Sleep Training

Since the day Baby MPB was born he loves to sleep.  So, we have never had to sleep train Baby MPB.

He goes down for his naps and for bedtime rather easily, and maybe one night a week he’ll cry a bit until he puts himself to sleep. His one crutch is his pacifier/soother, he basically needs that to fall asleep at night peacefully (we are already dreading the day we have to take it away from him).

He loves sleep so much that to this day at 6:00pm we have to pull every trick in our book to get him to stay awake until 7:00pm.  (And often we fail and he falls asleep at 6:30).  His little body just loves sleep and he obviously functions better when he has his sleep.  I’m not complaining, I truly think his love for sleep has helped keep our house somewhat sane while Mr. MPB and I are both attempting to work and deal with our crazy schedules.

Anyways, we’ve been experiencing a particular problem for the last month of so – at 3:00am (or 5:00am on a good day), Baby MPB wakes up screaming.  Inconsolably screaming. 

We’ve tried every single thing we can think of, including the Ferber method, the plain old cry it out method, etc.  But, I’ll admit at 3am, it’s rather hard to patiently wait for him to calm himself down and fall back asleep.  And honestly, there seems to be a point that we realize he simply isn’t going to be able to calm himself down.  The only thing that is working is snuggles and a bottle.  Then he goes back down until sometime between 6:00am and 7:00am.  (This 3:00am wake up isn’t as big of a deal for Mr. MPB, he can go right back to sleep.  Me on the other hand, I don’t.  Lately my sleep pattern is 9:30pm until 3:00am, then I’m up for the day.  But I digress, my sleep problems are actually not the point today).

What’s frustrating is that any other time during the night that he wakes up he is able to self-sooth and put himself back to sleep.  But this 3:00am wake up is a a full on catastrophic meltdown.

I am honestly not convinced that he’s hungry.  I think he’s just using the bottle to calm himself back down.

I just don’t get it.  Any ideas?

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34 Comments on “Sleep Training

  1. We are still in the same boat. We just have that one nighttime bottle we can’t kick. And it is only 2oz. Our time is about 1am (or I would call ya and we could ignore our screaming kids!) I keep thinking I would just let her cry it out but she becomes hysterical and my brain knows I can get back to sleep as soon as she does. Sigh. I think it is all just habit. I wish I had an answer for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I remember you post on this very subject!
      I’m completely in agreement about letting him cry it out. We’ve actually tried it and he just keeps crying and crying and it just gets worse to the point where it sounds like he cannot breathe. So, it’s not really an option either of us can tolerate at that point.
      I’m thinking we’ll just keep doing this 3am wake up for another month and then try weening him of it again.

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      • Last night I tried again. Lord, help me. She fussed for an hour straight until I gave in. Then, to let me know she was annoyed, she woke up every hour after that, whining and fussing. Not full on screaming, just hitting that decibel that makes you cringe. Yea, I’m going to take a break too! Ugh!

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  2. Yuck! Could it be night terrors? Or is it the pacifier falling out? He definitely doesn’t need a night bottle for hunger reasons at his age but it’s probably habit at this point.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I too agree that he shouldn’t need that bottle for hunger at this point. It’s definitely not the pacifier falling out, he only uses (i.e. needs) it to fall asleep but once he’s asleep he doesn’t need it as he will go back to sleep at other times during the night without it. I really hope it’s not night terrors! That sounds just miserable for him and clearly nothing we can help him with.

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  3. Solidarity, sister. Chick has started to wake up in the middle of the night after being an excellent sleeper. I think it’s because he is teething, the poor dear.

    I’ve been pretty happy with The Happy Sleeper method, actually. It seems like a good in between from Cry It Out and Cuddle It Out. This only works, mind you, if you and Mr. MPB are on the same page. (cough, cough)

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  4. It never fails that the moment you get used to their routine, they change it up. 2/3 am is a challenging time for Charlotte, too. I wish I had advice, but my kid doesn’t sleep worth a damn, so I’m useless here.

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    • Yes! The worst part is we got used to him sleeping from 7:00 until 5:00 – somehow it seems harder now to get up at 3! I know, I know, I really shouldn’t even be complaining. Especially to you!

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  5. Sigh! I will be half as lucky if I get there! A wakes up every 4 hours even now(!!!) at 9 months. And G just started sleeping through the night(at 2.5!!!)

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  6. It could be anything from a developmental leap to teething to night terrors. And the kick in the pants part is when you do figure it out, he’ll have moved onto something else 😉. 930-3 is actually pretty amazing. I’m sure that’s not what you want to hear but for his age, I’d be happy with that. It’s definitely hard when you have to balance the career, mom and wife roles for sure. But none of it lasts for ever, even when you see no end in sight, there is one. It’s just not when you want it. At least he does seem calm down when you do cuddle him. That would be even harder if he was entirely inconsolable regardless of what you did. Have you dropped to 4 days a week working yet?

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    • I so hope he isn’t having night terrors – that just would be completely miserable (and scary) for a little baby!
      And yes, I know, he actually has a wonderful sleep duration. Especially since after his middle of the night wake up he always goes back to sleep until 6 or even 7am. I know we have it pretty good, but I would love for a consistant 12 hours. 🙂
      This week is still a bit crazy but I’m hoping by next week things will be a bit better.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Ugh! Luke’s been doing the same thing and I’ve chalked it up to his teeth but I struggle with knowing when do go in and when to give in. He often has a hard time settling during those hours too. I wish there was a solution or at least some consistency. I still can’t figure out why Luke sleeps through the night sometimes and wakes once or twice other nights. And it’s a struggle for me to fall back asleep too. Sometimes it is easier to just get up and go in. After these teeth come through I’m hoping we get some good nights sleep.

