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Still waking like a newborn - 8 months old

(33 Posts)
Judyandherdreamofhorses Sat 16-Mar-13 00:10:53

DS is a terrible sleeper. This is a normal night. It's the third time he's woken since he went to bed at 7pm (usually asleep soon after 6pm but lots of crying tonight and couldn't settle).

He will continue to wake every couple of hours throughout the night and probably stay awake from 5.30am. Some nights he will be awake for up to two hours (eg 1-3am), not wanting to sleep but crying if I try to leave.

He's in a cot in his own room. I can sometimes put him down awake and he'll go to sleep (clutching a muslin and sucking his thumb). He usually feeds to sleep though.

He's the type of baby who cries until he's hysterical (I don't leave him - but in the car he does this sometimes, or if I have to be with DD for a few minutes and don't get to him straight away).

Co-sleeping doesn't work for us.

Anyway, he's just over a cold/ 3 new teeth and I think is sleeping worse than ever! Any advice?

okthen Sat 16-Mar-13 04:27:55

I'm no expert, as I am currently feeding 4mo dc2 for the third time tonight!

However, when we reached the end of our tether with dc1 at around 7mo, we used the 'pick up put down' method from the Baby Whisperer. Google it for a good explanation. You don't leave them to cry.

For us it took two nights and was hard work but really effective.

I would say that for your ds, it sounds like some form of sleep training is required if you want to help him sleep better. PUPD seemed like the 'gentle' option for us, and worked.

Judyandherdreamofhorses Mon 18-Mar-13 20:11:15

Thanks, okthen. We're on our third wake up already tonight and it's only 8pm!

He's really asking to be fed each time he wakes up. It hasn't always been like this - often he's been happy with a cuddle - so I'm thinking maybe it's a growth spurt. He's eating well in the day and BFing too.

I've tried the pupd technique, although have 'given in' and breastfed or cuddled to sleep, because he gets more and more upset each time I put him back, making him harder to settle next time.

WookieWoo Mon 18-Mar-13 20:28:28

Hi judy. I just read your op to my Dh - he asked if someone had stolen our son! Seriously though, your ds sounds identical to our nearly nine month old ds2. He does the waking every couple of hours, often awake for two hours in the early hours, yet will sometimes self soothe with his thumb. I just don't understand why he does this and how we can stop this rather dreadful cycle of feeding to sleep then waking two hours later. Sorry to be of no use, but I thought you might take some comfort from knowing there is someone else out there with a baby with the same crazy sleep pattern. In fact you are the first person I have encountered whose baby has done the waking for two hours thing - and I have asked a LOT of people in my desperate attempt to find a solution. Am going to investigate the pick up put down thing. Have you seen the other thread about the Jo Frost controlled timed crying? Not sure about it myself but am going to do a bit more research!

UniqueAndAmazing Mon 18-Mar-13 20:32:20

yup, exactly what dd did.
I used to cluster hfeed her in the evening wgile we watched telly and then she'd come to bed with us.

still do that now, really, but she doesn't feedso much through the night anymore. but that's only the past month or so. she's 15mo.
and she gets up at about half 8

UniqueAndAmazing Mon 18-Mar-13 20:36:43

I know you say you can't co-sleep, so maybe it might e worth keeping gim up later? not wide awake playing, but gentle awake time, readibg stories, dream feeding, etc until maybe 9? and then trying sleep?

or is he the kind of baby who will stag asleep once he's asleep if you move him? so you could feed him to sleep with you downstairs, then let him sleep on the settee for a bit, then move him to his cot?

Judyandherdreamofhorses Mon 18-Mar-13 20:38:20

No, really, he's definitely mine!

Isn't the two hour waking thing infuriating!? Last night it was 1-3am and I ended up BFing him about 4 times in that period.

His daytime naps could be better, which might improve night sleeping (it is linked, apparently), but with a 3 year old as well it's impossible for me to make more effort to get him to nap longer. With DD at this age, I remember sitting in her room while she napped and intervening to get her back to sleep when she stirred. That could definitely not happen this time round.

I have read to Jo Frost CC thread. I can't do it. I did CC with DD when she was 15 months, after I'd night weaned her, and it was amazingly successful. She cried for less than 10 minutes the first night and never more than 5 after that. But I can't do it with DS at the moment. She didn't seem like a baby anymore. She understood what I said (to an extent!). DS, like DD at his age, cries more and more if left.

Nice to hear from you. Would love to hear what you try, if anything! I suppose I'll just carry on surviving...!

