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it cant be normal for a baby to fight sleep this much. help!

(54 Posts)
spillyobeans Thu 03-Dec-15 12:57:38

Ok, so some of you may have seen me on the 4 month sleep regression board, but i am convinced this is not it as he has been like this from 3 months and he is now 6 months.

Ds fights sleep like you wouldnt believe. He can quite easily go 8+ hours without a nap, and then when he does go down it will sometimes only be for 10 mins. After posting a thread and having got some ideas i thought maybe he was over tired and started to try and put him down earlier, this hasnt helped and just means im trying for longer.

Things i have tried:
Patting back
Pick up put down
Breastfeeding to sleep (works 50% of time but you cannot remove him from boob at all and he will not take a dummy at all)
-white noise
-caming music
-baby tv
-walking round in pram (from 3 months up until now this is the only way he would sleep but has just stopped this as well)
-laying in cot awake and drowsy
-checking if hes too hot or too cold
-clean nappy and no rash

Nothing works, its at the point now that i will start trying to put him down from 6-7 and he will not go down untill 2am. He then wakes at 4, is up for 2 hours and then had another 2. And thats it! That cannot be normal! Sometimes he will have a 2 nap between 11 and 4ish sometimes not.

Has anyone had a sleeper this bad? Did it eventually resolve??

MyLifeisaboxofwormgears Thu 03-Dec-15 13:04:51

He sounds too tired to sleep - does that sound weird - I found out that kids and babies can go past a sleep point at which point they seem to lose the ability to sleep. Most of your "encourage sleep" efforts sound far too stimulating.

I was advised to put the baby down regularly to get them used to just lying still. At his age, sleeping for long periods should be natural (often isn't) but the body needs to learn how to do it. Remove a lot of stimulation - get him used to watching you do dullish house things - this will get him used to a slower body rhythm which should aid sleep. I think a lot of children get massively overstimulated - at that age just watching your mum clean or sitting holding a few toys is enough.

My friend's child had to be put in a darkened room with no stimuli at all in order to clam himself. It is a learned thing, getting to sleep.
Also, it is natural for all people to wake during long sleeps - we don't remeber this, but kids and people wake generally - 40 mins in, and 2 hours in - at that point he needs to learn to settle himself back to sleep - sounds like he wakes and stays awake.

Enlist the help of your DH if you can - when DD found out she only got DH when she woke up at night she packed it in and started to sleep. Took 4 nights to cure a sleeping pattern we'd had for months.

spillyobeans Thu 03-Dec-15 13:11:08

Thats how i thought he was overtired, hence started to try and put him down alot earlier, but didnt make a difference? I will definitely try dark room.

I had started a bedtime routine since 2 months of bath book boob bed and from 6ish the house only has lamps no bright light and soothing music not loud tv. We do get the point at 1am though where weve been trying for literally 6 hours to get him to sleep that we dont know what else to do! Have tried dh having a night but doesnt seem to help, plus alot of time he is on nightshift.

LaContessaDiPlump Thu 03-Dec-15 13:13:13

Mine would only go to sleep in a darkened room with no stimulation whatsoever, not even being held. It happened at about this age actually.

Sometimes they need to be left to get on with it, and I don't mean in an 'hours of desolate wailing' way but in a 'I will put this incredibly tired (yet fed and watered and clean) baby down in his/her cot in a darkened yet familiar environment and leave the room for 5-10 minutes' way. Worked very well for us. My top tip is to note the exact time that you leave the room because you'll think that they've been crying for ages when in fact it's been 3 minutes precisely.

LaContessaDiPlump Thu 03-Dec-15 13:14:32

We never did bath or book at that age either.... dimmed lights, clean nappy, full tummy, bed. The time for a fun bath and interesting book is earlier in the day, IMO!

NeedsAMousekatool Thu 03-Dec-15 13:16:38

My DD was, and is, a terrible sleeper, but the following helped a lot. You need to have about a week with no real plans.

