My 14 mo's sleep is now so bad I can't take it anymore!(17 Posts)
Ds has always been a horrible sleeper. We did cosleeping, sleep consultant, feeding to sleep, PUPD, anything I can think of really... Results never lasted long. It's like everything goes well and then he will suddenly resist the method/set up and his sleep is in shambles again.
Last few weeks (months?) have been awful. I used to let him fall asleep in my arms, transfer him in his cot and bring in our bed whenever he woke up at night crying (hours hugely varied). It worked rather well until he started teething. Cue him waking up at all hours, very unsettled, crying, moaning and howling, physically attacking us - especially me (he can be quite dangerous, headbutting and kicking with considerable strength when distressed). The teething has passed (teeth still haven't come through though!) but his behaviour remained the same. For a month he would thrash around in the early hours of the morning, howling and hurting us, looking like he wanted to go back to sleep but couldn't find a suitable position.
Last week he strongly refused to breastfeed so he's now officially weaned. We couldn't take the thrashing and very disrupted sleep anymore so 3 days ago we decided that for our sanity he is moving back into his cot (which is in his room). Our nights are now HORRENDOUS. He will wake up multiple times at night, sometimes he goes back to sleep once we put a hand on his head for a while, other times he will HOWL for over an hour and nothing we try works, nothing. Then in the early hours of the morning his sleeps gets very light, he will wake up thousands of times and require to be touched/patted/shushed only to fall asleep and wake up minutes later!
We simply cannot take this anymore. GP saw him last week, ds is perfectly healthy apparently. I don't know what is wrong with him, please tell me something is so I can try and fix it!!! I refuse to believe the GPs who basically say 'some children are like that'. Last month has been so hard on us, I just cannot let it continue... Please help, I will welcome any suggestion!
Firstly, you are doing an amazing job, you won't feel like it now because you're so tired bless you. Secondly, it won't last forever. I'm not sure how much advice I can give and I'm hoping by replying this might bump this for you. I hate to suggest it, but as this is a time of crisis, maybe a pacifier could help, he may not accept it and you may not want to go down that road but it's just a thought that leads to the fact he's after some comfort. Could you try a special night time toy or a night light? It's hard to make suggestions as it sounds like you've done a heck of a lot of work and I'm not going to patronise you with the "bedtime" routine speech as I'm sure you could write a book about it! I really feel for you and hope to hear you get some 🛌 soon, all the best.
Thank you for replying Phoenix, he already has a dummy and won't fall asleep without it. I tried to introduce a snuggly toy/muslin as a comfort thing on the advice of the sleep consultant but gave up after 2 months as ds wasn't even remotely bothered. I may try a night light, that's something I haven't tried yet, although until now he didn't mind the darkness. I gave him a dose of paracetamol tonight. If he sleeps better then I guess I can blame his problems on pain of some kind?
I feel your pain- I had this with ds2, and I tried everything. In the end I went against the sleep advice I was being given I.e 7-7:30pm bedtime and up at 7am and changed my expectations.
In the end I cut out his day time nap, and he went down around 9-10pm and woke up around 5am each morning.
Apparently dp was exactly the same, and even now the pair of them have the same sleep pattern.
What times are you working to at the moment? (((Hug)))
Oh dear. It's awful isn't it
I had similar sleep nightmares with ds1. A doc would have declared him fine, but he actually had an undiagnosed posterior tongue tie and a bubble palate which affected his breathing and sleeping. HCPs are woefully under informed about the issues it can cause. It wasn't until he was 7 that we got the help he needed and he started sleeping well. And believe me, we had tried absolutely everything!
Has he got anything else going on which on the surface may seem unrelated to sleep?
We did controlled crying with DD around the same age. I know a lot of people really don't agree with it, but I was truly exhausted, my MH was awful, and I was unsafe on the roads and useless at work.
You have to be really consistent with it, though, otherwise it doesn't last.
I work 2 days a week now. I can't let ds stay up until 10pm as firstly, he is dead tored by 7 and this with a 2-hour day nap, and secondly, this is when we go to bed and my mental health won't take well the absence of 'me' time (caring for a hysterically crying baby DAY AND NIGHT, round the clock - that's how my PND started and believe me, it was VERY BAD). I even tried a bit of cc in the past in desperation but with abdolutely no effect on ds. Looks like he would rather pass out of exhaustion than stop howling (I assume, he never actually passed out!). I have no idea what to do...
Oh boy. You've got one too. Everything youve written sounds horribly familiar. Ds is 13 months and is the same (although won't day nap either, he's just done 15 mins and woken ffs.)
I totally get what you're saying about me time being essential- that's how my pnd started too.
