Ok, so here's my plan for 15.5 month old DS. Please tell me it will work(63 Posts)
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, I know), 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.
sounds good. You poor thing, you must be exhausted. I used to lean over the cot and hug DS if he started crying when I was trying no to lift him. Does he have a comforter? I found it made a world of difference to DS's sleep once we gave him a soft toy to cuddle. I think peserverence is the key. Update me with how you get on, and no lifting! Be strong, it will be worth it if you get him to sleep a full night!
call millpond. sounds rubbish and they will hold your hand. Jane saved my sanity
Thanks for the replies
Freddie he's just starting to cuddle his toy monkey a bit more and he has a muslin which he always sleeps with. Will push monkey on him a bit more I think. Will report back tomorrow on liftings (or hopefully lack thereof!).
muggle good to hear a positive story about Millpond. I'm going to give this plan a try for a couple of weeks and if it doesn't work I'll give them a call. Can't really afford it in the run up to Christmas, but equally can't afford not to if this doesn't work.
seeker - no not on my own. DH doesn't generally get back from work until after they're asleep and I tend to do the night wakings and he'll go downstairs with DS2 when he wakes up for the final time in the morning (usually between 5am and 6am) so that I can get a bit of shut eye before he leaves for work at 6.20am.
I hope last night went well, and you got a bit more sleep. Good luck with the rest of operation sleep better!
Ok, reporting back. Think I'm going to use this thread to log progress so feel free to hide it as might get very dull very quickly
DS went down at 6.45pm awake and without a whimper.
First waking at 22.55 - I did lift him after 5 minutes or so as he was getting ridiculous but did a version of pick up put down and he went down awake, grizzling and fell asleep with me rubbing his back. Took 15 minutes.
Second waking not until 04.05 - again tried to settle him in cot but ended up lifting him and cuddling him to sleep as pick up put down was sending him hysterical. He finally went down (asleep unfortunately) at 05.00.
Then he slept until <fanfare> 06.40 I literally can't remember the last time he made it past 06.00!
So all in all, a pretty good start I'd say. Will keep trying to settle him in the cot without lifting but will resort to pick up put down if I need to.
Didn't post as I have no useful advice, but am glad to hear things look promising. Hope it gets better again today...
Well done, keep it up! Good to see some results so quickly keep us updated on how you get on tonight, keep strong and good luck, you can do this!
well done! it's such hard work but I think preferable in the long run. good luck tonight.
Good luck for tonight, I am hoping the best for you.
Thanks for the support
Yesterday was a mixed bag. He usually goes down for his post-lunch nap with no problems but yesterday he got really really upset. He kept shaking his head and clinging to me as I tried to put him in the cot, even though he was absolutely knackered and usually just rolls on his front and goes straight to sleep at naptime I eventually got him to go to sleep after about half an hour of going in and out every minute and stroking his head. Picking him up didn't help as he just got apoplectic when I put him back down again. He eventually fell asleep but the whole thing was really horrible, he was sweaty and his eyes were puffy from crying. Really really hope that doesn't happen again
I was scared the same thing would happen at bedtime but he went down without a murmur at 18.35. Phew.
He then woke at 21.40. I did pick him up and give him a cuddle and a drink of water but he went down groggy but awake and it only took 10 minutes.
Then he woke at 00.35 and was awake until 02.10 AAAARRRGHHH!! I picked him up when he got really upset and then put him down when he was calm and comforted him in the cot. He was lying on his front, steady breathing, seemed asleep for about an hour but every time I tried to leave (very very quietly) his head popped up and he started squeaking again. At one point he stood up and was quietly hanging over the bars of the cot, with his eyes shut, leaning his head against me - he was just desperate for a cuddle and I was desperate to just give him a cuddle but I didn't pick him up. At 02.00 I escaped, but then he started squeaking again so I sent DH in to give him some calpol in case it was teeth keeping him awake (his molars are bothering him a bit at the moment) and he finally fell asleep at 02.10.
