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Can't get DC2, 5 months, to sleep in cot

(8 Posts)
Nuttypops Wed 17-May-17 17:11:57

I'm pulling my hair out a bit with DS's sleep at the moment. He is 5.5 months, and is DC2. We also have DD who is 2.5 years old.

I simply can't seem to get DS into any sort of sleep routine, mainly because I can't get him to actually sleep in his cot. He has a co-sleeper attached to our bed, no dummy, and is EBF, refuses all bottles. I have struggled to get him in his cot from day 1, but could eventually get him in it at night after feeding him to sleep and then transferring once he had settled. He co-slept from the first wake because it took hours to get him to settle in the cot again.

Now he is going to bed earlier, around 8pm, it is taking me around 45 mins to get him to sleep in his cot at night. He then generally wakes 45 mins later at which point I give in co-sleep. I am aware this is a sleep cycle and he is unable to get himself back into the next one hence waking.

I can't get him to nap in his cot at all at the moment no matter how long I spend trying to get him down.

We have no issues with co-sleeping, but I don't want to go to bed at 8.45 every night, and I need to be able to put him down for at least one nap during the day so I have some one to one time with DD. I can deal with the sling, pram, car naps etc but he does need to be able to nap by himself when we are home.

We have tried DH putting him to bed and I am trying to get him to go down awake so he falls asleep in his cot. Generally he just screams for ages which I am not comfortable with. I am quite happy to feed to sleep at this age, but even that isn't giving me any chance to get him into the cot.

Any ideas, sanity tips please?
I know this won't last forever, but I am struggling with it now and very aware that DD will soon be off pre-school for the summer and I have to be able to get him down then.

littletwofeet Wed 17-May-17 17:20:06

Will he transfer to another surface (just not cot) when you feed him to sleep? So can you feed him to sleep and put him down in the pram/bouncy chair/couch (obviously you'd have to stay in the room to keep an eye).

Or can you feed him to sleep on bed and then sneak away? You can put bed rails up so he can't roll off. Maybe get a video monitor incase you need to go downstairs to play with your DD in the day.

Personally, I'd feed to sleep and put down rather than spending ages trying to get him to self settle in his cot, he may just not be developmentally ready for doing that yet.

Nuttypops Wed 17-May-17 17:34:27

Unfortunately not, I can't get him down anywhere after feeding to sleep. On the rare occasion it works, he wakes after about 10 mins and is clearly still tired. I used to feed to sleep on our bed then leave him to nap there (video monitor and bed rails are being used after we started co-sleeping properly a few months ago), but again he wakes after about 10 mins.

I think you are right that he isn't ready to self settle yet. I have just been trying to think when DD was able to do that and I think she started occasionally at around 7 months by sucking her thumb. She would let me feed to sleep then put her down though.

littletwofeet Wed 17-May-17 18:43:45

It's so hard when you've got an older one and you can't put the baby down. I know the feeling of them waking up after 10 minutes!

Mine went through a phase of not being put down to sleep, then gradually came out of it and I was guaranteed to be able to feed to sleep and put down.

I did a mixture of naps in pram, I would try to time nap so they slept on way home and I got a bit of time with older one. Or I fed them to sleep and let them sleep on me while I read books/played figures or little games with older one (I know it's not the same as them getting put down though). Or we sat and watched CBeebies cuddled up, if I was organised I'd get us lunch/drinks/snacks first and we ate on couch watching telly. Probably not ideal but older ones loved it and was a little bit of time together/a little treat. I basically did whatever I could to manage at the time until it passed.

Everyone's different and you've got to do what works did you. I was never comfortable persevering getting them to sleep in for when they clearly weren't ready/happy to do so. I felt that if they learned that sleep was lovely and happy (on me with boob) it would translate to them being relaxed and enjoying sleep when ready to be put down rather than it being stressful experience. That could be nonsense though, it was just what I felt was right for my DC, as I say everyone is different. Some persevere with the cot and that works for them. Just trust your instincts.

FATEdestiny Wed 17-May-17 19:04:18

Have you tried naps in a bouncy chair?

The perpetual nivement is great for gettibg baby to sleep, keeping baby asleep and lengthening naps as much as possible.

It also means you can sit on the floor bouncing the bouncer with one hand while playing with toddler. Or sit on the sofa foot bouncing the bouncer, leaving both hands free to play with toddler.

I have just been trying to think when DD was able to do that and I think she started occasionally at around 7 months by sucking her thumb

It's to do with the development of fine motor skills (pincer grip, picking up and putting down objects, moving and manipulating objects). This hapiens around 7-10 months old.

Have you tried a dummy? While you will be needed to put dummy in for baby until they reach the same 7-10m age, at least baby can learn to settle independantly, away from breast.

LapinR0se Wed 17-May-17 19:08:06

Yes the issue is feeding to sleep. You neeed to help your baby get to sleep in the cot. I know it's hard but you can get your husband to do lots of patting and calming right next to him. (Not you, your baby will just have no clue why the boob is not on offer and will get terribly worked up)

Nuttypops Thu 18-May-17 16:02:23

Thanks everyone, it is useful to read through your replies and get some perspective.

I hadn't thought of using the bouncy chair for naps, that is a good idea Fate, thanks. He won't take a dummy, not for want of trying as we thought that would help as he is a sucky baby but he isn't interested no matter how long we persist.

Thanks all!

Nuttypops Thu 18-May-17 16:05:55

Thanks everyone, it is useful to read through your replies and get some perspective.

I hadn't thought of using the bouncy chair for naps, that is a good idea Fate, thanks. He won't take a dummy, not for want of trying as we thought that would help as he is a sucky baby but he isn't interested no matter how long we persist. The bouncy chair is a good possibility, we will try that for a few weeks to see how we get on.

Little, your last paragraph made me feel a whole lot better, thank you! It's not like he is going to be napping on me when he is 20, and actually enjoying the cuddles now whilst he is little sits a lot more comfortably with me. I am going to try the cot again in a week or so, but have decided to just give it 15 mins or so and if it is a no go, we will go back and try again a few weeks later. Hopefully he will settle into it with time.

Thanks all!

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