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feel my baby is going to ruin my holiday (longer post than I intended..!)

(20 Posts)
catalani Sun 07-Jun-15 19:12:21

DS2 is 7mo.
he is bfed to sleep at bedtime, takes forever as every time I put him in the cot, he wakes. Once he's finally down he'll then wake 2/3 times in the eve. He tends to wake when we go to bed, at which point I just bring him into bed. He basically suckles/feeds all night long. Over all I get more sleep this way, and DS2 barely wakes, so I think he gets the best sleep too. Am not too bothered about the co-sleeping tbh.
For naps - he has three a day - he'll only nap in the sling or if I bfeed him to sleep and he sleeps on me. He wakes the minute I transfer him to the cot.

This is starting to have a detrimental effect on lots of things. I'm exhausted, I don't think he's getting enough/good enough daytime sleep, DP and my evenings are interrupted, and I either have to disappear three time a day at the weekends to give DS2 his nap and I miss lots of family fun/hanging out with DS1, or on the days I have DS1, I have to plan our day around when and where I can get DS2 to nap in the sling. I feel DS1 is being parented by DP and I'm parenting DS2 sad

SO... in a month we go to Canada for 3 weeks. We go every year in the summer as DP is from there. DS1 was also a nightmare at bedtime/night/nap time so the past couple years have had their share of ruined evenings/days planned around when and how to get him to nap etc because of sleep issues. But DS1 is fine now (he's 2.10yo) it's just DS2 who I feel is going to ruin my time there.

I already know am going to have to keep disappearing to do his naps and miss out on lots of things or just feel excluded from the family fun (he doesn't sleep in the buggy or car seat so difficult to plan trips around his naps, also everyone drives in Canada - nowhere to go on foot so much for sling naps) and I'll be tied to an endless bedtime routine while DP and family sit outside on the porch drinking beer and enjoying their evenings.

This week I've tried to keep transferring him into cot when he's asleep to get him more used to staying asleep for his nap, and I've tried gradual retreat twice at bedtime. No success so far.

I have 4 weeks to do something about this - biggest issue I see are the naps. I need him to nap in his cot. Or at the very least somewhere that ISN'T ON ME.

What, if anything, can I do before I spend three miserable weeks??

Thanks for reading, if you've got this far...

VixxFace Sun 07-Jun-15 19:16:23

Does he have a dummy for the night?

catalani Sun 07-Jun-15 19:20:31

been trying all week to get him to take one. Have spent a fortune on different types of dummies the last few days... To be honest, he gets so upset if I try to get him to sleep any other way other than bfeeding, that there's no point trying to put a dummy in when he's a red faced screaming mess, and before that he just plays with it or spits it out or uses it as a teether sad

But I'm going to keep trying with it. I have no problem with him having a sleep association, I'd just rather I WASN'T the association...

BossWitch Sun 07-Jun-15 19:22:42

Dd was the same with day time naps, bedtime could take ages too. She did always sleep through though so I knew she could sleep in her cot. We did controlled crying at just over 6 months after being away with family at Xmas messed up her routine loads. It took 3 nights to get bedtime sorted, and about a week to get her to go into her cot, awake, and fall asleep for naps. It's not easy for those first few days because you feel like shit letting them cry, even just for a few minutes, but it works.

bramble16 Sun 07-Jun-15 19:22:52

There is a great book called the no cry sleep solution which may help. It's all about making gradual changes to your routine which both you and your baby can get used to over time. The advice is to make sure you really want to make a change (or are you going to miss DS2 sleeping on you), if so focus on the most important change you want to see (naps, time of bedtime, number of wakings etc) and deal with them one at a time.

BossWitch Sun 07-Jun-15 19:24:53

Sorry - forgot there was a gap, she was probably about 8 months when we used cc to get napping to be not on me post feed.

grabaspoon Sun 07-Jun-15 19:25:28

I would move him onto a bottle for the bedtime milk or a beaker and let your husband do bedtime. It will take a couple of nights but he'll soon learn to associate the bottle with bedtime.

