Please help...trying to work out what next move is, feel helpless with 9 month old DS sleeplessness!

(86 Posts)
welshbetty77 Mon 02-Jun-14 07:18:36

Hello...first post on here but not sure where else to turn to. Ds who is 9 months old has never been a great sleeper...he's NEVER slept through the night (yawn!) however recently, this last week things have taken a turn for the (even) worse and I'm finding things impossible. Firstly, he has a really bad cough and cold at the moment which I know is adding to difficulties but still, I'll explain.
'Routine' is something like this, tea at 5.30 (before he was poorly he was eating really well), a little play, in the night garden at 6.20 ( just on in background whilst he plays with his dad on his mat...I thought perhaps music etc may start to become familiar with bedtime) bath at 6.50 for approx ten minutes, pyjamas then book in room and breastfeed to sleep (I know, I know!). Firstly he starts to 'kick off' being dried and laid on change mat for nappy and pyjamas, we just sort of work through this with songs/chatting/ musical mobile etc, whatever it takes to get through. Usually I'd be able to feed him to sleep put him in cot, there may be a few wake ups which my partner could settle him for, then I'd feed him when he woke through the night, up to four times. I know this sounds bad but I wasn't entirely unhappy with this, he would feed for a relatively short time and I'd be able to put him back into cot asleep. He'd wake at about 5/5.30 at which point I'd bring him into bed with us and he'd feed on and off until we got up...sometimes we'd lie in til 8.30/9 depending on how tired I was!
But recently things have taken a whole new turn for the worst..his bedtime is a lot more difficult, feeding to sleep doesn't work as quickly anymore, I usually try to pull him off the breast at which point he wakes a little and I pop him in cot to shush pat him to sleep, sometimes this works, but now more often than not he pushes himself up and sits up crying, won't be placed back to lying down again and crying escalates until I pick him up and start feeding/rocking/walking/pacing again. Sometimes I'm in there an hour before he's down, at which point he'll usually wake again after 60/90 minutes again and need resettling. My partner goes in, usually tries to settle in cot (difficult as he's screaming, rolling around and sitting up etc) then more often than not I have to take over and end up feeding again. Each time this happens the more difficult he is to get back in cot, to the point that he's been in bed with me these last few nights and pretty much feeding nonstop, just so that I can get some zzzz's. Co sleeping with us both is now impossible, he is big and likes to be ON me which usually results in me balancing on about a millimetre of bed space and not actually sleeping at all, at least with dp not in bed I can move ds across bed frequently, until he decides to snake over again smile.
The thing is, I love the cuddles but it's getting to the point where I know it's not good for either of us anymore, this complete lack of consistent sleep, and to be honest the whole thing is feeling wild and out of control now...I don't know where to start to fix it. Dp thinks we should sometimes let him cry more before we go in to settle (but knows nothing about the technicalities of any 'sleep training' -cc methods of which I'm totally not into anyway) Oh and I should mention, he's not easily 'cuddled' either, arches away, kicks legs out pushes away, all resulting in waking himself up further!i ACTUALLY don't know what to do other than keep bringing him into bed with me every night, which I don't what to do for the foreseeable as it's not fair on dp having the sofa bed every night! Ds is still poorly at the moment but I just know is getting into a bad habit and when he's better will want to keep on sharing my bed! HELP.....where on earth do I bloody start?! sad

Smartiepants79 Tue 03-Jun-14 20:58:00

Stick it out! You're doing really well and so is he.
Remember this is for long term gains for you and him.
He will not remember any of it. He will not hold it against you for ever!
Stay strong.

rootypig Tue 03-Jun-14 21:39:16

welshbetty please don't worry about picking him up to comfort him - we did with DD and it made no difference at all to her ability to settle in the cot. It was the milk that she wanted and once she understood that it wasn't coming, and fell asleep without it a few times, she started to sleep through pretty reliably. So if you want to pick DS up, do, do, do.

