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First baby great sleeper - second is dreadful - my fault entirely- can you help?

(14 Posts)
cocoliver Thu 15-Jan-04 11:36:19

My six month old boy used to be quite a good sleeper when he was a few months old - waking once a night after a night-time feed. Now he is dreadful at getting to sleep (going through the anxiety separation thing whenever I leave the room even in the day) and then wakes twice in the night wanting food. I don't want to start rocking him to sleep (which works very quickly sometimes). Don't like to keep him crying (because when I have he carries on). Have done about 4 nights controlled crying which works for about a night...Know it makes sense but with children being ill and not wanting dh to wake up (he has to get up at 5.45 anyway and has not been well as well as being v stressed at work) I feel I am letting myself down and baby down. He is now taking some formula but has been breastfed up to now. Also on four meals a day. Could it be teething that is waking him (he really is having loads to eat and drink)...1st baby didnt really 'do' teething so not really used to it. He is a real cutie in the day but a bit of an attention seeker at night. Any explanations/reasons/solutions other than controlled crying, Gina 'not so easy with 2 children' Ford, baby whisperer (who I like)..? I know it has all been discussed endlessly but sometimes people have an idea that fits your particular problem...

cocoliver Thu 15-Jan-04 11:37:59

oops didnt mean had done 4 nights controlled crying - meant pick up/ put down SORRY dont get worried! I always get muddled up when I talk about those two...

Pook Thu 15-Jan-04 12:21:19

Sorry - no advice but empathy instead. My dd is 6 months (yesterday) and has never properly slept through. Wakes at least once a night, not for food, but for dummy wretched thing - wish I'd never started with it. When you say 4 meals a day, do you mean 4 lots of solids, or just 4 meals in total? I'm only asking out of interest as never know how much solid food to give dd who has 5 breast feeds and 3 lots of solids at the moment. I know she's not hungry at night - just unable to settle self. All my fault as well!

cocoliver Thu 15-Jan-04 13:07:40

yes, four lots of solids (but then boys often want more than girls I suppose)

colette Thu 15-Jan-04 16:28:47

Er.. sorry no answer but ds is very similar. Last night he did not sleep more than 2 hors in one go . I fed him 3 times !!So I will be watching this thread. Good luck

traceyshep Thu 15-Jan-04 22:32:36

My DD is generally a good sleeper at night, although she does have the odd night where she just won't go down for ages! A friend of mine has been having a similar experience to yours cocoliver, and I know she has been using the baby whisperer pu/pd with her ds. The first night it took her 1 1/2 hrs at ds's bedtime, and then another hour or so once or twice in the night! She has been committed to it and has seen a big improvement, so maybe it would be worth sticking withfor a bit longer? She did say that apparently boys often got worse again (temporarily usually) on the 4th night! If we have a bad period with dd (who is also 6 months) we use something in between cc and pu/pd. To begin with we leave her for 5-10 mins to see if she will settle herself. If she gets too upset we go in, pick her up, when she is calmer put her down again. Then just repeat this, the worst we've had so far was 45 mins. You have to be persistent or itll be worse later, not that I'm an expert!! hope this is of some help anyway

ragtaggle Thu 15-Jan-04 23:00:52

Just wanted to empathise really. My dd has always been very good at sleeping at night but has become impossible to put down. She kicks off the minute she hits her cot. I tried pu/pd and found it really hard. Gave up after an hour and a half of my dd screaming. Was in tears myself. She's younger than yours - 3.5 months but I've been trying (and failing) to avoid bad habits for later. Tonight we 'experimented' by letting her sleep on a cushion in the lounge all evening and then put her up just now. She kicked off the minute her head went down into her cot and my dh is currently up there trying to calm her down as I'v had a day of it. So no advice then really just empathy

stripey Fri 16-Jan-04 10:50:47

I can totally empathise with you, my first ds was a nightmare sleeper and didn't really settle until he was nearly 2.5 years, even now if he is ill or has any sort of pain he will be up at night. Sorry thats probably not very helpful.
I did try all sorts of things to make him a better sleeper eg sleep training (which worked for a while but I often had to repeat it after a few months). It could definitely be something to do with teething. Has your son got any teeth yet? I have a second ds now and he has had relatively little trouble with teeth and only now can I believe that some children just pop through teeth while others cry for months. DS1 would cry for about 6 weeks before each tooth was through, I found teething powder/balls really worked if I could get him to take them. There are a few available and if you do think it is teething related I would give them a try. Other suggestions would be using a sleeping bag if you are not already and I found with both my children that they slept a lot better with a comforter - they each have a woolen baby blanket - DS2 has chewed it to pieces but loves it dearly and wouldn't sleep without it.
Good luck.

