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Seperation Anxiety issues

(12 Posts)
RobyneHet Sat 13-May-17 08:21:17

Hi everyone. Just wondering what's best to do...DH and I have conflicting opinions...I'll convince him dependent on what you lovely ladies think πŸ˜‚
Lots of sleep troubles with EBF DS (6.5 months)...long story short after a bit of gentle sleep training I'm no longer feeding to sleep and he self settles in his own cot at bedtime...drowsy but awake,with dummy πŸ‘
All good and he goes to bed around 7pm...usually settled until he wakes around 10ish...I feed him but that's when the trouble starts! He just will not go back in cot after this feed. Even if I feed him to sleep he wakes 10mins later screaming and if I put him down awake with dummy he is hysterical until I pick him up again.
If I feed him at 10pm and then just put him in snuzpod next to me in bed he just peacefully nods off to sleep and that's him until about 2am (feed) then 6am.
Problem is
A- he's getting too big for snuzpod so if this is to be a longer term plan I'll need to buy small cot
B-DH thinks this is a 'slippery slope' after we've worked really hard with the sleep training..he could have a point as the time he is needing to come into snuzpod is creeping earlier and earlier (was 4am, then 2am, then midnight, now it's 10pm!). Will we end up where he won't go to bed alone at 7pm eventually??
Don't want to give him mixed signals that he has to learn to sleep alone in the evening but it's ok to be with me overnight? Don't mind going to bed with him at 10pm but not 7pm lol! X

FATEdestiny Sat 13-May-17 09:05:25

You're (you and DH) over thinking it. You need a longer term view and more realistic expectations.

You seem to be writing like you are hoping to 'fix' baby to be the 6.5 month old you would like. In fact this is not separation anxiety (that's something for the 18ish month old), it is just your baby being your baby.

The normal for many babies is to need parental comfort when they wake. Especially so babies who are/were breastfed to sleep. Just because your baby needs this doesn't mean they will forever.

It's not a slippery slope to meet babies needs so they don't get distressed. You could refuse to meet baby's need for your comfort, if it is a massive big deal to you and you simply cannot give baby that comfort. But there isn't a need to

There are easy, non distressing, no crying ways to gradually teach independant sleeping. But this won't give you an independant sleeper within a month or so. But it's something you can aim towards by 12 months ish, certainly. But all means encourage independant sleep.

Having two different places to sleep is not a good idea. It means comfort comes in 'this cot' (the one in your room) and distress comes in 'this cot' ( in her room) - not a conducive method for a long term view of independant sleep.

Better would be to have a sleeping place that offers all the comfort needed, quickly and effectively. A cot in your room for example. Or you on a bed in baby's room if this is better for you both.

Then gradually reduce how much comfort you nedd to give. Start with less in-cot settling so that baby can learn to go into the cot fully awake, and gradually decrease the amount of in-cot srttling needed. But your presence is still there because the cot is next to your bed.

Then as baby gets older and towards 12 months, hopefully will start not needing feeding in the night, just in-cot settling. Then not waking at all (yay!).

Then put some distance between cot and your. Cot further down side of your bed, not eye-to-eye. Then cot at end of bed. Cot on DHs side of the bed, and so on.

Then, then cot in own room. Now that in-cot settling is established fully, night weaned and sleeping through.

Smellbellina Sat 13-May-17 09:11:53

I think at 6 months it's​ par for the course for a baby to wake at night and want to be near you. I don't think it is setting up future sleep issues. He obviously can self settle as he is doing at bedtime. And dealing with a non verbal baby at night time is quite different from dealing with a pre-schooler.
So, i'd chill out and do whatever got us all the most rest rather than get everyone stressed and upset due to a (ime erroneous) belief that offering comfort at night to a 6 month old will cause sleep issues in the future.

