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Children's bedtimes and sleep problems: read Professor Tanya Byron's answers to your questions

(167 Posts)
GeraldineMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 05-Apr-13 12:55:05

We're delighted that consultant clinical psychologist Prof Tanya Byron is our webchat guest on Monday evening to answer your questions about children's sleep - how much they need at different ages, how you can stop bedtimes turning into a battle, and how can you encourage your children to sleep through the night.

Tanya is leading the Bedtime Live team on Channel Four on Tuesday evenings at 8pm, trying to provide parents with techniques to get under-10s into bed by 9pm and to get teens into good sleep habits.

You've already been discussing her warnings about the effects of sleep deprivation on children's development on this thread.

So, whether your children will be soundly asleep or deploying endless delaying tactics at 9pm on Monday, do come and put your question about children's sleep to Tanya.

You can find out more here about Bedtime Live and the topics it has covered so far. The next prog (Tues 9 April, 8pm) will look at the effect of lack of sleep on first-time fathers.

TheSecondComing Sun 07-Apr-13 11:08:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Sun 07-Apr-13 11:42:36

I have a 2.2yo that has been dxd with hyperactivity 'with a high probability of ADHD'. He has never slept for more than 4 hours in one go. NEVER. He is also being assessed for Autism next month, and has a severe speech delay, only has about 10 single words. He can't express his needs or wants to me.

He doesn't cry, is in his own bed (though we have no choice but to share a room, which also has the tumble dryer in, as well as other things that have nowhere else to live, like my craft drawers).

I had to take him out of his cot at a very young age as he would climb to the top of it, and throw himself over the top. It wasn't safe, so he has had a toddler bed since then.

He wakes for 'milk' (neocate active, a amino acid based hypoallergenic milk replacement) once in the night - but he is on a very restricted diet due to multiple severe allergies, and his dietician says that he still needs this.

That I can cope with, as all I have to do is pour it from the flask and give it to him.

Problem is that his 'night' where he only wakes once is from 1am to 5am usually. Sometimes if he's extra tired, he will sleep from 9pm to 11pm, then be up for two hours, then go back to sleep at 1/2am.

And then he's awake for the day. He's not crying, he's just active. Running around, pulling things out of drawers, climbing UP the bookshelf (and I do mean up, right to the top), jumping on his bed, spinning in circles while saying 'eeeeeeeeeeee'...

If I put him back in bed, he just waits until I have lay down again, and then gets up. He never cries when I put him back in bed, he just gets up.

I can do pick up put back 100+ times and he STILL won't stay in bed.

I can only carry that on for two days as it is a huge strain on me because I'm disabled myself, and have no support. (I have arthritis and epilepsy)

Is there anything I can try other than medication (HV has suggested melatonin) that can help? I don't want to go to medication unless I've tried everything else I can think of.

It's not so much an issue of him crying or anything, as him just not needing much sleep. How do I get him to adjust his sleep pattern? I would rather he slept from 2am - 6am. I struggle to get up at 5am!

He still has a nap in the day, but it is only around 30-45 mins. And I CAN'T stop that or keep him awake, because the minute I go to cook dinner, he drops off for it. I might have been keeping him awake since lunchtime, but then he goes at dinner, so I've given up on trying to keep him awake because then he has his nap too late and falls asleep even later.

PeneloPeePitstop Sun 07-Apr-13 12:29:20

Again, child with ADHD and severe Autism.

The issue isn't going to sleep, he exhausts himself by 7pm as he is never still but then he's up for the day at 3-4am and as there are safety issues we have to be up with him, which is miserable.

We've tried keeping him up later, he still wakes 3-4 am but is mega grumpy. Paed says that as the issue isn't actually falling asleep then melatonin won't help us.

Any ideas?

nextphase Sun 07-Apr-13 13:06:19

Hi,

Won't be able to make the chat due to time differences, and bedtime live is on record awaiting my return..

Sorry if this has already been covered, but do all kids really need the same amount of sleep? Or should we be quoting a range for each age?

DS1 never has got to his recommended hours sleep per day - but were on hols at the moment, and its very clear his shortened nights aren't currently enough, as he has taken to sleeping in the day - so I guess his 10 hrs per night at 3 (nearly 4), and no naps is right for him. Would you suggest he needs more? If so, how to get it??? He goes to bed 7.30 ish, falls asleep by 8 on his own, and wakes naturally around 6am - before anyone else in the house is up, so it is natural waking. How to extend this?

DS2 naturally sleeps longer at night, and still has a daytime nap, so probably get more like 13 hrs at just turned 2.

HotheadPaisan Sun 07-Apr-13 15:10:19

Hello Tanya, DS1 in nearly seven and has ASD with extreme separation anxiety. Although we have a great bedtime routine of me reading him to sleep at the same time each night following liquid melatonin he still needs us throughout the night. Would long release melatonin be worth a try or something else do you think?

I feel he won't be able to separate at night until he can in the day (he follows us from room to room) but perhaps a different medication would help. Rewards just do not work by the way, he just can't cope so I'm happy with what's happening for now but obviously would like him in his own bed and room at some point. Any rays of hope to offer? Thanks.

motherofvikings Sun 07-Apr-13 15:25:51

Can I just say a big thank you thanks to Dr Tanya! smile
I watched bedtime live the first week and was inspired to sleep train my almost 2yo dd. she had been cuddled to sleep since day 1 and was taking an hour to cuddle as put to bed each night! After seeing the case studies on tv I bit the bullet.
I was expecting lots of screaming doing rapid return but she did brilliantly and by day 3 she stopped being upset at all and settled herself! grin as an added bonus she also seems to have stopped waking at 5.30am which is excellent! smile

My question is are fathers scientifically proven to be less tuned into the cries of their children at night? Or is it just my DH that can snore through a force 10 scream? hmm

UnderwaterBasketWeaving Sun 07-Apr-13 16:09:04

Hello!

I haven't seen bedtime live yet, so apologies if this has been covered.

We have what are probably very standard issues. DS has just turned 2. He's been in a toddler bed for a while, and all was going well, until he learned to open doors a few weeks ago.

We now have two problems:
1. Getting him to sleep: we do a routine of bath/pjs/stories/warm milk/bedtime, but he'll spend 2+ hours getting out of bed (we've now put a stairgate on his door to keep him out of the other room/off the stairs) and getting all his toys out, etc.

I can understand why. But he seems so tired, but won't stay in bed long enough to fall asleep. I used to be able to sit on his bed and rub his back and he'd drop off after half an hour, but he now just gets up/kicks me/climbs on me etc. Any suggestions of what we can do? I need evening time to work (FT teacher).

2. I think he's developed night terrors. We're having several episodes of crying in the night where if I lift him for a cuddle, he gets worse, but can take half an hour of rubbing his back to soothe him. The last few nights I've also found him crying out of bed, apparently sleep walking.

Presumably this is a stage which will pass? But is there anything we can do?

He's otherwise well and has no other issues.

Thank you!

UnderwaterBasketWeaving Sun 07-Apr-13 16:10:45

Oh, I should add we've done some rapid return, but I barely make it to his door before he's running behind me, always laughing thinking its a terrific game. Should we persist?

I would also like to read the answer to UnderwaterBasketWeaving 's question - my youngest (he will be 2 in a couple of weeks) is very similar, although he was even worse when in a cot (hysterical screaming when put in, whereas at least he will get into his bed happily). He wakes frequently through the night too and gets out of bed howling, although I don't know if its night terrors - again he has always done it. We co-sleep sometimes and his sleep is very restless and he constantly seems to be checking I am there (even in his sleep he fiddles with my face and wakes fully if I try to turn my back).

I have seen 2 paediatricians and one suggested sedation (I don't know if this would have been melatonin as I said no instinctively). We have also tried a few homoeopathic options which had no effect either way. The second paediatrician said he just needs me more than most children - I guess this is a bit like separation anxiety, although he doesn't have any conditions as far as I am aware. He is developing well and both paediatricians confirmed this - good vocabulary and physical skills.

I mostly am resigned to waiting for him to grow out of it. I have 2 older children who sleep well. Any ideas?

LaVitaBellissima Sun 07-Apr-13 18:26:03

I have twins aged 2.5 they are still in cotbeds, and after watching the 1st episode of bedtime live, I think they will be staying in them (with lids) until they go to school grin

What is your best advice for the transisition of cot to bed, and in particular to twins?

HandbagCrab Sun 07-Apr-13 18:27:22

I've not seen bedtime live so apologies if this has been covered.

Ds is 16/17 months and hasn't slept through. We do bedtime at 7 most of the time. He can fall asleep straight after milk or two hours after depending on how he feels. Either me or dh have to stay with him until he gets into deep sleep otherwise he starts screaming. He will wake up and start screaming if you leave before he falls into deep sleep. Shh, pat works sometimes.

At least once per night he wakes up screaming for milk (sometimes 3 or more times). He does lots of things during the day and eats as much as I or nursery can cram into him. He naps for around 1-2 hours in the day but there's no set time. At nursery he is always the last to sleep at nap time.

I'd love a night's sleep without waking for myself! I wake up every time he screams even when dh sorts ds out and I find it very stressful. is there some magical technique me and dh have missed?

Cheers smile

Smorgs Sun 07-Apr-13 18:33:07

I live abroad so haven't seen Bedtime Live so apologies if this has already been covered.

My nearly 6-month-old son still wakes up frequently during the night and after two weeks of sleeping for about 10 hours during the night when he was 11/12 weeks old, he has not slept through since. We have a bedtime routine of bath at 7pm, feed, lullaby and he is put down in the Moses basket awake to drift off by himself. He does an initial stretch of about 4/5 hours but then wakes every 2 hours until about 7am when he is up for the day. I feed him back to sleep every time he wakes and he is usually quick to settle back to sleep (he is breast fed). He naps usually for 40 minutes every three hours during the day, although recently this has changed and he is having one longer nap of about 2 hours in either the morning or afternoon.

I am struggling to think; 1. whether we did anything to stop him sleeping through after 12 weeks and how we change that 2. whether I should avoid feeding him back to sleep at night (I have tried this a few times but he screams and screams and I don't have the energy to battle and it feels a bit wrong as he feeds well and is already on the small side. He is 6kg and 67cm but only gained 100g last month. Was born at 2.99kg) 3. when to move him into his own cot in his own room? Should I wait until he is sleeping better or move him now and start to show a bit of tough love when he wakes up? 4. If this continues, I am thinking of resorting to controlled crying, even though it feels wrong, as I am so, so tired. When is the best age to do this?

Or am I just over-thinking this and shouldn't expect too much from a 6-month-old baby?!

littlestressy Sun 07-Apr-13 18:48:21

My son is almost 16 months old and we have had some success with sleep training. He goes into his cot awake after bath, milk and story and settles himself.

