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Struggling with sleep, 3 month old.

(5 Posts)
blackpony Sun 06-Dec-15 14:20:42

Hi, I'm looking for some advice on helping my LO sleep.

He is 3 months old and usually sleeps well at night. He goes to bed at 8pm (sometimes he goes straight off to sleep when put in his crib and sometimes not...more on that to follow) and sleeps until 5am, wakes for a feed and change and then usually goes straight back to bed until 8am.

Daytime naps are a different ball game though and I am increasingly struggling to get him to take any. I have always had him very close to me and let him sleep on me a lot since he was born. This became the only place he would nap in the day time, which I was fine with as he was so young and I thought he just he wants mummy and there's nothing wrong with that at his age.

However now I am doubting whether that was a good idea as I seem to have set him up to struggle to sleep. He has recently been struggling to fall asleep on me (feeding to sleep used to work but now only works occasionally) and when he does fall asleep I have to sit totally still for hours as he wakes very easily. I can't even have a sip of water without risking waking him, and sometimes I do nothing and he still wakes up and gets more and more grumpy! I have spent days sitting totally still for hours on end, any chance I can give him to get some sleep I try my best to let him sleep as long as possible (however thirsty, hungry, uncomfortable or desperate for a wee I might be!).

I feel this approach is not working for him as I am being as accommodating as I possibly can be and he is still not getting enough sleep. On the nights where he is crying when put down to bed myself and DH have always cuddled or fed him to sleep, waited 20 minutes so he was properly asleep and then carefully moved him to his crib. So some nights he goes straight in and sleeps and some nights it takes a lot of cuddling and swaying and several attempts before we get him down.

I try to put him down when he is sleepy but still awake, it never works in the day time, sometimes does work at night. My DH thinks I need to do his sleep routine, put him in his crib and then not give in to his cries. I have a co-sleeping crib so I am always right next to him. I have tried putting him down and patting until he falls asleep but anything other than being picked up and rocked just seems to make him angrier. I do feel that I have made it difficult for him to sleep without being cuddled or rocked but laying next to him while he screams in his crib is awful.

I know he is getting overtired in the daytime but even constant feeding/cuddling and sitting still isn't ensuring him enough sleep now so I need an action plan. Do I have any other options other than putting him down for a nap and patting him until he cries himself to sleep?

ChristianGreysAnatomy Sun 06-Dec-15 16:16:11

So difficult. I don't have any genius suggestions but I do have sympathy as I struggled with my dd - although I had much worse nights!

Dare I ask if you have tried a sling? If not, do try one.

For me I found that patting didn't work but stroking her tummy did, after a certain age - about three or four months I think. It took ages to get her off at first and I had to hold my nerve but then it did start to work. With ds I discovered by chance that he would settle when I stroked my fingertips down the side of his face.

It's really tough though, as you transition from something that used to work but no longer does, to something else. You will find another way, but it will be trial and hideous error.

blackpony Sun 06-Dec-15 18:25:48

Yes I did borrow a sling to try when he was about 7 weeks, he wasn't a fan, but I'll try again now as he's a bit older. I've tried just about everything I can think to try, including foot rubs which he loves but he just smiles and giggles, it doesn't help him sleep! Always makes me laugh though!

Thank you for taking the time to reply. Good to know I'm not alone at least!

poocatcherchampion Sun 06-Dec-15 18:35:04

From what you are saying about the naps and the getting angrier if you take him out the cot and try to get him to sleep it sounds to me that he is a bit like my dd1 and doesn't actually want to be touched before sleep. It is too stimulating perhaps.

I think you need to tread the fine line between the baby feeling abandoned and over stimulating him with touch talking etc

Being in the room and talking quietly to soothe. Or coming in and out, or getting on with things in the next room but so he can hear.
If he starts crying go in soothe, pat etc then retreat again

Sounds like the nights are good and you are generally getting there

blackpony Sun 06-Dec-15 20:21:11

Yes I think you are right about him getting over stimulated, he has seemed to get easily over stimulated since he was first born.

The times when he cries in the crib he does it from the second he's put down and doesn't stop at all so there is no opportunity for me to soothe him at all unless I lift him out and cuddle him. I don't know whether I should be lifting him out or if I'm just making it worse every time I do? Just laying next to him while he screams and screams feels terrible and I am so worried that he will feel abandoned or that I'm not meeting his needs even though I am right next to him and never leave him.

If he does sometimes go down without a fuss does that mean the times he doesn't want to go down there is something he needs that I haven't figured out?

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