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Ok, so here's my plan for 15.5 month old DS. Please tell me it will work

(63 Posts)
Bicnod Tue 30-Oct-12 19:32:50

DS2 is 15.5 months old. He is gorgeous, happy, smiley, into everything and generally pretty lovely to be around during the day. Nights are something else. He slept pretty well until 4 months then it all went horribly wrong.

Current situation is that he can settle himself to sleep, but generally doesn't during the night. He wakes between three and five times, sometimes for long periods, and it's getting to the point where I just can't do it anymore. I work part-time and have another DS. I feel like I'm being a shit mum to them both and struggling to get through the day without shouting as I'm constantly so tired my fuse is about a millimetre long. sad This is Not Good.

I tend to get him out of the cot immediately to cuddle him to sleep when he wakes at night (I know, I know), sometimes in his room and sometimes in my room - partly because I don't have the stamina to do a lot else on the third waking at 2am when I've only managed to bag half an hour's sleep and he'll be up in 3 hours anyway, and partly because I don't want him to wake up his big brother.

BUT. Things have to change. So here's my plan. Please tell me if you think it's a good plan/crap plan/how I could make it better. I clearly don't have a fecking clue what I'm doing so any advice is welcome.

Bedtime. This is not so hard. Plan is to put DS down nice and early at bedtime and let him settle himself to sleep without me in the room. I generally try and do this anyway but will make an extra special effort. He did it tonight like a dream (no crying - I can't handle crying).

Night wakings. I will not take DS out of his room and I won't pick him up immediately. I will offer water while he's in his cot and try and settle him (back rub etc) without picking him up. If he gets really distraught I will pick him up and cuddle him, then put him straight back down when he's settled.

Once he's settling in his cot fairly easily (anyone know how long that might take??) I will reduce the amount of intervention and try to soothe him just by talking to him etc. Hopefully at this point he will start settling himself. That's the plan anyway confused

I will try the plan consistenly for 2 weeks and if there are zero improvements (I'm not expecting miracles, just some improvement) I will admit defeat and call Millpond Sleep Clinic.

If you'd made it this far, thank you. Sorry for the epic post - I needed to write it down somewhere and thought it would be worth getting some opinions at the same time.

Thanks smile

FreddieMercurysFrightfulBolero Tue 30-Oct-12 19:37:58

sounds good. You poor thing, you must be exhausted. I used to lean over the cot and hug DS if he started crying when I was trying no to lift him. Does he have a comforter? I found it made a world of difference to DS's sleep once we gave him a soft toy to cuddle. I think peserverence is the key. Update me with how you get on, and no lifting! Be strong, it will be worth it if you get him to sleep a full night!

mugglewumpsmum Tue 30-Oct-12 19:41:44

call millpond. sounds rubbish and they will hold your hand. Jane saved my sanity smile

seeker Tue 30-Oct-12 19:44:57

Are you on your own with them?

Bicnod Tue 30-Oct-12 20:15:51

Thanks for the replies smile

Freddie he's just starting to cuddle his toy monkey a bit more and he has a muslin which he always sleeps with. Will push monkey on him a bit more I think. Will report back tomorrow on liftings (or hopefully lack thereof!).

muggle good to hear a positive story about Millpond. I'm going to give this plan a try for a couple of weeks and if it doesn't work I'll give them a call. Can't really afford it in the run up to Christmas, but equally can't afford not to if this doesn't work.

seeker - no not on my own. DH doesn't generally get back from work until after they're asleep and I tend to do the night wakings and he'll go downstairs with DS2 when he wakes up for the final time in the morning (usually between 5am and 6am) so that I can get a bit of shut eye before he leaves for work at 6.20am.

mugglewumpsmum Wed 31-Oct-12 06:32:18

I hope last night went well, and you got a bit more sleep. Good luck with the rest of operation sleep better! smile

Bicnod Wed 31-Oct-12 07:23:11

Ok, reporting back. Think I'm going to use this thread to log progress so feel free to hide it as might get very dull very quickly grin

DS went down at 6.45pm awake and without a whimper.

First waking at 22.55 - I did lift him after 5 minutes or so as he was getting ridiculous but did a version of pick up put down and he went down awake, grizzling and fell asleep with me rubbing his back. Took 15 minutes.

Second waking not until 04.05 shock - again tried to settle him in cot but ended up lifting him and cuddling him to sleep as pick up put down was sending him hysterical. He finally went down (asleep unfortunately) at 05.00.

Then he slept until <fanfare> 06.40 shock grin I literally can't remember the last time he made it past 06.00!

