Hopeless, still holding my son to sleep at 14 months

adahc

Registered User
Yes I am guilty of holding my son and walk (with a stump) my son to sleep. I have not been out socialising for 14 months now, I mean I go out but not during his nap time or night time. He doesn't want my husband or anyone else, but me. He is getting heavy now. Also he is a very active boy. He will fight sleep, gets up and climb the bed and all. he doesn't sleep in the pram but every once in a while if the time is right (only happens twice though) in the car seat while I was driving.
He will kick me until I give up and walk him to sleep which to be fair it's getting shorter, like 15 minutes. I know that CIO will NOT work with him neither. He is a very very strong minded boy. We did try it as well even when he was younger. Otherwise he isa VERY happy boy indeed, almost to compensate the fact that he gives us a hard time at bedtime.....
he doesn't like me reading book for him during the bedtime. I think he is clever enough to work it out that I'm tying to put him to sleep beause he loves book at any other time! I sing, which he likes and he always goes to sleep when I sing and walk him. I don't rock him though, just hold him and walk.
I think I'm the only moher in this world who can not manage to teach him to sleep by himself. It feels lonely at times....
 
You are so not alone adahc!

My daughter is 14 half months now & i STILL (though not walk) put her to sleep by putting her on me... for her naptime, i put her on my shoulders walking & she sleeps easily... i was able to put her down to sleep on her own when she was born till abt 8 mths, that's when she started being able to sit up & soon after stand up in her crib.. like your son i do have a strongwilled daughter & CIO just didnt cut out for her.... like you im also feeling hopeless, tho i keep lookng at the bright side that after she's asleep she stays asleep till the next morning hence i do get that night out occasionally...... i would love to also hear of other moms who was able to change this sleeping routine at this age~!
 
Hang in there!!!

Adahc, Fshah

What u'll hear from me is not how i'm able to change this, but rather, i'm also a member of "this club"! But for me, it's nursing. I am STILL nursing my 14mth old gal to sleep (i think all 3 of our kids are around the same age, in Fshah's case, the EXACT same age!). :haha:

For every nap time, and night time sleep, i'll nurse her on our bed, she sleeps and i roll away. For the night time, occasionally, she'll wake up and if my hubby is the one who goes in to try and pacify her back to sleep, she'll scream bloody murder. Cry like i've abandoned her. Like both of u, i can't and won't do CIO. It breaks my heart and i cant stomach her pitiful cries (complete with big droplets of tears). I have to go in (we have a video monitor so we can sit her when she sits up) and nurse her back to sleep. Granted, it's very quick and she'll be back in lala land.

Friends have organised nights out but i have to skip it cos currently, i'm still "indispensable" to my gal. Oh well, i try to think on the bright side that this will not be forever and it's REALLY a matter of time before we're not needed anymore...

My take on this is, since we all have such strong willed babies (which is good cos they really know wat they want eh?), instead of changing them by sleep training, etc, we should change OUR mindset instead. Personally for me, i'm holding on to the advices (both written and from personal acquaintances) from mothers who have been there that they will EVENTUALLY get there (sleeping on their own). We just need to be patient and to trust that this (sleeping on their own) is another developmental milestone that they'll learn to achieve at their own pace. I admit i have the luxury (being a SAHM) to wait (cos i dont need to work the next day :Butbut i dont think i'm any less tired than FTWM) for this to happen. I simply refused to subject her to any form of harsh sleep training to conform to the adult's standard.

FShah, u're lucky ur gal is staying asleep till next morning. Mine still wakes up once/twice a night cos she's teething BIG time now (8 teeth all at one time!). Occasionally she'd "show" me she CAN put herself back to sleep on her own (we cosleep on the same bed) by tossing and turning with eyes wide open, then slowly falling asleep by shaking her head left and right. So i guess, my patience does seem to be paying off (slightly?)...

Hang in there mommies and....sorry for the long post!
 
Oh forgot to add, my gal doesnt nap in strollers as well, so i either have to put her in the Ergo and STILL nurse her to zzz (and bear with my intense backpain) OR i have to plan my outing so she can have at least one nap comfortably at home! :)

Adahc
Would also like to tell u that PLEASE DO NOT think u're lonely, or cut off from this world, or that your social life has completely disappeared. Before i had my baby, hubby and i both love traveling, going to late night movies, drinks, and personally, i'm very much an impromptu person. So u can imagine how topsy turvy my life is..I was like u too, mourning my lack of social life, in fact, even a bit resentful. U know how a lot of people say having a baby will changed your life? :Butbut i tell myself, my life didnt change! It got more interesting! Becos i am still who i am. My life didnt stop, it just got paused. And when she's older, i WILL resumed my life...:haha:

Hope that cheered u up!
 
