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  1. #1
    Bob Loblaw's Avatar
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    baby/wife question

    So Bob Junior is about to be 11 months old...and he's still not sleeping through the night. Typically, Mrs. Lowlaw will start the nighttime routine around 9 pm, and he'll sleep until 2 am-ish. She gets up with him and puts him to sleep, then he'll usually be up around 4 or 5 am. She'll get him back to sleep, then he's up again 2-3 hours later. Now, mind you, I don't take the middle-of-the-night duties...when we decided to make it work with her staying home, I've taken on about 15-20 hours extra off-duty work a week (plus my regular 40ish), so the theory is that I need my sleep to continue working these crazy hours. I've maintained that, as long as the sleep issues don't effect me, then she can do it however she wants to.

    Well, the lack of sleep thing is starting to effect me. Not only is it impossible to sleep through the crying, she's starting to get frazzled and not get anything done around the house AND she's been treating me like crap because she's tired/stressed. Clearly what she's been doing is not working with the little fella. So, I consult a handful of buddies and settle on the ol' "Let him cry for 5 minutes, then go check on him. After 3 days or so, increase that to 10 minutes. Then 15. Then he'll probably be able to soothe himself to sleep by the end of the week" plan. We also decided to change some of her habits with him (rocking to sleep, nursing to sleep and co-sleeping, which pretty much EVERY expert, no matter the method they're peddling, all say are terrible habits to start with babies).

    So, tonight was night 1. It seriously lasted 3 minutes. She couldn't take his crying, so she swoops in to the rescue...as I write, she is rocking him to sleep. I am coming from the "well, he's not gonna like it at first, but it's for his own good" methodology. She clearly is more in favor of the "right here, right now" philosophy....


    So here are a couple of questions for seasoned baby-raisers: Will he, eventually without any special "program" just figure it out and sleep 7-10 hours uninterrupted, or do we absolutely NEED to fix things now. And, also, since she's not allowing me to have any input into this process, do I just refuse to listen when she's bitching and moaning about not sleeping, especially given the fact that she doesn't seem willing to do anything about the current situation?
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  2. #2
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    The baby will eventually self regulate - they all do absent medical issues.

    I was surprised you keep him up to 9pm. That would never have worked with my kids.

    I'm also surprised you haven't begun to wean the little guy from the "immediate reponse."

    Mom is going to have to grow a little tougher skin for a few weeks.

    Also, are you sleeping the little burrito in another room? Are you using a soother/binky?
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  3. #3
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    My oldest daughter had the problem with her first child because she assumed something must be wrong if she was up in the middle of the night. The second, she wasn't so concerned about it and he learned to sleep through the night.

    As Maclean said, absent of medical problems. If he can't get out of his crib, maybe let him learn to entertain himself a while. It's hard with the first one, but sometimes that's the only solution.

    When that same daughter was a baby, she had colic really badly at about two weeks. I was working swings so when I got home, she and I slept in a rocking chair because she could sleep upright. That bonding is still lasting.
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    I think I found the issue, Bob. It's rebellion at its earliest stage and I think I know why.


  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retdetsgt View Post

    When that same daughter was a baby, she had colic really badly at about two weeks. I was working swings so when I got home, she and I slept in a rocking chair because she could sleep upright. That bonding is still lasting.
    Awwwwww!!!!!

  6. #6
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    We had the same problems you do with our first. It took us about 8 months and we discovered "Sleeping Like a Baby." This book explained a lot of the physiological and psychological "why" behind getting a baby to sleep well. A lot of brain development is tied to sleep. We did it and it worked well. It's basically what you want to try but your wife might have some help with her nerves hearing it from an "expert." It was a temporary discomfort hearing her cry but the benefits to her health outweighed our guilt.

    If she just won't leave the baby alone, encourage her to have a night out with her friends and let you handle it. After a night of success she may trust it since the baby is not "ruined" in the morning.

    With our second and third kids we started from the get-go with the strategies from "Baby Wise." Our second born, our son, was sleeping through the night within a couple weeks. Eight weeks from birth he was pulling 13 hour nights. If your wife is still nursing Baby Wise is still applicable, it is not anti-breast feeding.

    Our third, another daughter, had similar results as her brother with the method.

    After 8 months of suffering our first born keeping us up all night we became sleep nazi's.

    All our kids started naps at about 1400 and they sleep to 1630. Our oldest is now 7 and she's the only one skipping naps now. They are all in bed, lights out, at 2000. Every day. They sleep, and they sleep well.