Our problem is early waking, he wakes anytime from 5.00, crying and unable to settle back to sleep. He won't go back to sleep if we go in and ssh him (which usually works in the night). I normally bring him into bed with me to try and doze a little, 8 times out of 10 he will have a breastfeed and stay awake, then need an early nap because he's so tired. Any suggestions for getting him to 6.00 or even later?! His bedtime is normally 6.30-7.00

Haribolicious Sun 07-Apr-13 19:25:47

I have a nearly 3 yr old who has severe eczema all over his body which developed soon after being born.....but mainly it's his arms and legs. For the past 6 months now it is really affecting his sleeping and will easily get into bed but the itchiness drives him crazy so we have to lie with him rubbing his legs/arms until he falls asleep (which can be up to an hour) and then he will wake after 4 hours (he has slept through a handful of times). He sleeps wearing scratchsleeves www.scratchsleeves.co.uk/scratchsleeves?product_id=83 otherwise we'd have a bloodbath on our hands so thank goodness I found them! He is well moisturised before bed and we have tried giving him a dose of piriton at bedtime but I am conscious of not using it on a regular basis (it didn't seem to ease the itching anyway).

After some sleep training, he will now mainly go to sleep on his own but I know he is still itchy and can hear him rubbing/scratching through his 'sleeves' and he gets so frustrated with it. Also, we can't seem to break the waking after 4 hours cycle. I'm sure he gets overtired as once he wakes in the night, it can take 2-3hrs for him to fall asleep again sad

I would love some advice/help please! Bedtime is usually around 7/730 - he is greased up and then into bed with a story - I have tried to discuss with the GP but with no real solutions, I feel like I just have to persevere and hope he grows out of the eczema. He does have good periods but the itchyness is always there and it really affects his (and my!) quality and amount of sleep sad Is it worth doing more sleep training? I feel so mean leaving him so frustrated with the itching.

My dd is 4 and historically has been a terrible sleeper. In a nutshell she had colic, fed to sleep, then held to sleep, then waking through the night and jumping into our bed by stealth. After watching house of tiny tearaways (amazing prog by the way) i used rapid return and a fixed bedtime routine. That brings us up to now, dd goes to bed at 7pm with the same routine milk, story, teeth, wee! And always wakes between 5.30-6.00. In addition to her early wakings she has night terrors/sleep walking that frighten me witless as its like a primal screaming zombie in my childs bed.

Is it possible she has a "sleep disorder" and i'm worried that 5.30 wakings are going to leave her shattered in sept? Can i do anymore? It feels like we've cracked it as shes sleeping through but the screaming terrors are terrifying for me and i'm worried at the impact of her consistent early wakings.

(We have a groclock, she'll wake still but stay in her room and we've tried earlier/later bedtimes but she'll still be up by 6. I love bedtime live by the way my heart goes out to every parent sat exhausted by their childs bed!)

puttbles Sun 07-Apr-13 19:42:36

Sleep training update: bad night last night, Toby went down fine, no sick, but was up 5x in the night, each time crying for me. Today hence been an hr behind as we woke up shattered an hour late so out of the routine. Nap time he went down excellently but only slept 35 mins and only napped a short bit in pram later on so have put him to be at 7:20 tonight instead of 8.

He's off his food today but despite not having solids, was just sick when being put down. Cleaned him up, put him back down, stayed with him a little longer to reassure him and walked away, still awake, but no crying at all, asleep within the first 5 mins- fabulous, but the sinic in me is still thinking it won't be a great night and is still wondering why we're bothering when cosleeping meant an easy life! Was hoping controlled crying would sort out sleep length, reduce amount of wakes and help naps, feeling a little disappointed to say the least. Any words of wisdom? The self settling is the only thing I can see has improved.

JaffaSnaffle Sun 07-Apr-13 20:03:48

My DD2 is 5 months old. Her sleep pattern has deteriorated considerably over the last month. This started when we went away for a weekend, and has never recovered. She often wakes 5-10 mins after she goes to sleep, and then every 2-3 hrs in the night. If I'm lucky she might manage a 5hr stretch.
She now rolls onto her front in the night and gets stuck. She has a cough that sometimes wakes her. She has wind, and dirty nappies in the night so nappy changes wake her.
She is breastfed to sleep. If I try to settle her in the cot, she cries, and becomes very agitated. I feel she is very young for any serious sleep training, but I am exhausted, and cannot see it improving in the short term. What would you recommend?

LBsBongers Sun 07-Apr-13 20:58:17

Hello there, loving the show, especially the twins! None of my children seem to be sleepers, DS1 slept through at 18months, DD1 at 2 years (both fine now after gradual retreat, watering down bottles, lots of shushing etc).

So here I am with DD2 who is only 5months but we are desperate to do something differently as she showing all the signs of being just as poor a sleeper, waking frequently throughout night. Am trying not to breastfeed her to sleep initially but she gets very upset if you put her down awake,pick up put down results in her conking out from the upset, so effectively putting her down already asleep. She is always BF or rocked back to sleep by me or DH if she wakes from that point on, longest stretch of sleep is 2-3 hours.

What can I do at this young age to promote longer stretches of sleep?

Thanks for your help

Hi Tanya, thanks for taking the time to answer questions! I will try to keep this short.

My son is 9 months old an has never slept more than 2 hours, it is very rare that he sleeps longer than 40 mins/1 hour. I cannot hear him cry at all without doing whatever it takes to stop the crying. He sleeps in bed with me and breastfeeds to sleep. He can self settle, I have taught him to do so for naps in buggy by taking him out and comforting every time he cried. He had severe feeding problems hen younger and still can't feed very well.

I just really feel like there is a medical issue rather than behavioural, but when I spoke to GP she took his temperature and declared there was nothing medically wrong, said, cut his naps short. This made him grumpy, then he got sick and it made night sleep worse hmm

I would like to know what I should be insisting the GP looks for as she doesn't seem capable of thinking about what else may be causing the problem apart from a high temperature!

Also...light hearted question...where do you find the perfect babies for your show who take ages to get really worked up/don't get worked up much at all?! My son will get to the point of not breathing after crying for about 2 minutes, with or without me there! So what do you do when none of your sleep training methods would be suitable?

TallGiraffe Sun 07-Apr-13 22:00:16

Posting in advance in case I am dealing with this problem tomorrow night.

DS is 6 months and it seems he is taking after me in being a rubbish sleeper. After much effort we have reduced the night wakings down from 15 per night to 3/4 which is a big improvement (albeit still not ideal). My main question is how to deal with him when he wakes and shows no signs of tiredness and refuses to go back to sleep. Typically this happens at 11pm but can be as early as 9 or as late as midnight (he goes to sleep at 7ish). I don't speak to him, play or do anything stimulating, but 2 hours in a darkened room trying to get him back off is getting tough (especially as I know I have 1 or 2 more wakings to deal with later in the night). If I put him down he is bright red and screaming in about 2 seconds.

McGilly Mon 08-Apr-13 02:00:48

Ok I have one rubbish sleeper. But he is very healthy and so am I, so after reading some of the other posts I am going to salute them and leave DrTanya to deal with real problems! Good luck and sympathy to you all.

QueenoftheHolly Mon 08-Apr-13 07:46:50

Hi Tanya,
My question is probably different to most.
My little boy (now 4 months) has always been very 'good' at sleeping & in the first 10 weeks I was told by various sources including health visitor & hospital midwives that I should wake him to feed every 4 hours which I did. I was told this was to prevent dehydration & to ensure he got enough calories every day, which I thought made sense.

I heard jake humphries say triumphantly that his new born girl had slept for 7 hours solid & you did not say anything to suggest that he should have woken her so I'm now confused. Did I do the right thing? What is the medical advice? He has started sleeping through again now & I have a permanent fear that be isn't getting enough food, its hard to shake the urge to wake him! He's mainly breastfed & isn't a 'big' baby.

Sorry if this is an odd thing to ask about.

nellyjelly Mon 08-Apr-13 08:29:45

Never mind bedtimes. What about early rising! my DS gets up from 5 every day. Too early for me. Any ideas?

Have tried a later bed time and cutting out nap to no avail. He is 2.5.

Thanks.

Shellwedance Mon 08-Apr-13 09:37:21

Hi Tanya,

Loving the show! My DD is 6 mths in 2 weeks. She is a good self settler, albeit with a dummy. We've never really had more than 3 hour blocks of sleep. We have a proper bedtime routine and she's down at 7. In the past couple of weeks sleep has got even more erratic, she's much harder to put down, wakes at least every two hours and will only settle after 4 if we co sleep. Have been trying not to feed to sleep but it seems to be the only thing that works at the mo, even the dummy gets her really upset. Length of naps in the day seems to have no effect. Putting her down awake but sleepy at start of night so she gets herself off seems to have no effect. Even when I have refused to feed her to sleep and finally managed to settle her without boob still has no effect.

Am a lone parent so finding this very hard, any advice much appreciated!

Emsmaman Mon 08-Apr-13 10:03:55

Hello, I'm afraid I can't watch your show as I find it too painful and rather voyeuristic watching babies and toddlers in such a state!

I have a just turned 2yo and my question is how do you sleep train whilst dealing with sicknesses - my DD has colds almost permanently since starting nursery and viruses every month? We did gradual withdrawal for 2.5 weeks then DD got a bad bug which wiped her out for 3 weeks and completely undid all the work we had done, as we didn't feel we could continue when she was so poorly. So we lost even more sleep than normal during the sleep training due to more frequent and longer wakings, listened to hours on end of heartbreaking crying, and for nothing. Would you have recommended continuing the sleep training through the sickness?

Disclaimer: I am anti CC after a horrible experience where DD scratched her face up and during my check on her I found blood everywhere...

Mrneedy Mon 08-Apr-13 10:04:10

Tanya, how much would you charge for a couple of days observing my child?!!
I neeeeed you!!

mrsvilliers Mon 08-Apr-13 10:41:17

Hi there, no massive problems with my ds but also interested in nextphase's question as to how much sleep is normal. My just 2 yo will have 11 hours in total, no more, even if he goes without a nap. If they've got energy presumably OK?

bluebump Mon 08-Apr-13 12:06:26

I'd like to know if it's a massive problem if a child still sleeps in your bed when they are past the baby/toddler stage. My DS is 4.7 and he still likes to sleep in my bed more often than in his bed. We fell into co-sleeping when he outgrew his moses basket at 6 months and he is still pretty much there now. I am a single parent now so space in my bed isn't an issue.

He sleeps through the night whether he sleeps in his own bed or mine he just likes the security maybe of being with me in my bed a lot. Occassionally if he is in his own bed he will wake earlier than normal and will come to my bed and have more sleep. I recently bought him a new bed and new bedding which has meant he likes his own room a bit more than before.

People are very quick to judge me co-sleeping with him but I think generally he is a good sleeper and will mostly settle himself with a bit of reassurance in either bed. My opinion is that as long as he gets enough sleep it's not an issue but the general opinion of people I know is the opposite!

BlingLoving Mon 08-Apr-13 12:47:11

I haven't seen the programme - which is very annoying as I really really need it. I will be watching from tomorrow. In the meantime...

On the website one reason for bad sleep is anxiety. DS has never been a good sleeper but we've worked hard improve things and had got to the point where he slept well at least half the time. But I have recently gone back to work after a few months off. He is nearly 2 and seems to be finding my return very traumatic.

Both DH (who is a SAHD) and I reassure him all the time that I'm still around and we skype during the day if possible but we've had huge sleep regression since I started. He is waking in the night and not going back to sleep for hours. If we stay in the room with him he will lie down quietly, but he doesn't sleep and gets very traumatised if we leave. He also wakes crying for me personally a lot.

