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Help please. Still struggling.

(55 Posts)
Nottalotta Wed 17-Feb-16 17:38:28

I have posted a number of times. Still struggling. Thats putting it mildly. Ds is 7mo next week. He has slept one 6hrs and some 4gr stretches ever. Usually 2-3hrs. Doesn't nap. Has napped alone (after me tentatively putting him down) dorm 20minutes a handful of times, and the bizarre 6hrs.

I feel like I am failing at every aspect of my life atm. That sounds dramatic i know but i am doing nothing well. When he's awake i am trying to get stuff done and feel like somea days i spend the day moving him from one place to the next while i hurriedly wash up, have a bath etc. I can't do anything while he nap because he doesn't. He sleeps in the car but it now takes a good 20minutes to fall asleep by which time we have got to wherever we are going. Or the Pram. I just wish i could get him to sleep, put him in his pram and relax for an hour. I have bought the no cry sleep solution book but can't bloody read it.

He's a lovely happy boy and i feel like I am fucking it all up. I go back to work in April and i feel like my maternity leave has been a series of me not helping him sleep. Still feeds every 2 hrs at night.

Nottalotta Wed 17-Feb-16 17:45:33

Today - up at 7.45 which was good but had been awake for 90minutes til 6.20.

Was getting sleepy around 10.30. Had to go to town so into car. Fell asleep as i was parking. Got into pram hoping he would nod back off - didn't until 1pm. Woke after 30 minutes. Sleepy again at home around 3.30. Just fallen asleep. Fed at 3.30 but didn't fall asleep but continued showing tired signs. Darkened room,.mobile on, fed. Put on shoulder and shushed etc. Laid on bed and fed. Put cot. Nothing works til he got so upset then fed again and dropped off. Will wake after 30 minutes then it Will be an hour til bed.

starfish12 Wed 17-Feb-16 19:12:52

Hi notta. Sorry to hear you are having a hard time. First of all you aren't failing. It's so difficult to get anything done with a baby around never mind one that isn't napping!

Sounds to me like if you could just grab an hour or so whilst he naps you would feel more human and in control again? If I were you I would clear your diary for a week and work on naps. I've found with mine that even if they had only been asleep for 5 mins if they woke up they would never go back off.

If you are at home will he be rocked/jigged/fed to sleep? Have you tried a sling. Otherwise can you go for long buggy walks or even a car ride? Make your objective to be DS getting his nap even if it means driving round for an hr. As a rough guide a 7 month old might be tired 2 hrs after getting up and then 2.5-3hrs after waking from their first nap then a 3rd little catnap around 4pm.

I'm sure you have tried all of these things above so sorry if not very useful but maybe try and fit errands round his naps rather than the other way he might learn to sleep and stay asleep for longer. If he's not napping at all he very overtired at nigjt?
Good luck - remember you are a fabulous mummy and are doing great! Xx

Nottalotta Wed 17-Feb-16 19:28:27

Thank you. Yes we do have a sling and he Will sleep in that. I do try to time going out with a nap and would often extend my drive into town so that he got at least half an hour but recently it takes the whole drive to get him to sleep if at all. I can't drive indefinitely. Last week i walked for an hour with the pram and he fell asleep 5 minutes before i got home. Wakes as soon as we stop so carried on past the house.

I'm not too fused about sleeping when he naps, he rarely has linger than half an hour anyway. I just don't know what to do about getting him tp nap. At all to start with. I feel like whole days are devoted to trying (and failing) to get him to sleep. Like this afternoon. He was too tired to do anything other than try to get him to sleep if but then wouldn't sleep!

Nottalotta Wed 17-Feb-16 19:31:09

I am trying to get up at the same time each day but my success rate is about 50%.

If he wakes at 7 then you thinkbhe should nap at 9? Then if he has 45minutes (unlikely!) another nap at 12.15?

scandichick Wed 17-Feb-16 19:41:18

Used to have this, it was horrendous. Can you walk him to sleep in sling and then put in pram? Skip mobile perhaps, you stimulating? Tell yourself that fuck it, if he doesn't nap it doesn't matter. It's almost impossible but if he's happy then he's fine.

