help with 6 month old's sleep

(16 Posts)
nervy555 Thu 02-Jan-14 07:16:04

Hi, apologies for the length of this post- but I'm hoping someone will have had a similar experience amd can offer some advice or reassurance.

My ds (first and only) had a very difficult birth- I was really poorly for a good month after he was born. He slept fitfully in his moses basket for six weeks at night and in the day slept on me or in a carry cot but never for very long in the carry cot.

At around 7 weeks old he started to scream as soon as we tried to put him on his back- it took about three weeks for us to get silent redlux diagnosed and baby gaviscon prescribed. In that time the only way we got any sleep was with me sat up in bed and ds laid on my chest (on top of the covers-please don't judge).

The gaviscon worked and we were able to start putting ds down in moses basket at night- but as a big baby- we found he had outgrown the basket and woke himself every 10-20minutes when his arms hit the side. We hadn't seen this coming and didn't have a cot for him. So it was only when he was about four months that we finally got round to buying a cot.

We put it in our room to start with but he would still only sleep in it for up to 40 minutes before screaming. I'm ashamed to say I gave up and the middle of our enormous bed has become his bed.

We have progressed from the early days of holding ds for every sleep and he now falls asleep by himself sometimes in the pushchair or his cot (now in his room) during the day. Last night I decided to move his bath story cuddle sleep bedtime routine into his bedroom- my aim being to slowly increase the time he sleeps in his cot at night (starting point being 0).

He fell asleep in the cot at 7ish after picking up and putting down sleepy a few times. Between 7 and 10 he woke up and screamed in apparant terror about 3/4 times- each time he calmed as soon as I picked him up and settled reasonably quickly-in a few minutes.

I gave up though at his dream feed at 10 though and took him up to our bed where he woke at 1am 4am and 6am- a fairly average night.

So this morning I feel like a failure and don't understand how any sleep deprived parent manages to change their baby's sleep pattern. How do you do it? How do you stay awake?

I'd welcome any advice or thoughts- mumsnet was so helpful during my pregnancy. Thanks in advance!

IsThatTrue Thu 02-Jan-14 07:30:39

If he's happy in your bed, and you don't mind, you can co-sleep. It doesn't make you a bad parent. (Says she who has 13 mo ds2 in bed next to her).

If you're unhappy with the situation obviously there's nothing wrong with changing it either. I think it's just consistency that brings results. With dd and ds1 I would never have co slept and I remember the all consuming tiredness when they'd had a bad night. Whereas with ds2 I have to function through the day (dcs at school and I work from home) so getting enough sleep is vital. I would say ds2 now only spends about 25% of his time in our bed.

What my rambling is meant to be illustrating is do what's right for you with regards to sleep, don't think there is a 'right' way.

TheGreatHunt Thu 02-Jan-14 07:35:36

If he has silent reflyx then gaviscon is not enough IMO. Both of mine had it and we needed better medication (ranitidine).

Is he bottle fed? You also need to rule out intolerance to cows milk which could be the source of his reflux.

Write down his sleep patterns and go back to the GP about this. Ask for better medication and discuss hydrolysed formula.

If yhe reflux isn't fixed his sleep won't improve much. You also need to be careful when weaning into solids.

nervy555 Thu 02-Jan-14 07:36:40

Thank you isthattrue. I do want him to sleep in his own room but at the same time I believe in doing what a baby needs and I will listen to him if he really can't be happy in his own room.

Good to be reminded that nothing is 'wrong'though so thank you :-)

nervy555 Thu 02-Jan-14 07:36:58

Thank you isthattrue. I do want him to sleep in his own room but at the same time I believe in doing what a baby needs and I will listen to him if he really can't be happy in his own room.

Good to be reminded that nothing is 'wrong'though so thank you :-)

onwardsandsidewards Thu 02-Jan-14 07:38:57

We didn't change it, just co-slept and I went to bed very early every night so I got enough sleep over all. What do you want to do? How do you want it to be? I was happy to lie around day-dreaming/ relaxing next to mine but it's not for everyone. By the time I had DS2 at least I had a smart phone which helped.

onwardsandsidewards Thu 02-Jan-14 07:40:58

xpost, be consistent and responsive would be my advice, the No Cry Sleep Solution might help. Nothing we tried ever worked so I just stopped trying, I think many DC would respond to attempts to change things though.

onwardsandsidewards Thu 02-Jan-14 07:43:17

And Sears is good on high needs babies, if they are high needs it may be difficult/ impossible to change things without an awful lot of upset all round. Just trust your instincts and make small changes at a time. I always like that idea of just resting your hand on them to settle them, no rocking, just let them know you are there.

nervy555 Thu 02-Jan-14 07:51:51

Hi thegreathunt, he is exclusively bf and doesn't have the symptoms of reflux anymore-at least not visibly likeit was when he was small (sswallowing, painful screams and gagging on invisible vomit when laid down). Thank you for you comment on solids too- so far he just has baby rice or porridge once a day with breast milk or water. How did you approach weaning?

nervy555 Thu 02-Jan-14 08:31:50

thanks

TheGreatHunt Thu 02-Jan-14 08:35:30

I had to introduce new foods slowly and watch for reactions over the next couple of days. I also found that they did better with meat and potatoe type meals - we started with meat from 6 months (for the relevant meals obviously!). I had more trouble with fruits like citrus and tomatoes and green/acidic veg (peas/brocolli/onions). So they had very plain diets until about 9/10 months where I introduced tomatoes and 18 months they could have dairy but only in small amounts. They reacted to it even via my BM!

nervy555 Thu 02-Jan-14 08:37:13

thanks

nervy555 Thu 02-Jan-14 08:38:08

Woops accidental flowers but thank you again thegreathunt, it's a minefield isn't it!

nervy555 Thu 02-Jan-14 10:11:12

Has anyone else had a similar experience?

nervy555 Sat 04-Jan-14 20:42:49

Last attempt to get some advice...

TheGreatHunt Sat 04-Jan-14 20:43:53

You might have more success in the sleep board?

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