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Ten month old cot dodger and general non sleeper.

(41 Posts)
TheHubblesWindscreenWipers Fri 26-Aug-16 18:00:33

My ten month old son is a bit of a nightmare, sleep wise. He fights sleep every time, tries to stay awake as long as he can, screams blue murder if he's taken for a nap etc. He's also very alert. Last night we'd allllmost got him back down at one am and dh put the monitor gently down. It made the tiniest, softest click and ping! Eyes open, back to square one.

Any ideas why he might hate sleep so much? any tips on making him more relaxed and less vigilant? We do a routine of bath, milk, pjs, walk round and say night night to various inanimate objects then cuddles in a darkened room. We've tried white noise. He doesn't have a comfort you, despite great efforts to introduce one.

He's a dreadful sleeper and we've kind of resigned ourselves to that. But I hate the idea that he's afraid of sleep. He often wakes screaming both truly awake and not really awake - can they get night terrors?

Any ideas?

Blueskies32 Sun 28-Aug-16 20:05:31

No bright ideas I'm afraid was going to say white noise but you've tried that. We are the same with our 9 month old boy he is so active, hates sleep, slightest noise and bam awake! Been waking at 4.30am recently I bring him in bed with me and he tries to play and grab curtains etc whilst also collapsing with tiredness- drives me crazy!

Blueskies32 Sun 28-Aug-16 20:10:24

oh to add I find singing helps just a little rhyme over and over as I get so frustrated it helps me keep calm (he def picks up on it when I/we get fed up!)

TheHubblesWindscreenWipers Mon 29-Aug-16 08:42:22

Yeah we've tried intensive nursery rhyme mumbling. And white noise. We do bring him in with us from when he wakes (before 4 most days) or often from when he stops sleeping in the cot (1-3 am normally.)

We are exhausted, we are basically sleeping in shifts to cope because he never sleeps!

Blueskies32 Tue 30-Aug-16 09:29:08

Ditto! What kinds of times roughly is she napping and feeding? Are you bf?

Ours is
Wake up 4-6am
Milk feed 6/6.30
Breakfast eg porridge 7/7.30
First nap (pram) 9/930 no more than 40mins
Lunch 11.30/12
Nap 1/1.30 max 1hr30
Another nap at 3.30/4 if nap2 rubbish, max 30mins
Dinner 5
Bath feed bed 7/7.30 drowsy after feed
Feed at 2/3am half the time
Wake at 4.30 chirpy agh!

Thinking of trying PUPD instead of feeding to sleep.... No idea how to stay in bed in the morning longer!

Blueskies32 Tue 30-Aug-16 09:31:59

Oh and daytime naps are in pram
Was always a 20- 30min napper but in last month has got much better
Has never ever not even when newborn slept longer than 1hr30! Oh how lovely that would be!

TheHubblesWindscreenWipers Tue 30-Aug-16 12:58:45

Rough day is this:

2:30 am wants to be up. We feed or rock or whatever to try to get him back down. We try not to get up before 4:30 as it's just hideously early. On a good day he's up at 5
5 - up, milk, play (lie exhausted in playpen while child climbs on me.)
6 - breakfast
6:30 - more play or I drag him round in his highchair so I can do housework or have a shower,
7:30 attempt nap. Generally refused plus epic tantrum.
By 8:30 I've isually got him down for a nap.
8:30-9:30 - naps, wakes constantly and needs resettling
9:30 - milk, play, snack, walk etc
Lunch at 12 ish
12:30 attempt nap
12:30-2pm epic, epic tantrum resisting nap.
2:30 - child is knackered from tantrum and usually has a nap.
2:30-3:30 - nap. Wakes constantly and needs resettling
3:30 up, milk snack, play, go for a walk etc
5:30-6 ish dinner
6:30 bath
7 bed.
7:30-8 goes to sleep.

Wakes every 10-60 mins until 2:30 am

Repeat until parent loses will to live.

I try to be as physically active as possible. He used to nap in the pram but got wise to it after the sleep consultant told me yo yo out at set times every day so he could nap in the pram. He started throwing g epic wobblies and that waster end of pram naps (thanks sleep consultant! That worked...)

Pupd just drove mine into a rage.

For the early mornings: get a big big playpen (I can lie in ours at full stretch.) place clean, milked child in playpen. Get in platen with pillows and duvet. Put cartoons on. Enter state of semi sleep.

