Please read this book because it might help you. I am reading it at the moment and it has been very helpful. "The no-cry sleep solution" Good luck to you.
I have always been opposed to "cry it out" method for establishing sleep habits because I have such a hard time listening to my son cry. But, he is now 5 1/2 months old and not sleeping very well and I am now determined to break my habits to help him establish a better sleep schedule.
Here's some background info about my son and what we've been doing up until now. I am breastfeeding mom and pumping while away at work. He does receive formula once in awhile due to not enough breastmilk stored up. From about 10 weeks-16 weeks of age, he slept through the night, about 9-10 hours straight. But around 16 weeks old he got his first cold and his sleep patterns went out the window. Since then I think he has only slept through the night about 2 times. Otherwise, the longest stretch is about 5-6 hours, but that seems to be rare these days. I am almost positive he is teething and has been for about the past 1 1/2 months, but no tooth yet. Lately he has been waking up several times throughout the night. I have been trying not to nurse him when he wakes because I know he does not need to eat throughout the night, but sometimes that is the only thing that calms him (yet, another bad habit). He sleeps in his crib at night, but he will only sleep about 30 minutes in his crib for naps. Otherwise his naps have been in my or husband's arms, in a stroller or carseat.
I know that I should not have done many of the things I have been doing, including: nursing him to sleep, letting him fall asleep in my arms, holding him while he naps, picking him up after his first cry, but I am a first time mom and doing what seems right at the moment. My husband and I have tried letting him cry it out, but he cries hysterically and we see no chance of him calming himself down. (I should note that sometimes we'll pick him up and he'll let out a huge burp which makes me think part of the reason he's crying is because his belly hurts) We have let him cry for about 45 minutes straight before giving in. Upon picking him up, he instantly calms down and falls asleep in my arms. As much as I love this bonding, I know that realistically I can't continue like this and I want him to develop healthy sleep habits. Is it too late??
I am interested in help from those of you who have been in my situation and have successfully broken habits. Okay, I know I have included a lot of information so hopefully it all makes sense. Please help!!!
Please read this book because it might help you. I am reading it at the moment and it has been very helpful. "The no-cry sleep solution" Good luck to you.
I agree...letting a child "cry it out" is so silly and does not make sense during a child's attachment phase. You may want to read the NO Cry Sleep Solution. You haven't done anything "wrong" because what is the right way? Look at women in other countries and those in tribal communities...they breastfeed their babies all the time when needed. They do not put their children down for the first few months of life...literally. Their kids turn out just fine.From everything you wrote...I see nothing wrong with what you are doing and you are doing what comes natural to a mother. You may hear a lot of people say that kids need to cry it out...this is a new phenomenom in this century. You can also read "The Happiest Baby on the Block." That book is more about colic but it also has some good stuff in there. Remember that scientifically - sleeping through the night is considered five hours of consistent sleep. I have a nine month old who sleeps for only 6 hours at a shot...while very frustrating...VERY FRUSTRATING...this is something that we are going to get through. My 2 year old slept through the night at 4 weeks so this is a shock to me. We have this idea of what is typical and what babies "should" do. Every child is different. It sounds to me like you are a good mom. Hang in there!
I recently heard Harvey Karp, MD speak. he is the author of The Happiest Baby On the Block and he has some good suggestions for helping with this issue. He was fabulous! I suggest you read his book and DVD - I bet your library has it in stock.
First off, ask yourself if you're really unhappy with his sleep habits, or if it's quite ok with you. We slept with our first son in our bed until he was 3 1/2 because that's where we could all get sleep...and we were actually told by my doctor (I was pregnant) to GET THAT BOY out of the bed...but it worked for us, so we left it as it was. If you're ok with his sleep, then it's working.
