Please help me help my baby!(20 Posts)
I'm really beginning to lose confidence
He's 22 weeks, going through a stormy development phase (according to wonder weeks) and also teething. We used to be able to feed, cuddle, lullaby, place in bed next to me and he'd drift off holding my hand (we co-sleep). Because I was taking him up when I went up around ten pm - but sleeping through until 9.30 ish - we decided to try bringing his bedtime earlier and just replicate what we'd do later. Previously he'd sleep in my arms and it probably wasn't the best quality sleep.
This had moderate success and sometimes I'd just bring him back down with me because I knew I could rely on him going to sleep when we went to bed proper, if you will. He probably had a regression of going back to needing a few night feeds but this was fine. I'd read up on regression, expected it and he always went back to sleep straight away.
This last week has been horrendous. Thrashing, gouging holes in his head, I have to pin his arms down to get him to be still enough to fall asleep, but as soon as I shift position to try and sleep myself, he wakes. The reliable laying him down holding hands after a feed no longer works, he's created sores in his shoulders from the thrashing in the gro bag and he's feeding every two hours through the night.
It's not the wakings, to be honest. I could cope with that fine if he went back to sleep like he used to do. It's the thrashing, extreme eye rubbing, kicking etc that I find distressing not to mention exhausting. Even though we are committed to an attachment style approach, I've experimented just observing instead of cuddling but he works himself up into hysteria. I've got him a bigger gro bag, got sleep suits with integrated scratch mitts and I'm preparing for another night of thrashing but I feel so down about it.
Sorry this is so long. If anyone has experience or advice, I'd be very grateful to hear it. Even if it's just suck it up, it doesn't last! I just want to help him. I expect him to wake up - he's still so little. But it's the thrashing that's really getting to me.
Maybe try again in a month or so, 5 months still bit young to establish a bedtime routine. Is he sleeping in his own room yet because I found this helped as there is less distractions. When you do restart a routine, persist with it. It took us about a week of putting dd down for sleep and then letting her settle herself. Tbh all babies are different and dd has never slept all night but at least doesn't have a night feed. Maybe make his room more fun with lights and music
Also try mixing it up like letting him sleep in pjs with a blanket instead of gro bag or a little tv? Is he getting too much sleep in day or not getting worn out enough?
Have you read The No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley?
Do you think I've messed up our reliable "bedtime" by bringing it forward and creeping out? Some nights it worked perfectly, sometimes it didn't but either way was fine. I was just concerned he wasn't getting a quality of sleep before we went up to bed. I tried no gro bag last night, just sleep suit and blankets and he kicked them off. I had to keep sneaking them back on when he settled down because it was only 15 degrees in our room.
He sleeps with us and we don't plan on changing that anytime soon. It sounds like I want to sleep train him but I agree, he's way too young for that. It's more this new thrashing thing. We kinda fell into the going to sleep together accidentally and it worked perfectly. Now it's all messed up in addition to the thrashing and I don't know why. Is it developmental?
The book I referred to has options for co-sleeping. It's worth getting from the library.
I have no personal advice. DD's sleep is horrendous. I have many threads of my own.
Hahaha I hear that stargirl! I do have it, yes and read it but because we fell into this holding-hands-sleeping-fine situation, I didn't really think I needed it. Famous last words, eh?
I don't really consider the wakings for food as a problem but it's interesting - to me anyway - that the sleeping right through for nine/ten hours stopped with the re-emergence of night feeds, though he'd go straight back to sleep. Now this in combination with the thrashing - it's like the ante has been upped.
I don't really know what I'm looking for. To be able to understand it, even if I can't do anything about it. Reassurance it's just a phase. I dunno.
Is your HV any good? Mine's fab, thank god.
No, they're all a bit rubbish round these here parts.
I don't really have any solutions just sympathy, DS is 23 weeks and we're going through similar, although he's in a cot. Not so long ago I was able to put him down awake and he'd self settle. Not anymore. I don't know what to do for the best, I'm paranoid about him having too many 'sleep props' but at 3am I'm too bloody tired to care. I hate hearing about peoples babies that sleep 7 till 7 - they're lying aren't they?
