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.
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29-03-2015 18:52 #1
How do I encourage good sleeping habits?
29-03-2015 19:07 #2
Don't lose confidence, I'm sure you're doing a great job
My second bub needed to be near us, so we put her to sleep in her chair (reclined back all the way and vibrated). Putting her in the cot never worked
At night she slept in a cot near my bed, now she just sleeps with me Whatever works, we try and keep it stress free. Sometimes poor second Bub's get the short end of the stick with this stuff, but they'll be fine
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30-03-2015 15:55 #3
Subbing and bumping
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30-03-2015 20:44 #4Senior Member
- Join Date
- May 2011
I just wrote a long reply but lost it , so here is a shorter version.
Would you be able to get your older son looked after for a few days in a row so you can have the time and availability to help your lil one practice going to sleep? Could he go somewhere, or could someone come and look after him at your place so you don't have the time pressure? I know that I get stressed and highly frustrated when I have a set time that I need to have DD asleep by- and usually it doesn't happen.
Sorry I don't have time to post more atm, I hope you can get some new strategies to try... And that some of them are successful!! hugs to you.
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31-03-2015 12:42 #5
I have awesome support from my parents - and my older boy is pretty happy to go hang out with them. But I worry about how he will perceive it - I don't want him to feel like I am just palming him off. Having said that, my mum is on school holidays now for 2 weeks, and all of the older one's activities have stopped for now, so maybe it's a good time to work on it.
Even with the older one looked after, and having the time to focus on bub, the problem still remains that I actually don't even know where to start with him. Every time I've tried, he just ends up waking up, getting frustrated and then the crying escalates!! Any books or crash courses out there for what to do? (Like I mentioned earlier, I was totally blessed with a textbook baby first time around...I feel like I have no idea what I am doing this time)
31-03-2015 13:15 #6
hi mummychubbles. firstly, try not to stress about the routine and having a time limit on the sleep window. you have said bubnumber 2 is doing fine with the night time sleeps. that would be my priority, and having a good couple of day time sleeps in a week would be a bonus for me. if you do have a regular routine with your older one, just try to fit a sleep, even a nap, inbetween. I found by the time my last baby came along, he would sleep anywhere and however he wanted, he was always being woken up by someone or some activity with the older children. marie.
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