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I don't know how much more of this I can take...

(4 Posts)
Mermaidmagic Thu 21-Jan-16 17:23:31

My 8 month old refuses to settle at night/bedtime.

He has a bottle before bed (though sometimes he only managed 3/4 ounces and then wakes up a couple of hours later for the rest). He goes to bed somewhere between. 7/8.

He has his tea between 5/6, has a bath, has quiet time and stories and then milk. As soon as we put him in his cot he cries. He has a dummy, we stay in the room reading stories to him whilst he's in his cot so he knows we're there and nothing works. It's been like this since he was born.

I have tried dream feeding, co sleeping, sleeping in his own room, sleeping in our room and nothing works. Sometimes he wakes between 5-7 times in the night. The only way to get him to stop screaming and settle is with a bottle... Sometimes he has more than 12 ounces throughout the night yet still wakes up every hour/couple of hours and cannot resettle. I have tried water and I'm sure he's not hungry. He had breakfast, lunch and dinner and snacks on fruit/breadsticks throughout there day.

Sometimes if he's crying we stand outside his room and if he starts screaming we go in and he starts laughing and thinks it's a game. Throughout the night though, it's impossible to get him back to sleep unless we give him a bottle. Even this doesn't work sometimes as he will settle, start drifting off and then as soon as he doesn't want anymore, he starts crying again.

I have this problem in the day too. It's a nightmare trying to get him to nap. I try and get him to sleep at the same time each day, but it never goes to plan. I think he's overtired and can't settle. He never sleeps for long periods. Whether he's in his bouncer, pushchair or cot, he usually sleeps for half an hour and is awake again. I've tried getting him back to sleep but it's impossible. Then half an hour later he's tired again.

He constantly gets himself worked up and starts kicking his right leg constantly when he's tired and rolls around, gets his legs stuck in his his crib etc and starts screaming. Then when we get him to calm down, he starts getting excited smiling laughing and squealing.

Me and DP are at a loss what to do. It's wearing us both down. I'm at uni full time and work on my days off and my DP starts work at 7.30. We're exhausted and we don't see an end in sight. Can anyone please offer any suggestions?

It is worth adding that DS is a really loud baby and during the daytime squeals with excitement/happiness. He's always shouting and before bedtime is usually the worst. We live in a terraced so I am really conscious of the neighbours & don't like leaving him crying too long in case they think we're not bothered with him.

Mermaidmagic Thu 21-Jan-16 17:23:56

Sorry for any typos! I posted too soon before I could re-read my post

FATEdestiny Thu 21-Jan-16 18:50:15

Firstly I would night wean. Re-settle in the night rather than offering any milk. It will be hard work, but consistency is key. In doing this, ensure he is getting enough daytime milk - 2 or 3 bottles of milk as well as his solids meals and also ensure he is drinking plenty of water/squash. Doing this means you can be certain he is not hungry or thirst in the night.

Settling to sleep needs consistency too. I am not actually sure what you currently do because you mention reading stories while in the cot as hoping he'll settle, and feeding to sleep, and leaving him to cry. You need to be consistent and stick with the same method.

I would try to settle him in the cot, with oodles and oodles of reassurance. Try a firm hand on his chest/back to help him stay still to sleep. If he wriggles out, lie him back down and re-settle. Occasional patting using your hand that's on his chest, a reassuring shushhhhh as needed. Re-inserting dummy as needed. Just stay right there, reassuring and keeping calm and quiet until he is fully asleep.

Stay doing this until it is established and doesn't result in any upset. Once you get to that point (which may be weeks away, it may be months, it may only take a few days), then start the process of gradually and slowly reducing the amount of reassurance needed to get him to sleep.

Use the same method every bedtime, every naptime and at every wake up to allow for consistency.

Mermaidmagic Thu 21-Jan-16 19:11:47

FATE- We usually give him milk before he has stories. So we sit with him whilst he has a story, put him into his cot and then if he doesn't settle, one of us will continue reading and one of us will continue to reinsert his dummy/rub his tummy and face. This can take an hour but eventually he settles. It's after this which becomes more of a problem.

If he wakes up afterwards, he is inconsolable. We have tried leaving him to cry for a while whilst reassuring him, cuddling him and putting him back down and sitting next to his cot soothing him. (Not all together obviously. We usually try each method for a couple of weeks).

I realise I have made a rod for my own back feeding him back to sleep, but when he is waking 5+ times a night I admit that I give in and give him a bottle. He does have milk during the day as well as plenty of water.

He never seems to settle into a deep sleep and whenever he wakes, he struggles to go back off so I'm almost sure it's a self settling problem. I am currently trying to wean him off the night feeds. What would be an appropriate time to stop giving him milk at night? As sometimes he will only have 2-3 ounces at a time and may wake around 9-10pm again.

Thank you for your replysmile

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