Why wont my 1yo sleep?

(39 Posts)
MrsKoala England Mon 14-Oct-13 21:45:22

DS is a sleep refuser. He sleeps fine and doesn't usually wake once he's eventually given in. But getting him to surrender to it is getting harder and harder. It now takes up to 2 hours to get him to nap and on average 4 hours to get him to sleep in the evenings.

He usually goes down (falls down more like) between 11pm-1am at night. Wakes about 8-10am, grumpy and tired. He then flops about the house whinging for 2 hours and used to go down for a nap waking for lunch all happy. But now he wont even go for his nap. It is 1.38pm here and i have been trying to get him to nap since 11.30am.

I just don't know what to do. He wont lay down or be held. He arches his back screaming and scratching/punching at my face. He is a big boy and very strong.

We co sleep so i don't have a cot to put him in and we don't do CC.

I used to be able to sing and rock him to sleep but the last few weeks it's getting harder and now seems impossible.

Any suggestions gratefully received. I seem to spend the entire day trying to get him to sleep. confused He loves the baby drop ins but is usually sleeping late or too tired/grizzly to go.

MrsKoala England Tue 15-Oct-13 06:36:34

10.35pm here and he's still trotting around not showing any signs of tiredness sad

MrsKoala England Tue 15-Oct-13 08:20:47

12.20am and he's just flaked out. How do you make them sleep if they just wont? confused

Gileswithachainsaw Tue 15-Oct-13 08:35:52

I think you need to get him falling asleep on his own in a cot tbh. Some babies just need their own space and having someone song rock cuddle, and just be there the while time can (for some) be a massive over stimulation.

The no cry sleep solution is recommended a lot on here. I think you need to start instigating a routine again as you have a vicious cycle if him being overtired and unable to sleep as a result.

Would you be prepared to get him a cot in his own room?

Gileswithachainsaw Tue 15-Oct-13 08:36:55

Do you have a bed time routine?

Gileswithachainsaw Tue 15-Oct-13 08:45:27

Ok I'm going to get flamed big time for this, and no doubt hundreds will be along to tell you it will pass, this is normal, let him sleep on you wherever whenever etc just ride it out and those are valid opinions. However if it was my baby (and if course there's no medical reason why he's doing this and all needs have been tended too) I'd be doing cc.

I know you don't want to and I don't expect you to agree with me, but sometimes IMO it's a trade off. Days and days of this miserable baby can't be better than two or three days of cc.

I await flaming , and the wiser people than me who have a plan to fix it. smile

MrsKoala England Tue 15-Oct-13 14:30:15

Thanks Giles. We worry about CC because he gets himself into such a state he vomits and chokes. We tried the no cry sleep solution but he cries the moment we put him in a cot. So sitting next to it does nothing. He gets hysterical even if we are right next to it with our arms thru the bars stroking him. There seemed to be no initial stage which he would tolerate that we could gradually extend. He just goes into screaming the moment we do anything.

I must say tho we are responsible for this. We have a very fragmented life with no stability. We travel a lot, which is why we thought co-sleeping would be best for DS. So lots of new places. In the last week we stayed at 2 different hotels. It's all too exciting for him. We will be long haul flying on Sat for the last time tho, then staying at yet another new and exciting location (his grandparents) for 3 weeks before we move into our flat - which will only be home for us for a year. But still that's better than nothing.

We try to have a routine but we are rarely consistent. DH comes in about 6.15pm when out of the house working, and DS gets all excited then. If DH not working in the office (most days atm) we are often out and about for the day, possibly returning home about 6ish. DS eats out in restaurants with us most days or i am bustling about cooking dinner when we should be having quiet wind down time (we live in an open plan flat so DS can see what's going on all the time and wants to be part of what we are doing). The one bedroom is straight off the living area so when we put him to bed he can still hear us.

Once we are settled in the new flat i have told DH no more of this travelling. We have to have some stability for DS. But the layout will still be similar so we need some plan to deal with this. When we lived in a house he was going to bed about 9ish. But that was before he could walk and now would get out of bed himself.

I feel like the worst mother in the world, but i can't change our circumstances.

Gileswithachainsaw Tue 15-Oct-13 14:37:49

These things can't always be helped but when things settle down you really need consistent bedtime routines if nothing else. Wind down time is vital and it sounds like you just aren't able to be somewhere right now where you can catch early signs of tiredness and act on it.

Given the lay out I the place I think you are going to have to get used to ignoring him as he has to Learn to sleep through what's going on. But things may well calm down when you are settled if you are able to start making wind down a part of every evening. And get soft lighting or dinner switches for the lounge so it's not so bright.

