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Feel like a failure
I struggle to get my 7mo to sleep consistantly


27 replies to this topic

#1 calomamma

Posted 23 November 2012 - 07:43 PM

Please help. I feel like such a failure.

My 7mo DD is very difficult to put to bed. It's hit and miss every evening.

For the first 3 months I needed to rock her to sleep. There were tears and tears as I did this. My routine was Feed, Play, Sleep.

I eventually figured out that if I switch to Play, Feed, Sleep I could breastfeed her to sleep with no tears. The house was finally calm for about 2 months.

For the last month though, once she has finished feeding, if she isn't asleep she starts crying...and crying. In the end I need to rock and walk her around the room.

At night we feed solids, then go to the bedroom and change nappy/clothes, then play on my bed quietly or sing quiet songs and then I feed her to sleep.

It went from a 100% success rate to probably 50% now and it is slowly getting worse.

I am so sick of hearing my friends tell me that they simply used to give bub a bottle and walk out. It makes me feel like a failure.

Am I doing something wrong? Please please give me some ideas. cry1.gif

#2 kadoodle

Posted 23 November 2012 - 07:50 PM

You're not a failure.  I have four kids and they all went clingy and non-sleeping around that age.  They came good once they got more mobile and wore themselves out more.

Many people swear by controlled crying, but I found patting mine, talking/singing softly (that's why we have lullabyes) and being prepared to do it for as long as it takes worked just as well.  Be as zen as you can.  Babies know when you're stressed.

#3 calomamma

Posted 23 November 2012 - 07:56 PM

Thank you kadoodle. I think  you are onto something when you said babies know when you're stressed. I might need to see how I am acting on the days she doesn't nod off.

#4 Nematode

Posted 23 November 2012 - 07:57 PM

OMG you are not a failure bbighug.gif , although I know how you feel. My dd is just 2 and we have only recently managed to find a routine that works eexcite.gif . I felt exactly the same as you, dd would feed to sleep and it was lovely, but then not all the time, and then rarely, and then even if she was asleep, she would wake as soon as I put her down. ffear.gif  
I am obviously no expert, but the way I saw it was this, if, as everyone told me, they were so fantastic with putting their d? to sleep, no probs, then why are there SO MANY books and dvds and sleep schools and sleep whisperers out there wwhistle.gif ? If getting your d? to sleep was easy, there would b no market for all of this.
BTW, what finally worked for us was telling her that I would be back, and then extending the time I was out of the room, that being said, easier with an almost 2yo than a 7mo. I only say this to say that for me, I thought I was going to have to wait till dd was 13 till she would sleep lol oomg2.gif . It wasnt that long tthumbs.gif

#5 adl

Posted 23 November 2012 - 07:58 PM

Not a failure..... It's so hard to work out their needs... They are all different...and their patterns change as they grow ...so what works for a while may not after time....

Have you considered wind or tummy upset? Reflux?  Just wondering if when full she isn't in discomfort and the rocking helps soothe it???  Maybe try solids during the day? And see if that helps....

You do what you can, we all do....

#6 sonicbeagle

Posted 23 November 2012 - 08:02 PM

No way, you're not a failure!!

Babies can be demanding.  One night they can be crying a lot, the next night they may be settled and easy to deal with.

It can be all over the place.  Babies can be like that.

So just go with the flow, and do what works for you.  There's no one size fits all.  And don't worry too much about people who make you feel as though you're failing.  You absolutely are not failing.

Just try to relax and do what works.  What works one night, may not work another night.  It's just the nature of being a parent.

Sending lots of positivity your way - and encouragement too!  You're doing a great job!

#7 neddyteddy

Posted 23 November 2012 - 08:04 PM

you.... failure  pfft!

come to my house and see a real failure  bbighug.gif

#8 jindy poss

Posted 23 November 2012 - 08:06 PM

You are not a failure!! My DS was really hard to get to sleep around that age. At 18 months he is a great sleeper now so thats a positive for you wink.gif

I went to my community nurse and asked for help, she suggested controlled crying, it wasnt something I had considered before and I know its not everyones cup of tea but it worked for us. The way the nurse suggested to go about it was putting DS in his cot, soothing him and walking out and doing something for a couple of minutes so we werent standing listening to him crying. Then after a few minutes if he was crying go back to him and soothe, then leave again for a few minutes. We only had to do this a few times for a few days and he was sleeping well.

Its taken a long time for me to realise stressing things doesnt help, if its getting you down go and get some help, maybe a sleep school or something.

