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What has happened to our 8 month old's sleep?!

(21 Posts)
Yorke00 Tue 28-Feb-17 23:39:02

Up until he was 6 months old, DS was a terrible sleeper- waking multiple times during the night, crying for ages, waking early etc etc. DP and I have worked really hard at improving things and for the last month he has been going down in the cot awake at 7pm, waking twice during the night at regular times for short feeds, and then waking at 6.30am to start the day. We were bloody ecstatic with the progress he'd made and were finally starting to feel human again after months of sleep deprivation. And then last week it all turned to shit sad. He'll go down without a peep at bedtime but has gone back to waking multiple times a night, screaming inconsolably for hours, even picking him up will only calm him temporarily but as soon as we put him down he'll start screaming immediately. What has happened??!! He doesn't have teeth yet- could this be teething? Or is it something else? Has this happened to anyone else? I really thought things were getting better and feel so disheartened and exhausted.

Crazycatlady80 Wed 01-Mar-17 05:18:05

Hi, I have no advice but I could have written this post myself. Did some sleep training at 6months, things greatly improved, 2 short wakes in the night of about 10-15, straight back to sleep after milk and slept until 6ish, happy with that. Now at 8.5 months for the last week, waking every 2 hours and screaming, won't settle and up for the day at 4am, be very interested to see what others have to say. Hope things improve for you yorke

Sunshinegirl82 Wed 01-Mar-17 07:54:11

We have the same here! Was waking 2 or 3 times a night for milk then going straight back to sleep, the last week he's been up for a couple of hours in the night. Upset, refusing to go back to sleep until he comes into bed with me. I'm wondering if it's seperation anxiety? He seems happy enough if I'm with him/he's in our bed but won't go back to sleep in his cot! I'm really hoping it's a phase!

FATEdestiny Wed 01-Mar-17 07:55:47

Are you breast feeding or bottle feeding?

How is weaning going and what is baby's milk intake like through the daytime?

Any comforter of any sort?

What happens at bedtime and naptime to get her to sleep?

When and how long are daytime naps?

teatwosugarspls Wed 01-Mar-17 08:04:55

I'm currently going through this with my 10.5month old and to me - after becoming a google dr - it seems to be separation anxiety. We are currently doing the disappearing chair routine with her at night and trying to play games to let her know we will come back if we leave the room etc. X

Yorke00 Wed 01-Mar-17 09:52:44

Thanks for all your responses! Not that I would wish this on anyone, but it makes me feel better knowing that other people are going through the same thing. I've also wondered about separation anxiety, but it's confusing to me that he goes down fine at the start of the night?

In answer to your questions FATEdestiny, I'm breastfeeding. Roughly every three hours during the day (usually 4 or 5 times) and then twice at night at 1am and 5am. It was three night feeds but we managed to drop the 10pm feed without any dramas a few weeks ago. He's taken to solids really well, has three meals a day (mix of spoon fed and blw) at around 7.30am, midday and 5pm.

No comforter yet although I've been wearing a muslin down my top for the last 3 days in preparation.

Daytime naps are hard. He naps twice a day, roughly 1.5- 2 hours between 9-11am and then for 40 mins to sometimes an hour at around 2.30pm- but they're all on me in the sling which is killing me. We were hoping to get his night sleep sorted first and then tackle the naps next week... But that seems unlikely to happen now!

At night we have a bedtime routine of bath, feed, story and bed. We had been using gradual retreat and are up to the point where DP will put DS down in the cot and stand back from it while DS falls asleep. Occasionally there's a bit of grumbling but it usually works well. We are working up to putting him down and leaving the room straight away.

Yorke00 Wed 01-Mar-17 09:54:52

Last night we just held DS in our arms all night as we couldn't cope with the inconsolable crying sad. Nothing seemed to work- usually we can shush DS back to sleep in the cot but even taking him out for a cuddle didn't help

FATEdestiny Wed 01-Mar-17 13:29:02

Thays fantastic progress with gradual withdrawal! I'm sure you probably already know this, the night feeds are a likely to be all about comfort, rather than calories or thirst. I asked if you were breast or bottle because of bottle feeding, I'd suggest stopping these. But since you are breast feeding, you can't stop giving him that comfort as easily. So it's more about realistic expectations that you will be needed in the night for comfort breastfeeds.

