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Need sleep help desperately!!!!!


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#1 babycooper

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Posted 25 August 2011 - 10:12 AM

My 9 month old son is a terrible night sleeper. We have just come back from a stint at a Sleep School where they pretty much said there is nothing they can do as they have never encountered a child like mine!!!

Archie needs to be patted to sleep and I cant leave the room till he is asleep. He sleeps in a Wrap me Up and has done since he was little. I would like to change him to a sleeping bag but everythime I try he goes nuts.
If I leave Archie to cry a little (I'm talking a few minutes) he gets hysterical and makes himself vomit. I have tried staying in the room without patting but he still screams. I wouldn't care as he settles quickly when I pat him but he has started waking every hour from about 3 onwards and needs to be settled by me. The vomitting only occurs when I stick to my guns and dont settle straight away.
He sleeps well during the day 1.5-2 hr sleeps and goes to sleep well at night but when he wakes boy does he wake!!!!
He still has a bottle at about midnight which is also an issue but I want to change one thing at a time.
My 3 issues are..
Changing him to a sleeping bag with minimal drama.
Stopping the night feeds (i am starting to try and give him more solids and not offering him milk till he eats)
Stopping the vomitting.

Any ideas would be appreciated
Mum to Archie Dean Cooper (18/11/10) and
Finn Joseph Cooper (24/06/13)

#2 mango

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Posted 25 August 2011 - 10:31 AM

You obviously didn't do sleep school at Ellen Barron, Either that or they have all new staff.

Sorry I can't help too much. When DS was older and over his reflux we did cry it out. I had to mentally prepare myself for what I would be greeted with in the morning (vomit, poo on the walls because he would force a poo out and then developed a lovely habit of smearing). It was the only option we had because he couldn't be comforted to sleep so it was a screaming fess anyway. After the 1st night which was incredible hard he improved every night after that and in a couple of days he was going down without a peep. I know not for everyone.

Good luck with what you decide to do the only advice I can offer is be consistant in what you decide. Hugs its hard to change their sleeping habits and feel free to come back here to vent and for support.

ETA: I was also pleasently surprised to not walk into a mess in the morning.

#3 SmittenKitten

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Posted 25 August 2011 - 10:40 AM

I would be going back to the sleep school and asking them to either help you or find someone that can.....

Is he rolling? If he is it is dangerous for him to still be wrapped. we went cold turkey wtih the wraps to the sleeping bag, it was the only way.

Next step for me would be a pead, if he is getting so hysterical he is making himself consistantly vomit, I would be getting that chekced out by a specialist. Sounds like severe anxiety to me. (can babies have anxiety!? )

Good Luck.
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#4 scasey77

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Posted 25 August 2011 - 11:05 AM

Don't know how much help I can be but these are my thoughts:

With getting rid of the wrap. You could try putting the sleeping bag on and then wrapping over the top with the Wrap Me Up if you can or otherwise switch to a muslin/cotton wrap and try wrapping that over the top. Once used to having the sleeping bag put on I think it would make taking the wrap off easier. We went cold turkey with taking the wrap off too but Charlie was happily going to sleep on his own at that point. I think if he was happily putting himself to sleep the transition would be easier.

Getting rid of the night milk. Have you tried only offering water when he wakes at night? If he realises he is not getting the milk he may stop waking for it.

Having said all of that I think the above issues would resolve themselves somewhat if he was able to settle himself off to sleep without the hysterics and vomiting. I know not everyone agrees but I am of the school of thought that if a baby/child needs you to help them go to sleep in the first place then it makes sense that they are going to call out and need you to help them to sleep everytime they wake from their sleep. So for me the key is for them to be able to put themselves to sleep initially which means they would be less likely to look for you to help them when they wake (unless something is wrong of course).

This is probably going to sound harsh but can you put him to bed with his usual sleep routine, leave the room and see what happens. When he vomits you could go in, clean him up and back to bed and leave again. No talking or interaction whilst you are cleaning him so that he understands it is bedtime and nothing he does will change that. No doubt you would be in for a horrible time initially but it could be worth a try if you do not want to pat him to sleep any longer.

And finally make sure you have a really strong and consistent bedtime routine. We do the same routine everynight, in the same order and have done since Cate was 3 months old
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#5 babycooper

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Posted 25 August 2011 - 11:27 AM

This is probably going to sound harsh but can you put him to bed with his usual sleep routine, leave the room and see what happens. When he vomits you could go in, clean him up and back to bed and leave again. No talking or interaction whilst you are cleaning him so that he understands it is bedtime and nothing he does will change that. No doubt you would be in for a horrible time initially but it could be worth a try if you do not want to pat him to sleep any longer.

I have tried that but he just keeps vomiting or dry retching! Last night he did it 4 times and was then so scared and upset. His face went red, his eyes were watering.....ahh I am trying to be strong but i am not succeeding...

