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10 months old, everyone going mental

(14 Posts)
debbiecr Mon 09-Feb-15 19:40:16

Hello everyone, this is my first post. Not quite sure what I am looking for - I suppose some reassurance/advice would be great.
So we have a lovely boy of 10 months. He was born with a big cyst in the brain - benign type, caused his head to get too big, 3 surgeries later and we seem to have sorted the problem. As a result of this cyst he has mild hemiplegia on his right side - physio/OT twice a week - again this seems to be improving and hopefully it won't have a major impact on his life. Cognitively he is doing very well. Mobility-wise he is a bit delayed due to the right side issues. He eats and drinks generally well.

The problem is his sleep and his clinginess.

He goes down awake but very sleepy. If overtired, he'll cry a bit and we do a bit of CC, he's usually OK within a few minutes. At the moment we are getting away with 1-2 wakings a night, satisfied by dummy. However he has always been an early riser (bed at 6.30-7, wake up ready to go at 5) but now he's wide awake at 4am. I've never left him to cry at this time whether CIO or CC. Based on middle of the night CIO sessions I know it will take him about an hour to settle, so I just get up with him. 2-3 hours after waking he'll going back to sleep either for a short or long nap. The length of sleep will set how he naps the rest of the day, either a longer one at lunchtime or a shorter one around 3pm. Either way, his night sleep is the same.

We have one outing/ activity in the day and the rest of the time I try entertain him at home. He's starting nursery 3 days a week in March when I go back to work.

He will sit and play for 5-10 mins at most at home and then clambers onto my hip and pumps his little legs like a horse rider as a signal that I must lug him round to somewhere else. Is this normal? I feel about 150 years old. He's too big for his jumperoo now and it is very difficult to get a break during the day.

At around 4pm life becomes unbearable with the boy as he literally doesn't want to be put down and his attention span decreases making it harder to entertain him. I start feeling very hopeless, sending dark Whatsapp messages to my mum and sisters half the world away. It becomes a situation of cooking with child on hip, etc. My house is an actual tip and we are moving in 2 weeks so it is not a comfortable situation. The moving process & impending nursery has delayed any thoughts of taking control of what's going on.

My thoughts are: Sleep: cycle of early wakings and probable over tiredness that is really hard to break. I've tried stretching his bedtime out and sometimes it gets us an extra half hour in bed in the morning but the night is often more broken as a result. (The better he sleeps, the earlier he wakes up ready to go.)

Clinginess/ boredom - I am a highly strung person and have realised I've got a very low threshold to his cries/ screams. This has probably created a bit of a monster both sleepwise and with his separation anxiety. I am also quite isolated although I do take him out in the day. I realise loads of people don't have family close by but I think this is the main reason I'm struggling to cope. I feel too guilty asking friends to take him for a few hours, as they're all looking after their own kids or working.

Yeah. Any thoughts welcome. Thanks.

tak1ngchances Mon 09-Feb-15 19:45:10

flowers and wine
You have my sympathies.
Does he have a decent afternoon nap at all?

tak1ngchances Mon 09-Feb-15 19:46:48

Sorry just re-read your OP. I'd be trying for a shortish nap in the morning, a long lunchtime one and then a catnap in the afternoon to see him through to bedtime.

ROARmeow Mon 09-Feb-15 19:50:03

Normal enough, yes.

You're his security, so he wants to be with you.

Would you consider getting a sling/baby carrier, or bringing him into whatever room you're busy in?

I didn't do CC or CIO with either of my kids - no judgement on you, but it just didn't sit easy with me - so I can't advise on that.

But if he's settling himself, only waking a bit and napping well then I think that sounds good!

My 2.5 year old still wakes several times a night, woke hourly until 12 months old and abandoned her nap at 15 months old.

Do you have friends with kids you can spend time with to break up the day?

BattlestarSpectacular Mon 09-Feb-15 19:51:50

I also have a clingy 10 month old, I am useless with sleep things so will watch with you on that one...

However, what keeps me sane in the day is plenty of walks/trips round shops to keep him happy people watching and this is where all the baby groups really make sense. Just having other children to watch and copy really keeps their attention. My Dr has older brothers to amuse him but I do remember the pressure to be sole source of entertainment for my first. You have my sympathies!

BattlestarSpectacular Mon 09-Feb-15 19:53:41

Ds not Dr...obviously he is a genius (and beautiful, funny, biased, me?) But no medical qualifications as yet

Hesalovernotabiter Mon 09-Feb-15 19:54:57

flowers I completely understand about the leg peddling hip carry thing. It's just exhausting isn't it and always from around 4pm. I refer to it as the witching hour but it actually lasts until bedtime.

I joke that my little one better be a world class chef after all the cooking he has watched me do! Could you maybe try a walk at around 3? Maybe the fresh air would help induce a short nap or just blow the cobwebs away...

It does get better I promise, as well as a 17 month old hip peddler I also have a 9 year old so living proof you might feel 150 but they don't finidh you off completely ��

juniorcakeoff Mon 09-Feb-15 19:55:22

IME this is exactly the sort of boy who will do a lot better when he can move. You are doing fantastically well and you are only 10 months in after a difficult start. There is nothing wrong with having a low threshold for crying, you are responding to his needs and creating a good attachment. The good news is you are about at the peak age for 'clinginess' / separation anxiety and you are on the downhill slope - he is going to get less clingy without you doing anything.