RobyneHet Sat 13-May-17 10:02:41

Hi both...ok fair enough...makes me sound horrible when you put it like that πŸ™ˆ I suppose what I maybe wasn't clear about was I am happy to have baby in the cot next to my bed probs with that at all (secretly quite like it!) ...and I expect to need to comfort him a periods through the night. He longer feeds which is gr8...just needs dummy and reassurance. I just want him to 'go to bed' at a reasonable hour (say 7-8pm) on his own. Do you mean I just keep him up until I go to bed? Because I personally believe babies at 6months need a bedtime routine and bedtime. He would certainly be an overtired mess if I kept him up until I went to bed at 10pm?? Or do you mean try to put him to bed in the snuzpod as opposed to his cot in his room? I understand what you're saying about him associating his cot as a horrible place to be and I don't want to do that.
I probably am I little unrealistic as DD1 was gr8!...own room and sleeping through (7-6) by 6months (with dream feed) x

FATEdestiny Sat 13-May-17 10:55:08

I meant the cot in your room, in place of the snoozepod. Normal, 4 sides regular cot set-up, just next to your bed in your bedroom.

Normal early evening bedtime, as you'd expect for an older baby, in their own cot. Just that the cot is in your room until baby no longer needs you, so baby going 'to bed' happens in your room, in their cot.

RobyneHet Sat 13-May-17 20:09:57

Hi Fate...ok that makes sense thanks. He's in bed in his own room again tonight (hopefully until at least 10pm πŸ˜‚). But think I'll buy a small cot for my room and try to wedge it against my he likes me to put my arm on him periodically through the night. X

RobyneHet Sat 13-May-17 20:22:26

Just as I post he's up πŸ™ˆπŸ˜­ 1 hour after going to bed. DH is up there now with his hand on him and he's settling back to sleep...but as soon as he realises DH has left he will be crying again. Could be in 5mins, could be another hour if we are lucky What to do? Any suggestions? It's like he just can't sleep unless either DH or I are right next to him x

FATEdestiny Sat 13-May-17 21:07:07

See, going back to your point about babies having a defined bedtime. Yes, it is necessary I believe. I would start bedtimes happening right from birth - bath, night clothes, massage etc at any awake time that hapiens around the 7-8pm mark. But then, baby would continue "napping" downstairs.

Just as 6 months is arbitary for babies to go into their own room - some are ready some are not. Likewise with "going to bed". If baby was waking up at any point in the evening, then I wouldn't consider baby to be ready for upstairs bedtime. Bedtime still happens, but what's the point me or DH sitting in a silent dark room resettling baby when I could be watching Casualty with a brew and baby in the bouncer at my feet?

I only moved bedtime upstairs once the time came that I gad to wake baby up to take them up when I go. If baby was waking up, I'm not about to waste my evening faffing upstairs.

DC3 was sleeping through our evening evening from newborn. DC2 and DC4 were both 5 months. DC1 was about 7-8 months. They all develop in their sleep at different rates.

It's like he just can't sleep unless either DH or I are right next to him

I suspect you are looking at this from the wrong angle. You are looking at the things that help him get back to sleep (ie your presence) when what you need to be considering is the read on for his light sleeping.

Him being a light sleeper is not to do with you being there or not. That's evidently a way to get him back to sleep but your are over-focusing on it.

Light sleeping is usually caused by a cumulative lack of sleep or calories. Or both.

More daytime naps. More frequently (less awake time) and as long as possible. Don't focus on how you make the naps happen, just having more sleep is what's important.

And/or consider calorific need. No milk feeds should get be dropped from ore-weaning. In fact milk feeds can go up in early weaning when low calorie foods are given. Use all food groups, in particular protein and carbs, and make food high calorie.

RobyneHet Sun 14-May-17 08:31:02

Sorry late replying Fate! Thank you for that...makes sense when you put it like that! Not sure why he sleeps so lightly...but it's true he does. If he falls asleep in the car/pram he naps for 30mins max...drop of a pin wakes him πŸ˜• He will nap in his cot for 1.5hours tho thankfully. I aim for about 3 hours/day with a 2-3hour wake window and this seems to be enough for him? But maybe not?
He's not a big baby and was EBF for 6months so he's only had a couple of weeks of low calorie 1st weaning foods plus some formula in a bottle at bedtime.
Managed to keep him in his own cot until 3am then I gave up and put him in snuzpod πŸ˜‚ Once he is in snuzpod next to me he sleeps solid for 4hours!...heaven!...that's why I assumed it was more of a separation anxiety issue rather than a physical need...but guess we never really know with these babies! to convince DH we need to buy a space saver cot for our room πŸ™ˆπŸ˜

