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How can I get him to sleep in the cot?

(12 Posts)
Fomalhaut Sat 13-Aug-16 14:55:50

Ds is ten months. Terrible sleeper, wakes every ten minutes some nights. We co sleep as this is the only way we have found that gets us any sleep at all.
For naps and before we go up to bed we build a wall of stuff round him. That's no longer safe - today I just managed to catch him climbing over it.

So he has to go in the cot. How?? If I put him in the cot, he looks confused, then starts with the "mama! Mum!" Then progresses to desolate wailing through to hysteria

We have tried:

pupd (utterly useless)
Shush pat ( also utterly useless)
Transferring asleep (very hard, he never seems to be in a deep sleep and always wakes)
Transferring sleepy (wakes, screams)
The above but with hand holding, patting, hand on tummy etc.
Controlled crying (a hellish week of constant screaming. He didn't calm down when we went back in and was throwing himself at the bars and scratching himself until he bled.)

None have worked. On the rare occasion he gets transferred and goes to sleep, he's awake the first time he moves and hits the side of the cot (he does acrobatics in his sleep.) that's usually about twenty minutes after he fell asleep and he will never, ever go back in the cot.

Please, please, please, tell me how you got your kids in their cots before I die of sleep deprivation. I am severely depressed and pretty much broken. I will try anything short of cry it out.

Lules Sat 13-Aug-16 15:10:24

Given that I'm struggling with this at the moment I'm not the best person to give advice. But we have tried him sleeping on the floor on a mattress or mat as I think it's him banging into the bars which is waking him up. It's working quite well. Maybe worth a try? Obviously you have to completely baby proof their room in case they wake up and on a rampage!

Newmanwannabe Sat 13-Aug-16 15:10:27

Poor you and poor baby, He sounds like he really dislikes his cot. A few thoughts... None guaranteed to work...

Is the cot in your room?- if not put it in there so he can still see and hear you
Day sleeps in the cot first- when mastered move to night sleeps?
Put the cot mattress on the floor and let him play on it a bit to get used to it, or maybe sit him in the cot awake and read stories next to him in it? Make it a place that's not so scary? But saying that you want him to associate the cot with sleep and not play, so don't over do that one;

maybe even start with the cot in the kitchen or living room, just so he sees it often and as a regular piece of furniture, refer to it as his cot, don't attempt to put him in it at all, maybe after a few days put some of his favourite things in it, let him touch it, but not put him in it. Then a few days later see if he wants to sit in it, just for a little bit, and increase the time sitting in it. When he's more familiar then start moving it to the bedroom and gradually work up to sitting in it in your room

Wear a tshirt all day then put that in the cot whilst he sleeps so he can smell you still

Another quite extreme one. He obviously has a lot of bad feelings linked to that cot, sell it and buy a new completely different one? Maybe even for a while put him in a travel cot which tends to be softer sides and closer to the ground?


SueGeneris Sat 13-Aug-16 15:20:59

My ds2 never slept in a cot. When he got too mobile to sleep up on our bed with the bed guard on (he could still crawl off the bottom and it's a high divan, wooden floor) we got a single trundle bed ie v low to the floor. It meant I could lie with him to settle him and get in with him in the night. I just made sure there were no gaps he could get stuck in etc and it's been brilliant. He's 19 months now and I'm only moving him out of the trundle bed into a single divan in a room with his 8 yo brother because he can competently and reliably get down off a bed.

So from my admittedly biased position, I wouldn't bother with the cot, google trundle bed on ebay (altho we actually bought a v expensive low bed from the futon company) and see if that might save a few tears and traumas all round. I think Montessori style approaches use floor beds.

Fomalhaut Sat 13-Aug-16 15:22:21

I need him in the cot because it's the only safe place - he climbs like a demon and I'm not sure there's anywhere I could baby proof well enough.... But it may come to that sad I'd prefer not to sleep on the floor as I'm still in a ton of pain after having really bad spd. I can barely move in the morning even sleeping on an orthopaedic bed... He's also at the pulling up and cruising stage so he could fall and hit his head even if the room was baby proofed. We have wood floors so it's not safe unless I'm watching him.

