleeping problems and get to the stage where they can shout “mummy” while they are crying and then you’ve really had it!
    Best of luck to you and much love from Salisbury, England.

  54. I think you always get one child who wont sleep. Our daughter who is 5 yrs of age, still has to fall asleep on the couch or in our own bed before we tuck her into hers. I took her to the Tweddle Day Stay and the controlled crying did not work for me, but when we returned home she slept for 13 hours and it was like heaven. I think my daughter never likes to be by herself, so of course she would not sleep by herself. Just put her cot into your room for a while, and at least you will all get some sleep. Maybe when she is a bit bigger move the cot back into her room. Sleep deprivation is not a good thing, and you will start to feel very weathered and cranky if you dont get any either. I ended up PND from Isabelle not sleeping so I would not wish that on anyone. Good luck.

  55. 50 replies already, I’m reluctant to add to the advice but it did work for us.
    The one thing I did, no matter where we were, was stick to our routine. 6pm dinner, 7pm bath and 7.30 bottle and bed, at this feed there was no talking or any form of stimulation. Then into a dark bedroom with no lamps, no talking and as Kylie earlier suggested, wrapped firmly in a blanket ( obviously not these 35′ hot days for the blanket). I never put on lamps or music, I didn’t speak other than to kiss and say goodnight. I also rolled them on their side to face the wall, sounds a bit mean but they donβ€šΓ„Γ΄t see you leave.

    I only returned after I could hear any distress in the crying, a good 5 minutes. Then no lifting out of the cot, just a firm lay down and patting until the crying stopped, no talking just patting. Leave as soon as the crying stopped.

    I understand completely what a very hard time it is for emotional, sleep deprived parents, but try not to put her in bed with you, that is an even harder habit to break.

    Good habits and bad habits take three days for a child to developed. so hopefully a good night sleep by Wednesday! Good Luck.

  56. http://www.lullabub.com.au/it looks fantastic! I have’
    nt got one…..yet!

  57. kelly@silverorange.com says:

    Oh, so crappy Claire, hang in there, I feel for you! My twins went through that this time last year at 5 months. We found that poor sleep habits in the day greatly affect the night.. we read Healthy Sleep Habiits, Happy Child; Dr. Marc Weissbluth. Found it struck a good balance between the cry out and soothing, both at either extreme don’t seem to be good for anyone. Nice specific steps to follow too, and science & encouragement (you can read while Lilly is crying for you), why you should stick it out 3 more minutes. Once we started timing naps with only 3 hour maximum of wakefulness, their night sleep dramatically improved. Now, at 15 months, (while having two 1 hr. naps per day) we put on a CD of classical music, give a sucky, blanky and teddy in the Exact same order, say g’night and close the door, pitch black room. They fall asleep or chatter to each other in the dark.. but no fuss whatsoever. Been doing this since 5 months, and just walked out the door the first few times. Crying lasted with Erica only, 12 minutes, 3 nights. (she can be hollering and her twin brother be sound asleep!) Hope you can farm both kids out for a few hours in the day and muster the self-love to NAP instead of scrub floors and sort out clothes that are too small, etc. Hugs to you all from this side of the planet, eh. πŸ™‚

  58. I can see you’ve had plenty of advice. Knowing that we needed some help with Romy (child no 2) we got someone in to support us in the form of an ex-sleep centre nurse who was so kind and compassionate but able to support and get the job done (she mainly talked about routine). It worked for us… good luck!

  59. I bet those foam hand thingys are looking better and better!
    Drugs always work! Benadryl for her, wine for you!

    Mine are 22 & 16 now so I can’t remember what I did…probably because I drank too much wine.


  60. info@casadeldiscorecords.com says:

    Our Lily would sleep in our arms and then awake from the change in temp – from body to sheet. So we used to put a gentle warm pack on her sheet for a second or two and take the shock of the change away. This helped a little. Then at 3 months we started a Gine Ford like routine! Helps us still 2 years later! Good Luck!

  61. lori.tan@gmail.com says:

    None of my babies were sleepers unless I slept with them, I was able to nurse in the night without waking up after awhile. During these roughest no sleep times, go to bed when they do and nap when they do! How well I remember that sick exhaustion uggghhhh. God be with you.