codswallop Fri 16-Jan-04 11:01:32

Isnt it annoying?

Ds 3 was a pin in the neck compared to his brothers.

My conclusion is that they are just born like that

If you fancy a luch have alook at "Non sleeping baby up for sale" threads
here

codswallop Fri 16-Jan-04 11:01:49

a laugh not lunch!!

moominmama86 Fri 16-Jan-04 19:02:48

Can totally sympathise. Ds is 7 months and has always been terrible sleeper day and night. We've been doing pu/pd for about 3 weeks and have seen quite a lot of success (still not sleeping through but definitely improved) - but the last two days have been a bit of a regression I think boys are just generally worse sleepers than girls and more likely to regress for no apparent reason...sigh. Don't really have a great deal of advice except to try and avoid starting any 'bad habits' like rocking or too many night feeds - but you probably know that HTH, you're not alone!

MancMum Fri 16-Jan-04 22:05:21

Just wanted to say I have the same problem - my DS was the perfect sleeper - from 6 weeks slept htru the night and by 7 months was sleeping 14 hours every night - we had to wake him in the morning to get him up for the child minder - his record was 17 hours and we had to wake him then!!

DD showed early promise - slept thru at 6 weeks but them we hit a wall - she has started waking at 5 every day and won't go back to sleep - then she got sick with a cold and start waking in the night as well.

We have found a couple of things useful - got these from Ferbers book and Mumsnet-

1. More clothes at night - I was over paranoid about overheating and I think DD was too cold - first night with a vest improved her sleeping.

2. Ensuring she had a good sleep at lunch time - we use a white noise tape and that really helps prolong her - if she starts to cry we whack the tape on and she seems to nod off again - this is really helpful at night as well - like you find cc bit impractical esp as DS wakes up and thinks it daytime just as DD drops off..

3.DD is on 4 meals a day but at night we have stopped all food/drink - I did read it is better to give a protein meal before bed as it takes longer to digest and they feel fuller and less likely to poo and so wake up.

4. Formula before bed time as well as a comfort boob seemed to help - just make sure formula first.


Remember most of all you are NOT letting yourself or anyone down.

mimiasovitch Sat 17-Jan-04 21:28:48

Hi, I came on tonight to search for something on this very problem. Dd2 is the most wonderful baby by day, naps as soon as she goes in her cot, eats more than the toddler and goes to sleep like an angel at around 7.30. She was sleeping until 5.00ish, which I could just about cope with, as she went straight back to sleep after a feed, but has now started waking at 12ish and again at 5.00, and sometimes somewhere in between. She's 8 months, has 3 big meals, 3-4 breastfeeds in the day and I can't believe she can really be hungry. Nevertheless, its only milk that will send her back to sleep. I tried letting her cry one night, checking on her every 10 minutes, and it took 2 hours before she slept. The next night I fed her as soon as she cried. Maybe I need to be more consistent? i'm going to have to do something. There are times I'm so tired I start to tremble, and even customers at work have noticed I look a little grey. What is pick up/put down? Anything to try will be gratefully accepted. For once my mum and mIL have nothing to suggest. Just wait 'til I don't want advice..

mimiasovitch Mon 19-Jan-04 18:28:23

Thought I'd share the revelation I had. I've always expressed before I go to bed to keep a supply in the freezer, but of late have stopped doing that. Blame The West Wing dvds. Anyway, it finally occurred to me my supply at dd's bedtime could have dwindled, so after feeding her i gave a bottle of ebm and miracle of miracles, bar waking up after a poo at 3.30, she slept until 7.30. If only I can rely on this.

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