My son still doesn’t sleep well at night. He’s 4 months on Saturday and everything I’ve read on the subject says he should be sleeping at least six hours at a time by now. We celebrate when we get three.
I have tried everything. I have changed his reflux medicine. His mattress is on an incline. There is a humidifier. There is swaddling. There is white noise. There is darkness. There is frequent nursing.
I’m out of ideas.
He goes to bed around 7. We do our bedtime routine and I put him down in his bassinet, awake, and he puts himself to sleep. It’s just that he doesn’t stay asleep very long, and he can’t put himself back to sleep.
Maybe 5% of the time I can get him back to sleep with a re-swaddle and a pacifier, but 95% of the time I have to nurse him.
An important distinction: he does not “nurse to sleep”. He’s awake when I put him back down. It’s just that nursing is the only thing that relaxes him enough to get back to sleep.
I’m so torn on what to do next. His four month appointment is next week and I know the pediatrician will encourage me to do CIO or controlled crying.
I go back and forth on this. Do I think my son will suffer long-term damage from CIO? Most likely, no. Do I think I can be there, hearing him scream for his mommy, and just ignore him? Absolutely not.
Do I think that the parents who are super judgmental about CIO are probably getting more sleep than I am, not waking up 5x a night (as if with a newborn), while still needing to appear professional and coherent the next day? Yes.
Part of me thinks that he will figure it out on his own if I’m just patient enough. Part of me thinks that I am seriously going to have a mental breakdown soon and in order for us all to be happier during the day, we need to do something drastic.
Lately I have been doing a dream feeding between 9:30-10:30, and after that he may sleep till 12:30-1 ish. Then he is awake in another two hours. Once we hit 3am, all hell breaks loose. He always wakes up at 3, 4, and 5, and somewhere in there I always give up and bring him into bed with me. My alarm goes off at 6.
He’s still in his bassinet, because I can’t imagine having to actually walk into another room all of those times in the night. That’s another thing – do I need to get him used to the crib before we start serious sleep training? It seems heartless to plunk him down somewhere totally alien and then let him scream.
Everything inside me rejects the idea of CIO. But I also can’t keep functioning like this. And really, neither can he. He needs more rest than he’s getting.
I don’t know what my next step is.