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Is this normal?

(13 Posts)
jerikaka Mon 01-Aug-05 15:43:13

After many problems trying to get my 22month ds to sleep through, I'm at the point of loosing my sanity. We have had some achivements like getting him to sleep past 5am, using black out curtains, and he has a good bed time routine at night. He goes to sleep with no fuss at all. He doesn't have a bottle at night or have a dummy, but he still cries in the night, and I don't understand why. I have tried going into him and calming him down, which he does very quickly. I have tried leaving him to "cry it out", and most of the time he only cries for 10 secs max but it doesn't stop him actually crying on subsequent nights. We used to have good weeks and bad, but the past three weeks I don't think we have had any good nights at all. I don't think that he's too hot or cold. Though I have tried putting him in a gro bag, but he hates being restricted and it makes him cry even more. I have run out of ideas and my sanity is fast dissappearing at the same rate. Our next baby is due in Jan and I would really love to get him settled before then. Any ideas?

Donbean Mon 01-Aug-05 16:11:49

Hi jerikaka, im in the very same boat with my ds. He was 2 a few weeks ago and has hardly ever since birth slept through the night.
He does precisely what you describe your ds doing.
Some nights he cries maybe once or twice, other nights im in and out 5/6/7 times. I go in settle him which he does quickly most of the time.
There is nothing that i havent tried.
By far the most effective thing that i did was to close his bedroom door completely and close my bedroom door completely.
That way i could only hear him cry if he really cried, other wise his crying out half awake, half asleep meant that he would settle himself off.
It goes against the grain to do this as i am anxious that i may not hear him if he is really upset. It worked for a while, now i have slipped back into the habit of leaving the doors slightly back to square one.
When i go into him, he doesnt actually want any thing, just to be settled back down, is this what your ds does?

jerikaka Mon 01-Aug-05 16:19:07

Pretty much. I must say that we don't usually have 5-6 times a night, but it's mimimum of once a night, maximum of three. I just don't understand. Is there any hope? I am finding it so hard to get thorugh the day! There is one room that we could move to, and th eone night we slept in it I did sleep well, but my dh didn't sleep well there, so we moved back. I feel like I have become such a light sleeper that the slightest thing wakes me up. I have tried ear plugs as well, but they were so uncomfortable, and it makes you feel like such a bad mother to be trying to mask the sound of your child, especially as you said like if they were to really need you.

jerikaka Mon 01-Aug-05 16:22:09

forgot to mention, when I go in, I just say "time for night nights" and he does go back to sleep very easily. I never get him out of his cot unless he has obviously had a bad dream. My dh thinks that it must be nightmares waking him up, but not three times a night every night, surely?

Donbean Mon 01-Aug-05 16:25:03

I know what you mean about bieng a light sleeper, im the same. I hear the slightest sound.
I think that this is the problem, we are so in tune to our childs needs that we are there in a blink of an eye...that in my book is a good mother.
A tired mum is a crabby mum though in our house and that isnt good.
I dont know what the answer is, i think for me personally i shall ride the storm and wait for things to settle down. For you however it is an altogether different story and as you say you could do with nipping this in the bud earlier.
I sympathise with you 100%.
Funnily enough i have a very good friend whos 2 year old has the very same sleep pattern and some nights she texts me at 12mn to say "im up...are you, this is the 3rd time tonight!"
So as far as your question about "is this normal", although not normal, i think it is common.

madmarchhare Mon 01-Aug-05 16:28:10

I hear my DS (20mos) almost every night. Sometimes he needs 'tucking back in', other times he will sort it out himself. Because there doesnt seem to be any pattern to it, I dont really try to solve it, I dont see how you can. Part and parcel I think, some do, some dont.

Donbean Mon 01-Aug-05 16:28:23

Me too, i dont take him out of his cot, dont talk to him, dont offer him drinks or any thing.
We have a bedtime routine and we have had this since he was tiny.
We too had the problems of 4/5am wakings and so put him to bed an hour later (8pm). This did the trick.
I have occasionally given him calpol in the night thinking it may be pain from his teeth.
I have also considered nightmares.
I dont know if we shall ever know why, i just know that we are doing every thing right, its just the way they are!

Donbean Mon 01-Aug-05 16:29:22

Agree madmarchhare.

Donbean Mon 01-Aug-05 16:32:16

So sorry, im not any help to you here at all am i.
I asked the Hv about it and she suggested a sleep diary, to establish a pattern.
This was not helpful as it just told me how little broken sleep i was getting so depressed me even more!

jerikaka Mon 01-Aug-05 17:08:50

i have thought of keeping a diary to see if there is any pattern, but I don't know what sort of things I should be noting down. I'm at the point where I think it might be to do with what we do during the day, how much he cries during the day. Should I just be noting down how much he cries in the night? I think i'm just paranoid now!
It is reassuirng to hear that he's not the onlyv one doing this, and some days I can think one day at a time, which helps me cope with it. It's just after a couple of nights of broken sleep I begin to get stressed about the whole thing and start not coping. I think i just think that there should be a reason for everything, and therfore a reason for his crying. Maybe I should just stop thinking so much!!

Donbean Mon 01-Aug-05 19:12:41

I know what you mean.
It is hard going when you havent had the sleep that you need.
I have been posting on here for about a year now and intermittantly ask for advice on his sleeping in the hope that some one will have fresh ideas or a magic cure and in all of that time there has never been an answer.
Loads and loads of support and sympathy but no magic cure.

The sleep diary i kept of his night time wakenings, time and duration of awake period.
I did it for about a week but believe it or not, i lost my way with it as some nights i was up every half an hour all night long to him.

As he has got older, things are much better, i know this because i do not feel as ill as i did then so i have adjusted to the lack of sleep and his wakings are not as frequent and are much shorter with the occassional night when he sleeps through.

jerikaka Wed 03-Aug-05 08:36:58

I had a feeling that there would be no easy answer!
I took your advice on closing the door, and it has helped. The past two nights I have slept through his crying, but my dh hasn't! I'm sure I would still hear him if he cried for longer. It's definitely helped hearing someone else closes the door, I think it's helped me relax a bit more about ignoring it! Thank you!

Donbean Wed 03-Aug-05 17:27:17

Hi, im glad it helped a bit the closing the door thing.
We have done it again the last 2 nights and guess what...2 nights of a full night sleep. Well, until 5.30 yesterday and 6am this morning.
Thats not so bad because DH is on his 6 weeks holiday from work and so we are taking it in turns to get up with him in the mornings.
my turn tomorow.
I go to bed worrying about things though, what if he wakes up and i dont hear him, what if he gets cold because his blankets come off and he cries because of that and i dont hear him, what if he has pain from his teeth and i dont hear him, and so it goes on.
I do believe though that if he really cries, i will definitely hear him, in fact the whole street will hear him!
Good luck with this, just take comfort in the fact that you are not alone with it.

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