William is 8 months old he has always been a bad sleeper and has got progressively worse and worse. He was being breast fed on demand and used to fall asleep on the breast, he no longer needs this but he cannot fall asleep on his own.
I or my partner sit next to his cot and stroke his hands he screams if we move away this can sometimes take a couple of hours. He has a dummy but has gone off it lately; he often spits it out and wakes if it falls out in the night. William will usually wake up about 20 minutes after he has fallen asleep; I have to just sit next to him and hold his hands and he will go back to sleep, sometimes he will take his dummy. Then he will generally wake up every hour/hour and half or less and it will take longer and longer to get him to sleep, last night during one of the sessions it took 3 hours. He falls asleep best cuddled into me. He doesn’t need feeding in the night anymore although this is the easiest way to get him to sleep but we are trying really hard not to do thWilliam .
He will fight and fight sleep as much as possible during the day and the night. I think he is worried about missing something! I hate that a lot of the time he cries before he goes to sleep. He definitely needs to learn to settle himself, as he is such a light sleeper and the smallest sound can wake him up.
It breaks my heart when he cries for even a minute! I would absolutely love him to fall asleep on his own happily but now this seems a long very away . . .
The Parent Consultancy says
I suggest you use the gradual retreat method. However, in the short term I think that William needs controlled comforting. The gradual retreat method means that you move further and further away from him each night as he get’s used to falling asleep on his own. As William is used to sitting with him and has got used to this you may need to do some controlled comforting to reassure and settle him.
After a couple of nights you will need to comfort William less and less as he will start to understand the new routine and feel safe and secure from your cues. When William can fall asleep without any intervention from you, you can start moving the chair away from his cot.
I suggest that you take away the dummy especially as William seems to giving up naturally himself. At first stay by the cot for half an hour or so just in case he wakes up after 20 minutes, it will be easier to comfort him before he wakes up fully.
Apply the method when he wakes during the night please don’t revert to old habits even at 3am or you will undo all your hard work.
Children’s response to plans vary, I would expect to see some signs of improvement within a week if you have been consistent in your approach and followed the plan to the letter But it could take a little longer. This is completely normal and not a reason to stop the plan. You are teaching William good sleep habits for life so your short-term stress is his long-term gain. You might find it useful to keep a sleep diary to monitor your progress.
Olivia and Chris rang Kate and explained that they were worried as them being in the room seemed to aggravate William. Kate suggested controlled comforting and leaving the room in-between, this suited William and he learnt to settle himself. After two nights, William began to sleep through and Olivia and Chris said that he seemed to be relieved and was so much happier. They said William seemed relieved to be given the opportunity to fall asleep by himself. One month later William is now going to bed happily and sleeping through for at least 10 hours. Olivia is back at work and William is happy and settled in Nursery.
How does you LO sleep? From what age did your child sleep through the night?……..