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14 week old getting hysterical when put to bed..

(69 Posts)
Feeltrapped Thu 28-May-09 22:10:43

Hi there

Just looking for a bit of advice please.

DS (14 weeks) has always been pretty good at night. Until he was about 8 weeks we kept him down with us until we went to bed, but after then we started putting him down in his moses basket upstairs about 7.30 (after a bath and feed). He would then sleep until 3-4am, have a quick feed (breast fed) and go back down very quickly until 6-7am.

About 4 weeks ago we decided to move him to his cot (in our room) as he was out growing the moses basket but he seems to have a lot more trouble settling in his cot than the basket. To start with he would thrash around for ages so I rolled up a sheet and put in a U shape round him to make him feel more secure and this seemed to work for a while.

Recently though he has started to cry hysterically when he is put down. Occassionally he will go straight down but most nights we are both up and down for half an hour to an hour soothing him before he will settle…. tonight it has taken over 2 hours to get him to sleep properly. I know it doesn’t sound that long but I just find it hard to watch him so upset, even though I’m pretty sure there is nothing (physically) wrong with him as he quietens soon if picked up and inbetween crying tonight occasionally smiled at me!

I don’t want to keep picking him up as I think he has/will soon cotton on, so have been trying to sooth him by shushing/stroking him but with limited success.

It just feels like we are going backwards a bit and I’m worried its something I am doing wrong/ not doing. I feel a bit guilty as I’ve never really read any of the sleep books so have no idea about CC or other techniques that might help him settle himself. To be honest I feel I have been winging it a bit so far.

I would really welcome any advice as to the best way to get him to sleep my poor little man getting himself in such a state.

NappyStack Thu 28-May-09 22:13:06

Hiya, I have a 13wk DD and we use the shush/pat method from baby whisperer and has really helped. So sorry but don't have time to fully describe, but didn't want to read and run. Maybe google it?

rasputin Thu 28-May-09 22:15:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Hangingbellyofbabylon Thu 28-May-09 22:16:57

growth spurt? needs more milk? he's ever so little still, I'd be tempted to give him the love and cuddles he needs. It won't last forever.

MrsHappy Thu 28-May-09 22:17:31

My DD did this at exactly this age. Amazing how long they can yell for, isn't it? My DD didn't even stop when I picked her up - she only stopped screaming if we left her bedroom!
It turned out she wasn't tired (although God knows she appeared to be). I stopped letting her nap after about 2 or 3 pm and then sort of let her pick her own bedtime.
The first night she went down at 8pm, the second at 7:30 and the third at 7. She sometimes was kind of whingy between about 5 and 6pm, but frankly I was much more equipped to deal with crying at that time than I was at 9pm!

Might be worth a try if your LO is napping in the afternoon.

Heated Thu 28-May-09 22:22:22

I would say he's too young yet to self-settle. The hysteria is his way of telling you he doesn't like being left on his own, you are his security & source of comfort - to be on his own is probably frightening. Do you feed him to sleep in his room and then stay with him, resting your hand on his back so he knows you're there?

NappyStack Thu 28-May-09 22:23:23

I agree with MrsHappy, whilst we use the shush/pat when we need to, we did need to cut down on her daytime naps a few weeks ago because she wasn't settling at night. She now has 45 mins in the morning, 2hrs at lunch and 30mins in late afternoon and then goes to bed at 8pm. Maybe cut down on naps?

HumphreyCobbler Thu 28-May-09 22:25:47

Like Rasputin I would feed him for comfort.

sunitaofdockgreen Thu 28-May-09 22:27:48

I did the same as NappyStack

Feeltrapped Thu 28-May-09 22:35:00

Thanks for all the advice, will try to answer your points/questions:

Re the naps, I did wonder if he was just not tired enough but he hardly sleeps at all during the day (most days less than an hour in total)and never sleeps in the afternoon. He's always been like this..

After his bath I feed him on my bed, pop him in his cot and leave the room straight away as this did seem to work best - maybe I should try sitting with him for a while?

I have wondered if is having another growth spurt. Occassionally I do get him up and feed him again and sometimes this works and will comfort him enough to let him go to sleep although not always. I guess I'm just worried whether I'm making a rod for my own back as you say, maybe I just need to chill about this and do what I need to - as you point out he is still very small. I hate to think of him lying up there frightened

StarlightMcKenzie Thu 28-May-09 22:35:40

Message withdrawn

StarlightMcKenzie Thu 28-May-09 22:39:02

Message withdrawn

Hangingbellyofbabylon Thu 28-May-09 22:45:32

well put Starlight, absolutely 100% agree.

NappyStack Thu 28-May-09 22:46:58

Feeltrapped - I stay with DD shushing & patting until she is ever so nearly asleep then I creep out. Over time she has gooten better and I can leave earlier than I used to but you could stay with him until he is completely asleep.

