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Beyond exhausted. Help needed!

(5 Posts)
Youvegotafriendinme Tue 16-May-17 08:26:25

My DS is 6 months old next week. He slept from 7-6am from birth till around 16 weeks. He then had injections, a cold, Antibiotics, conjunctivitis, cut 2 teeth and learnt to sit up, all in about 2 weeks of each other. So I understand all these things put him out of sync but we are 10 or so weeks down the line and the sleep is getting worse and I worry I'm not helping him.

This is his day (roughly) and has been like this for about a week

4:30/5:30 wake for the day
6/6:30 back to bed for 1-2 1/2 hours
8/8:30 5-6oz bottle & now porridge
10/10:30 nap for 30mins
10:30/11- 12/12:30 play time and then 6oz and some lunch

Then every 1.5 - 2 hours he will have a Half an hour nap with play in between with the last half hour nap at around 5. And a bottle around 3/3:30.

He will have some dinner at 6, bath at 6:30 and then 8oz bottle and bed. He has never gone to bed 'nicely.' We get him out the bath and he cries constantly until he has fed to sleep. I've never had any luck with him falling to sleep himself.

I have no problem during the day with him eating enough or napping enough it's the nights. He will wake at 11:30, 2:00, 3:30, 4:30 and some times in between, then up for the day at around 5. I'm feeding him 6-7oz when he wakes first then about 3:30 as I can usually get him back to sleep in between but it takes a while. He used to have his long nap in the early afternoon but has recently started having it in the morning. Should I not let him do this?

I feel as if I'm doing something wrong. I'm beyond tired and am averaging around 3 hours sleep a night.

I'm sorry this is so long but I really feel like I'm failing with the night time sleep and don't know how much longer I can do it. I hate my son crying before he goes to sleep and I wonder if he is over tired?

FATEdestiny Tue 16-May-17 09:41:35

That big nap in the morning is actually part of his nights sleep. He doesn't want getting up at the early morning wake up. Assuming the cot is next to your bed, I'd dangle my arm over the side of the cot (while I'm lying in bed) for reassurance, reinsert dummy and largely ignore/doze until he goes back to sleep. A feed may or may not speed this up, give it a try. But the bottom line is stop treating this as morning time and treat it as a night wake.

So if we remove that "nap" and consider it part of tfe night time sleep - you baby is having 30 minute naps.

These are short naps. It means baby is not yet linking sleep cycles for daytime sleep. As such, the best way to improve baby's sleep is more frequent naps. More sleep breeds better sleep, so the more sleep baby is getting the easier and more restful he will find the sleep he does have.

You say daytime sleep is easy - that's great. In which case, shouldn't be too challenging to make those 30minute naps more frequent. Instead of 90m-2h awake time, I would reduce to 60-90m awake time.

Awake time lengths of 2h are the stuff of babies having long 1h+ naps regularly and I suspect this is leading to over tiredness.

The method of getting to sleep isn't the biggest issue of you are in an over-tired cycle. Just having more sleep over 24h is more important. Once baby is well rested and no longer over tired, then tackle the feeding to sleep issue. For now, however slerp happens, make it as easy as possible for baby to sleep.

Youvegotafriendinme Tue 16-May-17 17:14:42

Thank you for your reply. No, he is in his own room which is right next door to ours. When he wakes between 4:30-5:30 he is wide awake, laughing and doesn't go back to sleep for that long 'nap' for around an hour an a half. I've tried getting him back to sleep but he just gets frustrated. I will try a small fed though in case that helps.

So, apart from the large one in the morning, you don't think he is getting enough sleep during the day? He very rarely will sleep longer than half an hour but I will certainly try to squeeze in more naps. Is there a rough amount of time during the day that you would expect a baby to sleep in total at 6 months?

Thank you again for your post smile

ElspethFlashman Tue 16-May-17 17:22:46

Your napping is all over the shop. 3-4 naps would be customary, and more like 3 tbh.

At 7 months (I honestly can't remember what I did at 6 months, I suspect I too was all over the shop) my babies napped at 9/12/3.

Now sometimes on a very early morning it would be 8.30. You obviously can't be too rigid. But giving them naps every 1.5 hrs is unnecessary at 6 months. They're not newborns any longer.

But I did realise that at 7 months they HAD to be awake from 4.30 at the latest. Otherwise it was a nightmare.

I freely admit I laid down on our bed with them for the first few weeks to get them to nap longer. Warmth helps a lot. And being there to shh and pat them on the back when they stir. Still never really got any more than an hour but usually could get more than a half hour at least.

FATEdestiny Tue 16-May-17 20:09:39

When he wakes between 4:30-5:30 he is wide awake, laughing

Then completely ignore him, if he's not distressed. Turn the monitor own and try to snooze back to slerp yourself. Certainly don't get him up - this is a night time wake up.

If he stops laughing and start a crying, bring him into your bed and do your best to ignore him there. Don't engage dnd certainly dont get up. Treat this as a night wake up.

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