A multitude of sleep problems ....(10 Posts)
Don't really know where to start with this but am hoping someone can help - think this is going to be a long post!!
DS2 is 10 months and has never slept through the night. Up until around 2 mths ago, he would go to bed at 7.30pm after a b/f and wake probably twice during the night at around 1am and maybe 4am/5am. Then he started throwing in another night wakening around 2 hours after his second time up. Then he got a rotten headcold and started waking at around 10.30/11pm, then 3 hrs after that and from then on at 2 hrly intervals - sometimes less until morning.
When he wakes he has a b/feed - sometimes a decent sized one but often small and is put back in his cot either asleep or drowsy but awake. BUT sometimes he goes in and starts to yell and it takes me maybe another half hour to settle him.
Is he getting enough to eat? I think so. That said, two nights ago he had a jar of baby rice pudding and scoffed the lot and that was the only night in such a long time that he went for 2 x 5 hr stretches w/out waking - bliss! Last night I gave him the same pudding after a big dinner ... he woke 4 times - at least (lost count). He's not a great pudding eater - won't eat yogurt and nibbles on fruit although I try to give him semolina a couple of nights a week.
So that's my first problem.
We have tried to cut out some middle of the night feeds - I moved to the spare room and DH took over with water and cc ... 1.5hrs and 2 vomits later, I gave up.
He's a ready vomiter, BTW!
Second problem ... up until 2 weeks ago (the day he discovered he could sit up unaided in his cot) he took two naps a day ... going down wide awake, babbling for a while and then sleeping for about 1-1.5 hrs each time. The day he sat up alone, that all changed and I now seem to spend naptimes alternating between running upstairs to lie him down and listening to him crying when I leave the room. This can go on for up to an hour.
Gina says let him cry, Mark Weissbluth says let him cry and I have ... but being so good at making himself sick that's often the end result ... which makes me feel really bad.
So I've gone from having a brilliant napper to a no-napper. I do not believe he needs to drop his morning nap - if so surely he would reduce it in time rather than refusing to go to sleep at all. I've played around with it's start time, making it a bit later - it worked for a few days but no longer. Also, if for some reason he misses the morning nap, he doesn't sleep better in the afternoon. Afternoon nap is either at 2.15pm (have to collect DS1 from playschool) or 1.30/1.45pm on non-playsch days. Bedtime 7.30pm. He gets up anywhere between 7 and 8am.
What on earth can I do? Do I sort the naps out first or tackle the whole thing together?
Any words of wisdom? I phoned the NCT b'feeding line in desperation last week about the nighttime wakings and a very nice lady told me I was doing everything right and suggested a few days of Phenergan to break the waking habit ... at this stage, I'm seriously tempted.
Sorry this is so long but I'm tearing my hair out ... literally!
ps ... now I'm off to lift him from another no nap.
A thought but if he doesnt want to go down for a nap, then maybe if you didn't put him down, he may sleep longer during the night. dd started sleeping through the night at 3 months, and she would only have half an hour nap during the day.
My sympathies are with you. I've had similar problems with my ds. When he was younger it sometimes felt is if all I did was feed him and then try and get him to go to sleep - over and over again. I tried everything - changing nap times, bed times feed times etc. But nothing worked. Sometimes he would sleep better if he'd had alot of solids, other times he would be worse than ever.
Even though the sleep and feed problems are interlinked I tried to tackle them separately. First of all I decided to put in place a strategy for feeds at night. If nothing else, it helped me feel that I was in control. I decided that I would feed him only twice and that the feeds would be at least four hours apart. If he wouldn't settle in between those times then I would just have to deal with that. Then I tackled the night sleep. This did involved crying - thankfully no vomiting, but it worked after a couple of nights. The last couple of nights he has woken only once and hasn't been fed at all. It takes alot of courage not to feed your baby he he wakes at night, but I don't think they do need it at this age (ds is 7months). Mine is now on formula as I've got back to work, which does make it easier to avoid feeding.
He goes to nursery so the daytime naps are out of my control, however since he's been sleeping better at night he has also started sleeping better during the day. He used to have around three or four 20-45 minute naps, but now he has two one hour naps. I'm hoping that he will get into the nursery routine soon.
These things seem so impossible to sort out, but I think having a strategy for feeding really helped me feel that I was in control as it is so easy to slip into that snack/short sleep cycle.
Thanks Tammybear and Otto for taking the time to reply! Tammybear, I *think* he does need the nap during the day - and truthfully, I need that time out too (!) so I'm really reluctant to drop it. Otto - how right you are - a strategy to make me feel in control would be just fabulous. That's what I thought I had on the nights we decided to offer no feeds between midnight and 5am or the time I thought about reducing the feeds by 1min per night til gone. Didn't work! But if/when I get him into slightly better shape that's just what I'll be doing.
