Talk me through your bedtime routine please, ours isn't working anymore(12 Posts)
We've had some terrible bedtime dramas recently, my DS and I. He's 11 months old (9 months corrected) and used to sleep brilliantly, but hasn't for a while. I used to bf him to sleep. Read Pantley on stopping the feed-to-sleep association and had some success with her advice. His naps are a struggle but he usually can be cuddled to near-sleep and then drift off (but often not in his cot, but on a mattress on the floor in his room, where I feed him).
In the evening I try to do this: 6-6.30pm quiet time reading books, then bath, then breastfeed (trying not to let him fall asleep), burp (really tricky sometimes), song and bed. If he grizzles I stroke his belly for a while and leave the room when he seems calmer.
That's when the fun starts. He will complain, then scream. I do the pick up, shhh, pat, put down thing, maybe rub his belly for a bit. He goes ballistic. I repeat, and repeat, and repeat. He will usually get more tired and even drowsy, but as soon as he is in his cot he screams. He's often scratching his head madly at that point (doesn't during the day). Sometimes he even falls asleep for 5 or 10 minutes, then gets so frustrated with still not being 'properly' asleep that we have to start all over again. Yesterday the whole thing took 1 1/2 hours, and he then needed to be settled again 40 minutes later and woke up 4 times during the night. (Before anyone suggests letting him cry: CC will never work because he can throw up at will and often does out of frustration.)
I've been wondering whether moving his bf to before his bath might help with the obvious wind/ stomach pain, but am weary of making him throw up even more (he's a refluxy baby). In which order do you do feed, bath, story, bed? Can babies actually learn how to fall asleep on their own? Does anyone have any great gems of wisdom to share? I'd be ever so grateful.
just let him feed to sleep. at 9 months corrected he's still a tiny little boy. Keep on with making the change for naps and one you can put him down awake for naps consistently you'll probably find bedtime just clicks
Thanks sleepless (I know how you feel...).
I would happily feed him to sleep but sadly that's not working anymore either. DS usually wakes up mid-transit to his bed (he never used to wake up, or mind) and goes ballistic. On the very rare occasions when he settles in his cot he then wakes up 30-40 minutes later with trapped wind and won't feed again, and we're back at square 1. And there is another problem: I'm about to go back to work ft, and my stupid shifts mean I'll miss 2 or 3 bedtimes a week. DS won't take more than the bare minimum from his straw cup, but that's a whole other panic.
It would be nice if it 'just clicked' at some point though...
Hi, is he on meds for his reflux btw?
For us feeding to sleep stopped working round about 11mth mark. Bloody awful it was. Our next strategy was bottle, wind then put him to sleep on our chest (usually DH) until he was sound asleep - took about 20mins at that age then transferred to cot. He would stay there few hours and then we co-slept. It was the only way we could get any sleep. At 15 mths things are a bit brighter, we've night weaned (bf), ended co-sleeping and DS is sleeping through (most nights). Still on reflux meds though even at this age. I did NCSS at various stages too. I did pantley pull off with some success at your DS age, but then it all deteriorated months later and it no longer worked.
Eeh i hope someone more constructive will be along soon
Felt bad you hadn't had many replies - gradual retreat worked really well for us, along with moving the bedtime feed to before the bath at 6.30. I found the beauty of this technique is that you can go as gradually as you are comfortable with, and you never leave the baby alone upset. And yes it is totally possible to get a baby to settle themselves to sleep in a gentle way but consistency is the key.
Ahh, thanks for the replies.
Swivel, no he's not on reflux meds. His reflux got better over the last few months, but it still doesn't take much to make him puke... Sounds as though you had a tough few months though. Would you mind filling in some of the steps of how you how went from that 11months crisis to a night-sleeping baby now?
Surgical, that is good to hear and exactly the kind of advice I was hoping to get. Did you have any problems with moving the feed before the bath? Gradual retreat is about slowly reducing the amount of 'help' to go to sleep you give, right?
To be honest we've had sleep problems with DS since day 1. He's just one of those babies and we accept that now. But yeah at nearly 15 months i'd/we'd had enough. The co sleeping had stopped working months ago, waking up every hour crying for a boob and I was on my knees. I did read Jay Gordon/NCSS - but I was so tired I couldn't take it in.
So anyway, we started by ending co sleeping by putting him in his cot (when asleep), if he woke at anytime we would cuddle him back to sleep, no boob just offered water. Did this for about a week.
Then we started gradual retreat, i.e putting him down to sleep awake in his cot to self settle (search mumsnet zombie thread 'what worked for us'). Have been doing that for about 8/9 days now, 80% of the time he has slept through, the rest he wakes early and we take him into bed (or whatever). We're still not out the room, still sitting by his bed as he gets really upset if we move away. So we need to work on the retreating part of it. Takes him about 15 mins to fall asleep now, when we cuddled him it was up to an hour as it seemed to be making him more hyper as he got older.
I am so shocked DS has taken to this, he really has been the worst sleeper throughout, makes me wish i'd done it sooner.
We feed post bath, in his room in the dark. Mega winding session then into his cot he goes. He loves that last feed though...
We have fed before bath since I wanted to stop bf at about 10mo. DS has a cup of formula or cows milk and some supper (usually a yoghurt) at about 6pm whilst having a story and a bit of cbeebies and then bath and straight into bed. He's now 16mo and it works for us :-)
Thanks very much Swivel & Teacher, good to hear your experiences. I'm trying something like gradual retreat, but haven't been able to 'retreat' very much yet. Some evening & nights are just awful - took me 2 hours yesterday to get him to sleep, after lots if crying & throwing up, and then he kept waking up at 30/40 minute intervals So we have some way to go!
Sorry, was hectic in work last week then away for the weekend so no mumsnet!
Moving the feed to before bath turned out to be really easy; in fact, DD is on Zantac for reflux also; she has never been a pukey refluxer but has a lot of pain when she is off her meds, and feeding, then sitting her upright while she plays in the bath afterwards seems really to suit her.
The throwing up sounds tough - is your LO's reflux as under control as possible? Meds have to be uptitrated as they gain weight, so might be worth a GP visit before persisting with the sleep coaching. In fact, I forgot to bring my LO's Zantac away with us this weekend and she has been a nightmare to get to sleep tonight, poor thing I feel bad
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