I need more sleep - how do I get there? (long).

(16 Posts)
PickledLily Fri 23-Nov-12 09:25:20

Don't we all?

DD (8mo) has always been a rubbish sleeper although she has thrown in a few random good nights (only waking twice) over the last couple of weeks. Wondered if anyone has some ideas to help make this consistent and to get her sleeping longer in the morning. Ha ha. Well, we will see...

Routine wise, mornings are a mess so I'll start with the one thing that is fixed; her bed-time.

5pm - wind down, bath, feed, story
5.30-6 Bed (usually asleep very quickly)
11pm - wakes for a feed, settles back very quickly
2am - wakes for a feed and general romp around the cot, can take up to 2 hours to resettle
4.30/5am - wakes, usually does a big poo, takes upto 2 hours to resettle

She will nap again (30 mins To. The. Second.) any time between 7 and 9.30. Then will have 2 or 3 more 30 min naps through the day, but getting her to nap is next to impossible, no matter how hard I try to catch her sleep signals. I normally have to do a car trip to get her to sleep.

It doesn't sound so bad written down, but on a bad night, she will wake every 2 hours from 9pm, (2 feeds, 1 cot romp/developmental thingy, 1 poo session). She's teething (has been for 4 months sad). fortunately I'm still on mat leave, but want to get this sorted before returning to work in a couple of months time. I've read 'No Cry sleep Solution' and was already doing many of the things in the book, but not sure what to try next.

A few ideas here (worked for dd who was an AWFUL sleeper) but you have to be persistent over a week or so and it may not be what you want to try...

* wake her up at whatever time you want to start the day every day (regardless of how bad the night has been) - for me this was 8am

* drop the night feeds, at 8mo she won't be hungry if on solids etc. so if she wakes, let her grumble, if she screams give her a cuddle / pat her but no milk

* don't feel bad about grumbling - if not screaming then I let dd cry for a few mins (never more than 5)

She then started sleeping from 8pm - 8am daily.

Good luck!

Sioda Fri 23-Nov-12 16:14:50

If she sleeps from 5:30 to 4:30am with a two hour gap in the middle then she's getting 9 hours of sleep which is about right for nighttime at her age so her 4:30/5am wakeup is her up for the day. By 2 am she's been asleep 8 hours so she probably just isn't tired enough to get back to sleep. If she then has 4 30 minute naps during the day she's getting another 2 hours there so a total of 11 hours in every 24 which is about normal. Think you need to move bedtime later. If she'll only sleep 9 hours at night right now then pick a goal for bedtime of something like 9pm. Then in theory (!) she should sleep till 6am. She's probably just in the habit of waking up for feeds at this stage, she doesn't need night feeding. Rather than cut them both out cold turkey though you could just start watering them down over a few days so she can adjust by taking more calories during the day. Once she's just getting water she might not bother waking up for it anymore. If bfing maybe you can cut down the time instead though is less exact science!

Sioda Fri 23-Nov-12 16:16:05

Am assuming she goes down awake at bedtime without dummy or anything like that.

PickledLily Fri 23-Nov-12 20:58:30

Thanks for all the ideas!

"wake her up at whatever time you want to start the day every day"
hmm, yes I'd thought of this (prob 7am) but have been putting it off because I am such a wreck in the mornings. If she wakes at 5 but I'd like it to be 7, when would the first nap be? Guess I probably need to get her bedtime later too...

"drop the night feeds"
She is definitely hungry when she wakes the first couple of times. She doesn't feed much during the day (too distracted) and a day time feed takes about 3 mins (with lots of bobbing on and off and looking around before we give up) and a night time feed takes 10 mins of solid chugging. God knows how she fits it all in her tummy. She's not been interested in solids until this week and it's all just passing straight through her so I guess it will be a little while before we can drop the feeds.

"let her grumble"
Yep, she does. Unfortunately it doesn't take long before she escalates to full on crying.

