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I'm on my last legs, 7m old ds3 is a dreadful night sleeper. Help,

(24 Posts)
kitkat9 Thu 09-Jul-09 17:07:11

You'd think I would have this cracked by my 3rd dc but no.

We are all just settled down having moved from the USA back to UK about a month ago, and I thought ds2 was falling into a kind of pattern - up at 6.30, back down by 9am, up after an hour, back down by 1/1.30pm, another hour or a bit more, then maybe a later afternoon nap.

I'm not dead set on a strict routine, in fact I wouldn't mind what he does through the day as long as he had a good sleep at night, but after going down by 7.30/8pm, he wakes at around 10.30pm, then it seems like every 90 minutes/2 hours for the rest of the night. Last night I saw every hour on the clock.

How do I change this? I'm trying to avoid feeding to sleep now as I'm ready to stop bf'ing tbh. I have ds1 5, and dd is 2.6. Dh is still in USA so I'm on my tod. I am close to breaking point, so exhausted.

Anyone successfully implemented a new patttern for sleep that actually worked? I will literally try anything, and am ready for a few more nights of broken/no sleep if something would work in the long run.

BoysAreLikeDogs Thu 09-Jul-09 17:16:06

You sound so tired bless you

Bumping for you, with a hug

kitkat9 Thu 09-Jul-09 17:48:08

can you see the suitcases under my eyes from there, BALD?


it's nearly wine o'clock at least

anyone got any advice for me?

Miamla Thu 09-Jul-09 17:51:22

its feeding time at the zoo at the moment but i'll be back with my tale soon

BoysAreLikeDogs Thu 09-Jul-09 21:59:57

bumping for the evening crew


BoysAreLikeDogs Thu 09-Jul-09 22:32:08

Fast- moving boards tonight

Miamla Fri 10-Jul-09 06:15:26

kitkat..sorry i disappeared

right, a bit of history for you.. this time last week my 11mth old DS had never slept for more than 3 (possibly 4 but this was rare) hours at a time. i tried so many different things and nothing seemed to work. I managed to cut the bfs down from him co-sleeping and pretty much helping himself all night to 1 or 2. What i found difficult though was rocking him to sleep in the early hours. Rocking would take an hour whereas a bf would take 10mins. Because of this my reolve was weak and I usually gave in to bf him.
Last Saturday was the worse night ever. DP was away, all DS did was scream for didn'y make any difference if he was in my arms or in the cot. So, my new plan for sunday night was to keep him in the cot all night with no cuddles or bf.
it took an hour and a half to get him to sleep. this involved me lying him down everytime he stood up. when he was lying down i was rubbing his back and humming his lullaby to him. he then woke a few minutes later, i did same again and it took half an hour. this went on for a little while with each settling time getting shorter. he then slept for 5 hours!!!
we're only 4 nights in but already he's sleeping for longer and every wakeup is only taking 5mins of humming/stroking.
sorry, for jumbled message, probably doesn't make much sense, feel free to ask questions
there really is light at the end of the tunnel

Do you feed at 10:30pm?
We still give very nearly 12month old DS a full feed at 10:30pm, as we think it's the only thing that gets him thru to 5:30am (or 4:30am this morning!) it will be the last feed we drop! IF (and only IF) you want to stop breastfeeding is there any way you would be ok changing the 10:30pm feed to a formula feed and then at least when DH gets back from USA he can take over that feed which ensures you can go to bed early (I b/f until 10months but that feed was the first to go to formula as I just needed the sleep!). Please don't think I am advocating formula just if that's what you want to do it's really ok to do it and you can still do all other feeds as breast.

Also could you push the 1:30pm afternoon nap slightly later to say 2pm and then cut out the late afternoon nap all together?

The other thing someone said here is that he maybe TOO tired so could you cut out the afternoon nap and maybe put him to bed a little earlier?

No sleep expert here, as you can tell as my DS was awake at 4:30am but he does now sleep 7pm-10:30pm 10:30pm-somewherebetween4:30am-5:30am.

kitkat9 Fri 10-Jul-09 09:19:51

thanks for your messages!

last night was better - he was down by 7.30pm, slept till about 10pm, I gave him a bottle of formula - he only ever takes a couple of ounces at most at that feed though. He woke again at about 12pm, then 4-ish (I think!), then slept till about 7am. So while not great, a vast improvement on previous nights. And I got a bit more sleep so am feeling better.

Have been thinking that I will try the method you used, Miamla - as long as I can get the other 2 to bed and asleep before I start!

He's just gone down for his morning nap after a bit of resistance and a few minutes crying so hopefully he'll have a good couple of hours. I'd prefer him to have a big morning nap and a not so big afternoon nap, like from 2-3.30pm.

I have been mixed feeding for a wee while now Libra and am totally ready to stop bf'ing now - I find ds isn't as settled on the breast any more, he writhes and struggles, pulls back and seems generally unhappy with it! and that upsets me so it's a not really working any more. Through the night when he bf's I feel it's just for his own comfort rather than because he's hungry.

anyway, from today I'll try the laying him down thing and hope that he learns fast! I had the same issues with ds1 and he didn't sleep through until about 20 months! Dd, however went from about 4 months - oh I remember the joy....