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    • my biggest fear is that Baby MPB has a whole heck of a lot more teeth to come through so does this mean we are up for another year of this?!!
      Last night it was so bad for me to fall back asleep that I just got up and worked (usually I just watch tv until I eventually fall back asleep). But last night I decided if I was stuck awake and I was stressed about work I might as well be productive with the time!
      If you figure out a solution to the wake-up, please let me know! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t think it’s his teeth. If it was, he wouldn’t self soothe the other times. Do you give him ibuprofen at night? Dose him at bed time and see if he wakes up at all (even if he self soothes) before the 3:00 screamfest. If he’s still waking and self soothing, I’d rule out teeth. If he doesn’t wake until 3:00 – then we trouble shoot from there! 😉

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  8. I have absolutely no advice for you here, but I hope that whatever is going on works itself out soon! Not just for your sanity and sleep, but for him as well. Hang in there!

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  9. I have the easy solution! Mr MPB can easily go back to sleep, so he can deal with it and let you rest!

    This is tough…. I remember him being my sisters baby’s age (7-8 months) and he may just be going through a growth spurt. Since he’s self soothing all other times, I have to think that this wake up has a reason. He’s not lonely. I think he may truly be hungry. Did you read Ferber’s chapter on dropping a feeding? That made sense to me, even though we didn’t need it.

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  10. Dumplin’ went through about a week of waking up screaming like this, and it turned out to be teething-related. So the next time we noticed it happening again, we proactively gave him Tylenol at bedtime and it made the difference. I hope Baby MPB settles back into his awesome sleep habits again soon.

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  11. We are dealing with the right now too (again. the first time was at about 10 months) Anyway, he is sleep trained and can wake up any other time and go back to sleep, but the 3-5 am wake up—nope! Our ped said it could be night terrors or separation anxiety. Either one makes me sad for the little guy!
    I have no idea, but we all need to sleep again!😫

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  12. How old is he? Could be the dreaded 8-10 month sleep regression? Sleep is developmental though, it just takes some time for babies to really learn how to self soothe. It won’t last forever. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  13. How old is he now? We had the same for a while when Nora was around 9/10 months and it sorted itself out after a few weeks of extremely early starts! She became a little terror at going to bed around that time too. I ended up putting her in bed with me at 3-4am so not sure I have any helpful advice!! It did end though and she went back to self soothing to go to sleep. Teeth also make her wake early or wake up crying in the night. I hope it gets better soon x

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  14. I hate sleep issues. It’s nearly impossible to figure out the why, let alone HOW you get them to sleep through again, or at least self soothe. My daughter hung on to her nursing to sleep association for a really long time. She would wake 4-6 times throughout the night, like we all do, but not be able to get back to sleep without nursing. We finally just had to stop offering. My husband took all night wakings. It was rough for the first few nights, but she quickly learned that I wasn’t coming, so she would settle back to sleep quickly for him. After a week, she wasn’t waking at all, except maybe one time a night, once or twice a week.

    But now she’s 2 years old, and starting to wake again every night, sometimes multiple times. Part of it may be teething – second molars in her case. But I can’t help compare her habits to my own. I often go through phases where I seem to wake up at the same time every night, unable to fall back asleep. Sometimes it’s stress, or diet, or whatever, but once I get in the habit, it’s hard to break. Same time, every night. Even before having a kid, I did this often. I think it’s the same concept, except for the littles, except they get scared or lonely, and need someone to comfort them. Which is what we have always done, after trying and failing with CIO. She still settles much faster when my husband responds to her. When it’s me, she demands snuggles, and cries harder when I try to put her back to bed, and it takes an hour for me vs 2 minutes for him.

    Bottom line: It’s hard to know for sure what’s going on, and you will probably drive yourself crazy trying to figure it out, and trying to solve it, but it’s just something that you have to do. I resisted cutting her off from nursing for too long, when in fact it that was exactly what she needed. It didn’t solve it permanently, but it sure did help. I wish I had done it sooner.

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  15. I dont know how many.months the baby is old, but im against the idea to let them cry till they fall asleep again. Babies, esp so young, cry for a reason and i prefer to soothe them because alone, they wouldnt know how to deal with a stressful situation, which could be a bad dream or any kind of uncomfortable feeling that occured. Even some studies were published on this topic.
    It is only a phase and will pass, just be patient and help him go through it.

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  16. Amora was doing this off/on for several weeks as well. She also goes to bed easily between 6:30-7:30 every night and usually self soothes back to sleep when she wakes. She then spent several weeks waking up around the same time and then happily chattering to her wub in bed for hours. Very frustrating, but a lot of people said it was a sleep regression and it HAS evened back out. She never had a regression before. Keep surviving momma. I bet he’ll be back to normal shortly.

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  17. I would try cutting the bottle first! Cuddle and rock but no bottle. We have been going through this on and off the last month, our LO is 10 months and has always been a great sleeper as well. I into ally was nursing when she would wake at night and our ped suggested not because we would start to create a habit! So I do get up but only rock and calm her down with no nursing! 😊 Hope it ends soon for both of us!!

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  18. I know others have already suggested it but my guess would be night terrors. If Mr. MPB has an easier time of getting back to sleep, I would put him on bottle and snuggle duty when it happens. When J is here, he takes the 2nd feeding of the night because like you, I have a hard time getting back to sleep, especially if I actually have to get up and out of bed for a change and feeding. I hope he’s able to settle down and grow out of this stage quickly. Sending you lots of love.

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