Hope it gets better soon bbighug.gif

#9 Guest_Sunnycat_*

Posted 23 November 2012 - 08:09 PM

Please don't feel like a failure. You're not. My DS has been a challenging sleeper so there were times I felt like a failure and that I was doing something wrong, especially when a lot of my friend had great sleepers.

But some babies are just difficult to get to sleep or to stay asleep, you are not doing anything wrong. I know that probably doesn't help you though but don't blame yourself.

#10 mysonsmum

Posted 23 November 2012 - 08:13 PM

Don't feel like a failure! I would rather do what ur doing than give my son a bottle & walk out personally! Have u tried giving ur baby a cuddley? When my son stopped feeding to sleep I started wrapping him with his hands free & putting him to bed with a muslin wrap as a cuddley  & he continues to suck on that til he falls asleep. Maybe that could help?

#11 Roobear

Posted 23 November 2012 - 08:17 PM

Not a failure at all....I type this as DH is taking a turn trying to settle my 4 month old. I did the first two hours and now we are alternating in 20 mins intervals which we have done for the last one hour and 16 mins  ddoh.gif

Edited by Roobear, 23 November 2012 - 08:18 PM.


#12 Superman+4sisters

Posted 23 November 2012 - 08:22 PM

Repeat after me: I am not a failure!

Being a parent isn't a pass-fail subject. It's an experience where you grow as a parent as your baby grows. You do what you need to do, what works for you and your baby.

Don't fall into the trap of comparing yourself to other mums. Remember that there's a tendency to gloss over the hard, and highlight the good. The picture you're getting from your friends isn't the full picture. Guaranteed there are some areas they're struggling with, and areas that are easy.

If it helps, I still need to cuddle my 18mo to sleep at times. I enjoy the extra cuddle time, she feels cherished, we're all happy.

Do what works for your family, and definitely go with the flow.

Edited by Superman+4sisters, 23 November 2012 - 08:24 PM.


#13 rachel*t*p

Posted 23 November 2012 - 08:28 PM

QUOTE (calomamma @ 23/11/2012, 08:56 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thank you kadoodle. I think  you are onto something when you said babies know when you're stressed. I might need to see how I am acting on the days she doesn't nod off.


Definitely not a failure!

I know that when I was feeding DD to sleep if I really needed her to be asleep by a certain time or I had something I really needed to do after she was asleep, my anxiety for to be asleep so I could do what I needed guaranteed she would not go to sleep. Definitely think about how you are feeling on the good vs not so good days.

#14 calomamma

Posted 23 November 2012 - 09:41 PM

Nematode: Thank you, I started tearing up reading your post. I just needed to hear I'm not the only one. And in a strange way, knowing that it took you some time to figure it out makes me feel better.

Adl: Thank you, perhaps it is because she is changing. This month she has learnt to sit and crawl. Perhaps this contributes?

SonicBeagle: Thank you for your positivity and encouragement. It's gratefully received.

Neddyteddy: lol!@ Thank you I needed a laugh

Jindy Poss: Thank you for giving me some step by step instructions. I have tried something like this..once...and there were tears.. my god there were tears!! At what point do you say it's enough and concole them? I must admit I couldn't do it for long. She was devastated.

Sunnycat: Thank you. It does help knowing I'm not the only one.

asha9: We used to wrap and then eventually we stopped as she always took her hands out..wokeup etc.. Interesting though, as I never tred a half wrap. Will try this!

Roobear: I feel for you! and thank you for taking the time to write even thought you are probably tired yourself.

Supermum+4sister: Thank you. I know, you're right. It just gets to me hearing how 'great' evryone else is at being mum.

rachel*t*p: You might be onto something actually.As it does happen alot when I genuinely want her to hurry up and sleep

THANK YOU EVERYONE FOR YOUR SUPPORT

#15 fatbelly

Posted 23 November 2012 - 09:55 PM

Part of the problem too is that half your evening is taken up with getting baby to sleep, cutting into your much deserved child free time.  I have no solution, I had/have three shocking sleepers.  I feel for you and hope it is a phase or teething or something fixable.  

My current system has the 8yr asleep after 11pm, 6yr asleep after 10pm and 2yr fed to sleep around 9.30pm.  With two at school, my mornings are a special kind of hell original.gif

#16 bjk76

Posted 23 November 2012 - 10:19 PM

You are not a failure - every baby is different and it can take a while to figure out what works best for them and for you.

DS is now 19mo and DH or I walked him to sleep for maybe the first 10 months. Initially it was with DS in our arms, then as he got too heavy, I put him in the ergobaby carrier and walked him in that. It wasn't until he was about 10 months that I started feeding him to sleep, and I wish I'd done it a lot sooner!! There were still times when he wouldn't settle after a feed, so I'd walk him in the carrier then, but now I still feed him to sleep and he squirms and tries to get down if I try to walk him to sleep.