If you're not...my boys have been horrible sleepers--up multiple times a night, for years. I quit night-nursing last, not first. My oldest didn't sleep through the night until 3 1/2, and we're still working on #2! But...what we learned from #1--he has a very hard time relaxing himself to sleep. He only started sleeping through the night at 3 1/2 because we asked him to--he was old enough to wake up and think, "Do I really need mom and dad? Or do I need to go back to sleep?" Our baby will cry and cry and rile himself up horribly--there is no crying it out. We always snuggle him and cuddle him to sleep, praying he'll stay asleep for 2 hours! We've learned to "wean" him from this very, very slowly. For example: he still snuggles with us, but gets a bottle of water, not nursing, at night...then he snuggles with daddy on the couch, not in our bed. Then he goes down in his crib when he wakes up the first time...then he sleeps in his crib more and more...like I said, it took us 3 1/2 years to figure it out with #1, and it was hard, because it boiled down to him really not knowing how to self-soothe. Books assume children will learn it themselves, but we had to actively teach it to our oldest--once he was old enough to understand. Sometimes we're grateful for our snuggly children, and sometimes it drives us nuts...but it's the way it is, for us, and we still love our children and they're very happy!
Honey, I think you're being too hard on yourself. Everyone's child is different. What works for some won't work for all. Follow your heart and your gut. You know your baby and you have to do what you think is best. Trust yourself.
It does sound like your baby is working on teeth. We're going through this right now with our second baby (who was sleeping well and now is not) and we have discovered that a dose of tylenol before bed the last two nights have really helped him feel more comfortable and sleep through the night. I will also nurse him at night during this difficult phase to help comfort him, since he's clearly in pain. We'll worry about patterns later.
Take all of our advice and all of the books with a grain of salt. Know that you know your baby and your family best.
Very best wishes to you! Hope you get some sleep. Sleep-deprivation makes everything seem harder.
The fact is that you can realistically continue doing things this way. You say that you have been doing so many things with your baby "wrong", yet you continue to do them...the reason why you continue to do them is because you are a mother who is listening to her instincts. We have our instincts for a reason: survival. The 'cry it out' method is not conducive to survival for an infant and for us mothers it feels like torture to hear our babies screaming (because it is actually torture, in my opinion). The only things I think need changing in your life is for the people around you to work on making you feel better about the wonderful parenting you have been doing thus far, along with the encouragement to continue on the right path. I will not be encouraging you today or any other day to put your son in his crib and make him cry it out because that is not going to strengthen your bond with him and it will not help him in the long run. I would however like to suggest that if you are not already, try cosleeping with your baby. He will move into a 'big boy bed' with no problems by the time he is big enough for it, and you will both get better sleep in the meantime Good luck!
I don' know if this will help but here' what I think.
Pick him up. Nurse him. Comfort him.
If a baby is crying there's a reason. I did (and still do) those same things with our son who now turned 1. When he cried, I would pick him up and nurse him to comfort him. For the first 8 months of his life he napped either in my arms or on our couch in the living room. At night, he would sleep in our bed so he would feel more calm. He now sleeps in his crib for the most part, however, when he wakes up at night I pull him into bed with us and nurse him back to sleep. Then I place him back in his crib. He does nap extremely well in his crib now and has for a few months already.
By letting him "cry it out" you are sending him signals that scare him and make him feel unsafe. If your heart is telling you to pick him up, then do it. If he wants to nurse, then do it. You are building a lifelong connection during these early years.
Our son is a very well adjusted boy. He goes to church nursery and plays with others fine. He is not spoiled and seems to be better adjusted to dealing with things that come his way than others his age. He can play wonderfully by himself or with others (except his sister.... LOL)
Hope this helps.
The same thing happened to me, and it was all due to teething. He wanted to nurse practically all night, because it felt good on his gums. I let him and was worried he was going into old habits, but his sleep pattern returned to normal once the teeth were through.
Hi A. - Thanks for having the courage to reach out and ask your question/share your concern. I have been in some of the same questions that you have around sleeping and there are a couple things that I want to share about what I've learned or how I've come to peace with how my kids sleep. I have two boys - one is 18 months old and one is 3 1/2.
The first is that there is no such thing as a good or bad sleeping habit. My kids sleep changes and fluxs all the time! Just when I think that they are getting a certain routine in place, it changes. Sometimes it changes because of teething (which can go on for months!!!), or colds or they are too tired, or they had an experience during the day that left their little bodies in unrest or they just need to be with another warm body. It's like this in other domains of their lives too - eating, mood, developmental, emotional etc.
