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My dd wakes up in middle of the night and won't go back to sleep for hours, is crying it out the only way?

(12 Posts)
zulubump Mon 01-Sep-08 03:14:01

DD is 11 months old and over the past month has developed a habit of waking usually between midnight and 3am and won't go back to sleep for a good 2-3 hours! She is usually happy enough most of the time that she's awake for. When she wakes I can here her babbling to herself in the cot and crawling about. She eventually cries, I guess because she is lonely. So we go in to her and have tried everything to get her back to sleep (cuddling, rocking, singing, bfing, water, dentinox, calpol, checking nappy etc) but at best we get a baby lying relaxed in our arms but with eyes wide open.

I've never wanted to leave her to cry, but this is driving me to distraction and I am starting to feel prepared to do so, but dh is less keen. We get so far in trying that sort of thing, but once she starts to really scream he can't bear it. I think I could cope with it if he was with me on it, but I can't do it alone.

Dh wants to try and leave her to settle herself to sleep but for us to go in each time she gets really upset and calm her down with a cuddle and then put her back in the cot before she is asleep. Can this work? I am so confused and tired and upset I just don't know what to do for the best anymore.

I hate to hear her scream and couldn't bear it if she made herself sick or starting banging her head against the cot bars or something like that. But I'm worried we are prolonging the whole process by doing things this way. And we are all so grumpy and tired each day at the moment. Dd is such a lovely happy baby but she is becoming more stroppy and grumpy of late and I'm sure it is the lack of sleep.

Please advise...

oysterpots Mon 01-Sep-08 09:33:36

13mo DS is doing the same. I don't really have any answers and am about to post the same but just so you feel that you're not on your own, I know your pain!

I just find it weird that he's obviously got into a habit of waking and I think it is loneliness. I don't want to let him cry either. In some ways it would be easier if he woke crying and in need of something.

Anyway, the only thing I've tried before was a tip from the 'No Cry Sleep Solution' for extending naps, which was to go in as soon as you hear a peep, and shhh and pat their back and sooth them back off before they properly wake up. I did this with DS about 2 months ago to extend his 45 minute naps to 1 1/2-2 hour ones and it worked in about a week. I might try the same - set up a bed in DS's room and try it for a few nights.

Don't really know what else to do!

zulubump Mon 01-Sep-08 13:24:26

Thanks oysterpots for the solidarity. Sorry to hear you are having the same problem! I've tried that same tip and it did help my dd to take longer afternoon naps. It is so weird that she just doesn't seem to want or even need to go back to sleep in the middle of the night. I started to wonder if her daytime naps are too long, but they only total about 2 1/2 hours at the most 3, which I think is normal.

JuneBugJen Mon 01-Sep-08 13:29:04

wrote about this exact same thing (screaming in middle of night for 1-2 hours, nothing seeming to comfort part from me cuddling, as soon as back in bed the screaming started again) a couple of weeks ago and had lots of support but also lots of 'she's a baby, its what babies do you idiot' comments, which is really unhelpful!!

Also mine was waking at 5am, which was making my days feel like eternity.

Spoke to fab health visitor and she told me to cut right back on naps (he was having about 2.5 hours in the day.)
So have been doing 1.5hours max a day and suddenly...no night waking and waking past 6am!! He was very grumpy at first about it, but now is ok except really pissy when first waking from nap.

JuneBugJen Mon 01-Sep-08 13:30:06

sorry, changed my DS's gender there!

ilovemydog Mon 01-Sep-08 13:34:32

DD did the same thing when she was younger. I would put her down about 7:00pm and she'd wake up at about 12:00, so was in essence a nap!

What I did that made a bit of difference:

1. Timed her naps. Tried 2 hours, an hour and a half, and an hour. The hour and a half seemed to work best.

2. Gave her a snack before bed.

3. let her cry for a few minutes to see if she would go back to sleep on her own. And if not, would pick her up...

oysterpots Mon 01-Sep-08 13:52:20

That's really interesting.... I had sort of wondered whether it was too much sleep in the day. How old is your DS JBJen? And what time does he nap?

DS is kind of in between - some days he has an hour 9-10ish and 2 hours 1-3ish, other days he's fine until after lunch (12/12.30/1) and then has 1.5 or 2 hours. So he's definitely in some sort of transitionary stage. Thing is, when I try to push him and make him stay awake till lunch, he's sometimes so tired that he'll need his nap really early and not sleep that long, so by the time bedtime comes round he's wired.

Did it take a while for your DS to settle?

Sorry OP, bit of a hijack wink

oysterpots Mon 01-Sep-08 13:53:26

I mean settle into new routine... And how old is your DD Ilovemydog?

JuneBugJen Mon 01-Sep-08 13:59:14

was doing naps at about 8-9.30 (as he was berserk with exhaustion by then after early wake and nighttime wakings), then 12.30-2.00ish.

Health visitor said to do 30mins in morning only (so do 8.45-9.15) then 12.30-1.45. All these are approx, all I do tho' is make sure he has no more than 1 1/2 hours as this seems to work. I guess what was happening was the obvious...he was sleeping too much in day so was more awake at night. But it took some sensible, no-tricks advice from Health Visitor to see it properly.

not saying he's completely cured though...but so much better.

JuneBugJen Mon 01-Sep-08 14:01:07

my ds is 11months. It took about 5 days to 'crack him', ie turning night back into night properly. During that time he was pretty crazed just before each nap, and is still not best pleased about being woken during the day.

ilovemydog Mon 01-Sep-08 14:20:39

She's 2 now, but did the timed naps etc and snack before bed when she was 10 months.

zulubump Mon 01-Sep-08 19:55:18

Hi there everyone, that is really useful information, thanks! No worries about hijack oysterpots, our problems seem very similar. JunebugJen it's interesting that your ds slept better at night after cutting down daytime naps and your dd too Ilovemydog. I've just been reading "Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child" and in there it advises the opposite basically - more naps in day = better sleep at night. So I was embarking on trying to get dd to nap better in the day. But as I lay awake last night listening to dd babbling I thought that that seemed crazy, she was SO awake last night and quite happy. I can't see how more daytime sleep would help that!

DD has developed a rotten cold today and has been a bit miserable so I'll wait until she's over that and then embark on operation cut-down-daytime-naps. Wish me luck!

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