Today he's currently down for his second nap - yeah!!!! We were away all day yesterday so he didn't nap properly and is really tired but I hope it also broke the no sleep cycle and maybe we can get back to normal - of some sort. Night-times are 1 step forward and ten back - have now had 2 nights were he's slept for extended periods of maybe 6 hours and every night's a bonus.
I'm still wondering whether it's food related and have been giving him heavy puddings at dinner-time to try and fill him up that bit more - but sometimes it works and more often that not, it doesn't!
Anyway, it's good to know I'm not alone ... just have to try and keep my head above water and persevere with him. Developmentally he's very busy (just started crawling yesterday and wants to be in the thick of all the action) so I guess that's adding to our woes!
Why does it have to be so hard? I thought I'd cracked the sleeping, but ds has now started to wake again after just three nights of sleeping. I think it's teething, but it has shaken my confidence in not feeding at night. He's also learned to sit up in the cot, so I'm off to buy a sleeping bag to try and make this harder for him to do.
I know Gina Ford is very unpopular, but I did find her daytime sleep advice helpful. Ds would always wake 40 mins after going to sleep, but after I read Gina I tried to settle him when he woke and usually he would go on to sleep for at least an hour and ahalf. It sometimes took a while to settle him and it didn't always work, but it did for most of the time. He always sleeps longer over the lunchtime period than at any other time of the day. She says it's because they experience a natural lull at this time of the day. It also means that they don't sleep too close to bedtime. Good luck
Oh Otto, poor you! And just when it looked like things were settling down - you have my sympathies! Don't lose confidence in what you're doing with nighttime feedings - like you say, it's probably teething. Funny, it was learning to sit up in his cot that really wrecked my daytime naps for a couple of weeks. I use a sleeping bag at night but not during the day! DS2's daytime naps have, touch wood, been a bitter better over the weekend but last night he was up every 2 hrs from midnight. Am soooo tired. Hope tonight is better for both of us.
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Hi guys... I really feel for you, i was in same position at that stage... Ds has been a nightmare sleeper since about 4mths.. For me it was the worst stage from 8to 10 mths because of teething and crawling..it will pass trust me!!!
Once my ds (now 15mths) learned to sit up and crawl around d cot it was a nightmare during day until the novelty wore off 4 weeks!!!) i had to battle him to stay down by holding his legs down... A nurse to,d me to tie a single bedsheet very tight across the bed (tie each corner diagonally ) to hold him under it until he calmed down... Sounded barbaric but it did work!! Then he calmed down after he realised he wldnt get away with it... I use sleepbag day and night
Also when they get sleep deprived (i my case) the less ds slept during day the more he tended to wake at night..so some days i wld try as hard as i could to get decent naps into him to try and break the cycle. Sometimes this worked but not always!
He also has better arvo nap if morning one is good, so i try and concentrate on morning one, getting the timing right. He has always had quite a short awake time in morning compared to other bubs.
The headcold could have affected his ears or breathing... Have you tried taking him to osteo? My ds had reflux, so if his sleep got way out of hand i took him to osteo which helped. At one stage i was feeding him cabbage, bad idea! Too much wind caused night wakings too, so it could be food related, but probably mostly due to crawling, its like they cant switch off when they r learning..ds is walking now and i was dreading that milestone in terms of night waking, but the crawling stage was much much worse!!!
Could also be separation anxiety, this got worse for us around this age too.. So i had to sit and pat and shush until he went right to sleep.. If i walked out it wld only rev him up again... That got better as he got older.
If ds had bad night of wakings, i can guarantee that the first nap needs to be earlier for him cos he is fatigued from night before.. Otherwise if i leave his nap for usual time it is shorter than usual..v frustrating. Main thing is try to catch up on lost sleep any way you can (easy to say not easy to achieve!) ds is finally STTN mostly..he worked that out 2weeks before 1st birthday, but is still subject to waking if he is overtired from short day naps, teething etc. it does get so much better once they start walking, crawling and wearing themselves out tho..
"That's what I thought I had on the nights we decided to offer no feeds between midnight and 5am"
I tried doing something like this - basically saying I would feed at the first wake up but not the second and we'd do CC for the second - and it was awful, didn't work at all. However, when we tried doing no night feeds at all, and doing CC for every wake up, it worked. I think dd couldn't understand the inconsistency of the first approach. completely understand you may be reluctant to try the CC again though...
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