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napping and general sleep issues - I feel like im obsessed!

(23 Posts)
ilovepicnmix Tue 26-Mar-13 18:39:29

My baby is now 9 months old and I spend so much time thinking about his sleep. It's driving me crazy! He's never been a great sleeper and I struggle to get him to nap in his cot. I can spend half an hour to get him to sleep for only half an hour. Or I can spend 5 mins getting him to sleep for 90 mins but on me. Part of me thinks I should persevere with the cot but it's so frustrating. Does anyone have a similar issue?

KatieLily12 Tue 26-Mar-13 18:42:55

I'm approaching 5 months and in a similar position. I'm obsessing too!

ag123 Tue 26-Mar-13 19:03:51

Still obsessing at 15 months. I thought babies were meant to just be unable to stop themselves falling asleep for naps that go on for hours. Sorry not to be more encouraging...most people who wrote on here say things like 'it just happened one day' (I.e. started sleeping for long naps) but not me unfortunately. Grr, raaah and urrgh!!!

freelancegirl Tue 26-Mar-13 22:24:40

Obsessed here too. DS - 8 1/2 months - is a cot refusing, co sleeping, crap napping, every half an hour (in evening) waking, fed to sleeper. I spend all the time he IS actually asleep googling sleep issues and not getting any sleep myself. They sleep one day - so they tell me. Someday we will look back at this and laugh. Ho. Ho. Ho.

Am hatching a master plan to out him into his cot soon smile

teacher123 Tue 26-Mar-13 22:28:43

I've actually ended up on antidepressants due to anxiety about DS and his sleep! The dr who prescribed them said 'so, you don't worry about him getting ill, or hurting himself? You worry about his naps?!' I had to admit that yes, I had had panic attacks worrying about whether DS was napping properly...

freelancegirl Tue 26-Mar-13 22:35:21

It made me laugh, teacher, not in a nasty way but in an I can seriously see how that happens way! In so many other countries they really would think we are mad worrying about this sort of thing wouldn't they? I think the baby books and purveyors of Rod for Your Back cautionary tales have a lot to answer for.

I have two little voices in my head all day - one purveying my own Rod for Back fears and the other saying just relax, enjoy this previous time, co sleep, cuddle, stop counting minutes of nap time - he will sleep eventually and this time is so fleeting and precious.

teacher123 Tue 26-Mar-13 22:45:45

Haha! I know how completely over reacty it sounds! It all stems from the early days for us. DS was an absolute non napping nightmare for the first five months, and I had a terribly traumatic labour and was very ill afterwards (pre eclampsia, he was back to back, failed induction, crash section, followed by pneumonia and a week in hospital) and when I got home I knew it would be hard, but EVERYONE said babies sleep in the day. And he just didn't. It was hideous. I had to spend hours and hours walking him round in circles in the pushchair. I finally got him able to nap at home, but the damage was done-if he doesn't settle for a nap now, I panic that it's going to go back to him screaming all day with overtiredness and me crumpling with exhaustion.

So I went to the GP and explained all that, and she was very kind, but yes essentially his naps have driven me to antidepressants!

ilovepicnmix Wed 27-Mar-13 09:48:25

Ladies it does make me feel better to know that you share my pain! I've decided on the path of least resistance today and currently have a sleeping baby on my lap. Mine too didn't nap when he was tiny. I meet friends now and wonder at their sleeping newborns. Im hoping that nursery will whip mine into shape!

ag123 Wed 27-Mar-13 21:05:23

teacher your comments really interested me as it sounds so similar to our situation. I have often wondered if the newborn days of being constantly awake and screaming were linked to the traumas surrounding his birth and me being poorly afterwards... The cranial osteopath we went to see when he was a few weeks old was convinced he was 'worried about me'. I too have suffered with depression although I have still not quite been able to admit that it may be postnatal (me, who has always dreamed of being a mummy and who everything was meant to come so naturally to) and favour the explanation if it being related to the death of my father just before I got pregnant. Anyway, either way it's good to know others are going through similar things.

teacher123 Wed 27-Mar-13 21:47:35

For me it's all related to the fear. The fear that DS will change his routine in some way and then I won't know what he needs and he'll cry a lot. In my head he needs two naps. Not one, not three. Therefore any deviation from this leads me to panic, as how will I be able to plan to do anything if I don't know when he will sleep or roughly how long for? DS is the happiest baby I know, smiley, affectionate, regularly has whole days without crying at all. I cling to the routine as it helps me predict what he wants, as I lack confidence in my choices otherwise.

ag123 Wed 27-Mar-13 22:16:09

Gosh, yes, spookily similar. Always thought I'd be one of those mums who would just go with the flow and react to their child's needs. In fact, are you really a teacher? Because I am, an early years teacher and that's basically my job to react to a child's needs, which is why I'm still so shocked that I struggle with this, or fear struggling with it anyway.