I also had many frustrating hours of trying to get DS to go to sleep - walking and walking and walking him. I had a sleep consultant come out and she made some good suggestions which helped. Having a set pre-bed/nap routine (we do three stories and we have a classical music CD playing while he falls asleep, or I'd sing Twinkle Twinkle while walking him, before putting the CD on) and keeping DS up for longer (he wasn't tired enough, which was why he wasn't going to sleep easily), were probably the most effective things.

I've heard if you can't get your child to sleep within 15 minutes, stop trying for 1/2 hour and have a break, then try again. I think this is probably some good advice, although often at 15 min DS would be pretty close to sleep (or I'd be thinking he was), so I'd generally wait for 20 min.

Now I'm pretty good at reading DS and how long he can stay up for, although when he's teething, that messes things up quite a bit. He's just about finished with teething now though, so things have settled down a lot. We feed to sleep and have even had a couple of times when he has come off the breast wide awake and cuddled up to me and fell asleep next to me, so I can see that one day he will be able to be cuddled to sleep and not breastfed, which is pretty exciting! - I do love the closeness of feeding him to sleep and we co-sleep, so it is very lovely having such a close attachment with DS.

Anyway, good luck and hope things improve sooner rather than later! bbighug.gif

#17 libbylu

Posted 23 November 2012 - 10:28 PM

After her feed can you put her in her cot on her tummy and pat her firmly (holding her down gently with the other hand if necessary) and sing until she is asleep? Then roll her gently on to her back.
This worked for us.  I had previously rocked DS to sleep but he got too heavy and my wrists were shot.  It took him about a week to get used to the patting and singing rather than the rocking, but it's okay if they cry a bit as long as you are there and are consistent with what you are doing.

If you can persist for another few months you can safely do some type of sleep training like 'controlled comforting" (not recommended prior to 10 months I don't think).  We used the 'Sleep Right, Sleep Tight' book at around that age which is by the Tresillian sleep school people I think.

ETA you are not doing it wrong or a bad parent - some kids are just bad sleepers. For some it will be a phase, for others it will be an issue through their whole childhood.  DS is now 6 and is still a bad sleeper.  He has the discipline to fall asleep by himself now at last but it still takes him 45 minutes to fall off to sleep and he still wakes in the night.  Other babies self settle right from the start with and fall asleep within 2 minutes of their heads hitting the pillow in childhood.  It's a matter of luck really.

Edited by libbylu, 23 November 2012 - 10:33 PM.


#18 ~ppp~

Posted 23 November 2012 - 10:28 PM

You are not a failure. You described my DS1 to a tee - compulsive feed to sleeper and there was literally no other way to get him to sleep except this (& I tried self settling from day 1!). Even at 1.5yrs of age he could feed to sleep off a bottle.
He also did the regression where feeding to sleep started to fail (& I'm afraid we did CC as we exhausted all other options).

DS2 came along and I thought stuff it, I'm just going to avoid all the angst and feed him to sleep. Nope, he won't feed to sleep. He just gets put in his cot awake and falls asleep happily on his own!

So my point is it has nothing to do with you and everything to do with your type of baby!

But no hopeful advice as to how to help you as everything gentle failed with our DS.

Good luck.

#19 Princess.cranky.pants

Posted 24 November 2012 - 02:14 AM

Hi op, I have three kids and our third child has been a challenge in the sleep department. When they're not sleeping well it can really get you down. You are not doing anything wrong.

Consider going to Sleep School. I went earlier this year with DD and it was the best thing we could have done. I had hit a wall and DD was crying all day from lack of sleep. By the end of 5 day stay DD was a much happier child and starting to sleep through the night.
So do think about going. Child Health can do referral.

Hang in there.


#20 calomamma

Posted 24 November 2012 - 08:35 PM

Thanks to everyone for your encouraging replies. This morning was the same... Lots of tears and then rocked to sleep. Lunch she just crawled from my bed onto her Cot ( I have her bed right up against mine) and she lay on her belly and self settled. A miracle!! But then tonight it was mayhem again... Wouldn't let me put her down at all after rocking. I did want to tell everyone that I coped alot better today and stayed calm. It really has helped seeing there are so many caring mums out there original.gif

#21 Chazee

Posted 24 November 2012 - 08:46 PM

I know how you feel OP. It seems all of my friends and family have such great sleepers and i keep getting stuck with babies who just don't sleep, or go to sleep on their own. I've often asked myself why, and wondered if i just suck at this job of getting babies to sleep?