MrsKoala England Tue 15-Oct-13 18:30:00

Thanks again. He does get about 12-14hrs sleep per day. The other problem is the nap. He fights it so by the time he goes he's very tired and it's late in the day. For example yesterday, we were at home all day for a change and i saw the signs at 11am but he didn't give in till 1.38pm then he slept till 5pm. Of course after that he didn't want to go to bed till midnight. He then slept 10 hours. and will now probably not want to nap till 2ish again.

We turn the lights down low and have no telly on in the lounge at night, but all he wants to do is jump off the furniture confused . Also bath time seems to liven him up. He splashes about and comes out running around the flat naked. We have to chase him to get his pyjamas on. He hates being dressed and nappied so then we have a 2 person job to hold him still while we get him ready for bed and he screams and cries and gets really worked up. It just doesn't seem relaxing in anyway.

He's also teething which doesn't help either sad

I know what kind of bedtime i want but i just can't seem to break this cycle he has of sleeping late and going to bed late. It doesn't help that me and DH are not night owls at all so we want to go to bed by 10pm and get up and on with the day early. But we can't because we fit around DS.

Gileswithachainsaw Tue 15-Oct-13 18:41:38

If bath time gets him all hyped up, maybe switch that to morning. He can have a play and splash about then and if he runs round naked he's not making bedtime late.

Can you shove him in the buggy and go for a walk around the time he starts getting tired? Not ideal way to have naps but if it helps get him asleep on time and "reset" the day a bit then you can work on where he sleeps later.

What does he sleep in at night? If he doesn't like clothes would a sleeping bag work better to keep his feet warm at least.

Dirtymistress Tue 15-Oct-13 19:36:26

If he won't go down for a nap by 11am, then don't let him have one. I wouldn't let him sleep beyond 1pm. That way he will be properly exhausted by 6pm so you can get him to bed early.

48th Tue 15-Oct-13 19:42:56

We are all over the place too and we cosleep too. I spend no time trying to settle my one year old in the house. He has good stamina so I get him up have breakfast and N early lunch then go out in buggy until asleep. He sometimes then sleeps in the buggy at home or whilst I am out. If he doesn't nap then he will be in bed earlier. If he naps late I put him to bed late. If he sleeps he does, if he doesn't he will tomorrow. We go to anything we have planned regardless, it works out ok.

MrsKoala England Tue 15-Oct-13 19:44:40

Yes, i think you are right, bath time will need to move to the morning.

He's just so nosy and easily distracted. The buggy often gets him more excited. He leans forward staring at all the cars and says hello to everyone we pass. He's always been like this which is why we had to wean him at 4mo because he couldn't concentrate on drinking. He kept turning his head and trying to get down to see what was going on. The only time i could get him to feed was in the pitch black in the middle of the night while he was half asleep. And then he even stopped being able to do that at 8mo. He hasn't drank milk since. He is never still. But he's generally happy - as long as he doesn't have to go to bed. Just likes trotting round and climbing on the furniture, chattering away and laughing confused I am so worried he has ADHD. sad

MrsKoala England Tue 15-Oct-13 19:46:36

The trouble with that Dirty is if he doesn't nap he just flakes out on the floor somewhere about 5ish then wakes at 9-10pm raring to go and is up till 3am.

Rhubarb78 Tue 15-Oct-13 19:50:00

Does he sleep in a pram op? My ds used to be like that for daytime naps at that age. I started putting him in his pram in a dark, quiet room and leaving him to it unless he got really upset and then i would go and push him back and forth. I think the fact he couldnt move anywhere because he was strapped in meant he was less able to kick and run about to keep himself awake. I am also a believer of cc though, ds jumps into bed at night now and sings/ chats to himself till he falls asleep.

fanjobiscuits Tue 15-Oct-13 19:50:27

Can you give him something to do that will keep him busy during the falling asleep bit? Ours is nosy/v observant too and we have just ordered a night light show thing called twilight turtle, hoping it will help after reviews on amazon.

Gileswithachainsaw Tue 15-Oct-13 19:56:48

Have you taken him to the drs. The sleep thing didn't sound to unusual on its own, however combined with all you have posted it may be worth talking to someone just to get him checked over.

MeeWhoo Tue 15-Oct-13 20:07:57

(Please note I shouldn't really be giving advice as Ds is 2 and still not sleeping through)

Sounds more or less like ds was, but more extreme. Is the place you are trying to get him to sleep in completely dark? When ds was going through this phase even a bit of light would make him more and more alert, whereas in the dark he gets bored quickly.