Cakeismymaster Tue 03-Jun-14 21:52:12

Hi all, are you sticking to a set time not to feed? Say between 12 and 6? As dd went to bed really well at 7 and has just woken so I did feed/settle her (and she did feed properly) so was that right or wrong?

rootypig Tue 03-Jun-14 22:23:06

Ime - which was getting DD off bottle feeds, not BF, but imagine same principles apply - it was key not to feed her if we wanted her to go back to sleep, at all. The one night DH twat did this after I had worked incredibly hard to get her to self settle, she then immediately started to wake and fail to self settle again.

If your babies are all over 7/8 months they don't need night feeds. They might be reverse cycling, to some degree, but all the more reason to break the pattern. DD was having 12oz formula across two bottles in the night at that age, so two full feeds, and it was sheer habit. Once weaned off it she slept through with no problems. Feeding properly is not a sign of hunger (sorry!) but a sign of reliance on suckling / a full feeling to get back to sleep.

welshbetty77 Wed 04-Jun-14 02:18:49

Thanks Rooty that makes me feel better about picking him up sad although even when I don't my upper torso is practically in the cot with him soothing and cuddling...the confused crying just gets me right where it hurts! So after 3 wake up and settles before 9pm (the last of which I picked him up for) ds only just woke at 1.45! In answer to you cakeismymaster I've set myself the goal not to feed before 1am but for any wake ups after I would feed. I agree with you rooty about not being hungry per se but I'd been feeding him so much through the night (albeit for comfort/habit) that to just go 'cold turkey' would mean his tum felt weirdly empty! My feeling is though that I won't have to do this for long anyway...I hope he'll start sleeping through! So I got him out of cot, fed him, sat him up to make sure he was sake, told him he was going back to bed then laid him down. Again, a little protest (he kind of kicks out and does a frustrated shout/cry) but after a little singing and patting he went to sleep and I was back in bed at 2.05!!!!!!! Fingers crossed!!!! Can't wait to hear about your nights toosmile

welshbetty77 Wed 04-Jun-14 02:19:56

Sake?=awake!

sososotired Wed 04-Jun-14 06:16:08

Cake how old is your babe? DS is 9 months and I have set him a time limit for feeds after 11 as that's when daddy comes home so he wakes most nights and then only after 5 but after 6 we start the day smile

Welshbetty your doing great I have done LOADS of searches and will take 3 or 4 nights for him to accept what your doing and then regress so just keep going!

A little update from my little sleep depriver;
He had our break through at bed time with him going to sleep by himself smile then stirred at 9 but by the time I got to his room from mine 30 seconds max he was asleep again smile
Woke at 1:30 for his feed! And started the day at 5:30
So improvement smile I'm working tomorrow kit day so hoping he does this tonight too!

welshbetty77 Wed 04-Jun-14 07:42:10

Sotired that's amazing...your little one did the ultimate, he settled himself...woop! Little monkey woke at 5.30 again so brought him into bed for first morning feed, then...and I'm sure this is a big no-no, we both fell asleep until now :/! He didn't fall asleep at the boob so that's one good thing, what should I do in this instance then as he clearly could've slept longer? Should I not feed and resettle back in cot at 5.30? What do you think seasoned sleep trainers...rooty, avocado? Hope I haven't done any damage to the training by doing this :/
Also...has anyone got their partner on board for the settling yet? I'd like to but don't know if it'll be more effective and quicker if I just stick with it myself!

sososotired Wed 04-Jun-14 08:28:49

I try feed in his room if it's before 6 if he falls asleep then yay back to bed if not then we start the day sad
But I don't think it's a bad thing that he came to you, I want my lo to know my door is always open if he needs cuddles etc??
With regards to daddy helping, bless him, he tries but takes far longer than if I go but he does settle eventually. He settles brilliantly if I'm not home though so if I'm out at a kit day and he stays with DH he pops him in bed and walks away (nap time) and DS settles with very little resistance [hmmm] but for me there is a lot of crying if I walk out?

