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Eight month old with terrible sleep

(12 Posts)
Fomalhaut Sat 18-Jun-16 20:50:19

Just reading some of the wonderful advice on here and thought I'd ask my own question!

Our 8.5mo ds has always had trouble sleeping. From the start we've had a rough routine of bath, cuddles pjs and milk before bed. Up to about 6 months I was able to feed him until he was sleepy then put him in the cot awake and he'd drop off. He'd never sleep for long but he would sleep and I assumed we'd just gradually lengthen his sleep time (with bad and better patches for sleeping and whatnot.)

But the past almost three months he will not be put in the cot. He gets frantically upset if left alone - not 'grumpy' crying like he does if he's thrown a toy and I won't get it, real, genuine fear. I can leave/distract grumpy crying but when he gets so upset it takes us hours to calm him.

So now he's fed to sleepiness and often just turns away and drops off next to me on the bed. I then slip away and because I'm not there when he wakes (after half an hour...sigh...) he cries so I resettle.

I need to get him to do the first bit of the night in his cot again, for safety reasons (crawling/falling is going to be an issue soon) but no matter when I move him he wakes and screams and won't calm down. he doesn't sleep deeply - friends kids I've picked up and moved and they're in that totally zonked state - my baby doesn't seem to do that!!

So anyway, that was long.

1. Why is he waking after 20-30 mins? That's not a full cycle.
2. How can I get him in his cot?
3. Why is he so upset ?

FifiFerusha Sat 18-Jun-16 21:25:05

Dare I say, and this is true, but separation anxiety sounds like it is kicking in to be honest. My DS went through funny sleep regressions because of this between 6 and 9 months. Sometimes he literally woke up every hour of the night and self settling or even put down asleep went out of the window as he would just scream and get really upset. Would haul himself up to standing in his cot etc....Like the newborn stage it is another thing to catch us and for our little babys to remind us of all the hard work we need to do to make sure they are a little bundle of happiness. I hope it passes. Ours did, just keep persisting, putting him in the cot etc...and if it fails keep trying. Hopefully it will happen. How about putting him in his cot to play while you get on with things(chores, going to the loosmile). . .and then bobbing in and out, playing peekaboo, talking to him from another room etc. . . may help him realise you are there and always come back. I did this with my DS and it really helped. He starting settling in his cot again and seperation anxiety seemed to subside. Good luck x x

FifiFerusha Sat 18-Jun-16 21:36:24

Also, my DS never slept deeply in this stage. Anything would wake him. Like survival instinct kicking in to keep him that bit more aware. That passed too. Just throwing a bit more reassurance your way x

Fomalhaut Sat 18-Jun-16 23:42:34

He's definitely got separation anxiety- it kicked in about 6 months and he gets very upset if I leave the room. I do actually play with him in his cot so Hopefully that will help.
Did you find it improved after 9 mo? I'm under pressure from the baby clinic to just let him cry but I think that'd be the worst thing I could do just now - he really seems to need the comfort

JuxtapositionRecords Sun 19-Jun-16 06:30:31

At this age leaving them to cry would be the worst thing. He is already feeling frightened with the separation anxiety. Is he crawling yet? If not, that might help. Once he gets used to crawling and knows he can come and find you (not at night obviously!) it may calm him down a bit.

Fomalhaut Sun 19-Jun-16 11:34:50

Not crawling and I'm not sure he is going to any time soon! He's still stuck on his tummy thrashing around and hasn't figured out how to push his legs under him. He can stand up and pull himself to standing though - but his balance obviously isn't good enough at 8 mo to stand unsupported for more than a second or two.

Good to hear someone agree about not leaving him to cry. We have the sleep lady from baby clinic coming out this week and I'm pretty sure she's going to tell us to put him in his own room and cc. Neither of which I think will a.) work or b) not scare him.

I don't need him to sleep through - I just need him to go down in his cot from his bedtime until we go to bed and for naps - once we are in bed we are fine co sleeping. The best sleep he's had was when of put him in his cot at 7, he'd sleep until 11, then we'd come to bed, and if he resettled in the cot he'd be in there for an hour or two then come in with us. It'd be good to get back to that.

FifiFerusha Sun 19-Jun-16 21:03:30

I think sleep training is hardest during the seperation anxiety times. Before I meant it would be good to leave him to play in his cot with some toys sitting up and you to bob in and out, do something and talk to him from another room etc...he may only be able to do this for a few minutes at first but after a week he will do this longer and. so he may get used to thr idea that you are there even if he can't see you and this may affect the way he feels in his cot during sleep times. My DS didn't want to be left to play at first but gradually he got used to it and this paid off at bedtimes etc. .

Regardless of an easier nights sleep returning to co sleeping may mean it is going to be very hard to break out that cycle. That is up to you though. I know some who happily co sleep with their three year olds. I stopped when my DS was about three months(I too put him in our bed during the dreaded afternoon of the night awake phase).

I wouldn't move him into his own room quite yet. That would be too hardcore if he is used to being in the same bed/ room as you. Baby steps, it may take a while. Good luck, let us know hoe it is going? X

Fomalhaut Sun 19-Jun-16 21:06:39

I think he's having night terrors too ... Starts screaming but I'm not sure he's truly awake.
He's inconsolable- and doesn't stop until he's woken. Very odd ...

Well, we will see what this sleep consultant says.

FifiFerusha Sun 19-Jun-16 21:14:04

Teething? They are so tricky aren't they? Wish they could tell us what was wrong. If if it any reassurance my DS did get over the strange phase. I remember for about four nights in a row, when he was the same age as your DS he woke up screaming every 35 minutes to an hour. Exhausting. I just kept at it. Rocking shhing etc...and then he was over it. I hope this is the same for yours x

Fomalhaut Sun 19-Jun-16 21:37:34

He's teething (six coming through all at once! Arrrgh!) but the problems have been occurring since way before that.

Well, all I can do is snuggle him and reassure him I suppose ... He's always been a very clingy baby right from the off. He will get over it, like you say. I guess our job is to just be there for them while they need us.

Im getting a lot of well meaning but non useful advice about putting him in his own room and leaving him to it. I really don't think that's the best thing to do.., then I worry I'm just being a crap mum :/

Rinceoir Sun 19-Jun-16 22:01:59

My DD did this at that age, she had been an amazing sleeper before. At 6 months she went from sleeping through to waking every 45mins. The first thing you need to know is it passed and got better at about 9 months.

I think you just need to do whatever it takes to get sleep, if you don't want to do CC (I didn't either). Do the naps need to be in the cot? DD napped much better in her buggy/sling and it meant I wasn't tied to the house. I think the fact that she was strapped in made her feel more secure. I drove myself (and herself) nuts trying to get her to go to sleep in her cot, but even when she fell asleep on her own in her cot she would awake inconsolable 45mins later (which all the books assured me wouldn't happen).

My DD was rolling at 4 months and crawling at 6 so I didn't leave her alone in my bed. Sometimes I let her sleep in the pram and took her up with me at my bedtime. Other nights she would fall asleep on the sheepskin rug in the living room. Or I would just take her to bed and go early myself. I kept persevering with putting her in cot at that time and around 9-10months it got better. She's now 2 and nearly always sleeps through, has done for a long while now.

Fomalhaut Sun 19-Jun-16 22:45:42

I can't use a sling unfortunately - a shame as ds is a clingy beast!

He will nap eventually in the pram - it takes about 45 m to get him off and he wakes the second we stop. So we do some long walks , I try to get out every day, but I do need him in the cot for some naps - I need to rest and get stuff done!

Good to hear there was a change at nine months ... I will keep my fingers crossed!

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