How do we reassure him? I'm concerned that this is undoign all the good work we've done to get him to sleep better over the last two years and I don't know at what point his legitimate fear/anxiety turns into habit.

OnwardBound Mon 08-Apr-13 13:32:05

I have a 2 year old who will only go to sleep [at night] whilst being breast fed blush

If I don't do this he performs and gets overtired and screams. I would perhaps leave him to scream for a bit but we live in a small flat and I am concerned that he will wake his four year old brother [who goes to sleep relatively easily] and also annoy our neighbours.

The 2 year old will also generally wake at some point in the night and finds it very difficult to settle himself to sleep. So he will cry and fuss, building up to a crescendo if he doesn't get his own way and comes into the double bed with me.

He is in the same room as his brother and again I can't just leave him to cry or even try to settle him in his room as he creates such a fuss and I am fearful of him waking his brothers or neighbours.

Do you have any advice for me?

whokilleddannylatimer Mon 08-Apr-13 13:39:17

Hi Tanya

I have a couple of issues with an older child.

I have a ten year old with learning difficulties, she is rather anxious and is being investigated for ASD in addition to other exsisting SN.

From being a tiny baby she always slept really well on her own but following my divorce a couple of years ago we have started to have sleep problems, her father is gradually withdrawing from her life which is making the situation worse. She sleeps very few hours.

She will lie awake till 1am despite full bedtime routine of bath/bed/story no tv/gadgets in room around 8.30pm. She does not get up she will just lie there sad . She is then up wide awake at 6am but shattered all day.

She is also having problems sleeping on her own recently and is starting to come in to my bed. The main problem is that she waits until I am asleep before coming in so I do not know she has come in until I wake up. If I stay awake waiting for her to fall asleep first she doesn't, she will just lie in her own bed awake until I do go to sleep.

Part of me thinks that due to her age she is not going to do it forever so not to worry and just buy a bigger bed!

UntamedShrew Mon 08-Apr-13 14:25:44

DD is 16m. She is a terrible sleeper!

A 'good' night means a minor disturbance before we go to bed, then sleep until 6.30.

More usually she is either up at 5.45 or up at least once around 2am, then asleep through to 6.

We've tried cutting daytime sleep to 45-60 mins. Made no difference.

Tried cutting daytime sleep all together and it was worse. She was up 3 times those nights.

I think she is getting enough sleep.. But DH and I aren't! Also the mornings when she wakes early, she wakes her brothers (4y twins) and then they are grumpy all morning.

Is there anything you'd suggest...? Other than boarding school grin

miniegg1980 Mon 08-Apr-13 15:07:06

Hi Tanya
Thank you so much for taking the time to help us.

I have an 8month old who has never slept through the night and has only managed to remain in his cot for 1 night. I am exhausted and with returning to full time work just round the corner, am getting desparate.

Since birth, he has only slept for 45mins to 2 hours in one go and much prefers sleeping upright - especially at night. He always goes to sleep in his cot fine, day or night, and only rarely cries. But will then wake screaming, arching his back, stretching his neck and kicking his legs. On picking him up, he seems to have a lot of trapped wind, but then won't go back down.

He has recently been diagnosed with silent reflux and is on lansaprazole and within the past week has moved onto formula to which we're adding colief. He still seems to be displaying the same symptoms, but were advised by the hospital that much of it is probably behavioural and should start leaving him to cry. I have a 3 year old in the room next door and really do not want to disturb his much needed sleep.

He eats three good meals a day, has 4 bottles of 4oz and sometimes when he wakes wants some milk. During the day he sleeps between 2-3 hours.

Any help and advice would be very gratefully received!

Huge, huge thanks.

fuzzpig Mon 08-Apr-13 15:17:23

Hello!

Annoyingly I typed an enormous question last night and then my phone died <fume> so here it is in a briefer form:

My DD is 5y9m, and has started getting really anxious at bedtime. She's always needed reassurance - we did gradual retreat successfully when she was a toddler.

She gets really worked up, she doesn't keep getting up but she cries and is really distressed and can't articulate why she is scared or doesn't want to sleep in her own bed sad she keeps saying she wants to sleep with me.

I know what the issue is really, there is a lot of stress at home particularly surrounding my health (I became disabled last year). We try not to let it show but I don't know how else to comfort her when all she can say about her feelings is "I don't know".

Gradual retreat type strategy isn't really possible for me (physically) this time around, so do you have any other suggestions for us please?

Thanks thanks

fuzzpig Mon 08-Apr-13 15:20:15

Forgot to say, although she generally seems quite cheerful and is happy at school, DD does seem to be a bit of a 'worrier' like me sad

jcryles Mon 08-Apr-13 16:21:03

Hi Tanya. I'm interested in the medium to long term success of sleep training. With both of my kids we've experienced attrition after initial success. With our son (3 years), it was almost a year later when he began to need one of us to sit with him when falling asleep and waking in the night again. With our daughter (11 months) the first week we try sleep training it seems to work brilliantly. Then it deteriorates until, about four weeks later, we're back where we started. We do make every effort to be consistent. My son's had the same bedtime routine since he was 5 weeks old. Does childrens' sleep change regardless of sleep training, routines etc? Many thanks.

sparklekitty Mon 08-Apr-13 16:52:41

Hi Tanya,

We have a 6mo DD. She had a bit of a traumatic birth which resulted in a sore head from a ventouse delivery. She couldn't sleep on her back for the first 4 weeks and so we started co-sleeping (which we love)

However, as a result we have gotten into the bad habit of feeding to sleep and she has never learnt to self settle. We really want to tackle this while she is still young and, hopefully, get her into her own room.

She will only occasionally nap in her cot. We have tried to make it a happy place for her. She has a good bedtime routine (bath, book, boob, bed by 7.30).

The thing we would like help with is getting her to self settle as she currently wakes anything from 3 (I's be happy with this) to 10 times a night. I've started cuddling, sshhing and patting instead of feeding to settle her and stretching night feeds out to every 3 hours but it usually ends in distress, I am not willing to try CC or CIO with her. I'm exhausted and going back to work in 6 weeks so getting anxious. Any suggestions/help would be amazing smile

WinkyWinkola Mon 08-Apr-13 16:54:01

My ds1 is nearly 8.

He can go to bed at any time (usually 7.30pm and falls asleep between 8-9pm0 but will be up between 5.15 and 5.30am regardless.

He's generally pretty bad tempered and I think this is because he's not getting enough sleep. Plus it's doing us all in as he's just not quiet when he wakes up.

I've tried rewarding him to stay in bed reading. I've tried punishing him by taking away toys for getting out of bed and making a racket.

I've left interesting books and 'quiet' toys by his bed but he still seems determined to wake everyone up by getting out of bed, banging around in the loo, raking through his Lego.

I explain to him this behaviour isn't on and he acknowledges it but the next day, it's exactly the same.

Why oh why does he sleep so little and why oh why does he not seem to recognise or remember that noise is appropriate the next day? He can tell the time - got him a big clock to help him - but he doesn't change his behaviour.

Any tips?

TheDailyWail Mon 08-Apr-13 17:18:56

Hello Tanya,

My 8 yo daughter is extremely anxious when going to bed. She is especially anxious when my husband is working late (she thinks burglars are going to break in) I've tried to reassure her that any burglar would be more scared of meeting me than my DH wink but it's not working. She also ends up sleeping in our bed too. Her lamp is on a timer and she turns all the lights on when she wakes in the night.

Any advice on how to tackle this please? Thanks.

goobledygok Mon 08-Apr-13 17:59:25

Dear Tanya,
I have a 4 yr old who has been sleeping excellently from 7pm to 6am since birth however in Feb we took away his dummy (flannel hankies which he used as dummies alongwith thumb sucking since he was 6months old) and now he finds it really difficult to sleep. He is up and about till 9pm, sleeps only in our bed and needs someone to sleep with him. Initially he also used to cry in his sleep because he misses his thumb (for some reason he does not find enough joy in his thumb with the flannels missing). What can we do to teach him to sleep by himself again.

Thanks,
Benu

Hello. What is your take on children being Owls or Larks? I have two boys 11, and 13 and they would seem to be Owls. I keep hearing that teenagers are programmed to want to sleep half the morning?

Thanks

Mouseface Mon 08-Apr-13 19:14:18

Hello Tanya,

Bit of background - Our DS has Complex SN and LD. He's experienced a huge amount of trauma following heart operations and post op complications, along with other very upsetting operations, each time ending with him being rushed to PICU.

He will go to sleep happily, we have a bedtime routine each night, bath, story bed, after his last tube feed, but we can't get him to stay asleep or settled and without one of us (99% of the time me because I'm his main carer) being with him. He suffers from night terrors and very vivid dreams, meaning at times, he will scream out in his sleep for 'help'.

Q - is there anything we can do to help him, we've got CAMHS on board and he is on a waiting list to see a sleep specialist, his bedroom is fairly light, a place for fun - never punishment - it's warm but not hot, and a place he'll happily go to. It's been almost 4 years now, and we've been passed from one specialist to another. I was wondering is there is something you can suggest please?

Thank you smile

DustyOwl Mon 08-Apr-13 19:38:33

Hello Tanya, my DS2 (12 months) has got into the habit of feeding to sleep. Due to being too tired to stay awake we have ended up co sleeping. He uses me as a dummy and feeds pretty much all night so my whole evening is spent with him and my husband has moved beds, I'm so tired of it to be honest! We tried gradual retreat and shhh pat at Christmas, with some success but he keeps getting poorly and he ends up back being fed.

So after my mammoth post my question is; how do I stop feeding to sleep such a feed dependent child? Where do I start without causing too much distress? (For him and me!)

Thank you

LadyMaryQuiteContrary Mon 08-Apr-13 19:49:53

Hi Tanya smile

I have a 13 year old (he's 14 tomorrow) who doesn't sleep well. He sometimes struggles to get to sleep at a reasonable hour (typical teenager) so his body clock is a mess. He's tried warm milk, a bath, exercise, study but nothing seems to work. He's currently trying to push bed time back as far as he can and it can be hard work just to get him to bed. I aim to get him into bed for 10:30/10:45 but it rarely happens (so is more like 11). Is this too late? He's turning into a lark, which doesn't mix well with school as he often wakes exhausted and he looks really tired and pale. I'd appreciate any advice.

Thank you smile

HairyMaclary Mon 08-Apr-13 20:06:29

I have a question about older children, an 8 year old and a nearly 6 year old, both boys. Both had a challenging time as babies and young children and I did get some help eventually from a sleep therapist at that point. They now sleep through the night, mostly, but are still very reliant on an adult presence when they go to sleep. Ideally me, but my husband or grandparents will do.

We've tried gradual withdrawal a number of times but without success and the nearly 6 year old is very scared at night, of everything, he is totally fearless during the day! The 8 year old has (mild - moderate) physical disabilities but no cognitive ones and we have worked through his anxieties using a workbook you recommended to someone in The Times a while ago. Still no success.

Is there anything else we can do? I'm getting increasingly frustrated with being stuck in their shared bedroom for up to 30 mins each evening.

Thank you!

