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End of tether...

(6 Posts)
Thatawkwardmoment Mon 03-Oct-11 21:52:30

The title says it all really so am really hoping that posting this might provide some help.

DS is 18 months old. At the age of 8 weeks he slept 8 hours per night, he slept 12 hours per night at the age of 12 weeks. All fantastic so far. At the age of 19 weeks all hell broke loose to the point that his sleep patterns do not resemble a pattern at all. We did move house when he was 22 weeks old and I attributed the sudden change to this (pre-moving stress picked up from his parents?) - however, that was more than a year ago.

His evening routine is absolutely rigid - his daytime routine depends upon whether we're out and about but never varies by more than 30 minutes. I ensure that he receives the same amount of indoor/outdoor play each day and he is not teething or ill (although he obviously has been during the last 14 months at various points).

As an example: one night he will sleep for 10 hours and have a 2 hour nap the following day, the next night he will sleep for 2 hours and have no nap the following day, he will then sleep for 4 hours and have a 15 minute nap the following day, then he will sleep for 7 hours and have an hour nap the following day, followed by 4 hours sleep and a 2 hour nap the following day. He always wakes between 6am and 7am.

I have consulted 2 different doctors regarding this and have been told that "all babies do this".

So, does anybody have any advice, is anybody else going through this or is it indeed extremely common and I just need to deal with it?

Thanks for reading! smile

dobeessneeze Tue 04-Oct-11 08:14:08

Have you tried the No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley? It was written by a mum whose baby was up a lot and didn't really nap, up to the age of about 18 months I think, and who developed a gentle way to get him to sleep through the night. It's 'thing' is that it's a long-term, slow change solution for people who can't bear the idea of using controlled crying and the like.

The thing in your post that made me think it might help was the amount of daytime sleep he's getting. She basically says to do whatever it takes to get your child to nap in the daytime because the amount of daytime sleep they get will dramatically affect the amount and quality of night sleep.

Your local library might have it - mine did although there was a waiting list, so I just bought a copy from Waterstones.

Good luck!

Thatawkwardmoment Tue 04-Oct-11 18:19:57

I haven't actually - thanks for the suggestion and I shall look into it.

I had a feeling that the daytime naps may well be causing the problem. Fighting sleep has always been his favourite game and although driving him round or taking him out in in his pushchair used to do the trick, this no longer works and hasn't done for months. I'm sure he thinks he'll miss out on something really exciting if he drops off!

Thanks also for the good luck smile

dobeessneeze Tue 04-Oct-11 19:44:39

The No-Cry book advocates putting in place a routine for naps as well - a shorter version of what you do at bedtime, just to signify that things are quietening down, that they won't miss out on anything exciting by going to sleep.

The other thing I like about it (I'm not on commission, honest) is that it has a load of suggestions for things that might help and you basically pick and choose the different elements to build a plan that suits your family and that you think will work for your child.

The other thing that you may want to consider, depending on how desperate you are feeling, is cranial osteopathy. Some people say it has no effect whatsoever, others say it's like a miracle cure for all sorts of problems (if you do a quick MN search there's plenty of experiences on here).

If there has been something that has knocked out his sleeping patterns due to stress or something, they may be able to identify this and re-balance things.

I took DD last week as she has taken to thrashing about in her sleep. It is a bit witch-doctory, but she did sleep a lot better that night (though sadly not on subsequent nights) and she no longer hates her car seat quite as much as she used to, so I think it did something. They do say it sometimes takes a few sessions.

Choufleur Tue 04-Oct-11 19:48:10

Thankfully DS is past this stage but the amount of daytime sleep DS had really affected how well he slept at night.

The amount of people who said "oh he doesn't sleep during the day. He will sleep well at night because he is so tired" was irritating. He got far too overtired - took ages to get to sleep then would sleep for a few hours and be wide awake.

I used to drive round some days just to get him to nap.

Thatawkwardmoment Wed 05-Oct-11 08:41:52

dobeessneeze - I've ordered the book and it's on its way smile. Fingers crossed! To be honest, I have exhausted (pardon the pun!) all ideas I can think of when it comes to trying to sort this out so the book sounds ideal. I had heard of the cranial osteopathy and will look into that if there are no improvements.

Choufleur - DS has spent the majority of the last 12 months being overtired and there is nothing worse. I dread to think the amount of miles we've covered in his buggy/the car just to try and make him drop off. Had a particularly bad week last week re sleeping and he was dreadful - throwing things at me, hitting me, kicking me - he hit me so hard across the face with his book that I'd thought he'd broken my nose! He is usually very loving and calm so the lack of sleep really is affecting us all quite badly.

And don't get me started on the irritating comments made by people...just don't....!!!! grin

Thank you both for your comments and advice - very much appreciated

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