Thanks to you both. You made me feel MUCH better now. I co sleep so I guess there are a lot of milestone for my son to reach . God knows how he will learn to put himself to sleep. He is more spoilt than anything but we can't tell him off or reason with him, because he dosn't understand!
But i feel better now though....for now anyway.
 
Hi Adach,
Reading your post was like reading my own story. I too rock/ walk my daughter to sleep and even though she is quite heavy I prefer it to nursing her to sleep (I am trying to wean her slowly). Like your son my daughter too has realised that she can have her way with me when it comes to sleeping routine :) And I have/will never tried CIO.
I co- sleep with her and she still wakes up from 1- 3 times in the night and will only be nursed to sleep. At times when I did try to make her sleep with her daddy she screamed and cried not to find me next to her.
I have never been out on my own since the past 1 year and don't know what its like to go for a night-out anymore. Infact even when me and my husband go out for dinner, we mostly have to get it parcelled (After 15 mins of ordering) and come back home and eat coz my wee one gets very restless in a high chair.
I know this won't last forever, as she is getting more and more independant each day. So I am chershing each day with her even if it means yielding to her innocent demands :))
 
oh gosh, i feel for all of you! it's rough and sooo tiring.....

my advice is to start training your babies now to fall asleep on their own. i too was like you in the first 6 months - holding etc..., but soon realized it's just not that healthy and that learning how to put yourself to sleep is a skill that has to be learned and then practiced. we started putting our son to bed after his night time routine wide awake starting at around 7 months (he's now 15 months) and the first week was torture, but they learn how to do it! of course there are hiccups throughout which is totally normal (ie. sick, teething etc...) but when they are healthy, it works like clock work.

CIO and controlled crying doesn't work for everyone, but it can be adjusted to your needs. for us, going in and patting my son on the back while he cried just didn't work for us for as soon as we touched his back, he thought it was playtime and would jump up and down in the crib. we quickly learned that we would just have to peek in his room to make sure he was ok and i think the first couple of nights he cried on and off for about 20 minutes - totally heart breaking, but i know it had to be done.

it's hard, believe me i know! but it's sooo important now to teach him/her the skills of sleep as it will be sooo helpful later down the road and will also help you regain some of your life back and give you the rest you need. these things are so important for the health and care of your baby too! everything relates. if you don't get rest or have date night with your husband where you are relaxed and enjoying eachother, then your mental state will not be the same for your baby the next day.......

for me, a baby's independance and sleeping habits are two different things. the fact that he/she cannot put themselves asleep means they just don't know how to.

i would really give it another try if you've got it in you :)
 
Thanks for you advise but I am very happy and energetic even though I rock my baby to sleep and yield to most of her needs through out the day. I don't feel "I don't have a life" just because I have to take care of my daughter, I love every minute of it. Wonder why some people think rocking their little ones to sleep is such a bad thing afterall. I am in no hurry my babe will learn to sleep on her own eventually, won't torture her and myself by making her cry her eyes out in the middle of the night. My daughter is healthy and happy even though she can't put herself to sleep. And when I said "I know this won't last forever, as she is getting more and more independant each day." I was not correlating it her sleep habits.


oh gosh, i feel for all of you! it's rough and sooo tiring.....

my advice is to start training your babies now to fall asleep on their own. i too was like you in the first 6 months - holding etc..., but soon realized it's just not that healthy and that learning how to put yourself to sleep is a skill that has to be learned and then practiced. we started putting our son to bed after his night time routine wide awake starting at around 7 months (he's now 15 months) and the first week was torture, but they learn how to do it! of course there are hiccups throughout which is totally normal (ie. sick, teething etc...) but when they are healthy, it works like clock work.

CIO and controlled crying doesn't work for everyone, but it can be adjusted to your needs. for us, going in and patting my son on the back while he cried just didn't work for us for as soon as we touched his back, he thought it was playtime and would jump up and down in the crib. we quickly learned that we would just have to peek in his room to make sure he was ok and i think the first couple of nights he cried on and off for about 20 minutes - totally heart breaking, but i know it had to be done.

it's hard, believe me i know! but it's sooo important now to teach him/her the skills of sleep as it will be sooo helpful later down the road and will also help you regain some of your life back and give you the rest you need. these things are so important for the health and care of your baby too! everything relates. if you don't get rest or have date night with your husband where you are relaxed and enjoying eachother, then your mental state will not be the same for your baby the next day.......

for me, a baby's independance and sleeping habits are two different things. the fact that he/she cannot put themselves asleep means they just don't know how to.

i would really give it another try if you've got it in you :)
 
Hi Adahc, I think that you need to decide what is making you feel lonely/unhappy with your current situation.