FudgeyCookie Mon 08-Apr-13 20:12:53

Hi!
I was very lucky in that DD (nearly 7months), has slept through from about 5 weeks. BUT, about 3 weeks ago she started to wake up anywhere between 3 and 6am. She goes to bed normally between 7pm and 8pm (as she always has), and putting her to bed later hasn't helped. She won't go back to sleep in her cot, I've left her to try and settle herself as she isn't crying as such, more whineing, which eventually turns into crying if she is left. I've picked her up and sat with her until she went back to sleep, and placed her back in her cot but she just wakes up again. Last night, we were up at 1am,kept placing her back in the cot but she just woke up crying. I'm shattered!
What would you suggest please?

Hello Tanya

My issue is similar to LadyMaryQuiteContrary. My daughter is 16 years old and has difficulties in sleeping for a number of years.

All the tips we have ever been given have never worked, routine, bath before bed, hot milky drink, no phone/tech before bed. It is often past midnight before she is asleep and then she will wake up at some point.

I know there is research about teens needing to sleep later, but when I was a teen myself and my friends weren't like this so has it only happened in the last few years?

She is often tired during the day and it sometimes impacts on her at school.

Do you have any other tips?

Thanks

scampidoodle Mon 08-Apr-13 20:39:52

Hello,
I don't think my issue has been covered here so far so will see if you can help.
How do we get our 10 week old to settle to sleep at a reasonable bedtime? She will only settle - with 20-30 mins crying (not constant, her tired cry) if we go to bed at the same time so are in the room with her. We go to bed between 10 and 11 pm.
She will be awake by 8.30am so isn't getting a proper night's sleep and ends up sleeping most of the morning, having a couple of naps in the afternoon and then being tired and ready for bed by 7/8pm but we can't go to bed then as we have things to do! No amount of shushing, patting, stroking or anything else helps - it seems to make her worse and she ends up screaming. If we stay in the room till she's asleep she wakes soon after we leave then it all starts again.
If we keep her in the living room in the pram (all ready for bed) she might sleep for a bit but obviously sees it as a nap rather than the start of the night's sleep and will be awake after a bit wanting milk/cuddles etc.
Is there anything else we can do to help her get to sleep?
Thank you.

toomuchpink Mon 08-Apr-13 20:51:14

Do some children need different amonts of sleep?
I have non identical twin girls now 19mths. DT1 (touch wood) goes to sleep without any problem around 7.15pm. She generally naps longer in the day, sleeps later and gets grumpier if short on sleep compared to DT2. DT2 is in the habit of wailing after she is put down and this often continues until my oldest DD1 (4) has her stories finished and lights out around 8pm. DT2 is first up and often shows little sign of needing her afternoon nap - although will have it without too much protest most days.
All suggestions welcome.

mattaz Mon 08-Apr-13 20:52:20

Hello Tanya,

I have a 2.8 year old (good sleeper when she eventually goes off) and a 16 month old son. They have to share a room as we have 2 bed and he was in with us until only a month ago where we bit the bullet and put them the room together.

Our main problem is he can’t self settle and needs to be pushed in a pushchair and carried up asleep at night. Whatever time it is. Occasionally his dummy will work and a few pats on his back but rarely and this is only the early evening wakes.
He tends to wake once around 10.30pm.
The issue we have is his sister wakes briefly early hours and calls for us which then wakes him so we have to push him in a pushchair. Sometimes he refuses to sleep unless he has a bottle but this is just comfort and he wont fall asleep with it. We have watered it down but it doesn't prevent his need for it, He has no day bottles now just bedtime.

They both have a good routine, 6.30pm-06.00am. Day naps in his pushchair and he has a comfort blanket.
He has been intolerant to cows milk which since giving soya his night waking has improved greatly.

How can we sleep train him with a sibling in the room too? He has potential to be a good sleeper will potentially sleep through but once awoken by his sister we cant manage to get him off without aid and leaving him to cry will in turn disturb my oldest (which i don’t like to do to be honest anyway).

Thanks!! Please help we need a sibling friendly technique!!

SarahMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 08-Apr-13 20:57:22

Hey everyone,

Tanya's online now, and selflessly missing the wall-to-wallThatcher coverage on the BBC to come and advise you on your sleep woes. Thanks, Tanya, and over to you ....

DrTanyaByron Mon 08-Apr-13 21:00:20

Hello mumsnetters! So nice to be with you thank you for welcoming me into your community. Starting with a nice one with a compliment up front - sorry if shallow! But thanks for your generous comments about BEDTIME LIVE which still has 2 shows to go tomorrow and next Tuesday 8 - 9 C4.

Your question re DH who can sleep through kids crying at night..... We are covering that on the programme tomorrow night and have done experiment which will answer you!

Can I ask for questions to be very brief and bullet point ish then I can read fast and answer many.

Jcee Mon 08-Apr-13 21:00:43

DD (3.3) goes to bed with no problems however she wakes up throughout the night for various spurious reasons - duvet fallen off, lost teddy, an owl in the bedroom hmm, needs a drink, something moving her curtains about etc etc.

So last night I was up with her at 1, 3 and 4. we've tried warmer pjs in case shes cold, wedging the duvet down so she can't kick it off, making sure she's not hungry/thirsty before bed, turning her nightlight off after she's gone to sleep etc but to no avail and she has rarely slept through since she was small.

When i get up in response to her shouts/cries, she settles very quickly and usually just needs encouraging to lie back down and her covers rearranging and is always asleep again in minutes. However I'm not and so i'm knackered and to be honest I'd rather not have to get out of bed 3 or 4 times a night for a few minutes in the first place.

Any suggestions? thanks

Hi Tanya. teens-are they programmed to stay up late and sleep in?

mummybare Mon 08-Apr-13 21:01:44

Hi Tanya!

<waves>

SocialGrace Mon 08-Apr-13 21:01:48

Hello Tanya,
I was very big fan of The House of Tiny Tearaways; are there any plans to bring this back? I studied it whilst pregnant and I taught me all I know grin

After lights out, DD, aged 5, likes to call out for this and that e.g.more water, a particular soft toy, trips to the loo, duvet fallen off the bed etc etc to get us trotting too and fro into her room after lights out. Should we humour her, or just tell her to go to sleep, which sometimes leads to an argument and tears....

Thanks in advance smile

DrTanyaByron Mon 08-Apr-13 21:03:16

Kids do show individual differences but when you have twins that can be hard so my respect and sympathy. Have you thought of doing DT2 stories and settling later than DT 1? A lack of daytime nap may mean she overtired and so agitated at sleep time. Try to train her into a nap by sitting by her cot to reassure her. It may be that when she learns to feel more settled in cot she can fall asleep byerself.

UnderwaterBasketWeaving Mon 08-Apr-13 21:03:16

Hello! to rehash mine:

Toddler night waking: possible night terrors & sleep walking? What can we do?

DrTanyaByron Mon 08-Apr-13 21:05:25

At her age it might be that she relies on you to be present for her to fall asleep. In effect you are her SLEEP ASSOCIATION and so in order to break this you need to go in, sssshhh but very little interaction so as to not reinforce her waking behaviour.

DrTanyaByron Mon 08-Apr-13 21:05:43

Sparklingbrook

Hi Tanya. teens-are they programmed to stay up late and sleep in?

What bedtime battles do you have with your children Tanya?

How would you cope with two sharing a room with different bedtimes? 1 year old at 7 and 3 year old at 8pm?

When should children stop napping?

Yes please to more house of tiny tearaways!

cheesethief Mon 08-Apr-13 21:07:52

How can I get my nearly 5 year old to stay in her bed? She wakes up and sneaks in mine every night, it doesn't bother me too much but she can be tired and grumpy during the day. She doesn't respond to rewards and says she gets frightened.

DrTanyaByron Mon 08-Apr-13 21:08:55

Yes, in teenage due to the hormonal changes of puberty, the circadian rhythms change and teens sleep later and wake later. There is plenty of evidence to show that schools that open and close an hour later show better results from teens because they are working within their circadian rhythms (ie their natural body clock controlled by the hypothalamus in the brain) . We covered this in BEDTIME LIVE last week so watch it on 4OD as the experiment we did with Profs from Oxford Uni are fascinating.

However watch out for technology late into the night as this interrupts sleep and make sure they get at least 9 hours a night.

Thank you.

motherofvikings Mon 08-Apr-13 21:09:27

Thanks Tanya! I've sky+ tomorrow's bedtime live so I can find out if my DH is simply a sleepy freak of nature! smile

Cuddlydragon Mon 08-Apr-13 21:09:45

Hi Tanya,

My 9 month old has always gone down awake, settled himself, slept really well for 2 good naps ( 1-2 hrs each) every day. Settles brilliantly at 7pm bedtime and sleeps peacefully til 11 and has a bottle ( he needs it due to patchy weight gain). This feed and nappy change takes less than 20 mins and he goes right back down til 3.30.

Every night at around 3.30am he cries and rarely settles himself. If we go through and pat his chest (max 30 secs) he goes right back to sleep, but if we don't, he cries himself right awake and takes much longer to settle. Same again at 5.30am. I've no idea what to do. He's not hungry or wet.

Help! I'm knackered!

CutePuppy Mon 08-Apr-13 21:10:49

Hi!

Can I just say I love your work? Love the new show and love love loved tiny tearaways!

Off topic, but any hints for pre teen back chat?

Thanks!

mastercookie Mon 08-Apr-13 21:11:09

my 2 year old has never slept properly since birth, he probably has two naps a week and getting about 6-8hrs at night (broken sleep) he goes too sleep on his own fine but he wakes up several times a night. some nights im sure he has night terrors he's also an early riser and hyperactive all day long what else can i do to help him get more sleep as im so tired myself

DrTanyaByron Mon 08-Apr-13 21:11:39

CreatureRetorts

What bedtime battles do you have with your children Tanya?

How would you cope with two sharing a room with different bedtimes? 1 year old at 7 and 3 year old at 8pm?

When should children stop napping?

Mine are 15 and 18 so the battle is getting them up in the morning! But tbh I was RUBBISH with my eldest my DD and although had written books had to ask a colleague to talk me through it - heart over ruling head!

You can do diff bedtimes if you sleep train the youngest so they are sound asleep and most kids will sleep through sibling noise.

Naps finish when about 3-4 but all kids different.

Shellwedance Mon 08-Apr-13 21:11:43

To summarise my problem DD, 6 mths never sleeps more than 3 hours, now waking every 2 and will only settle with a breast feed and / or co sleep.

What method of sleep training would you suggest? She can self settle with a dummy for daytime naps.

mattaz Mon 08-Apr-13 21:12:36

hi!! Thanks Tanya,
to make mine more bullet point then!

16 month old Sharing a room with a sibling 2.8yrs.

Please help with self settling a 16 month old without an aid.
He wont unless we push in a pushchair (!!) but he shares with this sibling.

She wakes him in the night and we cant get him back off without the pushchair.

There doesn't seem to be much advice around about self settling with another toddler in the room.

please help!!

Badvoc Mon 08-Apr-13 21:12:37

I have 2 early wakers aged 9 and 4.
6am every morning.
(This is better than it was - ds1 used to wake up at 4-5 prior to him starting reception!)
What can I do to encourage them to stay in bed longer?
I have tried drinks, books etc...
I am pretty tired.

Yoshi Mon 08-Apr-13 21:13:04

19 month old has sleep association prob- needs parent in room to fall asleep.