Cot is in our room.
Day sleeps? (Hollow laugh) not a chance. He will grudgingly nap for half an hour IF I am next to him or IF he's pushed for an hour or two in the pushchair - any moving if in bed or stopping if in pushchair leads to waking and screaming
Have tried the t shirt trick.
Have tried toys, bumpers, increasing times playing in it etc. He will go in and is ok until I leave the room, then meltdown.
We tried a travel cot - I couldn't lift him in or out and it made no difference. We've tried different cots at parents house. He wouldn't go in that either.

We are going to have to put him in tonight because he cannot be left alone in our bed.

Newmanwannabe Sat 13-Aug-16 15:29:11

Oh dear that sounds like hard work. I suppose developmentally around 8 months separation anxiety peaks, maybe he's still going through that and once that stage is over he'll improve?

Newmanwannabe Sat 13-Aug-16 15:32:13

Sorry, that's stranger anxiety, separation anxiety is a little later, around 14months, but maybe he's going through it early?

SueGeneris Sat 13-Aug-16 15:35:01

This would have been just as good as the bed we have.

SueGeneris Sat 13-Aug-16 15:38:30

Sorry x post with your explanation.

I suppose it's a bit risky but basically when we first did the floor bed and indeed when he was napping on our bed I went straight up as soon as I heard him wake so he was never free roaming. But there was always the possibility that I might not have heard him if I'd nipped to the loo the exact moment he woke, for example.

Neverenoughspoons Sat 13-Aug-16 15:40:16

I had a similar situation with my son, he would only sleep in his pram and he had to be taken for a half hour walk before he'd fall asleep, or fall asleep feeding and sleep on my chest. What worked for me -
I bought a Sleepyhead Grand (very expensive but stopped him bashing into the bars).
Put the cot in my room and let him play in it for a few days, making sure to take him out straight away if he got upset at all.
Then put him in his cot at bedtime and sat with him until he went to sleep, he did cry but didn't get so upset that I couldn't bare it. I stayed with him until he was deeply asleep, I think it took 40 mins first time. (I found if I talked to him to try to reassure him, he got more angry. )
Once he was falling asleep without getting upset, after a few days, I did gradual retreat, until eventually he was going to sleep on his own.
I couldn't believe how easy it was to be honest, and as he often used to cry in his pram while being walked to sleep, because he was sleep deprived I think, I felt it was well worth doing it even though he did cry a bit in his cot. I felt better that I was with him, I also couldn't have left him alone to cry himself to sleep, I'm too soft.
After a few weeks I moved his cot to his own room and he was fine with that. He also sleeps OK in his sleepyhead if we go away.

Fomalhaut Sat 13-Aug-16 15:51:30

I'll have a think about the low bed...

The gradual retreat method... I've tried that. The doctor said to just sit with him and reassure him and 'he'll cry for an hour then fall asleep.'
He was drawing blood scratching himself, bouncing off the bars, screaming. It was awful. When I finally picked him up it took me almost three hours to stop him crying and sobbing. That took us to about 5 am and he was up for the day then ( he's usually up between 2 and 5.)

He's had separation anxiety since six months. One day he saw me go out of the room and he just panicked. He's never really got over it (ten months now.)

I don't know how to cope with it and I feel such a failure. We've even had the specialist sleep clinic at the hospital involved. They had no suggestions for us either. Our doc suggested the gradual retreat thing then cc - we tried both and it was a disaster.

I can manage on very little sleep but I feel like I'm losing my mind

fluffikins Sun 21-Aug-16 19:59:23

He sounds like my dd. We do manage to transfer asleep, with the use of white noise to keep things constant and I always always put her down on her side. Have you tried putting him down on his side/ front?

I sympathise because my dd seems to go from OK to utter distraught screaming in a split second, there's no patting/soothing that will work on her, I'd never do cc but even if I did is know it wouldn't work. I'm trying a floor bed soon as my back can't take lifting her in awake. Also if he's a good climber he may well be able to get out of the cot soon anyway.

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