6 month old terrible sleep please help(8 Posts)
DS is my third child and 6 months old.
Until he was 5 months old i didn't feeling was necessary to create a sleep routine, I fed him and he fell asleep.
At around 5 months I started to think of more regular napping and a bedtime routine. My aim was to put him to bed sleepy but awake and teach him to fall asleep himself. Using the baby whisperer method i did this with my older two and it worked really well.
However, for around the last month I've been doing this with DS and it's just horrendous. There are multiple problems here that I need help with and i just don't know where to start.
His 'routine ' is as follows...(he is breast fed except for a three oz bottle at 11pm which he has in addition to a breast feed)
730ish wake, milk
Nap lasting 30 min anytime between 1130am and 1pm
345pm nap in pram lasting max 30 min
5pm milk . .from about 5 til bedtime he is quite cranky
6ish small amount of solid food
730 milk and bed
1) when i think he is tired i put the routine in motion, change him, close curtains, dummy, cuddle and song and bed. I do ot the same every time.
I put him into his cot then as he's usually drowsy. Then it goes crazy. He becomes more alert, regardless of how tired he is, starts kicking and wriggling etc etc. I rub him to calm him but don't pick him up.
He calms down , i leave the room. Sometimes he is calm for a while, sometimes briefly. Generally he gets gradually more upset and ends up screaming.
When he cries i always return to reassure him. Mostly even if i am there rubbing his cheek or similar he still screams! It's horrible and this pattern can continue for up to 1.5hrs before he falls asleep. And when he does dose off it is always for thirty mins or less.
We've kind of got to the point where I end of staying next to him to console him until he sleeps.
I really don't know where I am going wrong. He seems to hate going to sleep. I find the whole thing upsetting and i hate that he seems to find goingto bed so awful.
2) we are only able to do this daytime nap in the cot once a day as i have two older DC and we are doing the school run. He will often sleep in pram then for 30 min.
So between waking at 730 ish and bed about 745 he sleeps around an hour with sometimes another ten mins here and there in the car or on my lap.
Surely this isn't enough?
Strangely, his nighttime bed time routine is ok and he goes to sleep much quicker. He does fall asleep whrn i feed him before bed but i wake him and put his gro bag on have a cuddle and put him in his cot...generally he is less angry and goes to sleep much more quickly.
3) since I started trying to get him to daytime nap his nighttime sleep has gone haywire....i give him a dream feed at 11pm and til recently he would wake once after that. But in the last couple of weeks he has been waking three or more times. I'm shattered.
If you've managed to read this far thank you!
Can you give me any advice on how to improve daytime napping please? The only other thing to say is that apart from the sleep he is an incredibly smiley, placid, contented boy.
Thanks for any advice you can give.
You’re right, it’s not enough daytime sleep.
If he wakes up at 7.30ish then the first nap would be at around 9. He is going way too long between naps and so is dreadfully overtired which is why it’s so hard to get him to sleep.
That first nap would be around 9-10 and the next one 12-2.30 or 1-3. If he can’t manage a long nap like that then you do a third short nap at around 4.
Forget about sleepy signs and go by the clock. Persevere with putting down awake if you can!
Why don’t you just stay with him/feed him to sleep? It’s obviously what works and it sounds like you’re both getting horribly worked up.
Thanks lapin and crazy for answering.
Crazy- I've wanted to stop letting him fred to sleep as that works well with a tiny one but as they get bigger its less practical and i want him to grow up confident about going to bed.
Lapin - I'd always understood i should look for signs but yes maybe you're right and i should try sooner.
He just hates it do much! I expected it to improve but it's not. I feel sad that as DC 3 he has to be kind of show horned into everything going on.
He is generally v laid back....but around 4/ he gets so grumpy, I guess as he is tired but at that point the DC are home from.school and i don't have the energy or ti.me to try to put him to bed again!
You could for naps around the school run.
Keep baby awake (sitting up in pushchair, lots of talking and interaction) on the morning school run then as soon as you are home from school, straight upstairs as soon as home and into the cot. So if that's 9.15am, make that naptime.
Then work backwards from your afternoon school run to work out the timing of the afternoon nap. If you need to leave the house at 3.15pm for example, baby wants to be awake 2.45-3pm ish to give enough time for a feed/snack. And you want to aim for a 2h nap, so nap starting between 12.30 and 1pm would work.
Then if needed, third nap around the time you are cooking dinner. Say 4.30pm ish.
Sorry for replying late everyone.
Thanks fate. I tried this today and so far it worked! Two naps based on how long he'd been awake rather than if he looked tired and he went to sleep in 15 min!
But only for 30 min each time...he never sleeps longer than 30 min at once in the day. I suspect he is waking during sleep cycles. Does anyone have any advice on how to help him sleep longer?
Thanks again .
Extending naps is easier if you have a settling method that happens in-situ, without needing to move baby. So for example if baby is used to going to sleep in the cot with dummy and you patting (or whatever) then the idea would be that you catch baby just before waking and use your resettle method to encourage baby into a second sleep cycle.
After a while of you helping baby link sleep cycles, they can usually learn to link them without a resettle. I kept naps in the bouncy chair until they extended for exactly this purpose. It mean bouncing was an easy way to lull baby into another sleep cycle. I only moved naps into the cot once no resettles were needed, it was just easier with multiple children.
You'll have difficulty resettling (and so extending naps) if baby is put down already asleep. The way to extend naps if baby goes to sleep in your arms is to let baby stay asleep in your arms (or in a sling) and rock/jiggle back to slerp to extend naps. But this isn't conducive to independant sleep.
Thanks for this fate....he generally wakes at 30/31 mins....i could set my watch by him. So perhaps fron what you say I should go in at 29 mins and jump in. He's def still shattered at that time.
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