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Sleeping through, milk, naps. Need help with it all!

(6 Posts)
TippetyTapWriter Wed 30-Mar-16 19:47:02

Ds is 11 months. He's always been a crap sleeper. Is ff from birth due to initial complications. Has been waking for milk once a night around 1-3am for a while but the last two nights has demanded milk twice (absolutely nothing else would settle him). He's on 3 meals, 1 snack and 3 bottles of milk during the day. Surely he doesn't need milk at night too?! I keep waiting for him to drop the night feed but as the opposite is happening I'm starting to feel I need to do something to wean him?

By some miracle he self settles at night (but only if he practically falls asleep on his after-bath bottle). I put him down very sleepy but awake and he does drift off by himself. He won't self settle if he wakes in the night though. He needs holding and walking around with for 20 minutes or more. Or he needs milk. He wakes about 1-5 times a night.

He wakes for the day around 5.30-6am. Goes to sleep at 6.30-7pm. He has 2 naps in the day, but there's absolutely nothing I've found in 11months of trying that will get him to sleep for these other than me or dh holding him and walking around for 20 mins or so. And he weighs 11kg nearly. It hurts!

He hates being in bed with us, so co-sleeping has never been an option. He basically hates anything where he is awake but not moving. Self-settling for daytime naps has always seemed like a laughable dream!! There's absolutely nothing about me being by his cot patting/shushing that is remotely soothing to him. He will just cry and cry.

But I can't go on carrying him around to sleep. He weighs a bloody tonne, and he's horribly wriggly until he does actually fall asleep.

And his naps are only 20-40 mins ... Basically he gets max 60-90mins sleep in the day and 9-10 at night, given he wakes up 1-5 times.

Sorry this is very long and disjointed. I just feel like something needs to change but no idea what. I don't want to leave him to cry.

Whatthefreakinwhatnow Wed 30-Mar-16 19:52:22

Hi OP, I was feeling as you are last week, and literally couldn't go on anymore. I too didn't want to leave DD to cry but she was crying so much already I thought I may as try something constructive with it.

I didn't leave her to cry it out, just left her for short but increasing intervals to teach her to self settle and it's been a miracle, she's gone fm from only sleeping in very short burst whilst having to be held or driven round in the car(!) to going off to sleep by herself and self settling if she wakes briefly in the night, and has slept 11 5 hours every night since sat when we started it.

I know CC isn't for everyone but it really has worked for us, so might work for you too? I'll link my thread so you can see what we did.

Whatever you decide to do I hope it gets easier for you all soon flowers

Whatthefreakinwhatnow Wed 30-Mar-16 19:53:22

sunnydayinmay Wed 30-Mar-16 19:59:07

Will he play in his cot when he is awake? DS1 went through a terrible phase when he would not settle at all, and someone suggested that we got him used to his cot in the day. So, I would pop him in it with a toy, and chat to him. It did work, and then took a few days/weeks of gradual withdrawal at night.

Hellish at the time, though.

TippetyTapWriter Thu 31-Mar-16 08:47:43

Thanks for replies. Glad things have got better for you, whatthe. I know I'd find cc tough. I had to leave him in hospital the first week of his life and still feel awful about not being there with him so it's hard to willingly let him cry now! Thinking I might have to do something though. I got norovirus recently and just couldn't carry him to sleep so basically he didn't nap at all. I need him to be able to self settle!

The problem though is he isn't really crying at being left, he's crying at the thought of going to sleep. Which is why we end up carrying him around. We have to sneak sleep on him like a ninja. Anything that makes him feel sleepy makes him cry!

If we did try cc, how does it work? He tends to moan or cry in short bursts of a few seconds, so what do I time? E.g if he's actually being momentarily silent when 2 mins are up but he's clearly still wide awake do I go in? If he sees me he gets excited and thinks it's playtime and throws a tantrum if I try to settle him. But in the past I have just tried leaving him in desperation and he'll moan and cry for thirty minutes or more gradually getting more and more upset. By which point he's so overtired he won't nap at all and I'd have to hope he fell asleep on a bottle later in the day. That wouldn't work any more because he doesn't have many bottles in the day.

Sunny, he doesn't really mind his cot so long as he's got music and toys. He'll be happy in there for 10-15mins which is as long as he's happy anywhere!

Whatthefreakinwhatnow Thu 31-Mar-16 09:04:51

My DD is the same, she shakes her head when she's sleepy to try and wake herself up 😮

I pop her in the cot and always say the same thing; goodnight, sleep tight etc, turn her light show thingy on and go. She cries, I go in after 2 mins and repeat the phrases, I don't pick her up. I go our again, and she'll whinge then not cry, I go in after 3 mins and repeat the process. whinging very sporadic moaning by this point. I then go in again after 4 mins and she's quiet. I don't go back in the as she falls asleep.
We've only done 5 nights and she has gone from constantly waking and unable to fall asleep without serious help to sleeping all night, I'm still in shock about it lol!

The first night took 45 mins to fall asleep, got shorter each time til now it's under 10 mins smile. The 45 mins wasn't all crying, I'd say totally she cried 25/30 but it wasn't heartbroken sobbing, I'd have caved at that! She was cross then tired crying, and it was far less than usual nights when in bed with me. The night before we started we hit rock bottom, she didn't actually call asleep til 5 and the poor baby was in bits, as we're we.

I was sure I wouldn't be able to do it but it's actually been a doddle and I am so glad we did, she even drops off by herself for naps now too which she wouldn't before.

Sleepyfergus was the lovely mumsnetter who answered my plea for help and told me what worked for her, she's a godsend!

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