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I'm so tired and I don't know what to do

(77 Posts)
Thomcat Tue 17-May-05 11:12:37

I posted this in sleep but as I was talking i realised that there is a SN element to my problem.

Sorry I know JakB has posted something about sllep but my query / need for advice is a bit different and I'm hoping you might have some pearls of wisdom for me.

We've moved L into a big girls bed. She's going to sleep okay but started waking at 630 and coming into us but it's been getting earlier and earlier. We put a gate up at her door but she sits behind it and cries. This morning it was 4.30!

I'm just so tired, as is D and as is L. I'm tired anyway as early days of pregnancy, and feel nauseaus all afternoon which is being made worse by being so tired and so on. have bad headache behind eyes and feel teary and hormonal, all not helping each other basically.

So my question is, other than knowing how to get her to sllep later, how do I make her understand that it's too early to get up? The girls on sleep section of MN suggested a clock but there's no way she'll understand the concept of that yet, no way. i'm not sure what she understands tbh, not sure if me saying 'it's too early L, go back to sleep, close your eyes'.

Any ideas, I'm so tired I can't think straight, any advice would so gretafully received.

dinosaur Tue 17-May-05 11:15:46

Thomcat, I'm not surprised you feel exhausted.

Do you still have the cot? If so, what about just abandoning the bed idea for a while and putting her back in it? We had to do this with DS2 - first of all he settled in the bed really happily, then it all went pear-shaped - put him back in the cot for a few months and he started sleeping really well again. Might be worth a try?

p.s. the second time we tried the bed, it was a different story - a few months had made all the difference.

Blu Tue 17-May-05 11:19:30

A hard one. Have you got good blackout curtains / blinds so that she is less affected by the early dawn atm? Would it work if you (or preferably your DP) invested in a few mornings of putting her straight back to bed and staying with her until she does go back to sleep, so that her timing re-adjusts back to sleeping until her normal waking time?

Being a creatue of very little disciplne, I would probably put her in bed, in the dark, with me, and encourage her to get back to sleep with me.

But this is how DP and I have got into a habit of sleeping in the spare room on alternative nights and taking it in turns to deal with the early waking.

Thomcat Tue 17-May-05 11:20:36

Jesus, why am I crying?
ohhhhhhhh <sighhhhhhh>
Maybe we should go back to the cot???
I just feel like it's taking a step back and failing in some way?
In 7 months time someone else is going to need that cot and I want her to be settled and happy ready for the new arrival.
Oh God, I'm hormonal and tired and should be coping with this better but can't

dinosaur Tue 17-May-05 11:25:16

Thomcat please don't cry! It's not taking a step backwards and it's not failing in some way! Look, I was absolutely amazed (and a bit crestfallen) that I had to put DS2 back in teh cot (I thought it would all be much more plain sailing with nt DS2). But he just wasn't quite ready for it - he just needed the security of the cot for a little while longer. It wasn't a backward step, it was just going at his pace.

And don't worry about the new arrival, please. Firstly, seven months is a long time, secondly if needs be you can borrow a second cot (that's what we did for DS2 when he was a baby) or buy one secondhand very cheaply. The important thing is to get some sleep, now!

Thomcat Tue 17-May-05 11:26:09

She does have a blackout blind but we need blackout curtains too to stop the chinks of light amnd it could be darker which I will sort out but it'll take time, and money.

This morning at 4.30 I did get into her bed with her but she thought that was fab and kept sitting up and laughing and when I lay her back down each time she'd giggle like mad and when she did stay down she wanted to trace my lips with her finger etc so I turned my back but that made her pull herself up over my shoulder so she could see my face. So I lay her down and got back into my own bed and that's when she got out of bed and sat behind the stair gate and moaned and whimpered until 6.30.

When we bring her into us she's so chatty, full of 'ohhh look' and 'hello mummy, hello daddy, hello Dedda' (Fletcher the cat)! And she's full of the joys of spring. We put milkshake on silent and she sits at the end of the bed quite happily then but that's not really very good is it, she thinks now thta she can get up at anytime and watch TV in mummys bed.

dinosaur Tue 17-May-05 11:28:41

Prufrock posted a link to a great product the other day - it actually sticks right onto the glass, so no chinks of light can get round. Much better than blackout curtains or blinds I think (we have some of each, and the light still gets round them).

bee3 Tue 17-May-05 11:28:43

I feel for you Thomcat. You sound exhausted.
Is there something else you could use as a signal that it's ok to get up and play...maybe a timer plug connected to a light or tape recorder that comes on at 6.30/7.00 as a sign? Would she understand that until the music starts/light comes on she must stay in bed? It might take some practise....Will keep thinking.

motherinferior Tue 17-May-05 11:29:07

Darling, please take the path of least resistance. You're not failing. You really aren't. My four year old keeps bloody coming into our room early and it drives us MAD, and she's a year older than Lottie and can understand 'oi, kid, back to bed'...and even that doesn't always work. Get some sleep, honey, you NEED it.

dinosaur Tue 17-May-05 11:30:48

Thomcat I just read your other thread. That late nap sounds like a recipe for disaster! My DS2 is nearly four and honestly, if he sleeps even ten minutes during the day, he is a PITA at night.