My DS is 15 months and if we don't rock him to sleep, then we have to sit next to his cot while he goes to sleep (sometimes this doesn't work though). He also wakes frequently (I'll be lucky if i get a 2 hour sleep stint from him at all after he's put to bed in the evening). AND i have to feed him for him to resettle.

It's such fun and i'm so tired. And i need a rest. But he won't take a bottle. Or a cup. Or food. Or anything for that matter. Just me and my boobs. *sigh*

I'm just riding out each day and looking forward to the time he'll eventually start sleeping.

Just remember you are doing your best for your baby and that certainly does NOT make you a failure. It makes you a great Mum.

#22 PurpleNess

Posted 24 November 2012 - 08:47 PM

Nope not a failure - just a mum doing her best.

One thing we implemented around 6 months that really has helped DS learn to self settle is a bed time routine.

5pm Dinner
6pm Bath ( every night)
6.30 Bottle ( or breastfeed)
6.30-6.45 ( supposed to be 7 but we've found DS sleeps better if he goes down at 6.45...so experiment ) - READ books. We have a bed time book which is always the last one we read.
6.45 - Bed/Sleeping bag /Dummy/Bear & say Night night - leave, turn off light & shut door.

You may need to go back in & resettle a few times...don't pick up if you can, just run back/tummy/ shhhhhh etc, she will calm eventually. Admittedly I have picked DS up when he's really distraught, I'm not one to leave a bub to cry hysterically, that doesn't help anyone.

Also does bub have a cuddly toy? DS has a Britt Bear & it is the softest  thing ever, he loves it & sucks its ears for comfort & rubs it when drifting off, something like this may help...they stay in the cot.

Always give verbal cues throughout this process, like preempt dinner, bath time, books etc. Talk bub through her tired signs - "Yes your sleepy, one more book then into bed " etc. It really does help them understand that it's bedtime & time for sleep.

It may take a couple of weeks , breath & be consistent.

Hope you gets some ideas  & remember what ever works for you & DS works for you! If it's working go with it is my advice...

Oh & also agree, if you've tried for 20 minutes - especially during the day, give up & try again but keep a close eye on tired signs. I find a walk in the pram before nap time helps ..maybe try that...

Edited by PurpleNess, 24 November 2012 - 09:14 PM.


#23 mnsr621

Posted 24 November 2012 - 08:56 PM

My DD was 1 last week and I rock her to sleep in the bouncer, its the only was I can get her to sleep, sometimes it takes 10 min sometimes 2 hours, and when she wakes up in the middle of the night sometimes I have to put her back in the bouncer to get her back to sleep.

You are not a failure, hope this makes you feel a bit better original.gif

#24 Lakey

Posted 24 November 2012 - 08:59 PM

QUOTE (bjk76 @ 23/11/2012, 11:19 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You are not a failure - every baby is different and it can take a while to figure out what works best for them and for you.

I've heard if you can't get your child to sleep within 15 minutes, stop trying for 1/2 hour and have a break, then try again. I think this is probably some good advice, although often at 15 min DS would be pretty close to sleep (or I'd be thinking he was), so I'd generally wait for 20 min.

Anyway, good luck and hope things improve sooner rather than later! bbighug.gif


Take note of this, if it hasn't happened after 20 minutes, take a break.  Don't feed, just calm you LO and have a quiet play, once she is doing tired signs, try again, but only for 20 minutes.

Try the patting method, we learnt this at Sleep School, pat them on the tummy rhythmically, hopefully they start to calm.  If they do, just keep doing it until they start to drift off, as they quieten make the patting softer until again hopefully they start to drift off.

Our DS would scream and scream, there were many times I just had to leave the room as I was losing it.  Don't be afraid to do this.

Our DS at 15 months is still not a brilliant sleeper, but he does go down most times now and self settles.  He just wakes overnight, every night agh!  

Looking back, I wish i had just been kinder on him.  I was too intent and getting him to sleep because of all the other things I needed to do, we have a 3 y/o DD also.  I think i read that her cot was next to your bed, perhaps another idea is put her in the cot and you lay in the bed next to her until she drifts off?  You may be able to start laying there until she is asleep and gradually decrease the time you lay with her until you're leaving the room whilst she is awake.

You are definitely not a failure, some babies just like to test us!

Best of luck, from one tired mother to another!

#25 Cat People

Posted 24 November 2012 - 09:00 PM

Gosh OP, if you're a failure, I'm a two-time big fat failure.  Two kids, same story.  

You sound far from a failure to me.  PP's have given you good advice.  Hang in there.



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