View Full Version : Help needed with sleep!!
My son, Ethan, who is nearly 4 and a half months used to be a great sleeper at night time. He would sleep through from anywhere between 8-9, wake up about 6is for a feed and go back to sleep for another couple of hours. But he wouldn't have decent sleeps through the day ( a couple of 35-45min naps) and thus he'd be really cranky and overtired in the afternoon.
He started to get himself into a routine bout a month ago, where around 10.30-11.30 he'll have anywhere between 2 and 3 hours. Has a little nap in the afternoon, still overtired and cranky in the afternoon and won't sleep through the night anymore.
I don't know whether to try to get him to have a sleep earlier in the morning, even if it's not as long, then hopefully another in the afternoon. And see if this helps.
Also I cannot get him to get to go to sleep by himself. I cannot stand to hear him screaming in his cot and give and go pat him to sleep. How can I get him out of this??
Has anyone got any tips??
About the same age, Andrew started doing the same thing. As he was consistently narky in the late afternoon, we slowly brought forward his bath and night time sleep. Originally he was being bathed, fed and in bed by 8.30. Over the course of about a week, we brought it slowly back until he is now in bed by 6.30. He generally starts getting narky at about 5ish so at that time, we strip him down and let him have a naked wriggle around. When that wears off, we then take him to the bath, feed him straight afterwards and then directly to bed. He took to this amazingly well - he seems to thrive on going to bed earlier. In addition, his day time sleeps are much more predictable. At the moment he sleeps:
6.30 - 6.30 - wake up at either 12 or 2 for a feed
7.30 - 9.00 sleep
11.00 - 12.30 sleep
3.00 - 4.00 sleep
He's much nicer to deal with when he has had these consistent sleeps!
I've never done the patting to sleep thing - he just doesn't care for it. We have a very consistent routine of scratch mittens, dummy and music box. He knows when these three things kick into gear that its time to sleep. Its very rare that it takes more than 10 minutes to get him to sleep if he is jacking up. Generally he konks out as soon as we leave the room.
Have you tried doing anything in the early afternoon to try to tire him out so he'll enjoy a late afternoon nap? ANdrew usually spends most of the afternoon either wriggling around the floor practising his funky moves or in his jolly jumper or walker. ALways something physical. I think this makes a big difference to the night time sleep, as he really needs the sleep to restock his energy.
Anyway that was a lot of rambling, I hope somewhere in it was a bit of help!
Thanks for your reply. I forgot to mention in my original post that since he's been having his big sleeps through the day that he's been going to bed earlier. Usually aroung 7:30. Because my partner works in the afternoon we usually bath Ethan in the morning, before he goes to work, so it makes it a little easier for me. But I just might have to try bathing him at night before he goes to bed. Even if he has 2 baths a day, I don't care as long as he's having a decent sleep and fingers crossed it just may help him to go to sleep by himself.
I have tried to interact with him and play with him of an afternoon but he's that cranky that he just cries at me!!! Before the patting thing started he used to have be held to go to sleep and I put that down to when I was feeding him he would always fall asleep on the boob.
My other half wants to get him a jolly jumper, so maybe if we get one of them and hopefully we might get somewhere!!!
Anyways, thanks for help and suggestions.
Hi! I like what Nicole79 said about bringing the bedtime forward and fixing a routine. Our Jesse was similar, cranky in the afternoons. We just go with the flow. I try not to get caught up in the guilt of it all and him fitting the 'mould'. They are as individual as we are. Perhaps after his big sleeps during the day interact allot with activity (the jumper sounds good although they have their drawbacks). It sounds like you just have to find a balance. I know that when my sleep cycles are disrupted from travel or other reasons it takes time to readjust. It will settle down in time. Babys have a wonderful ability to regulate themselves if allowed to do so. Continue to watch for his cues and respond as you feel appropriate. You know your baby best. We co-sleep and find this the easiest on JJ and me! Its natural he doesnt want to sleep alone. If you really want to consider strategies perhaps The No Cry Sleep Solutions book by Elizabeth Pantley may have some ideas. Ive read it and like what she offers. Hope this helps Amanda
Thanks for your reply. Yeah I'm going to try it. I think I'm going to try bringing his morning sleep forward, so that maybe he might have a bit of a bigger sleep in the afternoon and not be so cranky in the late afternoon!! I tend to just go with the flow too. If he wants to stay awake till dad gets home, then fine by me, cause that's only 7.30 anyway. I have heard that the jumpers have the draw backs too, like causing bowed legs. I'm going to look for that book when I'm out shopping next. We were co-sleeping with Ethan for a while too, cause he was sick. but I also didn't want him to get too used to it. So he's back in his bed now. Thanks for your help. Well we'll just see how it all goes. Fingers crossed!!
Thats great...good for you!
We bought a jumper for JJ. He LOVED it. Ive read that its important they have heel strike (when they start to weight bear its important they spread their weight over the foot rather than just their toes) plus the obvious not to leave them in it too long. JJ would use his for 30mins at most at one time. Great for expending engery and man did he have a ball. We bought it second hand with the frame. I just found that he didnt use it for all that long so it was better than buying it brand new. Perhaps you could check your local classifieds and what not.
If you have trouble finding the book perhaps your library has a copy. If not I got my from www.capersbookstore.com.au. Great parenting online bookstore.
Good luck with Ethan. Take care Amanda
Well haven't yet found the book. I don't think the lady at the book shop even knew what I was talking about!!! Oh well I'll look on the site that you told me. And hopefully find a jumper on the weekend. I managed to bring his sleep forward today, even though it wasn't as long! Oh well! Then it was bath, bottle then bed and he went to sleep no problems. Though he was pretty much out cold when I put him down!! Has woken since but he didn't burp before going to sleep so at least I knew the problem there! Well we'll just see what tonight brings!! Fingers crossed don't hear a peep out of him till bout 6 tomorrow, that'd be great!! But then again he only had about 20mins sleep this arvo cause we were out and he didn't want to miss anything!! Thanks for your advice.
You can get the Pantley book off Amazon pretty cheap. But do check out some of the other books about sleep that are written by paediatricians, particularly Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, by Weissbluth - I found this more useful than the Pantley book as my baby became inconsolable (i.e so overtired she screamed whether I held her or left her in her cot), and unfortunately the 'No Cry' book didn't actually teach us how to stop our baby crying, which is what I had naively been expecting!
I totally agree with bringing bedtime forward - we started doing this when bub began catnapping and sleeping poorly during the day. She's now 4.5 months and still has a 5.30 bedtime and loves it. I was worried that she would wake up earlier with earlier bedtimes, but she still wakes at the same time she did when 6 weeks old and bedtime was much later.
A pre-bedtime routine incorporating a shower has worked really well for us - she goes to sleep much more easily and stays asleep for longer.
Hi! I like your post re. Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, by Weissbluth.
Appreciate the information/recommendation. Im going to check them out, who knows I might even learn something new ;) Amanda
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.1.9 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.