Is it because you feel the weight of other people's expectations - i.e. you feel that others judge you because you still walk your baby to sleep at 14 months. If so, please don't worry. If this is the right thing for you and your baby just keep doing it - don't worry about what anyone else thinks. There are many different ways of mothering and there is nothing harmful about walking your baby to sleep (just as there is nothing harmful about letting them CIO so long as you follow the rules).

However, if you are feeling lonely because you are really fed up with walking your baby to sleep and want to be able to go out for dinner etc, then I would really recommend thinking about giving CIO a go. I know that it's not for everyone but there is a version of CIO called "gradual extinction" or "graduated extinction" (sorry can't remember which but a google search will reveal lots of info) where you slowly train them to sleep. It's not as "harsh" as the more traditional CIO.

Personally, I did CIO with my baby and it worked well. However, I know that it is not for everyone and each person needs to find the best thing for their situation.
 
The other thing I should have mentioned is that it is possible to hire someone else to sleep train your baby if you don't have the stomach for it. I think Annerley can provide this service. From what I have read the parents are told to go out and the nanny/nurse stays with the baby for a few nights. Personally, I would find this more difficult than doing the sleep training myself but thought I should mention it.
 
My son is nearly 14mnths old, I nurse him to sleep most of the time. Sometimes now he doesn't fall asleep nursing, but will roll over when finished, and then I hug him until he is asleep.

fenho said it best IMO. They will eventually learn to fall asleep on their own.

To be totally honest I actually enjoy it. He's only little for such a short time, it's nice to be the one to settle him down and put him to bed. Yeah I have no social life after 6pm, but for me it's a minor price to pay.
 
I am happy being with my son but I think that it is not healthy for him to be dependant for other people (in my case only me) in order to go to sleep. To me, and me only, that's not fair for him. I want to learning to teach him a loving and the gentle way possible how to put himself to sleep and that doesn't mean mummy doesn't love him at all.
My back is gettig bad now and that surely indicate that its not good balance:)

When I'm tired, I do feel alone, yes I do. So I reach out and ask for advise. And yes I feel that other mummies (in the playgroup anyway) seem to have no problem putting their kids to sleep anywhere. So I feel like I'm the odd one out.
It's so nice to know I'm not alone!

Thanks everyone
 
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Adahc, you really sound like such a gentle, loving and caring mum. Please don't think that anyone was suggesting that you are not happy being with your son. I love my son so much, more than I ever thought I could love anything or anyone and I love being with him but I also need my sleep and to go out for dinner sometimes. I don't feel that I am a bad mum for doing that and, if that's what you want, you shouldn't feel bad either. If you don't want to do that (like Geomum) then that is all good too. Everyone is different and the main thing is that you are doing what you feel is the best thing both for your baby and yourself.
 
hi, we also had lots of problem putting my daughter to sleep. she's now 6 mos old & we started sleep training her back in jan when she was 3 mos old. the reason why we decided to sleep train is because the first 3 mos was really difficult & tiring having to rock/carry/sing her to sleep. she would cry/scream/arch her back etc. & it took us sometimes over an hour to settle her. like you adac, my back was killing & i had to go to the physio. we tried cio once (for an hour) & swear will never do it again because my baby startled the whole night. then some of friends introduced us to the book "healthy sleep habits happy child" by marc weissbluth as it worked with their babies. we tried it out... it worked for 2 wks & then came chinese new year & my baby's schedule was all out of whack again. it took us another 1 mos to train, but still we had some difficult nights. was about to give up during that month. then my baby learnt how to roll onto her tummy & would play rather than sleep in her crib. tks to some advice from other mom's in this forum (ie. don't flip her onto her back & just let her be, take away the night light etc.) my baby is sleeping better now. it still takes her about 15-30mins to put herself to sleep, but at least it's much better than before. we just put her into her crib & then close the door. sometimes she'd cry, we'd go in to pat her or hold her a little. once she's settled, we leave her alone again. right now, she's having 3 naps during the day (ranging from 45mins-2hrs) & sleeps from ~8pm-7am.

it's hard work! at times, i also felt a bit unharppy because my friend's babies all seem to sleep well, while my baby is so difficult. our schedule basically revolved around her's. also got a lot of pressures from in-law's about this structured schedule,early bedtime etc. etc. but i just tuned it out.

after sleep training, my husband & i could sneak out for dinner once we put her in. i could also run errands during her nap times. we are definitely happier.

this is just my experience. remember, after having a baby, there will be lots of advice/comments from others around you... just do what you think is best for your baby & your family. good luck!
 