Continuously stands himself up in cot & needs to be physically laid back down - we go thorough this for 20-30 mins each evening then one of us is trapped in his room for 30-60 mins before we can creep out

Slight noise wakes him & we are back at square 1.

He then wakes 1-4 times in night & we go through it all again.

How can we break cycle of one of us needing to be in room for him to fall asleep?

Thank you so much!

Fionaloo Mon 08-Apr-13 21:13:09

5 months old DD can only nap 30 -45 each time in her cot. But hours in her pram. She has no problem sleeping through the night. Can you advise what I need to do to extend her nap instead if taking her out in her pram to get enough sleep time. Thanks!!

WantOurRoomBack Mon 08-Apr-13 21:13:45

Hello Tanya,
Have n/c as I am so embarrassed but our 5 year old ds still sleeps in our room and refuses to sleep or go to sleep without one of us there. He has his own bed.
How can we get him into his own room and off to sleep at an earlier hour?

Caffeineaddict07 Mon 08-Apr-13 21:14:29

Hi Tanya,

Our baby suffered from Colic and reflux and as a consequence always had sleeping difficulties. At two months we saw a paediatrician who prescribed reflux medication, and also diagnosed lactose intolerance. Since commencing medication and lactose free milk things did improve in that he no longer cries for five hours at a time, and day time naps lengthened to up to an hour maybe twice a day. He has a dummy as during the bad times he really needed it. I was also forced to rock him to sleep, which later changed to feeding to sleep. Though in the day i still have to push in the pram or he becomes overtired. We also have to carry him for two hours plus to make sure he is in a deep enough sleep to put down- if not he wakes screaming. Once put down he can sleep for maybe two hours (sometimes less) then he can wake every two hours. There are nights he wakes every half an hour. Occasionally all that is needed is the dummy replacing, other times he cannot be settled with a pat and we have to pick up to calm him, and other times he is wide awake and the only way he will go back to sleep is if he is fed. He is not the same every night so there is no consistency in his behaviour or sleep. He is a very light sleeper and in general the slightest noise wakes him, he does not seem to easily make the transition to deep sleep. I can rock him for 20 minutes plus and he will still wake 10 mins after stopping.

We have moved him into his own room and try to keep to a bedtime routine though this doesn't seem to help in anyway. We have started to try and sleep train but he became unwell with a viral illness so we have had no success.

I just would appreciate some advice on how to change things and hopefully improve the situation.

DrTanyaByron Mon 08-Apr-13 21:14:36

cheesethief

How can I get my nearly 5 year old to stay in her bed? She wakes up and sneaks in mine every night, it doesn't bother me too much but she can be tired and grumpy during the day. She doesn't respond to rewards and says she gets frightened.

Cow bells on the door / scrunched her newspaper around your bed whatever will help you hear the little stealth person sneak in. Then immediate return to bed with a sssshhh and leave and rapid return thereafter. This means stay outside her room to return her if she comes out with no fuss or attention or to go in intermittently if she's upset to reassure her briefly. A few nights of exhausting slog and she and you will be sleeping through!

JaffaSnaffle Mon 08-Apr-13 21:15:37

Hello Tanya- thank you for coming on here. I posted yesterday but in summary:

My 5 month old is waking frequently in the night - up to 10 times some nights. She is breastfed to sleep. Got worse after weekend away. Now has started rolling all over her cot and waking herself up. Tried the shushing, putting hand in her etc, but she becomes very upset, and wakes herself up further by thrashing her legs about in a sort of hip flick! Help! Is she too young for this? I don't like to see her get so upset...

DrTanyaByron Mon 08-Apr-13 21:16:30

Fionaloo

5 months old DD can only nap 30 -45 each time in her cot. But hours in her pram. She has no problem sleeping through the night. Can you advise what I need to do to extend her nap instead if taking her out in her pram to get enough sleep time. Thanks!!

Put her down in the cot and sit nearby with hand through bars as reassuring presence on her stomach. No patting or rubbing as over stimulating. As she gets used to cot be further and further away from cot over next few days until she able to fall asleep alone.

Fionaloo Mon 08-Apr-13 21:17:20

Tanya thanks!!!

Do you not worry that we are all getting it wrong by trying to 'sleep train' at all? I mean, surely if sleep issues are so prevalent then they are normal? I speak as a very tired mum of a 9 month old who wakes every 30-40 mins and always has. I just worry that this is actually normal and by 'training' him I would be going against what nature intended....

DrTanyaByron Mon 08-Apr-13 21:19:28

JaffaSnaffle

Hello Tanya- thank you for coming on here. I posted yesterday but in summary:

My 5 month old is waking frequently in the night - up to 10 times some nights. She is breastfed to sleep. Got worse after weekend away. Now has started rolling all over her cot and waking herself up. Tried the shushing, putting hand in her etc, but she becomes very upset, and wakes herself up further by thrashing her legs about in a sort of hip flick! Help! Is she too young for this? I don't like to see her get so upset...

The problem is that she relies on being breasted to fall asleep so if she wakes she with require you and your breasts to get back to sleep. If she is getting more nutrition during the day the breast milk at night isn't required for nutrition although one feed before you go to bed might be necessary as you wean her.

Feed but put down awake and sit by cot but not near until she falls asleep. She needs to associate her cot with falling asleep not you and your breast so leave before she fully asleep.

IwishIwasmoreorganised Mon 08-Apr-13 21:19:40

Why don't children always sleep for the same length of time? If they go to bed late, why don't they sleep a bit later the next morning? Drives me mad if they've been up a bit late and are cranky the next day!

Chirish Mon 08-Apr-13 21:20:35

My 8 and a half month old is still yet to sleep through. We have tried the pick up, put down/controlled crying method/cuddles/bottles of milk etc and not much seems to work. He has had a cough and cold on and off for the past few weeks and that does wake him and sometimes keep him up, but what other methods can we try?!! He is a happy chilled out boy and naps two/three times a day (approx 30 mins each time). He goes to bed at 7pm with a bottle of milk and goes down with no problem at all. Its just that he keeps waking up in the night!!! help

toomuchpink Mon 08-Apr-13 21:21:07

Thanks Tanya
DT2 does nap ok. Falls asleep alone no problem most days. Longer term I think a later bedtime for DT2 may be inevitable. Must later than 7.30pm seems too late to me at her age though, but maybe I am being too strict?

mrsbeereeves Mon 08-Apr-13 21:21:50

Hi Tanya ... same question as many others ... how to manage early waking? 3 yr old sharing room with his 5 yr old brother, good bedtime, self settles at 7pm but wide awake any time from 5am to 6am (with the odd visit to "find us" during the night) If we try and return him we get loud tantrums, only thing we find that will keep him quiet (but still not asleep) is letting him watch kids programmes on the iPad which probably isn't great ... any suggestions please?? Thank you!!

scampidoodle Mon 08-Apr-13 21:23:39

Hi,
To summarise my question:
You said on your programme that you don't recommend any form of sleep training for under 6 month olds so how do you help a young baby to sleep when the usual shushing, patting, being there till they fall asleep don't work? Or they work but the baby wakes as soon as it all stops...

Thanks

DrTanyaByron Mon 08-Apr-13 21:23:50

MoreSnowPlease

Do you not worry that we are all getting it wrong by trying to 'sleep train' at all? I mean, surely if sleep issues are so prevalent then they are normal? I speak as a very tired mum of a 9 month old who wakes every 30-40 mins and always has. I just worry that this is actually normal and by 'training' him I would be going against what nature intended....

By six months a child should be able to fall asleep on their own in their cot however this doesn't work for everyone and if sleep training does not feel right then it's not for you.

Children change sleep cycles every 30 ish minutes and so if they have not learnt to associate their cot with sleep when they briefly wake between sleep cycles they will require you to be near them. If this is not disruptive to you or your family then I would not tell you to change that. Alternatively you could co sleep if that works for you.

Sleep training is offered to parents whose lives are hanging by threads because they and their children are so exhausted and all are struggling. Plus children require good quality unbroken sleep for healthy cognitive and physical development.

See Nhs guidelines re recommended sleep training for those that require it for their family to function.

DrTanyaByron Mon 08-Apr-13 21:25:22

scampidoodle

Hi,
To summarise my question:
You said on your programme that you don't recommend any form of sleep training for under 6 month olds so how do you help a young baby to sleep when the usual shushing, patting, being there till they fall asleep don't work? Or they work but the baby wakes as soon as it all stops...

Thanks

I am not a fan of controlled crying. However you can help your baby learn good sleep patterns by being near them but not ssshing or patting as this will stimulate them.. Try a hand on the chest and a quiet presence.

LaVitaBellissima Mon 08-Apr-13 21:26:12

I have twins aged 2.5 they are still in cotbeds, and after watching the 1st episode of bedtime live, I think they will be staying in them (with lids) until they go to school

What is your best advice for the transisition of cot to bed, and in particular to twins?

DrTanyaByron Mon 08-Apr-13 21:27:00

Chirish

My 8 and a half month old is still yet to sleep through. We have tried the pick up, put down/controlled crying method/cuddles/bottles of milk etc and not much seems to work. He has had a cough and cold on and off for the past few weeks and that does wake him and sometimes keep him up, but what other methods can we try?!! He is a happy chilled out boy and naps two/three times a day (approx 30 mins each time). He goes to bed at 7pm with a bottle of milk and goes down with no problem at all. Its just that he keeps waking up in the night!!! help

If he falls asleep sucking on the bottle then that's the problem. He needs to be out down awake and then gentle but non reinforcing presence until he falls asleep. Move further away from cot each night as he drops off.

Thanks, wasn't trying to contradict your work I realise it's a much needed lifeline, just interested whether you had views on whether damage is done by not sleep training I guess.

HotheadPaisan Mon 08-Apr-13 21:27:46

Hello Tanya, DS1 in nearly seven and has ASD with extreme separation anxiety. Although we have a great bedtime routine of me reading him to sleep at the same time each night following liquid melatonin he still needs us throughout the night. Would long release melatonin be worth a try or something else do you think?

I feel he won't be able to separate at night until he can in the day (he follows us from room to room) but perhaps a different medication would help. Rewards just do not work by the way, he just can't cope so I'm happy with what's happening for now but obviously would like him in his own bed and room at some point. Any rays of hope to offer? Thanks.

My babies slept better once they were on their tummies - they had reflux.

DrTanya do you know how many babies may be Undiagnosed with silent reflux or intolerances which may impact on sleep? (certainly did mine)

DrTanyaByron Mon 08-Apr-13 21:30:20

LaVitaBellissima

I have twins aged 2.5 they are still in cotbeds, and after watching the 1st episode of bedtime live, I think they will be staying in them (with lids) until they go to school

What is your best advice for the transisition of cot to bed, and in particular to twins?

Ha ha with lids! I know you don't mean it....

Wheyu do bed transition you cld sit between them and Sssshhh them as they drop off or stand outside the room and consistently but non reinforcingly (ie no chat or attention) put them back to bed (rapid return) If you are calm and consistent they will get the message over a few nights 10 days tops.