All babies have their bad time, usually at the end of the day when you are most knackered. I found it good to go out for a walk in the pushchair after dinner with DC1, even though knackered it was really less annoying than carrying round house / extreme whingeathon. Some of what your boy is doing could be down to the 4am wakings. Have you tried everything the internet can throw at you to stop this? If not start a thread on the sleep topic here, I think you could possibly get him to do short morning nap and long afternoon nap and get rid of the 4am nightmare- babies waking that early is often due to overtiredness (I'm not thinking miracles, just more like 5am!!)

If you think you can't change the 4am thing, then its just a matter of looking after yourself while you ride the rollercoaster of the first year...you are getting to the easier bit I promise. Once back at work nursery might help with the naps and 4am might solve itself..it can happen.

A bit of CBT could help you with your feelings about this, netmums (yes netmums) used to do a really good weekly email with CBT based tips for PND. I'm not saying you've got PND, more likely just exhausted, but some of the goal setting help and rethinking your anxiety is really useful.

SingSongSlummy Mon 09-Feb-15 19:56:13

I'd only allow him a 30-45 minute nap in the morning, then a maximum of two hours at lunchtime (12:30-2:30pm), then try to get him to bedtime without another nap - any late afternoon nap is likely to cause early waking the next morning! It might only take a couple of days to reset this way, and will really be worth it! When he's well rested you might find that the clingy behaviour improves too.

Micah Mon 09-Feb-15 20:00:01

Sounds normal to me too smile. I remember my mum telling me sternly I needed to be stricter and not let her be so clingy, or I'd make rods for my back etc...

Ignored her, carried on. She's 8 now and certainly isn't still being carried everywhere, crying when I leave the room, sleeping in my bed. The early waking sorted itself as she got more active.

I remember the 4pm awfulness too smile. Baths were a saviour, stopped the grumpiness long enough and relaxed her for bed.

ElphabaTheGreen Mon 09-Feb-15 20:08:20

DS1 was a Velcro-baby from birth, and from 9 months until about 20 months I pretty much couldn't put him down from the time we got up in the morning so yes, it's normal. DS2 is shaping up to be exactly the same way so, as a PP suggested, I am a dab hand with a variety of slings to try and take the load off my arms. If your DS is not used to being worn, he may find a hip-carry most tolerable.

9 months is the first real onset of separation anxiety and he's had so very much go on in his little life that has involved frightening separations from you, that he's going to want to be glued to you. I would even go so far as to say that doing any CC/CIO is inappropriate and may well make his daytime clingyness worse. If you bring him into your bed at 4am, will he go back to sleep then? Or (shudder) set an alarm to bring him into your bed at 3am to see if this gets him over the 4am hump?

debbiecr Mon 09-Feb-15 20:33:49

Thanks so much guys, this is all very good advice and you've picked up on everything I am going through mentally. The main problem is really this 4am crap which is picking away at my strength. At first I thought - I don't care, as long as he's generally sleeping through, I'll take it - but after a week, I'm starting to crumble.
This is the priority and as you say Junior, may warrant a sleep thread. [Although have just realised the clocks also go forward soon hence feel God is with me] I have always leapt out of bed within a second of hearing him cry, this has helped create the problems. We did CIO twice in the middle of the night when it was super ridiculous a few weeks ago.

I have let him lead his nap schedule but as many of you say, it makes sense to enforce a longer lunchtime one so he's not too overtired at bedtime & because that's how they operate at nursery. I also notice he takes most of his milk before 1pm which isn't surprising when he's been up for 9 hours. However this can't be good for the night ahead.

Signs also point to simply a later bedtime?? Maybe we will never get more than 10 hours out of this guy and need to stretch him later. It's not seemed to work but again I wonder if I haven't tried hard enough. When he goes to nursery his bedtime will automatically become later due to fetching after work etc.

I accept it's normal for young primates to want to cling to the mum, and I think his mobility stuff literally makes me a donkey for him (he is old enough to want to go places but hasn't got the legs yet).

I do take him out in a combo of sling or pram. Sometimes the sling at home in desperate situations, but it's quite an obstruction to tasks and he is now trying to dive out of it unless we are outside and he's occupied by sights.

I long for a world where humans operate creche societies like all good primates, everyone keeping a general eye on all the kids as one. I really do feel the main problem is I just can't get a break in the day. The suggestion about asking friends if I can pop in is a good one, so is the post-nap walk. I do these things but not regularly and maybe I need to ensure that there is a main outing in the day followed by a witching hour mini jaunt either to a mate's or just a walk in the pram.

It is going to be much easier when we move as our flat is upstairs making the pram a nightmare. I don't always want him in the sling when its cold. It's all a combination of this horrible limbo we are in while waiting for our move to happen. Maybe he's picking up on stress, who knows.

debbiecr Mon 09-Feb-15 20:39:17

Micah he loves his bath too, mad for it, but wants his bed straight after. He's good at putting himself to bed in general which is I guess the upside of the early rising.

I must stress we only do CC if he niggles when putting himself to sleep - because he's generally self settling so we just peek in every few mins. CIO we have done twice, when it was really awful and he was up every 2 hours about a month ago, we let him cry himself to sleep. It felt awful but we felt it was the right (only) thing we could do at the time.

Elphaba the 3am thing is an idea I am too scared to try, but maybe definitely worth a go???

At 4am he is wide eyed and smiling, sitting up, and won't sleep for anything. In bed with us he will bat faces, flip around and try to get us up, eventually crying. So, nah.

stressbucket1 Tue 10-Feb-15 07:28:48

My 11 mo DD recently had a stretch of 4am waking and not settling back again. I agree with sing song what helped us was making sure she had a good lunchtime nap waking no later than 2.30 then keeping her awake until bedtime 6.30-7 ish she now sleeps until at least 5.30-6ish. does still have a clingy period around tea time but otherwise quite happy.

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