I posted about 4 weeks ago about my then 6 week old who was refusing to nap in the cot. With the mindset of "it's just a phase", I have just gone along with whatever helps him to nap - babywearing if I'm out, co-sleeping or sitting and holding when I'm at home.
Fast forward to 4 weeks and I think things are getting worse. If he falls asleep in my arms while I sit in bed, I can't transfer him to the bed without him waking within minutes. If I try and put him in the cot, again, he is awake within minutes. I can count the number of times he has fallen asleep or stayed asleep in a swing on one hand. (Two. Exactly two. Both of them when I put him down in there to get ready to go out and he falls asleep) If I try and resettle him in the cot, i can re-plug the dummy every few minutes for half an hour and have the same result of him being awake and upset and hard to resettle at the end of it.
The silver lining in all of this is that he is a pretty good sleeper at night - once he is asleep, he can go 5-6 hours between feeds. BUT the getting him to sleep bit at the start of the night is getting harder and harder.
And the complication is his 2.5 year old brother - who was a textbook baby on the sleeping front. At this age (just over 2 months) with my older boy, we made a deliberate effort to put him down awake and teach him to fall asleep by himself - he would get swaddled, have a dummy and be asleep within minutes, and stay asleep even if the dummy fell out. But now, needing to pay attention to the 2.5 year old means that I don't have all the time in the world to sit next to a cot and pat and shush and keep replacing a dummy every time he drifts off and it falls off. And if I am to be completely honest, when I do have the opportunity to try and do all of that, I end up frustrated and grumpy with an overtired, crying baby.
I know I am reading his tired signs right - because he is asleep in my arms within minutes of being swaddled and most times doesn't need a dummy to fall asleep. It's staying asleep that is a problem.
Here's my pickle: I know, from my first, that good sleep habits can be taught/learnt, and what he is doing now can definitely have an impact. How do I put good sleep habits into play when:
- to be fair, the little one has to take half his naps on the go because of his big brother's activities?
- when all the resettling in the cot usually fails anyway?
- I can't sit next to the cot all day, because my older boy needs my attention too?
Any advice would be so appreciated. (I am not opposed to doing sleep school if we need to, but only further down the track if we can't make any progress ourselves). I'm at a loss. I'm exhausted. And I'm losing confidence in my ability as a parent.