Blu Tue 17-May-05 11:31:59

Don't cry, hun. This is the curse of light mornings and 3 year olds, and must be horrible to cope with when you're pregnant. DS would never have taken to a rabbit light, either, and just climbed out anyway.

If you can persist - and I strongly recommend you get D to persist while you catch up on sleep in your room, and because IME men are better at sleeping through multiple distractions), actually, get into bed with her, let her fiddle with you, but do not react, not at all. Just play fast asleep, for as long as it takes (and it might be an hour) for her to fall back to sleep in boredom and because it's as dark as you can make it. I think the principle of no stimulus at all might work. The TV apporach is 120% understandable, but it does kind of re-inforce a pattern of 'this is the time your body clock begins it's active day'

Thomcat Tue 17-May-05 11:32:32

Ohh I feel so silly, but can't help feeling teary all the same.

I'll try and find out about that product Prufrock mentioned Dinosaur thank you.

I can try some sort of light that signals it's okay to get up, it'll take time but is worth the effort. Anyone know of a product like this?

lima Tue 17-May-05 11:34:16

Sounds like a combination of late naps and early dawns to me.

You must make sure the window is really blacked out - a huge amount of light comes round the edges of curtains, so they probably won't do the trick - even if you have to tape a bin bag over the window, try something to make it darker.

dinosaur Tue 17-May-05 11:35:43

I'm going to look for the link to Pru's product now.

coppertop Tue 17-May-05 11:35:50

I'm so sorry you're feeling so bad, TC. I have an early waker too but as he tends to stay in his own room most of the time there's not a lot I can help you with. I hope you get this sorted out soon. xxx

SleepyJess Tue 17-May-05 11:35:53

TC, we do a sleep programme with DS involving repeating simple key words to him, while he stands at his gate (now graduated to a Lindam Dog Gate as he can climb an ordinary safty gate! Can't walk.. but can climb!)

From our room we say.."Alex.. night time... dark... bed.. sleep" whilst trying not to go to him. We have had success with this in the past, although when something breaks the pattern (a cold etc) we have to start again. His undetstnading is also opne to negotitation but he definitely gets the message that we are not going to him and it s not time to get up.

The light mornings are causing him to wake earlier and earlier and I leave a pile of books and some juice at his gate which, while he might protest a bit, he will usually.. and eventually.. settle down with for a while.. or take himself back to bed.

((((hugs)))) Pg-tiredness is such a difficult one.. thank goodness DS2 was my last.. could never do it now with him!

SJ x

lima Tue 17-May-05 11:36:03

If you want to do teh timer thing, buy a plug-in timer from B&Q or similar and plug in either a nightlight or bedside lamp.

Thomcat Tue 17-May-05 11:36:15

But we can't keep her awake in the day after school, she falls asleep in the car on the way home and then satys asleep for a hour or so, and even if she doesn't sleep in the day she's still getting up really early. Yesterday after a very early start and a full day at school she was so tired we couldn't wake her up she just refused, it took about half an hour and then she didn't go to bed till 8.30 and was asleep just gone 9 but still up at 4.30 today.

dinosaur Tue 17-May-05 11:37:15

Prufrock's things

lima Tue 17-May-05 11:38:39

on holiday last year we ened up draping a blanket over the window of the kids room, as they were getting up at 5.00 when it got light (flimsey Ikea blind in situ)

Tessiebear Tue 17-May-05 11:38:59

Does she go back to sleep when she comes in with you???
Is it not worth having her in with you when she wakes, so you all get some sleep - and deal with the problem when you have re-charged your batteries and got throught the first few months of pregnancy

SleepyJess Tue 17-May-05 11:40:09

TC, DS is the same.. always soundo on the bus when he arrives home and doesn't want to wake up. And I am loathe wake him because I know he will be whingy and harder work that usual because he is so tired. Sometimes he falls asleep in the classroom! Does Lotty?

SJ x

lima Tue 17-May-05 11:40:55

Thomcat- agree the nap thing is tricky - had a lot of problems with ds2 falling asleep at 5 pm and refusing to go to bed.

I think you should focus on making the room very dark - that link dinosaur gave looks just the thing.

Thomcat Tue 17-May-05 11:41:16

i leave books and toys etc out for her but she doesn't really play on her own. She plays with soft toys but won't sit on her own and paly with a toy or read a book. I'll leave a drink for her at the gate as well but as she has milk in the morning I can't leave that out all night and not sure how thrilled she'll be with water, but will do it anyway.

Will tape up windows in soem way and make it as dark as poss, i look forward to learning more about Prufrocks find as well.

I'll try the key words as well.

I'll try the automatic light thing as well.

But what's best. Not to go to her at all and ignore. Go in and keep putting her in bed and walking out over anfd over (I think not as this just upsets her more), or getting in bed with her in her room, or letting her into bed with ius but no TV?

Thomcat Tue 17-May-05 11:42:49

No she is wide awake and so not up for going back to sleep, not even a bit. I tried stroking her head and nuzzling into her this am but her eyes were wide open and she kept tryoing to sit up.

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