"move bedtime"
This seems to be the key thing, but not sure how I do it. She's shattered by 5pm, so even stretching it by 15 mins can tip her over the edge and make it more difficult to settle her. Maybe I need to try it with the fixed getting up time.

"she goes down awake at bedtime without dummy or anything like that"
grin not a chance! She needs a cuddle/rocking, white noise a tonne of Calpol and sometimes a dummy just to calm her down enough to sleep. If I put her down, she sometimes tries to settle herself (and only manages it occasionally) but usually just gets hysterical. Oh joy.

Do you really think 30 min naps are sufficient? Everything I've read (books and here) seem to think it's not enough confused

Nightmoves Fri 23-Nov-12 21:34:46

Don't have much advice but thought I would post to say I feel your pain!!! My DS (also 8 months) is a dreadful sleeper and has been since 4 month sleep regression. He wakes every 40 mins at start of night with a couple of 2 hr blocks of sleep from 12-5 ish then drifts in and out till 7. Nightmare. I have him in with me full time to get some sort of crappy sleep. Ditto with distracted day time feedings, and rubbish naps which are also usually only 40 mins. However, as a mad experiment I have altered our morning routine a little last couple of days to stretch it out and this has resulted in longer morning nap. Instead of putting down at first signs of tiredness which is usually about an hour after waking (fed to sleep with me lying next to him - plus side is I get a snooze too) I have been waiting till 90 ish mins. He does take a bit longer to drift off but has been sleeping for nearly 2 hrs! Have to admit however that this has made absolutely no impact on rubbish night time sleep. Have also tried NCSS with sod all progress. Am trying to wait till he outgrows this but feel I may have to try some other form of training in the new year. Will watch your thread with interest!!

Fairylea Fri 23-Nov-12 21:39:00

I know this won't help much but ... I'd get up with her for the day at 5am and gradually push bedtime back so she gets to bed a bit later... my ds is 5 months old and has the same routine as yours nearly although he sleeps through and I have resigned myself to getting up with him at 5am onwards... dd now aged 9 was the same unfortunately. Many babies just like to wake for the day early. (Sorry!)

Sioda Fri 23-Nov-12 22:04:25

Is there any way you can get her to feed better during the day? Dark room, white noise? Distractions or not she would feed more in the day if she got less at night. If she normally stays on ten minutes maybe you could latch her off at 9 minutes then slowly reduce it every few days. It's a vicious circle but until she takes less at night she won't feed more in the day. She might settle with a dummy after being latched off when almost full especially if sleepy? The thing is that she's old enough now that she knows that sometimes when she wakes at night she gets fed, so she keeps waking for it. If you don't want to or dont feel you can tackle night weaning I'm not sure you're going to get her to sleep a decent night.

To avoid her being too shattered at 5pm to stay up a little longer you could get her to take a nap a little later in the afternoon, in the car or whatever it takes. At bedtime does she go down fully asleep? Could you aim for just almost asleep first and work towards drowsy? The white noise and calpol are fine, as long as the white noise stays on all night. But if the last thing she remembers before she fell asleep was you there rocking her that might be causing at least some of the wakings. And the hysterics at bedtime could be her freaking out because she knows that when she wakes up again you'll have disappeared. Can she or does she replug her own dummy? At 8 months she could be able to and it might help her self-settle.

I don't think the 30 minutes naps are ok in themselves, she should be taking more consolidated ones at this stage and longer ones are better quality sleep. Just that the total amount she's sleeping is fine. Anyway the naps might sort themselves out if nights were sorted.

PickledLily Sat 24-Nov-12 08:34:58

Oh this is all so hard.

Nightmoves - this is how Dd used to be. It is utterly rubbish. Interesting about the long naps though, I will try that.

i have resigned myself to 5am wakeup and do get up but it is killing me. DH can take her for a bit if he's not away which helps.

