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Whole family unhappy, ds2 is a rubbish sleeper

(10 Posts)
TheRedSalamander Thu 09-Jul-09 06:55:48

DS2 has just had his first birthday. So theoretically I should know him better, what he likes/dislikes/what soothes him and so on. But I don't feel able to interpret or anticipate his needs any better that I could when he was just a few weeks old and it's really getting me down, I feel worn out and it's putting a fair old strain on the whole family

Eg dh took him out for a walk to try and settle him to sleep tonight. At half past blimmin 9 for goodness sake. This isn't unusual, I'd tried at 7.30 like normal (actually its usually earlier but he?d had an unexpectedly late nap today) but after a good bf he just was not sleepy at all. Over the course of an hour and a half I tried popping him in his cot, stroking his back, patting his bottom, singing, humming, telling him a story, putting on his musical box, all the tricks of the trade! (not all at the same time of course) But no joy. I started to doubt he was even sleepy. He dropped off after about 10 mins out in the buggy. I just don't know how to comfort him or to help him comfort himself, he hates being rocked now and it's touch and go whether bf will make him relaxed enough to drop off. He refused a dummy from the start (ds1, now 4.7 was a big fan, was so surprised when ds2 spat every single one out- we tried loads of different ones coated in all manner of yummy things blush but to no avail)

If something miraculously works for a few evenings, it seems that the magic wears off on night 4- almost as if as soon as he realises that x means he's going to sleep, almighty hell breaks loose and he will be inconsoloable.

He often wakes after one sleep cycle, (45 mins?) and I'll need to "feed" him back to sleep (just a quick suck not a real feed). Then a couple more times maybe late evening 10.30/11 ish and a few more times during the night. Wakes for the day around 5.30/6.30. I can cope with an early start, I"m a morning person but the wakefulness from bedtime onwards is destroying me.

Our house is a mess because we tiptoe around trying not to disturb him. DH works full time and I do part time so there often just isn't time in the day when I am around because I want to spend my time with the boys. Except at the moment I don't want to I just want to shout at them to leave me alone and thats not the sort of mum i want to be.

I just don't know what to do to get my family more sleep, we're really unhappy because of this.

Can anyone suggest whats going on I am too tired and befuddled to think straight.

drivingmisscrazy Thu 09-Jul-09 09:44:05


merryberry Thu 09-Jul-09 10:00:28

have you worked your way through this lot?

rubyslippers Thu 09-Jul-09 10:05:27

he is over tired

does he nap at all in the day?

you are trying loads of things to get him to settle and i bet they are all over stimulating him - singing/jiggling etc

I would do a bath and bedtime/wind down routine and then stay in the room with him - hand on bum (light tapping) and stay with him until he goes to sleep

if you get him to bed earlier he will be easier to settle as he will be less over tired

6.30 pm if possible at least for a few nights

Have you got the No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley?

NobbyD Thu 09-Jul-09 12:19:14

Hi TheRedSalamander,
I have no advice (sorry!) but just wanted to say I am having the same problem!

My ds is one year old on Sunday and he's never been a good sleeper. When he was 8 months we did the cc and after two nights slept through. But then he got a cold and teething and its been hell ever since.

I too don't know what will soothe him. He will scream and scream. Going to bed isn't to obad - its the waking in the night. He will just scream and scream until we give him milk even though I know he shouldn't have it.

Its so hard to know what to do for the best.

rubyslippers - whats the no cry solution?

I too need help and didn't want to start a new thread if there are more of us going through it!

ponto Thu 09-Jul-09 22:58:42

What have you tried so far?

Have you done controlled crying?

Do you have a routine for daytime naps and bedtime?

Where does he have his naps?

I've found that a consistent, non-stimulating bedtime routine and controlled crying (not leaving LO screaming for long periods, just moaning and grumbling for up to 5 minutes at a time) has worked for us (cc took 3 or 4 days).

TheRedSalamander Fri 10-Jul-09 16:39:13

Thanks for bumping, and replies. Been at work/dealing with ds1's tummy bug!

Oh Nobby it's awful isn't it!

Merryberry- he's a bit young for most of that at the moment, even though he's one now he's very much a baby still (eg only recently started waving, cruises but doesn't walk, no words yet, no teeth, no clapping even! So although those things in the article you've linked will be useful in the future I don't think a sticker chart (he'd just eat the stickers grin) or talking to him about it (me: What's going on at night time sweetheart are you worried about the dark? Him: yakabugbugdadadplooow) would work wink. But it was helpful in that it talked about attacking one problem at a time and that is something for me to hang on to.