I tried with my first son to let him cry it out too even though I was against it. What I found was that it was horrible for me, horrible for him and left us both a mess. What I realized is that a child that young only has one way to communicate that's really effective and that is crying. They do it because they need something and they are trying to tell us that they need something. It's our role to work with them to figure out what it is that they need. Our nervous system as women is biologically geared to get rattled when our baby cries so it's no wonder that it's so difficult - we are drawn at a very basic level to respond to our young. So I decided that if he needed something, it was my role to attend to him.
Another thing that I realized is that "this too shall pass". While enduring the frustration of it all, at some point it changes and will fade into a distant memory. Whatever he needs, he needs now. If the need is not fulfilled, he's going to keep yearning for it until it IS fulfilled. Once filled, he'll developmentally move into the next phase.
Another thing that I learned is that sleep is sometimes a way for people to check-out, go numb, disappear. Isn't it great that he's asking for what he needs to clearly???
When I stepped into being a mother, I decided to co-sleep with my kids. I saw that a baby starts out inside a mama's belly - as close as they possibily could be to another human being. For me and my kids, it's been great. They both love to snuggle with me and I think that their little bodies yearn for closeness to another human. Do you like to snuggle with your husband? Feel the closeness & warmth of his body next to yours? Smell his smell and hear his heart pounding in his chest? I do and I believe that my children feel the same way about being close to us.
Maybe it's just enough that you are doing what you are doing? Maybe ease up on yourself and your expectations of your 5 1/2 month old? You are doing it!! You are exploring different possibilites and responding to what he needs!
And by the way, I think that on average, babies at that age who breastfeed and are sleeping 5-6 hours straight is actually longer than most! My kids only did about 2-3 hours at any given time and I'm breastfeeding too.
I hope that you find peace around this issue and would be open to having a longer conversation with you about what I've said here. Good Luck!
We used the Good Night Sleep Tight book by Kim West. It is a no cry solution. It worked great for our two kids. He just has some sleep crutches that you need to break. I suggest getting that book or the other one that was mentioned. Once you read through the book and start doing a schedule I think you will be surprised at how fast things turn around. Our son is 4 1/2 months and he sleeps 7-7 at night. The book is amazing.
My daughter did almost the exact same thing, and while she is now 3 and not the best sleeper in the world, I found a few ways that helped her sleep thourgh the night. I think part of her problem was that sh ecouldn't sleep well flat, I don't knwo why, but if I put her in he bouncer seat she would sleep better, so I put a wedge under the matress of her crib to put her at an incline, which, cause her to slide, but also helped. I also found that those light and sound aquariums work well too, it distracts the baby and can be calming, some even have remotes so you can turn it on without hime seeing you. Some kids just don't sleep well, I wish you luck and hope that you find somehting that works.
ok first of all, stop feeling so guilty for the things you are doing. there is nothing wrong with responding to your baby when he cries, there is nothing wrong with nursing him to sleep, there is nothing wrong with holding your baby and rocking him to sleep. i really want to encourage you to know that you are doing EXACTLY what your instincts are telling you to do. if you dont listen to your instincts, you will only be hurting your relationship with your son!
dr william sears is a doctor who not only teaches, but practiced attachment parenting. this was THE ONLY HOPE i held onto when my son was a baby, it was THE ONLY place that i could get information, advice and support for the way i was raising my son. NO ONE I KNEW was as responsive, attached emotionally and physically, and NO ONE encouraged the strong feelings that i had to care for my son. they ALL told me i had to schedule him, ignore him when he cried, train him train him train him.
WE TRAIN DOGS AND OTHER ANIMALS - WE DONT TRAIN CHILDREN we teach them, we guide them, we raise them, we dont train them. train is a horribly detached word to use for someone who came from God, grew inside of moms womb, the safest most comfortable place on the planet... only to be thrust into a cold, lonely world! the best thing we can do for our babies is to be responsive!! that aching in your heart when a baby cries (and yes, though stronger with your own baby, it does work with other babies too...) is the voice that you need to listen to. not the doctor, not the nurses, not the wic office, not your friend down the street, not your parents. no one is as emotionally, physically and intuitivly attached to your baby than you are. you (and babys father) are the most important people in your life, and NO ONE has permission to make you feel like what you choose to do is wrong. everyone should be listening to themselves not the advice around them, unless the advice makes them comfortable.