Thanks for your ideas...
Mum to Archie Dean Cooper (18/11/10) and
Finn Joseph Cooper (24/06/13)

#6 BeenTooLong

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Posted 25 August 2011 - 11:28 AM

I feel your pain, Sleep School didn't work for us either, we went when Nathan was 9.5 months old. The lady told me if he wouldn't go to sleep put him in the pram and go for a walk. Yeah, like I'm going to do that in the middle of the night!

I will try to help, from my own experience with Nathan who wouldn't sleep.

With changing him to the sleeping bag - maybe try first with just the day sleep.

Nathan would also go from 0 to 100 on the screaming scale. I hated hearing him do that, plus after days and days and weeks of no change I stopped the Controlled Crying/Comfort Crying/Crying it Out methods. He would sometimes have a vomit too. This could be attention getting, I don't think it was in Nathan's case tho.

I would, instead of patting to sleep, put him in his cot and sit on the floor. Say reassuring things like 'your a good boy', 'I love you' and shhhh him, but don't touch him. Yes it will take a long time those first few nights, but he will know that you are there. When you are ready and he is going into his cot with no fuss, sit in the middle of the room, then near the door, then outside the door etc. This process for us took well over 6 months. I didn't do this until he was about 14 months old, but i am sure it would be suitable for a 9 month old too.

Also, you probably do this anyway, but have a very strong routine before sleep times so he knows whats going to happen next (dinner, bath, milk, book, bed) at the same time every night.

Now at 3 years old, nathan Go's to sleep by himself and genrally sleeps 11-12 hours overnight. He sometimes still has 1 or 2 'call-outs' during the night, but its nothing compared to how it was.


#7 bluenomi

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Posted 25 August 2011 - 11:32 AM

I can't help with most of your problems but DD used to be in a wrap me up. I left her in it until she was well past one since she liked it and trying to wean her off it was messing with her sleep too much. Cold turkey would just not work for her at all. We never had any problems with her trying to roll in it and since she had her arms up she could push herself up if she somehow ended up on her tummy anyway.

In the end I got their transition suit, had her sleep with one arm off during the day only for a few weeks, then at day and night, then both arms during the day and only one at night and finally after a few months she was wrap free, she was about 15 months by then. Sure it took time but it didn't mess with her sleep that way and by the sounds of it, your little one doesn't need anything else to mess with what little sleep he gets!
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#8 mango

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Posted 25 August 2011 - 11:40 AM

If you like MrsJanine's methord try having a read of "no cry sleep soloution" It goes through in depth that process.

Janine - I got cranky at one of the midwives at our sleep school. I finally got Ri asleep, alas on the bed but I didn't care I was exhausted. She came in and asked if I was ready to move him, my answer "no, he will just wake and scream then want to be feed and I'm sick of him wanting to snack feed all the time" her- "well you really should" me - "well you can do it and settle him because I'm not going to" so she does, he wakes and hes screaming and she can't settle him. Her - "do you think hes hungry and maybe wants a feed" me - "well der I told you that and no I'm not feeding him again, you can deal with it" and I walked out. I might add I was very short and snappy. I was so over it by then. Not my proudest moment but seriously they are not the know-it-alls they think they are.

#9 CRose

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Posted 25 August 2011 - 11:41 AM

We found the pick up put down method worked for us and led to self settling, the method is in this book http://judyoz.com/cc...-behaviour.html. our DD would just get more and more hysterical is we left her. Pick up put down led to us being able to transition to leaving the room and then self settling over a couple of months. I would get rid of the wrap first. Our DD uses her muslin as a comforter still so you could try sleeping bag plus just cuddling wrap in cot until he is asleep. Once you have sleeping bag and settling sorted worry about milk, it only took us two nights to get rid of milk (at 9 months) we just went in and cuddled her while she screamed the house down for an hr until giving up and going to sleep after the two nights she didn't have milk over night ever again unless really sick.

Good luck. Sounds like your little one isn't quite ready to self settle without a little comforting yet I can't recommend that book enough saved our sanity

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#10 BeenTooLong

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Posted 25 August 2011 - 11:59 AM

QUOTE(Jazy84 @ Aug 25 2011, 09:40 AM) View Post

If you like MrsJanine's methord try having a read of "no cry sleep soloution" It goes through in depth that process.

Yep, Thats where I got it from. It took a lot longer than it should have, but with Nathan it really was the only way. The book also had other great sleeping tips.

ETA: I also had to come around to the idea that Nathan was going to have trouble sleeping. Its the same as me, I have trouble going to sleep and also at different times of my life I have suffered insomnia. The sleep deprivation I suffered when Nathan was a baby (well, untill he was 2.5 years old!) was awful. I just learnt to treasure those midnight cuddles, nice and snuggly and warm cuddles.

