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Need to get 7mo down sleepy but awake - but how??

(18 Posts)
Zaurak Fri 13-May-16 07:21:58

My 7mo has always been a bad sleeper. From 3mo we had a good bedtime routine of bath, pjs cuddle and milk, then into cot sleepy but awake. He'd mainly then go to sleep for a couple of hours.
We were hit hard by the four month sleep regression but managed to get back on track.
Then one morning (at exactly six months) separation anxiety kicked in.

He will now no longer go into the cot. He will only co sleep. Will only sleep if nursed next to me or in the pushchair. Wakes every 10-40 mins day and night.

I am in a very bad state through lack of sleep. I know I need to get him back into the cot sleepy but awake but how do I do it?

If I put him in the cot and walk out he has a meltdown. If I go back in every few minutes to calm him he gets even more upset. We tried cc but it was a nightmare- he was drawing blood by clawing at himself. He also never calms down once he's in that state. The nights we tried cc he cried all night none of the 'after a couple of hours they sleep' stuff we were told.

I'm desparate. Please tell me, step by step how to get him back to being in the cot and being put down awake.

MyBreadIsEggy Fri 13-May-16 07:26:15

Have you tried gradual retreat method??
So you do bedtime routine as normal, and then cuddles until he's sleepy. Put him down in his cot and keep a hand on his chest/hold his hand - whatever. Then stay until he falls asleep.
A couple of nights later, do the same thing, but just sit by the cot without touching him until he falls asleep. Then in the nights that follow, move gradually further away from the cot and eventually out of the room smile

fuzzywuzzy Fri 13-May-16 07:26:16

Does he sleep if you're in the room with him? Could you have the cot in your room for a while?

I co-slept till DC were happy to go into their own bed, at about eighteen months I needed my sleep

Zaurak Fri 13-May-16 07:38:43

Yes we've tried gradual retreat. He doesn't sleep when put in the cot so putting a hand on him just doesn't work. It goes : put down in cot, screams blue murder, will not stop unless picked up. To do gradual retreat he'd need to be calm in the cot and that just doesn't happen.
The cot is in our room. He won't sleep if I'm there/not there etc. If I'm not physically in contact with him he panics

I don't mind co sleeping but I need to get him into the cot for his own safety. He's close to crawling and it's not safe for him to be alone in the bed.

I am so tired I can't cope. I've not had more than an hour of sleep for months.

Miffyandme Fri 13-May-16 07:44:02

I have posted a very similar question in infant feeding....don't know how to link but I am in the same position with my 11 month old. I'm same as you, just so bloody tired.

Shirkingfromhome Fri 13-May-16 07:50:35

flowers sleep deprivation is brutal. I also have a non-sleeper which kicked in at 6 months. Do you have a spare mattress you can both sleep in on the floor of your dc's room so you can both get some sleep for now?

You could then gradually (could be a week or a couple of months away), put him in his cot while you sleep on the mattress, then move the mattress out while you sit in the room while he goes to sleep, etc., (A slow gradual retreat as suggested above).

jessplussomeonenew Fri 13-May-16 08:57:35

I think drowsy but awake is something parents of naturally good sleepers can do but which just doesn't work for other babies and sounds like it won't for yours. So don't assume you're doing something wrong. My advice would be to do what works and focus on finding ways to make the most of the sleep time you're getting. There was a definite change in my son's sleep about 11mo when drowsy but awake actually became possible.

Miffyandme Fri 13-May-16 09:05:46

Re cosleeping, Fuzzy how did you ensure they didn't crawl out of your bed?
Mine is a crawler and climber and I feel worried that if I have a bed guard on she may try and climb over it and get more hurt than if she fell out.
I think I may need to dig out an old futon mattress for the floor of the nursery. If that helps I may need to get a cheap single mattress. My back is done in anyway by cosleeping for part of the night - I don't really move as she needs to be close to my boobs!

Zaurak Fri 13-May-16 09:19:04

Baby is in our room anyway. Right by the bed. As I said, gradual retreat sounds great but just no idea how we'd do it - there's no scenario when he's in the cot being calm for us to retreat from !

I can't have him in our bed much longer as its not safe unless we are both in with him. That's ok for night but not naps or evenings.

How can I ease him into the cot? I've tried transferring awake (screaming meltdown) drowsy (eyes snap open, panic, meltdown) and asleep (wakes, panics, meltdown.) I've tried lying on the bed holding his hand.


Miffyandme Fri 13-May-16 09:50:58

Zaurak - I know it has been going on for ages, but could it be exacerbated by a Wonder Week development spurt? Worth looking up on google. Sympathy for you, it's awful being so tired. Have you got any help (or are you living abroad from other posts? I may have got you confused). From experience with my first, I know that it does all pass, eventually, difficult to remember when you're in the thick of it. brewflowerschocolate

Zaurak Fri 13-May-16 09:59:17

It's been going on for six weeks now so I'm not sure. I've got the wonder weeks book and it's great - he's certainly done a lot of new stuff recently (couple of teeth, babbling words, motor control etc) he's also very aware I can leave him and I think this is the root of the problem. When I leave the room he gets upset and calls after me - I think our problem is a combination of bad sleep association plus separation anxiety.

I just don't know practically how to fix it!

I am abroad yes- dh is fab but works long hours so I'm alone in the day. No baby groups, friends or family alas.