you obviously are NOT comfortable with any crying-it-out. after all, what is IT and why cry it OUT? where is OUT? what does that mean? what it means to baby is that hes alone, and no one cares to respond. yes, people tell you he will eventually stop crying. but baby only stops crying because they figure out that crying gets them nowhere but exhausted. they shut down emotionally. if you know a baby who has cried it out, they cry very unenthusiastically, like they have essentially given up on expelling the energy to no one who cares. ive seen it, i have a child care in my home. its terribly painful to have a child who just moans and whines.
my son was 15 months old before he started to sleep through the night consitently. until then he was sleeping in bed with me and daddy, nursing sometimes at night still, and even would normally sleep in his crib in our room until 4 or 5 in the morning, then he would want to be with us again. it was tiring, and frustrating sometimes because of the kicking and squirming (more so for daddy than for me) but now when we put him down for nap and bed, he doesnt get up, he doesnt cry, he just goes right to sleep. if he doesnt go right to sleep, sometimes he will look at a book (we leave him a couple to keep him company) or he will just snuggle with his bear and his pillow and blanket, then go to sleep peacefully. theres NEVER been any crying it out, theres NEVER been any screaming nights, theres NEVER been any crawling out of the crib. hes 21 months old now, and he has NEVER tried to get out of the crib. he wakes up and kinda goes "eeaah!" and waits patiently for us to come get him. hes a fabulous, confident sleeper.
you are doing the right things with your son. you are doing what he needs you to do! dont stop! :D it may be exhausting, and you may constantly feel the need to defend yourself, like you are always under attack by "baby trainers". just remember, this time will pass, and its how YOU deal with it that matters. not what anyone else THINKS you should do, but what you KNOW you should do. every mother has an instinct. the more you follow it, the easier it is to be connected with your son. as he gets older, you will continue to instinctivly know what it is that your son needs. its amazing, and beautiful, and i make other mothers jealous now because my son is so confident, so happy, so peaceful, and their kids are very hard to deal with. :D it really makes a positive difference.
check out www.askdrsears.com and maybe even pick up a couple of his books. you, like me, might just sit and cry because he gives you permission to go against the grain of "baby trainers" and do whats in your heart. :D best feeling in the world to have someone, somewhere who supports you!!
as far as the sleeping thing, have patience. like i said, my son didnt sleep through untin 15 months. between then and 17 months, he did still wake up around 5, and he would come in bed with us and go right back to sleep. teething is an issue, and with young babies, also is learning to crawl, stand up, walk... those sorts of things will interrupt sleep too for whatever reason. just have patience, and love, and confidence that you are mom, you make the decisions. you dont have to make baby sleep through. yes, you are tired, yes you are exhausted, but it does eventually end. my son sleeps until 730 most mornings. goes to bed at around 8ish without fighting or fuss. and i KNOW its because of how responsive i was when he was younger. so just have patience and confidence that this is the way to go! :D you are being and awesome mom, keep it up!!!
also, if you get a moby wrap, they are fantastic, and comfortable, and will help baby sleep! :D
anyway, good luck, and keep up the confident attachment parenting! :D
ps, feeding solids before sleeping will most likely NOT help baby sleep, and may actually interrupt sleep. digestion keeps you awake. so dont worry about shoving baby full of solids before bed. it wont work anyway. but you can start them during the day ONLY IF YOU WANT AND IF BABY IS READY. some babies dont eat solids until a year old so there is no hurry. its not even nutritionally necessary until after a year. so anwyay. ps.
Hi A., I have twin sons (3 yrs old now). I had the same problems at night with one of them. He would wake at all hours of the night. Sometimes every hour. It seemed as though everytime I would pick him up he let out a large belch or spit up on me. One day I put him on his tummy in the crib and rubbed his back for a few minutes. He fell right to sleep. I continued to do this for about a week until I checked with my dr. Of course its not the norm to put your child to sleep on their little tummys but It sure did help with everyone in the house getting sleep at night (including the other 3 kids and myself.) My dr. said, you have to do whatever works for your child and your sanity. Anyway, he continues to sleep on his tummy to this day with no problems.
