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Please help a newbie before I go insane!!

(5 Posts)
OneDayIWillSleepAgain Wed 24-Oct-12 12:30:05

Hello all

So sorry to come charging in without introductions etc but I feel desperate...
I have an adorable 6 month old boy who is happy and smiley and lovely in every way except he fights sleep... Constantly.
I'm so tired and at the end of my tether I don't know what to do.
Around 12 weeks we started the NCSS books which worked pretty well. He went down to 1 or 2 night feeds just by shushing him or patting him off at firs without feeding.
Then he got sick, then had a cold, started teething blah blah...
He has always napped in the sling up until a couple of
Months ago and that's when it also started to go
wrong...
I went abroad and the only way to get him to have a decent nap was in the sling and I decided enough was enough... So I went cold turkey and started doing 3 naps
A day in his cot. The problem is he won't nap for longer than 40 minutes... Then it went to only 30 minutes so I had to do 4 naps a day and yesterday they were only 20 minutes and today only 10 minutes!!!
I just feel like I never ever get a break and I'm going mad...
I adore being a mum but would just like some time to myself. He is now asleep in the sling on me as I felt so desperate after such short naps and have a class to go to later which he would have been a nightmare at without sleep.

His night sleep isn't good. He has a set bedtime routine since birth and is down by 7.i I feed before sleep but not feed to sleep... I know he can self settle as I have seen and heard him do it but it's like he can't be bothered to most of the time and wants me to help... After his short naps sometimes I can shush him off or place a hand on his back and he will go back off but often not. In the night he can be shushed back off but sometimes protests...
Last night I was so tired at his protesting that he ended up sleeping on me... I just needed some sleep.
He tends to wake 1 hour after being put down on a night, then around 12 and around 3.30' sometimes he will then go theN go through to 6.30 which is when he wakes but sometimes wakes around 5 too.

I find if he's had decent sleep in the day the he can settle himself better. If he has less than 2 hours in the day he is really restless.

I just feel so fed up and don't know where to start with his sleep. He is teething and we have been waiting for one of his top teeth to come in for weeks... I just don't know how to handle his sleep during this time. I am giving him calpol and nurofen interspersed. I do think his teeth are bothering him but how long can I be expected to let him sleep on me day and night?

I don't get a thing done in the house and I look a mess. At the start I loved having him in the sling but he is so heavy now...

I am sorry for the rant and hope someone can offer some advice where to start... I have tried to get him into a routine but his sleep is so erratic we have always failed. I feel like a failure and just want some life with my little boy.

Thanks for any words of wisdom in advance.

Xx

OneDayIWillSleepAgain Wed 24-Oct-12 12:46:56

Forgot to say I am pretty against CIO and really hoping there's other options...
Also I am sorry if I have come across like a mad woman! I am usually very normal.. Or at least I used to be!
Thanks in advance. Xx

ElphabaTheGreen Wed 24-Oct-12 19:56:39

I notice you dropped some night feeds when he was still very young - generally it's not a good idea to drop night feeds until after 6 months. Might he need more feeding to help him settle? (You don't say if he's BF or FF, sorry.)

You also say he can self-settle, but seems to prefer the help - have you tried any gradual withdrawal so as to encourage him to use the strategies you think he has? It would involve some crying (or rather angry shouting), but it's not CIO, as you would be with him the whole time.

omama Thu 25-Oct-12 14:25:10

elphaba - there's no hard & fast rule about when night feeds should be dropped - usually it simply happens because the baby sleeps a longer stretch before waking up hungry. It sounds like perhaps OP's baby was being fed to sleep (perhaps as a means of settling rather than an actual hunger need) & they have used NCSS methods to stop this practice & only feed at night when baby is actually hungry - so IMO this is fine. Mine went down to just 1 night feed by 10 weeks - he kept this til he was weaned at 5.5 months, so I think 1-2 night feeds is just fine.

oneday - sounds to me like the restlessness & waking you describe is more as a result of overtiredness, especially since you say he sleeps better at night if he's napped well in the day. Can you post what a typical day for him looks like - just so we can see what time he gets up, what time you put him down for his naps & how long he naps for & what time he goes to bed?

I see that initially you tried to compensate for the short naps by giving him more of them throughout the day (which can be a good idea to prevent overtiredness as the day wears on), but I think this may be backfiring now. It may be that he actually needs to be awake for a bit longer inbetween his naps now, and that this may help him to nap for longer, meaning he needs fewer naps through the day iyswim? Its pretty typical at this age to nap at around 9am, midday/1pm and then possibly at around 4pm ish (some babies may still need this nap, others don't).

HTH.x

ElphabaTheGreen Fri 26-Oct-12 06:18:14

Oh, OK omama. I guess I just have trouble accepting that other people don't feed about three times a night like me like somebody I know... wink

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