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Begging for help - DD won't go to sleep

(10 Posts)
furryfriends57 Sat 06-Oct-12 22:31:08

I seem to be stumbling from one crisis to another with DD, she just turned 1 and with the past 3 weeks naps and bedtime have become a nightmare and I hate myself for it but I find myself getting cranky with her. She just won't fall asleep, she screams crying with exhaustion but won't let herself go to sleep. Even if I manage to get her off by rocking etc minutes later shes at it again. Bedtime used be so simple just give her her bottle and off she went. 3 weeks ago I went back to work, she was teething and learned to crawl so her little world is very different but I just can't find the solution to this. I sit with her while she is in her cot, I walk the floor and rock her, sing to her, talk to her everything but I just can't get through to her. Sometimes she'll fall asleep if we rock her in her buggy but I'm afraid thats just another bad habit. I know she isn't ill because if I bring her downstairs its like a switch flicks and she's happy and smiley again. I know shes going through wonder weeks at the moment and am hoping it will all settle again its just the constant crying and screaming is a never ending nightmare.
Thanks so much any help appreciated.

steppemum Sat 06-Oct-12 23:47:59

lots of sympathy furry. you must be exhausted.

I think some of your answers are right there in your post
you went back to work and she has reacted enormously. She doesn't want you to leave, and when she does fall asleep and wakes up again and you have gone she screams.
When you bring her down stairs so she knows she has your attention, she is happy.

I say all that without judgement. Life is just the way it is sometimes, and it helps to see it a bit objectively

I would say there are 2 issues here, and without knowing you or her, I wouldn't like to say which is the more relevant
1. she is afraid that when you leave you won't come back, or you won't come back for a long time
2. she wants your attention and she knows that by screaming and crying she will keep getting it. She hasn't had it during the day, so she will get it any way she can now.

The harder thing is finding a solution. Not sure what your working hours are or if you have a DP to help, or or what childcare you are using.
Can you work it so that when you come home, you have some time with her, playing talking reading, cuddling and so on? Look agian at bedtime routine. Make a clear routine that suits you (eg bath story, cuddly and bed. One song and then sleeptime)
Can you bear to do controlled crying? I sya that because it looks to me as if she is screaming for attention, and I think you need to stop giving her all the fuss at bedtime. Go back to where and how she slept before (eg cot, with bottle) and have one or two nights with controlled crying to re-establich her routine. But I would only do that if she has had good time with you before bedtime.

Also don't underestimate how much she can understand. Mummy is going now, I will be downstairs. Mummy will be downstairs if you wake up. Mummy isn't going out, I will be downstairs etc.

Not sure if any of that is any good. just didn't want ot leave it unanswered

furryfriends57 Sun 07-Oct-12 08:34:01

Thanks so much for replying I am eternally grateful thanks.
Yes we are so exhausted from this. She is a delight during the day and after naps; its getting her to fall asleep is a nightmare. I agree that my going back to work triggered it, my childcare arrangements went pear shaped very quickly so she didn't get into another set routine for a few weeks so poor little lamb is probably all confused. My DH drops her and collects her at creche and then we have family time before bed time but not for long because she needs her sleeps and is tired early. I have always hated the idea of controlled crying even though I more or less have it anyway while sitting in front of her when she is in the cot. If I don't pick her up she winds herself up and is so tired that as she sleep crawls across the cot sometimes she hits herself off the bars and that makes it worse. Even writing this sounds like a nightmare. I think I'll have to go with her and get her to drop off in the buggy and then move her to the cot, its an awful bad habit but our current set-up isn't doing any of us any favours.
A friend of mine got a baby antihistamine which causes drowsiness from her gp to help bubs get into a sleep pattern, i think thats a complete last resort but in the middle of these sessions am sorely tempted blush.

QTPie Sun 07-Oct-12 09:29:32

Never take her downstairs during sleep/nap time: I am a big believer in keep them in their room (and until 7am) - as soon as you take the downstairs...

