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Please help with sleep advice ...

(9 Posts)
kd73 Sun 06-Sep-09 10:05:02

DS is almost 9 months and from being 12 weeks has pretty much slept from 8pm until 5am, when we normally bring him into our bed for a feed until we get up at around 8am. He mostly went to bed awake and settled very quickly.

However, he has just had his first (of many I am sure) bout of illness and is now well again. Except he cries when we try to put him to bed, we try doing what we did before, we've tried giving him a bowl of baby rice to fill his tum. He is starting now to go to sleep but then wakes 3 hours later and will only settle having been feed or held, so its obviously a comfort thing as opposed to hunger. A dummy isn't pacifying him very well in the night, nor is calpol. I can lie beside him so he can still see me, but he forgets i am there, heads towards the door and screams again.

We have tried leaving him for 5 / 10 mins to cry to see if he settles himself but our checking him just seems to prolong the episode. Last night, after getting up to him at 10 (dummy pacified), 11 (dummy pacified), midnight (feed) and 3am I left him to cry. sad It took him 30 mins for him to settle himself and I hated it, but going into him to pat him, soothe him just seems to make it that he doesn't settle at all.

I am a firm believer that he needs to learn to sleep for brain development and he needs to learn to sleep without being attached to a boob, can anyone please help?

Twinsmommy Sun 06-Sep-09 13:04:23

You don't mention anything about whether you use a night-light or not?

My twin boys used to sleep in the pitch dark but from about 11 months would only settle if there was a night light on. It's worth a try.

Perhaps when he wakes his eyes are not adjusting to the pitch dark as quickly as you would expect and that may be why he is screaming or can't see you (as opposed to your reckoning that he has forgotten you are there).

Just a thought.

kd73 Sun 06-Sep-09 20:11:39

Thanks Twinsmommy, he has a nightlight and it seems to make little difference to him, it makes it easier for us to locate dummies though hmm

Last night I watched him as I lay in the bed beside his cot and he kept crying out, then lifting his head to look at me before turning away for sleep. He did this 3 or 4 times and as I tried to get some sleep, he would turn himself around and over and head over towards the bottom of the crib near the door and cry out for us. I would obviously reassure him that I was in the room (at the top of the crib area) and he would settle for a few mins before it started again (grr)

It just seems relentless and i am soo tired sad

Twinsmommy Sun 06-Sep-09 20:20:19

kd73 - are you absolutely sure he is awake when he does this? My son has started crying out and sitting up and calling for me, but when I get to him he is fast asleep. He never responds to anything I say to him except that I sit next to his bed with my hand on him so he knows I am there. It sounds like your son may be the same - especially if he is acting like he can't see you. My son often has his eyes open when he has these episodes, although granted, it's not every night as you describe. It might be that he hasn't quite settled after his bout of illness. I'm just guessing. It sounds like you are really tired, and I certainly know that feeling.

kd73 Sun 06-Sep-09 20:54:59

I think he is awake, he is doing a really good impression (eyes wide open, craning to look at me). he doesn't respond to me touching him or trying to soothe him only to me picking him up or feeding him so assume he is awake... If I try to pop the dummy into his mouth or calpol he bats my hand away as if to say no.

How an earth do you cope with 2? I am struggling with just 1!

Twinsmommy Sun 06-Sep-09 21:27:08

Oh kd73 - it's a struggle!!! And with a full-time job too (now there's my secret)!!!!

I thought my boy was awake to begin with. He would look at me. Call my name. But there was, as you say, no response to touch, just if I picked him up and cuddled him.

Now, if he has an episode, I do get him out and hold him firmly, then put him back into his bed with my hand on him until he stops thrashing about. There's no consoling him - he doesn't seem to hear me or see me.

If I remember rightly, his episodes do tend to come when he has been poorly. Have you tried Calpol Night instead of Calpol? And administering it at bedtime rather than trying to get it down him in the middle of the night?

Just a thought!

kd73 Mon 07-Sep-09 15:52:59

It sounds like you have your hands very full!!!

Hadn't heard of Calpol Night but will give it a whirl. Just met some baby friends at a baby club run by community health workers and health visitors. Basically it sounds like a development stage he is going thru as all the other babes of a similar age are going thru the same thing.

Last night we left him to cry before caving into a feed after 40 mins and then he settled beautifully but I don't think I can afford to use breastfeeding as a crutch to aid sleep, particularly as I plan to return to work in the New Year.

I hate to hear him cry though sad

Twinsmommy Tue 08-Sep-09 11:27:43

I know what you mean. You were very brave to last 40 minutes of crying before caving - I don't think I could have done that and, TBH, don't think it's the best way to resolve matters. That being said, you must be absolutely exhausted yourself, so need to find something else that works to stop him waking.

I totally agree, you mustn't use breastfeeding as a crutch to aid sleep - that way you will be promoting his waking routine.

Is he weaning/weaned yet? (Isn't it terrible - I've forgotten how old my boys were when I weaned them - those early days are like a fog to me now - they are now 3!!!). I ask because you might try giving him some baby rice as his bedtime feed and then putting him down. A fuller tummy might help him fall into a deeper sleep!

Hope you have some success soon!

kd73 Wed 09-Sep-09 21:10:40

Thanks Twinsmommy for replying. We started weaning him at around 5 months, which is slightly earlier than recommended but not too early if you get my meaning...

We had tried feeding him and then topping him off with a bowl of baby rice before bed but it seemed to make no difference, as we found dream feeding didn't!

We have been making a record of his sleep pattern and whilst he has been waking and crying for 1 hour every night at 3.30am, he has started to settle himself only to wake crying after literally a few minutes. There is a pattern and I suspect he is teething and we are trying different ways to soothe him and ease the discomfort as well as ensuring full sleep.

Thanks again for your advice, I have a plan to sort out his night time issues, just need a plan to sort out day time sleep which he has also decided to abandon - monkey!

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