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It's all gone wrong - help please!

(15 Posts)
BunnyLebowski Tue 23-Jun-09 09:35:18

*4 weeks ago* - dd (now 8 months) was going to bed between 8pm and 9pm and not stirring till 6.30am-7am.

*2 weeks ago* - we go to Spain for 2 weeks. No cot so me and dd share a double bed for the 2 weeks. Lots of cuddling/feeding on demand.

Now - since we've been home (a week) it's been a farking nightmare. She won't go down till 10pm and is then waking 3 or 4 times and being very restless and whingy through the night before waking up properly at 5am or 6am sad.

She naps for about 40 mins in the morning and then for about an hour 15mins in the afternoon. She's also going through a very clingy phase with me.

Me and DP are shattered and so is bubs.

Is it because of the holiday? Is it because of the separation anxiety she's experiencing? Is it normal? And most importantly will it get better?

Any advice/tips will be grabbed with both (virtual) hands!!

bunnyrabbit Tue 23-Jun-09 12:28:05

Honestly? In my opinion? Yes its because of hols. She's been cuddled and fed and had lots of yummy time and she wants it back now!!! You have to decide if you want her back in the routine you had before or not.

If you do then you have a little work to do that's all. I personally am not sure about the whole seperation anxiety thing. I do however believe that at this age she knows what she wants and she wants it now!!!

Can I ask how you put her down at night and what you do when she wakes up?


BunnyLebowski Tue 23-Jun-09 13:11:49

Well she's never gone down awake and fallen asleep herself. Either she falls asleep on the boob or one of us walks her till she falls asleep.

Usually DP brings her into our bed at about 3/4am so I can feed her and we all fall asleep until she wakes up at 5am or 6am and then I take her downstairs.

We didn't have any choice on holiday but to do what we did and we have to get our previous routine back. Can 7 months of routine really be wiped out in just 2 weeks??

Practically what do we need to do to get it back?

Thanks for answering btw bunny - I appreciate it.

bunnyrabbit Tue 23-Jun-09 13:57:16

Oh bunny this is such a difficult one to answer. everyone has their own ideas and their own experience with this so I can only go from my own and hope I don't offend anyone. I'm afrid I'm a routine girl and I know there are alot of people on here who don't agree with routine.

In my experience it doesn't wipe it out, she just needs a bit of reminding that's all and it's up to you how you want to do it.

If you want a routine then you have to work out what you think is good for you and her and then stick to it

Has she slept well during the day in the past?

If memory recalls correctly, I think about 14ish hours sleep in 24 is about the norm at thisage. Usually about 11-12ish hours at night and a morning sleep of about 30 mins and then a big lunch time or afternoon sleep depending on what time you like her to go down at night. Of course this is a rough guide and can be played round with to suit what you want to do and how long she'll sleep.

The big thing is getting her to self settle. If she can do this then she can get herself back to sleep if she wakes in the night and get herself to sleep unaided during the day, and things will be a whole lot less stressful.

I'm sure you already know that, at her age (depending on if she is underweight or not obviously) she really doesn't need a feed in the night. If you want to keep it then that's fine and dandy but she really doesn't need it (although you might grin).

Have you looked at self settle techniques? Pick up put down that sort of thing? Have you dicussed this with your DP and agreed on what you're happy to do? I know people have very strong opinions on controlled crying and associated techniques but there are so many out there there is bound to be one to suits you.

Bascially, IMHO you need to sort out her sleep by getting her to go to sleep by herself unaided and the rest will follow.


BunnyLebowski Tue 23-Jun-09 14:07:16

You make complete sense bunny. I don't want to go down the controlled crying route but we're going to have to start implementing the pick up and put down approach.

I'd love to drop the feeding during the night believe me!! I just assumed she needed it.

It's so hard when you're in the fog of sleep and tbh I've taken the easy option rather than the right one i.e. just shove her on the boob to get her back over to sleep.

Will talk to DP tonight and start tonight. We both really want a routine.

Can I ask in terms of teaching her to put herself to sleep what do we need to do? Just out her down when she's tired? I know she'll scream the house down to be picked up - how do we approach that?? We have one of those mobile things that lights up and plays lullabys - good idea?

Sorry for the barrage! You can tell we're first timers lol!

bunnyrabbit Tue 23-Jun-09 14:43:37

Hey don't be sorry! They don't come with a manual and even if they did it would be wrong 50% of the time. The little darlings love to lull you into a false sense of security and once you're there will change the goal posts everytime!!

I'm assuming from your replies that she sleeps in her own room.....

There are many methods people use. I personally think that once they are in their bedroom then that's where they should stay. So even if you have to go to them in the night, unless they're ill of course, IMO they don't leave the room. So once you've started tying to put her down, you have to keep calm and keep going.