  62. amandag@grapevine.net.au says:

    Hi Claire. I check in on your site ocassionally to see how you all are. We’re getting clucky, so this conversation intrigued me, but then my pharmacist mind clicked in. Don’t use Phenergan. It is not recommended for use in children under two years. Also, there are ongoing debates and concerns re SIDS and the use of Phenergan. Not really something I;d like to try on anyone I love. And, the lady who mentioned the alertness was correct. Some children can become incredibly alert from drowsy antihistamines. Try all of the other techniques before you thing of anything like this.Love to your family

  63. lizandtom@iinet.net.au says:

    Hi Claire, non-sleepers are so hard for the whole family. I hope you find something that works. We tried sleep school – Grey Sisters (really, really awful) and Tweddle (excellent) also I think City of Whitehorse runs classes. Patting baby’s bum rythmically, gently but firmly with cupped hand while shooshing and making voice and contact slower and softer helped. We were told not to get baby to sleep, but to put her to bed at the just-about-to-nod-off stage. Theory is that if you put bub to sleep and then remove the associated comfort/trick (being held, song, feed etc), if she startles or isn’t fully out then she’ll wake up and can’t resettle without the whatever. In theory, if you calm her down and put her to bed drowsy but conscious she’ll go to sleep and stay that way – she can resettle herself. There are no end of theories and experts, best of luck.

  64. dylemma9@yahoo.com.au says:

    I have two children, our first never slept much. He would have two 45 minute day sleeps and then wake every two hours at night. We found that he needed to be taught how to fall asleep on his own so that if he woke during the night he could put himself back to sleep. Anyway, couldn’t do the controlled crying so a health nurse suggested the withdrawal method. We started my nursing him to sleep (like we had always done) but in his room with the lights off. We did this for a couple of nights and then the next two nights we put him in his cot and patted him to sleep. Next two nights we held his hand, then the next two or so nights we sat next to the cot until he went to sleep. Once he was falling asleep like that we would stand at the door until finally we could put him in his cot and he would put himself to sleep. (At times each process could take up to half an hour or so.) It’s a slow process but it worked for us, we started this when he was about 6 months old. He is now 7 and has slept well since. (Although occasionally he will still ask if we will sit on his bed until he goes to sleep!) Hope this helps, good luck!

  65. i watched this show on channel 9 a couple of months ago called ‘look who’s talking’ hosted by ray martin about a woman who studies babies and has worked out a system to understand the different baby cries and what you can do to meet the babies needs. it was really interesting and made sense. could be worth a try! hope you get some restful sleep soon.

  66. I have no great advice, except to say that I reckon babies are programmed. Some arrive programmed to adopt a sleeping routine, some arrive very definitely not programmed to do so. My qualification for saying this? I had twins and one was a screamer and one was a sleeper. They never got into the same routine no matter what I did. Even the nurses in the hospital told me Alice would be a problem sleeper – and that was when she was only days old. She didn’t sleep properly until she was three. Now she’s 13 and can sleep for England (and we let her). Whereas Tom was a sleeper but now finds he can’t sleep as well as his twin – even when he needs it. It all changes, all the time.
    Phoebe (number 3) was a great baby sleeper but once she got to age two she started waking ridiculously early and that went on for years.

    It’s only in the last couple of years that all five of us have finally got enough sleep. And we tried almost every solution. So I’d say just keep going and get a break whenever you can. It all sounds perfectly normal – unfortunately.

    Good luck.

  67. ben.nikki.naomi.lilja@gmail.com says:

    My baby Lilja (5mo) is doing exactly the same thing, I empathise!! I recon its teeth (and a bit of a cold)

  68. How awful. I really hope things improve soon. One of my friends swear by a rocking chair…x

  69. Wow, I should’ve written my comment when I first read your post. Now I’m back and I see you have had all kinds of great suggestions. I feel I just have to add mine since I have 4 kids and one on the way, and each one has been different. What has worked best was what we discovered when #4 was about 3 months old. It was the “5 Ss” technique described in Happiest Baby on the Block. Swaddle(wrap tightly – in summer we used a very light piece of fabric), Side holding, Shhhh (white noise from you or FM radio static), Swing (in your arms or baby swing), Sucking (pacifier). We did not use all 5 ideas, but the swaddling and shh-ing were favorites. She had a Soothie pacifier and also used a Snoedel. http://www.snoedel.com/snoedelset.htm
    The very best of sleepy wishes to you, dear!

