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Since DS learnt to crawl he has been fighting sleep and becoming overtired every night, can anyone help?

(6 Posts)
CherryChoc Tue 30-Jun-09 09:45:14

Will try to fit everything in without rambling!

DS is nearly 9 months old. He really mastered crawling about 2-3 weeks ago and since then it has been really difficult to get him to bed at night (of course it could be a coincidence that the crawling milestone happened at the same time). I had started a bedtime routine a few weeks before, though it wasn't set in stone or particularly well done. He would have his tea at 5.30, then watch In The Night Garden at 6 (blush I know, TV - but it was the only way I could think of to make me do it at the same time each night, and also it seems to relax him, whereas most TV does not. Just ITNG and football.) Then we would go upstairs and if DH was home he would have a bath with him, if not I would read a book, then I nursed him to sleep in our bed and either leave him there on my side or transfer him to the bedside cot. If he looked as though he was about to fall asleep at any stage before the end of the routine I would put him to bed, sometimes nurse, and he would go to sleep.

Anyway now when I try to put him to bed, he just seems wide awake, he crawls while latched on and ends up with his bum in the air or giggles through the feed, and just generally wants to be active (also crawling over me and trying to latch onto the other side in a funny position which isn't comfortable) Then when he's done he will crawl off to explore the bed and cot. I can't leave him to it because he sleeps in a co-sleeper cot attached to our bed and our bed is too high to just let him fall off, so I take him downstairs again, which I know is a mistake but I can't do anything else, if I lie there and pretend to be asleep he crawls on me (giving me sloppy kisses ) and around the bed for ages and then ends up crawling around half-crying miserably, then puts his face into the bed/me in a melodramatic fashion and sobs!

So I bring him downstairs, but DP is downstairs usually watching TV, but sometimes doing something important like eating, and it's so stimulating for DS he does not want to fall asleep. He then gets increasingly tired until it gets to a point where he cries and struggles if you won't let him crawl/cruise around, but he is so tired he is very clumsy and so hurts himself or gets frustrated every few minutes.

The only things which make him sleep at the moment are having a bath before bed (which I don't want to have to rely on) or sometimes if he hurts himself/gets upset I can do the comforting feed upstairs and he falls asleep, which obviously isn't something I can or want to engineer! The other thing which makes him fall asleep no problems is when DP comes to bed and we are both in the room, he falls asleep almost immediately. Which is great, but it would be easier on him if I could put him to bed when he's tired and not overtired and DP isn't always home in time for that.

Help! Does anyone have any ideas?

mad4myboys Tue 30-Jun-09 09:51:51

hiya, why dont you want to rely on a bath every night? its a great way to wind down, nice bit of massage after? although with a 7 month ds2 i know they dont tend to keep still! My 2 ds both have bath every night and have done since bath as it is the best way for wind down before bath as otherwise they'd go from playing/activity then straight to bed which i feel is a bit much.

Cant reallty help with the rest of im afraid as strugglikng with sleep with my ds2 although i have found out yesterday that it is better to try to get him to sleep BEFORE he seems tired as apposed to WHEN he is tired (about 1/2 hour before i was doing before)

i do feel for you though

CherryChoc Tue 30-Jun-09 12:04:28

Hi mad4, I don't really know why I'm resisting it - I think I just don't want to bath him every single night, I think it's a bit much. And if we were away or something and only had a shower, how would I get him to sleep? I don't like being reliant on things I suppose! I had hoped reading a book or something would help him calm down but he just wants to eat the book so not much help!

mad4myboys Tue 30-Jun-09 13:07:52

how often are you away? The way i see it for us is that the odd night in year compared to every night at home is worth doing if it works! I find at bath time its the only time in the day im completely focusing on them as during the day i'll be cleaning etc and to-ing and fro-ing to them so i like bath time. If im at someone elses house i'll bath them at theirs and if on holidy, tbh as the boys needs are more important than mine then i only go on holiday somewhere with a bath (generally go self catering)

slimyak Thu 02-Jul-09 11:22:08

I noticed a real difference in the fighting sleep thing when my DD, now 2, began crawling at about 9 months. Maybe to world just gets a bit more exciting as you can get at it, so sleep seems to get in the way.

I feel for you on the what to do front. We were never co sleepers, no-one would get any sleep if we did. And it will be a while before you feel comfortable with your DS climbing on and off the bed unsupervised. It was at this time that DD started protesting at going to bed but it was almost comedy in style.
I'd say time for bed and put DD in cot - hearty protests for about 15 seconds then settling down to sleep. How can something so upsetting for her be forgotten so quickly - baby tactics me thinks.

Anyway, could you employ millions of pillows as crash mats so you can leave DS knowing that a fall off the bed will be a shock rather than an injury?

I would try to work on getting him to go to sleep without you there sooner rather than later. The boob is a great pacifier but it won't be there for ever, and he might not crawl arround so much if you're not on the bed as an added activity. After all, mummies are incredibly interesting! Obviously, saftey is first but now he's moving you probably only have two choices contain him or turn you bedroom into a padded cell ( or could you lower your bed for a while?).

Our DD wouldn't fall asleep with me there now. I think in toddler world she thinks if I'm there there is the potential for something exciting to happen so will stay awake rather than miss something. Tis a sad day when you can't pass at least a bit of time watching your everyday miricle sleep like and angel for fear of waking them up.

On the bath thing. I'd say go for it you may find you're relying on lots of things over the next year or two as older babies and toddlers cling to their routine. Even if you're away alot there is often a bath available at friends, family where ever you are. And it doesn't need to be a full on affair every night. A couple of inches of warm water, no bubbles, no shampooing, just a soothing rinse is what our DD gets 5 out of 7 nights.

Sleep well!!!!

slimyak Thu 02-Jul-09 11:41:39

Sorry, didn't want to sound like a 'you shouldn't be feeding you child to sleep nag'. Did it come across like that? That's not what I meant blush. Just more if he's not falling asleep feeding anymore he may need to not have any distractions around preventing him from falling asleep.

On rereading I thought is sounded wrong. The time your baby will fall asleep in your arms or while feeding are so short and should be cherished.smile

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