TheHubblesWindscreenWipers Tue 30-Aug-16 12:59:37

Yo yo out? Togo out...

elQuintoConyo Tue 30-Aug-16 13:06:00

Co-sleep? That's the only thing that saved our sanity. And occasionally a sling- an MN non-favoured Baby Bjorn (it was given to us).

Child was a sleep refuser but on the bed next to me/me+DH, he'd nod right off and wake just once for milk before passing out again.

It will pass I promise flowers

TheHubblesWindscreenWipers Tue 30-Aug-16 13:11:46

We do. It doesn't work so well any more. He can climb so only safe if one of us are with him.

He's 8kg so I can't carry him in a sling - my back can't take it. I can only carry him in my arms for a minute or two ..

Blueskies32 Tue 30-Aug-16 14:36:22

Co sleeping used to work but he's just so awake at 4.30am it's not working anymore just clambers and crawls at high speeds to launch off the bed every minute.
OP I'm sorry but I was laughing at your description of your dd clambering over you while your hiding under duvet in playpen but I also think it sounds like an excellent idea so I'm defo going to try that thanks!!

Re pram ours hated his pram even as baby would not do flat bassinet at all. We recently swapped it for a baby jogger which has an easy recline thing and a big hood. I start his walks upright he whinges at first then enjoys looking round then as we go on I slyly recline him further back on the go- it's gone from taking half hour for him to fall asleep in it to almost instantly (last few days at least!) not suggesting you change prams but one min they can hate something but next time it's ok

FATEdestiny Tue 30-Aug-16 14:39:32

I assume you have tried a dummy?

I'd also note that I think you are on a chronic over-tiredness cycle. A baby not getting enough sleep is harder to get to sleep, sleeps more lightly, wakes easily, has worse quality sleep and sleeps progressively less. It becomes a downward spiral. Conversely a baby who sleeps well is easier to get to sleep, sleeps more deeply, wakes less easily.

Poor sleeps leads to worse sleep. Good sleep leads to better sleep. So the cycle needs breaking.

I think your son needs a lot less awake time between naps, so that his overall amount of sleep increases. I would go for no more than 2 hours awake between one nap and the next. It might want limiting further to 90 mins awake given the chronic state of exhaustion your son must be in. If it takes you ages to get him to sleep, that may mean even shorter time up and awake before working on the next nap.

I would try to focus on getting baby to go from awake to sleep in his cot. Of course he'll protest at this. But if you stay, maybe set up the cot next to your bed so you can lie down and keep soothing, calming - then he always knows you are there.

Keep repeatedly lying him down if he sits up. Maybe try a tightly tucked in sheet to 'pin him down' in the cot. Firm hand on his chest. You lying (on your bed) right next to him. Shushing, re-inserting dummy, calming, patiently waiting until he's asleep.

That you are there, on your bed next to the cot when he wakes can also help with reassurance and quicker settling.

TheHubblesWindscreenWipers Tue 30-Aug-16 15:59:30

Hah... Yeah I try the sneaky recline too... It's a good trick.

Oh we've tried dummies. Every flipping type we can find. He's never been able to keep one in. I don't know why, he just chews them, looks horrified and spits them out (^this is not boob, mother, what are you trying to pull here?^ )

I agree totally that he's over tired - I've tried reducing between nap times but he just goes into these epic, epic tantrummy meltdowns - screaming, biting, throwing himself around. Really alarming :/ maybe I can try a lazy couple of days this week where we sleep as much as we can? He's just so physically strong and active. It's like trying to force a bag of eels on speed into a cot. No hope of pinning him under a sheet - mum swore by that and tried it when she visited. Babyhubble got out of it on about three seconds. He will not be confined

I've tried putting him the cot next to me and doing the 'oooh mummy so tired, mummy is lying down now ...' But he's not fooled. He just screams and screams until he gets picked up. And that can be hours. He has stamina. I even took the side off the cot at one point. That failed too.

We've had sleep consultants and Actual Medical Sleep Psychology folks involved. None of them have helped so I guess we just grin and bear it. He'll grow out of it I suppose sad

I just wondered if there was any way to make him less scared of sleep? We've tried night lights, white noise, soothing mummy smelling t shirt over the sheet. He just seems afraid of sleep.

We are seeing the paediatric consultant tomorrow so maybe she will have ideas ... (Valium for me maybe?)