Fazerina Thu 28-Mar-13 01:28:28

Ah I'm so relieved to be reading these posts and finally see that I'm not the only one obsessing about their DC's sleep!

My DS is 22 months and for the first three months of his life he was a pretty normal newborn sleeping long stretches during the day and waking to feed about every 2-3 hours at night. I had never read any baby books and pretty much had no one giving me any 'tips' so we just went with the flow. Then, the dreaded 4-month sleep regression hit and I was recommended the baby whisperer book. Big mistake! Why? Because ever since reading it, I thought babies were meant to be thriving on a routine having naps of a set length at set intervals and also eating and playing was supposed to coincide within the routine at set times shock!

I started trying to implement this new routine religiously sometimes spending most of the day in a darkened room doing various versions of the shush-pat and whatever other routines I read of. All to no avail of course! I went nowhere and had no visitors, because I was so worried how it would affect DS's sleep; after all, babies were meant to nap in a cot in a darkened room at home and preferably swaddled.

Finally, on a verge of a breakdown with sheer exhaustion and sleep deprivation, I just started co-sleeping with DS, who much preferred this cuddly breastfeeding version of sleep training to the previous methods and it was the first time I had a good night's sleep in months!

It was bliss to start with, until of course new sets of problems emerged. When DS started crawling, he also discovered he could move about in bed and decided to start waking up half hourly in the evening before we all went to sleep together, this he still continues at 22 months. He is also determined to take his nap on the boob, which means I never get any alone-time. Nowadays he does nap in his buggy, but only if I'm walking, which isn't great, but an improvement.

None of my friends understand this, so I've stopped talking about it, as everyone just assumes that by now he must be picking up his teddies and heading off to his own bed alone at nightgrin. This is actually what my neighbour's 2.5-year-old doeshmm.. All in all, I wish I'd never picked up that dreaded book and had continued doing whatever I was doing. If I ever have another one, that's exactly what I'll do!

teacher123 Thu 28-Mar-13 08:13:37

Ag123 yes I am really a teacher in real life (though still just about on maternity leave!) it's the randomness of having a baby that I struggle with-they are predictable up to a point, and then you realise that they are real people and do their own thing and there's very little you can do about it!

Fazerina-I sympathise with the loss of confidence-it's so hard when you make a decision when you're exhausted to try and stop sleep deprivation and then try to follow it through! I have spent many many many hours in a darkened room with DS, refusing to turn any lights on between 6pm-6am as it is nighttime. I have created very strict rules that I am now too scared to break or bend on case he stops sleeping again. He definitely controls me in this particular way....

YellowandGreenandRedandBlue Thu 28-Mar-13 08:20:03

I promise he will not be sleeping on your lap age 12. Path of least resistance worked for us! Good luck and try not not to obsess too much.

BiscuitCrumbsInBed Thu 28-Mar-13 08:51:48

My little one is 19 months and we've been through a lot with her sleep - reading this thread made me so sad because I did all those things too, reading all the books, googling sleep problems, reading every thread on here (!) I was convinced that all other babies slept 12 hours a night and put themselves to bed grin. I got so stressed and angry with myself and my daughter because I thought we were doing everything wrong - my own mum had to all but slap me to get me to calm down. It makes me sad that all these baby books and websites peddle such crap about what babies should and shouldn't be doing in relation to sleep, and we as parents get so distressed and upset and feel guilty about it. I really, really think you have to go with the flow - born of bitter experience! My dd wouldn't sleep in her cot so we co-slept til she was around 1 then moved her to a single mattress on the floor in her room - she still wakes several times a night but I go in to her and snuggle / feed and at least we all get some sleep. She has only ever had daytime naps by feeding to sleep or being in the pram - I spent ages trying to get her to nap in her cot, what a waste of time and energy when she slept happily on or next to me - the best naps were when I fed her in our bed, lying down, then we both slept after she's finished her feed and dropped off. Bliss!

I do understand the hell of exhaustion and sleep deprivation, it makes you irrational and upset. But do try and take a step back, don't ask yourself 'what do the books / everyone else say I should do?!' Just ask yourself 'what do we do that will get LO and me the most sleep?'' And do it! These days really will pass so quickly. I hope everyone on here gets some sleep soon!

teacher123 Thu 28-Mar-13 12:59:48

The childminder just texted and said that DS is not settling for his nap and I went cold all over hmm and then felt sick. This is ridiculous! I don't even know what I think is going to happen!!

so glad I found this thread. I'd finally stopped worrying about DS's sleep and then DD turned 2.5 months and stopped napping properly, DS started waking early and now I'm totally obsessed with it all again. DS is currently sleeping on the sofa (an hour earlier than usual and so unlike him but he's poorly) and the only reason I'm not getting anxious about it is because DD has been able to fall asleep on my lap without him deliberately waking her up. I think I'm going to try some 'downward arrowing' (a CBT technique) with my worries. might be worth a try Teacher123

