Falling Asleep Without Aid (Night-Time)

Vee, who is turning one-year old soon, has been a high-needs baby who needs help falling asleep. We have tried a variety of ways to help him sleep:

  • carrying and bouncing (on the side of the bed till most of the springs have malformed)
  • carrying and walking round the room with a bounce (very tiring on my arms; Daddy is better at this)
  • rocking in his Fisher-Price rocker (reviewed here, worked for a few months)
  • bouncing in his Amby Baby Motion Bed (reviewed here, worked until he weaned himself off the swaddle at 6.5 months. He decided on this: No swaddle = No Amby Baby)
  • nursing (only when he is very tired or insistent on this because it is a very tough sleep association to break and I must be around)
  • pacifier (only for a short while in the early months, useful to let him sleep in the car-seat since no one can nurse or bounce him. Then he decided one day that he does not want the pacifier anymore.)

At the end of his sleep routine (wipe clean, change diaper, breastfeed, story and songs, white noise, goodnight kiss), he would realise that it is bed-time and climb all over me, whining for help. He absolutely refuses to lie still and be patted to sleep. If no one helps him, his whines would quickly turn into hysterical cries. Since I am practising The No-Cry Sleep Solution (reviewed here), I would assist him when I know that he really needs help.

Recently, Vee has been learning things with ease, so I improvised an idea from the book and introduced a new part to the routine. These few nights, we would kiss his Sleep Bear (reviewed here) ‘Good-night’ and pretend to pat it to sleep.

Then we FINALLY see some hope over the past two nights:

Two Nights Ago: At the end of the routine, he insisted on nursing (again, even though he had nursed within the past half an hour). Since it was late, I granted his request and thought he would fall asleep while nursing. Instead, he did not — after nursing at both sides, he sat up, clapped his hands a few times, thumped his head on my body, sat up again after a few seconds, clapped his hands, thumped his head on my shoulder for a few seconds. He probably repeated the cycle a hundred times when suddenly, he thumped his head on my shoulder and did not sit up again. Oh my… he fell asleep by himself for the FIRST TIME. I grinned.

Last Night: At the end of the routine, he wanted to nurse (again!) He was very drowsy when nursing the second side and unlatched (perhaps by his mistake). I quickly took advantage of the situation, and covered myself up. He climbed onto me while I pretended to be asleep; he rolled a few times and whined pathetically until he let out a long cry. When I was considering whether to nurse him again, he suddenly thumped his entire 10+kg body on my chest and fell asleep. Oh my… I wanted to grin but felt breathless.

Thank you, Sleep Bear! 🙂

How does your little one fall asleep at night?

Win a copy of The No-Cry Sleep Solution at Giveaway #2 here.

2 thoughts on “Falling Asleep Without Aid (Night-Time)”

  1. Dear Mie Vee,

    I’m so glad to come across your website as our boys shared quite a number of similarities. (My DS is 19 months too!) It is a joy to read about Vee’s growing up journey and what you have been doing for him all these months.

    I wished I’ve chanced upon your blog earlier though… I always suspect my DS is a high need baby as he constantly need to be breastfed and sleeps POORLY. I have to breastfeed him every one and a half hour and he never sleeps for long duration(ie more than 3 hours). Even up til now (@19 months), he still wakes up 4-6 times every night. He has a record of waking up 20 times just to suckle. His night time sleep patterns is very erratic but for day time, he is a baby who sticks closely to feeding and sleeping routines.

    Actually, I know it is a super bad habit to breastfeed him to sleep but it is the only method he is comfortable with. If I have a choice, I wouldn’t have let him use me as a human pacifier as I know the habit will be hard to break. However, we’ve used human rocker, mechanical rocker, sleep routines-warm bath, milk, music, lullaby, singing, story time etc, none yield good results as my DS will usually wake himself up within a short time. I’m even guilty of using the cry it out method as my hubby advised me to do so to save my sanity and my exhausted body ( no proper sleep for more than a year ).

    How is Vee’s night sleeping pattern now? Hope he is sleeping through every night =)

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