Also, i you really are spending 2 or 4 hours non-stop to get him to sleep I would start the process later. I sometimes would give myself 30 mins. if he wasn't asleep or almost asleep by then, I would let him play for 30 mins or so and then try again. In the end he probably used to fall asleep at the same time as if I had not let him play and had persevered in trying to get him to sleep for the whole period of time IYSWIM but it was a bit less stressful.

MrsKoala England Tue 15-Oct-13 20:09:18

No Rhubaarb, sadly he doesn't go to sleep in the pram, just get's hysterical.

He likes to play with twiddly things while he drifts off, usually my hair or my fingers or a shoe lace. He loves his dummy and wont sleep without it.

I may take him back to the drs when we get back to the UK. we have seen drs and HVs about him before but they treat me like a pita first time mum. They look at him and tell me he's more than fine, 'he's exceptional, he's just really clever' etc. which just sounds like another way of saying 'oh fuck off and stop worrying over nothing'.

MrsKoala England Tue 15-Oct-13 20:23:10

Yes MeeWhoo it's more like 4 hours on and off. So a bit of story time and cuddling and then a bit more playing till i think i'll try again. And as i said if he has napped till 5 i wont even bother starting to try to get him to bed till 10pm as it just makes everyone upset.

As for the light/pitch dark - he gets more upset if it's very dark so we have a low night light on till he drops off and we are in bed with him.

The thing is he has such a lovely nature that people just can't see a problem. He's smiley and chatty and interested. Never cries when we are out. Will happily sit in a restaurant and eat all manner of foods (he loves his food!) and when he does sleep he will sleep 10 hours straight - never wakes, went thru the night from 4mo. So i feel bad complaining about him.

cantthinkofagoodone Wed 16-Oct-13 11:23:54

I would suggest a completely sterile sleep environment, just one teddy and a night light but the pitch black otherwise.

He just sounds very easily stimulated which is typical for his age. I think he needs a lot of structure so wake up at 7.30
8am breakfast
10 snack
12 lunch
12.30 nap
2 wake up
5.30 dinner
7 to bedroom
Milk, pjs, book, cuddle and bed

Repeat for 2 weeks and he will get the idea. Once you've put him in his cot I'd give it 15 before going back in. If you go in keep the lights off and just say its bedtime now in a soothing voice and don't get him out again.

That's what we do at 15 months. Bedtime battles are a thing at this age do I'm waiting but the above works so far.

noblegiraffe Wed 16-Oct-13 11:36:17

You're not going to get a consistent bedtime or nap if he is getting up every day at different times. Pick a getting up time and get him up. If you want a 7pm bedtime, then getting him up every day at 7am would be a good start. Tired, grumpy, whatever, consistency is key.

Restrict his nap time. Too much daytime sleep will affect bedtime. Get him up after an hour, hour and a half, fiddle with it to see what works. Screaming, crying, whatever, stick the TV on till he calms down.

No sleep after 3pm, that's asking for trouble.

It's tough, but you can't let him lie in and you can't let him have massive naps or late naps. I have been there!

MrsKoala England Thu 17-Oct-13 05:49:16

Thanks, Good advice.

I suppose i am so soft with waketime/naptime because i think 'maybe his teeth are sore/he's not feeling well/having a growth spurt' etc. Also the few times i've woken him he is a beast then just lays on the floor and goes back to sleep anyway, i literally cannot keep him awake.

Last night i got him to bed at 8pm and he slept till 9.30am, he woke a few times in the night - particularly 12.38am but i persevered and rocked him back off. He then slept 12.30-3pm with my DH confused (DH always takes the opportunity to nap with him so when i came back in they were both still asleep). So now it's 9.45pm and he's trying to climb on my head hmm <sigh>

MrsKoala England Thu 17-Oct-13 05:59:07

Also Cantthink that routine would have to change our entire lives, i don't drive so often spend the day traipsing round on buses to various cheap supermarkets trying to find better bargains. Or we go up hiking in the mountains or for a bike ride and picnic in the forest etc. Would i have to be housebound or constantly local to instil a reasonable routine?

teacher123 Thu 17-Oct-13 08:07:52

You can't have it all ways I don't think. We have a strict routine for DS (18mo) and it is restrictive, but I would rather be restricted than have him up till midnight/napping for 4 hours in the day etc. DS is also massively nosy/hyper so he has a completely blacked out room, three teddies in his cot and white noise on. He will not sleep with anyone else in the room, he gets completely wound up, so maybe persevere with the cot as it sounds like he's really overstimulated.

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