Judyandherdreamofhorses Mon 18-Mar-13 20:42:21

Sorry unique, cross-posted. To be honest, DH and I really need the evenings. He has an intense job and I find DD (particularly) really hard work in the day. We just need some child free time, even if that's at the expense of me not sleeping in the night.

He seems to need to sleep by 6pm ish. Very tired then and usually falls asleep quickly while feeding. It's the frequent over night wakings that are the biggest problem.

UniqueAndAmazing Mon 18-Mar-13 21:27:15

fair enough.
It is different when you have 2.

he will grow out of it, I promise! if he can go off to sleep okay, then he'll start to self-soothe later better.
whenhe gets a little bit bigger you could put a bottle in the cot with him for when he wakes. but I think sleep techniques don't work till later

UniqueAndAmazing Mon 18-Mar-13 21:27:31

*bottle of water

NeedlesCuties Mon 18-Mar-13 21:51:13

OP, I really agree with what you said about it being hard with 2 kids.

I'm in a similar position as I have a 3 year old (who started night waking when DC2 was born, but that's another thread for another day!!) and a 7 month old.

7 month old wakes up usually hourly and will only settle with a feed. Walking, shushing, etc does not work. Daddy trying to settle her does not work. Only wants fed to sleep and only wants to be co-sleeping with me.

Seriously she sleeps about an hour a night in her own room hmm but I co-sleep as otherwise I'd be demented from lack of sleep.

I have also found it really hard to get her into a good routine for daytime naps as I just don't have the time and ability to sit for an hour or however long it might take to settle her. I'd love to know how to learn that skill while still taking good care of my 3 year old.

Is all a mystery and a bit of a heartache... but I try to repeat the MN mantra, "this too shall pass" when I'm feeling down about it all.

WookieWoo Tue 19-Mar-13 10:19:37

How was last night judy? We had an appalling night....ds2 awake from 11.30 until 3am!!! I am still in shock! Fortunately we are on holiday this week so Dh is here all day.

Righty, need more coffee....

Judyandherdreamofhorses Tue 19-Mar-13 15:53:19

God, that is appalling, wookie. We didn't have any long awake stretches but he woke every two hours and insisted on a feed each time. A proper feed too, not just a quick suckle to fall asleep.

Awake at 5.30 for good, but I leave him playing in his cot after a feed then and he's DH's responsibility until he goes to work (7.30, so not long for me to sleep!).

Hope your coffee helped you get through the day.

stargirl1701 Tue 19-Mar-13 15:56:39

Have you read 'the no cry sleep solution'? We are trying ideas from there with DD (6 months).

I did co-sleep with her and got her used to my hand cuddling her. Now she is in her cot I put my hand in the same place and settles quickly back to sleep.

thing1andthing2 Tue 19-Mar-13 16:08:10

Hi everyone! I'm another in the same boat. I've got a 3 year old DD who sleeps 12 hours straight and an 8.5mo DS who typically goes to bed 7 or 7.30 and wakes for the first time 45 mins later, then every 20 mins till a feed at 9.30 or 10, and then roughly every 90 mins to 2 hours all night, although sometimes he won't resettle after a feed and I'll be up for 1-2 hours with him. He starts stirring around 6.30 but will sometimes sleep til 7.30 if the night has been very broken. I feed him to sleep a lot but he will settle in the cot with me sitting next to him shushing him. DD sits in front of peppa pig on the ipad while i get him off for his naps (major guilt for this).
DH thinks we should do controlled crying but DS just seems to get more and more anxious and wake more if he is left on his own. I currently share the spare room with DS and co-sleep or put him in his cot after a feed, whichever seems to work.
I don't know what to do as my sleep is so broken, the jobs/stuff to sort out seem to be stacking up, I don't feel I can look after DD properly and I worry I'm going to come down with depression.
Sorry not to be more cheerful! It's good to know I'm not the only one. All I get from everyone else in RL is "leave him to cry" and "it's hard for mums to do it but it's the only way" as if I am deliberately causing the problem because I'm too soft hmm. Makes me feel a bit rubbish.

WookieWoo Tue 19-Mar-13 19:09:50

Love your nn thing1andthing2! I know what you mean about the controlled crying "advice". My sil helpfully sent me a text a few weeks ago saying she knows I don't feel comfortable with cc but I should do it anyway for the sake of my two sons as they need more than two exhausted parents. How helpful. She's a paediatrician, with clearly no empathy! I completely get everything you say though. Sometimes feeling so tired is debilitating.

Glad you ad no long ones last night judy but boooo for long feeds.

