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What would you do?

(8 Posts)
Sariska Wed 16-Jul-08 16:12:14

Lots of people have assured me that my 17 week old's sleeping habits will improve and I do believe them. It's just that I can no longer function on an average of 3 hours' sleep every 24 and so I have to do something now.

He cries if he is put down awake and, judging by the length of time he cries for his car seat and pram, he would cry for hours if left. Instead, I have to feed him half to sleep and then walk round holding him in my arms until he is deeply asleep. This can take a very long time - particularly if, as he often does, he wakes when I put him in his bed. It is a pattern that is repeated every 45 mins - 2 hours at night and is made worse by a 2 hour wakeful period between 3 and 5. He doesn't cry during those 2 hours provided someone is with him but just chats loudly.

He has a bedtime routine of bath and feed, and this is the time of day when he tends to be easiest to settle. He has reflux that is fairly well controlled by medication, and sleeps semi-upright in a hammock. We have tried co-sleeping but he is only interested if it involves me sitting up and him draped across my chest with a nipple in his mouth. Any other position makes him wriggle and kick, or cry.

During the day he will only nap in the sling or if I am holding him so I have no chance to catch up on sleep.

DH helps at night as much as he can but he has to work so we can't do 50:50. I stay with relatives / friends as much as I can but this isn't possible all the time. Equally, living where I do (central London), I don't have any non-working friends nearby who could pop over during the day to give me a break.

I really feel that I have explored all the practical "live with it" solutions and so, I guess what I am asking is how I could train him to sleep better. I am wondering about PU/PD. I'm not expecting sleeping through the night miracles but I need something that doesn't require me to tread out tracks in the carpets all through the night. And it would be wonderful to stop feeling so ill with tiredness all the time...

claireybee Wed 16-Jul-08 18:01:17

Oh Sariska I really feel for you. He sounds exactly like my ds. Only thing I can say is that it will slowly improve...ds is now 7 months and still being rocked to sleep but I can now put him down almost as soon as he is asleep and he will often fall asleep with me just sitting down rather than rocking him. Also if he does stir as I put him down he will usually just go back to sleep. He also has one long period of sleep at night now, though unfortunately for me it is before 11pm! Sorry I don't have practical solutions to help you now but I know exactly where you are right now

claireybee Wed 16-Jul-08 18:03:16

PUPD is basically where you put them down, then as soon as they cry pick them up again, once calm put back down and repeat 100000000x!

Didn't work for us as once he starts crying ds doesn't stop until he conks out in my arms but could be worth a try for you

Sariska Wed 16-Jul-08 20:59:57

Not really sure PUPD will work for us either as my ds is like yours and is very very hard to soothe once he starts crying. Still, if I can summon up the energy, I might try. However, not sure where that energy will come from, given that I've spent the last two days sitting on the sofa, trying to summon up the energy to undertake a 10 min expedition to the post office but instead thanking god every time LO nods off in my arms during a feed.

claireybee Thu 17-Jul-08 09:47:11

That's the problem with sleep training-by the time you try to undertake it you are already so tired you can't find the energy to do anything about it!

phraedd Fri 18-Jul-08 12:46:56

have you read the no cry sleep solution?

I highly recommend it.

Basically feed your child and let them get sleepy in your arms but put them down before they are in a deep sleep so that they learn to fall asleep without "props" (ie you)

If they wake up again, start again.

They do not need to be left crying and your baby is still young.

moocowme Fri 18-Jul-08 20:24:23

I had this with my DS at this age. It was the reflux that would not let him settle. although it was under control it was only this way because he was upright for an hour or do after feeding.

I found that warm pj's (it was winter) a very comfortable chair that would hold the two of us and remote for the tv handy helped. I did find that feeding slightly less but more often was better for his reflux.

so is spent days feeding and holding him upright and watching tv with the occasional nap was what I did for a few months. oh and like you I had virtually no help available.

hate to say it but the only things that worked were time, patients and a couple of spoonfuls of rice cereal. once he started to get past 5 months he was a lot better. i did try a bumbo for him but he liked to kick his legs a lot so it did not work. I made him a little bean bag after this and it worked a treat as it kept him elevated enough and he enjoyed looking around.

with nights at your lo age i kept to the night rountine of no lights or talk, feed burp and pat until sound asleep. then i put him down and went back to sleep. as he got older we started co sleeping from about 3am while he bf until sometimes 10 in the morning. must say this was bliss as I could get more sleep.

so i just planned to do not very much during the days or else organise things so that I did simple things with ds on lap. got loads of shredding done during this time!

17 weeks was still early days for us. DS became easier into his fifth month and by 6.5 months I could feed him to sleep and then lay him down. We got over the hurdle of waking on being put down by introducing patting. We'd pat him as he fell aslepe in the sling and then I'd start patting him as he fed to sleep on my lap, then as the weeks passed I could pat him as he was put down in the cot and keep patting until he was in a deep sleep. Even now if he finds it hard to settle a minute or two of patting helps him drift off (he's 1).

I explain this by imagining it gives him something to focus on - he had some reflux too, and was very, very windy and miserable. When he was uncomfortable the patting seemed to allow him to focus on something rhythmic and hypnotic instead of him trying to relax but finding the discomfort was keeping him awake.

I don't know if that makes any sense but it definitely smoothed the passage from arms to cot for us. I also put him down on his tummy from around 6 months (on his side from 5 months) and I put a light comforter quilt thingy in his cot because it was softer and warmer than a sheet.

HTH

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