I am sorry, but not all children will eventually learn to sleep by themselves (well, depends on when you mean by "eventually"). I know of friends' kids who still get up and go to their bed in the middle of the night and they are over 4 years old. Obviously if their mommies and daddies do not have a problem with that, it's fine. If you do, it will be easier to start sleep training when they cannot get out of bed by themselves. As for CIO for strong willed babies, my 2nd is one and even though she screams harder, she also learned much quicker.
 
Andrea
We are talking about going to sleep by themselves, not sleeping thru the night, it IS VERY normal for a 4yr old kid to wakeup in the middle of the night to look for parents. 4yr is still very young!
 
i personally know of a 7yr old girl who still needs her mum to lie with her and hold her to get to sleep - so i agree with AndreaY - I'm not sure all kids do learn to go to sleep themselves if they are not encouraged to!
 
Hi Ladies, I am a little lucky where my daughter has been a good sleeper, however we did end up in a 5 night Sleep School in Australia when she was 7 months (for other minor issues) and I witnessed many parents with children upto 12 months of age trying to battle putting their child to sleep without using a settling technique. It is hard, and my heart sank sitting with the parents going through this, you really need to be ready for it and have the energy to persist. Basically though, I tend to agree with some of Southside852 comments that CIO can be adjusted to suit your needs. It doesn't necessarily mean you just leave them to cry non stop. You can use various techniques to suit your needs.
If you are looking for a resolution, I would recommend two avenues -
1) One book which I found a lot of strength through in training my daughter to sleep was 'save our sleep' by Tizzie Hall. This also addressed settling techniques. Although I purchased this in Australia, she does have a website which might help (you might also be able to order her book via this):
http://www.saveoursleep.com.au/
2) Annerley do have a sleep clinic which you may benefit from. I have not personally attended but have heard good reports about them.
http://www.annerley.com.hk/
Good luck, I know it can be extremely hard and have it's challenges.
 
Think the post was whether children can learn to fall asleep by themselves, this includes going to bed as well as waking up during light sleep in the middle of the night and not knowing how to fall back to sleep by themselves. I was not talking about having a nightmare, waking up looking for mommy and daddy, but children waking up at either of light sleep or out of habit and not knowing how to go back to sleep by themselves.

FennHo, I know you have posted many times that you cannot bear to have your child CIO. My post was not a criticism for those not letting children CIO or sleep train them in other ways. On the same token, I try not to see what you have said about CIO meaning mommies who have done so are heartless cos they can bear to hear their children cry.

I was merely pointing that that not all children iron out their sleep problems by themselves and if one does see it as a problem, it would be better to do something about it earlier rather than later.

If giving 100% of your time to your baby makes you happy, then fantastic. But for a selfish mother like me, who would like to either have a little time to herself or to spend an evening with her husband, it's very important to manage one's child's sleep habits.
 
AndreaY
What's with the SUPER defensive mode, negative note AND SARCASM? I was merely cheering adahc on and giving encouraging comments. U popped by to say u know of a 4yr old who still goes to parent's bed in the middle of the nite. There wasnt any full story, so i reckon this 4yr old MIGHT be going to parents bed for comfort.

And since WHEN have i mentioned that CIO mommies are heartless?????? I dont think i have EVER insinuated that, unless YOU are too sensitive and read too much into it? Becos u said u TRY not to see what i have said as a sign of that!

Is it wrong of me to say i'm not into CIO??? Does that offend u so much that u need to TRACK my postings, so much so, u can tell i have posted MANY times that i cannot bear to do CIO? Goodness Andrea.

And please, it's really not necessary for u to be sarcastic and say u're a selfish mother who wants a little time to herself or to spend an evening with your husband. ALL mommies love their babies. BUT every baby is different! Didnt i say that i too felt resentful at one point but becos my baby was a colicky, refluxy, high need baby, i just took the advice of some well meaning mommies to change my mindset! So, i'm also MERELY passing on the advices, gosh, i didnt know i'd get flamed for that!
 
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