FATEdestiny Tue 30-Aug-16 16:43:12

* I've tried putting him the cot next to me and doing the 'oooh mummy so tired, mummy is lying down now ...'*

It's no about fooling him. I am not suggesting you try to. It is just about being there for reassurance.

Pretending to go to sleep must be infuriating for him, I can understand him being furious with you. He doesn't want ignoring. He needs your eyes open, attentive on him, calm, ever present reassuring presence.

Oh. And he will be a lot bigger and stronger at 18 months old. You physically can pin a 10 month old down, if needed. Maybe it takes a sheet and two hands, but you could. You may not want to, that's s different thing.

Honestly, I know it's crap but what you are going through is not insurmountable.

FATEdestiny Tue 30-Aug-16 16:52:18

" I just wondered if there was any way to make him less scared of sleep?"

He's not scared to sleep. He's just not yet been taught how to go to sleep on his own, so he physically can't.

If you gave me some knitting needles and some wool and asked me to make a jumper I'd probably flail around around getting into tangles, until I got cross with myself (and with the person asking me to do something I can't do). If I'm then passed the same tangle of wool and constantly asked to repeat the task over and over again every day, without ever being adequately taught. In the end I'd be infuriated, maybe angry, with it all and would start refusing to try. That doesn't make me scared of knitting.

Blueskies32 Tue 30-Aug-16 17:38:42

Thanks for some of your helpful suggestions fatedestiny we have a dummy refuser here too and apart from the 4.30 wake up I'm not too worried about amount of sleep my ds is getting but agree op ds is chronically tired. Prior to a month ago mine was too. would not let him stay awake past 90mins but when u then spend 2-3 hrs doing everything to them get a half hour nap it is soul destroying. Luckily our day naps are going well (better) now but more luck than anything.

Ps sorry op realize I been calling your dc a dd not a ds. Do you feed to sleep during the day? Boobie monster here- I think he started sleeping better when I comforted him rather than feeding on demand and try now to stick to just 3-4 a day (not pre sleep) and 1 overnight

Have u had a bad sleeper fatedestiny? I found your last post a bit harsh tbh hard for sleep deprived parent to hear and I think you made a lot of assumptions

Good luck with the docs OP I hope they can help

TheHubblesWindscreenWipers Tue 30-Aug-16 17:46:37

Hmmm... Good point.

I don't want you to think we both haven't tried just lying with him and soothing him. We have, we've spent many many night and early mornings trying to pat him and soothe him and reassure him. He's so active and so strong that this is now really difficult. He stands, and it takes quite a bit of force to sit him down or lie him down. Of course we can pin him down but it takes a lot of force, and frankly more than I'm happy using on him. It turns into a wrestling match which isn't relaxing and conducive to sleep.
He was fine being put down to sleep up to about 6-7 months. I guess object permanence kicks in then? After that he's been afraid of being left which is normal...

I've tried putting him in his cot and just gently soothing him but he gets very upset. There's no 'crying for a bit and then lying down and dropping off.' When we did it he got in a terrible state and just wouldn't calm down. It took us hours to calm him.

We had a home visit from the hospital sleep people where they observed naptime and a bedtime - I think they didn't believe us when we told them he wouldn't calm with soothing and just sitting with him.

I know it's not insurmountable and it's not going to last forever. I am however very, very sleep deprived, extremely depressed and finding it extremely hard.

TheHubblesWindscreenWipers Tue 30-Aug-16 17:53:56

I do sometimes feed to sleep in the day. I know you shouldn't but when you're so sleep deprived and the alternative is him not napping at all...

We are trying to resettle without feeds at night and having some success there. Hopefully that will help him sleep better generally. His inability to go more than a few hours without food is one of the reasons we've been referred sad

He will not sleep with just soothing. He seems to find it infuriating. He will sometimes drop off in the pushchair but only if he's utterly knackered and after fighting it for a long time. He can go all day without a nap getting more and more overtired. Today we had to be out in the morning so he only had twenty mins then he was a mess the rest of the day. He had no afternoon nap and he's been really tired and grouchy.
I tried feeding him, rocking him, taking him out for an hour in the pushchair... Nothing worked.

FATEdestiny Tue 30-Aug-16 18:11:57

Have u had a bad sleeper fatedestiny?

Much depends on how you define bad. DC1 was not dissimilar to OPs at 10 months old, was 14 months when sleeping 11-6 (and with my use of CIO I am ashamed to say) and 2.6 before we got 7-7. Maybe she was a bad sleeper? Hindsight is a wonderful thing. 3 children later I know of of have done x, y and z she would never have had to go thro that lack of sleep. But I didn't realise at the time.