He then slept in until 06.50!!
So some very good, but some hideous.
How on earth do I deal with the not letting me leave the room? Will that just sort itself out if I carry on being consistent with settling him in his cot (or doing a version of pick up put down if he's inconsolable)?
Oh well done, getting better aready With DS, I used to sit on a chair in his room, and slowly edged it towards the door over a few days. Then I sat just sat outside his room with the door opened so he could still see me. I fell asleep on the chair and the landing quite a few times. If he squeaked or cried, I'd reassure him verbally and tell hm to go back to sleep. That's rubbish about him acting up during his daytime nap, hope today is better
Thanks Freddie - I keep reminding myself that last night was only night two so I can't expect miracles.
Good idea about slowly edging the chair out - I couldn't believe how many times he woke up as I was trying to leave the room. I was sooooo quiet! He must have some sort of inbuilt mummy's leaving the room alarm system - must get the manual out and work out how to override it.
I'm working today (can you tell?) so DS is at the childminder. Hopefully naptime will be straightforward for her. Fingers crossed for tonight. Will report back tomorrow (and continue to bore silly any poor souls who stumble across this thread).
Sounds like you are on the right track, well done!
Personally, if I think teething might be an issue - especially molars which are bugger - I would give some calpol (or actually calprofen for teeth) straight away, then that is that at least ruled out. Just whilst you are doing this programme of course, not for every night waking ever!
If he won't let you leave the room, then you can either do gradual withdrawal, or controlled crying (or give up and stay in there, which is what you are trying to get away from!). Controlled crying isn't as bad as it sounds - leave the room for 2 mins, go back in, comfort/cuddle as needed until calm, put down (crying ensues), leave room for 4 mins, back in, then 6 mins etc etc. I never got to more than 7 mins with DD2, and it worked in 2 nights. Its not for everyone though (and doesn't work for everyone either), even 7 mins crying can seem like an eternity in the middle of the night.
Ok, good luck with tonight my dear Could you and DH take turns or maybe he could do a Saturday night if he's off work? Just to give you a full night's sleep and recharge your batteries. I did it all myself because DH worked nights at the time, plus he was rubbish at being consistent, but if you can take a break, do.
Watching with interest. We're trying a very similar regime with 14mo DS.
He usually wakes every three hours or so & I also always just cuddled/fed back to sleep, but DP and I are both on our knees exhausted so we decided to use half term to try to break the cycle.
Our plan is that if DS wakes between 11pm and 6am then DP will go to him and offer water. I will stay well hidden!
We're on night three and DP is more exhausted than ever (as he's now the one getting up in the night!) but it seems to be working (please let it work!)
I'll hold your hand if you'll hold mine!
Thanks for all the support
ATruth - consider your hand well and truly held. And good on your DH - what a star!
Freddie - I can't ever sleep if DS is awake as his room is right next to ours and I can hear the crying
even with earplugs so it might as well be me. DH does get up with them at the weekend and let me have a 'lie in' (I hate calling it that as it makes it sound like I'm getting extra sleep rather than just attempting to claw back some of the hours I've lost!) - and if we've had an awful night during the week he'll get up with DS if he wakes at 5/5.30 which gives me an extra half hour in bed.
Rational - can't do CCing at night. I did it for the first time with his nap two days ago and it nearly killed me I'm basically just a great big wuss. Good plan with the painkillers though - his teeth are definitely bothering him at the moment (bright red cheeks, hands constantly in mouth, uber poos etc).
So, last night was GOOD I think.
He went down at 18.35 no problems - just put him down, left the room and he went straight to sleep.
Woke up at 00.00 - I gave him calpol, a cuddle, a drink of water and then did a bit of pick up put down. He fell asleep in the cot at 00.15. I went back to bed and he woke again at 00.40. I gave him a drink of water without picking him up and then rubbed his back while he wailed miserably (he really really wanted me to pick him up) and he fell asleep by 00.50 without being picked up.
