DS2 is 15.5 months old. He is gorgeous, happy, smiley, into everything and generally pretty lovely to be around during the day. Nights are something else. He slept pretty well until 4 months then it all went horribly wrong.
Current situation is that he can settle himself to sleep, but generally doesn't during the night. He wakes between three and five times, sometimes for long periods, and it's getting to the point where I just can't do it anymore. I work part-time and have another DS. I feel like I'm being a shit mum to them both and struggling to get through the day without shouting as I'm constantly so tired my fuse is about a millimetre long. This is Not Good.
I tend to get him out of the cot immediately to cuddle him to sleep when he wakes at night (I know, Iknow), sometimes in his room and sometimes in my room - partly because I don't have the stamina to do a lot else on the third waking at 2am when I've only managed to bag half an hour's sleep and he'll be up in 3 hours anyway, and partly because I don't want him to wake up his big brother.
BUT. Things have to change. So here's my plan. Please tell me if you think it's a good plan/crap plan/how I could make it better. I clearly don't have a fecking clue what I'm doing so any advice is welcome.
Bedtime. This is not so hard. Plan is to put DS down nice and early at bedtime and let him settle himself to sleep without me in the room. I generally try and do this anyway but will make an extra special effort. He did it tonight like a dream (no crying - I can't handle crying).
Night wakings. I will not take DS out of his room and I won't pick him up immediately. I will offer water while he's in his cot and try and settle him (back rub etc) without picking him up. If he gets really distraught I will pick him up and cuddle him, then put him straight back down when he's settled.
Once he's settling in his cot fairly easily (anyone know how long that might take??) I will reduce the amount of intervention and try to soothe him just by talking to him etc. Hopefully at this point he will start settling himself. That's the plan anyway
I will try the plan consistenly for 2 weeks and if there are zero improvements (I'm not expecting miracles, just some improvement) I will admit defeat and call Millpond Sleep Clinic.
If you'd made it this far, thank you. Sorry for the epic post - I needed to write it down somewhere and thought it would be worth getting some opinions at the same time.
I discovered if you make a mattress of spare duvets on the floor next to the cot, you can lie on the floor, snuggled under the duvet, and doze, with your hand between the cot bars (just!). They you can doze while they play with your fingers. Tho this was after months of those 2hrs of wakefullness in the middle of the night. Sounds like you've got improvement tho, so hopefully you won't need to lower yourself to my levels.
Thanks for the hand bicnod. It sounds like you're doing brilliantly. I'm v about your night off and lie in
Our plan is going well. DH has been a star and DS is responding pretty well. We've totally cut out night feeds now so the next stage is getting him to self settle (at the moment, DH is sill going in for a cuddle / bottle of water / stern 'lie down' every time DS wakes)
We had an amazing breakthrough last night when he woke up and just gurgled away to himself for half an hour or so (instead of screaming) but he still ended up crying and needing DH before he went back to sleep. Still, progress is progress right?
Last night was less good, but still some progress I think.
Woke around 10ish, settled fairly quickly but had to pick him up. Went to sleep with me stroking his back in around 15 minutes.
Then woke around midnight having done a massive poo! Took a bit of back rubbing to settle him. Got into bed 40 minutes after he first woke up and he started crying. Ignored for 1 minute (literally) and crying stopped and he went to sleep
Then up for the day at 5.30am.
So not brilliant, but still feels like we're getting somewhere. Who knows what tonight will bring...
ATruth sounds like things are going really well. I think you have to hold onto anything that looks like progress! Good luck for tonight.
Last couple of nights not quite so good, but still feel like we're getting there.
06/11 - down at 18.50 (had to stroke his head), up at 21.30 (drink of water), up at 00.30 and then again at 00.50, then slept until 5.55. Not great, not brilliant.
Last night - down at 18.50 (cried for 5 mins while I was putting DS1 to bed, went in and stroked his back and he went off to sleep) then all the way through unil 5.00!! But then he was up for the day - couldn't get him to go back to sleep.
So bit early - not as good as the all nighter - but definitely an improvement on a couple of weeks ago.