I like pick up put down. Once DD has had her bath (or whatever her routine is) take her to her room and give her boob/bottle or cup in her bedroom. Put her to bed and if you like a mobile (I used them for both of my DSs) then put it on. She'll soon associate this with bedtime (which may lead to a bit of rebellion the first few times!!). Give her kisses/cuddles whatever but she should ideally be awake when she goes down. Leave the room. Here's where it comes down to personal taste: When/if she starts to cry. Count to 10/30/60 whatever you like. If it's not a winding down/I'm sleepy cry go in. Don't say anything or make eye contact. It's time for sleep not play or conversation. You can either pat her where she is or pick her up and hold/cudddle her until she's calm. Whichever you are happy with. When she has calmed down put her back in the cot, preferrably still awake, and start again.

Sounds simple but if she has spent 8 months being cuddled to sleep then it will take a little while for her to learn to self settle.

Don't be disheartened if you find that you spend quite awhile doing this the first night. It should get less the next and so on.

The idea is that she knows you are there, and you get to comfort her not leave her crying, but she learns to fall asleep in the cot.

Again this is all my opinion and my experience, others I'm sure will share their's with you too and you might find another method which suits you better.

TBH I am also quite happy to leave my monster to cry now and again mainly cos I can tell when it's a tantrem!!

As for the night feed, I think one thing at a time. See if you can teach her to self settle then it will be far less stressfull for all of you to try and drop the night feed.

How would you feel about putting her back in her own cot after the feed, or feeding her in her room?


bunnyrabbit Tue 23-Jun-09 14:44:00

blush sorry for the v.long post!!

BunnyLebowski Tue 23-Jun-09 15:10:28

Thanks so much for all the advice - I feel much better now I actually can see what we can to do fix it!

She does sleep in her own room but when she wakes in the night we have the bad habit of DP bringing her to me to feed (as I'm still half asleep!). Instead, tonight we're going to try the pick up and put down approach. If she really does need a feed I'll do it in her room.

Also when she's ready for bed this evening we're going to do as you suggest and put her down awake but sleepy.

Thanks again bunny (good name btw!). I feel much better equipped to deal with things now.
Will report back!

bunnyrabbit Tue 23-Jun-09 15:27:49

It always helps to have a plan. Please don't be disheartened of your DD doesn't get it straight away. Likelyhood is she will not be a happy little bunny when she realises she is not going to be cuddled to sleep and there is no one around to get attention from.

It may take quite awhile to get her down (hours!) but from the sound of it this is what's been happeneing the last few nights anyway.

Just keep calm and don't panic. She is safe and loved and there is nothing wrong with her except for her nose is likely to be severely put out of joint. Just cuddle her close and try and keep her calm.

Good luck.


ljhooray Tue 23-Jun-09 15:37:03

Just want to second Bunnyrabbit, try to keep bubba in her room - some nights it will be soooo tempting to bring her in to your room but honestly, once they can settle themselves, its much easier in the long term. My dd is now 2.5yrs and will still go through phases of not sleeping so well but overall, she'll now sing to herself if it takes her a while to go off. Essentially did everything bunnyrabbit has suggested.

BunnyLebowski Wed 24-Jun-09 10:30:54

Hello ladies! Just to let you know how we got on last night.

She fell asleep at 20.30pm on the boob. We put her down, had a lovely glass of wine and a chat and went to bed at 10.30pm.

She stirred at about midnight and I have to admit I fed her but the reason for doing this was that one of my boobs was really engorged and painful and I needed her help!

So fed her in her room in the dark with no talking. Put her back down and she went straight to sleep.

She stirred again at 3am and DP went in and shushed her (without picking her up) - she fell back asleep in 5 mins!

She woke up properly at 7am!

Not bad for a first night eh? Will keep going and tonight will refrain from feeding and just try to get her back by shushing.

bunnyrabbit Wed 24-Jun-09 10:36:20

Brilliant! Well done.

ljhooray Wed 24-Jun-09 10:55:39

Fantastic! That's great news.

bunnyrabbit Thu 02-Jul-09 11:39:51

Hi BunnyLebowski,
How's it going now?


surelyyoucantbeserious Thu 02-Jul-09 20:24:00

Hi there, would love to hear how you're getting on bunny L.

My 9 month old DS has in the past been able to self settle but now cries as soon as I put him in cot before I even leave the room. He rolls over to a crawl and ends up sitting up howling. We are now feeding or rocking him to sleep and putting him in the cot asleep just to avoid the howling.

He is also waking several times a night and I more often than not breastfeed him back to sleep, just cos I know it will work, I don't think he's hungry.

Really tired, any advice greatly received. Back to work soon and not looking forward to office life as a zombie!

Many thanks.

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