  70. mdherz@comcast.net says:

    Hi Claire,I have a 3 month old who is not as good of a sleeper as our now 4 year old. After some recommendations from friends to read the book Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Baby. I have found it to be of GREAT assistance in helping my husband and I try to establish good sleep habits early on. Good luck! Michelle

  71. looks like you have a lot of advice…
    here’s my 2cents…I’m not sure if your oldest naps or what your routine is, but this worked for us:

    a routine which included a nap until at least all 3 of mine were at least 3.5.

    THEN a planned bedtime- ours is 8:30. For the most part, we follow it! Obviously if there are social events we don’t look at our watches and leave, but for the most part we have a pretty lame social life.

    For our bedtime routine we read 2 books and then off to bed- and yes, we absolutely have to do it! My 8 year old still looks forward to our time.

    I totally feel you pain. That’s one of the hardest things about having kids (especially young ones!). It’s also hard to establish to your kids you “mean business”, but it’s super important for YOUR sanity.

    And of course, consistency is probably the magic trick! Hopefully sweet dreams will return!

  72. jokano@gmail.com says:

    When she is in the cot, soothe her without picking her up. Yes, it will seem impossible at first if she is thrashing about, rolling back and forth, and/or screaming. But just keep pat pat patting her on the back. Gentle rubs. THEN bring out the BIG GUN: the ear massage. Yes, the miraculous wonderful beautiful ear massage. If her head stops moving long enough, just keep gently rubbing and swirling your finger inside the folds in her ear. This has worked so well for me, doing some soothing without picking up. My daughter eventually gets so drowsy that she nods off to sleep–gradually she needs less and less intervention from me.

  73. crossan@adelphia.net says:

    have you tried a “zaky hand”? πŸ™‚

  74. Hi you poor thing. I had the Sleeper From Hell, and the crying of “controlled comforting” felt ALL WRONG. We were saved by Elizabeth Pantley’s book, The No Cry Sleep Solution. She’s got beautiful gentle methods of settling your baby without any crying needed. See http://www.pantley.com to read tips and buy her book.

  75. ej.shu@lycos.com says:

    I noticed that someone here has suggested giving Lily Phenergan (an antihistamine with sedative properties). Please DON’T try this! My mother gave me Phenergan throughout my childhood, to ‘help’ me sleep, and it not only gave me chronic nightmares but completely messed up my ability to get to sleep naturally. I’m still dealing with the aftermath (and I’m 35). There are also a range of more serious potential side effects from Phenergan, that I won’t list here. It should never ever be given to a baby.
    Best of luck with the sleeping, Claire. Warmest of wishes from Toronto.

  76. jano@stjames.net.au says:

    Claire, my sympathies – I have 5 week old twins and one is a good sleeper and one isn’t – most frustrating! I have been working with a mothercraft nurse who recommended an early evening routine of 4 pm feed, nappy change, play, then out in the pram at about 5 pm; when they get back, half a feed, then a bath, then wrap, the rest of the feed, then put them down. It works some of the time, tonight was a charm! So I have time to catch up on your site and read about sleepless babies!
    Best of luck with Lily.

  77. bella1ruby@yahoo.com.au says:

    Hi,my children are roughly the same ages as yours. I’ve recently put them in the same room to sleep and have found it sorts them both out. They need each other’s company. Sorry if someone else has mentioned this already.

  78. hi claire,
    we used the tweddle book ‘sleep right, sleep tight’ when our son was 4 months. they advocate a modified controlled crying – only 30 seconds of crying for babes under 6 months. otis is now a great sleeper, and i think doing the controlled crying early has made it easier to do it again on the odd occasion when needed. controlled crying is hard, but possible when you feel ready. best of luck to you, xox

  79. I think Alison Biss has some good points. Our #2 was perfect until 5 and 1/2 months. It really wrecked me. She would scream for such a long time. 40 minutes one night, with the support of my husband and mother in law. We all just sat there amazed that she had the strength. She has grown to be a very determined and strong minded/stubborn little girl (2.5yrs). I new every floor board of her room that squeaked and how to turn the door handle so it wouldn’t make a sound. i cried a lot…and really wished I had spent more time focussing on my sleep when I could.
    what about sleep school??

    Have you tried sleeping on a matress in her room in desperation?

    wouldn’t it be nice to have a right answer.

    Although you cannot do this at 1 or 3 in the morning. If the 5pm arsenic hour is getting on top of you and an adult is home with you, go for a walk by yourself. Get out of the house for 10-15minutes.