I don't know if I have any advice about how to break any of the habits you've developed, but I do believe it is possible. I have two girls and have had to do the cry it out method with both of them - something I thought I would never do! In both cases we reached a point where everything else we were doing didn't work anymore and all of us were exhausted. I had to figure out what my comfort level was with each step - how long I would let them cry, what I was willing to continue to do, what still worked when I did it, etc. Both my girls were different and my limits and comfort level was different for each, but eventually we were able to break our bad habits and get into a routine of sleeping through the night and regular naps. Often when they get sick or we travel or there is a developmental step (recently my youngest learned to pull herself up and would get stuck that way in her crib, so we'd have to go back in and lay her back down) we experience a little set back and have to reestablish the routine in some ways. It is not too late. I know you can create a sleep schedule you are happier with. As far as how to do it, I read No Cry Sleep Solution and Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child and tried the things that sounded good to me and left the rest. One of the books says sleep begets sleep and I really do believe that. The more we worked on it, the more sleep my kids got, the more they would sleep. Good luck!!!
well I agree that it can't keep going on but you have to remember you trained him to be the way he is. I wouldn't let him cry for that long. You should probably ask your doctor what they think. My first had a hard time sleeping but I think it was because she wasn't getting enough to eat, have you started him on solids? Also, teething could be a big factor he might just be miserable . they have things you can rub on their gums but you would want to make sure that that's the reason first. My second didn't sleep because she had allergies and acid reflux. She had to sleep in her chair sitting up. It could be so many things but if it's just because he has been spoiled too long then the only way he will learn is if you do let him cry it out but I believe in going in and calming them down every 10 minutes. he is still a little young to understand words of why you are doing it but talk to him in a soothing voice don't pick him up calm him and tell him it's time to go to bed. having a routine helps baths story bedtime and if you do that he knows what is coming and eventually he'll give in and be fine but you have to stick with it and make sure that he isn't in pain for some other reason good luck i spoiled my first majorly, she even slept in our bed until she was two and we struggled for at least a year trying to get her to stay in her own bed so you learn with the first and that's okay but we definitely did it different with our second. I have to say it wasn't easy i even made my husband do it because i was too emotional about the whole thing so you aren't the first mom to have this problem but I would make sure he is okay medically because you don't want to be upset with him when really he is in pain and can't help it but leaving them in there for that long isn't good for their emotional well being and it might make the problem worse. good luck
I recommend The Baby Sleep Solution book. My 4 month old son is sleeping 11 hours a night and takes two 2-hour naps during the day...always in his crib (at home, daycare or grandparents), always with us/caregivers just putting him down awake & walking away. It took about 3 to 5 'tough' days of working with him on the schedule, but babies can learn to self-sooth & comfort themselves. He was cat-napping anywhere but his crib during the day and waking up once or twice at night, being swaddled & using his pacifier before we read & followed this book. As other posters have said, you need to do what you feel is right, this is just what has worked for us. Good luck.
I went through the exact same thing and broke it without actually having to let my son(now almost three) cry it out. He was maybe a month or two older than your son is now when I finally got him to sleep in his own bed, through the night, but I still don't regret going to him in the middle of the night when he would cry and I don't think you should either. The things that I did was give him a bottle with a small amount of water in it instead of actually feeding him. DO NOT FEED HIM. every couple of nights reduce the amount of water in the bottle until it's gone. Also, don't be afraid to sit in a chair in his room... when I started this one I woud just sit next to him and play with his hair until he fell asleep, every couple of nights move a little farther away until you are no longer having to touchhim for his to fal asleep. After that my next step was to leave the room when he was so tired he couldn't barely hold his eyes open. Keep leaving a little earlier each night. This sounds like a rigorous process but really the whole thing didn't last longer than a couple of weeks and he didn't have to cry it out. Don't get me wrong there were a couple of tears when I wouldn't pick him up in the middle of the night but the fact that I was still touching him comforted him. Another big thing to remember is consistency, if you start to do something like this you can't give in to his cries even once or the whole thing is shot!! Good luck!