SherlocksDeerstalker Sun 14-May-17 08:43:39

FATE speaks total sense and is obviously a voice of much experience! I echo 100% what she's already said. I can see now 3.5 years down the line that I was also very over-focused on the wrong thing with DD2 who sounds similar to yours (BF every 2hrs through the night for a year, didn't sleep through ONCE till a 18 months. Argh.) everybody getting as much sleep and food as possible is important, as is your mental health and ability to cope through the days. Make life as easy for yourself as you can.

My DD2 was a Velcro baby, and now at 3.5 still doesn't like to be away from me. We have just had a disasterous first swimming lesson where she realised I wouldn't actually be getting in the water with her! hmm apologies now to whoever else was in that building at the time! Point being, they are all different, and although at the time it feels like a huge thing that is taking over your life, once you can remove yourself a little from it it's easier to see the way forward. Good luck, and I hope you get things sorted so that everyone is happy.

RobyneHet Sun 14-May-17 10:02:25

Aww thank you so much...sometimes you just need to read things like that to keep it all in perspective! And I agree...Fate is fab...I've always taken her advise and I've managed to go from feeding to sleep 1-2hourly to DS settling in cot with dummy...guess I should be happy with the progress ☺️'s a funny thing isn't it because I actually don't mind DS sleeping in snuzpod you say...we all get sleep which is gr8. It's the constant friends/family commenting on 'is he still not sleeping?!' 'Oh no how you going to get him sleeping in his own room' 'your making problems for yourself allowing him to do that' etc etc (they mean well but it's not helpful!). And I suppose on a selfish front I would like to be able to go out occasionally πŸ˜• I've had to cancel 2 evening social events this month as I knew I couldn't leave him....just feel like these people will be thinking "how ridiculous she can't even come out for tea and the baby is nearly 7months old" 😞 Well...I suppose I could but poor DH (and baby) would be be a lot a screaming until I got home.
Did u go back to work? That's the other thing that's worrying me because I'm back to work in about 8 weeks and I work shifts, so I won't always be here at bedtime and occasionally will work nightshifs! So I feel like I need to get DS happy to sleep without me as it seems a bit cruel when all of a sudden I'm not there! X

FATEdestiny Sun 14-May-17 13:30:13

In the daytime, you can just organise your trips out around naps. Lunchtime date if you have a baby having am and pm naps. Breakfast date once baby has moved to a single lunchtime nap.

In the evening, well it depends on your parenting style. I have 4 children now, I'm passed the stage in my life where I go out with mates. But even if I wasn't, I just wouldn't have been interested in the first year with baby, different priorities. Im sure DH could manage for a one-off night and it wouldn't do baby any harm for one night. It'd just mean baby might need extra sleep the next day to make up for it.

Regarding comments fron others, I can only assume these come from your insecurities? Maybe be more assertive and confident that you do know what is best for your children - what anyone else is saying is irrelevant since it's not right

I can't begin to imagine the look of disdain I'd have on my face if someone suggested I wasn't doing right by my children - in terms of sleep in particular. Aside from the fact that I know my children have far better sleep habits that most of their peers, my toddler wasn't sleeping through consistantly until 12 months. But no question in my confidence that she had far better sleep habits than those suggested by anyone else.

So if I heard comments like 'is he still not sleeping?!' 'Oh no how you going to get him sleeping in his own room' 'your making problems for yourself allowing him to do that' I would have no issue in (depending on who was saying it)
- looking at them like they clearly have no clue, with an ironic "yeah right" and moving on
- smile, nod, ignore.
- giving some form of passive-aggressive I know better than you answer
- actually take them to task and ask for a more detailed explanation of what they mean. And firmly and assertively pulling it apart

Really though, I honestly cannot imagine anyone saying that to me. Be more confident in your parenting style and the comnents wouldn't matter any way.

I can't help with regards to going back to work. I have up my teaching career 10 years ago and have been a SAHM since. I can appreciate that as a SAHM I can have a much more relaxed and long term view than those with the deadline of returning to work.

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