Shush/pat is recommended for babies under 3 months but still works a treat with my DD. The next stage on in the BabyWhisperer is pickup/put down but I'm not ready for that as shush/pat seems to still work.

For me, its really important for her to learn to settle in her cot. I'm not the co-sleeping, feed to sleep type (nothing wrong with that, just not me) so keeping working at the self settling is worth it and we are definitely reaping the rewards now she is getting better. Goodluck!!!

Feeltrapped Thu 28-May-09 22:57:22

StarlightMckenzie - I'm more than happy to change my lifestyle/expectations to meet his needs.

I would keep him up with us, but because he doesn't sleep during the day he is really ratty come 7pm. I just don't think he could cope with it. When he gets like that even holding him doesn't soothe him.

Also it doesn't seem to matter what time he goes down, even when on occassions I have have put him down/fed him later - he still wakes at 3 or 4. Just hate to see him get in such a state.

Its not about my convenience, I just want my DS to feel happy and secure and well rested. There just seems to be lots of different schools of thoughts about how best to achieve this and I'm just trying to find out what works best for DS.

Thanks Nappystack, will def give the book a read.

MrsPickles Thu 28-May-09 23:02:55

It sounds like he's overtired to me - he's TINY not to be sleeping only an hour or so in the day - my DD when she was overtired would happily scream for 2 hrs plus at that age - you'd think they'd just go to sleep wouldn't you! I found she woke up a bit about 3 months, and instead of just taking her naps as and when, needed a quiet place or me to drive her about or talk her for a walk to make sure she had a day naps. When she'd slept more in the day she was much easier to put down at night What do you do to try and get him to nap in the day? At that age DD would have 3/4 45 min naps throughout the day - she could only really be awake for 2 hrs before needing a short nap. Other babies might have a longer nap and then one or two short naps. I also would say though, do whatever it takes to get him to sleep, don't worry about the rod for your back thing!

NappyStack Thu 28-May-09 23:07:29

Hope it goes well, if you try it remember it won't necessarily work straight away but keep trying and hopefully you'll see an improvement, we really have.

We went from her basically not sleeping except when she simply couldn't be awake any longer to now where she sleeps 8pm-11pm, then feed, then 11pm-8am.

Must add though that I think the structure of her daytime naps was a factor too. If you check out the book it will give you a good overview and then you can take the bits that you think would be helpful to you. I love the babywhisperer book but have used it to give me ideas to help me, rather than following it to the letter IYSWIM.

Check out the website

Feeltrapped Thu 28-May-09 23:09:34

MrsPickles - I think you are absolutely right. At times I know he is absolutely knackered but he just refuses to let himself sleep. Like you I try to at least get him to have a nap in the car or buggy (the former being much more successful than the latter!).

Having said that, literally the last couple of days he has started falling asleep for 30 mins or so when he's been up for a couple of hours in the morning and this morning he went back to sleep in his cot for an hour and a half That is unheard of! Still wouldn;t sleep a wink this afternoon though. Fingers crossed this continues...

lowrib Thu 28-May-09 23:09:44

Can I just ask, after feeding him does he wake up before or after you put him in the cot?

Feeltrapped Thu 28-May-09 23:11:17

Thanks for the link Nappystack - will order a copy tomorrow. I think you are absolutely right though to use it for ideas rather than following to the letter. I'm really glad it worked for you - 11pm to 8am is fab

MoominMymbleandMy Thu 28-May-09 23:11:36

Have you tried cuddling him to sleep? Either on you or in a sling? He is still so tiny that all he really wants is to be with you.

Feeltrapped Thu 28-May-09 23:12:46

lowrib - he doesn;t always fall asleep after a feed but if he does, he tends to stir as I put him in the cot and then within a minute or two will be wailing.

Feeltrapped Thu 28-May-09 23:15:03

MoominMymbleandMy - I understand he wants to be with me and we have tried this but by this time he is sooo tired that even cuddling doesn't really seem to work. Sometimes pacing with him on my shoulder helps, but sometimes even that doesn't console him

Heated Thu 28-May-09 23:19:27

Agree he sounds overtired. Babies need training to sleep in the day too as well as at night so he might need some help with it. Weirdly you might find that the more routine sleep he has in the day the better he'll sleep at night.

Babies of that age generally have a morning and afternoon sleep. Are you able to recognise his sleep cues, like getting fussy, fidigity, kicking legs/waving arms fretfully, first yawn? As soon as you see signs (so if up at 7am, might be tired by 10am) put him down for a day-time nap, don't draw the curtains & don't bother having the house quiet.

FairMidden Thu 28-May-09 23:28:18

At that age mine napped several times a day in a wrap sling. He would reliably sleep there when he wouldn't sleep in the pram, car etc. And I was handsfree. I found the days that were the worst were the ones when he didn't get enough sleep early in the day - it would get progressively worse until bedtime when he'd be completely beside himself.

Sling solved that one nicely and he loved it

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