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Really, really bloody knackered.

(9 Posts)
ShushBaby Mon 20-Dec-10 09:40:24

My daughter is ten months old. She's always been a decent-ish sleeper. However over the past 4-6 weeks things have changed. I assume/hope this is the sleep regression I've been reading about on here (v useful info, thanks to those who post it!). But I'm out of ideas to help her sleep better.

She self settles after a breastfeed at 7pm. Then she'll do a long stretch of sleep (8-10 hours), usually needing a quick settle once or twice during this time- this takes seconds or minutes at the most, just a few reassuring words or a version of pick up/put down if she's more unsettled. We also hear her waking and settling herself, so we know she can do it.

So far so good. Come 3am though, anything could happen. On a good day she'll sleep til 5am and then be pretty much up for the day. This is fine(ish) and what we're used to, she's always risen early.

But recently it'll be more like 3.30am or 4am, and that's it, she's awake until 5.30am.

Ironically by avoiding sleep props for fear of making rods for backs etc, there's now very little which gets her back to sleep: breastfeeding doesn't work, rocking doesn't work, she doesn't have a dummy. PUPD usually works and is great earlier in the night- but for these early early morning wakings it doesn't seem to cut the mustard. I gave up after an hour this morning as my dp has a long drive to work and I wanted him to get some sleep.

Come 5am I feed her (though not sure why- she barely takes anything and it doesn't send her back to sleep), then turn her lamp on and give her some toys. Bizarrely, this is the only thing which sends her back to sleep. I think it's setting a bad precedent though, telling her it's day/play time when it clearly is not. And I'm loathe to do this before 5am.

She has now started compensating for these early morning shenanigans by having a long nap from around 8.30am (and then having a short, rubbish nap after lunch).

I just feel her sleep is in a bit of mess at the moment, and I'm worried because I'm going back to work in a few weeks. DP does help when he isn't working but he hates hearing her cry so is quick to pick her up and cuddle her. However if I come up with a cunning plan he will fall in with it.

Any ideas- or just "me too"s- would be very much appreciated. Should I persevere with PUPD? Or try something else?


orangina Mon 20-Dec-10 10:27:05

Didn't want your post to go un-noticed....

Don't really have any suggestions, apart from maybe don't let her nap at 8:30? Make it a bit later and then keep it short?

Re: having toys in the morning, can you keep one or two in her cot and then she can play when she wants? That way you don't ave to feel like you are encouraging early morning play... it is good that she is so self sufficient and self settling though.....

Good luck!

ShushBaby Mon 20-Dec-10 11:01:53

Thanks orangina. I've thought about pushing back/cutting out the morning nap. I always feel nervous about making big changes!

It is good that she self settles, we're lucky in that she sleeps a good stretch. But the hour or two spent trudging back and forth from her bedroom to ours in the wee small hours each morning is killing me! And I don't think she's getting enough sleep.

orangina Mon 20-Dec-10 11:09:02

I remember trying to get mine to drop their morning naps, which they were REALLY reluctant to do. I think you want to ultimately encourage no nap in the morning, and a short afternoon nap. My guess is that if you can push her morning nap from 8:30 gradually towards the 10am mark, and then eventually kick the afternoon nap and push the morning nap to straight after (and early) lunch, that is the direction you want to be heading.

(if memory serves!)

Can TOTALLY sympathise with the trudging around in the morning business. My 2 are currently up around 6ish (in the TOTAL darkness, why?!) and I feel as though I'm barely human these days....

What about if you just IGNORE her before 5am? What happens then?

ShushBaby Mon 20-Dec-10 12:06:28

Haven't tried ignoring her. She wakes up crying you see, so it would mean leaving her to cry which we've never done and I don't think we'd be very good at. But we do have limits, and we're rapidly reaching them, so who knows!

Good advice re naps. Will wait til after Christmas when we've stopped travelling around, and hopefully get her sleep somewhat sorted before I start back at work. I've put off pushing back the morning nap because she wakes up so bloody early, she's yawning by 8.30am. But if I do it gradually as you suggest it could work.


orangina Mon 20-Dec-10 13:12:03

It's always tricky the first time you have to try it.... good idea to let things settle down after Christmas first. Youj could always try some gentle controlled crying with her to knock the 3:30am start on the head before tackling the nap.... if you are going back to work soon, that would seem to be the priority!

FWIW, ds was a great sleeper until a series of ear infections and teeth meant he had a bad few months when he was about 8-10 months old. The nights went from being fine to being just hideous, and we were both working. I'm not sure I managed to do anything constructive during that time. In the end, we went for cc, and DH did it in the end, as I was so knackered and hysterical. It took 3 nights, and then he was back to sleeping 7-7, and much happier for it (both him and all of us).

If you search the threads here, there are lots on cc (the pros and cons). You could always try ignoring her for (say) a minute in the morning before you go in. Might be useful for her to realise that you don't always come running the instant she opens her mouth....


best of luck, maybe someone else will be along with more words of wisdom....!

helsbells82 Mon 20-Dec-10 16:59:24

I have started a thread on here recently about controlled crying. My little boy only goes to sleep in his pram so I know what you mean about not having props to help you get them back off and in my case off to sleep in the first place.

Could you speak to your health visitor? Mine has been great but they only seem to suggest controlled crying. Seems to work in most cases (not mine at the moment) although it is very difficult to follow through.

Sorry, not much help as having sleep problems myself so no real answers, just sympathise with you. Good luck.

ShushBaby Mon 20-Dec-10 19:50:27

Thanks orangina and helsbells.

We have thought about controlled crying, and I think we'd give it a go if we got desparate. 7-7 sounds like utter bliss. DD has never done that mythical 12 hour stretch!

Haven't spoken to HV as until now dd has always slept fairly well and I've felt we had tactics to deal with it if not. Now I am out of tactics!

She was teething today and very cross with life before bed. Settled off well as normal, but I'm a bit fearful for the night ahead...

pommedeterre Mon 20-Dec-10 19:55:16

IME time of morning nap has a direct impact on time of waking the morning after. The later the morning nap the longer they sleep in the early hours.

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