1. No glowing screens whatsoever at any time.
2. At sleep time, do the same thing every time to create sleep associations. For me it was sleeping bag, Ewan the Dream Sheep, dimly lit room. You might want to read a calming story. Apparently lavender promotes relaxation too, there are lavender essential oils and pillow sprays and things.
3. Get them to sleep by any means necessary. That may mean breastfeeding to sleep and staying put for the duration. Boring but it's not forever. Have a wee and bring a book and snacks.
4. First nap 2 hours after waking, second nap 3 hours after waking from the first, down for the night 4 hours after that (if he is up well before the crack of dawn you may need to squeeze in another nap or stretch out the 4 hours slightly)
5. A bare minimum of 30 minutes natural outdoor light every single day.

After a week of sticking to this religiously my DD wasn't overtired and was going down for naps much much easier, this lasted from about 8 months until she went down to 1 nap a day.

Jw35 Thu 03-Dec-15 13:33:00

Wow poor you! I never did any of the sleep props, just bath, bottle & bed. I hate Ewan! I think white noise and screens etc makes it worse?

If it was just daytime I'd say don't bother trying to get him to sleep and let him drop off whenever but I couldn't stand a night time like yours! You must be completely exhausted!

I'm not sure what to suggest but have you ruled out things like reflux and colic? Have you considered bottle feeding? What about co sleeping?

NeedsAMousekatool Thu 03-Dec-15 13:36:57

Ewan helped me because we lived in a flat with people coming and going, and he sort of muffled the sound of doors banging and footsteps and motorbikes revving and people chatting outside, all of which would make my super nosey girl desperate to find out what was happening, but I know it won't help everyone.

Lozza1990 Thu 03-Dec-15 13:50:16

How are you all still alive?! How is he when he's awake? He must be exhausted confused. I think he definitely needs more sleep. What pp said about putting him down in his cot with no stimulation, does he cry? Other than that don't know what to suggest really! Hope it all ends soon for you!

spillyobeans Thu 03-Dec-15 14:01:08

Went to docs and he ruled out reflux and colic, 'just a bad sleeper'. Ive tried putting him in cot and leaving him to it, he would literally cry constantly. I tried going in after 10mins and shyshing or patting but didnt work he just got more annoyed. I am so exhausted. Dh did a 12 hour shift at work and then took ds to his mums and stayed there over night with him last night as i couldnt psycially function. Im so fed up! Its been 3 constant months of this. He does go down easier for day naps rather than at night, but i will definatley try that routine needsamouse thanks

BrianButterfield Thu 03-Dec-15 14:01:39

It really does depend if he's crying or not - if he doesn't cry, just stays awake, I'd pop him in his cot, make it dark and leave him alone. I've done this with both of mine from 6 months with no great trauma on anyone's part. I don't know if they fell asleep quickly or not but when I'd go up later to check they'd always be snoring away.

spillyobeans Thu 03-Dec-15 14:02:07

Ds is happy is morning untill about 6pm and then hes grumpy or crying constantly most nights untill he goes down at 2am

spillyobeans Thu 03-Dec-15 14:04:09

Oh yes if hes happy i try and sleep while hes awake...but max 30 mins in cot and he starts. Its not just tge crying either, he kicks his legs with such force. And he wont abide a blanket or sleep bag on him. I have to place blanket over when hes asleep

minniebear Thu 03-Dec-15 14:06:45

We've always found total total blackout-the Magic Blackout things on a roll from Amazon, a Gro Anywhere blind plus blackout curtains. Also ocean sounds white noise. I've always cuddled but not done anything for the screaming-so had them in my arms, but stayed completely still, no rocking, no noise from me, and just let them scream if they're all stressed and worked up-they tire out but you've not abandoned them in the cot for hours.

Snossidge Thu 03-Dec-15 14:09:22

Definitely sounds chronically overtired. Sounds like breastfeeding is your most effective way of getting him to sleep at the moment?

So, 2 hours after he wakes in the morning, feed him back to sleep. Take him to bed with you to nap as well, or sit on the sofa with the TV on, but if you have to feed him constantly to keep him asleep then do it.

3 hours after he wakes from that nap, do it again. 4 hours after he wakes from that nap, put him to bed.

I'd dedicate a week to just getting him to have two naps a day, however you can. Hopefully once he's less overtired you can then work up to putting him down to sleep.

spillyobeans Thu 03-Dec-15 14:10:09

Hmm minnie bear i will try the holding but doing nothing thing, as sometimes nothing works so atleast im with him i supose.

spillyobeans Thu 03-Dec-15 14:12:27

Oh and forgot to mention co sleeping doesnt make a difference either! And dh is against it and wont let me.

