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Same Old Story - Lack of Sleep and can't work out the routine

(17 Posts)
Tillysmummy Fri 10-Jan-03 17:53:58

Having been all gung ho about other sleep problems this week and said I just take it all in my stride which of course I do most days, today is not one of those days ! I feel knackered and this is my 3rd virus / cold / flu or whatever it is in 3 weeks ! Two course of antibiotics later and Im not going to take anymore ! DD has as I've said before never been the best of sleepers and goes from around 7 to 6 ish maybe 6.30, sometimes if a miracle occurs 7. She has had nasty spells of 5 or 5.30 wakings recently but stays in her cot till 6 and then we get her up (most of the time not crying just whining / chatting / whining / chatting and so on). She used to have two sleeps, one nap early morning, say 9 for 45 mins or so and then another one for an hour or so after lunch. Lately she hasn't wanted her 9am one and I just can't be bothered to battle with her -I figured she's not tired enough. She's 16 months btw. So I have been trying to put her down at 10.30 or 11 for a sleep. She seems to sleep really well then and for a good couple of hours. This seems to be the only time of day she does this but then still wakes at 12 or 1 and then is overtired again by bedtime at 7 which results in us putting her to bed early and her waking even earlier. I can't work out what to do because if I hold her sleep off to say 12 with an early lunch and then straight to bed she's invariably over tired and a) doesn't sleep very long or b) is terrible to get to sleep.

If I am out for the afternoon and she naps briefly in the car on the way back from somewhere she seems (don't know if it's just coincidence) to sleep better at night but if I try and put her down mid afternoon for another nap she's not interested.

I am not expecting any miracles and know only too well that I am not blessed with a great sleeper and we have periods of bad sleep normally coinciding with teeth (only four molars to go now thank goodness then they're all through). Half the time I wonder how she'll sleep when all her teeth are through and whether she's just a bad sleeper or it is her teeth. It seems that often she just cries in her sleep (every 10 mins last night but when I go to see her she's still asleep) and unfortunately her room is so close to ours we hear everything.

It's good to vent and I know that it's probably a phase etc etc but if any of you do have any pearls of wisdom please do share.

Thanks in advance for listening to my whinging yet again on the sleep thing !

manna Fri 10-Jan-03 19:26:28

my ds (13 mnths) is dropping his morning sleep atm as well. Although at the moment we are blessed with incredibly late risings, my principles are the same whatever time he wakes: if he has a 45 min nap am, which he wont go down for anymore anyway, there is no way he will sleep again 1- 3pm, which is his normal nap time. With mine, I know that he'll get sleepy 3hrs after he wakes. If he woke early, I'll take him out in the pushchair and let him nap for 15mins MAX. If he woke late, but is still grumpy around 11am, I sit and watch a video (something I've never done before) with him quietly for 30mins. It's wind down time, instead of sleep, but helps not to overtire him. Then lunch at 11.45 if no sleep am, or 12pm if little sleep later. Then comes a second wind. But don't be fooled. As long as he's only had a tiny sleep am he'll still go down at 1pm. I wake him at 3pm and he'll easily last until 7.15ish. Don't be tempted to let them have a big sleep so early, if you did gina, which I seem to remember you did. Her lunch will be late, and there's no way my ds would last 6hrs without a nap in the pm, and pm naps are lethal now, as far as bedtime is concerned. Hope that helps!

GeorginaA Fri 10-Jan-03 19:32:58

I think my ds dropped his morning nap at around 14/15 months so it seems reasonable that she doesn't need that one anymore ... that said he always had his later sleep around 12/12.30 and that didn't move even after dropping the morning nap. Didn't then have a later afternoon nap either. Does sound if she's worn out by 7 that 10.30/11 is a bit too early for her morning nap. Might be worth trying to push that back a bit and see how you do?

Can't really advise much more than that I'm afraid as ds has been a reasonable sleeper - I was fortunate to miss out on most of the usual trials and tribulations unless he's ill. Hope you get some rest very soon.

Is there any chance you can get a break from a friend or relative for a bit? Even if just for a few hours in an afternoon for you to get a break. It does sound like you're very run down to have had that many viruses so close together. It's amazing how much easier it is to cope once you yourself have had some decent rest, isn't it?!

Bozza Sat 11-Jan-03 14:03:59

I think most kids drop down to one nap about this age. DS did at 12 months when he moved up a room at nursery. I used to give him a split lunch - something he liked and was easy because he was grumpy befor he went down and then a bit more when he woke up. And he had his nap about 12ish.

elliott Sat 11-Jan-03 14:23:33

It sounds to me like you are doing sensible things but that it is a difficult stage going through the transition from two naps to one.
Some thoughts:
1. Try to build in quiet 'rest' time instead of a nap as manna suggests - either read/cuddle or perhaps a ride in the buggy so she can tune out - at times when she is flagging (either 9.30 and try and push the sleep forward, or late pm)
2. The sleep book I use suggests that at this stage,going from two naps to one, a slightly earlier bedtime may help. I know you say this makes her wake up earlier, but it may be worth trying this consistently for a few nights (maybe 15-20 mins earlier) rather than as a one off when she's completely crashing out. The book claims that this should not bring forward the wake up time but should help to make sleep less broken, so it might be worth a go.
3. if you think the early starts are the main problem and she is really tired at that time, you could try cc/leaving her till she goes back to sleep as suggested on the other thread.
4. Try to get to bed early yourself so that at least you don't feel so c*** and can hopefully find more energy to sort it out/cope with it.

Just some ideas, otherwise much sympathy - I've also suffered with the 'hearing every cry through the wall' syndrome, though fortunately at present ds doesn't seem to be making so much noise at night (or perhaps we're no longer hearing him)....