Teething is very likely to be a rocky time: if was for us between 12 and 19 months (although only at night, naps were fine).

I would say: choose a strategy and stick to it - chopping and changing will confuse her. And try not to get angry at her: she isn't playing up, she is just confused, possibly hurting/teething and maybe scared - keep reminding yourself of that. Don't worry that her nursery bedtime routine is different from her home one: she should cope with two different ones.

What we did (for the 7 months of disruptive nights of teething) was to put a spare mattress, pillow and duvet next to the cot. If DS had a disruptive night, then one of us went in and would sleep on the mattress (holding hand and sushing as required). The next disrupted night the other one of us would go. It wasn't perfect, but we managed to get sleep and were comfortable. DS was comforted. At 19 months he stopped teething and completely overnight went straight back to sleeping through the night! We always enforce "no getting up until 7am" (well he stats in bed and we stay with him" and that has worked very well too smile

It is about finding what works for you and bring consistent smile

HalleLouja Sun 07-Oct-12 09:41:54

We used to take my DS downstairs (and still do sometimes now and he is 4). Sometimes a change of scenery is all they need. I didn't necessarily agree with it but it does seem to help some nights. If you are with her when she is crying its not CC. She knows you are there.

DD sleeps like a dream in comparison to DS.

A mattress on the floor seems like a good idea. If it helps her sleep.

hermioneweasley Sun 07-Oct-12 10:40:40

Aargh, feeling your pain. Remember, this, like everything, is just a phase. She needs to learn to fall asleep on her own, without milk, rocking, cuddling etc. my suggestion would be to have a look at Tanya byron's book. We used her controlled crying type technique which worked for us.

QTPie Sun 07-Oct-12 10:48:36

Agree about it being a phase. As mentioned above, we used "hand holding" (and being in the room) to comfort to sleep. After the teething finished (at 19 months), we used Supernanny's "Sleep Seperation" technique to get rid of the "hand holding" crutch ;(and slowly get out of the room).

I recommend Supernanny's "Confident Toddler Book" - makes a lot of sense when trying to understand and handle your toddler.

attheendoftheday Sun 07-Oct-12 16:44:35

Keep repeating "It's just a phase" and "This too shall pass".

It's so hard when little ones are teething. I'm not sure I agree with ccing if you think that might be the problem, I think she needs comfort if she might be in pain. I often find with my dd that teething doesn't bother her so much in the daytime when she's distracted, but would at night. I guess you've tried calpol?

furryfriends57 Sun 07-Oct-12 17:21:14

Hi Mners,
Thanks so much for your replies. Even just to validate that its a phase makes it easier. I thought the difficult phase was the non-stop daytime crying she had with silent reflux up to 3 months but night time crying is so much worse. Today has been better as I've just given in and she had good sleeps by rocking her to sleep in the buggy and I'm going to stick with that for a while. Isn't it amazing how you can change your mind on things thro sleep deprivation, I swore she'd never sleep in our bed or be rocked to sleep in the buggy and I've now done both shock but hey if we all sleep better its worth it.
Thanks again smile, this forum is a lifesaver, I thought I was cracking up last night.

floppops Sun 07-Oct-12 17:36:55

My DD was a terrible sleeper and she too had silent reflux. Think it's quite common to have sleeping issues when they have had this. She never slept much in her first 6 months-maybe 3 hours a night and 2/3 hours in the day.I have to say with my DD I didn't get her to nap by herself till she was nearly 2- was always in the car or pram.
She has only slept through since stopping breastfeeding at 21 months. I think without me being the prop she actually learnt how to go to sleep herself. Having said that I still had to do controlled crying at 7 months because even breastfeeding/rocking etc her to sleep she would then wake up 20 minutes later and I'd have to start again..
But now she is nearly 3 and sleeps quite well. Falls asleep fine on her own no crying. She has to have the same routine though strictly every night-bath,books and musical mobile on.
So it will get better honestly. It is so hard sleep deprivation. But it will pass!

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