to ask for advise re dd's sleep?(20 Posts)
I have posted about this in the sleep forum, but no one has replied and I'm feeling desperate!
DD is 7 1/2 months, and I have always soothed her to sleep. We lay next to each other in my bed, while we hold hands and I stroke her face until she's in a light sleep, before I transfer her into her cot next to our bed.
But she will no longer let me soothe her at all, she just tries to play with me. I have tried laying her in her cot instead, but she just starts crying and screaming "mama", and I don't like leaving her to cry. I've tried leaning into her cot to comfort her, as well as pick up put down, but again she just smiles and tries to play with me.
I have also tried just sitting next to her cot, but sue just gets upset trying to climb out to me.
I've tried adjusting our routine, and we always have a wind down time before sleep. In the end, she just ends up so over tired she winges herself to sleep which I don't want.
Can anyone please advise me? I don't know what to do for the best. Thank you
You need to get a good pre bed routine going for her. First she needs to be tired. Fresh air is good for wearing out babies. Then dinner, bath, feed even looking at a book or reading to her and singing lullabies. Then when you put her in her cot, lay her down say goodnight and then ignore her. Continue singing maybe as you put clothes away or tidy up so she can see or hear you but don't engage with her. She will probably cry as it's not what she's used to but she is safe, she can see and hear you and she is fine. It will take a while and it's horrid hearing her but you know she's ok but do your best to ignore her. Even at this age she will have worked out how to push the mummy buttons and you need to break the habit. Be prepared for it to take a long time but if you do this every night and time it she will be straight off to sleep within a week or so I'm sure. Good luck!!
Oh it's tough one. No one else can ever say what is reasonable when it comes to leaving to cry/winge etc.
When my DS was that sort of age it's was a long process of working towards getting him to fall asleep on his own. As we made the decision that's what we wanted and having stay with him while he fell asleep didn't work well for us. But everyone is different! We decided on a strict routine every night of bath at 6.45, bottle, bed. I'd read The Baby Whisperer book and followed some of the ideas in their. So doing a lot of 'shhhh pat' and walking out and back in again and very gradually leaving it longer and longer before going in. I point blank refused to pick him up or take him out of the cot and was determined that the goal was that I wasn't going to stay with him while he fell asleep, but I probably tried everything else from patting his back singing, holding his hand through the bars of cot while I lay on floor in the dark etc then commando crawling/ shuffling stealthily out the door. It was a horrible week of 'sleep training' I think the neighbours hated us as he did cry a lot (and I felt like a terrible parent for it) and it took over the whole evening trying to get him to settle for a good few days. But for us it was worth it. Within a week we could normally put him down, quick pat and walk out the room. He still woke in the night for ages, but would settle again quickly and is still an amazing sleeper at age 3!
I'd recommend deciding what you want bedtime to be like. Make a resolve to achieve it and work towards that. There isn't one method fits all, but reading up on different tips, tricks and methods and deciding what sounds like it might work for you. Then stay firm. It's really tough and might need to try several different techniques but you can do it xxx
Thank you both so much for your replies. I think that's it, there is no one size fits all just what works for you. I was happy to keep soothing her to sleep, but as she won't let me now I feel we may have to leave her which I never really wanted to do.
At night time our routine is pretty structured - bath, stories, into sleep bag, bottle and bed. But to be honest I'm more relaxed in the day, and I think she may be getting confused. Dh thinks the best approach may be to put dd into the cot, if she's upset returning after 30 secs to comfort her, then wait 1 min, then 1 1/2, then 2 etc. The only thing I'm concerned about is I read that it can damage babies being left upset? All the mums at my group said they always soothe to sleep and never to leave them, but I can't force dd to be soothed by me.
My ds is 7 months and I spent 3 months trying to get him to sleep in his cot. He cried for at least half an hour every night and never really seemed to get used to it! He also still woke fairly regularly during the night!
What are her daytime naps like? Perhaps those need to shift about so she's more tired at bed time? We've had some success with the 2 3 4 regime so might be worth a try?
To settle ds we now do bath, into sleeping bag, story, feed. I then sit ds on my lap and keep integration to a minimum. I don't let him stand up but don't force him to relax either if you see what I mean. After 5 mins of attempting to amuse himself he will often just put his head down and start to drop off. I try to remain as boring as is humanly possible! Once he is dropping off I put him in the cot. I do this for all daytime naps as well so it's sort of consistent. I know most people say they need to learn to sleep in the cot but my ds just would not do it without a lot of distress and sleep times has become fraught for all of us.
Incidentally since I changed the nap routine and started this approach to getting him to sleep he has been waking less frequently at night, probably a coincidence but I'll take it!