Tillysmummy Wed 15-Jan-03 09:41:39

Thought I'd just refresh my memory on your good advice. Ladies I really feel like I've tried everything now and her lack of sleep some days definitely means she wakes at 5 or 5.30 instead of 6 or 6.30. Days when she sleeps well and has an afternoon nap albeit brief and in the car she's better at night. I have tried putting her down at 11.45 or 12 and she will go down like a lamb but then will wake screaming an hour later and won't go back off again - is it her teeth or is she overtired or is she just a pain in the a***! Then I have the dilemma on days she's been awake since 5 and whinging (not got up till 6) do I put her down earlier or still try and keep her up till 12 ?

I am now fed up with trying to work it out and have just decided to relax and not try and work my days around her sleeping anymore. It doesn't seem to work the last 3 months, she has thrown her routine out of the window and wakes at 5 or 5.30 every day !!

This normally results in us putting her to bed at 6.30 ish because she is knackered but maybe if we keep her up till 7 no matter what she'll sleep a bit later. One thing I have noticed is she rarely sleeps more than 11 hours. Occasionally 12 but very rare. Maybe she just doesn't need so much sleep and I am sure that I am a lot luckier than many people who have worse sleep problems.

So I am just throwing in the towel No more worrying about it and trying to make her sleep 7 till 7 - I guess she just never will.

Temptress Wed 15-Jan-03 09:49:37

Tillysmum could you not just let her have a shorter sleep in the morning so that she will have an afternoon sleep at say 2.30-3pm?

As for her waking so early in the morning, maybe she is just not a child that needs a huge amount of sleep overnight. Maybe you could try putting her to bed a little later, say 7.30/8 to see if she wall then wake up later in the morning. Its not something she will do straightaway but give it a few days and she will probably be there.

Tillysmummy Wed 15-Jan-03 10:03:16

Temptress. Yes maybe you are right. DH says that. I guess that is something we could try. It's only that because we are so knackered we go to bed so bloody early (!) - 9pm to bed, normally asleep by 9.45 latest (!) so we literally eat, watch a little telly, do some relaxing and then go to bed so if she goes to bed later it eats into our evening. Although I suppose that eventually if she starts waking later we can sleep in a bit and make our bedtime later.

GillW Wed 15-Jan-03 10:16:25

It sounds to me like it could be aiming for a 7 pm bedtime, when she's possibly a child who needs less sleep than average that's causing the problem. In your position I'd just take the amount of sleep she seems to want at night, and decide which time slot you'd like that to be in, rather than trying to change the length of time she sleeps for.

With my DS (who's about the same age as your DD) we've given up even hoping for a bedtime as early as 7, since a 10 hour sleep is about normal for him, 11 hours on a very good day. So an 8pm bedtime gives us a 6 am wakeup, which is rather more civilised than the 5am alternative if we wanted him in bed earlier. Even from a tiny baby he's never seemed to need a lot of sleep, and it's rare that he'll sleep for as long as an hour after lunch - 30 minutes is more usual - so 12 hours sleep in 24 would be an exceptional day for us, 10 and a half is about average.

As it happens sleeping 8 until 6 fits in with our lives fairly well - we're both working full time, and I have to leave at 7 in the morning, so we do get to see a bit of him in the evenings, and his waking time is approximately the same as mine.

Suspect you'll have to just try moving bedtime back by a few minutes each day until you can get somewhere close to this. Agree with what Temptress says about only allowing a short morning nap, and aiming for one a bit later to get her to stay up longer. But even if you can't get her to sleep longer at nap time, perhaps you can extend this rest period by doing something calm with her - a book or a video perhaps - so she's at least having some time when she's not expending a lot of energy. If all else fails, as she will fall asleep in the car, you could always take her out for a drive so she gets an afternoon sleep while you try to adjust her bedtime.

Tillysmummy Wed 15-Jan-03 13:39:06

Thanks GillW. I think DH and I have agreed that a 7 or 7.15 bedtime is what we need to aim for. Although tired she's normally well able to stay up longer so it shouldn't be a problem.

I do often go out in the car (my friends think Im mad) / plan a trip to do something so she can nap in the car because she does normally go off but lately has been resisting this too. It's a 50 / 50 as to whether it works or not but definitely worth the effort in case it does.

pamina Wed 15-Jan-03 13:58:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Tillysmummy Wed 15-Jan-03 14:11:15


Are you sure we don't share the same DD ??!! They sound like the same person. She has had all 4 canines Nov and Dec and now Dec and Jan the final 4 molars too ! I know it's her teeth because a lot of the time she wakes up still tired but with red hot swollen cheeks and she has alway had teeth problems from being a young child. I know she can sleep well because she went through a lovely phase of 7 or sometimes even 7.30 - at the moment it would be lovely if she didn't wake before 6 and 6.30 would be ideal. I guess it's just a phase. Thank goodness we're almost done on the teething. I know some babies are never affected by bad teething but dd has definitely suffered a lot with it.

pamina Wed 15-Jan-03 14:22:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Tillysmummy Wed 15-Jan-03 14:28:38

I am convinced it's the same child ! How old is she. We often have dd cry out at least once or twice, often in her sleep but it disturbs us anyway. Very occasionally do we go the night with no sound from her at all ! We have often resorted to Dozol which seems to relieve the pain a bit. In fact had to stop ourselves in our tracks because I found she'd had it every night for about a week at one stage.

pamina Wed 15-Jan-03 15:39:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Tillysmummy Wed 15-Jan-03 16:11:11

Pamina, I feel exactly the same ! At last I have found Tilly's double (!) - I have friends with children who go to bed at 7 and wake at 8.30 ! in my dreams !

pamina Wed 15-Jan-03 16:33:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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