First of all, don't be so hard on yourself. I'm a first-time mom, too, and I've broken lots of "mommy rules." As my mom told me, "trust your gut - you know your baby best." That was the best advice I've ever gotten.
I had a really hard time getting my daughter to sleep through the night... but we got through it and you will too. It's tough, but eventually you figure out what's right for your baby - and you! This is the approach I took... hopefully it helps.
My daughter is almost 7 months old and didn't sleep through the night until she was almost 6 months old. I hit my breaking point at 5 months - I was just so tired and started to feel like it was affecting my life in all areas - as a wife, mommy and even co-worker. So I started with the Ferber method (letting her cry for 5 min, then 10, then 15, going in at each interval to console her) and did that for about a month. It didn't work for us - Maura would just get even more upset when I went into the room and then put her back down after she had been consoled.
I came to realize that my daughter was cursed with my sleep habits - she's a very light sleeper, and once she's woken up it's hard for her to go back down. So I put myself in her shoes and decided to try all the things that help me fall (and stay) asleep. The first thing I did was buy a fan for her room so she had white noise to drown out outside noises. I also started a sleep routine to help her wind down and get into "sleep mode" before I put her in her crib. I get her in her jammies, I read a couple of books to her, nurse her, and sing a couple songs before putting her down for the night.
These things helped a lot (the fan especially)... but I still had to let her cry it out for a few nights. After the third night, she was down to crying for only a few minutes before falling asleep. She just needed time to figure out how to soothe herself to sleep. Now, I can even lay her in her crib for naps and she doesn't make a peep - it's almost like she's relieved to have some quiet time and if she doesn't fall asleep right away, she hangs out, babbles to herself and plays with her crib toys. Letting her cry was one of the hardest things I've ever done, but I'm so happy I did it. We all sleep so much better and I know in my heart Maura is well-adjusted and trusts that mommy and daddy are still there to protect her - even if we're not in the room with her. Plus, I'm getting more sleep, which I know makes me a better mom in the long-run.
So that's my two cents... good luck and you will get through this - no matter what method you choose!
You have alot of info already but I just wanted to put a quick note in here that my two children were very different from each other. My daughter we let cry it out, because it only took 10-15 minutes before she would sleep and even that magically only lasted a few weeks. My son, on the other hand cried alot like it sounds like your son does. I too ended up giving in. I don't have a ton of advice but I need to tell you that you know more than you think. I would really recommend doing what feels right for all of you. I finally went to just rocking/singing and can now just put him down for the night and he sleeps through- unless teething. Please trust that you're better at this than you think and it may help just to talk with DH about this and come up with a plan together.
is he on solid foods yet??if not try giving him some rice cereal before bed...had the same problem with my daughter-turned out-she was just hungry...babies burn alot of energy-as my mom put it...can you sleep when your hungry??after i started her on the rice cereal-1/2 bottle formula-she slept 12 straight hours...good luck...
Your son needs to be awake when you put him in his crib--no more falling asleep in your arms, the stroller, etc. He should be relaxed, but not asleep. He needs to figure out how to self-soothe. The first few days will be rough, but you will be surprised how fast it happens.
If he nods off while you are feeding him, stroke his cheek to keep him awake. His nodding off is your signal to stop nursing him and put him to bed.
Your son may very well need to eat in the middle of the night, especially if you are nursing him before bed. Babies tend to eat more during growth spurts, too. The Nipple Nazis who read this paragraph will freak, but before bed, I would suggest breastfeeding him first, and then offering him a bottle. He may not be getting enough while nursing to fill him up for the night. Also, have you considered giving him food yet? People have different opinions on whether or not baby cereal fills a baby up, but ask your mom--or better yet, your grandma--and they'll tell you to give him cereal before bed.
I am a believer in "crying it out". (I used it with my son (now 8 months old) and bedtime is drama-free.) However, I think 45 minutes is too long for a baby of any age to be crying *continuously*. I would recommend letting him cry for 10 minutes--actually watch the clock; don't guess at the time. Then go in there and comfort him. Don't turn on the lights, don't pick him up, just rub his back, talk to him for a minute, and leave. Then let him cry for another 10 minutes; repeat as needed. The big thing is not turn on a bunch of lights or move him--unless of course he needs his diaper changed or to eat. He needs to realize that bedtime is bedtime, and the place to fall asleep is his crib.