    We noticed a lot of common behavioral problems in young kids are missing from ours. A good friend insists on constant nursing and co-sleeping. Her kids are mega-hyper and have other issues as well (a lot of that is covered in Sleeping Like a Baby.) Kids need sleep. Once we figured that out our lives, and the lives of our children greatly improved. Our daughter, who was already a good baby, became much happier and better adjusted when she learned to self-soothe and sleep.

    I'll give you our email and phone number and your wife can talk to my wife about what we went through and how we fixed it. It was hell and we were very glad to get through it.
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  7. #7
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    As a woman, I'll weigh in on the sleep thing. It's completely understandable that you need to sleep, but you really need to take over every once in a while. Whether it's even just once or twice a week or just on the weekends, it WILL make your wife much easier to deal with.
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  8. #8
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    Wife and I took turns getting up once she stopped breast feeding. The late night cryng was terrible - but you just have to learn to ignore it. We both reverted to foam earplugs on our nights off from babysitting duties. Babies just have to cry - part of their developement. It is frustrating until you figure it out/get used to it. But it will get better.

    Right now you are learning the patience and understanding you will need for later in life when they start wrecking your car.

  9. #9
    Bob Loblaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by irishmick View Post
    As a woman, I'll weigh in on the sleep thing. It's completely understandable that you need to sleep, but you really need to take over every once in a while. Whether it's even just once or twice a week or just on the weekends, it WILL make your wife much easier to deal with.
    I should've elaborated...I have weekends off, so I do the majority of non-boob related child care on the weekends.

    Mac...to answer your question, he sleeps in his room at night. Unless, that is, he's having one of "those nights" (which now seem to be about twice a week) and then the wife sleeps with him in the guest bedroom. He usually takes two naps (one mid-late AM for about 30-45 min; one mid-late afternoon for nearly 2 hours). Mom has been sleeping with him in the later nap for a couple of weeks over my staunch objection.

    I think i'm getting so pissed because I already see how this is shaping up...I'm always gonna have to be the hard-ass disciplinarian, while mom is sneaking him milk and cookies behind my back. It's not like I want to dump acid on the kid's face or that I get some kind of pleasure out of him screaming...it's just as tough for me to hear, but I think it's in his long-term best interest to figure out how to put himself to sleep!
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  10. #10
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    Its a hard hard thing to deal with, trust me, been there and done that.

    I have found a few things helpful, less nap time, stricted bed time routine, a full tummy and some background noise (like a fan on low)

    Sometimes you have to let them cry a little as well. You dont want them developing the I cry-I get held complex. They will figure that out and it will become a long term problem
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  11. #11
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    I just hit mine over the head with a stick.









    Seriously....let him cry. Absent of a medical problem, clean ass and a full stomach, let him cry.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by lewisipso View Post
    I just hit mine over the head with a stick.









    Seriously....let him cry. Absent of a medical problem, clean ass and a full stomach, let him cry.

    +1

    I've had to almost physically block my wife from going in and getting one of the kiddos when they were going through that. It's tough, but necessary.

    I'll add to what someone else posted. A noise machine, fan, etc will help as well.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lewisipso View Post

    Seriously....let him cry. Absent of a medical problem, clean ass and a full stomach, let him cry.
    Let her cry
    Let the tears fall down like rain

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    Well, that's good to hear then, Bob. lol I don't think you're such an ass now.

    I think what everyone here is posting is good advice. Fortunately, we never went through that with Orion. Swaddling and strict bed times did the job while he was teeny and we aren't the "oh they can't cry ever" type of parents. I do think that cutting out the two nap thing might be good. Try to make it ONE nap around 11 or noonish. That might help.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lewisipso View Post
    I just hit mine over the head with a stick.

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    OK.....so we're all pretty much in agreement that crying for a bit can actually be a good thing. How much? Is 5 minutes good enough to start off with? This shit is killing me....not just the lack of sleep, but my wife being such a puss about the whole thing ("I don't want him to hate me! He sounds so sad!")
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Loblaw View Post
    This shit is killing me....not just the lack of sleep, but my wife being such a puss about the whole thing ("I don't want him to hate me! He sounds so sad!")


  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Loblaw View Post
    OK.....so we're all pretty much in agreement that crying for a bit can actually be a good thing. How much? Is 5 minutes good enough to start off with? This shit is killing me....not just the lack of sleep, but my wife being such a puss about the whole thing ("I don't want him to hate me! He sounds so sad!")
    Start out with five and add a minute every night.

    Women are programmed to be a puss about it - their body actually undergoes physical changes at the sound of a baby crying.

    If this weren't true, during times of hunger women would have been able to abandon their children.

    Interestingly, those changes don't ever stop for them after childbirth. Baby cries, chemicals and hormones fly.
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    I may have to let Momma post a response to this tonight.

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