If you're not happy to stop breastfeeding then you need to feed downstairs and put him in the cot awake - either you or DP and do the sleep training best for you.

addictedtosugar Sun 07-Jun-15 19:32:03

Will he nap in the sling if someone else is wearing it? ie can someone other than you deal with some naps?

Why do you have to dissapear for naps? What happens if you dump him in sling and carry on enjoying yourself? fwiw, I spent a lot of one holiday walking in loops round the village to get ds2 to sleep, and then went back and joined in with the rest of them.

I found DS1 was more likely to stay asleep if I waited an extra 5 mins after I thought he was ready to transfer before moving. It also helped if he was as already in his grobag, or I was already snuggling a blanket so he went with the warm (mummy scented?) coverings. Sorry if that is trying to teach an experienced Mummy new tricks.

Psipssina Sun 07-Jun-15 19:32:16

This might sound counterintuitive but if you sleep with him, ie don't even bother with the cot, he might go off a lot easier - then get off your bed, leaving him on it, hopefully this might do the trick for a while.

I honestly believe that babies are a hell of a lot easier to care for if you accept that they will wake, and need you, and just do all you can to make this easier on you, ie, have the smallest distance and minimum effort to go to them when they wake.

This is natural. I am sorry you feel like it will ruin your holiday. Did you anticipate the baby would be sleeping through by now, when you planned it?

YesThisIsMe Sun 07-Jun-15 19:34:24

I think the daytime might be more soluble than the nighttime. When was the last time you tried going for a drive/walk at nap time? Babies change - and if you go for a drive at a bit past nap time then he might decide that actually he does sleep in the car.

Unfortunately the only solution I found to evening cluster feeds was weaning and (a tiny bit of) controlled crying so I'm not going to be able to help there.

catalani Sun 07-Jun-15 19:39:08

Addicted - no, thanks you make some good suggestions. DP does do the odd sling nap and so yes we can share it. If DS2 is asleep in sling I can generally be around but he'll often wake with DS1 around if he's being loud. I've spent a lot of the last 7mo trying to play games/do things with DS1 that I can carry on dong while standing up with DS2 strapped to me (because yes, he's such a beastly child he wakes if I stop swaying and try to sit...)
I guess his best naps are asleep on me so when I can I try to give these to him as I also feel guilty that he doesn't get enough sleep which may be why he's so wakeful in the evenings.
Trying not to feel so negative about the whole thing. Lots of good suggestions thanks ladies

Psipssina Sun 07-Jun-15 19:58:21

I don't think you have any need to feel guilty.

I do think you need to use this holiday to palm off ds1 onto willing family, DP and so on so that the pressure is off you. Coping with a baby is hard, coping with a toddler is imo worse smile

Why do you think DP will leave you to it? That's really not fair.

MoominaMama Sun 07-Jun-15 20:07:38

Sorry to hear you are struggling. I can't help with naps as my 9 month old will only sleep on me too!

However, we had the same issues with evenings and this is now solved so that DS sleeps from 6/7ish until 2ish in his own cot without being fed to sleep. The things I did were ..

1) Moved bedtime breastfeed further away from bedtime. So no more feeding to sleep! So feed downstairs .. up for bath, dress, stories and bed. Absolutely consistent and short routine needed. I still have to sit next to the cot to pat/shush until he falls asleep but the most this has ever taken is 30 minutes. It usually takes approx. 10 minutes. It took at least a full week to get this established so he didnt expect a feed as the last thing.

2) Music playing on low at bedtime and throughout the evening (stopped the usual stirrings becoming full on wakings)

3) Making sure solid food dinner was something substantial and included protein (full tummy = more settled sleep)

DS has always taken a dummy which is a great help but when he was still fed to sleep I would have it in my hand whilst he was feeding and when he got to the stage where he was falling asleep/falling off the boob I would quickly pop the dummy in so he could carry on sucking. That always did the trick. I would also feed him with a blanket that would then go down into the cot with him. I would have to wait at least 10/20 mins with him in my arms before being able to put him down without waking though. If you cant gt a dummy to work try the pantley pull off technique from the no cry sleep solution as I have heard good things about that.

