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Help me work out what I'm doing wrong, please

(22 Posts)
Imnotbeverley Sun 02-Nov-14 07:16:00

DS has been a pretty and sleeper since 4 months (not wonderful before tbh), but now at 11 months old I am feeling desperate and like I'm failing, doing something wrong or just not very good at this.

He often co slept from about 4-6 months, out of necessity, and for a while it really helped me feel a bit rested. But it stopped working, and actually all of our methods/techniques stopped working and seemed to wind him up and make him angry. So no feeding to sleep, cuddling, walking, rocking etc- he would push himself away from us and seemed genuinely frustrated at not being able to just sleep.

Soon after, I crashed our car and we decided to do controlled crying as we felt we had no other options. However I wanted to feed him midway through the night as I felt it was too harsh to suddenly go from snacking all night to nothing. Do we did and he slept through (no feed) on night 3... And never has since! We gradually ended up feeding him more and more again and things deteriorated. However, since cc he has been able to self settle well for naps and bedtime so that was something I thought.

So, 2 weeks ago we resolved to try again and offered water when he woke. It seemed to be working and we were getting longer stretches of sleep again, I was really pleased as it was a gentler process, found it much less upsetting to do. But the last 2 days/nights have been just awful. Naps have become a battle, he wakes after 15 mins and is then beside himself, clearly exhausted but furious if he is put back in his cot- or cuddled! Night time wake ups have become the same. He is seriously cross, whereas we had got to a point where if he woke, one of us would just go in and lie him back down and he would happily roll over and go back to sleep.

He has basically been up since 4, very very upset and angry.

What am I doing wrong? Stopped bf 3 months ago, drinks 3 bottles a day and eats pretty well. Not sure if anyone has had the energy to read all of this, thank you if so.

Imnotbeverley Sun 02-Nov-14 07:16:31

*awful, not and.

Sorry!

Imnotbeverley Sun 02-Nov-14 07:18:42

Also, (sorry) should say that he typically wakes about 3-4 times a night between 7pm and 7am.
Has a consistent bedtime routine

keepitgoing Sun 02-Nov-14 08:49:55

when are his naps?

StarlightMcKenzie Sun 02-Nov-14 08:52:17

Does he need naps?

All mine dropped their regular daytime naps at 9 months.

Also I put them to bed when I went as that maximised my sleep. Coukd you do that?

StarlightMcKenzie Sun 02-Nov-14 08:54:52

No way woukd I be putting him to bed at 7pm unless I was going too. Toddlers don't usually need 12 hours sleep in a 24 hour period, let alone on top of naps as well.

keepitgoing Sun 02-Nov-14 08:57:16

are you kidding? no daytime naps? shock
mine is about to turn 1 and has 2-3 hours of daytime naps and about 11 hours overnight

StarlightMcKenzie Sun 02-Nov-14 08:58:25

They had naps when they were tired, but it wasn't every day.

keepitgoing Sun 02-Nov-14 08:59:19

if it's a sudden change could he be ill or teething so wanting more comfort? thinking about it I don't expect a change in nap requirements would be very sudden

keepitgoing Sun 02-Nov-14 09:00:06

gosh starlight shock shock

StarlightMcKenzie Sun 02-Nov-14 09:00:48

I never 'put them down' for naps. They just slept when and where they wanted to. Just like in the womb. I never sought to control or manipulate their sleep requirements then and didn't after. It was a lot less stressful for us and the adults all got much more sleep that way, though it is true we had less evening time or daytime breaks.

Still, sleep is probably the most important thing for me out of everything.

keepitgoing Sun 02-Nov-14 09:03:22

mine wouldn't sleep like that even as a newborn after about a month old, and then would get mega cranky. but they are all different and we do what suits us smile

StarlightMcKenzie Sun 02-Nov-14 09:03:47

We seem a bit obsessed with babies and their sleep and 'me' time in the UK. In a good many other cultures babies and toddlers aren't expected to sleep for anywhere near the amount if time they do here.

And then mothers get wrought because they think there is something wrong with their babies.

MrsHY1 Sun 02-Nov-14 09:31:52

Starlight we get obsessed with our babies' sleep because it's been proven that the more sleep a baby/toddler gets the better their overall health and development. Good reasons in my book.

Imnotbeverley your DS sounds like he has a very similar temperament to my DD! The multiple wakings at night could be indicative of over-tiredness (so look at length of daytime naps) or sleep associations. However, I fully appreciate that neither of these things can be fixed with a magic wand! Can you chat to your HV? I do sympathise, it's really hard x

Imnotbeverley Sun 02-Nov-14 09:43:48

Thanks for the replies.

I try to make sure he has 2 naps a day-- usually a short (45 mins) at 9 and then a longer (1.5 hours) at 12.30-1. He always wakes up 45 minutes into his afternoon nap but definitely needs more. I usually just lie him back down and he goes to back to sleep but in the last couple of days he has really resisted and become really upset, so I have stopped trying. This results in him either falling asleep on me, or becoming really very grumpy and upset- so he definitely needs it (I think)! He is tired by 7 and normally does his longest stretch of sleep then so I think he needs to go to bed then.

It could be teeth. No obvious new ones appearing, or really any signs except the waking, but I gave him calpol and teething granules last night in case with no real effect

MrsHY1 Sun 02-Nov-14 10:00:16

Beverley, your nap schedule sounds perfect! one thing you could try is shortening the morning nap to say 30 mins? Every bambino is different but I'm pretty sure if my DD had 45 in the AM she'd struggle to sleep for longer in the PM.
Another piece of advice I got from a brilliant sleep consultant was to put baby to bed early (by 6.30 latest) if their lunchtime nap was cut short. You'd think this would result in an earlier wake up time, but it didn't for us and knocked the wake-ups in the first part of the night on the head.

StarlightMcKenzie Sun 02-Nov-14 10:56:07

'it's been proven that the more sleep a baby/toddler gets the better their overall health and development'

Don't be ridiculous! Why then aren't you then forcing your babies to sleep 24 hours?

StarlightMcKenzie Sun 02-Nov-14 11:06:05

Some interesting reads:

www.psychologytoday.com/blog/moral-landscapes/201302/normal-infant-sleep-part-2-0

www.parentingscience.com/baby-sleep-requirements.html

keepitgoing Sun 02-Nov-14 11:21:25

we do the exact same schedule and get 1-2 hours after lunch which is fine. but I think I need to make the morning one longer and shorter as we are getting some early wake ups.

my guess is it's not the naps causing night wakings but sleep associations or pain/teething. or separation anxiety. if you don't think it's pain then just keep consistent and it should work

note - unlike mrsH naps don't seem to cause night wakings here, just a grumpy baby and possibly early mornings so that shows they are different

keepitgoing Sun 02-Nov-14 11:27:56

*later and shorter

MrsHY1 Sun 02-Nov-14 15:09:30

Starlight you're right I worded that poorly- of course they shouldn't be sleeping for 24 hours! But most (not all) babies of 11 months should be taking at least one nap of a decent length a day and ideally 11-12 hrs at night- even if the latter is the ambition rather than the reality (completely agree with you that normal babies wake at night!)

Imnotbeverley Sun 02-Nov-14 19:42:07

Thank you again for taking the time to reply! I think his teeth are the problem, he has had a fever this afternoon and been very sad and clingy. He had a mega nap this afternoon, very unlike him! Not sure what, if anything, that will mean for tonight but he obviously needed it.
I'm expecting a tricky night. The problem with having done cc and him being able to self settle, is that he doesn't actually respond to anything I can do to help him back to sleep ie he doesn't want to be cuddled to sleep.
Fingers crossed...

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