Did this with my DS who is now 15. Just asked him if he was traumatised by it and he just gave me that teen boy 'what you on about..." look. He seems ok to me!

cicililly Mon 08-Apr-13 21:30:53

Dear Tanya

My 6 month old daughter still isnt sleeping through the night. Her sleeping habits are actually getting worse. I feed her as much as I can during the day with formula and 3 solid meals. She roars crying at night when I put her down at 7pm and takes about a half an hour before she falls asleep. She wakes at 11 for a bottle and then after that for the past 2 weeks she has been waking about another 3 times and its takes ages for her to get back to sleep, lots of crying. We usually give her 2 feeds during the night at 1 and 4 but she doesnt take a lot of her bottle at these feeding times. We tried to let her cry last night to wean her off the night feeds but the crying went on for ages. It would be much better for us all if she could drop these night feeds but I am afraid in case she is crying because she is hungry. It is becoming very tough and exhausting. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Kind regards

C

LBsBongers Mon 08-Apr-13 21:30:59

Hello Tanya, put a question on yesterday but similar to JaffaSnaffle as in have a frequent waking 5 month old.

You advise to put down awake to break the association with BF and sleep, DD2 gets baby rage if I do this, so I embark on pick up put down which normally ends up with her conking out from the upset, ie she's asleep being put down.

If only it was as simple as putting her down in her cot and walking away

ImNotCute Mon 08-Apr-13 21:31:02

How much crying do you think is acceptable when sleep training a toddler?

My 15 month old is mostly fed to sleep. After watching your programme I tried for 4 nights to settle him with a gradual retreat method but he was hysterical, it felt wrong. The baby of a similar age in your programme didn't seem to cry at all. I'm back to feeding to sleep for now.

DrTanyaByron Mon 08-Apr-13 21:31:14

CreatureRetorts

My babies slept better once they were on their tummies - they had reflux.

DrTanya do you know how many babies may be Undiagnosed with silent reflux or intolerances which may impact on sleep? (certainly did mine)

Yes this can be a problem. Good to see a paediatrician if you think this is happening with your child. Gentle meds can help.

nellyjelly Mon 08-Apr-13 21:31:38

Any advice re the early waking questions?

Fijiclaire Mon 08-Apr-13 21:32:48

Hi
I have a 5 and half month old who did sleep through from 7-15 weeks but then just stopped. He isn't ready for bed before 9 as too alert we have tried putting to bed earlier but doesn't work. He goes to sleep fine in his cot without much of a problem however he is waking atleast 4 times a night and won't sleep longer than 2 hour stretches. I have tried cutting milk out but to no success and am reluctant to totally as he isn't drinking much during the day. Iv tried the sitting down next to cot when he wakes with hands through bars on his chest to comfort but this can result in up to an hour Or more of screaming. Milk does settle him back to sleep however. I'm back to work and find the hour or more of screaming to get him back to sleep each time hard work along with the lack of sleep being up and down all night. He is very tired and fights sleeping during the day. Even the doctor has said how tired he seems. I just don't no what to do any more for my own sanity and his health. Any suggestions gratefully received.

DrTanyaByron Mon 08-Apr-13 21:33:55

ImNotCute

How much crying do you think is acceptable when sleep training a toddler?

My 15 month old is mostly fed to sleep. After watching your programme I tried for 4 nights to settle him with a gradual retreat method but he was hysterical, it felt wrong. The baby of a similar age in your programme didn't seem to cry at all. I'm back to feeding to sleep for now.

It might be that you need to do intermittent reassuring which means leave the room and come in at 2 and then 5 minute intervals to sssshhh and reassure him. Feeding to sleep will never help him learn to fall asleep on his own.

I wonder whether your presence in the room was harder for him hence intermittent reassuring might work better. He might cry a bit but you often appearing helps him know he has not been abandoned (this is why I am NOT a fan of controlled crying leaving kids to cry for long periods).

Give it aweek 10 days. Good luck.

Chirish Mon 08-Apr-13 21:35:46

Thanks so much for replying Tanya. So, I think we'll try putting him to bed a little earlier because more often than not, he's pretty grizzly by 7pm, and does fall asleep on the bottle. I really hope that does the trick. Are you saying that because of the way we have been putting him to bed, that is the reason he wakes in the night? he usually settles after a few ounces of milk

IwishIwasmoreorganised Mon 08-Apr-13 21:36:13

Intermittent reassuring sounds just the same as controlled crying - just phrased in a more PC way!

DrTanyaByron Mon 08-Apr-13 21:36:50

nellyjelly

Any advice re the early waking questions?

Work out when your child wakes and calculate whether they are waking early because (with naps) they have had enough sleep. See BEDTIME LIVE website for information.

If this is the case then reduce daytime naps or put to sleep later.

If older child then put a lamp on a timer and reward for not coming to your room until the light switches on. Set timer near waking time and work backwards by 15 mins over next days.

Also blackout curtains are good!

DrTanyaByron Mon 08-Apr-13 21:39:46

IwishIwasmoreorganised

Intermittent reassuring sounds just the same as controlled crying - just phrased in a more PC way!

Traditionally CC means long stretches of crying alone which can stress little ones and parents out.

Intermittent reassuring means brief non reinforcing appearances more regularly.

Staying in the room and dong Gradual Withdrawal Can make some kids more agitated because they don't understand why a parent is there and not interacting with them.

Do what works best for you and your child.

"Feeding to sleep will never help him learn to fall asleep on his own."

Really?! hmm I disagree, sorry. Surely there's a reason babies fall asleep so easily feeding.

Don't think this chat is for me, thanks for your time on my question though.

sparklytoes Mon 08-Apr-13 21:41:32

Hi! I've never posted on a webchat before - I hope I've figured it out. I am mum to my lovely little girl and also a psychologist. I'm wondering what your thoughts are re a lot of these techniques being based in behaviourist frameworks - do you see a conflict with what we know about from attachment theory about children's early needs to feel safe and secure? Thanks!

DrTanyaByron Mon 08-Apr-13 21:43:55

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs

I have a 2.2yo that has been dxd with hyperactivity 'with a high probability of ADHD'. He has never slept for more than 4 hours in one go. NEVER. He is also being assessed for Autism next month, and has a severe speech delay, only has about 10 single words. He can't express his needs or wants to me.

He doesn't cry, is in his own bed (though we have no choice but to share a room, which also has the tumble dryer in, as well as other things that have nowhere else to live, like my craft drawers).

I had to take him out of his cot at a very young age as he would climb to the top of it, and throw himself over the top. It wasn't safe, so he has had a toddler bed since then.

He wakes for 'milk' (neocate active, a amino acid based hypoallergenic milk replacement) once in the night - but he is on a very restricted diet due to multiple severe allergies, and his dietician says that he still needs this.

That I can cope with, as all I have to do is pour it from the flask and give it to him.

Problem is that his 'night' where he only wakes once is from 1am to 5am usually. Sometimes if he's extra tired, he will sleep from 9pm to 11pm, then be up for two hours, then go back to sleep at 1/2am.

And then he's awake for the day. He's not crying, he's just active. Running around, pulling things out of drawers, climbing UP the bookshelf (and I do mean up, right to the top), jumping on his bed, spinning in circles while saying 'eeeeeeeeeeee'...

If I put him back in bed, he just waits until I have lay down again, and then gets up. He never cries when I put him back in bed, he just gets up.

I can do pick up put back 100+ times and he STILL won't stay in bed.

I can only carry that on for two days as it is a huge strain on me because I'm disabled myself, and have no support. (I have arthritis and epilepsy)

Is there anything I can try other than medication (HV has suggested melatonin) that can help? I don't want to go to medication unless I've tried everything else I can think of.

It's not so much an issue of him crying or anything, as him just not needing much sleep. How do I get him to adjust his sleep pattern? I would rather he slept from 2am - 6am. I struggle to get up at 5am!

He still has a nap in the day, but it is only around 30-45 mins. And I CAN'T stop that or keep him awake, because the minute I go to cook dinner, he drops off for it. I might have been keeping him awake since lunchtime, but then he goes at dinner, so I've given up on trying to keep him awake because then he has his nap too late and falls asleep even later.

Melatonin is the chemical that the brain produces in order for us to fall asleep. Some children may need it to shift their sleep pattern and help them learn to fall asleep by becoming drowsy.

I'd consult a paediatrician who if they do prescribe will do so in a way that offers a regime to rebalance arousal levels in your child but as their body learns to sleep will reduce it until it is no longer necessary.

UnderwaterBasketWeaving Mon 08-Apr-13 21:44:49

Hi, sorry to ask again, i think someone else asked about this too.

do you have any suggestions for dealing with what appears to be night terrors & sleep walking? Is this a behavioural thing that can respond to training?

ImNotCute Mon 08-Apr-13 21:45:16

Thanks for your response Tanya. You might be right that me being there made him more upset. I need to think about it some more, i'm not sure I'd be happy to leave him.

emmalt10 Mon 08-Apr-13 21:45:37

Hi Tanya
Loving the show! Just a quickie (something a bit different).
My older two children (10 and 8), tend to be a bit bored and lethargic during the day - it's an effort to drag them out to do things, but after teatime (5-6pm) they will willingly go out and play, play play. And they get on really well. I have to drag them in for bedtime (they are asleep by 9.30 usually). It is difficult to get them to wind down for bed though they have always had a good bedtime routine involving bath and stories.
Any ideas?
Many thanks
Emma

Imnotcute my 15 month old sometimes settled faster if I leave her for a couple of mins. She'll cry out but stops quickly (I time it). Any longer and I go in and cuddle her to sleep. She doesn't fall asleep on the boob though as I feed her earlier.

DrTanyaByron Mon 08-Apr-13 21:47:50

sparklytoes

Hi! I've never posted on a webchat before - I hope I've figured it out. I am mum to my lovely little girl and also a psychologist. I'm wondering what your thoughts are re a lot of these techniques being based in behaviourist frameworks - do you see a conflict with what we know about from attachment theory about children's early needs to feel safe and secure? Thanks!

I don't recommend sleep training in its purest behavioural sense before 6 months because the early days and months of bonding need to take precedence and respect the physiological norms of the newborn in terms of feeding etc.

Falling in love is chaotic and so I am not a fan of prescribed training from day one to suit us and our schedules.

HOWEVER everyone must do what feels right for them and once an attachment is formed and weaning going well (so no need for nighttime nutrition) behavioural techniques can and do work. Behavioural techniques also have a profound impact on relationships because once a child sleep, so do their parents and all relate better and happier during the day.

HotheadPaisan Mon 08-Apr-13 21:48:59

Agree melatonin a huge help for some kids, has worked wonders in cutting DS1's (ASD) bedtime routine down from hours to 30mins or so, can even skip it sometimes now.

ImNotCute Mon 08-Apr-13 21:49:29

Thanks creatureretorts, good to hear.

Yoshi Mon 08-Apr-13 21:50:24

19 month old has sleep association prob- needs parent in room to fall asleep.

Continuously stands himself up in cot & needs to be physically laid back down - we go thorough this for 20-30 mins each evening then one of us is trapped in his room for 30-60 mins before we can creep out

Slight noise wakes him & we are back at square 1.

He then wakes 1-4 times in night & we go through it all again.

How can we break cycle of one of us needing to be in room for him to fall asleep?

Thank you so much!

NickNacks Mon 08-Apr-13 21:50:44

Don't know if age 6/7 is too old for your advice but...

