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Chronically Overtired 8 1/2 Month Old

(22 Posts)
user1474565301 Sat 05-Nov-16 09:56:59

My little girl is 8 1/2 months old and ever since she hit 7 months, she is so difficult to get to go down for a nap. It's getting progressively worse, but particularly so over the last three days.
I can see that she is absolutely exhausted and this is probably the reason that she can't sleep properly, but I don't know how to break the cycle and get it back on track.
She is having only two naps of 30 mins during the day and therefore too tired to sleep at night. It's also causing her to be awake for the day by 5am. It's affecting my mental health, as it's just me looking after her with no help. My partner is military so is away most of the time. She has never slept through.
Feeding -wise, she is breastfed 4 times a day plus one during the night and has three solid meals. I aim to get her in bed by 6.30pm.
Any suggestions anyone? I desperately want to start enjoying being a mum again and had planned to have more children but at the moment, I can't see how I could ever go through this again.

user1474565301 Sat 05-Nov-16 10:02:34

Just to mention, I have tried to get her to take a dummy and she won't have it.

cudbywestrangers Sat 05-Nov-16 10:17:12

In the same boat so no advice! Hoping some wise folks will be along soon...

I was hoping that getting the hang of crawling would help ds2 sleep more but it's not made any difference and now he can pull himself to standing I can only get him down by feeding to sleep or car/ buggy. And I'd like to stop the daytime feeds really... help!!!!

LivinOnAChair Sat 05-Nov-16 10:26:29

Another in the same boat except my DS has been a nightmare to get off to sleep from the day he was born sad he's also stopped napping (apart from 10-15 mins maybe twice a day) and is still awake and rolling about getting more and more mad with himself at 8/9pm. I'm also hoping that once he's crawling maybe he will tire himself out more. We've tried warm baths every night, dim lighting, womb/white noise and none of it really works. The naps during the day are just as bad, he'll only sleep in his pram or in the car for any extended length of time and I swear to god the kid senses the very moment we get back into our street because his eyes ping straight open every single time!
Sorry I can't offer much advice, I'm also waiting on some that will help...

GourmetChild Sat 05-Nov-16 10:40:06

Sounds really difficult flowers

What are you trying in terms of getting her to nap? What do you do to get her to sleep? How long after waking from the 30 min nap are you trying to get her to have her next nap?

Just need a bit more info to try to help.

user1474565301 Sat 05-Nov-16 10:56:00

For the first nap of the day, I take her upstairs quietly about 1 3/4 hrs after she has woken. I draw the curtains, switch on white noise (radio untuned), put her in her sleeping bag, hold her, hum a gentle song until she looks drowsy, then gently lower into cot. She then tries so hard to go to sleep - turns onto her side and moans for ages. Most of the time, this goes on for an hour or more. She can't drift off and ends up doing gymnastics and crying. I go in and pick her up if she cries.
This morning, she got herself to sleep from being put down drowsy and slept for 25 mins and woke crying. She would not be resettled.
At bedtime, I run her bath at 5.45pm. Then breastfeed her in the bedroom, undress her, give her a bath, put Pj's and sleeping bag on, quietly read a short story, hold her whilst humming the same song as for naps, put her down when drowsy. She usually goes off quite quickly at night, but maybe because she is exhausted by this point after a day with hardly any sleep. She wakes crying a couple of times before I go to bed. Again, I leave her if she is just groaning, but if she cries, I go in and pick her up until she stops.

user1474565301 Sat 05-Nov-16 10:58:24

If she has only had a 30 min nap first thing, I take her back upstairs 1 3/4 hrs after she has woken. If the first nap of the day fails, I really don't know what to do and usually try again after an hour or so, but the day usually goes downhill from there.

Timetogrowup2016 Sat 05-Nov-16 10:59:04

8.5 months here as well
Dd likes to sleep in 10-20 minutes chunks 2-3 times a day,
It is shit utter shit and come 2pm she screams like a banshee until bed time ( proper colicky screaming )...
You have my upmost sympathy

NoCapes Sat 05-Nov-16 11:07:03

The only thing that helped my son, who was the worlds worst sleeper (he used to get up 15+ times a night! And no naps atall unless he was on me) was to stop picking him up
I put him in the cot, give him a bottle, sit on a chair next to his cot until he falls asleep, if he wakes I go and sit on the chair next to him until he falls asleep again
Getting him in and out of the cot was confusing him, now he knows that cot = sleep time
It took about two weeks of being consistent (consistency really is key) and we're down to 1 night waking and a lovely 1&1/2 hour to 2 hour nap a day (although he's older than your DD, she still needs 2 naps at this age)

It also sounds like there's a lot going on at sleep time, I stopped all shushing, humming, stroking, everything
I heard on here that we naturally wake slightly in between sleep cycles throughout the night, but because everything is as it was when we fell asleep we don't notice and go back to sleep, so when you're putting her down everything needs to be as it will be in the night, then she'll learn to just go back to sleep - so darkness, quietness, no humming or white noise and she might sleep for longer

FATEdestiny Sat 05-Nov-16 12:03:18

I don't know how to break the cycle

Naps are short so make them frequent in order to avoid the over tiredness cycle.