MamaG Fri 10-Jul-09 09:26:21

kitkat my DS2 (dc3) is just 8 months old and a bad sleeper too! He will have one nap during the day if I'm lucky, anything from 20 mins to 2 hours but its usually 20 mins. Bedtime is 7pm and I feed him to sleep (I know, I know, but its so quick!) and put him in his cot, the last week or so he's slept until 11pm when I've gone to bed and woken him to feed him, then he'll either go until 5am and want feeding, or he'll manage to get to about 6.30am whiuch is fine.

I've put his cot a bit further awya from me, so he can't smell me which I think has helped.

<<looks at BabyG and feels jealous of all the daytime naps!>>

madwomanintheattic Fri 10-Jul-09 09:35:41

ds1 fed every two hours until he was 10 mos tbh - by then i was so sleep deprived i just stopped feeding him. it wasn't ideal as i'd have been happy to continue during the day, but i just couldn't cope with being awake for half an hour, sleeping for an hour and a half, being awake for half an hour, sleeping for an hour and a half. it was horrific and i was a total zombie, so sending much sympathy to you. that said, as soon as i turned the taps off, he slept through...

stopping bf worked like a dream for us, but they are all different.

(ds had a plastic aversion btw, so wouldn't take a bottle or cup (he had a sort of ptsd from pneumonia and nebuliser stuff at 3 months) - which made it more problematic to get anyone else to feed him/ settle lol - so i was totally at the end of my tether)

Does he sleep in his own bedroom kitkat? We found moving him also helped as I didn't wake up at every little snuffle and snore (and boy did he produce a lot of noise for one so small).

Do you warm the milk at 10:30pm?

kitkat9 Fri 10-Jul-09 12:25:58

madwoman, that's exactly what I've been coping with too, the constant months of consistently broken sleep, never getting more than 2 hours at a go.....when you stopped bf'ing, were you always getting up to get him bottles of formula, or did that stop too?

He is in a cot in my room - if I do hear him stir I try to leave him for a few minutes to see what he'll do. I've also got a mobile above his cot with a light show thing which he seems to qute like and has drifted off to sleep while watching it a few times now. I've also got Classic FM on very quietly in the background (until I go to bed) which he seems to be ok with. I think living in such a noisy house he's used to having some sort of background noise!

Libra, I do warm the milk for the 10pm feed - should I not?

MamaG - last night I did the old one of my t-shirts in his cot thing - no difference!

Miamla Fri 10-Jul-09 12:30:38

forgot to say, my DS is 11mths so a little older than yours but trust me, i really do sympathise! Its only this week that i've been reminded what sleep is!
I didn't get my 'technique' from a book or anything, its just something that i felt would work for us and it far! I find that if i assume a night will be bad, then my expectations aren't ruined if its good. Does that make sense? so if its a good night..fantastic but if its bad, its what i was expecting so i wasn't disappointed!
I first did the lying down thing to get him to sleep for the night (as opposed to for a nap). As for naps, I don't restrict when he naps but i do find he's ready to nap having been awake for 3 hours. Up until a couple of weeks ago, he wanted to sleep after 2 hours. But, saying that, he generally doesn't nap now after 4ish.
I really found he slept so much better once i stopped feeding him at night but this also coincided with me teaching him how to settle himself. He's now completely night weaned but still has bfs during the day. I've never given him formula so can't give any advice about that.
Any of my ante-natal friends will think its hilarious i'm giving out sleep advice as it is! My DS is affectionately known amongst them as the 'non-sleeping wonder'

oh and another thing, i found that if DS is in his cot and chatting/playing etc that its hopeless trying to get him to sleep so i leave him for a few minutes. if he's tired he then gets upset that i've left him so i go back in, lay him down (humming his lullaby all the time i'm in his room, it helps keep me calm if nothing else!) and stroke his back. once he's calm he'll either roll over, close his eyes and go to sleep. or he'll start chatting/playing again. if the latter, i leave him again etc.

DS caught on very quickly as to what the deal was. if i went back in and he was still standing, he'd sit down as quick as he could which made it easier for me to then lay him down.

At no point did i let him get upset. i only left him alone if he was happily chatting to himself and returned as soon as he started crying

i'm not sure i've made it any clearer now i've re-read what i've just typed!

madwomanintheattic Fri 10-Jul-09 13:24:29

kitkat, no bottles lol. as soon as he realised that he wasn't getting any more boob (it only took two days) he slept through. grin <madwoman dances round the room in remembrance of how fantastic it was)

tbh, offering him a bottle of formula was even worse lol - it distressed him even more than not getting bf did!

but after two days he realised that he wasn't getting any more, and starting to take other fluids from a sippy cup/ soft spouted beaker. we kept him topped up with sloppy solids until he caved lol. (ds1 is the most obstinate child that ever lived)

we didn't use a bottle at all, but he was a wee bit older. (and i confess i put him straight onto cow's milk - he was nearly 11 mos and the size of an elephant - the last thing i wanted to do was fanny about with formula for 4 weeks blush)

so for us it was the ideal solution - but these little people are all so different lol - i'm not making any promises it would work for you! grin

I was going to suggest warming the milk but you already do that.