Then he slept through until 06.00
So that's not bad at all and only night three. Will stick with it - this is definitely progress. Wish I didn't feel so constantly guilty. I feel so so bad about not picking him up and giving him a cuddle when that is obviously what he wants. Guilt guilt guilt
Right, must do some work. Thank you again for the hand holding, it really helps
Woo! That's a huge improvement I know the guilt is KILLER. But just remind yourself that YOU feeling better and being able to deal with the DCs during the day is better than a cuddle at night. I couldn't do CC either, I tried it twice and it broke my heart. Do you feel slightly more human today? Glad your DH is helping you out
Wow, that's brilliant! Don't feel guilty (well, try not to anyway, easier said than done). Parenting is all about making decisions on what is best for your child and the family as a whole, not necessarily giving them what they want when they want it. Easier done when it is saying no to sweets, harder when it is cuddles in the middle of the night!
Good luck for tonight, hope the teething settles down as well soon.
What I tend to do for kids doing this is poke my head around the door at the first loudish murmur, say "Mummy loves you, off to sleep now, night night, everyone's in bed, night night" several times each night until they have taught themselves to settle. It often takes 3 nights to retrain them. Not sure how much that applies here as you seem to be doing a lot of that already.
I also get them worn out in the day with swimming and so on, and make sure they daytime naps go well.
Best of luck, lack of sleep is dreadful.
PS I have been known to use Medised with snotty teething babies, with my GP's blessing, because I am a Very Bad Parent.
Better last night. Two wakings, one around midnight and one around three, for around fifteen minutes each. Didn't have to pick him up at all
Then he slept til 6.30am!
So good progress. Back killing me from bending over cot but thinking of the long game.
Night off tonight as DH has taken the boys to stay at his parents' so I'm off out with a friend then SLEEP!
Glad things are looking up. Enjoy the night off, night out and night's sleep!
Yaay! Glad it's going wel, it's so worth it Enjoy your night out and night's sleep
Two wake ups last night with DH. Back on it tonight. He needed back rub to go to sleep this evening which is unusual. Fingers crossed it's not the sign of a bad night to come.
Night out was fab, as was lie in
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?
Good luck tonight.
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.
I can't believe I'm typing this:
he slept through!!
Went down at 18.45 - bit of fussing for a couple of minutes while I was putting DS1 to bed but then silence.
Slept all the way through (I think he cried out at around 22.00 but not for long enough for me to do anything about it) until 06.30
I, of course, woke up at 4.45am wondering what on earth was going on but managed to go back to sleep. That's the most sleep I've had since he was born I think.
Yay!! Haven't you done brilliantly with him?
Hooray! Three cheers for sleep!!
Wow, well done!! Glad to hear it's worked with so little trauma to all concerned.
That is fantastic. You must feel brilliant.
woohoo Bicnod! You must feel like a different person, two full nights sleep in a week! delighted for you that it's all paid off, well done!
Amazing!!! Well done you.
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...
That sounds like massive progress, hurrah!
Thanks for the support
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
When oh when will he start sleeping through?
Ah but look at the massive progress since your first post! This too shall pass.
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
Keep persevering and posting!
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.
Oh balls that you re waking up, that's not good. Hopefully you'll be able to get back into a normal pattern soo. Well done on the DS front though, your hard work has paid off!
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.
Hoping for another sleepy night tonight Bicnod
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.
Sounds like teeth. Have you given him Calpol?
oh no Teeth always strike at the worst of times, don't they? What do you use when he is teething? I found Neurofen to be best, it eased the swelling. Obviously not an option if he is wheezy or asthmathic though. Keep going with the routine you've established though, it seemed to be working before this hiccup, and that's all it is a hiccup and you'll be back to full nights again soon. I am being induced with no.2 tomorrow so will be joining you in the sleepy corner then!
