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Advice/support on coping with an 8 week old who doesn't sleep and a toddler

(12 Posts)
Rachsmirnoff12 Mon 17-Feb-14 16:02:09

Hi there,
Not really sure if anyone will be able to offer any help but here goes my rant...
My 8 week old doesn't like sleeping anywhere: moses basket, car seat, pram, chair. Only occasionally will he sleep in the sling. The issue is that, whereas with my first, I had the time to spend patting/walking/shushing etc, with a toddler I don't. I feel guilty plonking her in front of peppa while I try and rock the baby to sleep - and then he doesn't sleep (or, if I'm lucky maybe for 20 mins). He gets so overtired, it seems like he spends the whole day grizzly... with me constantly trying to get him to sleep!
Tbh this isn't fun... and not how I imagined having my second. I am getting stressed worrying about his sleep and not spending quality time with both my children. Sounds terrible but I am wishing the time away to when he will sleep better and easier.
Anyone else had similar issues?

Alexandra6 Tue 18-Feb-14 09:17:56

I'm thinking of ttc again later this year (dd1 is 10 weeks) and this is exactly what I'm worried about! However due to DH's age (38) and fertility probs with me before, I'm not sure waiting would make sense. It sounds tough! I'm fully expecting it to be, but I was thinking the new baby stage is always tough so maybe get that all out the way so we can relax and enjoy our family. However you're right, wishing away time isn't great.

Sorry not very helpful but good luck and I guess there are pros and con of a big and small gap but please keep my posted on how it goes especially when the younger one is a little bit older as hopefully it will get easier. Fingers crossed they'll be close as they're so close in age smile

Alexandra6 Tue 18-Feb-14 09:21:12

Oh and more constructively, my dd doesn't nap well unless she's on me during the day but she sleeps really well in her pram when I'm out and about so maybe being out and about with both of them as much as poss might help? Although appreciate it's cold and you can't spend all day outside!! Does the older one nap by the way?

kotinka Tue 18-Feb-14 10:14:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MomOrMum Tue 18-Feb-14 19:50:59

It is a nightmare. The only thing I could do is feed the baby to drowsy then put in sling straightaway and be ready to walk out the door with toddler in the pram. So have everything ready to go out, buggy packed, toddler in buggy with snacks then feed and sling baby. I would keep walking and jiggling the whole time while trying to play with toddler at park or playgroup. A couple of naps each day I could do at home in sling by bouncing in front of extractor fan until baby was in deep sleep (20 mins) and then going back to play with toddler.

Fun is definitely not the word I would use to describe my maternity leave with #2!

Sometime around 10-12 weeks I found I could get him to have the first nap at home in his hammock. That gave me time alone with toddler. Then the rest in the sling as above.

I found our days were better when we stayed home for this first nap, which was an adjustment as I'd been used to going out in the morning first thing and coming back for lunch and toddler's nap.

MoreSnowPlease Tue 18-Feb-14 20:17:19

My ds was like this and after hours of rocking feeding whatever would drop off for 10 mins...I didn't have a toddler to look afyer yhen anf am dreading my second being like this as I was in the edge before, this would really tip me over!

Anyway, methods I found heloed with ds and you could probably do with toddler were...put in pram/car seat whatever you want dc to sleep in and as soon as they cry take them out, calm them and put back in again. takes a good while before tgey stop but eventually ds would go in buggy and car seat and go to sleep.

Erm...actually that's the obly advice I have, I guess this would work if you have double buggy or todfler a good walker? Make it over to the park and you can spend time wiyh todfler if baby gets to sleep?

Rachsmirnoff12 Wed 19-Feb-14 20:07:25

Alexandra6 - yes it is tough! I thought it would be but the not sleeping makes it especially hard. There are positives though- my dd is delightful with him, she doesn't stop giving him kisses and cuddles, and she finds him hilarious. This is lovely and can only continue - or get better! She hasn't felt put out at all. We wanted a close age gap for many reasons - but one was to get the stressful new baby stage out of the way as quickly as possible so we can enjoy being together as a family. Obviously everyone's different and I can see the pros of waiting until the eldest is at school or pre-school but we wanted a really close age gap.
She does nap thankfully!
I'm just hoping things improve. I can't spend all my time forcing him to sleep and being quiet while doing so. It's not fair on my ds. Today I managed to rock him to sleep in the pram (a first) while we were at the park - so maybe things are looking up! Perhaps it's still early days and things will settle down soon.

Rachsmirnoff12 Wed 19-Feb-14 20:09:18

MomOrMum - this is interesting. Did things ever improve?

MomOrMum Fri 21-Feb-14 13:05:13

Yes they definitely improved don't worry! That first year with DS2 was not my finest parenting phase...I found it really hard. But from about 14 months DS2 was the most cheerful, gorgeous toddler and he slept through and it was all so much easier.

But the day routine got much easier well before that. My DS2 was on 3 naps until 9 months or so but most have dropped down to 2 well before that. Say from around 6 months you can aim for shorter nap in buggy whilst out and then home for longer nap at home after lunch. I didn't have brilliant luck with this but it's worth a try!

In hindsight I would also recommend helping your toddler to learn how to play at home more. I didn't do this at all - would always default to park or playgroup. But playing at home is a learned skill and I should have made more effort here. Then once your baby is able to take 1 or 2 naps at home your toddler will be able to pass the time.

In the meantime do whatever it takes to keep the baby somewhat rested and yourself sane! I had crazy gimmicks like swaddles, blackout blankets, white noise all in the pram to encourage better naps on the go! And about 3 different slings that were my saviour.

We survived but I have to admit I was happy to get back to work! And I now have DC3 8 weeks old so the memories fade...

MomOrMum Fri 21-Feb-14 13:12:58

I should clarify...I now have DC3 (DD, 8 wks old) but have kept our nanny on full time (even if it means selling a kidney) and am returning to work at around 6 months this time so clearly the stress of maternity leave on my own with DC2 has stayed with me!

Good luck and don't worry if you're not enjoying gets much better!

jaybirdsinginginthedeadofnight Sun 23-Feb-14 20:38:43

Had similar problems here with 17month age gap. DS is now 5months and will nap no problem at home in the pram with white noise on (extractor fan in kitchen works a treat) the white noise also drowns out DD as she plays, squeals, tantrums etc. Ideally I'd like DS to nap in his cot but that'll be a work in progress....... I'm finding his lack of sleep at night difficult too I haven't got the energy for either of them during the day sad I knew having two so close together (planned but not really, DD was IVF, DS a mystery in my eyes grin) would be hard work but flip me it's really really hard work!

eltsihT Sun 23-Feb-14 20:46:29

My 8mo still doesn't nap and has only recently stopped waking 2-3 times a night. I have 25 months between mine.

In the early days I spent a lot of time rocking ds2 to sleep in his bouncy chair while pushing cars/trains with the other hand. I try to do activities all three of us can do or me and ds1 can do while ds2 is on my hip. Playing with cars on the road map is good, trains not so good as the track gets trashed. We often read stories together. We go out for walks a lot as I an chat with ds1 or get him to find a smaller/ fatter stick or a white pebble while ds2 looks on/hopefully naps in the pram.

Ds1 only started napping when he started walking so I an hoping ds2 will do the same m.

Good luck

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