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8 month old not sleeping properly at day or night - please help

(18 Posts)
Sezzy100 Mon 19-Aug-13 17:33:55


My second child- a boy is now 8 months and has been a terrible sleeper since birth. It is getting worse not better. He fights all naps and sleep and is regularly awake for several hours on end in the middle of the night. We have tried everything to make sleeping better:
He has dark, quiet room
He has a comforter and a sleeping bag
He has been rocked/patted/shushed
He has a regular bedtime routine (bath, Pjs, stories)
We have tried co-sleeping, cranial osteopathy, rescue remedy, chamomile tea. I have even tried wearing him down in a sling and this makes him even more upset!!
If we leave him in his cot when he wakes, he pulls himself up and screams. I don't let him do this for long as he wakes up my 3 year old (who is a great sleeper).
I always look out for the tired signals e.g. rubbing eyes, yawning and I act on those plus I am aware that he can't seem to go more than 3 hrs max between naps.
I am so sleep deprived I don't know what to do - it is making me cranky to say the least and starting to really affect my relationship with my husband and other child who is resentful of the time I spend trying to get him to sleep.
He has been an early developer, sat at 4 months, crawled at 6 and is already cruising furniture and walking with a trolley. He is being weaned (mixture of BLW and purees) and has been eating solids since 4.5 months.
What am I doing wrong and how can I fix his sleeping problems- can I fix them or do I accept this situation? Any advice incredibly welcome...

Chocolatestain Mon 19-Aug-13 18:53:14

Hi, I have a nearly 9 month old DS who is also a poor sleeper, although without the added complication of an older child. Like you, we tried to do all the 'right' things to encourage good sleep. Lately however it's all gone really tits up. During the heat wave his room was really hot so he was in with us as our room stayed cooler, and then he was teething badly and we've just come back from a fortnight's holiday so things are a bit all over the place. We ended up resorting to whatever it took, generally nighttime BFs and bringing him into our bed, in our desperation to get some sleep.
However, we have an appointment with a sleep consultant (recommended by Mumsnetters) on Wednesday. She will give us a sleep training plan designed specifically for DS and our parenting style. It's a lot of money, but personally I will feel a lot more confident about instigating a sleep training regime with some expert guidance. I'm happy to pass on any useful tips or give you her details.

Sezzy100 Mon 19-Aug-13 19:41:22

Wow - thanks for that. Any tips would be greatly appreciated and any recommendations. I certainly feel your pain when it comes to sleeping....

BashfulBunny Mon 19-Aug-13 19:45:50

This may not be the problem at all, but have you checked for tongue tie, just to rule it out?

My 12mth ds has always been a shocking sleeper and it's turned out he has an upper lip tie and a posterior tongue tie. Although breastfeeding has gone quite well, he has a gap in his latch and so takes in lots of wind that makes him wake crying with pain every few hours. He can also stick his tongue out a bit so I had wrongly assumed he didn't have one. A mner suggested tt might be behind his sleep issues. Turns out she was right.

DoItTooJulia Mon 19-Aug-13 19:50:23

In the same boat here; here's my thread, see if it helps?

Sezzy100 Mon 19-Aug-13 19:53:02

Thanks- yes he does have tongue tie (posterior with heart shaped tip)but I had no idea that could affect sleep. I bottle fed so didn't have so many issues but its taken him ages to master a spoon.
What can you do about that though as he's very aware now and so wouldn't want it snipped or anything without anesthetic.
Is your little man getting better at sleeping now as he takes less milk?

DoItTooJulia Mon 19-Aug-13 19:56:02

Ha! He doesn't really take less milk! I'm currently sat with him, desperately trying to get him off to sleep. It's not working!

It's really hard. I really hope you get some sleep soon!

Sezzy100 Mon 19-Aug-13 20:00:33

Wow- that's my little one too!!! I am not alone- but hearing that it can go on until they start school is quite depressing - I was kind of hoping that he would get over most of his early development and then work out the sleep bit... He is just constantly moving- even thrashing his arms and pawing the cot mattress when you put him down.
I just sometimes even get so cross at him - when I've had endless nights and days of him fighting me and then I feel so so guilty.

DoItTooJulia Mon 19-Aug-13 21:17:01

Yep to the guilt, and not feeling like you have been as nice to them as you want because you are tired and frankly, pissed off.

It is depressing to thnk it could carry on for years, but I will say that ds1 is 8 and it still feels like yesterday that I held him for the very first time. He was an easy baby though! Now I understand why people have a small gap and get it over and done with, if you have one like my ds2 first!

BashfulBunny Tue 20-Aug-13 00:27:26

I'm currently waiting for a referral date to have ds' tongue tie lasered even though he's 12 months.

It seems that even though it's better done when they are tiny, it's still kinder than not getting it done. Hopefully it will fix the sleep issues and help him with solids. I think he has poor sideways movement, so struggles with anything bigger than raisin-size that requires chewing. Plus there's the likelihood of dentistry /braces etc later if his lip tie is left.

