Frustrated with 8 month old(8 Posts)
I have NC for this and posted in Sleep as I hope if we can crack that then everything else will get better. Apologies in advance for what will be a long and rambling post.
DS is 8 months old. He's never been an amazing napper and have posted here several times before. He used to nap for 30 minutes but this has recently extended to anywhere between 40 minutes and 2.5 hours. I have been trying to implement a schedule with naps at 9am and 1pm but this is difficult given his wake up times and nap lengths vary so much.
This was yesterday:
5am - Wake
6:30 - After trying to resettle we finally got up
6:45 - Formula 8oz
7:15 - Back to bed as he was clearly tired (would normally have porridge)
8:30 - Wake
9:30 - Asleep again!
10:30 - Wake
11:00 - Formula 7oz and small snack
12:30 - Lunch and water
13:30 - Nap
15:00 - Awake
16:00 - Formula 7oz
17:30 - Dinner and water
18:15 - Bath
18:45 - Formula 6.5oz (given a 9oz bottle as he missed breakfast but left 2.5oz)
19:30 - Finally asleep
This morning he woke briefly at 2:30am and was up for the day at 5:30am. I got up several times during these periods to try to resettle him.
On a good day, for example, Friday, this is what we manage:
6:30/7 - Wake and 7-9oz formula
9:00 - Nap
10:00 - Wake
11:00 - Formula 7oz
12:00 - Lunch and water
13:00 - Nap
15:00 - Wake
16:00 - Formula 7oz
17:30 - Dinner and water
18:15 - Bath
18:30/18:45 - Formula 8oz
19:00 - Asleep
Usually with one dummy reinsert around 4/5am.
From what I've read the latter seems to be perfect for this age, but it's not achievable every day.
There is no consistency to our days and this is one of the things I'm struggling with. For the past couple of weeks he seems to take ages to fall asleep - he will start chatting/singing to himself which is normal, but then he will pull his dummy out and throw it across the room. I'm sure he knows I'll go into the room if he does that. He will then turn himself onto his front and start looking around, banging on the cot bars, and will eventually end up whinging/crying because he's overtired. Eventually he will go to sleep but it can take up to 45 minutes for him to nod off.
On top of the sleep issues he has been moaning CONSTANTLY which is so frustrating. He doesn't seem happy with anything.I'm beginning to dislike spending time with him. He used to be such a happy boy but he's really winding me up at the moment. I'm starting to worry myself with how angry I'm becoming. I've spent most of the morning crying because I love him so much and feel ashamed about how irritating I'm finding him. It's emotionally and psychically draining looking after him - he is a big boy (90th centile) and very active. I don't have any family nearby to help and all my friends work. DH is currently very busy at work and rarely makes it home in time for bath/bed. I don't feel like I have a right to complain as everyone says he's such a happy baby and from reading some of the posts on here I am getting much more sleep than most other mums at this stage. I'm starting to feel guilty for being tired.
I understand he's going through a developmental leap at the moment but I can't remember him being as difficult through any of the others. I have a constant headache and feel like if we can crack naps and we can both then I will relax more and everything else will get better.
I should add he can self-settle and has a comforter and dummy. He is able to find and reinsert his dummy himself but will rarely do so - I think he associates the dummy with sleep so isn't fond of it and would rather launch it across the room! Before we started weaning he was on 5x 8oz bottles a day (occasionally 9oz before bed) but since having 3 meals a day he will not always finish a bottle.
I have tried a later nap at 4/4:30pm but he rarely wants one. If he does have one I find he wakes for the day even earlier.
If anyone can help I would really appreciate it before I completely lose it.
I think that the single most important thing you need to do- and do it today - is to make yourself a doctor's appointment. This time with your son is passing you buy and to waste it feeling angry, annoyed, dislike is no way to be. Please take to your doctor about the way you are feeling. Make an appointment today for tomorrow.
On from that, in as gentler a way as possible, it's difficult to seperate how much of you talk about is depression catastrophising. It's not usual for Big Deal Problems to become non-issues when depression clears. And I wonder how successful any changes will be anyway, given your frame of mind.
Please talk to your doctor about post natal depression
I'll offer some practical help too.
You can't get a by-the-clock routine happening with such unpredictable nap lengths. It's just not going to happen. Better to work on an awake-time structure to your day. Make your awake time about double the length of the previous nap. Or work out what works best for your child. Be flexible about it.
Give meals before milk. A balanced and varied diet should be taking over milk intake now. High calorie foods, plenty of protein, vegetables, carbs, dairy.
Give milk as soon as baby wakes in the morning. Then have baby in your room (ideally in a cot next to your bed) and dangle a hand in the cot while lying on your bed to tickle, pat, generally be reassuring. But mostlmostly just ignore and doze.
My 8 month old is so very similar to this - she's in the process of extending her naps, but so unpredictable and all over the place! She appeared to be heading in this direction a short while ago then reverted to 30 minute catnaps (that was a bad few weeks for us!)
As Fate suggested, I'm leaving the routine until she can reliably stay asleep for as long as she needs. It does make life harder to organise, but I find it very stressful trying to stick to a routine that is forever getting thrown off course - going with the flow has made me a lot happier.
I'm no expert in baby sleep, but my little girl is still going down for a nap (ie. I start the desperate and relentless process of bouncing her off to sleep in the bouncy chair) after 2 hours awake, maybe more if she does one of her good naps. I wonder if your little boy may be overtired? It sounds like he's awake for quite long stretches on the days his naps are short. DD gets very whingey if she hasn't slept enough over the course of the day.
I wish I had a way to 'crack' naps, but I think while they're in this awkward transition, more sleep and more often are the things to aim for. And in whatever way works. DD has never been a great settler so I have to work quite hard to get her off (and ignore DH helpfully suggesting we just leave her because she might not be tired - after she's been awake over four hours!) but it's always worth it when I do.
for you. It's hard.
I'm not very experienced to give practical help but just be kind to yourself and I would say that all first time mum's go through a phase of being frustrated/annoyed with their babies so don't feel guilty about it. I reckon it's just a normal part of motherhood, you've had the bad sleep others which has led you to feel this way others will have had colic or poor feeding or some random other thing which leads them to feel inadequate in some way. I just try and remember what my more experienced mother friends tell me "it's just a phase and it will pass"!
This sounds normal to me for an 8 month old.
Nothing you've written, apart from your own
Mental health, sounds worrying to me. In fact, based on what you've written, I'd say you've got a really good sleeper at 8 months.
Join the discussion
Please login first.