Just read through all this - congrats! I remember when DS sleep regressed and we were on our knees. He woke every hour and it was killing us. I realised that I was training him out of self settling as went in whenever he squeaked. I can take no credit for sorting out his sleep as my wonderful DH did it whilst I was on a week of nights so came back to a child who woke once or twice!
Now we are having to bite the bullet and get rid of the bottle. Although now DH is away during the week I'm such a wuss and don't have as much self control as him
oh Bicnod, I was hoping it would last! Don't be disheartned, he will improve if you are consistent. Keep us updated!
Pro - how old is your DS? I got Ds to give his bottle to Santa in exchange for a beaker last year, it worked well and he was too tired at the end of Christmas day when we gave him a beaker of water to take to bed instead. He was 2.5 at the time though...
Last few nights have been a mixed bag. We were away for the weekend and the first night he only woke once whereas the second night he woke twice, the second time for an hour. Not great. Managed 6 hours sleep in 48 hours (my own fault - didn't get to bed until after midnight both nights).
Last night, back in own cot, he only woke once, settled quickly with a drink of water and then slept until 6.30am
Not bad at all! He will of course take you completely by surprise and do it when you least expect it. It is a toddler's wont. DS is 3 now and is always bloody unsettled when we stay away from home, so think you have done quite well
Night before last he slept through until 5am and last night he slept through until 5.40am
Strangely he won't let me leave him alone to go to sleep at bedtime anymore, I sit in the chair in his room mumsnetting on my phone and ignoring him while he pootles around the cot and goes to sleep so not exactly a hardship. Bit weird though, as I used to be able to dump and run at bedtime. He did put himself to sleep for his nap yesterday without me in the room (and without the dreaded crying) so he can still do it.
I think I'm going to shorten his nap to try and get him to sleep in a bit longer in the morning (ha ha - as if it will be that simple!) - it would be amazing to get a start past 6am.
But all in all, massive progress. I haven't slept through as still keep waking every 2 or 3 hours. Hopefully if his sleep gets better my sleep will eventually sort itself out.
I can't believe how quickly it seems to have worked, and with very little stress on either of us. Fingers crossed it will keep improving and eventually I'll go to bed knowing I'll get a good night's sleep
It almost always does. That's why there are so many threads on here with people saying - do it, do it, your baby needs sleep, you need sleep blah blah blah. People forget that babies need teaching how to sleep. And that they CRY WHEN THEY ARE TIRED!!
He slept through until 5.10am again I literally can't believe it.
Fingers crossed it continues. Will give it a week and then try shortening his naps if still waking up at 5am to see if he can get to a more reasonable wake up time.
Freddie - I remember being like this with DS1. When he started sleeping through consistently it took me quite a long time to get my own sleeping back on track. Frustrating but at least I don't have to get out of bed even if I am awake at 2am!
PropositionJoe - DS2 definitely cries when he's tired. I've not done any CCing really with him as I'm too much of a wuss, it was more settling him in the cot at first and now staying in the room with him while he puts himself to sleep. Hopefully at some point he'll let me leave the room at bedtime and sleep in past 6am - now that would be a miracle!
It is frustrating lying awake I agree, but worse to get out of bed! Been doing a lot of the lying awake mysef lately, but I suspect it is because I'm too pregnant.
Prop Joe (love your name), I really did not know that you had to teach babies to sleep when DS was born, I just assumed it was a natural thing. Considering I had to teach him how to feed etc, I should have realised! I was a bit young and naive I suppose... Better prepared this time round.
It's all gone downhill last few nights have been really hard, he's been waking up several times in the night and really early
He's really grumpy as he's so knackered. Don't want to increase his nap time (he only has an hour) as it always seems to have a knock on effect on his night time sleep, and it's bad enough at the moment without making it worse.
Last night he woke at 11pm, midnight, then 4.30am when he was awake until 5.45am when he went back to sleep until 6.15am. Not good
He still won't let me dump and run at night, I have to sit in his room while ge goes off to sleep.
I think he's teething (grotty nappies, bright red cheeks, hands in mouth, grumpy) so hoping hoping hoping this particular hideous phase of sleep won't last too long. I'm sooooooooo tired.
Moan moan moan, whinge whinge whinge.
It's putting me off having number three and we really really want number three.