I reckon if we put our heads together we could come up with a solution wine

Judyandherdreamofhorses Tue 19-Mar-13 20:24:46

Oh dear, thing, you sound really at the end of your tether. One of the things that's keeping me going, is remembering that DD used to be just as bad, and every time I really thought I couldn't cope any longer, she'd improve. A tiny bit. Maybe just an extra hour here and there. But definite improvements. Hopefully that's going to be the case for all of us.

DS has several reasons for not sleeping at the moment - teething (again), nappy rash that I can't shift, new skills (standing). He was 'failure to thrive' as a little baby, so I'm so reluctant to interfere with feeding. But he's eating solids really well and surely doesn't need the 8 night feeds he had last night!

So tonight's 'plan', tentative and flexible, is to try very hard not to feed him till 11pm. He used to easily manage this. I've already been to him to resettle once, and it took 20 minutes. That's how long a BF might have been I suppose. Just hoping to break the habit a bit, I suppose.

I'll probably give in though! I don't think I can ignore his communication at night when I encourage and respond to it so much in the day! He is so emphatic in his requests for BF!

Judyandherdreamofhorses Wed 20-Mar-13 02:18:03

I fed him at 10.30 - his third waking - and managed to cuddle him to sleep at 12.30. Feeding now. 3.5 hours between feeds is far preferable to 30, 60, 90 minutes! Whether he'll sleep after this is anyone's guess though.

3 year old DD woke with a bad dream at 1am and took half an hour to resettle. So still no sleep for me!

Judyandherdreamofhorses Wed 20-Mar-13 14:23:02

How were your nights last night? Ours was surprisingly good, but may have been coincidence! DS still woke 6 times (between 6.30pm and 6am) but I only fed him twice. The other times I was able to resettle him with a cuddle and a rock. They were only short awake periods 5-10 minutes.

DD woke 3 times with nightmares! How annoying!

thing1andthing2 Wed 20-Mar-13 15:11:50

The night was Just the same here although I decided to get ds up when he woke at 8pm and bring him down, rather than spend the next 1.5 hours shushing him in his cot. DH and I watched the top gear special on iplayer so we at least did something nice. Today dd went to nursery and I drove an hour to see an old friend which was lovely, so I feel a bit more like there are some nice things in my life!

Judyandherdreamofhorses Wed 20-Mar-13 18:36:32

Sounds like you had a nice day, thing. I quite often take mine to places that are a decent drive away, so that DS gets a reasonable nap and DD is at least contained in one place! I do end up having to play 3 year old's version of 'I Spy' though (kind of tedious!).

DS has just decided to have a massive vomit. I hope he's not ill. Will certainly rethink my sleep plan for tonight if he's sick again.

WookieWoo Wed 20-Mar-13 20:10:41

Hi there, we had a pretty bad night last night as he had a temperature. Took him to the doc earlier and turns out he has an ear infection. Poor little thing. So expecting the worst tonight! Hopefully antibiotics and calpol will help him to feel better.

We frequently drive places that are an hour or so away just to get the boys to sleep at the same time during the day.

I hope you both have ok nights tonight.

NeedlesCuties Wed 20-Mar-13 20:17:32

What time do you all put your LO's to bed?

My 3 year old goes at 7pm (or thereabouts) and I usually try to get 7 month old DD down at that time too. But often she isn't tired or willing to go to sleep till closer to 9pm.... she wakes pretty much hourly and her bedtime just doesn't seem to matter to her sad

Judyandherdreamofhorses Wed 20-Mar-13 20:31:39

Oh dear, wookie. Hope he feels better soon. So hard and scary when they're ill.

needles, my bedtimes are 6-6.30pm for DS 8 mo and 7pm for DD 3 (heavily aided by iPad while I'm sorting the baby!). This is just because that's when he's tired though. They have tea just before 5pm, then DS has a bath. DD joins him alternate nights. He's always keen to go to bed after his bath.

Still wakes frequently after that some nights, but I like to feel the evenings are child free!

WookieWoo Wed 20-Mar-13 20:31:57

Hi needles. Bedtime here is usually between 6 and 7pm. Ds1 goes down a dream but I'm frequently up and down the stairs to ds2 until gone 8.

I wonder if he is so bad at settling and sleeping is due to a lack of effort on my part. With ds1 I worked hard to get sleep in his own bed and to feel secure and happy there. It involved lots of time in his room soothing him but really paid off. But with ds2 I just do whatever gets him to sleep the fastest. I just don't know how to manage it when I have two to look after.

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