Definitely try the paracetamol and if that works then you do need to go back to the docs and insist they look closer - if it works then something is causing pain. Did you say no teeth at all at 14 months? That's not 'time to worry' late but it is late - has he been checked by the dentist?
With ds we tried cc too - total failure. Do you think he's needing you there to sleep? I know mine will doze next to me but he rarely enters that totally zonked out deep sleep phase I see other babies in - anything even the tiniest noise wakes him. People keep telling us it's just a phase but he's been like this since birth.
Sorry, I have no real advice but I do have masses of sympathy for you. It is utterly shit and I feel like I'm teetering on the brink.
The only thing that keeps me sane is dh and I doing shifts at night - I take him 7-12 and he takes him 12-5 when he's usually screamed himself out and will doze lightly. I do not understand how he can manage on so little rest.
- it's brutal. I really feel for you.
Hi hubble, sorry to hear you're in the same boat. I have never imagined how detrimental the lack of sleep would be to my mental health - why does no one mention it at the ante-natal classes?!
My ds usually sleeps deeply once he falls asleep (unless he doesn't!) but he strongly prefers falling asleep/sleeping on or with me. Had he slept quietly and peacefully I probably wouldn't have rocked the boat but as it is, it feels like I give up a lot for him at night (my time, energy, freedom of movement) and in return get physically assaulted and screamed at.
The paracetamol didn't work. Last two nights we were so tired we just caved in and took him in our bed at night when he screamed at the top of his lungs (sounded like if he was possessed,I'm not kidding!). He slept peacefully with us but I'm under no illusion that it will stay this way. Project cot restarted today. Nap went well, I'm putting him to sleep right now so we shall see how the night goes
I just wanted to say good luck and fx. My first two dc didnt sleep through until they were both over 1. My first dc we had to do cc too.
Its shit when your in the middle of it all. Ive found Ewan the sheep to be very helpful. It maybe worth trying. I had him with my second dc and Ive now got him for my third and I have found it helped them to be calm and fall asleep.
What I'm about to say is probably not 'correct' advice, but I say it with the caveat that we have tried everything - we've tried sleep consultants and the specialists at the hospital, pupd, shh pat, cc, everything. We tried everything for a couple of weeks and nothing has worked.
So my advice: you can't control their sleep past a point. You can try routines and methods and maybe it'll work. But maybe it won't. It's not under your control. What is under your control are your coping strategies do do whatever you need to do to survive
If that means bringing them into bed, do it. Keep trying the cot - whst they reject one week can be fine the next, but just do whatever you have to and don't beat yourself up about it.
Could he be hungry? My 8 month old needs an incredible amount of solids to get through the night. He eats huge dinners. It took a long time to realise this, that I wasn't giving him enough.
Ds1 was a terrible sleeper. Woke hourly and struggled to last 20mins for a nap. We worked out it was his diet causing him wind and indigestion which woke him. So we cut out peas, broccoli, soft fruit, baked beans. Things that would cause him wind. We also upped his carb intake for final meal. So he is not allowed fruit or generally green veg after 3pm. We try to get him to at least eat porridge before bedtime so he doesn't get hungry.
Ds2 looks like he is similar. Intolerant to certain foods. Immature digestive system. Weaning onto solids is a pain because of the sleep disruption.
No official diagnosis. Massaging his tummy, cycling legs until wind is out.
Ds1 is 2.7yo now and generally sleeps through since 18mo. 8pm to 6.30am.
That's interesting lireal -ds is super windy too. He loves broccoli...
What do you feed him for lunch and dinner that reduces wind?
I try to give him a small portion of broccoli or peas at lunch now and then in an omelette but otherwise avoid at tea time. Carrots, sweetcorn is fine it seems, so has them for evening meal. Try to make sure he has pasta/rice or potato for evening meal with meat and acceptable veg. So home made fish pie, risotto, etc. Ds1 is getting better with it now, but he used to get horrible tummy ache. He would scrunch up or go rigid and his tummy would be swollen. Had colic as a newborn too. Ds2 is similar. Sigh.
Hmmm... will move broccoli to lunch then. Otherwise that's what we feed him. Spag Bol, fish, rice, veg etc.
Will he sleep with you? If so maybe he's cold or not so comfortable without you. The NHS guidelines for baby sleep while I'm sure are the safest don't always make for a cosy room. Double what he's wearing. Give him a baby pillow and blanket. But keep the room cool. I had a terrible sleeper with constant crying, I honestly was loosing my mind and had no idea what could be waking him. For my son it turned out he had problem with his ears which he grew out of. But many I nights I slept in his bed (single bed even as baby so I could fit in) and I realised his room was freezing by 1am. Cutting out milk and offering water was hard but made a big difference. You will sleep again. Honest.
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