  80. My son is 6 months nd we’ve just had to use controlled crying to teach him to sleep. He used to be a great sleeper, but after travelling for Christmas he started waking up every hour. I didn’t want to let him cry, but I was so tired that I was worried about my ability to take care of him during the day. The first time was the hardest as he cried for 40 minutes, but every time after that he’s cried less and less. Five nights after we started he cried for a total of two minutes all night, so I’m happy we’ve done it now. He’s a lot happier during the day because he’s better rested so I don’t feel as guilty as I did originally. Good luck with whatever you try to do.

  81. I think (if my memory serves me well) that my Cosi and your Lilly are nearly the same age.Cosi just started doing this recently as well. She was sleeping thru the night for so long at at 6 months started waking up all over again. So hard!
    I read somewhere that when babies have big milestones (Cosi started sitting up on her own, crawling and pulling herself up from crawling to sitting in literally 2 weeks time), they also have a sleep regression.
    I think that was the case with my baby girl. It probably didn’t help that we did tons of traveling for the months of November and December. But once we got home for good and settled again, she’s finally started sleeping thru the nights again (nearly a month later)!
    It stinks, I know, that i’m not giving you any good advice, but I have come from the future to tell you it will get better.

  82. kcollins@newsobserver.com says:

    I can tell you that it’s not unusual for a baby’s sleep habits to change suddenly. It happened to us. After three weeks of utter hell, in which it felt like our lives were collapsing around us, we decided drastic measures were necessary. That meant no more holding/rocking to sleep. We did our bedtime routine, laid her in her crib awake, said a few signal words (night, night, it’s time to sleep) and left. She did not come out of the crib til morning. For as long as she cried, we went in for a 30-second comforting every 15 minutes. It worked so amazingly I cannot even tell you. Within 3 nights she was sleeping better than she ever had, and 8 months later, she still is. Getting a full night’s sleep, no matter how you achieve it, is not just better for you, it’s better for your baby.

  83. arobinson5@yahoo.com says:

    We read Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Dr. Weissbluth. It had great advice and anecdotes from other parents that gave us hope our little girl would finally learn to sleep on her own.
    We chose to let her cry it out, but not for hours like other people in the book. After a few nights, she was back on track. She’s twenty months now and sleeps twelve to thirteen hours every night, with a two hour daily nap. She still wakes up and cries out sometimes, but she’s learned to put herself back to sleep without our help.

    Even if you don’t agree with the methods that Dr. Weissbluth recommends, it’s helpful just to read about natural wake and sleep times. He talks about certain times of the day and night that babies are most wakeful and how to adjust the bedtime and naptime to compensate.

    Good luck!

  84. amystuart32@hotmail.com says:

    We had the same issues you have with Amelia – with our 3 year old son. We have one on the way so we knew we needed to do something fast or we would not be able to function. Plus he was quickly outgrowing his crib. We used the SupperNanny method. You stay in the room with your child anfter your usual bedtime roiutine – but shut-off. No talking or eye contact after goodnights. At first it felt strange – but my toddler got the message quickly – time for bed. Every other day I would move farther out of his room until I was sitting outside his door. If he got out of bed, I simply returned him without a word. We did have one tantrum night – but 2 weeks later – I have a toddler that goes to sleep on his own after kisses and stays in bed until 6:30am. I’ll take that any day over the daily 2 hour struggle we had been having. Now I am ready for number 2!All the best – I truely know how hard this can be – stay strong and consistant and it seems to work relatively painlessly. All the best!

  85. Claire,Well you can file me in the minority and I know others would file me under cruel and unusual. πŸ˜‰ We let our first cry it out and right now we’re doing the same with Sadie who is almost seven months old. She was doing well and hit six months and started to wake up again. Talked with her pediatrician and she doesn’t need to eat at night so her last feeding is around 10 at night- we make sure it’s a good big one, and then she doesn’t eat again until she wakes in the morning which can range from 8 to 10. If she wakes up at night we let her cry back to sleep. I have found she makes two different cries at night. One is the most common by far and it’s the wah wah wah I’m trying to get back to sleep cry. The other, which is VERY rare, happens only when something is wrong. The other night I heard it and instead of putting the earplugs on I went to check on her and sure enough she was wet. And I don’t mean her diaper had pee in it I mean her diaper leaked and her clothes were wet and everything. I don’t swaddle her because she’s a big time wriggler but I do tuck a blanket in tightly over her. If you’re seriously having trouble listening to her cry you can try playing music if it’s early. Like an iPod for instance. And if it’s in the middle of the night buy some ear plugs and keep them on your nightstand. And just make yourself feel better knowing your baby’s working out. Crying is the infant’s cardiovascular workout. Some times, they just need to do it just because. Crying it out was a thousand times harder with my first. Now it’s easier. Good luck. Sleep tight!