In the end, A., you and your husband have to pick a sleep routine that you are both comfortable with. The key is for you both to be consistent with it.
We struggled with the same exact thing until our son was about nine months. He rarely napped, never slept through the night (up 2-3 times) until we finally could not tolerate being so sleep deprived. It was wearing us all down. I had to stop nursing him in the middle of the night and we had him cry it out a few nights (the most painful thing I have ever gone through) until he learned to self soothe, etc. It didn't take long at all and he has been sleeping through the night ever since (except for obvious things like illness, tooth pain, etc). You might wait a few more months though... I think a lot of the reading I did (and intuition) said to wait until he was at least 6 or 7 months... Good luck. I feel your pain.
Your son's vestibular system may have become blocked and disorganized when he had the cold. He falls asleep right away when you hold him; so he is using your presence and physiology to give him a secure sense of self (physically). At 6 months his proprioceptive system is immature. Children with weak/immature vestibular and proprioceptive systems often have problems falling asleep. (other issues later like anxiety also). Craniosacral therapy and developmental movement therapy can help organize and mature these systems. C. Burns
Your son is still young enough that you should be able to break some of these habits fairly quickly. I would recommmend reading some sleep books- we used the Ferber books. We did have to let our son cry it out- he may go as long as 2 hours. If you are concerned about how he is doing, just peek in on him briefly, and increase your time in between checking in on him. It won't be easy, but it should work. Once your son realizes he won't be fed or picked up, he will know that crying will not get him anywhere. With successive nights, it will be less and less until he sleeps all night. Hope that helps!
Sounds a lot like my son was. Turns out he is lactose intolerant. Try cutting all dairy from your own diet for three weeks, and see if that makes a difference. (It takes 2 weeks or so for all traces of dairy to leave the body). I breastfed exclusively but couldn't bring myself to completely cut out dairy. My son only got relief after we switched to soy and rice milk. It's worth a try- I wish I had done it MUCH MUCH earlier. We are ALL way happier now.
I know that it looks like "sleeping habits" A., but it may be bigger than this. Take him to a chiropractor for some infant adjustments. An infant cold can throw out a baby's neck or back from coughing, sneezing or even just excessive crying.
You may be surprised to find how helpful your local chiropractor can be.
Be patient...he'll go back to sleeping throught the night soon. Your story sounds very identical to mine and just when I lost hope of him ever sleeping through the night again, he did. They go through this when they are sick or teething, I guess. Try giving him some baby tylenol before bed...it could help a little. Good luck!
A., my husband and I were desperate for better sleep when our twins were 6 months old. Our pediatrician recommended the 'tough love' aka: CIO method but their hysterical and longing cries pulled on my hearstrings too much. After seeking a lot of advise on what to do and deciding on a method that was right for us - we finally found something, actually 2 items that really worked for us! :-) We used the 'Baby Einstein Baby Neptune Soothing Seascapes'. It's a turtle that attaches to the crib rail and offers music and a light show and then we used a 'Fisher Price Select a Show Soother'. It's in the shape of a star, has a handle and has multiple light/music and time settings. We used the light show that projects on the ceiling - we simply placed it on the floor between the 2 cribs. Again, both products were a life saver for us! Even now that our twins are 18 months old, we still use the Fisher Price item when we are going for an overnight to an unfamiliar location. GOOD LUCK! It will get better!
I did not have a lot of time and so did not read through your entire posting or others, but I can easily say I understand where you are at. My son (now almost 2 yrs. old) did the exact same thing at around 6mo.
The best thing my husband did was FORCE me to use the CIO method. We didn't at first, but after 2 months of things not getting any better I gave in. In the beginning my son would cry for up to an hour (sometimes 1 1/2), but with consistancy this dropped quickly to 15 mins or so. And yes, I sat in my room and cried right along with him.
However, by a year old he was GREAT at going to bed and now we almost never have any trouble and if we do he cries for 1-2 mins.
Although hard, I do recommend CIO.