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11 month old is actually going to kill me

(11 Posts)
chloe31 Mon 16-May-16 19:40:15

My lovely baby girl hates going to sleep. I know she is tired for nap/bedtimes as she is furiously rubbing her eyes and yawning but she is fighting sleep so much. She used to go to sleep 'independently' in her cot but now screams so much at sleep times/rattles the bars of her cot that I generally rub her back until she is asleep.

I won't go into her schedule because I'm 99% sure it's not a scheduling issue. But I am worn out trying to get her to sleep three times a day (2 naps and bedtime). If she sleeps on the go (in the sling, she is very alert and won't go off in the buggy) she gets awful short naps and gets exhausted. So we do naps at home and once she goes off she GENERALLY takes ok naps length-wise, but the whole getting her to sleep thing feels like an awful treadmill three times a day, every day. As nap times approach I feel extremely anxious. If I try and talk to my parents about it they just say "oh just keep her up, she's obviously not tired" and don't understand that this makes her overtired and makes getting her to sleep even worse. I don't feel I can talk to other mum friends because everyone has their cross to bear and I feel my situation is trivial, yet I feel so tested by it, more than anything else I've ever experienced. And my partner understands that I'm frustrated but I get the feeling he thinks I'm overreacting.

Not helping that her dad is currently on 10 of 10 working days so I haven't had a break for a while. I've lost my cool a few times and yesterday I shouted out in frustration and she got all scared and burst into tears. Of course I feel like a terrible mother. I feel like I am a patient person and have been being patient since she was born but I am absolutely out of patience right now. I have friends who have babies who apparently wave goodnight and go to sleep cooing and gurgling. Not my girl who rages against the dying of the light!!

How do you cope when you are being tested like this? I know there are many more similar challenges ahead (toddler years!!) and that I need to learn to accept that I can't be in control of another (small, strong-willed) person. And also any tips for winding down a crazy excited baby also gratefully received!

nephrofox Mon 16-May-16 19:44:13

I suspect you're a victim of your anxiety here. You say you're getting anxious as nap time approaches... She will definitely pick that up and it could be part of the problem . Can you "let go" a little? Maybe go for a drive so she falls asleep without being your sole focus?

CobsAhoy Mon 16-May-16 20:27:12

Hi Chloe,

I found this blog entry really helpful when I was going trough something similar with my DD....

it really helped reduce my anxiety about bedtimes and sure enough the little squeeler chilled out as a result too. also, I dunno about you, but I was actively trying to get DD to sleep- rocking, shushing, nursing etc (non of which worked consistently), where as what I've found now is I just lie down next to her, let her get any bursts of energy out of her system without trying to put her to sleep (including the ocassional whine/cry) and just wait for her to start calming down, I find the more I 'do' the more she fights it.

You have my sympathies though, it was hell, and when the pram suddenly stopped working as a nap-tool I started taking her for three naps a day in the sling, I thought I was going to die from exhaustion!

chloe31 Tue 17-May-16 10:55:40

Thanks both. I'm sure it's possible that I'm projecting anxiety onto her. But it's hard not to, if you feel stressed and anxious. She's asleep in the sling on me right now (she won't sleep in the buggy, she just looks at everything) but it's hard to let go of the idea of her sleeping in her cot in the day, so I can at least get a few things done (I am trying to study for a course and have things I need to do, as well as a bit of desperately required me-time when I don't have a baby on me).

I like the idea of just being around her until she falls asleep but if I'm near her she just stands up in the cot and shakes the bars and screams. Not sure how I can lie with her, do you mean in the cot?! If I lie or sit next to her she just sits or stands up.

chloe31 Tue 17-May-16 10:56:16

Ps thanks for ask moxie link - yes she just gets more and more worked up if left to cry xx

CobsAhoy Tue 17-May-16 13:48:37

Ahhhh Chloe I feel your pain, I was booked in to sit an exam in sept 2016 and thought I could study for it while on maternity leave, I really had my heart set on my DD going down in her cot for a couple of hours a day so I could revise but when she went through the 4 month regression I realised it was never gonna happen for me sad at around 5 months I stopped trying to put her in her cot for naps just had them with her in our bed, I considered getting a bed rail and making the bed safe so I could leave her napping, but actually ive just got in the habit of lying here with her and pudding around on my phone for an hour or so, it's not for everyone but it works for me coz I'm bloody knackered so don't mind having 2 x60-90mins relaxing in bed, I know it's not the most productive of ways to spend your time but she sleeps longer and I'm less stressed now I'm not beating myself up about cleaning/tidying/studying. I figure when she's on one nap a day I might do some gentle sleep training to get her napping in the cot, but for me I just can't be arsed with multiple battles everyday.

