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Help! Sleep all over the place! (long)

(12 Posts)
ionesmum Sun 25-Aug-02 14:24:14

I'm sorry to be asking for help again. Dd recently got herself into a routine where she went to bed at about 9 p.m., woke for milk, went back to sleep and woke at 9 am. In the last week however, dd has been downstairs all evening, gone to sleep at 1-2.30 am and not woken before 10 - and then I've actually woken her up. She can manage long stretches of sleep but at the wrong time. It makes going out really difficult - I turn down any morning invites that we get. Her daytime naps are erratic and she usually falls asleep whilst I'm holding her. Some days she seems to sleep most of the day, even sleeping through meals, and others she'll be awake all day.

It doesn't help that dd needs me to go to sleep, when she had colic she needed to sleep on my chest to be comfortable and now that is the best way to get her to sleep. I don't feel comfortable leaving her to cry - she gets rigid with fear if she's left and even starts choking/ being sick.

What can I do? Things were going really well but it's like we've regressed back to where we were 2 months' ago. Should I try a GF-type routine? I don't mind the idea of dd finding her own routine but now it's affecting the quality of both our lives.

Thank you!

sister Sun 25-Aug-02 14:41:22

In the early days I used to rock them to sleep with a bottle of milk in their bedroom with the light down low then when they got older they were allowed a any way up cup in bed. After a few months I move the milk time to downstairs then when they went to bed I told them that I'd get their milk but I'd never return, thus teaching them to fall asleep on their own. I'm sure this is not the recommended method but it worked well for me!

sobernow Sun 25-Aug-02 19:05:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

manna Sun 25-Aug-02 20:17:08

Isn't your dd about 9mths now? If I were you, I'd do a gf thing. You know I'm a fan, but you really should try and establish a kind of routine that you're happy with before she's much older. They start to realise what they're doing in terms of manipulative crying / playing up about now, I think. My ds certainly has recently, although thank goodness his is (atm) only manifesting in really laughably fake REALLY ANGRY crying when I try and change his nappy, which I just laugh at.

ionesmum Sun 25-Aug-02 21:22:03

Thanks for the advice. Dd is nearly 7 mo but I think she's old enough to be in some sort of vague routine by now. She does do fake angry crying, but when she wakes in her cot on her own she just totally panics and gets in such a state, eyes staring, choking, being sick...

Sobernow, I can't think she finds me at all entertaining. On the other hand, her daddy thinks that suitable evening entertainment includes dd pretending to be a jockey and being dangled above his head. Perhaps I need to have words!

Manna, at what age did you first do GF? None of us are morning people but I could manage an 8 o'clock start (7 would kill me!) Did you do cc? I just can't see it working for dd.

Sister, when did you stop the rocking to sleep? I like it now TBH but I don't want to be doing it when she's two! Also I don't think it helps her naps, if I'm in the middle of someting and she wakes up I often have to get her up as I don't have the time to sit with her in my arms/on my chest until she goes to sleep.

florenceuk Mon 26-Aug-02 20:06:42

Ionesmum, why not try waking her 15-30min earlier each day and putting her to bed a bit earlier - if she wakes at 10 each day she won't go down at 7pm. Plus if DH has excited her she won't feel like sleeping. So try first giving her some quiet time before bed. Your DD can sleep for long stretches, you just have to make sure they're the right times for you!

aloha Mon 26-Aug-02 21:44:15

I agree. I'd wake her earlier every morning until you are waking her at 8am. As you wake her earlier she will start to get tired earlier. I put ds down around 2hours after waking (10am for you, 9am for me) and again straight after lunch (if I were you I'd wait until 1pm -1.30pm). Just keep going to reinforce the habit. She might cry a bit, but keep going in and stroking her hair, face etc, but let her cry if the crying gets tired and weaker instead of stronger and more distraught - ie if she's just winding down, then let her. My ds often cries before sleep and I think it's just his way of discharging tiredness and emotion so he can relax. Start with waking her in the am, then working on the daytime. I always take my ds up for a nap the minute he gets a bit cranky, even if he seems very lively. I don't think babies show tiredness in the way you would expect. Good luck!

ionesmum Mon 26-Aug-02 21:59:22

This advice is so sensible. I did set the alarm today for 9.30 and it did make a difference to dd's naps. Once dd goes to bed, should she stay there even if it means one of us being in the room with her? (I think she might be getting separation anxiety as she cries whenever we leave the room) I know when dd is about to go into a tired grizzle as she gets really hyper and giggles like mad! Then suddenly it's all change! Aloha, dd is often tired around 4 p.m. I don't really want her to be sleeping so late so will try getting her off to sleep after lunch. Florenceuk - have had words with dh!

aloha Mon 26-Aug-02 22:29:46

Ionesmum, I always put ds down, kiss him on the forehead, stroke his hair and say something like, 'shh, go to sleep now darling' and leave the room even if he is crying. Then I keep an ear out for about five minutes and go back if he is winding up and stay out if he is winding down (if you know what I mean). If he is genuinely upset I go back, repeat the kiss, hair stroking etc, and leave again. I don't stay and I don't get him up, but will go in as much as I need to to calm him. Sometimes I get him out of the cot and rock him on my knee but never take him downstairs. I also leave the room while he is crying because so often he is crying because he is tired - nothing to do with missing me! I try to stike a balance between keeping a routine and avoiding distress, for both our sakes. Now I can tell when he is craving his bed (he keeps arching back into a 'lying down in my cot' position! He's so happy when he's had enough sleep and I feel it really does him good. I wonder if it would help to put your dd down when she gets a bit giddy instead of waiting for the crying - you may find she goes to sleep with less crying/distress. Again, good luck, and keep her wakeup time as regular as possible as this will regulate her sleep times.

ionesmum Tue 27-Aug-02 21:25:51

Hello! We got dd up at 9.45 yesterday and she went to bed at 11.45 . We got her up at the same time today, and saw our new hv who suggested that we miss one of dd's top-up feeds and instead bring her big feed, which she usually has at bed-time, forward to mid-evening. We have done so and also I managed to keep dd awake for 1 and a half hours after her breakfast (instead of the ususal 20 mins) and I put dd down after lunch as you suggested and the result? She has gone down at 8.45!!!!!!!!!!!!! If she wakes up I will just give her a top-up. I am trying to do things in stages and hope to crack bed and getting-up times first, then naps, and then getting dd used to getting off to sleep on her own.

And then dd will start teething.

Bozza Tue 27-Aug-02 21:56:44

Good luck Ionesmum. I think the key is probably to try for consistency at first and then once a routine is established you can be a bit more flexible around it.

Also IME they go to sleep better if they haven't got too tired.

ionesmum Tue 27-Aug-02 22:35:25

Thank you!

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