Coconut0il Fri 13-May-16 12:28:19

zaurak You need your sleep. Neither DS1 or DS2 have ever done sleepy but awake, have co slept with both. If you are happy to do this but are just worried about the crawling/ falling off the bed could you put your mattress on the floor for the short term? Or put a single mattress in your DS room and sleep there with him?
It's not ideal and not for everyone but I co slept with DS1 on a mattress on his floor for the first few weeks when he moved into his own room. It's not forever and my advice is do whatever gets you the most sleep. DS1 is 12 now and has never had any issues falling to sleep/ staying in bed since he was about 2.

Zaurak Fri 13-May-16 12:47:21

Id prefer to stay in my bed to be honest. I've still got some nasty pelvic and back issues after birth so sleeping on the floor would be a bit miserable! We only have a kingsize mattress so there's no space for it in what will be ds's room (and it'd leave poor dh without a bed!) or in our room off the bed.
right now his cot is next to our bed anyway. Not that he ever sleeps in it... confused
I'm fine with co sleeping but I need a way of getting ds into his cot for naps and evenings. Has anyone got any advice on how to do this?
I've tried warming the cot, placing stuff that smells of me in it, transferring awake, asleep and drowsy... How can I get him in his cot without him going into meltdown?

FATEdestiny Fri 13-May-16 13:07:32

You can remove one side off your cot (easily done with and allen key) and wedge it up to the side of your bed, with matching mattress heights. It effectively creates an extension to your bed.

You can lie down on your bed and snuggle right into he cot, even nurse in there. Then work on extracting yourself afterwards leaving baby in the cot.

Work towards just cuddling next to him to go to sleep. Then just a hand on chest with you lying eye-to-eye. Once baby will tolerate this then you can put the side back on the cot, but continue lying next to the cot with hand on chest as he goes to sleep. Then gradually do less to get him to sleep.

I have to say you have started this late at 7 months old. Ideally this process would have started from around 3 or 4 months old so that by the time baby is pulling up to standing and crawling, baby is better at being put down independently to sleep (with a dummy)

Oh yes. I'd also recommend a dummy for assisting in independent self-settling.

Teaching self-settling is infinitely more difficult once you have a mobile baby who starts to be able to refuse to lie down and stay still.

Coconut0il Fri 13-May-16 13:42:07

In that case I would follow the advice from FATE. This is pretty much what I did with DS1, let him fall asleep next to me. Sometimes I fed him to sleep, sometimes singing and shushing would work. As he got older it was story and cuddle. When he was asleep I would move (if I hadn't fallen asleep myselfblush) We had the side off his cot, sometimes he would sleep in there sometimes in ours.
Agree that it probably is easier earlier but they still get there in the end. DS1 got there in his own time. It worked for us. He's 12 now and has to almost be pulled from his bed he loves it that much! I'm probably too soft but doing the same with DS2, 8 months. I just do whatever gets us all the most sleep with the least upset!

Zaurak Fri 13-May-16 14:46:10

Hi fate. We were doing this at 12 weeks and it was going ok. He was fed, cuddled and in the cot sleepy but awake. He'd fall asleep after a few minutes chuntering away to himself and go 4-5 hours. I'd feed him when we went to bed and he'd be up maybe 1-2 times more. All fine.

But at six months on the dot he's stopped being able to and things have gotten progressively worse sad it's like having a newborn again.

I looked at moving the cot to the bed but it's a divan bed on a wood floor and I can't find a way of safely attaching the two. Plus, I need him contained if you see what I mean - a three walled cot is not escape proof 😬
I'll see if we can rig something up... Might take quite a bit of tweaking but worth a try...

(For baby number two I will be getting a co sleeper cot for sure!)

I am letting him fall asleep next to me then sneaking off but that's not going to be safe for much longer as he learns to crawl.

He won't take a dummy. I've been trying since day one . Just chews and spits.

How can I get him in the cot?

FATEdestiny Fri 13-May-16 18:51:21

How is the lack of him being penned in different to cosleeping in your bed? At least in a 3-sided cot you are gently aiming towards independent cot sleeping.

We have a divan and whatnot. I just wedge the cot in with furniture. My dressing table (unused when there's a cot in our room) wedged against the wall, wedged next to the cot, wedged next to our bed, wedged at the other side by a chest of draws to the other wall.

Definitely not the most user friendly furniture position but you know, priorities change when babies are tiny.

peardroplets Fri 13-May-16 19:36:59

Just to give you hope my nine month old has just this last week started falling asleep in her cot for the first time in her life. We got here by doing a very staged weaning off bf to fall asleep. So we got the room very dark, played very calming music and bf her lying down on the bed until she had had enough. Then just lay with her between us so she felt very snug and secure and played/burbled there with a little bit of protest crying but nothing we couldn't calm with a hug and some gentle sshhhing. Eventually she fell asleep between us after maybe 45 mins the first few nights . We did this for a week until we even attempted the cot. The cot was pushed up to the side of the bed with the side down so it didn't feel too much of a leap for her and we could cuddle in it. Sure enough it worked! There was bit of crying but more the shouty type which can be calmed or distracted not tears. If I'd have put her in cold there would have been screaming but because we went through the first stage out of the cot i think she accepted it more. And thank heavens falling asleep in the cot has reduced drastically the night wakings which were every hour. Good luck hope that helps xx

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