  86. I’m all about the nu-nu (aka Pacifier) granted if it falls out she might wake up and scream until it is put back (my own personal nightmare) but then we trained her for her naps to not want it so much. there’s always the “set a schedule” so the baby knows what is coming up. mine was a simple bath, diaper some snuggly while reading and then sleep (swadle baby at least first few nights so she still feels snuggly upon being laid into crib). during another hard time (when I too couldn’t handle the screaming) I did the tummy rub or hand hold so she would know I was there and then sit next to the crib so she could see me and then after a bit slowly edge out the room. As you can tell from the numerous attempts at sleeping what usually happened is the first night of trying something was miserable and then it worked for 2 or 3 days and then it wouldn’t any more and we had to think of something new.
    Best wishes hope to see you in dreamland soon.

  87. fem0124@aol.com says:

    Hello! Also from way across the big blue ocean, I am from Florida. I have been following you for many years and periodically I check in to seen what your up to! Mostly to see the great little crafts and goodies you make.
    With regards to the much needed sleep…I believe it this way:

    My daughter did about the same thing…she always wanted to be held. We found that if we kept a very consistent and specific nighttime routine we slowly got her to get to sleep rather quickly. But we also learned that we had to stick with it as often as possible.

    We would get jammies on, brush teeth, read a story and then lay her in her crib. Then we would softly rub or lightly tap her back for a few minutes and she would drift off to sleep. Each night we did a little less rubbing/tapping.

    She is 5 years old now and she has a great bedtime routine. We do about the same routine too, except now we are done after the story.

    I think of it this way, how long does it take me to fall asleep? It takes a while sometimes, but I have patience and self control. Children learn to have both over the course of their life. And sometimes I like to be cuddled by my hubby as I fall asleep.

    So I believe by being as understanding and consisitent as possible we are teaching them how to calm themselves down. As we hold our children, we are giving them much needed love and reassurance.

    Just be consistent and patient, and know that you are doing a great job!

    Good Luck and Take Care!

  88. Solutions to this problem…ah, we’ve been there and tried it all…sometimes it just takes time.

  89. does she fall asleep in the car? we are naughty, too, and take off on jammie rides when our boys won’t sleep. we get coffee for us and listen to hypnotic music until they’re off.
    sleep issues are the worst, but this too shall pass. ::hug::

  90. tiffgr@yahoo.com.au says:

    Hi Claire,
    Early on in the replies I think it was Jessica who suggested putting Lily to sleep early. From experience and reading I agree with her 100% As someone else said put her to sleep when she is mellow, happy and not necessarily looking tired…unless you know her tired signs. It is really important to get to know the early tired signs – she is tired and ready for bed when her head and arm control are a little jerkier than usual, eye rubbing, ear/nose rubbing, face snuffling. Try to get Lily to bed as soon as one of these signs are shown.

    Is she about 8 months? At this stage babies go through a developmental change and are so much more aware of things going on around them. They are really interested and don’t want to miss a second of the fun and so they wear themselves out and go into sensory overload which is bad news for sleeping:-( Lily really needs 3 day time sleeps until about 10 months (maybe a short 3rd sleep in the late afternoon as she gets closer to 10 months) in addition to her night sleep and this should total about 14 hours sleep. As someone else has said ‘sleep begets sleep’ and if you put her to bed earlier she will get to sleep more easily as she won’t be overtired. When she is well rested she WILL go to sleep so much more easily and will sleep the 14 hours she needs and be the happiest little baby in the world again AND she will go to sleep with no tears. It will take a while for her to catch up on the sleep she needs so she will still be crying the first few early nights but once she is no longer overtired she will go off to sleep without a peep.

    As crazy as this sounds, if she is very tired it is harder for her to go off to sleep and if she gets VERY tired then it really comes to point that there is nothing you as her mummy can do except hear her cry until she sleeps. When bubs are overtired it is really like a thunder storm that you have to weather as they are so overstimulated that they are not capable of falling to sleep without loads of crying – that is why sometimes a crying baby will be crying their little eyes out and suddenly fall to sleep mid cry. If Lily is only having 2 day time naps I think starting to soothe her for sleep at 6pm for a bedtime of 6:15/6;30 will help. You could use nursing as part of Lily’s 15 minute soothing routine but put her down DROWSY BUT AWAKE to fall asleep by herself.