I would suggest 60-90 minutes awake time. Er on the side of less awake time as you break the cycle then increase awake time once baby is less over tired. So at the moment if it was me I'd be limiting awake time (including the time it takes to settle baby to sleep) to an hour.

user1474565301 Sat 05-Nov-16 12:52:59

Timetogrowup - That sounds truly awful. I really feel for you. It's so hard to cope with.

Nocapes - I've tried staying in the room until she falls asleep, but it just doesn't happen. Trying it at the moment actually! I've currently been sitting here for an hour after putting her down with no distraction or stimulation and she is sat up, trying to pull down the mesh cot bumper. No sign of flagging at all and it's nearing time when I'll have to give up and get her up so that she can have some food. I seriously think I could sit here all day and she would not drop.
FATE - What do you do about awake times if naps are not happening at all and even the first nap of the day is failing?

FATEdestiny Sat 05-Nov-16 14:08:29

What do you do about awake times if naps are not happening at all and even the first nap of the day is failing?

Assuming this isnt every day, by breaking the over tiredness cycle it should be an extreme rarity.

I'd suggest getting baby to sleep earlier than you are currently trying. I think she's already too exhausted.

In case of emergency, when sleep just isn't happening (and all babies have these days every now and again)

- clear the diary. Don't expect to do housework. Eat anything super quick to grab and eat. Drop your standards for the time being.
- make the day as relaxed as possible, the baby eqivilent of a Duvet Day. Just sit cuddling on the sofa. Avoid stimulation.
- focus on "ANY SLEEP. ANY HOW". If that means driving around in the car for two hours, fill it up with petrol. If it means you lying on your bed with baby in the dark, get yourself comfy and don't expect to do any housework or even move.

Deduct37 Sat 05-Nov-16 20:21:49

I'm by no means the best person to give advice coz my little girl was a rubbish sleeper and my baby is too. But when my little girl was doing the same thing, the only thing that worked was to make bedtime super early. So she was getting up at 5 in the morning, I'd battle on trying to get her to nap regularly throughout the day and then I'd put her to bed at 5pm. It didn't make her sleep any longer in the mornings but she was getting an extra hour or 2 at the beginning of the night, which after a few nights made a difference. People thought I was crazy putting her to bed so early but I stuck with it and it paid off. Daytime naps never got any better but nighttime sleep did. Even now at 2 years 9 months she still goes to bed between 6-6.30 depending on if she's had a nap or not. She will generally sleep until 7ish now which is great in comparison to what she used to do. Even now if she's extra tired we put her to bed sooner. She fell asleep in the car today at 4.50 and that's been her for the night. I'm not sure how that will work on the morning!

GourmetChild Sun 06-Nov-16 08:50:21

Can you completely clear your schedule for three whole days? Easy meals and plan nothing at all? This way you can concentrate entirely on sleep and absolutely nothing else.

I would highly recommend the Baby Whisperer book in this case, the problem solving one where you can just read a few relevant paragraphs, not the one where you have to read the whole book.

At 8 1/2 months, putting down for first nap after less than two hours might be a bit early, hence she is going to sleep but it takes ages. My DS likes just a 30 min nap on a morning but 2 1/2 - 3 hours after he wakes up. Like you, as he only has 30 mins, his ideal is to sleep again maybe 2 - 2 1/2 hours later.

PUPD, modified for age could work. Agree with pp that sometimes once they're over six months, any sort of rocking, humming, holding etc although it might seem to work is actually hindering the whole process.

Does she sleep in the car or pram when you're out?

user1474565301 Mon 07-Nov-16 06:43:31

Thank you all for your kind replies and advice. I'm hoping we have broken the overtired cycle now, as she's sleeping 6.30pm - 6am at night with one feed.
I am a bit confused over how soon I should be trying for the first nap of the day though.
My LO is always rubbing her eyes and snuggling into my shoulder when I try to put her down and this is after 1 3/4 - 2 hrs. Does this suggest she is already past it? Lots of things I read say that awake time at this age is usually longer.