Yes will try and work on naps hopefully that will help

nottheop Thu 03-Dec-15 14:15:10

Move to a by the clock routine and stick to it religiously for a week. At 6 months I'd go for the 2-3-4 (hours awake) routine;

Awake at 7am, curtains open - lights on
Breakfast & milk
Get ready
upstairs at 8.45am
Curtains closed
Book (the same one for every sleep)
Cuddle and put down wide awake. Leave the room. If he's upset and go back at intervals of 5 minutes but don't bother unless he's actually crying. When you go back in the aim isn't to settle but to reassure him that you're still there but that it's time to sleep. He stays in his cot until it's time to get up. I used to go in and say, 'it's okay, it's just time for sleep now' quick bum rub and then leave.

10.30 wake up if not already, curtains open
Lunch play etc

Upstairs at 1.15
Curtains closed
Book (the same one for every sleep)
Cuddle and put down wide awake. Leave the room. If he's upset and go back at intervals of 5 minutes but don't bother unless he's actually crying.

3 wake up if not already, curtains open
play, dinner etc
6.15 bath if needed (I only do every 2/3 days due to dry skin but this is your preference only)
6.30 Pyjamas and milk downstairs
6.45 Upstairs, brush teeth if he has any
Curtains closed
Book (the same one for every sleep)
Cuddle and put down wide awake. Leave the room. If he's upset and go back at intervals of 5 minutes but don't bother unless he's actually crying.

At night restrict feeds - as a maximum feed a dreamfeed when you go to bed at 10/11 and once more in the night.

If you stick to the above for a week, you should see an improvement. You absolutely need to commit and be very consistent. At first he won't be getting the 2 x 90 minute naps but it will happen and quickly if you're consistent.


LaContessaDiPlump Thu 03-Dec-15 14:15:48

Just remember op, this too shall pass! I remember the days when I'd feel lucky to sleep 4 hours in a row, but they've now passed thankfully. You will back on this and think 'Well thank fuck that's over', one day soon!

Gileswithachainsaw Thu 03-Dec-15 14:18:12

Does he roll over? have you tried putting him down on his tummy rather than.his back.

Dd refused to stay asleep on.her back

Speederman Thu 03-Dec-15 14:30:18

I had a sleep resistant baby (plus reflux). Nothing worked until he was 3 and started school (not uk)

I severely regret not getting a sleep consultant for him. We did with DS2 when he was 18 months and in 3 weeks he went from waking 8 times a night and cosleeping to sleeping in his cot 7.30 to 4.30 (we're now tackling early wake ups)

However the years of sleep deprivation have seriously affected my health.

There are lots out there. We chose Ann Caird at nurturing sleep co uk. She listened to me and never got me to leave DS alone when he cried.

spillyobeans Thu 03-Dec-15 15:11:46

Notheop- i am going to try this asap!

No he cant roll yet, likes tunny time but crys after 10 mins so not sure if he would sleep like that.

I did think about ringing hv about sleep consultant but was thinking that was for older kids. I will try the rigid routine and maybe if that doesnt work i will try tgat. What sort of things did she recomend?

nottheop Thu 03-Dec-15 17:42:24

Good luck op. I'll check back over the next few days so just post if you have any questions

starfish12 Fri 04-Dec-15 16:46:14

Not the op. .... I have a question re the routine. What happens if you put them down for their nap and they literally don't go to sleep? I'm dying to get my son to do cot naps but he just rolls round playing then gets really upset. After 30 mins in give up and put him in the sling as I know he needs to sleep. Does your routine rely on them already being able to sleep in their cot at nap time or would you literally just keep going in every 5 mins until they fall asleep no matter what??

Nottalotta Fri 04-Dec-15 19:24:37

Interested for future reference as DS is 4 months old and though gets more sleep than described by OP is sleeping in my bed or on me with me awake.

Ditto the question above - he has only once fell asleep on his own.

Do i wait til 6 months to try this or sooner? And what about after the first week, I can't be tied to the house for these times every day. I can time leaving the house with nap though so either go out when he's awake or when he needs to nap as will sleep in the car if its good timing.

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