I've been thinking about a cranial osteopath for DS because I'm starting to think his traumatic birth may have affected him as well as me (only realised how awful it was after having DD) Ag 123 would you recommend it? do you think it's worth doing even though he's now 2?

teacher123 Fri 29-Mar-13 13:03:03

I've been recommended for cbt by my doctor so am hoping that I'll get a referral soon. She was very nice about everything and said that she thought it would help. I definitely need coping strategies as he is not the problem-he's just a baby and behaving like a totally normal one! His sleeping is totally in line for a baby of his age and actually probably very good-it's my reactions to it that are not right. Other people seem able to be blasé about their baby not settling etc. I get immediately panic stricken!

me too, the sound of my baby's fussing or crying sends me into a state of panic - I find it so stressful! when they're both at it I don't know what to do with myself so I usually bundle them both up in the pushchair and go for a long walk. I think it's normal to feel something when your baby is upset or won't sleep but I know I over-think everything. The CBT helped a lot when DS was tiny, it's hard to remember what I learnt in the time of a crisis but I'm starting to go over my notes and it's beginning to click back into place. I'm just so desperate to enjoy my children while they're young because they grow so fast, plus I don't want to pass my anxieties onto them shock

ruthyroo Tue 02-Apr-13 14:31:43

With ds1 I did what you all are doing - panicked over naps, even read the baby whisperer, etc. made damn all difference to his sleep. He wanted to be with me - end of story, and no amount of routine, shushing, etc was going to change that. He's much the same now aged 5 - but he sleeps way better! With ds2 I went the opposite way - co slept full time from birth, spent every morning lying on the sofa for at least three hours with him feeding and snoozing on me, phone and book for company and basically chilled the hell out about it all. I remember his babyhood far more fondly than ds1 and wish I'd not ever picked up tbw- except to chuck it in the bin maybe.

I think the question I asked myself second time round was - is there anything I need to do that is more important than caring for my baby? I was too scared to ask that first time round - I was still reeling from the realization that I would probably never be able to read the Sunday papers uninterrupted again!

I promise you: it passes. Fast. Sleep when your baby sleeps, sleep with them when you can. Some babies sleep, others don't . In neither case is it anything to do with what you are doing. All you can do is the best you can because there is no right or wrong .

freelancegirl Tue 02-Apr-13 14:55:46

Such nice reassuring posts from biscuits and Ruth and others who have been there. Ive been a lot more relaxed this week as I'm on holiday and just going with the flow but the intention was to try to start da having a few cot sleeps when we get home. There's a part of me that thinks it might work! But also am not looking forward to it at all as I am sure your experience will be mine too biscuits. May I ask how you worked it with moving dd to the mattress instead of the cot biscuits? It's something I've been thinking about but am worried about the fully child proofing.

DangerMousey Tue 02-Apr-13 15:45:30

V glad to have found this thread. My DS is 16 weeks old and despite sleeping quite well at night (he doesn't feed in the night any more and wakes 3-4 times, goes back to sleep with his dummy and a few tummy rubs), he is a NIGHTMARE napper during the day.

He will only nap for 30 mins at a time during the day, and as a result is KNACKERED after being awake for an hour, 90 mins tops. 30 mins is the time limit no matter where he is: cot, pram, and now even the car! Supposed to be a magic sleepy machine! He is currently grizzling away in his cot having been asleep for 12 minutes. TWEILVE! a new low. DH is in spain with work and wont be back till 10pm tonight, am dreading this evening with an overtired nightmare baby.

Have also been referred for CBT due to panicking and obsessing about DH's sleep. Wish I had never read tbw or GF....just feel like I am failing somehow, cos I cannot get him to sleep for longer than 30 mins sad

Somebody tell me this is ok??

ruthyroo Wed 03-Apr-13 07:54:03

It's not actually your job to get him to sleep, all you can do is offer him regular opportunities to sleep, and it's up to him to take them or not. Sometimes he will, and that's great, sometimes he won't - and at that point you gird your loins and try something else. So if you've been trying to get him to sleep in the cot and its just not happening, try sticking him in a sling or buggy and going for a walk. Or nurse and cuddle kn your bed and both have a snooze.

The hardest thing about becoming a mum for me was having to constantly adjust my plans to take account of whether my baby was sleeping / tired/ hungry etc. first time round I beat myself up for not being in control (thanks Tracey Hogg et al) and came pretty close to PND. Second time round I chose to see it as a strength, as me being responsive to my baby rather than putting my need to be in control first. Unsurprisingly I had a lot more fun this time round!

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