Freddie hope all went well yesterday/is going well today... How exciting I'm super clucky when I see newborns, even with this relentless sleeplessness!
Joe - yes, he's all calpoled up. DS1 was a dreadful teether as well.
Last few nights have been so hellish I'm not even going to report on them. Grand total of 3 hours sleep last night as both boys have got coughs and colds.
let's see what the night brings, fingers crossed they are both more settled.
Hideous week of 3 or 4 night wakings and 5am (or earlier) starts and then he randomly slept through last night until 6am
Wish I knew what made the difference.
I'm still sitting by him, and sometimes stroking his back, until he falls asleep at bedtime. Also trying to settle him in cot instead of picking him up when he wakes in the night, which usually works now.
Progress still being made though! Are the colds over with? It is surely a ployto keep you guessing though, DS1 (how strange to say DS1...)did it with me for aages.
Boys' colds are on the wane, mine is still in full flow (nice).
Yes, I seem to remember DS1 would throw in the odd all nighter purely to add to the torture of ongoing night wakings as I knew he could do it
What's the gap between your boys freddie?
DS1 is 3y4mo, so a nice age gap I wouldve liked a smaller one tbh, but I wanted to finish my degree before I had another! Hope you're feeling a bit better today
Looking for inspiration with my 14,5 mo DD... How are things going OP?
Hi Rilla, welcome to the sleepy corner
Things have been a bit rough the last week or so as DS2 is cutting his canines, BUT he's putting himself to sleep at night (with me sat in a chair in the room) and settling within 10 mins of waking at night (usually in need of painkillers) and I'm not picking him up so hopeful once this bout of teething is over the hard work will have paid off.
<resolutely clutches straws>
What's your sleep hell story?
Freddie - how's baby bolero doing?
Oh, and to top off the sob story I've got sinusitis and am on antibiotics so the night wakings are seriously killing me at the mo <woe>
Sorry you're not well - it really pushes you to the limit when you are not on top form yourself, doesn't it. & those teeth are bleeding blighters.
DD2 is 14.5m - used to sleep really well but it has been steadily on/off since the summer. She wakes up anything from 2/3 times a night & I breastfeed her back to sleep. TBH I would probably keep on doing that as I am tired, lazy and lack motivation to make any changes, but DP & me
keep fighting about it are agreed that we all need more sleep...
Yesterday was supposed to be night one of controlled crying (I don't want to do this but DP won't support any other method & I don't feel like I can deny her a feed when I am in the room with her at night, she will get really agitated & we will both get distressed), but she has a cough/cold so we didn't... I did put her down awake & do a form of CC - it didn't feel like it because she didn't really cry, but she protested a bit, I popped back in, she calmed down, I left, she protested a bit, I popped back in - etc. She fell asleep in 15 mins. She had a good night after that.
So.. not sure what we will do tonight...
Hi Rilla (love the name by the way - I was an Anne fan too...)
Sounds like Monday night went really well. How was last night?
Would your DH be up for pick up put down as opposed to CC if you don't feel that comfortable with it? That's what we did with DS1 and DS2 when we were night weaning. It meant we didn't have to leave them crying on their own at all (which I just couldn't do) but it got them used to settling in the cot without being fed to sleep.
DS2 woke at 4.50am today so it was a killer early start, but he slept through until then from 6.40pm so I can't complain too much - in fact I think I got a record six hours sleep in a row last night
Welcome Rilla; hope things improve for you, you can do it!
Sounds like it's going well for you Bic despite the teething, hope you get well soon!
DS2 is feeding well and putting on weight, he slept 4 whole hours last night, which I was very happy with! Finding it difficult to stay awake during feeds and then I'm wide awake when he finally drops off though... Ugh. So far he's a better sleeper than DS1 was, fingers crossed he is better, DS1 slept his first full nigh at the grand old age of 9months, at which point I was on the verge of insanity...
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