#11 Malibustaci

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Posted 25 August 2011 - 12:55 PM

I think the other ladies have given great advice with sleep suggestions.

With the wrap we weaned J one arm at a time to get used to it slowly, took about two weeks but worked a treat for us.


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#12 babycooper

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Posted 25 August 2011 - 02:27 PM

QUOTE(bluenomi @ Aug 25 2011, 11:32 AM) View Post

I can't help with most of your problems but DD used to be in a wrap me up. I left her in it until she was well past one since she liked it and trying to wean her off it was messing with her sleep too much. Cold turkey would just not work for her at all. We never had any problems with her trying to roll in it and since she had her arms up she could push herself up if she somehow ended up on her tummy anyway.

In the end I got their transition suit, had her sleep with one arm off during the day only for a few weeks, then at day and night, then both arms during the day and only one at night and finally after a few months she was wrap free, she was about 15 months by then. Sure it took time but it didn't mess with her sleep that way and by the sounds of it, your little one doesn't need anything else to mess with what little sleep he gets!



That sounds like a great idea....I am going to do exactly that...i have a transition suit! Thanks so much

Thanks so much for all your help and support...There are some great ideas in this thread that I would like to try....Will keep you updated
Mum to Archie Dean Cooper (18/11/10) and
Finn Joseph Cooper (24/06/13)

#13 *Clints-girl*

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 10:03 AM

With the wrap me up, I removed it slowly by putting her down during the day with one arm out, then we did two arm out with it zipped to her armpits then replaced it with a sleeping bag when she was happy with both arms out. Take it slowly, over a few weeks if you like and he should be fine. Remember to do what works for you-he is your baby and you know him best biggrin.gif
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#14 Myst

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 09:26 PM

You poor thing, sending you lots of hugs and support!

There is some great advice already on here so I thought that I would offer some alternative advice that will not be for everyone but just an idea.

In regards to the wrap, as long as he is not attempting to roll then I would just leave him in the wrap. My 11 month old is still wrapped. We tried everything suggested above to remove it but it was an absolute nightmare and in the end I decided that she obviously needs the security and I am happy to wait for her to show signs that she is ready to lose the wrap. As long as it is not a safety concern (i.e. bubs is not rolling and unable to lift his head to breath when in bed) then there is no reason that a baby cannot continue being wrapped well past the age of 1. Some bubs just need a little more security than others.

In regards to the night feeding – if you are only feeding him once and he genuinely is hungry then I wouldn’t worry too much about that either. Again my DD still wakes once a night for a feed and I give it to her. I have tried all suggestions above (because I got sick of people telling me she was too old for a night feed) but to no avail and I really feel that she still needs this feed and I am happy to give it to her so I do. I believe that my DD will also show appropriate and obvious signs when she does not need/want this feed anymore.

In regards to the actual sleep problems I can only imagine how hard it must be and TBH I have no idea what you are go through as my DD has for the most part (apart from a few months recently) has been a good sleeper and self settler. All I can suggest is perhaps looking at alternative ways to get through the night. Have you considered co-sleeping? I know that it is not for everyone but my DD recently went through a period of terrible sleeping where she was waking several times a night (some nights every 25 mins) and this coincided with my return to work. With no sleep I really started to have trouble functioning and in the end what worked for us was co-sleeping. It was what we had to do to get through the night and it worked for us. Lots of people told me that it was a mistake and would lead to bigger problems but now, only a month or so later my DD seems to have moved passed that stage and is happily sleeping back in her own cot.

I know that your LO has some very major issues that are not as simple as just riding them out till they pass. It sounds as if something will have to change quite dramatically in order to get to a better place but perhaps in the mean time if the issue is that he wants you all the time at night then maybe try giving him that in the form of co-sleeping (if that is something that you would consider) and if it works. Then, once you have both had some better sleep you can face the challenge ahead without being both physically and mentally exhausted.

Just a suggestion that you may have already tried but I know that sometimes people just don’t even think of giving it a go because they hear from others that it’s a bad idea but my attitude is ..... Whatever get’s you through the night!

Good luck – I hope that things get better really soon.

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#15 babycooper

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 10:57 AM


Myst your advice was great....

I have constantly been told he is too old for a night feed but i am still doing it because he has 3 meals and snacks, bottles during the day and still drinks the whole night feed so i believe he still needs it (he is not a little thing either)

He will not co sleep...he thinks our bed is for fun times!!!! I am trying a tshirt i have worn in his bed to see if that gives him a bit of comfort.

I have just put him down for his morning sleep with one arm out of his wrap...took a bit longer to settle but he is asleep... he does roll but in the wrap me Up he can still lift himself up onto his arms so im not worried about his breathing...i dont zip it all the way up so it cant get too tight around his throat...

I am going to try white noise as he might just get a bit scared that no one is around...

He just cant seem to get into that deep sleep cycle if he is waking so often!!
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