DC2 (14 month age gap to DC1) also EBF, slept 7-7 by 6 months and I figured I had the worlds best sleeper. I was very strict and very deliberate and determined with his sleep.

DC3 I chilled out with a lot more and he was FF. He was sleeping two 6 hour blocks at night from 3 weeks and sleeping 7-7 by 6 weeks. I figured I "knew what I was doing now" (ha!). With hindsight the "good" sleeper DC2 was seemed less so.

DC4 is nearly 2. She wasn't consistently sleeping 7-7 until 12 months. However, I would describe her as the best sleeper of all my children. She was learning how to go to sleep in a gentle, caring way from the moment she was born. My gradual withdrawal parenting ethos started at newborn and meant she never cried, learnt to sleep gentle, naturally and progressively.

It took her a year to get to the stage of kiss, stand her in the cot, say Nan night and leave. Two of my children got their sooner. But not in a way so kind, natural and gentle.

So my DC4 was waking in the night still at 10 months, like the OP. But I view her as an excellent sleeper. By this age she had made significant progress.

I didn't meant to come across as harsh. I am quite matter-of-fact by my nature, but didn't mean anything nasty or harsh.

FATEdestiny Tue 30-Aug-16 18:20:03

Hubbles. In the end when he does go to sleep, what gets him there?

Is it just pure exhaustion?

In your situation there is nothing wrong with feeding to sleep. Your baby needs to sleep. So do you. Don't dismiss any method that works.

Fear of 'the rod for your own back' is often the very thing that creates The Rod.

TheHubblesWindscreenWipers Tue 30-Aug-16 18:30:54

What gets him there? Good question.

Feeding, which sends him into a state of relaxation I've not been able to get close to with anything else (I wish he'd take a dummy) or yes, just crashing. Only feeding stops him moving ( he is seriously hyperactive) and puts him in that chilled state.

He pings awake about twenty minutes after though :/

I know you're not meaning to be harsh. I was probably a bit flippant. It's that or a full breakdown if I'm honest. Things are pretty bad.

FATEdestiny Tue 30-Aug-16 18:52:12

I can tell you're just thoroughly exhausted Hubble.

So, if feeding doesn't get him to the point of staying asleep - what happens? Does he just scream and scream until he eventually gives up and passes out? In your arms? What happens?

Or on the times he does stay asleep is it always feeding? (Which incidentally isn't a problem, I am just trying to understand)

TheHubblesWindscreenWipers Tue 30-Aug-16 19:07:35

Well he never stays asleep. And he's only ever fallen asleep in my arms once.

On a normal night we cuddle up, milk, he relaxes and drifts off. I'd like to put him down sleepy but awake like I used to but right now that doesn't work, so he gets transferred to the cot asleep. He usually wakes a bit, then just grumbles and drops off.
The problem is staying asleep. I don't think it's 'unable to get into the next sleep cycle' as I've seen him do this. He wakes on a bad night after about twenty mins, very upset, from sleep to screaming with no in between. I can restyle him by putting him on my shoulder and rocking about half the time. He never calms himself down if left. We don't run to him every time he grumbles - there's grumbly sort of awakening and real defcon 1 screaming. The latter gets attended ASAP of course.
If feeding doesn't work ( like today) he just doesn't sleep. Even as a newborn he could go several hours awake. I didn't even think that was possible. He will eventually crash out if put in the pram ( never in the cot) but then will wake after ten mins and not go back down.

To me, I think there is something physical going on. We've read so much about sleep, cycles, object permanence etc... We understand the theory but the reality is that something is waking him up. It's not sound - we have a video monitor and there's no sound coming through on that. Something painful is waking him, in my opinion.

I think our baby clinic thinks I'm nuts but I am genuinely convinced there is a physical reason at the heart of this, and then of course all the behavioural stuff on top as we try to cope.

We've really pushed to see the specialist and it's been a long wait. Hopefully she will have some answers for us :/

FATEdestiny Tue 30-Aug-16 19:17:02

What happens if you feed lying down?

TheHubblesWindscreenWipers Tue 30-Aug-16 19:21:38

Oh we do.... We cuddle up and feed lying down. He won't stay latched if he's upright or in my arms ( too much to nosey at!)

I think he might have reflux. Or maybe something stomach related... We've tried raising the head of the bed etc, but saw no difference.

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