Good luck whatever you try, I hope you see some improvement soon!
Whinging to sleep is completely fine and part of learning to self settle.
I should say I never left him to cry and stayed with him attempting to do a gradual retreat!
Good point about day time naps. I still follow a fairly similar routine for day time naps as bed time. So after lunch there's no playing, it's straight upstairs to his room, close curtains and just have little night light, read story, then into bed. I guess it reinforces, this is the sleep routine. I'd limit sleeping in buggy, car etc during day unless absolutely necessary. We also spent a few weeks organising our days completely around his sleep, so no groups during normal nap time, not over stimulating him, not trying to eat our dinner when he was tired and needed bed etc. I even went as far as writing up our day time routine on the fridge to try and keep me on track with meal times, nap times etc so at optimum tiredness for bedtime! Maybe I did over think and plan it all, but I was a breaking point over his sleep so took drastic action, which did work for us!
Oh and FWIW my personal opinion is that baby getting upset doesn't 'damage' them. As long as fed, clean, gets lots of kisses and cuddles most of the time, by 7-8 months they are able to cope with it.
My boys became over stimulated by me rubbing or striking at this age. Ended up with one of those light displays for the ceiling that played nice music as meant didn't get the overtired moaning to sleep. Just pop into cot and switched on
Oh I'd never thought of a light display, she might like that. Also I wil definitely look into 2, 3, 4 as I've never heard of that. I imagine it's naptime/sleep time after 2, 3, then 4 hours?
Day time naps have been so inconsistent recently, as I feel I do whatever I can each day so she sleeps. I've always been very flexible with our routine, but not sure if that works for her any more. I also think I need more wind down time before naps, like I do at bed time.
And yes about stroking her cheek etc being over stimulating, that's exactly the case for us! She always liked it, but now just plays with my hands. Thank you so much for your replies, I'm feeling better prepared now and know I need to find one thing that works for us, rather than just whatever works that day.
What hamster said. She needs to learn to self-sooth. You playing with her isn't helping. 'Controlled crying' works in 2-3 days if you stick with it. You need your sleep and so does she.
Thank you, we are all so over tired right now. Poor Dh got 2 hours sleep after a night shift today!
That was actually pretty painless - I sat outside her room, popping in if she started properly crying a couple of times to let her see I'm there - but she just winged a little and went to sleep in under 10 minutes! I really didn't expect that, and am pleased she managed to drop off okay. That's the best she's gone to sleep in weeks, especially this past few days it's taken me hours to get her to sleep..
Yes, general idea of 2 3 4 is that baby has first nap 2 hours after waking, second nap 3 hours after waking from the first and goes to bed 4 hours after waking from the second nap. I have found this fits my baby's natural rhythm better as I spent ages trying to get him to have a later afternoon nap and when I succeeded he would then be tricky to get down at night. I believe you're looking for nap times of around 1.5 hours for each nap. I generally take ds upstairs and start the nap routine at least 15 mins before I want him to actually be asleep. I find reading a couple of stories helps him wind down.
Until a month ago my baby would only sleep on me and naps were all over the place. I made a concerted effort with the napping, stayed in for nap times, introduced a routine, insisted on him going in the cot started having more of a structure generally and it has definitely helped.
Thank you for explaining it, I think what you've done is something I'd like to try with dd. I feel like she doesn't always know I want her to have a nap, as sometimes it's after lunch, sometimes after a bottle, sometimes in the pram, sometimes the cot etc...
I need to really try and be more consistent in the day time, and give her more wind down time like I do at night time.
Try getting a dream sheep too. My sin loves his xx
At this age I started making sure DS didn't sleep after 3, and that he had at least 4 hours awake time before bed. If she is still napping late into the afternoon this could well be the issue.
We did pick up put down at that age, I persevered with it for a week, some nights I was in her room for an hour. She'd cry, I'd pick her up, she'd then laugh and want to play and then I'd put down again, I did this over and over again always retreating to a corner of the room. She does self settle now and did so from then on, we had to revisit pick up put down at around ten months, but otherwise it really helped.
Thank you for your replies. I think I'm going to try giving her more structured nap times in the day. I try, but I really rely on baby groups a couple of times a week, as I can get quite down and don't know anyone outside of group (moved away last year) so it's my only chance to see people. But the times of group always cuts into when dd should be napping, so I'm never sure what's best.
I have tried pick up put down but she just gets excited and tries to play, perhaps it's worth another try. I just feel like it really over stimulates her having me there, but dh works shifts so it's something I do 99% of the time for consistency.
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