    Anyway, I hope you come to a solution very soon because being a tired mum is really hard, I feel for you. Good luck,


    PS You are probably too tired to read all your replies!!

  91. I went and stayed in a hotel while my partner did controlled comforting – since I too found it quite sickening. One night and all was well! Bad sleep returned periodically after that and we later discovered she was prone to ear infections (though she had no other signs). She still sleeps bettter for D than me as a general rule, so there’s something to be said for making the rules clear. Also if you can, the residential program at Mitcham hospital is fabulous. I can’t believe I didn’t use this service with baby #1, and am ready to book in for baby #2 (due in Feb).

  92. miziki@hotmail.com says:

    So sorry you’re all in zombie mode! That’s brutal w/ 2 kids (we’re ever so slowly growing out of it – mine are almost 4 yrs old and almost 1 yr old). As previous commenters have suggested, I very *very* enthusiastically recommend Moxie’s practical, reasonable sleep information (quick and dirty on sleep, sleep regressions, etc.) – please check it out. It’s good for the soul. Really.
    Also, a few things that might be cropping up now that she’s nearing 7 months old:
    * teething (my lord, how teething doth disrupt sleep in our family! and you have no idea it’s coming, but there it is!)
    * growth spurt (growing pains, hunger pangs, rapidly expanding awareness – doesn’t want to miss anything!)
    * developmental stuff happening (is she quickly becoming more mobile?)
    * if you’ve introduced solids, you know how that mucks with the internal pluming – possible intestinal discomfort could be keeping her awake… try holding her in a supported squat position – your hands under her thighs, gently holder her in knees-to-her-abdomen position, her back against your belly – helps get the gas out, and if you remove her nappy and hold her over the toilet and cue her with a little grunting sound, she may even go for you in the potty, then look very relieved and fall asleep not long thereafter πŸ˜‰ (no really, this is incredibly gentle, effective, goes on all over the world, and I’ve seen it with my own eyes… blows me away every time – diaperfreebaby.org)
    * again, if solids recently, disruption of sleep is one of the more insidious & under-recognized signs of a food sensitivity, so maybe think back on what she’s taking in recently?

    Hoping for *all* of you that a large volume of sleep dust drifts dreamily over your house and gives everyone gratuitous amounts of much needed slumber. πŸ™‚

  93. adavutovic@yahoo.com.au says:

    Oh I am with you on this one!! I too have suffered 2 adorable non-sleepers. At present my 12 month old is back to waking every hour.
    BUT there is hope. Our first co-slept and slept in a hammock (like the Amby Baby Hammock – highly recommend for babes who like to be rocked to sleep) and then just started sleeping through the night by herself when she started walking and eating more at around 15 months.
    I also love the Dr. Sears book, and Elisabeth Pantley and Pinky McKay books. These books do not support the “controlled crying/comforting” methods and offer plenty of research and info as to why not to. Besides, as you found, it just feels wrong to let a little bub cry who needs mum/dad for whatever reason. They are only little for such a short time. Try to always keep in mind that this will pass, Lily will not always need you like she does now and most of all follow your instincts. Take Care

  94. My little guy is our good sleeper until recently- we discovered he’s teething. I have to lay down with him until he is out and then I can be on my way.I wish you the best of luck getting to the bottom of it.

  95. johanna_lundstrom@yahoo.com says:

    I did sleep training and “controlled comforting” with my second child when she was 4 months. It worked but it took almost two weeks. The screaming was hard in the beginning and my BF slept in a diffrent room during that time. I think that the “hard core screaming” lasted for 4-5 days. After that it was bearable. And after a fortnight she slept like a baby all thru the nite πŸ™‚ The trick is endurance, I think.

  96. poor family. dear, dear. i’d give you a list of what works for us, i’d go on and on, but i’d be talking through my hat as we’ve had 3 completely different experiences with 3 completely different kids & i think it comes down to full confidence in whatever you decide to do. together. (can you alternate nights so that at least 1 parent can get a good sleep half the time?) please let us know what you decide– and try to think of this sleeplessness as a short-term thing from which you will emerge smiling and rosy on the other side.

  97. What a great community you have here on your site. It’s nice to see this exchange of ideas on parenting. Just passing through… Good luck.