Ruby I think he is over tired too. part of it down to routine I guess, or should that be lack of one, I work odd hours at the moment and so no one day is the same as the next. Plus ferrying ds1 about to various nursery/preschool and other appointments, running errands, so on and so forth means that I can't stick to the same routine (even within half an hour or so) each day. I've got a copy of the no cry sleep solution, some of the things in it sounded workable for us so I will have to re-read and see if there is anything that stands out.

We do have a bed time routine though of sorts, say good night to everyone, crawl up the stairs, song and musical box, cuddle then feed- but perhaps I should make it longer.

Ponto I did try controlled crying- a modified version of it worked with ds1 a treat- but with ds2 it just didn't feel right. Think this is because I'm never that convinced that he is "just" tired- he's always been such a tricky baby to read that I'm never 100% (or even 75%) sure what it is that he needs.

Other info-

If anyone else tries to put him to bed in his cot he screams and screams and screams until he is sick . They can put him in the buggy or the car and the movement of either will help him to drop off but if it is his cot he has to go in it already asleep and the only way to do that in your arms is for me to feed him (and that's touch and go)

Daytime naps mostly in the buggy or car now as getting him into his cot is so hard.

He goes from silent to full scale earsplitting wails at the drop of a hat so there is not 5 mins of gumbling and moaning. Except from me!

Right I'm off home now (work at the mo)- Nobby please come back and tell me more about your lo.

ponto Fri 10-Jul-09 21:00:27

Controlled crying sounds a bit harsh then if he gets himself that worked up. Have you read The Baby Whisperer? I'm sure there's an example in there of a baby who would only feed to sleep and wouldn't go in the cot. I think she worked on the fear of the cot first by just being in the same room while awake, then gradually approaching the cot, then going in but not trying for a nap, etc. I think it maybe took a week or two but eventually the baby was going to sleep without a fuss - may be worth a try? She uses the 'pick up put down' method to encourage falling asleep without any 'props' (patting, music, rocking, etc). There's a website which offers a lot af advice too.

purplejennyrose Fri 10-Jul-09 21:17:47

What ponto said! - the Baby Whisperer does have a case study that sounds remarkably similar.

Def sounds like overtiredness and possible fear of the cot?

It's a nightmare isn't it sometimes getting them into a routine, when you've already got older child's and your routine to contend with.

NobbyD Mon 13-Jul-09 10:14:47

Hi RedSalamander - how is it going? Any improvement on the sleep over the weekend?

As for my ds - he had his first bithday party on Saturday and he didn't nap the entire day. I was thinking he's make up for it at nightr, but nooooo he woke evry two hours. Last night was the same too.

I do a long bedtime routine - starts at 6ish. He has dinner and then we watch Cbeebied bedtime hour (but tbh he doesn't watch it as he gets bored v easily, but its on in background just so he knows its getting to bedtime). We'll then do half hour of quiet play (reading books etc), then its upstairs and I give him nappy off time where he runs around naked for a few minutes while I run the bath. Then bath, dry and dress, bottle, cot.

He tends to go down OK at 7ish. We have hada few battled but nothing that lasts too long. Its just he will then wake up in the night and scream. Last two nights he was waking two hourly (sometimes hourly) and a cuddle got him back to sleep, but he'll just do it again in an hour or so. I have followed guidelines to put him in the cot awake so he self soothes and it worked for a while, but now he's back to needing cuddles, bottles etc.

We also follow a daytime routine (mostly) which his nursery follow too. This is to keep him awake all morning, let him nap after lunch for a max of two hours. Then he doesn't nap again until bed time. But, again, this bares no affect to how he sleeps at night.

So thats my story! Many people may come and tell you that your ds2 needs a routine so he knows when nap times are and that he should always have nap times in his cot so he gets used to it. And while this is good advice, it doesn't mean it'll fix his waking problems as it hasn't for me!

I have read the Baby Whisperer and tried to implement her technicques but I still have a 1 year old who doesn't sleep!

I think whatever you do you need to be consistent. Changing the things you do to get him to sleep will confuse him. Thats happened to us. When I started to give him milk in night, it didn't necessarily get him to sleep as he associated milk with breakfast and morning! But sometimes that was the only thing that would stop him screaming so I'd do it and then have to be up for an hour or so before he goes back to sleep. So my only advice (should you shoose to follow advice from someone in the exact same position as you!) is to come up with a plan to tackle the waking and stick to it for as long as possible and hope that it will eventually work!

Let me know how its going though x

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