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So tired I cried because my pen ran out of ink....

(4 Posts)
StinkyMcgrinky Tue 21-Feb-17 15:24:41

Please be kind, it’s now 2pm and I’ve been awake for 13 hours (and am currently at work sad) due to my darling 8 month old son so I am in a fragile state

I have two sons, DS1 is two and DS2 turned 8 months yesterday. We were very luck with DS1 as he was a relatively good sleeper and has slept for around 10-12hours per night since he was 6 months, but now karma has come back to bite us. DS2 doesn’t sleep, never has. He has slept for a long stretch of 6 hours once in his short life and a normal night will usually mean myself or DH getting up every few hours to settle him back to sleep. I returned to work a month ago and at the minute feel I’m failing in every area of life, I’m snapping ay my DH, I’m too exhausted to play properly with DS1 who is a very active toddler and I’m fairly sure my GPs recent increase of AD’s is very closely linked to this chronic sleep deprivation.

DS2 is a gorgeous boy, happy, smiley and during the day is a pleasure to be around but night time is a completely different matter. He’s NEVER been a good eater, since birth we have struggled to get the ‘recommended’ ounces of milk into him but he’s always gained weight well and docs and HVs never had any concerns. He blossomed as soon as we started weaning (BLW) and he now has 3 good meals a day, as well as two 8oz bottles (we try to get him to take more and short of force feeding him we can’t. We’ve also tried cutting out a meal to encourage him to take more milk and this doesn’t work. We always offer a bottle before solids) If it is worth mentioning DS2 was born at 35weeks is technically ‘5 week’ behind others of his age. We hoped that once he was on solids his sleep would improve but we were wrong.

Our day time routine generally goes like this: (although sometimes these times can be 30mins either side depending on the children)

7am – Wake up. Morning bottle and play
8am – Breakfast – Toast or porridge
9/9.30am – Nap, normally around 30-40mins
10.30-12pm –Play with Mum or DS1/trip to the supermarket/play in the garden/Baby group
12pm – Lunch. Offer a bottle but more often than not he won’t take more than 2oz. Lunch is normally veg sticks, rice cakes, cheese, yoghurt etc..
1pm – Nap, longer nap or around 1.5-2 hours.
3pm – Play
5pm – Bottle (usually the last 6oz of the previous if lucky) and tea. Tea is usually what we are eating, spag bol, shepherd’s pie, stir fry etc… and he has a good bowl full
6pm – Bath
6.45/7pm – Offered milk, bed time story and then bed time.

He falls asleep absolutely fine. He’s happy to be placed in his cot awake and kick about before falling asleep. He sometimes moans for a few minutes (not crying) but nods off no trouble. The main problem is staying asleep, about 9pm he starts stirring and is then often awake every 1.5-2hours until morning. When he wakes up we go to his room, shush, put his dummy back in and he falls back to sleep. We do, sometimes, offer him milk in the night but he never takes more than 0.5-1oz and then nods off. He then sleeps for 1.5hrs and is awake and the cycle continues…

I initially thought it was the lack of milk but GP and HV both said it shouldn’t prevent him sleeping if he’s getting plenty of food and calcium rich foods in his diet. We’ve probably helped him develop bad habits as we very rarely leave him for long periods before going in to settle him. Previously his crying has woken DS2, who takes a very long time to settle back down and then we get stuck in a vicious cycle of them crying and waking each other up…

We’ve tried offering him water and not milk for a week and that didn’t make any difference, we then tried watering down his milk gradually at night time and that made no difference, we have night lights, mobiles, music, comforters, you name it we’ve tried it. I think the problem is with self soothing but I just don’t know how to fix it, he will happily fall asleep on his own but won’t stay asleep

At 6 months we did CIO with DS1 (‘m not cruel and he is a very loving, intelligent and happy little boy) it was text book. 5mins, 10 mins, asleep and then slept through every night. I don’t want to do this with DS2 as he just gets too upset, I know the difference between a whingy moan and a proper cry and he proper cries when left which is why I’m reluctant to try CIO just yet, but am open to it in the future.

What are we doing wrong and what can we do moving forward? I don’t claim to be an expert at all which is why I’m here, but I am at the end of my tether and am out of ideas.

FATEdestiny Tue 21-Feb-17 16:14:26

8 months old, especially if 8 months is adjusted for prematurity, is on the early said for being able to do his own dummy.

But you are in the realms of him being able to do his own dummy at night. And when that happens, when baby can put their own dummy in at night, it's a game-changer. That generally happens between 8-10 months old.

There are things you can try:

- hand dummy to baby, let him out it in his mouth himself.
- place dumny close by, but not in his hand. Encourage him to pick it up and put in his own mouth
- hand him the dummy the wrong way around. See if he can manipulate it in his hands to turn it the right way and put it in his own mouth.

Also develop ways to help him find the dummy in the night. Even babies who physically can reinsert their own dummies are not good at searching for a dummy. In fact I'd say babies dont search for a lost dummy in the night. If he any immediately put his hands on it, he'll shout you to find it.

So:
- I sewed a ribbon into the sleeping bag with a press stud at the end for dummy. Baby just needed to sweep a hand over his chest to find ribbon, to then find dummy.
- or you can buy a sleepytot. This is a rabbit you that you can attach dummies to the feet of. Rabbit toy is bigger, so easier to find in the night.
- or the other option is scattering millions of glow in the dark dummies around in the cot.

StinkyMcgrinky Tue 21-Feb-17 16:23:18

Thanks Fate. I'm not a regular on the sleep boards but have seen your name on here quite a lot so in my mind you're an expert wink

Your right, DS is able to hold his dummy and does play with it but doesn't quite know how to get it into his mouth. He does sleep with a comforter (which he often pulls over his face hmm) so I've ordered a Sleepytot. We did use a dummy clip but he would sometimes thrash around and pull the dummy out of his mouth accidentally, I suppose the same might happen with a sleepy tot but I'm willing to give anything a try.

The HV suggested gradual retreat but he falls asleep fine it's just staying asleep, unless I misunderstand the concept I didn't think this would really help?

FATEdestiny Tue 21-Feb-17 16:34:10

You're right. If he's going to sleep fine on his own, you don't need gradual withdrawal. You need him being happy to settle on his own in the night and/or not sleeping lightly so not waking frequently.

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