She's two now and sleeps wonderfully since 20 months BTW then we had another so still no sleep for me

Nottalotta Wed 17-Feb-16 19:44:50

I would happily think fucking it but his night sleep is soooo much worse if he doesn't nap and i worry he is getting little sleep. Has maybe 10hs per night max.

Think i do need to devote the time his naps. Whatever works. Did it before, got a loose routing then it all messes up again.

DangerMouth Wed 17-Feb-16 19:45:00

Dd1 didn't nap until l snapped one day and said that's it, you're having two naps a day! She was around 12 weeks old.

I put foil on the window to make it very dark. Then picked a time in the morning and one in the afternoon for her to nap and stuck to it.

I was bf her so would feed her to sleep. If she had just fed then I would stick her thumb in and sit in the rocking chair and rock until she was asleep.

Within a week she was needing these two naps she hadnt previously needed hmm

I know some dc don't sleep and l thought that was dd1 but in my case it wasn't. I just wasn't helping her to sleep. Lots of people say look for tired signs, but dd1 didn't have any!

So l created a schedule that suited me and she took to napping great. She slept 7-7 with one or two wake ups until about 18 months and then slept through.

I also rock dd2. Both mine wouldn't just 'nod' off, I've had to encourage them both!

it's such a learning curve when you have a dc that didn't read the rules flowers

Nottalotta Wed 17-Feb-16 19:45:55

I've got the mobile recently to introduce a sleep association and i can see it working. Ish. Slowly.

alembec Wed 17-Feb-16 20:14:48

From what you say and my experience with my 6.5m, previously a terrible sleeper, I would suggest that you try to take some time to give him a more consistent routine. Whilst I absolutely understand that when they aren't sleeping you would do whatever it takes to get them to sleep, I don't think it necessarily helps in the long run as their body clocks aren't attuned to a nap schedule, so you and they aren't ever sure if they are tired, and also they don't associate any one environment with sleeping, as they'll occasionally nap in the sling, the cot, the pram, car seat...

I'd think about where you would like him to sleep in the long run (probably the cot) and spend a week sticking rigidly to trying for every sleep in the same place and with the same environment (I strongly suggest dark, white noise if necessary, comforter/dummy if wanted)

Stick to an age appropriate routine: you can try:

Gina ford:
7am wake
9.30-10 nap
12:30 -2:30 nap (realistically he won't be doing 2 hours straight away, or possibly ever, but if not just make it up with the afternoon nap)
Around 4pm - nap to make up day time sleep to around 2.5h but no more than 45m, or no nap if 2h at lunch, awake by 5pm latest.
7pm bed

7am wake
9am 2h after wake up, first nap, as long as he likes but no more than 1.5h
3 hours after waking from nap, second nap, take total sleep to 2.5h
7pm ish, bed

Do whatever you are comfortable with regarding settling, so if you are ready to do Cc then there are plenty of advice on this forum, if not, stay right by him in the dark and hold his hand/pat/shush... The important thing is to not take him out of the cot during the WHOLE nap time, or over stimulate him at all (so no pick ups at this age!). If he doesn't sleep, then he will at least be resting. I would then wake him up at the scheduled nap end time, do whatever you can to keep him awake until the next scheduled nap, and repeat. It shouldnt take more than 2/3 days for his body to get used to sleeping at these times, as the routines have the appropriate wakeful periods between sleeps. He should then settle more happily for naps. After a week of this, he should have caught up on his sleep deficit (as he's not sleeping well now), and you can think about doing a gradual retreat type of sleep training. It should be much easier as he will be used to his sleep environment.

I know routines aren't for everyone, but if a lack of routine isn't working, then why not try something different? I was convinced that I was not going with a routine for my LO, as I didn't want to be constrained by having to be at home for naps, and I wanted to be baby led. But for me, fact is my baby had no clue when he wanted to sleep (ie never!) and the routine has been the opposite of constraining - I know exactly when he will be sleeping and for how long so I can plan my naps, food, me time!

Happy to answer any questions!

