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Manic bedtimes with my feral child

(10 Posts)
HargreavesEmes Wed 18-Jan-17 15:10:57

Hi,

My LO is 15weeks and for about the past month has been a total maniac at bedtime. I put a routine in place very early on with bath, massage, feed, cuddles and bed but all of those things just seem to aggregate him now. I've ready so much about the importance of naps so everyday I make sure he has adequate daytime sleep to avoid overtiredness at bedtime - but even when he's slept for ages, he is still a nutter.

So, generally he can only last a maximum of 1.5hrs between each sleep and will generally sleep for 45 mins/1.5hrs/30 mins and then an extra 30 mins if he got up really early (6am). He's sleeping really well at night with only 1 wake up and feed so where am I going wrong????

I've stopped doing bathtime as I think it's actually too stimulating for him so follow a wind down routine of in cot, mobile on, into pjs, feed, cuddle and into bed. Works at naptime but at bedtime he gets really hyper, thrashing his legs and arms around and his breathing gets really shallow, then he won't feed but screams when you put the bottle near his mouth and turns his head left to right over and over.... at this point the lights are off and I put him down into his cot for the screaming to begin. OH JOY!!! Then it takes about 2 hrs of him screaming, being cuddled, rocked and put back down, falling asleep for 20 minutes then the whole process being repeated again until he wears himself out. It's so traumatic and generally he's gold as gold during the day with very little fuss and going down nice and easy at naptime. Eurghhhhh! Anyone else experienced this and any tips of how the f to improve things and it's driving me crazy!

15 weeks old is very young to be defining your child as feral, IMO. It's pretty early to be expecting them to stick to a strict routine too.

I would relax the routine, and just go with the flow for the moment - you will be able to reinstate the routine later on.

To be honest, I didn't have routines as such for any of mine when they were babies - I did go with the flow, and I found that we gradually got into a routine that suited us all. By 18 months old, we had a fairly set bedtime (though it was flexible, which I felt made life easier, as they could cope with changes to the routine).

fruityb Wed 18-Jan-17 15:32:01

Goodness my DS is just shy of five months old (I think it's about 21 weeks but I stopped counting weeks when he hit three months lol) and we've only just got a (flexible) bedtime in. And even then it depends on whether he's ready. At 15 weeks he was still in with us so just came to bed when we did. It's only between Christmas and new year he's gone in his own room and he generally goes to bed between half eight and half nine.

I don't think babies need a bath nightly imho - I'd find it an enormous ball ache to do that! And I don't think you need to worry about creating a strong routine at this point. We've done pyjamas on and dimmed the lights and had quiet time since he was a newborn but that's all. I think if you're having this much hardship to step back and not worry. I wouldn't have been able to put DS to bed at 15 weeks but three weeks later i could! I agree with PP, just go with the flow and a routine will appear. I'm also a big believer in flexibility as it allows for change with minimal disruption. You sound like you're just stressing the both of you out and he will then associate that with bed time. We noticed that keeping calm and having far less stimulus and activity in the evenings meant DS would quite often nod off quite regularly.

If it's not working then leave it for now! He's too little to be described as feral - I thought you must have meant an older child!

HargreavesEmes Wed 18-Jan-17 15:40:31

The feral bit was a joke.

Going with the flow in terms of what times he's sleeping, but from what I've picked up from his cues etc, he can only last the 1.5hrs between each sleep - he can wake up anytime between 6-8 and then go to bed anytime between 5.30 - 8 depending on his wake up. Why is bedtime so different if naps are working well and he goes down so easily? Nothing is different other than the fact that he's going down for the night. Guess that's my question!

fruityb Wed 18-Jan-17 15:48:25

Because babies are essentially little buggers who change the rules! My son is awesome in the mornings and moany in the evenings - it used to be entirely the other way round. He slept for twelve hours straight one night last week and then woke up every two hours the next. There was no difference in the day times at all but his sleep was totally different. i couldn't put him down awake for a nap at the moment when I could before Christmas - he'd sleep for three hours then. You get in one rhythm and then things change again.

When I put DS to bed I keep the lights off, tuck him in, Ewan sheep on and dummy in, night night and out the door. He was grumpy the other night but fell asleep as soon as we put him down. Have you put him down and left him a bit to see what happens?

Alfieisnoisy Wed 18-Jan-17 15:48:37

As soon as I read "15 weeks old" I knew the "feral" bit was a joke. grin

Yes it can be an utter nightmare, I remember it only too well from DS, for some reason bedtimes were always been fraught. He was very very colicky and had reflux too. We used to have three hours + of screaming and raging betweeen 6pm and 9-10pm. After that he would inexplicably feed and settle...until he work up again.

I've no major advice either except to grit your teeth and know this won't be forever. Gradually evenings DID get easier...until he went into his cot without a murmur. I'd say this was by around 25 weeks.

At 14 I wish he would go to bed as easily as he did at 25 weeks but no...I am boring and "everyone stays up Mum." This is accompanied by lots of eye rolling and additional attitude. Gotta love em.

Oh yes - and then you get the other end of things - the impossibility of prising them out of their beds before the afternoon!

ODog Wed 18-Jan-17 21:18:59

15 weeks is very young and if you are having 2hr screaming battles every night then that must be very distressing for everyone. Let him be downstairs with you for now and drop off when he wants to on your chest. Not all babies need/want rigid bedtime routines. Some just want to be cuddled with their relaxed mummy until they fall into a nice peaceful sleep. Enjoy the cuddles and worry about routines later.

Heirhelp Thu 19-Jan-17 13:03:31

At 15 weeks he needs to have all sleeps with another person so he does not forget how to breath.

mouldycheesefan Thu 19-Jan-17 13:07:07

They don't need baths every day I bathed mine once a week and not at bedtime. It all seems very complicated can you put in pjs, feed, bed. I think thr baths, massage and faffing could be the factor that when he is tired all these things are being done that wind him up. Do the same as you do at naptime if that works. You don't need extensive bedtime routines.

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