sososotired Wed 04-Jun-14 18:57:49

It was a once off for falling asleep alone!!!!! I've been sitting here for over 30 minutes and he is still not sleeping or letting me leave the room nor is he drinking his milk sad sad sad I have to leave for work at 6;45 I can't have a bad night tonight (sobbing quietly to myself)

welshbetty77 Wed 04-Jun-14 19:54:29

Oh crikey sotired has the master released you from his lair yet?! Thing is it's not important (in the long run) that he hasn't done it tonight...the fact is he has shown you he CAN now and that's amazing. Don't worry about work, it might be horrific but it's a day, and look at all the full on days you've done with ds on no sleep?! I bet 'work' will be a bloody break! My little munchkin went down with his haul protesting but within 15 mins and has been in bed for over an hour now... How long does the protesting last for though guys? I absolutely hate it and it makes me feel like shit...and I had a sudden fear tonight that things won't get better...that this will just be how it is and he'll get upset and angry before every sleep sad don't want him to start having negative connotations with his bedroom and/or cot either you know?

sososotired Wed 04-Jun-14 20:06:55

He finally fell asleep at 7:30 without a feed or a cry just rolling around his bed only cried/screamed if I left sad

It does get better welsh ok it's not always easy as proved by my little sleep depriver today but usually we read a story bottle cuddle bed and I sit next to him without touching him and he goes off to sleep without crying, and I guess it takes longer for some we've had massive set backs ... Teeth, hospital stay, holiday and it's almost like we have to start again but he gets the hang of it quicker every time! Maybe when he's 12 we will have this down wink

sososotired Wed 04-Jun-14 20:10:59

Ps I play with him in his room every day! Peek a boo with him in bed and me bopping up and down like a crazy person makes him laugh so I can't resist give him some toys while I leave his room and come back in after little while I guess I'm hoping that he learns through play that mummy will always come back?

avocadoadvantage Wed 04-Jun-14 21:32:25

Bless you Welshbetty for calling me 'seasoned'. I'm not, I can assure you! We had a shocking night last night. She cried for ages as I tried to get her down. In and out so many times. She was cross when I picked her up and cross when I put her down. hmm

Then when she woke in the night I tried to not feed her immediately and see if she would settle with a cuddle. It worked twice (fed the rest) but she must have woken about 4-5 times between midnight and 6:30am. Not good at all.

Tonight I started bedtime earlier and had her down by 7pm as I think we were drifting to a later bedtime and being overtired. She complained quite a bit but did settle only to wake an hour later! Gah! Cuddled and put back down and fingers crossed she's still down.

I'm trying to tackle all areas of eating and sleeping to see if they are linked. Keeping a food diary for us both to see if any patterns emerge for intolerances/ digestive issues. Also, I offered her bf every 2 hours in the day in case she is topping up at night because she's not eating enough in the day. I also stayed at home today to make sure she had a long nap. She slept from about 10:15-12.40 which is an annoying time! Then had another 30 mins after baby sensory at 3:30-4:15pm. What are your babies' naps like?

sososotired Wed 04-Jun-14 23:23:56

He seems to be changing from 2 naps to one so in limbo at the m

sososotired Wed 04-Jun-14 23:26:29

Sorry premature send! Moment, if it's a bad night 2 naps are required 9:30-10:30 and another after lunch 1:30-3:00 in a one nap day 12:30-3:00. Give or take a half an hour here and there smile

sososotired Thu 05-Jun-14 06:06:56

A little update before work;
He did brilliantly well except for his bed time resulting in tears (from me) he only woke at 11 I gave him a bottle popped him in bed and walked out, didn't hear from him again till 5 am I tried feeding and rocking gave up at 5:30 to start the day smile

How was everyone else's night?

avocadoadvantage Thu 05-Jun-14 08:02:44

Brilliant sotired!