Hope any of that helps.

tribpot Sun 07-Jun-15 20:13:08

Would it be worth DP going over with just DS1? Unless he (DP, not DS1) is really willing to share the burden whilst you're over there it sounds like you'll be paying a load of cash for a godawful 3 week stay.

HolyDrinker Sun 07-Jun-15 21:19:22

Sounds like both of my dc!

With PFB DS I used to have very disturbed evenings such as you describe. When DD came along, I refused to spend my time trotting up and down the stairs all night, so I just gave up and let her sleep/feed on me all evening on the sofa, until we both went to bed.

It isn't ideal. But it meant I could spend time with DH (and others if we had people over) and I wasn't missing everything, stuck in a darkened room all night. And another bonus was I had to be waited on hand and foot as I had a sleeping baby on my lap!

SignoraStronza Sun 07-Jun-15 21:41:50

Sounds like both my first two (ds is so much easier by comparison - and have done nothing different) and we just learned to go with it. If it is any consolation, once they 'got it', the bedtimes and night times have been trouble free. In dd1's case, once she started school, she slept through and in DD2's case, we moved her into a big bed the moment she could walk.

Bed barriers and a monitor are your friend here. One either side on your bed plus strategically placed cushions. I'd feed to sleep in bed and then just leave her. Sex will likely be confined to the sofa for the time being though. Once she has her own bed, again use barriers and cuddle/feed to sleep and leave there.

DD2 is nearly three and stealthily sneaks in any time from about 1am now, but we don't mind as long as we get evenings free. DD1 stopped coming through pretty much as soon as she started school. The baby (9 months) is completely different, as he can be fed or cuddled and then plonked in the cot, without needing to do the whole hand/sneaking off palaver. He'll then stay asleep until after we've gone to bed most nights and even then just wants a quick feed and to be left in peace!
Hand in on there. You'll eventually find that the time between waking will gradually increase. I followed dr Jay Gordon night weaning method (Google it) with dd1 at about 15 months, but still feed her to sleep until over 2. DD2 would accept formula and cuddles from dh from much earlier (I was pg and couldn't stand bf any more by about 19 months).

lozzy1982 Sun 07-Jun-15 22:09:16

You may not want too but formula! Seriously. It saved me at nighttimes. You can still bf throughout the day, but one bottle if formula at tha bedtime feed will conk him out.

lozzy1982 Sun 07-Jun-15 22:09:16

You may not want too but formula! Seriously. It saved me at nighttimes. You can still bf throughout the day, but one bottle if formula at tha bedtime feed will conk him out.

Milkyway1304 Mon 08-Jun-15 11:15:01

You poor thing, you must be exhausted. With regard to day time, is there any reason you have to sneak off for naps- why can't you continue as usual with the hood up? With night- time, I totally sympathise, my dd was particularly difficult to get to sleep at that age, would only feed to sleep and wanted to hold on to me all the time. Second the no cry sleep solution. I was going back to shift work so we needed to get her settling for my husband. We started with me feeding her to sleep, and cuddling my husband, then leaving her drowsy and eventually I would feed her downstairs and he would take her up to bed. At 13 months she has started to seek out her daddy to sleep. Your partner will need to find a way to settle him, it's not fair for one half of a couple to be absolutely exhausted constantly.

catalani Mon 08-Jun-15 19:43:17

thanks everyone.
DP attempted a bottle of formula tonight. He's never taken a bottle but has recently been taking water from a sippy cup so tried that. He refused the milk but DP managed to rock him to sleep in about 15mins. Result! except that he's woken twice since... went back ok first time when DP went in, not sure how its going currently, not too good by the noises on the monitor...

I think I'll try separating last feed and bedtime. See how that works.. I tried some NCSS tips with DC1 when he was about 12mo, with limited success. Ended up using Jay Gordon/that What Worked For Us Thread on here with him at 14mo to night wean. worked well, just not sure DS2 is ready to nightwean yet.

DP and I were chatting last night and I think that between us we can cover his naps on holiday. Its the interrupted evenings that will be the most miserable, so I think we're going to work on cracking those over the next 4 weeks and just see how it goes...

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