I could have written this post word for word! DS is one and on a good night he wakes up 3x last night he was up from 11-2:30am. Not awake but trying to sleep, it took us all that time just to resettle him! I don't have any answers just know that im right there with you and it's getting to the point I dread the night. Bed sharing doesn't work for us he still wakes the same amount of times and we all get a crap sleep. I would love if that was the answer just plonk him in bed with us but sadly DS doesn't think so!
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27-04-2014 21:34 #11Senior Member
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- Apr 2012
27-04-2014 22:01 #12Senior Member
- Join Date
- Jan 2009
We are just starting to get somewhere with our little one after 8 months of what you just described. She was a perfect sleeper for the first 6 months of so, then all went to hell.
I used to just take her into her room it could take up to 5 hrs to get her to sleep because she had no idea how to wind down.
Now, after much trial and error, we have a bed time routine that works for us, which is as follows;
Phase 1. Start to slow down
- late afternoon, I will start calming down her activities, no bright, noisy, flashing toys, no jumping around, climbing, running etc
- she can watch tv while I cook dinner, but she has to lay down on her flip out couch
- if she won't lay down I pop her in her pram in the kitchen and watches me cook
- tv off
- Bath (sometimes bath after dinner, but she gets wound up by baths so I prefer do it before)
Phase 2 lots of strong signals bedtime is coming
- Walk around house with her on my hip and put lamps on, close all curtains,
turn off overhead lights.
-Pack away all toys, say goodnight to toys
- Bottle of warm milk
Now we go into her room for wind down time
- music on (very slow soft vocal lullaby, always same songs)
- turn on night lights which are very dim (soft yellow light, apparently blue is bad for sleep)
- Sit in rocker chair in her room with her on my lap then do "some" of these together, I let her lead the activity. We have all these things on a shelf by the rocking chair and she picks what she wants. She must sit on my lap, she is not allowed to get down or walk around her room.
-Softly pat / stroke her teddies together, touch their ears, nose, tummies etc
-Sing along to songs on the playlist
-Brush her hair
- read "that's not my fairy" together (same book all the time)
- rub her feet / legs with massage oil
- play gently with her babushka doll, pull it apart, put back together over and over
- play with her dolly together, give dolly a bottle, brush Dolly's hair etc
These particle activities are all about repetition, nothing new and stimulating. Keeping the brain nice and mellow. I also talk very softly and slowly, say very few words in a low tone.
when the playlist gets to a particular song which is twinkle twinkle, we do the actions together then lights go off
Now I am trying to get her to sleep. which is, while still seated in rocking chair (again, we don't do all of these things or in any particular order)
- more rubbing feet
- humming (no singing)
Now she is very, very sleepy so I stand up, give her a few pats on the back and gently rock her while I walk over to the cot on the other side of her room.
I put her down, she rolls over onto her tummy and a pat her back till she falls asleep, about 5mins.
It's sounds like a lot of work but all up it's about 60 mins from phase 2 - 4. The actual bedroom time is about 30mins, although it was much longer in the beginning, with loads of protest about sitting still.
In summary, I have 3 phases of slowing her down and 1 phase of getting her to sleep.
It's taken me a long time to get to here, with loads of nights of screaming and no sleep along the way. Lots of times she ends up in my bed. I have a 4 yo also which further complicates things but I feel much more in control and calm down now.
For us, it was all about getting her to a slow and calm state, then try to get her to sleep. Some kids take longer to wind down than others.
The overnight wake up have also reduced to 1 maybe 2. I believe this to be she is sleeping in a more calm state, rather just from exhaustion. It's not perfect but 100% better than it was. I think with time it will just keep getting better. Fingers crossed!!!
Last edited by baby4us; 27-04-2014 at 22:04.
28-04-2014 06:01 #13Senior Member
- Join Date
- Apr 2013
Thank you so much everyone. It is comforting to know we aren't alone. Although I keep hearing (not so helpful) horror stories of children who don't sleep until they are school aged! I really don't think I can last that long.
I think we might need to consider sleep school. Nothing else is working. If we bring her into bed with us she thinks it is all a big game - jumping on us, biting me, banging our faces. So co-sleeping doesn't work.
I am just finding it so hard. It is really getting to me. I think the exhaustion and frustration is impacting on my parenting, which is awful because I really love my DD and want to be a good mum. It is also putting a strain on my relationship with my DH. He really helps out with the sleep issues, but we are just both so tired we get so snappy at each other. It is so upsetting.
28-04-2014 16:13 #14
it sounds like you are really finding it hard. I think if it is affecting the way you feel about parenting, and your relationship with your DH, then it is time to seek professional help. One of the things I found best about sleep school was realising that I wasn't alone in the challenges I was having with DD. It was also great for getting me and DH on the same page, they went through settling with both of us so that when we got home, we were completely consistent. This made things much easier for us and DD.
Remind yourself too that you are being a good mum! A 'bad' mum wouldn't care this much about their child. The fact that you are seeking help from others on a forum shows that you care about your DD and are trying to meet her needs.
Good luck if you do try to get in touch with a sleep school or consultant. It is important too that when you do a phone interview or whatever that you don't minimise what you are going through, tell them how you really feel. They often prioritise admissions according to need so don't be afraid to tell them your situation.
I hope some of this helps
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28-04-2014 16:26 #15-
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- Apr 2013
I tried everything. I got to the point where I didn't know what to do and was confused. I hired a sleep consultant and it changed my daughter into a much more settled child because she finally slept and I got my sanity back. Win for everyone.
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28-04-2014 17:35 #16
Have you had your lo medically checked? My dd was a terrible sleep & it turned out she had enlarged tonsils.... Once removed at. 2yr , her sleep improved almost immediately.
Could this be a possibility? I really feel for you.... Chronic sleep deprivation is the pits , especially if there is no end in sight .
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28-04-2014 18:32 #17Senior Member
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- Apr 2013
Thanks again everyone.
I now have an appointment on Wednesday morning with my GP to get a referral to a sleep school. I called the MCHN hotline again and they were so useless. The nurse said it was probably my fault because I can't emotionally self regulate so DD is stressed and I need zoloft! Or she implied my DD might have some sort of special needs (although there a no other behavioural signs I have identified). She told me to start meditating!
Shirleysmum, I will definitely get the doctor to check her out to see if there is anything medically wrong. I think it is unlikely though, as she has been like this since birth.
MillieMollyMandy thank you for reminding me I am a good mum! I really try hard and I really love my DD. It is just so so hard when you never sleep, I tend to be very hard on myself and blame myself a lot. Your kind words meant a lot to me
Baby4us thank you so so much for your detailed post. It has given me a really good idea of what to try while I wait for sleep school. I love the idea of doing some calming things before her bed time. I find the idea of her bedtime so stressful - I think I might really benefit from this approach myself.
28-04-2014 20:35 #18Senior Member
- Join Date
- Apr 2010
If she fed over night (or when she did) did she settle better? 12mo is still very young to cease over night feeds. (Mine had a bottle most nights til around 2yo).
Both of mine woke overnight until at least two - but we co slept and they were able to settle ok.
I hope you find a solution soon! xo
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