If you don't mind it might be worth moving him out of your room, just for the night, to see what happens. Maybe he isn't waking you up maybe you are waking him up, and as long as he's awake he might as well have a snack....

I have to admit that when my DS got to 7months and I went back to work I couldn't do the night feeds anymore so I did a version of CC (but didn't leave him as long!) and cracked it in 3 nights - but he had only been waking twice a night not as often as your DS.

kitkat9 Fri 10-Jul-09 16:57:02

Unfortunately our house only has 2 bedrooms so until we move he's in with me!

I think I need to steel myself for a few nights of refusing to give him a feed after 10.30pm and struggling through the ensuing outrage! I'm making sure he gets plenty of food and milk through the day, so I hope I can 'train' him into self-settling. He's an obstinate wee thing, and his howls of fury make me cave in too soon...especially at 2am, 3am, 4am....

thanks all for taking the time to write, you've really helped.

I was so hoping to having the 3rd baby who's so laid back and sleeps like an angel...alas, not to be. He loves snuggling in with me too Boys love their mums, right?

Miamla Fri 10-Jul-09 17:16:59

my DS was alot happier with me refusing him milk during the night when i started the not-picking up thing but as someone else said..these little people are all so different

good luck kitkat, I hope tonight is the start of your journey with a sleeping baby smile

madwomanintheattic Fri 10-Jul-09 17:44:00

lol, my third baby spent the first 5 weeks in scbu, and had such hideous daytime feeding problems due to her muscle tone that we had to turn nocturnal and feed her all night as she couldn't swallow during the day... at least she couldn't bf though, so we got to take it in turns once i gave up setting the alarm to express four hourly...

ds1 was hideous, i have no idea what i did to deserve dd2... grin

fingers crossed for sleeping boy, kitkat.

TrudyVotion Sun 12-Jul-09 09:59:25

This is really interesting as I am on the horns of a dilemma over my DS and night feeds. They do sound so enraged, don't they, when you try not to feed them? Just now though he fussed around before a nap and didn't feed properly - I try to avoid feeding before a nap but sometimes the two just coincide - and as I was scared of being bitten again (lots of that going on atm) I put him down to sleep. He was absolutely furious but after 5 mins was asleep, so I'm going to remember that when I decide no more night feeds. It's likely to be next Friday night as it's the first night of the school hols and DH, DD and SS are all away so fewer people in the house to be disturbed!

Miamla Tue 14-Jul-09 23:06:22

how are you getting on Kitkat?

kitkat9 Sun 02-Aug-09 07:21:50

I'm back....

so have stopped bf'ing and for a few nights things seemed to be getting better - he would go down at 7pm-ish, sleep until midnight or thereabouts, wake and I would give him a bottle which saw him through to approx 3 or 4am. Some nights he was waking at that time then whimpering and shuffling around for a while before falling asleep again, other nights I would have to cuddle him back to sleep, then he would be down again till about 6am, maybe a bit later.

This was a big improvement! I was getting quite hopeful. But then he started teething. Oh dear God. He is a snotty, grotty mess. We're back to the up every couple of hours hell. This morning he woke at 4.30am and nothing could get him back to sleep. By 6.30am he's so grouchy and in desperation I put him back in his cot where he's been asleep for the last 45minutes..I went back to my bed and was drifting off until ds1 and dd came wandering through at 6.50am...

God I'm tired. I'm bad tempered and snappy. Dd is in full terrible two's mode and is impossible.

I don't know what to do. I'm truly at the end of my rope. I want someone to come and take the ds's away for the whole day just so I can sleep. But that's not happening. No-one wants to babysit for 3 children. I'm so tired of doing this all by myself all the time.

Rant over.

maxmilly Fri 21-Aug-09 10:00:22

You poor thing. I sympathise completely as I'm in the same boat with my 6 month old, who wakes up every 2 hours or so for her dummy. We tried some lacklustre dummy-free sleep training a few weeks back but my resolve broke and I've now been 'left to it' by a very cross husband who, to his credit, did sleep with her for 7 nights solid, and can't believe I gave in and cracked open the dummies again.

We also had real problems with our first born and did serious sleep clinic /controlled crying stuff (Millpond Sleep Clinic, who were brilliant) and it worked very quickly. You'd think we'd have learnt from our mistakes but no, suspect I'm going to end up back there again. Mandy, the founder phoned me every day for a week when we were doing it and it was the support aspect that I found most helpful actually, especially if you're on your own....

At least teething is a temporary thing - sounds like you're on the right track...

Claire2301 Fri 21-Aug-09 10:20:52

How is it going now Kitkat?

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