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Ds just recharges,not a big sleeper :(

(13 Posts)
Icelollycraving Wed 10-Apr-13 08:27:07

He is 21 months. He hasn't ever been a good sleeper past about 4 months.
He sleeps max 3 hours at a time & is restricted to an hour nap at nursery. We have been taking him in with us for the last few months so I could get some sleep at least. I could handle that if he slept soundly but he thrashes about,he turns upside down,kicks out etc & we are often catching him before he falls out.
I am exhausted. I tried cc but that is out of the question as he gets so angry & distressed he vomits in the cot. Tried being in the same room but he screams to get out (to cuddle/play/run round).
He has bath at about 645 ish,warm milk & story. This is in the living room,when I've tried to do it in his bedroom he has a tantrum. He can fall asleep at around 745 if we are lucky. We both work full time,I do some late shifts so dh does bedtime twice a week.
So last night as an example:
Usual routine,in his bed cotbed by 8
Awake at 12,wide awake,wanting to play. I soothed & took him in with us but he was so unsettled I got up with him.
1230-2 sitting with him on sofa trying to get him to sleep.
230 In the end I have him warm milk to try to zonk him out. I know that's probably completely wrong sad
245 asleep
305 awake,soothed back to sleep
530 awake

I am really exhausted. He just doesn't seem to ever really go into a deep sleep. When I come home,my key in the door could wake him. I literally brace myself for the 'mummy,mummy,mummy'
He was like it before I went back to work so I don't think it's that,although I guess I do sometimes worry about that. I work,I love my job,it keeps me sane but I am beyond tired.
He has a lot of energy & enjoys nursery.
He does have problems with constipation but not so much at night time.

Icelollycraving Wed 10-Apr-13 08:28:29

Sorry,long post!

jazzandh Wed 10-Apr-13 14:47:30

I would say you are looking at chronic overtiredness. He's so overtired that he can't settle properly, and has long night wakings.

I would take a week to try and get him well and truely caught up.

If he will nap longer at nursery then let him, failing that I would be looking at very early bedtimes.

You will find to begin with that he will still wake in the night, but wakeups will become shorter and later.

As an example if my DS2 is very overtired he will be restless and bump about alot in the early evening, having chattered for a while before bed. He may cry out briefly after about 3 hours of sleep, then perhaps wake early the next day.

Once he begins to catch up he will sleep through but will wake up early in the morning etc

There seem to be phases.

I would keep him in his room, walking in and out as needed to sooth.

Very often with night wakings they are cyclical - so tend to mirror sleep cycles - so will go back to sleep after 90 minutes etc..

SunnyUpNorth Wed 10-Apr-13 15:11:00

I agree, sounds like over tiredness. It is like when you are exhausted and are dying to go to bed, only to finally get into bed and find you can't switch off and fall asleep.

You say he is 'restricted' to an hours nap at nursery. Do they wake him? I would challenge that. If he will sleep for 2/2.5 hours they should let him. My dd definitely wakes earlier when she is overtired.

Hope you can resolve it, you must be exhausted.

SunnyUpNorth Wed 10-Apr-13 15:12:46

Ps I wouldn't worry too much about using the milk at the moment, once he is sleeping better then you can think about removing it. I don't think he is waking just to get milk as if he was he would prob just have it and go straight back to sleep.

Although having said that my dd started sleeping through the night at 18 months the day I went cold turkey on a bedtime bottle!

Icelollycraving Wed 10-Apr-13 16:11:28

I restrict him to an hour. When he slept longer,it was even worse sad

omama Wed 10-Apr-13 21:23:08

I do agree with the others it sounds like overtiredness. How long ago did you cut his nap back? They can go through phases of needing less sleep - we found around 18 months we had to cut the nap back as ds just wasnt settling but then by 20-21 months he was a complete wreck & so overtired, waking repeatedly through night & early like your ds. I reinstated his full nap of 2-2.5hrs & voila nights improved. Looking back i think it was developmental, so you may find if you try again you see a different result.

If you are too scared to try it i would at the very least try an earlier bedtime - if he's only having 1hr after lunch, 8pm bedtime is likely too late - perhaps try nearer 7pm.

I know how hard it is when they wake at night but i think that bringing him out the room & allowing him to play on the sofa during the night probably isnt helping, nor is giving him milk. At this age they can very quickly cotton onto these things & start to demand them every time they wake.

You, as the adult need to set the boundaries, & say to him calmly & firmly that it is night time & at night we stay in our bed/room. You don't have to go the 'tough love' route if its not your thing, you can stay with him if you prefer, but dont interact, keep it dark etc. Repeat repeat repeat. It may be awful for a few days but if you can get through that, combined with an earlier bedtime or longer naps, you may see an improvement in his nights.hth.x

Icelollycraving Wed 10-Apr-13 21:46:25

Thanks. I don't let him play,I just try to soothe him & be quiet & calm. He will ask for juice as soon as he wakes (day or night). I say no but after a few hours of him being awake I give milk (often but not every night).
We are in a flat & I'm conscious of the noise in the night & don't want to wake dh.
I'm on my way home but dh said he didn't wind down until nearly 9,I'm dreading tonight. I have a presentation tomorrow & really need the sleep.
Thank you for all advice.

Icelollycraving Wed 10-Apr-13 22:36:27

We start on bath etc at around 645,we are rarely home before 6. Maybe we need to start that straight on getting home.

noblegiraffe Wed 10-Apr-13 22:40:35

Is he on anything for his constipation? My DS had lactulose, it was supposed to be twice a day but we ended up stopping the second dose due to sleep problems. I took it after childbirth and it gave me a really sore stomach at night.

BeaWheesht Wed 10-Apr-13 22:48:09

Well, first of all I think you and Dh should do shifts when at all possible so one person sleeps say 9-2 and the other 2-7.

Ds was like this and the thing that made the absolute biggest difference was once he was in bed that was it - no getting out the room at all. This helped so much. He didn't have toys in his room, he only went in it to get a story / sleep.

I never did any sleep training or anything and he got so much better at about your ds's age, then again at 2 and again at 3. He's 6 now and has slept 7-6 for 3 years. I'm not saying this to annoy you more to say it will get better, it will.

Icelollycraving Wed 10-Apr-13 22:54:11

I'm taking him to drs on Friday about his constipstion. I took that too,it was grim!
We share a lot of the care but with my shifts,I work weekends,dh doesn't. I sometimes send ds to nursery on my day off so I can get stuff done.

Icelollycraving Thu 11-Apr-13 07:08:26

Well,after another grim night,I think you are all right about him being really overtired. I used to get insomnia (before I was grateful for any sleep) & it kind of reminded me of that.

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