If we are at home, DD will (sometimes) feed but no chance if we are out and about, so I have to manage the day quite carefully. She def sleeps better if she's fed during the day. Last night when she woke, she wasn't really interested in milk so don'tfeel she is expecting it so am a little sceptical about dropping feeds just yet.

You could be right about the screaming. Sometimes I can put her down awake, but not always.

PickledLily Sat 24-Nov-12 08:37:40

So what to do if DD just gets wound up being put down awake or drowsy? Shh pat winds her up as does PUPD.

Sioda Sat 24-Nov-12 09:44:21

It's not so much that she's consciously expecting to be fed at night, it's just that she's aware that sometimes she gets rewarded for waking (not just with feeding but bfing is a comfort thing for most babies too) so she kind of instinctively wakes up if she needs soothing rather than soothing herself back to sleep. Plus she presumably gets rocked and cuddled back to sleep. The night feeding will also be making her have wet nappies which could bother her and wake her up.

I think you have to get seriously persistent about PUPD at bedtime and for wakings until 5am if you don't want to do cc. She will get more wound up but she's just confused that you're changing her routine. Eventually she will wind down again! She knows she's not being abandoned and she has put herself to sleep at least the odd time before so you know she can do it. It might take dozens of times every night for a few nights but she'll get there eventually. Just rock/cuddle her until she's drowsy each time then put her down and keep doing it until she stays down. Maybe set aside a few days when DH or someone else is around to help either at night or for you to get a nap the next day?

PickledLily Mon 26-Nov-12 22:27:19

Well tonight is a write-off, she is full of cold and can't breathe. She's already woken 4 times since bed at 6.30 and has just taken 2 hours to settle again.

Btw, What's the record for 'eventually settling down' and doesn't it just constitute controlled crying by that point? And has anyone with a 'high needs' baby had success with shh pat or PUPD?

Sioda Mon 26-Nov-12 22:47:58

I don't think anyone keeps records of these things! It depends on how you define controlled crying. In the most common one you leave the room and return briefly after 5 minutes, then 7, then 10 etc. just to say reassuring words. So you are leaving the baby crying alone in the intervals and you're not cuddling or picking them up when you go in. Am pretty sure that applies to any version of ccing. With PU/PD you're staying present and offering reassurance throughout. The baby may still be very upset and frustrated but it is quite different. Some babies do just get more wound up by PUPD or shh pat. Seems to be a personality thing sometimes. The alternative that's usually suggested for them is controlled crying but am assuming you don't want to do that since you're reading NCSS!! To be honest I don't think you're going to find a solution involving no crying at all with an 8 month old who still needs rocking/cuddling to sleep. Apart from continuing to rock/cuddle etc. and wait and hope she grows out of it. Which she might or might not. Or try again when she's older and it might or might not be easier.

Nightmoves Mon 26-Nov-12 22:52:29

Sorry to hear DD is not well PickledLily, it definitely seems to make things worse when they are ill. Hope she gets better soon. Read on one of these sleep training websites that massive difference between leaving them to cry alone and having them cry with you there as in PUPD. They may be frustrated and angry and express this thru crying, but they will not be crying due to the fear of being abandoned and alone. Judgement call maybe tho if they are getting really worked up? Hope she settes down for you.

PickledLily Tue 27-Nov-12 04:10:57

Thanks nightmoves, sioda.

I don't expect no crying, but I also know DD is high need and very persistent! We have come a long way from when she was a Velcro baby that would only sleep on me, so am not going to beat myself up about using a dummy/rocking to sleep, but do realise o can'tdo it forever if I want some sleep It is good to have had a few suggestions that I hadn't thought of, and I guess I just need to resign myself to lack of sleep for a little longer until we are ready to do PUPD or CC.

CC I'm not anti, suspect it will come to CC at some point, but it is a last resort for me as I'd rather address the underlying issues than attack it with a CC sledgehammer.

In the meantime, I have resorted to the hairdryer which calms her down nicely - ijust have to remember to turn it off. grin

sarah341 Tue 27-Nov-12 08:15:28

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