Because she felt so unwell for the last 5 months, we cuddled her to sleep...
My baby is 8 months old, and was diagnosed with retinoblastoma at 11 weeks old, and has had chemotherapy 6 times since then. She has now ceased treatment, but because she felt so unwell for the last 5 months, we cuddled her to sleep all the time, and occasionally put her in our bed when we gave up trying to resettle her at 3 or 4am. Now she only sleeps for 20 minutes (with 10 mins settling) 3 times during the day, and wakes up every hour at night. I have tried wrapping, a sleeping bag, raising her slightly on a pillow, putting her down and patting her (worked once, the next two times she screamed her head off for not picking her up). I can`t put her down unless she is completely dead asleep, and the night waking is slowing sending us insane. Please help!
I can`t even begin to imagine the stress you must have endured and you would have had no option other than to completely comfort your daughter through this time. I couldn`t even bring myself to tell you to teach her to sleep independently now by following our settling program, because I know I couldn`t do it. I can only confirm that what is happening is she totally relies on your comfort to sleep now. It won`t be so much about wrapping or not wrapping raising her up or down it is simply because she falls asleep with you and wakes in another place and can`t return to sleep without you. Changing these sleeping habits is never easy and will always involve protest and upset from a baby. Right now she may also be experiencing 8 months separation anxiety which won`t be helping. Perhaps try soothing her constantly in her cot to get her to fall asleep there but don`t make a battle out of it.
Best of luck to you and the family.
15 Jun 2009