Help i'm at my wits end - need advice / sympathy(12 Posts)
My ds is 7 months old and wakes on average every hour during the night (can sometimes be up to 2 1/2hr on a good night or 15 mins on a bad night!!) and needs rocking back to sleep, often while he wails with exhaustation. Not only am i exhausted but my back is starting to hurt as he's a chunky monkey
He has always been a bad sleeper during the day, never used to nap more than 20 mins unless in the buggy. He did use to sleep ok, waking 2/3 times during the night between 7 & 7 but going back to sleep easily. A long holiday with relatives in the heat combined teething seems to have left him unable to soothe himself back to sleep. I'm totally not a CC person, have bought the NCSS but don't seem to have the energy to do it properly & PUPD just gets him so cross he's impossible to settle.
Anyone else in the same boat or been there & can offer comfort that this will end / best way to cope PLEASE....all my friends babies are sleeping 10 til 6 as a minimum & i'm too embarrassed to say how bad it is as i feel like i've failed him
Hi crevee I didn't want to leave your post unanswered.
It seems like your DS doesn't know how to self settle which is the key to getting them to go back to sleep when they wake/come into lighter sleep. As I assume your DS is now having solids at 7mo he certainly doesn't need that many night feeds and is probably using them to get back to sleep! I think the key to any change you want to make is to work up the strength to decide what to do and stick with it, consistency really is important. (Sorry if I sound preachy there I just know how hard it is when you aren't getting sleep!) PUPD (which we tried with DS for naps) was far too stimulating for him. What we did was a version of shh-pat whereby once he was fed/clean and right temp etc we wouldn't pick him up from his cot but sit next to him quietly shh-ing (unless he was crying then loud enough for him to hear IYSWIM?) and putting a hand on his chest. We would then wait till he was asleep but as the days went on we would leave when he was less and less asleep. It took a while to work properly, I think about 4 weeks before he was happily settling for naps but it was well worth it.
I hope this helps - let me know if you have any questions.
Oh, sorry I just re-read your post, are you feeding him back to sleep? If not ignore my references to feeding!
PS - you haven't failed him, you sound like a lovely caring mother.
Have you also recently started weaning and could he be:
- suffering a food intolerance causing stomach ache?
- starting separation anxiety?
- learning how to crawl?
- going through a growth spurt?
How quickly do you respond to him? I am not advocating leaving him to cry but DS sometimes wakes and cries once, then does a little whinge for a minute or two, then sticks his thumb in and goes back to sleep. So I always wait a couple of minutes before going in.
Might he be still teething? What happens if you give him a dose of paracetamol? No difference?
ChocOrange - did shh-pat work for you just doing it for naps? I live in a 1 bed flat with bad sound insulation and i couldn't leave him to cry during the night without waking them all up! I did use to do this but since he has had a cold / teething i started to pick him up as he wailed so i found it too distressing so i guess thats consistency out of the window...
tinierclanger - i think its this that has caused the problem, i don't leave him to cry long and never have because of the neighbours and he now works himself up into a frenzy if he don't get to him quickly and is twice as difficult to put back to sleep...
ches - how do you know whether its separation anxiety (sounds silly i know) but he has started to wail when i leave him to go to the kitchen during the day but i thought that was just being overtired
Thanks for your advice everyone
It is probably some seperation anxiety on top of the sleep props you provide him with.
Can you rock him but stop before he's asleep? Sort of PUPD but with the rocking instead, don't rock him until he is completely asleep, then less & less until you just hold him to go to sleep?
I would also get him checked out with a craniel osteopath to see if there is a reason why he keeps going into such light sleep so frequently.
Yes, that is separation anxiety. Stay with him and remember that crying needs responding to, but you don't have to respond by picking up. You can do shhh-pat, read a story (this worked with DS who at 5.5 mth was pulling up in his cot ), sing a lullabye, etc.
I used to sing jazz versions of baa baa black sheep at the top of my voice while he screamed bloody murder on my shoulder and DH was in night classes. Then I said sod it to those who said don't feed to sleep because not feeding to sleep didn't make the slightest bit of difference and at least if I fed to sleep I didn't have to endure 90 min of screaming. IMO you either get a good sleeper or a bad sleeper and you just have to find coping mechanisms if it's the latter. DS is 29 months and still wakes 4 times a night, but because we still partially co-sleep, I get all the rest I need.
I second the cranial osteopathy. It really helped with DS, who had a phase like this around 4 months.
Ches thanks for the advice re reading a story - he loves books and its part of his bedtime routine so will definitely try this.
Also loving the image of jazz baa baa black sheep - gave me a much needed chuckle.
I can't get away with the jazz baa baa blacksheep anymore... now he corrects me.
Join the discussion
Please login first.