I found this site really helpful even though this particular article is about feeding:

BashfulBunny Tue 20-Aug-13 00:44:43

Oh, I should add that it's worth doing some investigating. Lasering doesn't necessarily need an anesthetic if you have someone who knows what they are doing. There's a Facebook group called Tongue Tied Babies Support Group who have some experts and knowledgeable mums who would tell you more about it.

Obviously you know your ds situation best, but we decided not to do sleep training while the tt might be the problem as if there is a physiological issue then it seemed best to fix that first.

Hope something in there helps. I completely agree that the lack of sleep is incredibly hard to cope with. (Fingers crossed I'll get my first decent night in a few weeks!)

mawbroon Tue 20-Aug-13 09:37:33

YY tongue tie can cause sleep problems, been there, got the t-shirt.

And it can cause many other problems too. DS1 is almost 8yo and there is a list as long as my arm of all the problems he had over the years.

YY to the tongue tie babies support group on facebook. Some helpful stuff to read here Dr Kotlow is a leading expert on tongue and lip ties. And here although this one is more about younger babies.

There are dentists in the UK who trained with Dr Kotlow. JOhn Roberts at Cote Royd Dental Practice in Huddersfield, and Malcolm Levinkind in North London.

Sezzy100 Tue 20-Aug-13 09:50:24

Thank you- I will investigate the TT issue further as I don't want him to have more problems than he's already got. Def look up the Mumsnet thread too.

ButteryJam Tue 20-Aug-13 20:04:18

Sezzy can you please let me know you get on with that. My LO though 3 months is just like this. We got tongue and lip tie lasered but lactation consultant thinks the tongue tie may have grown back a bit. DH is not keen on getting it re-done so I'm not sure what to do. We are surviving with breastfeeding.

Chocolatestain Sun 25-Aug-13 10:28:13

Hi Sezzy, just thought I'd let you know how we got on with the sleep consultant, although I agree that it would be a good idea to check out the tongue tie before trying to get DS into better sleep habits.
The sleep consultant's name is Andrea Grace and if you want to check out her website just google her name. We had an hour's Skype consultation during which we explained the situation and she asked us about our parenting style and expectations. She then came up with a strategy for us, which she also wrote up and emailed to us. The first night was hell, with DS waking even more frequently than usual, although he was settling much more quickly as the night went on. I was able to speak to Andrea the following day and she reassured me that this was fine and normal. The second night he went down at 6.45 after 15 mins of low-key, on-off grizzly crying and then slept through til after 5am with only a very brief waking at 10pm. The following two nights have been similar, although I'm still waking every couple of hours out of habit! Andrea gave us the option of addressing naps at the same time as night sleep or waiting until the nights were better, which is what we went with.
I know loads of people are very anti any type of sleep training, but I tried co-sleeping and bfing to sleep and it didn't help DS sleep any better and I slept a lot worse. In fact bfing to sleep seemed to make him wake more frequently but to bf at some wakings and not others is just confusing for a DC. I suspect that the anti-sleep training brigade have never hit that point of total sleep-deprived, spaced-out disconnect when you daren't get in the car because you know you're not safe to drive. (And I know I'm incapable of being a fully engaged mother in that state.)
Anyway, I really hope you find something that helps. You may find that sorting the tongue tie is enough, but if not I can recommend Andrea. I think the main things with sleep training are to be confident in what you are doing (otherwise your baby will sense your discomfort and feel insecure) and to be consisent. That was why I chose to pay a consultant - so I could be sure I was doing it 'right' and to have someone on hand to answer my questions. There are loads of books out there but real babies never seem to react like the ones in the books!
Good luck with whatever you decide to try.

Clarella Mon 26-Aug-13 07:53:51

chocolate may I ask what sort of things did you do?

ButteryJam Mon 26-Aug-13 20:47:30

Yes, chocolate, please can you share what you do. Thanks!

Noseynoonoo Tue 27-Aug-13 23:01:09

I would be very wary of sleep training. I think you have to consider what sort of parent you want to be and what sort of relationship you want to have with your child. I think it sits very uneasily for most parents to leave their baby to cry because your instincts, which are usually spot on, tell you this is wrong. Also, sleep training can 'work' in the short-term if what you want is for your baby to stop waking you up but this doesn't mean your baby is asleep and it doesn't mean that your baby is awake and happy. It can mean that they have worked out that you won't come if they cry.

I have 2 children. One I sleep trained - was told it would take 3 days and we gave up after 3 weeks. I could weep thinking about it. My other child was allowed to find his own way to sleep and we responded to his cues. The first child, many years on is still the restless, insecure sleeper. The second sleeps like the proverbial baby now.

If you feel that you want someone to point you in the right direction, you may find Babycalm sleep workshops useful because they offer gentle techniques (definitely not sleep training) to help you help your baby. I think they have classes around the UK.

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