Dd went down at 7 with a little grumbling. Woke at 8 and 10 but settled with a cuddle. It took 45 Mins at 10 though as she's used to a feed then and she was furious! Also offered water and fresh nappy. Woke at 12 and fed as that was my cutoff time. Awake at 1 for cuddle. Woke once more to feed before awake for good at 6:30am.

Reading back this looks rubbish compared to some of your nights but the fact she only bf twice is pretty amazing for us! Onwards and upwards!

riskit4abiskit Thu 05-Jun-14 13:42:39

Hello everyone. My ds is just 9mths. He also has a cold too, op's baby sounds just like mine.

last night he woke every hour sad

I have noticed a change in the last month though. Before he rooted around for food but now he just wakes up angry. I end up feeding him to sleep just the same. Does everyone else have a baby that wakes up angry in the night (rather than just awake bored or playful?). He awakes on his front and seems to be very restless. Even when feeding in the day he is trying to flip onto front. He is learning to crawl and walk simultaneously I think and he just cant seem to turn off at night

Prior to these last few weeks I was having success at putting him down in cot awake to sleep, but he still woke up in the night about three times .

any help appreciated Thanks

riskit4abiskit Thu 05-Jun-14 13:43:44

Does offering water make them more frustrated. Is it better to give nothing in the night?

sososotired Thu 05-Jun-14 16:51:16

Well done avocado your LO will soon get the hang of not feeding too much at night took ages for me to cut out feeds! I stopped changing his nappy at night he seemed to wake up too much!

riskit google 9 month sleep regression apparently some babies will try their new skills no matter what the time my DS does this too as he can't crawl yet but is trying but he just goes back to sleep? As for offering water at night he gets angry but I thought it's better than nothing?

welshbetty77 Thu 05-Jun-14 20:29:44

Hi all! Sorry for not getting back sooner, I wrote an insanely long post this morning when ds had his nap only to lose it all when battery died...grrrr! So, last night seemed better, especially the start...ds went down at 6.30 and didn't even stir until 10.30! Then it just took a little while to settle back in cot.
Woke 12.35am settled back by 12.55am without feeding
Woke 3.40 took straight out of cot and fed, back in cot still awake, one protest cry then almost asleep immediately! Back in bed 3.50
Awake 5.37 kept him in cot until 6am then did the whole big morning routine (to mark start of day) taking him out of grobag and opening blinds etc before bringing him into bed with me for a feed.
So...we'll keep going until we get somewhere. I'm so so happy with the reduction of feeds needed, but I can't wait for there to be no protest when I put him down!
Tonight he took 20 mins to go down and we've had to resettle twice already...
Naps are hit and miss for us but with project 'nail sleep' this week they've been better! A friend told me that if you get nights sorted first, naps wfall into place easily.
Avocado I think as you say what's important for you is that things are an improvement...FOR YOU, it doesn't matter how anyone else is doing!
I DEF don't change nappy at night either, only if he's leaked or pooed (which he never does in night anymore).
Sotired how was work?! Was ds ok today without you? Xxx

welshbetty77 Thu 05-Jun-14 20:30:44

Oh and risk it..live not been offering water in the night but possibly will do so when I try and drop this one feed...slowly slowly sleepy baby!

sososotired Thu 05-Jun-14 21:02:26

He went down like a dream again tonight story feed cuddle kiss put him in his bed and off I went smile

Work was great I had so much fun, it was hard leaving this morning DS threw his little arms up and cried as I was leaving but DH said he soon perked up! I still cried in the car though sad struggled with naps today but I just think I don't care how he gets to sleep rocking, pushchair ect as long as he has a rest!

Well done to everyone for making progress!!!! smile

sososotired Fri 06-Jun-14 06:07:21

Another little update before work;
He is getting the hang of this sleeping thing! Went down at 6:30 like a dream then woke at 2:30 for a bottle took a while to settle him back down but I was inbed again by 2:50 and we slept till 5:30 smile so we are sleeping better at night but getting up early, does any one have a suggestion to help fix this a 6/6:30 wake up would be ideal!

How did everyone else get on? X

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