My dd is doing something similar, not quite as violent as thrashing, but we call it baby rage as she seems frustrated or angry, despite being fed, dry, warm etc. it stops when I pick her up and distract her.
I'm taking an attachment parenting approach, but I wonder if I've been too responsive almost (if that's possible?) and she expects me to solve her problem and quickly!
Either that or she's working through learning new skills and its just frazzled by the whole thing, and its a bit of sensory overload when mum is trying to soothe.
I second what daisy said about lights and music, this may distract him from the thrashing.
It's a difficult time, we have never gotten decent sleep, so I thought the regression wouldn't be so bad.....haha how wrong was I!
sleepybunny just my personal opinion but from an attachment POV I don't think you can ever be too responsive. I mean apart from not jumping in immediately and just observing to see if they self settle.
He's got a mobile that has a light show...that distracts somewhat but in he middle of the night, there's only so many times I can play it.
Least we're all in the same boat, around the same ages. That has to mean something is happening dev wise, right?
Hello I don't have much good advice because to be honest I can't remember what DS (now 1) was like at 22 weeks - the whole of the last year blurs into a variety of sleep regressions and not so bad bits.
One thing I do remember is that DS went through an 'angry phase' at about four/five months where he would scream for ages in our arms thrashing about before finally going to sleep. In the end we guessed he was overtired and we solved it by moving bedtime back a bit and being patient about rocking him to sleep, until the angry phase was over then we gradually reduced the amount of rocking.
But we had plenty of steps backward after that, and each time we doubt our parenting ability and wonder if we will ever get back to the old ways which seem so easy in retrospect. So far, we've always come out the other side!
It probably is just a phase but maybe it would help your anxiety if you tried to rule out other issues - for EG if he is bf could you keep a food diary to see if he is reacting to anything in your milk? Or if FF could it be he;s developed an intolerance to a particular brand? Maybe he was ill and his tummy is sensitive?
Well, I'm no attachment type parent but i can assure you most definitely that this will pass Imagine him doing it aged 6? Nope, he won't be.
Sometimes you just HAVE to leave them to self settle but if you dont want to do this then maybe consider taking him out of the gro bag? He might not like being so 'hemmed in'... before they became fashionable, it was just a sleepsuit and a cover ... maybe try that.
Short of pinning his hands to him with tape, all you can do is comfort him and it'll pass.
Interesting about the 'rage' as we've been experiencing that too. If he didn't self settle before I was able to calm with tummy/brow rubbing but quite often now that doesn't work and he ends up in a complete rage, screaming blue murder. Maybe it is an age thing, finding a bit of comfort in that thought.
I wanted to do more co sleeping, my DD had other ideas! She made it quite clear she wanted her own bed and her own room pretty soon (don't ask me how, I can't really remember but I think I tried moving her and she passed out in a blissful state). I don't think all babies want attachment parenting so maybe consider alternatives?
My baby went through a bad phase of eye rubbing a while ago. I started a thread then asking if anyone knew why they rubbed eyes when tired. I reckon he was about 7 months old and it lasted about 2 weeks. I co-slept and spent a lot of time pinning his arms down. It was horrible and exhausting but just stopped. Hopefully you'll find the same.
Could you swaddle him in a blanket instead of the sleeping bag? That may help him feel secure as well as stopping the gouging.
I know some people think you can't swaddle them at that age, but I did! It was my baby's sleep cue and I think I carried on til he was about 6 months.
Maybe it is a developmental thing then. They should put that in the baby books 'week 20 onward..the age and stage of rage'
My dd seems to have lost the ability to self settle and just opts for a rage attack instead.
I might try putting her in her own room to see if that helps, but she does calm down when I pick her up and distract her, so not sure if its a case of her not being suited to the attachment style of parenting. Anything is worth a go though!
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