My son is 7 this year and a very deep sleeper. So deep that he is unable to toilet train at night. Doesn't even notice if he completely soaks through. Has slept through every sort of instance such as falling out of bed, stitches in hospital, loud storms.

Will he grow out of this or should we seek help?

DrTanyaByron Mon 08-Apr-13 21:51:25

UnderwaterBasketWeaving

Hi, sorry to ask again, i think someone else asked about this too.

do you have any suggestions for dealing with what appears to be night terrors & sleep walking? Is this a behavioural thing that can respond to training?

Night terrors are different to nightmares. Night terrors are where the child is asleep but flailing and and appears distressed. They generally appear at the same time each night because they signal when a child has a bumpy ride between two sleep cycles. Do NOT wake the child (they are not aware what is going on and will not remember them in the morning) just sit close by to make sure they are safe.

Work out when the child wakes and then wake them 15 minutes earlier each night and then help them back to sleep. That way you nterruptsbsleep the problematic sleep cycle change and after a few nights can recalibrate the cycles and sleep terrors disappear.

UnderwaterBasketWeaving Mon 08-Apr-13 21:53:01

Thank you, I'll start keeping track of the time and try waking him. Thanks!

NumTum7 Mon 08-Apr-13 21:54:02

My daughter is 18 months. She's wakes for the day between 7 and 8am and naps around 11.30am for about 1 and a half to 2 hours. She hasn't had a 2nd nap in the last 2-3 months as she started to refuse it. So by 6ish she's tired. We start the bedtime routine at 6.30 and she's in bed by about 7.15 but, most nights, spends around an hour chatting, singing, shouting, crying. My partner goes to her regularly to settle her (I don't go as am breast feeding and she usually asks me for milk if I go!) but not sure what else to do. Is she overtired and needs an earlier bedtime or should we try a later bedtime if that's the time she seems to settle? Any advice?

DrTanyaByron Mon 08-Apr-13 21:54:03

MoreSnowPlease

"Feeding to sleep will never help him learn to fall asleep on his own."

Really?! hmm I disagree, sorry. Surely there's a reason babies fall asleep so easily feeding.

Don't think this chat is for me, thanks for your time on my question though.

Hi don't want you to feel I am dismissing what works for you. Probably answered too briefly (this typing is a killer)!

A child will fall asleep feeding but may then require feeding to get to sleep whenever they wake and so not learn to drop off themselves.

However whatever works for you and your child is more important than my or any other experts advice!

CutePuppy Mon 08-Apr-13 21:54:46

Nicknames, I have the same problem.

Dr Tanya I know night training is hormonal, but what can we do to help deep sleepers who still wet at night? My six year old is still in night time pants and is quite upset by it. But he just sleeps through soaking the bed without them. Do you advocate lifting as I have heard this just trains them to go at night?

appleandplum Mon 08-Apr-13 21:55:21

My 14 month old is mostly bf/bottle fed to sleep and wakes several times in the night. I feed him back to sleep as i also have 3 yr old twins who wake when he cries, when i have tried not to feed in the past.

Any advice?

CutePuppy Mon 08-Apr-13 21:55:32

Nick nacks, sorry!

DrTanyaByron Mon 08-Apr-13 21:56:00

NickNacks

Don't know if age 6/7 is too old for your advice but...

My son is 7 this year and a very deep sleeper. So deep that he is unable to toilet train at night. Doesn't even notice if he completely soaks through. Has slept through every sort of instance such as falling out of bed, stitches in hospital, loud storms.

Will he grow out of this or should we seek help?

I recommend you seek advice from ERIC (enuresis research and information council). They have great advice and support for kids like yours who need help with nocturnal enuresis and provide pads and alarms to help them wake when they first wee and then take themselves off to empty in the loo. Overtime the bladder will learn to accommodate the urine through the night.

Ruthsedge Mon 08-Apr-13 21:56:02

Hi Tanya, I am struggling with a 23 month old who vomits...a lot... At bedtime if we don't lie with her. Even if I sit on edge of bed and try not to look at her. We have bedtime routine and she is tired but we haven't a clue. She may only cry for 5 mins before she makes herself sick...help! please!!!! Thanks ruth

sparklytoes Mon 08-Apr-13 21:56:44

Thanks for answering - I'm wondering about the evidence base for an attachment being formed in the first 6 months? For me, it's an ongoing process that can still be disrupted after 6 months of age. Agree that each family need to do what is right for them - but would like to see more families have more knowledge about how and why behavioural techniques work (conditioning/learned helplessness etc) before they make their decision. Do you think families have this information when making their decisions about what path to go down?

DrTanyaByron Mon 08-Apr-13 21:56:58

CutePuppy

Nicknames, I have the same problem.

Dr Tanya I know night training is hormonal, but what can we do to help deep sleepers who still wet at night? My six year old is still in night time pants and is quite upset by it. But he just sleeps through soaking the bed without them. Do you advocate lifting as I have heard this just trains them to go at night?

Lifting means you are not allowing the bladder to learn to hold urine though the night. See earlier post re ERIC.

DrTanyaByron Mon 08-Apr-13 21:58:49

sparklytoes

Thanks for answering - I'm wondering about the evidence base for an attachment being formed in the first 6 months? For me, it's an ongoing process that can still be disrupted after 6 months of age. Agree that each family need to do what is right for them - but would like to see more families have more knowledge about how and why behavioural techniques work (conditioning/learned helplessness etc) before they make their decision. Do you think families have this information when making their decisions about what path to go down?

Plenty of info out there!

I work clinically with families whose lives are decimated by no sleep, relationships in crisis. But I never prescribe a one size fits all.

LeSquish Mon 08-Apr-13 21:58:54

Massively exhausted. Have a 6 month old with silent reflux (medically managed with ranitidine) and cows milk protein intolerance (on neocate). He has been weaned since 5 months and had started sleeping from 12 until 6am.....but for the past fortnight has been waking up wailing at 2, 3, 4 and then awake from 6 onwards. He will only nap for about 40 mins into morning and half an hour in the afternoons. I am literally on my knees wit exhaustion. He never wants more than 2oz at night when he wakes but will lie there wailing with his eyes shut. Dummy doesn't help, nor does white noise Etc. loathe to try rocking him as want him to continue to self soothe. (He does this to fall asleep after bedtime routine). Also takes him a good hour- hour and a half to fall asleep at night, despite eye rubbing and yawning etc. please help, I'm going mad with tiredness. Thanks in advance.

BertieBotts Mon 08-Apr-13 21:59:54

I'd also like to know if you believe so strongly that feeding/cuddling/rocking to sleep is a "wrong" sleep association and children will never learn to fall asleep alone, how come so many of them do when they grow out of it?

I co slept with my DS until he was 2, he stopped feeding to sleep naturally at around 10 months - he would feed, roll away and fall asleep by himself. He was happy when I moved him to his own bed and although he did used to wake and come into our bed, he grew out of this too. Now he is 4 he is very easy to put to bed, I can give him a kiss and tuck him in and he's asleep within minutes of me leaving. I did stay with him to fall asleep until he was around 3 or so, but he did grow out of it by himself when he was ready and it wasn't a problem for us.

I know you will probably say not all children react in the same way, clearly, but although I was settling him to sleep much later than is "normal" in our culture, it seems to me that he reached these milestones perfectly fine by himself when he was developmentally ready to.

I'm probably too late to have my question answered but in the face of this (and I'm not the only one as have seen the same thing played out on these boards by many posters' children) do you think that all of this is really worth worrying and stressing about, or do you genuinely believe that the kind of sleep "problems" you are solving are real difficulties for children? I'm not talking about the problems with teenagers or older children because to me that is a totally separate issue.

SleepyE Mon 08-Apr-13 22:00:13

My second son is 27 months and I have not had more than 5 hours sleep at a time (a rare treat rather than the norm) in that time. He has terrible habits which we have allowed because we were worried about the effcts of waking the firstborn (now 4.5). Until last week he was spending 7.30pm (bedtime) til 10-11pm in his own bed in a shared room with his brother, and then settling in our bed with a BF until ~5.30am when he would wake for the day. Prior to that he was also waking around 2am and required a BF to settle but I put my foot down and after a few nights he got the message. I am now trying to work on getting him to spend the whole night in his own bed, which at the moment involves me 'sleeping' with him from the 10-11pm wake up until when he wakes up at 5.30 and starts creating merry hell. We have a Gro clock and have been trying to reinforce the idea that he should stay in bed quietly till the sun comes up (6am- I'm not greedy!). But he wakes up and either screams in temper or wants to play.

He naps for about 2 hours at midday, but this seems to have no effect on the night waking/early start as there have been times he has refused to nap and still wakes as often and when he has longer it is the same too.

I have been glued to Bedtime Live in the hope of some pointers and thought I'd got it all worked out with some help from Elizabeth Pantley's 'No Cry Sleep Solution' and was feeling quite positive but I feel like I have hit a brick wall and have no idea what to do next. I have already handed my notice in at work as I couldn't handle the high pressure (life/ death) in my previous career with the lack of sleep. I am at rock bottom and really feel I need to get this sorted out before eldest starts school in Sept.

DrTanyaByron Mon 08-Apr-13 22:00:32

HotheadPaisan

Hello Tanya, DS1 in nearly seven and has ASD with extreme separation anxiety. Although we have a great bedtime routine of me reading him to sleep at the same time each night following liquid melatonin he still needs us throughout the night. Would long release melatonin be worth a try or something else do you think?

I feel he won't be able to separate at night until he can in the day (he follows us from room to room) but perhaps a different medication would help. Rewards just do not work by the way, he just can't cope so I'm happy with what's happening for now but obviously would like him in his own bed and room at some point. Any rays of hope to offer? Thanks.

It may be anxiety and he will need help to learn to manage that. I am a BIG FAN of Dawn Huebners books and her WHAT TO DI WHEN YIU DREAD YOUR BED is great for over 6 year olds.

HotheadPaisan Mon 08-Apr-13 22:01:42

Thanks, got all of Huebner's books, they are excellent. This is going to be a long, old road so will just keep plugging away.

NickNacks Mon 08-Apr-13 22:02:23

Thank you smile

CutePuppy Mon 08-Apr-13 22:05:33

Thank you. We head on over to the Eric website.

DrTanyaByron Mon 08-Apr-13 22:05:52

Good night all.

Sorry couldn't get through the many interesting questions. And thank you to those just posting nice comments.

Sorry for the typos - long clinic day, just got in....

Just to say again - don't let anyone make you feel wrong for the choices you make if they feel right for you. I certainly don't prescribe a one size fits all.

I'll think of mumsnet tomorrow night when I do the Live show and to those that watch and have been so complimentary - many thanks.

#bedtimelive. C4 Tuesday 9 and 16 April 8-9 pm.

Night! Tanya x

sparklytoes Mon 08-Apr-13 22:08:28

Thanks again for response. Yep, plenty of info out there - A lot of it contradictory as well! I find that families are often interested in techniques that work (obviously!) and behavioural techniques can be effective. They often don't (in my experience) have the info about the psychological mechanisms underpinning how they work. They often want to look at different options when they have an awareness of this (some don't and that is fair enough as at least they have all the info). Plenty of alternative gentle techniques that are a lot less stressful for parents and little ones. Interesting discussion!

SarahMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 08-Apr-13 22:09:12

Thanks everyone for a great, and informative, chat. We're waving Tanya off now for some well-deserved wine - for those of you whose questions Tanya didn't get a chance to respond to (and those whose questions she did!) you can catch her on Bedtime Live on Channel 4 tomorrow. smile

bertiebotts see Tanyas answer to my question previously, which was basically the same as yours.

Very glad to hear your LO did the feeding then rolling away thing, mine is starting to do this so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that he will learn when he's ready too!

Thanks Tanya, good luck with the show :-)

Thank you!

LeSquish, cuddle your baby or rock. He could be teething or the reflyx flaring up again (my two both had it). There's also a developmental leap around 6 months. Perhaps try putting him on his tummy if he can roll now. It'll pass and he'll self settle again - something is wrong which is why he isn't doing it now.

WantOurRoomBack Mon 08-Apr-13 22:10:58

Thank you Tanya. Lots of food for thought.

HotheadPaisan Mon 08-Apr-13 22:13:12

I agree about expectations in the West around children and sleep, if co-sleeping and nighttime parenting aren't an issue, or rather you can cope with them or can't face the alternatives then I'd just carry on with what you're doing. I have gone to bed early for years in order to cope with the problems we've had (I WOHM FT) but it's not for everyone.

I do think that if it takes longer than the 7-10 days for a toddler/ child to settle you'll be lucky if one lot of sleep training sorts it. I've known people go through hell for months on end trying to implement these and other techniques only to give up and accept co-sleeping or something different to what they had in mind. Some kids just have higher needs than others.

JaffaSnaffle Mon 08-Apr-13 22:13:29

Thank you Tanya

Well when my daughter was younger I did 2 things that apparently you shouldn't, a bit of controlled crying and lifting onto the loo when we went to bed. But it worked for us!

Just now the problem with the typical teen issue that there just doesn't seem to be an answer to. I will continue to watch the show for any teeny tiny tips!

Thanks for taking the time to come to us today!

Well said hothead it's nice that Tanya says she doesn't prescribe one size fits all to be fair, the show does have different techniques but for now, I'm with you on this, I would rather wake every 40 minutes and suffer sleep deprivation if it means DS is securely attached...may change my mind if I have a second baby!

HotheadPaisan Mon 08-Apr-13 22:24:42

We had that every 50 mins thing, only lasted a few weeks/ months but my memory might be hazy. Ironically DS2 has been far more difficult than DS1 with regards to sleep and he's NT (as far as we know). He was the one with colic and reflux so on, DS1 was passive and easy as a baby, and then wasn't smile

Agree there should be more info out there about developmental phases and so on, you need to at least wait for a settled period in order to try some of these things, and that's probably when you are least likely to want to rock the boat.

I liked the emphasis on doing what is right for the whole family, and not doing anything if that's ok too.

HotheadPaisan Mon 08-Apr-13 22:26:29

Oh, and I have never felt sleep-deprived, I honestly just go to bed when I'm tired and don't when I'm not. They'll be past all this soon enough.

LBsBongers Mon 08-Apr-13 22:30:38

Yes but what about the baby rage

hothead would love to sleep when tired but have insomniac traits and tend to stay awake when tired confused

Ironically for the first time EVER DS has been asleep since 8pm and stirred many times but not needed feeding back off to sleep which he usually needs every 40 mins. I think it's because I fed him por

Porridge before bed....so he was waking for hunger at 9 months. Even though sleep experts would have you believe they don't get hungry after the magical 6 month mark hmm

HotheadPaisan Mon 08-Apr-13 22:39:25

I can catnap anywhere, good job! Also good at just daydreaming in the early hours if I've inadvertently snoozed earlier and just can't sleep.

It does get better, and we've had it pretty bad. I often get some time in the evenings now to potter about on the internet and so on.

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Tue 09-Apr-13 00:56:41

Thank you for the answer. So it seems that melatonin may well be the answer.

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Tue 09-Apr-13 01:10:14

And possibly fixing my own body clock that works on a sleep pattern of 2am-10am.

I've been the same since a baby though, and nothing has solved that one...

I can get up at 7am ok, 6 at a stretch, but 5am kills me!

Timetoask Tue 09-Apr-13 05:30:17

Could we please have a webchat about sleep problems with children with special needs?
There seem to be plenty of us on the same boat. I am shattered after 8 years of this despite being very good with sleep routines etc.
I am dying a slow death with ds's early wakes and no one has been able to help.

emmalt10 Tue 09-Apr-13 08:46:46

Hi, I just want to add that feeding your baby to sleep is the most normal, natural and healthy thing to do. It is a wonderful feeling for mother and child, and is a wonderful bonding tool. I did it with all my children, and for nearly two years with the last one (he's two tomorrow).
When you are ready to have your nights back, there are gentle ways to teach them, but they take longer. I decided to give myself three months to get him sleeping through the night. It took two and a half, with minimal distress for us both.
The first thing I did was to break the feed to sleep association by breaking the seal when sucking slowed, then rocking, stroking etc to sleep (these are easier to break than the feeding). When he got distressed I fed him again, but once again took him off as soon as sucking slowed. He did keep trying to hold fast, but was tired, so eventually understood that it was time to stop and go to sleep.
Then I changed around his bedtime routine, so that stories came after milk, and I put soothing music on as a sleep association. I also got my husband involved with putting him to bed following my routine.
I'm currently on a mattress on his floor as he's not quite ready for me not to be there if he wakes, but I have had a week of full nights sleep, and two and a half months ago he woke 5-6 times!
Try The Baby Book by the Sears or the no-cry sleep solution by Elizabeth Pantley.
Hope this is helpful. You're not alone! I do like Prof Byron's advice generally speaking, I just wouldn't go quite so fast with my child - one size doesn't fit all!

emma I am going to copy you -by my very nearly 2 year old takes hours (literally) to fall asleep, in his bed with me holding his hand. I night weaned at 11 months and finally broke the cuddle to sleep cycle when I moved him out of his hated cot, but I cannot break the need to hold my hand - its been 6 months now. I planned gradual retreat but if I don't hold his hand he gets out of bed, and can keep doing so for hours. On the advice of a paediatrician I changed his sleeping arrangements, so he now has his own room instead of sharing with his brother, but his sleep is now even worse!

I think he needs me there to fall asleep including when he half wakes as everyone does multiple times a night -and he wakes 4 - 8 times a night and each waking is progressively harder to resettle him from.

What do you play music on? He's broken a cd player in the past, and he's a climber so there's nowhere high up in his room to put it for safety reasons. Also what music works for you? Thanks for the tips smile

emmalt10 Tue 09-Apr-13 10:47:19

Hi MrTumbles, Oooh that sounds hard - I empathise totally - you need your evenings back! I found a really lovely cd on Amazon called Lullaby. It's a lady singing, but she has a really soothing voice, and my little one loves it. Be careful when you put it on though, as he now associates it with milk rather than sleep! I use a normal cheap cd player, and have put it under my rocking chair. He does fiddle with it, but no harm has come to it...yet...
When he goes to bed, I've been trying (without much success) to give him a comforter. I've been his comforter until now - again, nothing wrong with that, it means he's attached and secure which is building really good independence during the day. But it is harder for mum. He seemed to like a dog for a while, but isn't really that bothered. At the moment he likes Slumber Bear, BECAUSE, the bear has a music box that he can take out and press buttons on. It has heartbeat, waves, music and can record your voice (which he likes). At the moment, he is lying in bed holding the box and pressing buttons until he falls asleep. I'm lying on my bed on the floor (I might as well be comfortable), but at least he's not feeding or needing to touch me. At the moment anyway. It would be good if you could find somthing like that, that he would be happy to hold instead of your hand, then you could use gradual withdrawal. Good luck :-)

emmalt10 Tue 09-Apr-13 10:49:22

Also, if he's taking hours to settle, he's either overtired and needs to go to bed earlier and have a good nap in the day, or not tired enough, and might settle better if you start bedtime a bit later.

Thanks emma like your toddler, mine refuses to form an attachment to a comforter- I had a specifically chosen one in his cot from day 1 but he always ignored it/ chucked it out once he could. The music box to hold is an idea - we have one he likes (playmobile, his big sister's) but the music is much too lively. Will look up slumber bear.

He is trying to drop his daytime nap but that results in him falling asleep at 5pm but viwing it as a nap even if I put him to bed, and waking full of energy an hour later. I usually resort to doing the lunch time Kindergarten run via a scenic route now so he'll fall asleep then, but he's never been one for long naps and rarely sleeps more than an hour wherever he naps. I know theoretically he could be overtired but a) I have no idea how to make him sleep longer and b) he doesn't seem remotely so unless he skips the midday sleep. (I am in the car now with him napping, outside my older son's kindergarten! ). I hesitate to try a later bedtime as we need to leave the house before 8amI on a weekday (currently all the children go upstairs between 7pm and 7.30 latest ). I guess it probably is worth trying, but 1the thing at a time I think!

I have also wondered if a mild food intolerance could be at the root of his poor sleep, but have no evidence for that and am probably clutching at straws! Thinking of trying cutting back on wheat or dairy but have reservations about too much unfermented soya as a substitute for dairy so still dithering - last resort territory I think!

emmalt10 Tue 09-Apr-13 13:58:57

Our toddlers do sound similar! Mine's asleep in the car at the moment too, because I think he still needs the sleep. And if I don't make sure he sleeps now, he'll sleep at 5.00, just for a nap...
Mine definitely had/has mild intolerances to wheat and dairy, which I try to avoid at bedtime. There are also certain foods that are sleep-inducing, and it might be worth looking at giving them at tea/supper time - milk, turkey, tuna, almonds, cashews, walnuts, peanut butter, cottage cheese, hard cheese, yoghurt, soymilk, tofu, soybeans, eggs, bananas and avocados.
The other thing I did, that has really, really helped...wait for it, it'll sound a little off the wall...was to create a photobook of him from birth, growing up to present. I took photos of his entire bedtime routine, and wrote a little story to accompany it, including at the end 'and then you will go to bed, and sleep all night long in your lovely cosy bed'. I put in photos of him and everyone else in the family asleep in bed, and wrote the same caption next to each picture. He absolutely loves it and makes me read it over and over again. I think it works as a sort of hypnosis, and makes sure he knows what I expect of him at night.

mayajan Wed 10-Apr-13 12:20:11

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

zareda Tue 16-Jul-13 19:44:39

Hi! I would be very grateful for some advise...
My 15/16 month old is going through a tough patch with sleeping day & night.
The recent problem coincides with us staying at my parents place in Spain. We are to be here & with her other grandparents all summer but so far, she is hysterical every time I put her in her cot AND every time I walk away from her, even briefly, day or night.
I have kept her routine the same with all her familiar soft toys etc, the only difference is I can't block the light out in her room or it will get way too hot.
Today I didn't persevere with trying to get her down for her nap (having failed miserably yesterday), so she cried herself to sleep a bit sooner this evening, but no doubt she will wake in the night & we will have another episode of trying to get her back to sleep with milk or having her in bed with me (so not to wake everyone else up).
For over a week now, she has been keeping the whole house awake and stressing everyone out (MY mother was in tears yesterday!), and being pregnant, I could do with some respite but most of all, I would love to get my happy little girl back!
Thanks for any help you can offer.

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