So all in all, a pretty good start I'd say. Will keep trying to settle him in the cot without lifting but will resort to pick up put down if I need to.

AuldAlliance Wed 31-Oct-12 15:28:22

Didn't post as I have no useful advice, but am glad to hear things look promising. Hope it gets better again today...

FreddieMercurysFrightfulBolero Wed 31-Oct-12 21:13:14

Well done, keep it up! Good to see some results so quicklysmile keep us updated on how you get on tonight, keep strong and good luck, you can do this!

mugglewumpsmum Wed 31-Oct-12 22:16:31

well done! it's such hard work but I think preferable in the long run. good luck tonight.

ExhaustTed Wed 31-Oct-12 22:27:13

Good luck for tonight, I am hoping the best for you.

Bicnod Thu 01-Nov-12 09:09:32

Thanks for the support smile

Yesterday was a mixed bag. He usually goes down for his post-lunch nap with no problems but yesterday he got really really upset. He kept shaking his head and clinging to me as I tried to put him in the cot, even though he was absolutely knackered and usually just rolls on his front and goes straight to sleep at naptime sad I eventually got him to go to sleep after about half an hour of going in and out every minute and stroking his head. Picking him up didn't help as he just got apoplectic when I put him back down again. He eventually fell asleep but the whole thing was really horrible, he was sweaty and his eyes were puffy from crying. Really really hope that doesn't happen again sad sad sad

I was scared the same thing would happen at bedtime but he went down without a murmur at 18.35. Phew.

He then woke at 21.40. I did pick him up and give him a cuddle and a drink of water but he went down groggy but awake and it only took 10 minutes.

Then he woke at 00.35 and was awake until 02.10 confused AAAARRRGHHH!! I picked him up when he got really upset and then put him down when he was calm and comforted him in the cot. He was lying on his front, steady breathing, seemed asleep for about an hour but every time I tried to leave (very very quietly) his head popped up and he started squeaking again. At one point he stood up and was quietly hanging over the bars of the cot, with his eyes shut, leaning his head against me - he was just desperate for a cuddle and I was desperate to just give him a cuddle but I didn't pick him up. At 02.00 I escaped, but then he started squeaking again so I sent DH in to give him some calpol in case it was teeth keeping him awake (his molars are bothering him a bit at the moment) and he finally fell asleep at 02.10.

He then slept in until 06.50!! shock

So some very good, but some hideous.

How on earth do I deal with the not letting me leave the room? Will that just sort itself out if I carry on being consistent with settling him in his cot (or doing a version of pick up put down if he's inconsolable)?

FreddieMercurysFrightfulBolero Thu 01-Nov-12 10:50:30

Oh well done, getting better areadysmile With DS, I used to sit on a chair in his room, and slowly edged it towards the door over a few days. Then I sat just sat outside his room with the door opened so he could still see me. I fell asleep on the chair and the landing quite a few times. If he squeaked or cried, I'd reassure him verbally and tell hm to go back to sleep. That's rubbish about him acting up during his daytime nap, hope today is bettersmile

Bicnod Thu 01-Nov-12 14:46:23

Thanks Freddie - I keep reminding myself that last night was only night two so I can't expect miracles.

Good idea about slowly edging the chair out - I couldn't believe how many times he woke up as I was trying to leave the room. I was sooooo quiet! He must have some sort of inbuilt mummy's leaving the room alarm system - must get the manual out and work out how to override it.

I'm working today (can you tell?) so DS is at the childminder. Hopefully naptime will be straightforward for her. Fingers crossed for tonight. Will report back tomorrow (and continue to bore silly any poor souls who stumble across this thread).

RationalBrain Thu 01-Nov-12 14:56:37

Sounds like you are on the right track, well done!

Personally, if I think teething might be an issue - especially molars which are bugger - I would give some calpol (or actually calprofen for teeth) straight away, then that is that at least ruled out. Just whilst you are doing this programme of course, not for every night waking ever!

If he won't let you leave the room, then you can either do gradual withdrawal, or controlled crying (or give up and stay in there, which is what you are trying to get away from!). Controlled crying isn't as bad as it sounds - leave the room for 2 mins, go back in, comfort/cuddle as needed until calm, put down (crying ensues), leave room for 4 mins, back in, then 6 mins etc etc. I never got to more than 7 mins with DD2, and it worked in 2 nights. Its not for everyone though (and doesn't work for everyone either), even 7 mins crying can seem like an eternity in the middle of the night.