Nottalotta Wed 17-Feb-16 20:29:13

He has literally never napped in his cot. I have looked at 2/3/4 but then nap at 9 - 9.45. Then 12.45 - 1.15 or 1.30. Then bed is 5.30. Its too early (from experience. )

What you say about every sleep in the cot - and that he'll be resting. He won't. He'll be crying. Do i just sat with him patting and shushing for the duration? How long?

Nottalotta Wed 17-Feb-16 20:31:25

Sorry you said how long. Then what once its established? I can't never leave the house.

HisBowtieIsReallyACamera Wed 17-Feb-16 20:39:16

He sounds like my DS1, I can remember how exhausting it was...

How do you get him to sleep at night? What I did was focus on bedtime first, then tackle naps. It sounds as though he needs some help with self settling. If he feeds well during the day, has some solid food too and is gaining weight well then he probably doesn't need so many feeds at night too, might just be habit?

nottheop Wed 17-Feb-16 20:40:15

I would put him in his cot in a dark room after a nap routine at 10am - 11.30 and 2.30-4 every day. If he gets upset I would reassure him in his cot but not get him out.

Get him up at 7.30 every day and put down at 7 pm.

At night I'd only feed once as a maximum and settle in the cot at all other wakings.

FreeButtonBee Wed 17-Feb-16 20:41:46

I worked on getting my ds to sleep SOMEHOW so rocked, jiggled, did a silly bouncy walk, white noise, dark room etc etc. Then the instant he fell asleep, I counted to ten and put him down. For the first week he woke almost every time I put him down and I had to resettle but eventually he realised that he would be put down as soon as he was asleep.

I personally only try for 15 mins then get them up, even if totally knackered. Distract, fed and then try again 29 mins later.

2/3/4 only works once they are taking naps of longer than an hour so don't worry about that yet.

Once you can get him to sleep and to go into the cot, then you can work on settling in the cot. But it might be too much for him right now.

I would literally try and do nothing else for 5 days other than get him to sleep in the cot.

Also I found that my ds slept better when nice and warm even in the house in the daytime. His naps have extended to almost 2 hours since this revelation!!!! He wears a l/s m vest, comfy bottoms of some sort then a padded sleep suit thing (mothercare do them) then a 2.5 tog grobag. He just likes to be toasty warm. I live in a draughty Victorian terrace and am stingey with the hearing so dimint worry about him overheating. Just something else to consider if you err on the side of keeping him cool.

FreeButtonBee Wed 17-Feb-16 20:44:25

Also some days recently ds has had 4 (very short naps) rather than 2 nice long naps. It's painful because you spent all day getting them to sleep (and means o have to leave my 3yo twins unattended while I do so!!! 😱😱😱😱😱😱) but as you l ow, bad napping means a bad night which means a bad day. So if they are short naps, then try again 2 hours later. Deeply tedious.

Good luck

nottheop Wed 17-Feb-16 20:47:38

I wouldn't bother with Shhh pat, it's quite stimulating for the age.

Personally I'd do controlled crying but if you don't want to leave I'd sit facing away and every 10 minutes just say there there or something.

Re not leaving the house you can leave between nap times or maybe try a snooze shade. Ds napped well with one.

HisBowtieIsReallyACamera Wed 17-Feb-16 20:55:29

Yes, I second the snooze shade once you've got a decent nap routine in place. Plus it won't be like this forever, he will drop down to only one nap a day in a few months possibly, especially if you get better night time sleep.

alembec Wed 17-Feb-16 21:19:36

Exactly! You can definitely leave the house once the routine is established - we have a short nap in the morning which DS is happy to do in pram or cot, and we only try to maintain long lunch nap in cot at home, but that's two hours where I can eat, watch to etc etc. we are generally out of the house everyday from 9/10 to 11/12, and from 2.30 to 5.

I appreciate that the naps are short now, but I would guess it's because he has a long term sleep deficit due to his current sleep pattern. When he wakes up from his nap he is unhappy because he is still tired, and would like to go back to sleep but can't as he can't settle/works himself into hysterics. The naps should lengthen as soon as he catches up on sleep.