His daytime sleeps look great. Sling naps are not inherently a problem, unless they are for you.

My only suggestion would be that te afternoon nap is really short. I wonder if he's on the way to over-tired by 2.30pm? Being over tired can cause restless sleeping, so naps shorten.

I'd ideally want a 9-11am nap, then a 1-3pm nap and add in a 4.30 half hour power nap, if needed. They say sleep breeds sleep and that the more sleep baby gets, the better and easier they are to get to sleep and stay asleep.

How is DS at having his naps extended? Could you jiggle him in the sling back to sleep? Or try a pushchair nap/walk? I wonder if your restless night is down to over-tiredness due to not enough daytime sleep?

Backhometothenorth Wed 01-Mar-17 14:01:23

Have you tried giving him anything for teething pain? They tend to suffer most at night when they are tired and can't get back to sleep. Granules, gel, anbesol liquid all really effective or obviously calpol etc once you know for sure.

Yorke00 Wed 01-Mar-17 19:14:01

Backhome not heard of the anbesol but will try, thanks.

Fate he had a longer nap this afternoon (2.30-4.15) as he was so knackered but now won't settle at all for his bedtime! Can hear him screaming next door with poor DP. Will try and shift it so it finishes earlier

FATEdestiny Wed 01-Mar-17 21:02:04

With a 4.15 wake, I'd have tried a 8-8.30pm bedtime.

Yorke00 Wed 01-Mar-17 21:21:52

We should have done- he is still screaming two and a half hours later and we are at a total loss of what to do

littledinaco Wed 01-Mar-17 21:33:26

Can you feed him to sleep?
8 months is really little still, I found doing whatever I needed to do to get through whatever 'phase' it was at the time.

It's not for everyone but I found feeding lying down and just feeding back to sleep whenever they woke was far less stressful than sleep training. Once I accepted it I found I barely even noticed the wake ups and got far more sleep.

FATEdestiny Wed 01-Mar-17 22:15:05

Can you breastfeed him lying down and leave him there?

Yorke00 Wed 01-Mar-17 22:21:42

Tried feeding him, he wasn't interested in the boob at all. Aargh. I would happily feed him to sleep right now if I could! We are definitely not trying any sleep training at the moment- just trying to make it through the night any way we can.

Yorke00 Wed 01-Mar-17 22:24:58

I do like the idea of breastfeeding him lying down and getting him to sleep that way. He doesn't usually like co sleeping but that might work (once he decides he wants to feed again!)

littledinaco Wed 01-Mar-17 22:46:58

Would being a bit more flexible over the bedtime help? With my first, I was really fixated on the same bedtime thinking I needed a strict routine to get her to sleep.

With the next two, I was much more flexible and put them to bed within about a 2 hour window of when they seemed tired/how well had slept in the day,etc. Purely anecdotal but seemed to work much better. Again, not the case for all babies but at that age I would have put to bed between about 7-9pm. I always fed to sleep and (again anecdotally) have ended up with good sleepers. Just incase you feel you should be trying to get him to sleep by himself/this will make him sleep better as I felt so much pressure with my first to get her to fall asleep in the cot by herself as I thought this would improve sleep. I just wish someone had said it doesn't work for all babies!

Good luck, it's really hard.

HarrassedMumof3 Wed 01-Mar-17 22:56:14

Have you read The Wonder Weeks?
8 months is the start of a huge developmental leap.

HarrassedMumof3 Wed 01-Mar-17 22:59:07

Yorke00 Thu 02-Mar-17 13:20:50

Littledinaco I think you're definitely right about the bedtime. We've been really fixed on getting him to sleep at 7pm, but really should have just used our common sense and realised he just wouldn't be tired then.

Harrassed thank you so much for the article- it basically describes exactly how we're feeling at the moment. I just expect his sleep to get better as time goes on, and the blips really get me down.

littledinaco Thu 02-Mar-17 20:50:37

I think sometimes people's expectations can be more of a problem than the babies actual sleep. There is so much pressure to feel like you have to get them sleeping through, sleeping in their own room, falling asleep themselves, etc.

Once you accept that they will go through good and bad phases with sleep (that's completely normal) it makes it a lot easier to manage.

I found I was less stressed by doing whatever was easiest to get them to sleep and whatever was quickest to get them back to sleep when they woke in the night.

Everyone finds their own way and what works best for them, sounds like you are doing great though.

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