  98. My oldest took an hour or more to fall asleep from day 1 and then would wake SEVERAL times a night for the first 2.5 years of her life. We tried evrything from herbs, homeopathy, diet, to lavendar baths (which made it worse). The one thing that finally helped was a chiropractic adjustment. After the first one she slept through the night for the first time in her little life. After a few more she was sleeping soundly every night up until abuot a year ago (she’s now 7). Some nights she sleeps all night, others she wakes once to join us in bed. She is now on melatonin for difficulty falling asleep. It makes such a positive difference in her moods!!!
    My youngest often wakes with screaming fits that seem to be related to her dairy intake (same thing happened with first daughter too). When we remove it she sleeps a lot better.

    Good luck! Sleep deprivation is HELL! I know. I’ve had it for 7 years now…

  99. Maybe co-sleep (i.e., have her sleep with you?). I can’t remember if you’re doing this or not but this is what saved my life in terms of sleep. My daughter slept better, I could just roll over and nurse her when needed, or pat her when needed and we all slept. I can’t tell you how great it was…

  100. Hi CR… I truly believe Lily is too little for controlled comforting. There’s nothing comforting about it at that age.. especially not for YOU! for you, it’s torture. Only thing that worked for me with my last 2 (of 3) is to sleep them on their tummies. As long as they are already lifting head and even rolling, putting them on tummy for sleeping is not a problem. It is a GODSEND.

  101. kelly.cook@williams.com says:

    Our little Sophie is 7 1/2 months old and generally has been a very good sleeper. Recently, though, she’s started waking up two or three times a night. I think it’s mostly developmental; she’s on the verge of crawling, which I think makes it difficult for her to sleep soundly (it’s like her little brain is just too busy to sleep). And, she’s pretty deep in the throes of separation anxiety, which doesn’t help matters!
    So, we’re in the process of doing our sleep training again, which we muddled through the first time by trial and error. The main thing we learned was to put her down awake (we’d wake her up if she fell asleep while feeding – which isn’t easy to do!). We let her fuss some (for about 5 minutes; if it turns to real crying, we go to her sooner). When we go in to her room, we shush and pat her until she settles down, then tell her it’s time to go nite-nite, give her a kiss, and leave the room. We try to do the exact same thing each time. Picking her up just seems to prolong the fussing, so we try to avoid that. Usually after doing this two or three times, she goes off to sleep.

    Eventually, she learned to go to sleep the first time we put her down in her crib… no fussing at all. We’re just hoping this all works again!

    Most things I’ve read say that babies wake up several times a night; the trick is for them to learn how to go back to sleep on their own.

    Good luck!

  102. mollysmommy@gmail.com says:

    we have a 6 week old, and dr. karp’s “the happiest baby on the block” has been wonderful. we don’t need to use all the steps, but the swaddling has been amazing for us. i wish i would have had this dvd/book when my older one was a baby! good luck getting rest and this will pass, and you’ll wish for the time you had with your little baby.

  103. We live in Glen Eira Shire and had a sleep specialist visit and give us tips that although seemed simple were invaluable. Also rang one of the sleep units who have residental programs, we didn’t end up needing the stay in one but their phone advice (which you had to book a few weeks in advance) was brilliant. We too had a brilliant sleeper for 5 months, then pow. Three months later we were walking zombies. She’s now 13months and still great!

  104. I remember just sleeping w/our babies when they were put out. It’s a stage they outgrow. When I had my second child, she was really good at first. Then she got wise to attention and putting out her little voice for it. This happened around 1 yr, however. Then, I had to hold her and finally just let her fall asleep in our bed and ease her to her own. This has worked and I think is a gentle way of easing them to maturity.
    Before you know it, these little ones aren’t little and are grown. I’ve learned to stretch a little and let each day work itself out.

    Good luck! Sleep when baby sleeps, too! πŸ™‚

  105. zoe@mousepocket.com says:

    and in addition, our first broke the controlled crying people, and they told me i was on my own, that she couldn’t be “trained” to sleep longer than 20mins during the day. This was just what I needed to hear, and i just breastfed her and slept with her, and carried her ina sling and pushed her in the pram and the sleeping issues continued until she was not quite 3. She is now 3 1/5 and sleeps in a bed in our room, and our 2 yr old son sleeps in bed with us. Not entirely sure what will happen when No. 3 is born in a couple of months, but we’ll work it out then.
    If I have no expectations, I don’t get disappointed! I also figure that I have periods when I don’t sleep well, and often it is noises in the night (garbage trucks, fighting cats), diet and digestion and for the kids it often coincides with a developmental milestone. (like when my son would wake at 2am every morning and stand on the bed, and sit, and stand for about 2 hrs)

    We have never been cot/own room people, if mum and dad sleep together, why should tiny teeny baby who can’t ev en stand up sleep down the hall?