Do whatever you need to to get him to catch up on sleep, based on the routines that are suggested on here so that you try to put him to sleep at the optimal times. For his age, I think the more you do (rocking, bouncing) the more excited they get. The best ploy is just to BORE them into sleeping!!

alembec Wed 17-Feb-16 21:30:51

regarding doing crying it out, it is obviously up to you whether to try it, but fwiw a mum friend who had a LO who would only take catnaps in the sling, never slept in a cot, and woke 8-10 times a night since new born, decided enough was enough when her DD was 6.5 months old. She did spaced checks, (2m, 5m, 10m, 15m), just a tummy rub and head pat and back out of the room. She stuck strictly to the Gina ford routine for sleep and feeding,
It took ONE day for her Lo to start sleeping through the night. She cried for a total of 20 minutes, and that was that. That is fast in my experience, but my friend was DREADING the CC, and it ended up being totally ok.

Whatever you do, consistency is crucial.

Nottalotta Wed 17-Feb-16 21:45:47

Thanks all. Plenty to think about here. I must add that he is not a grumpy cranky baby. When he has a nap he wakes up all smiles after 30 minutes. Its really just the last hour of his day that i have to keep him entertained but obviously he's tired by then.

I am going to try this next week i think although i have to go to work two days next week so might have to wait. Unless i just start tomorrow!

So Will get up at 7, put in cot for nap at 9 (in his sleeping bag, we too are in a draughty Victoria terrace.....) then again at 12.30. I don't know though, might be better going for just the two naps? I can't see him being ready to sleep at 9. Ho hum. I Will decide what tidings to do and stick to it. Does he really need 3 naps?

Nottalotta Wed 17-Feb-16 21:49:32

alembec did she do cc for naps or just at night?

At bedtime its not too bad. Upstairs, dim light. Get ready for bed, story, mobile, feed to sleep. Into cot.

Purpleboa Wed 17-Feb-16 21:50:42

Much sympathy OP. It's horrible. I absolutely get where you're coming from on the feeling of failing to get them to sleep. In addition, my DD refuses to take a bottle and was slow on the weaning uptake. Some days I feel so depressed that I can't get my almost 8 month baby to eat or sleep, whilst others seem to find it so easy.

No advice I'm afraid - I sling her for naps or use the pram. Cot naps do not happen. As for establishing a strict routine. Quite frankly, my nights are given over to getting her to sleep. I'm not going to drive myself mad with doing the same during the day. I do have a deluded belief that it will all fall into place. I'm too exhausted to see anything through.

VocationalGoat Wed 17-Feb-16 21:53:44

I have always had terrible sleepers notta.... no naps, three naps... I don't know. In my experience, a bad sleeper is a bad sleeper. And what they do at night continues, regardless of the day's routine, in my own experience anyway.

DC3 is 21 months almost and it's traumatic what he's put us through. I can't believe we still love him. That in itself is a miracle. grin
My DH is a GP and our dear friend, DH's colleague, is a paediatrician and father of 6. He said if you can't afford to call on Millpond to come into your home (very expensive but Millpond has a very successful track record) then at least get the book. It's taken me 21 months but I just downloaded the book. Now to find the time to read it. Sigh.

But it's gotten rave reviews. Millpond is not just for babies, it's for kids of all ages.
Here's the link to the site.

alembec Wed 17-Feb-16 21:55:36

Notta your DS probably does just need less sleep than average too! Nevertheless those 5 min catnaps are just no good for anyone! Not least cos they won't go back to sleep for ages afterwards, and it all catches up with them at the end of the day.

Your plan sounds good, nap at 9 (or 9.30 if he can handle it) and nap at 12.30. My baby shows zero sleepy signs, and is happy as Larry before his naps. But as soon as I stick him in the cot he nuzzles his bunny and nods off. My mum could not believe her eyes when she saw this (she's was like, oh he's not tired, not even yawning! Just a minute before). I'm not saying this to show off, it took a lot of hard work to get here and plenty of frustrated tears on my part. But now I can honestly say my days are much happier.

Best of luck!

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