CobsAhoy Tue 17-May-16 13:49:54

Pissing* around on my phone (not pudding!)

chloe31 Tue 17-May-16 14:44:35

Thanks, my presence doesn't make her sleep im afraid. I did actually try lying down in the cot with her today! Didn't work. No idea how long this will go on but it's hell and I feel like I losing the plot.

bumblingbovine49 Tue 17-May-16 15:23:07

Op try not to worry too much

Ds was exactly like this. I learned the hard way to just sit with him and hold him when he was tired (not too much rocking/jiggling) and wait for him to fall asleep. He would usually (70-80% of the time) scream and cry from between 5-20mins before falling asleep. Lying next to him, breast feeding, sushing, patting - none of it worked to get him to sleep without crying and in fact some stuff (walking with him, rocking etc) made things worse as he would cry for longer.

He too would not fall asleep for longer than a cat nap if he was out and about and then would wake up and cry some more as he got so tired he was beside himself. I found it all really really really stressful until I just decided DS needed to cry to get to sleep. That realisation helped quite a bit. It didn't help when we were out as he would just get so worked up and cry for so long that it was really distressing but if we were at home I felt less upset by the crying and it seemed to last for less time (or maybe it just felt like less time because he wasn't distubing anyone, except the neighbours! )

Once we went on a 9 hour flight when DS was 6 months old. Twice in that 9 hours I had to feed him and then just hold him while he screamed his head off for about 15-20 minutes. (which I can tell you fells much longer in that situation!) . He did fall asleep after each crying session though and slept for about 3 hours each time. Breast feeding did not help at all, he would breast feed and then just turn his head away and start crying. Looking back, it was not a bad flight really with two good chunks of 3 hours of sleep from DS (it was a night flight) but those two periods of prolonged crying really did make me very stressed., especially as it looked like I wasn't doing anything to settle him. In fact I did what I knew would work the best (holding him quietly and not overstimulating him) and would result in the most amount of sleep and least amount of crying overall.

He still did this when he a toddler sometimes . One memorable trip to Italy , we rashly decided to get a flight which ran over his usual nap time. It was a bit delayed and by the time we sat down he was beside himself with tiredness and excitement/over stimulation. He absolutely screamed (ear splitting screams and crying) as I cuddled him in my arms on the plane as we waited to take off. So much so that the air hostess came over to see if he needed a doctor or something. I just told her he needed to cry for a while and would be fine after that. In fact he fell asleep after the screaming (about 10 minutes) and slept for the whole flight then until we landed.

What I wanted was a quiet baby who would fall asleep on the breast or just nod off when tired (as long as I was with him) regardless of environment which some of my friends seem to have. The reality was very different and DS was very sensitive to his environment. He would get over stimulated very easily and fight sleep with every fibre of his being. When I accepted DS for what he was, not what I wanted him to be, it was better but it was never easy. He still hates falling asleep now and he is 11 years oldsmile

He did grow out of it obviously but I have to tell you he has never been a very good sleeper and still wakes most mornings between 6am and 7am at 11 years old regardless of the time he goes to bed. He is a wonderful boy though!

bumblingbovine49 Tue 17-May-16 15:28:45

Also meant to add. I did lie on the bed with him to get him to take a nap sometimes but only because I was so tired I wanted to lie down/sleep myself, not because it worked any better in stopping the crying!!

Also some nap times he didn't go to sleep and I just had to grudgingly accept it

chloe31 Tue 17-May-16 15:55:16

Thank you, that made me feel a lot better! They sound like similar personalities :-) and I don't think she'll ever be a good sleeper, but she is lovely too!

She definitely needs to cry a bit before she passes out. She's just a bit too big to hold now and in my arms she just flails around miserably and screams. It's killing my back to lean over the cot and pat her. But she just keeps sitting up and standing up in the cot. Hard to know how long to persist with trying for cot naps when the process is making us both so miserable. She's asleep in the sling now like a newborn, a decent sleep but late so god knows what time she'll go to bed confused

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