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10 month old- for once, please settle without a fight and sleep!

(8 Posts)
1403andherbrother Sat 02-May-15 17:45:16

I had trouble with my DD and her night sleep, but my DS is quite simply driving me nuts. He wakes mid-naps crying and needs to be nursed back to sleep, and half the time even this doesn't work. He is cranky and clingy often during the day because of this.
By 10 months DD had a pretty stable daytime sleep pattern, but this baby's so hit and miss. On a good day he'll nap from 1 to 3pm, but so often he'll have 40min at some point in the early afternoon and that's it till bed.
We try to get his bedtime to coincide with his sisters, 7 to 7.30pm. Some nights I can breastfeed him to sleep without too much trouble, but others he'll nurse for 10+ minutes and wake crying the moment I unlatch him. After a while either my partner or I manage to get him to sleep, but he wakes after 30min, then again after 20min, till he finally drops off for a couple of hours. Then he'll wake and it's often the same all over again - feeds, wakes when placed on the bed, dad has to walk him to sleep. Luckily my partner is very supportive and does all he can to help out.
I reckon he's not sleeping anywhere near enough in the day, so he can't switch off at night. But it's such an effort every time I try to get him to sleep I simply lose the will, and think Oh well, he'll have to get by till bedtime.
To make things even more crazy I co-sleep with my DD (4) and the baby. Their dad's in the room next door. I love sleeping with the little ones but I do not love spending the nights' nursing DS till my nipples feel sore, worrying we'll wake DD with his crying the moment he realizes he's not latched on anymore.
I'm not asking for much! I don't expect him to sleep through. Yet I'd be so happy if he had consistent, reliable naps and slept after feeds in the night.
I've spent hours reading advice on baby and sleep on the internet but the theories seem so far from the every day reality. Though I'm expecting anyone to know how to solve my problem, it would be good to hear from mums that have been in similar situations.

Needsweetstosurvive Sat 02-May-15 18:59:31

Reading a post on the mothering website helped me, especially as the original poster returns with good news a few years down the line! Don't know how to post a link but google desperate and resentful 10 month old and should be first on the list. My DS started to improve sleep-wise at about 11 months. But he isn't fed at night and we don't co-sleep either so may take a bit longer for you.

JiltedJohnsJulie Sun 03-May-15 13:06:21

I think you are right, he sounds overtired. Does he have a nap in the morning and what time does he wake up?

1403andherbrother Sun 03-May-15 14:55:59

He started skipping his morning nap about a month ago, went through a transition stage of needing one occasionally but easily does without now, to the extent that he doesn't even fall asleep when we go somewhere in the car.
On an ordinary day he wakes at about 7, sometimes 6.30. But weekends and other days when his dad's not at work and he can stay in bed longer (he needs someone with him) he'll go longer, till about 8.
I think we got into "bad habits" from the start. We'd bought an Arm's Reach Co-Sleeper cot but he neither napped nor slept in it, not once. Maybe if we had insisted more he'd have got used to sleeping on his own. I just found it so hard, with both my children, to leave them crying when very very small. And if he was in the cot, he cried. He's always been very sensitive (in a physical as well as emotional sense), so straight away detected the difference between bed and cot.
There are days when I've almost got him into a deep sleep and his sister comes running into the room speaking at the top of her voice. He wakes and thinks it's play time. He'll have slept 5min at the breast which I think counts as a power nap, but is not enough for him - or me. He has too many of these!! I've told DD hundreds of times to be very very quiet when DS is sleeping. But when in a certain mood she can't stop herself. It's so much harder to have a fixed routine with the second child sad

FATEdestiny Sun 03-May-15 15:06:51

I just found it so hard, with both my children, to leave them crying when very very small. And if he was in the cot, he cried.

I find it really saddening when people think so black and white. Like if a little baby sleeps in the cot independently then it would mean leaving him to cry. There are lots of different tactics to try so that babies (little tiny ones) can sleep independently in their cot without crying at all.

None of that is any use to you now, with an older baby since your sleeping habits are established now so any change will cause distress.

I don't think it is fair on your older daughter to stifle her because of baby sleeping. With my four children, I would worry about that causing resentment in the older ones. So baby has always learnt to sleep with life going on around her so that she isn't woken by her siblings.

I have no real help, I'm sorry. It must be really hard for you and you do have my sympathy and empathy.

1403andherbrother Sun 03-May-15 15:19:14

It really isn't to do with thinking black or white. He'd cry until I picked him up. We bought the cot with the intention of using it. It was baby that didn't like being in it. Perhaps I could have found ways to get it to work, but it never happened. We have no help from family, both sets of grandparents live far away, so we ended up doing whatever seemed easier day-by-day, and made some wrong decisions because we were tired and did whatever possible to keep things as easy as possible.
Thank you re the advice of not stifling my older daughter. I think I do, at times. She's been more tearful and angry since her brother's been around, which obviously troubles me. I know I've made mistakes with how I've addressed certain issues with her. I'll take that on, and remember the main thing is not to cause resentments.

FATEdestiny Sun 03-May-15 15:32:36

What about focusing lost and lots of positive attention on your 4 year old and see if you can get her sleeping in her own room? That may help some of your problems.

She may well be struggling having to share you (and your bed) with her baby brother, so doing this in a positive way is important to stop her feeling pushed out.

What about mega rewards and super special reward charts for sleeping in her own room. Could Daddy sleep on a mattress on her bedroom floor for the interim as she gets used to it?

Making a big, big fuss of how much of a big girl she is and a fantastic big sister and role model for her brother. So change the focus for the time being away from the baby's sleeping habits onto your DD sleeping arrangements instead. She is old enough now to be better able to be bribed out of co-sleeping.

1403andherbrother Sun 03-May-15 15:49:14

Again, thanks. We've talked about the possibility a lot, about how she can choose her own bed, her own bed covers, posters etc. And I frequently mention how all her friends have their own rooms and how lucky she would be to have a room of her own, too. She always says, "Yes, soon." She used to be a terrible sleeper, but now sleeps very deeply and very very seldom wakes during the night, so I'm hoping the transition to her own bed and bedroom won't be a difficult one. Maybe it is time to go from talking to giving it a go.

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