    Developmentally babies need constant reminders that you exist, this keeps cortizol levels low in their brains (and yours!) and gives them the easiest possible path to growth and development.

    Also, there has never actually been scientific study carried out to prove that CC is a safe/sane thing to do.

    It started in Victorian era in wealthy households were people believed that illness was transmitted through “miasmas”, which is why houses where kept totally closed up.

    In fact, much of modern parenting “guides” are based on stuff that started in the 1800’s and early 20thC that has never been shaken off.

    Hear hear on the Elizabeth Pantley book, also try Pinky McKay stuff, and there are some great things written by a sydney guy called Robin Grille, but, there may not actually be a solution, other than your baby turning 6 years old.

    And then when shes 14, you’ll be cross cause you can’t ever wake her up!

  106. Just wanted to let you know I’m with you on the no sleep thing. My 6 mo. old who used to sleep pretty good is not and we’re also trying the Ferber method which I don’t think I’m 100% sold on. But-I’m trying it. Good luck!

  107. fellspointghost@yahoo.com says:

    The Happiest Baby on the Block DVD and the swaddling method described therein worked for us. Can’t recommend it enough!

  108. Can’t really comment as a single guy. But I do wonder how my parents managed to raise 4 of us! lol!

  109. liebzeit224@hotmail.com says:

    Dub Reggae: It worked for a friend of ours, and with our baby due, yesterday, we have the dub in the CD player ready and waiting. Good luck

  110. marta.pasilva@gmail.com says:

    I have two boys, and with the youngest (2y now), it worked to keep the routine night hour to sleep at 9PM sharp, some times with a little song. *

  111. wellsstoddard@hotmail.com says:

    Wow, you’ve certainly received a lot of advice.What worked for me with my two kids was to put my baby in a cot next to my bed where she had visual contact with me and when I was tired I put her down at the same time. She soon developed a routine. Over time I set a pattern i.e. I went to bed at say 21h00 and gradually set the time at her bedtime ie 19h30. Obviously I waited for her to go to sleep and when she was sound asleep got up and carried on with “mommy’s life”. It was a process which took about a month. Three months later when her sleep patterns were set in concrete I moved her into her own bedroom. You can ask your hubby to look after Amelia if she is awake while you are busy with Lily otherwise start Lily’s bedtime after Amelia is in bed. Babies and children thrive on routine, so do things in set sequence, i.e. feed, bath, pjamas, prayer and bedtime, which sequence must be adhered to strictly. Good luck this will soon be a distant memory.

  112. icz@charter.net says:

    I really think “good” sleepers are born, not made. I know it is hard (it is always harder than we remember) but what helped me the most was sort of surrendering to it. My son woke up so often between 10 months and 2 years that I didn’t even bother counting. Don’t look at the clock, or count number of wakeups, or compare your child to others. You are not doing anything wrong — and it will get better. (And it helped me to realize that we women are biologically adapted to dealing with this kind of sleep depravation. We really are.)
    Best of luck –
    Ingrid & her 3-year-old, who sleeps much better than he used to.

    Oh, and co-sleep if you aren’t already. It really helps.

  113. http://www.abc.net.au/sydney/stories/s
    try this pod cast from radio national.
    it worked a treat with my 3yr old.it went to airon the spirit of things on mon 8th of jan

  114. murray_je@yahoo.com says:

    Wow, you have lots of advice to read! I agree with several of the comments about putting them down early and at the first signs of tiredness – this really works. My 3 year old slept like a rock until she was 5 months old and then she started the up and down all night – really is was about night feedings. I couldn’t do the cry-it-out thing either. So, instead I started keeping a journal of her sleep habits – slightly obsessive but really helpful. Then I would slowly wean her off of the extra feedings. If she would wake four times – I would only nurse 3 times and the other time I would just let her lie next to me – eventually they figure out that they are better off staying asleep rather than waking. The journal also helped to make me feel more sane – I could see we were making progress as I reread my entries. Also when she was younger and would fall asleep in our arms only to wake upon hitting the crib we put a hot water bottle in the crib to warm it up a bit first so she wasn’t going into a cold bed (Chicago!). Good luck!