OohNoDooEy Mon 07-Nov-16 06:51:42

At her age I'd put her down at 9 and 1.30

FATEdestiny Mon 07-Nov-16 11:01:37

9 and 1.30 are reasonable nap times if baby us napping for 1-2 hours at a time and waking in the morning around 6.30-7am. If your naps are shorter then you will need shorter awake times which in turn means more naps per day.

If you are seeing tired signs after 1 3/4 - 2 hrs then I'd suggest awake time is too long. Try for 75-90m awake time for a while and see what happens. Ideally you want baby asleep before tired signs start.

AllTheShoes Mon 07-Nov-16 11:10:54

Will she fall asleep in the car / buggy / pram / sling? It can be quite useful to work out when a baby is tired to put them in the car / buggy / sling at a time when you think they might be tired, and see if they go. If they do, then you can try in the cot the next day at the same time.

I'd also echo PPs, just do anything to get her more sleep when she's over-tired and don't worry about making bad habits - you have to get her a decent amount of sleep before you can work on anything else.

MamaPippin Mon 07-Nov-16 17:08:42

I know this feeling all too well. My little one is 9 months and I was struggling with the exact same issues, so I completely understand how you're feeling & absolutely exhausting and frustrating it is.

Personally I found that when he was tired I just let him sleep, so rather than worrying too much about them sleeping for too long or having too many naps in the day, I just went with what seemed to be the best. I know that routines and training are often really popular, but I found my little one was more tired one day and less the next so it really was dependent.

One trick that I did find really useful though was what's described as a sleep wave. So you don't just let them cry, you put them down in a quiet room before they should normally sleep & then leave the room. Go in every 5 minutes when they're crying to just reassure them that you're there but don't start picking them up. It's more just to remind them you haven't disappeared. It ends up being quite hypnotic for them.

Sadly, it's different for every baby and all depends on their needs. I really hope you manage to get things sorted & your little one goes to sleep soon so you can have a rest. x

cudbywestrangers Mon 07-Nov-16 18:58:11

Just been reading the advice. Thanks all for sharing!!! I also can't quite figure when I should try for a nap. Sometimes ds2 falls asleep in the car on the way back from nursery and does 20 minutes at about 830 (usually up at 630) but if not then there's no chance of getting him down before 10 and sometimes nearer 11. Second nap is often around 3. All short, max 30 minutes. If nothing is working (bf or rocking) then we go for a drive or walk. So it all goes to pot when ds1 is around!!! As some of you have suggested I might try and clear the diary to work on it...

Josephone Mon 07-Nov-16 20:18:07

NoCapes (and other mummies), sorry to hijack, but could you expand on how it went for you? I'm not used to mumsnet and can't find where to set up a new thread. I have a 13 m/o who wakes up all night (3/4 times before I've even gone to bed, with the longest stretch of sleep probably 3 hours, but usually much less). Historically I broke every rule in the book when it comes to getting him to sleep, and followed the attachment parenting idea. But recently i started trying to get him to sleep in his cot, under the guise that if he falls asleep on his own, he can get himself back to sleep when he wakes up. I went fairly slowly. And All went well, reaching a point where I would just be sat on the other side of the room and he would eventually get himself to sleep with me only getting up to lie him down a few times. A week later, all hell has broken loose. He will scream and cry and hiccuping and thrash about, and even when I pick him up he takes about 20-30 minutes to calm down. Any new attempts to put him back add another ten minutes of crying. He's ending up falling asleep on me exhausted! If he wakes in the night, which he inevitably does, he looks for milk but if it's not forthcoming (I was trying to stop because I became convinced he was getting wind), the screams start again. Inevitable I end up feeding him at these times, and he often ends up in our bed by 2am, which is not big enough for 3 people, especially one who squirms!! This is way worse than before.
I don't know how to react. Half of me is listening to the attachment theory of give them what they want/separation anxiety/ raised cortisol levels is terrible and half of me thinks of I don't teach him to sleep on his own, this could go on and on and harm him just as badly with no long stretches of sleep. He is such a happy little boy in the day, which makes the awful crying ten times worse because I feel like it must feel really awful for him. He is dropping down to one nap which doesn't help because he is a rubbish napper since birth. 1-1.5 hours in the pram tops.
Any light you could shed on how it works for you would be amazing, or if anyone else has been through this!

Josephone Mon 07-Nov-16 20:58:25

Woah! Sorry I wrote loads!! Was day on the dark in my lo's room while he was asleep, feeling sorry for myself!

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