He is tired, why won't he go to sleep??(15 Posts)
Any ideas? DS (9 months) keeps fighting sleep. If I take him upstairs he suddenly perks up even if he was yawning downstairs. Then when I try to feed him to sleep he crawls away and climbs on the cot bars (co-sleeper setup).
This happens on and off all evening until me & DP are in bed, then he will go to sleep happily.
I think it's quite normal for them to go through a phase of seperation anxiety at this age, and again in about another 9/10 months. Joy. My ds1 did anyway.
I have no advice on how to tackle it though, just ride it out. It will pass.
It's not separation anxiety. I am happy to stay with him until he falls asleep. I don't get an evening at all.
Overtired ?? Might be worth trying to put him down earlier. I think I read somewhere that you need to catch them before they yawn iyswim ?
I am putting him down between 6 and 7. If I put him down any earlier he wakes and won't go back to sleep (ie he thinks it's a nap) - The problem is he won't go down and I end up bringing him downstairs again to try later in the evening. I have nothing to make him go to sleep and he just doesn't act tired!
Okay, tonight went like this:
6pm - He had been playing quietly for a while so thought it would be a good time to take him up. He was not showing signs of tiredness but also not being too active.
6.00-6.25 - he was just manic and crawling around the bed, cot, climbing, giggling, shrieking, playing on me, the duvet, the pillows, the sides of the bed, everything. He would feed for a few seconds at a time, latch himself on (in painful positions!) but not settle down to sleep.
6.25-6.35 - he was intently concentrating on poking my mouth and nose and then found a CD and was gently hitting me with it. I fed him and he seemed happier to lie down and nurse.
6.48 - after switching sides a few times and gritting my teeth while he pinched my arm repeatedly and played with my other nipple, he finally fell asleep!
When does he nap ? It does sound possibly like over tiredness but I can see you can't put him down any earlier than 6 pm ! Do you have a routine (bath/stories/songs) before bed ?
You have my sympathy - dd was very similar. I had to make sure she had a cat nap for about 15 mins around 4 pm and it really helped
I would've said overtired too. What times does he nap during the day?
It also sounds as though he can't settle himself. You will need to teach him to self settle if you want him to go to bed at 6/7pm.
This won't be popular I know but we were having exactly this problem and we tried controlled crying in the end. I didn't want to but was at the end of my tether and as I'm going back to work full time soon I knew I'd need my evenings back and some unbroken nights. DD is almost 9 months old btw and has never slept well.
But guess what? It was nothing like as bad as I thought it would be. The first night dd cried for about half an hour with me going in after 1 min, 2 mins, 4 mins etc then two nights in and dd was asleep after just 10 minutes of half-hearted crying. She has been sleeping through for a few nights now and is happier during the day. She is going down well for naps too.
I know it's not for everyone and I'm definitely not saying you should do it if you are not comfortable but I was suprised how well it worked for us.
Thanks for suggestions I'm not too bothered about self settling, I am even happy to do the hour's settling every night if it means I get the rest of the evening free (though not ideal) - I can't leave him to it without buying a new cot. Long story but in the setup we have I can't leave him awake and unattended. The problem I have is when I take him up he is still wide awake. Perhaps I just need to wait it out upstairs for longer even if it does take an hour.
Actually I think naps might help, he usually has 2 naps a day, one at around 10/11am and another at 2pm ish. His naps seem to be all messed up at the moment (the heat I think) which probably isn't helping.
A bedtime routine might help as well, I'm not really sure where to start though... he doesn't seem to find any activity relaxing .
put him to bed earlier - before he starts yawning. Mine always struggled to sleep if they were overtired (still do and they are 6 and 7 !).
I also did the sitting on the floor saying shush time to sleep every time they made a noise - took an hour the first day, a bit less the next, and over a week probably it decreased to not needing it.
Okay can't help with regards to wee baby practicing newfound gross motor skills incessantly but can help with the pinching/nipple tweaking. (WHY do mothers let their babies do that? OUCH!) Get a nice soft toy, just for nursing, to keep those fingers occupied. If it crinkles and has a fluffy part and a sleek part and different colours, so much the better.
Are you putting him down in a completely dark room? Have you tried reading to him? It was the only way to get DS to lie still for 30 seconds when he was in this phase.
I really think you would benefit from getting a cot so you can leave the room while he is awake and establishing a routine so he knows it's bedtime and can start to wind down.
Our routine is
6.00 bathroom, undress, brush teeth, bath
6.15 bedroom with low lights & music for feed then story
6.40 last cuddle
6.45 DD put in cot, song
6.50 I leave room
7.00 DD asleep
Like I said before, I did CC to get DD self settling but we had pretty much the same routine when I was still feeding to sleep. He will find it relaxing after a while as he'll learn what to expect. The key is sticking to it for a few weeks.
Another thing, is he in a grobag? It makes a difference as it restricts movement a bit and it's a sign that it's bedtime. Ches's idea about having a soft toy is a great idea and you can leave it with him while he sleeps for comfort.
I found that my DS (who is now 10 months) started very similar behaviour around 9 months (also before lunchtime nap). One thing that helped a bit was allowing him 10 minutes playtime upstairs before starting the wind down and taking him to bed 5 minutes or so later than previously (so bedtime was 19:00 instead of 18:45).
I also had the same problem with latching on for a few seconds then crawling, laughing, chasing the cat etc! I've managed this by putting him in his cot so he knows that it is bedtime, walking away but returning immediately (and offering a feed if I don't think he has taken a proper feed) if he starts to cry. I guess this is the tricky bit for you because of the co-sleeping situation so not quite sure what to suggest.
For us I think it has been a combination of increased awareness (I don't think he would go to sleep if I were in the room because he would just want to play) and mild separation anxiety sometimes when I leave the room.
Just in case it helps for comparison, our routine is:
6:10 - end of dinner, DS upstairs for crawling about and playing while DH prepares bath
6:20 - bath etc
6:30 - get dressed for bed, in sleeping bag with comfort toy, stories, goodnight to DH
6:55ish put in cot, kiss goodnight I leave room.
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