FreddieMercurysFrightfulBolero Thu 01-Nov-12 20:42:31

Ok, good luck with tonight my dearsmile Could you and DH take turns or maybe he could do a Saturday night if he's off work? Just to give you a full night's sleep and recharge your batteries. I did it all myself because DH worked nights at the time, plus he was rubbish at being consistent, but if you can take a break, do.

ATruthUniversallyAcknowledged Thu 01-Nov-12 20:58:18

Watching with interest. We're trying a very similar regime with 14mo DS.

He usually wakes every three hours or so & I also always just cuddled/fed back to sleep, but DP and I are both on our knees exhausted so we decided to use half term to try to break the cycle.

Our plan is that if DS wakes between 11pm and 6am then DP will go to him and offer water. I will stay well hidden!

We're on night three and DP is more exhausted than ever (as he's now the one getting up in the night!) but it seems to be working (please let it work!)

I'll hold your hand if you'll hold mine!

Bicnod Fri 02-Nov-12 10:31:41

Thanks for all the support smile

ATruth - consider your hand well and truly held. And good on your DH - what a star!

Freddie - I can't ever sleep if DS is awake as his room is right next to ours and I can hear the crying even with earplugs so it might as well be me. DH does get up with them at the weekend and let me have a 'lie in' (I hate calling it that as it makes it sound like I'm getting extra sleep rather than just attempting to claw back some of the hours I've lost!) - and if we've had an awful night during the week he'll get up with DS if he wakes at 5/5.30 which gives me an extra half hour in bed.

Rational - can't do CCing at night. I did it for the first time with his nap two days ago and it nearly killed me sad I'm basically just a great big wuss. Good plan with the painkillers though - his teeth are definitely bothering him at the moment (bright red cheeks, hands constantly in mouth, uber poos etc).

So, last night was GOOD I think.

He went down at 18.35 no problems - just put him down, left the room and he went straight to sleep.

Woke up at 00.00 - I gave him calpol, a cuddle, a drink of water and then did a bit of pick up put down. He fell asleep in the cot at 00.15. I went back to bed and he woke again at 00.40. I gave him a drink of water without picking him up and then rubbed his back while he wailed miserably (he really really wanted me to pick him up) and he fell asleep by 00.50 without being picked up.

Then he slept through until 06.00 shock grin

So that's not bad at all and only night three. Will stick with it - this is definitely progress. Wish I didn't feel so constantly guilty. I feel so so bad about not picking him up and giving him a cuddle when that is obviously what he wants. Guilt guilt guilt sad

Right, must do some work. Thank you again for the hand holding, it really helps smile

FreddieMercurysFrightfulBolero Fri 02-Nov-12 11:06:04

Woo! That's a huge improvementsmile I know the guilt is KILLER. But just remind yourself that YOU feeling better and being able to deal with the DCs during the day is better than a cuddle at night. I couldn't do CC either, I tried it twice and it broke my heart. Do you feel slightly more human today? Glad your DH is helping you outsmile

RationalBrain Fri 02-Nov-12 11:45:56

Wow, that's brilliant! Don't feel guilty (well, try not to anyway, easier said than done). Parenting is all about making decisions on what is best for your child and the family as a whole, not necessarily giving them what they want when they want it. Easier done when it is saying no to sweets, harder when it is cuddles in the middle of the night!

Good luck for tonight, hope the teething settles down as well soon.

BoffinMum Fri 02-Nov-12 15:13:50

What I tend to do for kids doing this is poke my head around the door at the first loudish murmur, say "Mummy loves you, off to sleep now, night night, everyone's in bed, night night" several times each night until they have taught themselves to settle. It often takes 3 nights to retrain them. Not sure how much that applies here as you seem to be doing a lot of that already.

I also get them worn out in the day with swimming and so on, and make sure they daytime naps go well.

Best of luck, lack of sleep is dreadful.

BoffinMum Fri 02-Nov-12 15:14:41

PS I have been known to use Medised with snotty teething babies, with my GP's blessing, because I am a Very Bad Parent. grin

Bicnod Sat 03-Nov-12 17:17:04

Better last night. Two wakings, one around midnight and one around three, for around fifteen minutes each. Didn't have to pick him up at all shock

Then he slept til 6.30am!

So good progress. Back killing me from bending over cot but thinking of the long game.

Night off tonight as DH has taken the boys to stay at his parents' so I'm off out with a friend then SLEEP!

AuldAlliance Sat 03-Nov-12 19:42:53

Glad things are looking up. Enjoy the night off, night out and night's sleep!

FreddieMercurysFrightfulBolero Sat 03-Nov-12 20:53:32

Yaay! Glad it's going wel, it's so worth itsmile Enjoy your night out and night's sleepsmile

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