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Old 09-06-2010, 05:40 PM   #1
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I'm losing it - baby sleep problems

DS is almost 9 months old. He's never been a good sleeper (even though we did the 'right' things from the very beginning), but we're hitting a new low.

He used to have a 5 hour stretch between 7 and 12, and was up frequently after that (and would mostly go down if I just nursed him), but now he's up at 9pm and ever hour and a half after (and is awake for 30mins to an hour or longer). He doesn't calm down after he nurses and not even when he's snuggled. One night he cried in DHs arms for 3 hours. We find him balled up in his crib with his face burried in the mattress, usually up in one of the corners. He's clearly very uncomfortable.

Day sleeping has been a challenge, but we're consistently getting two naps in, though the lenghts vary from 30 mins to 2.5 hours and we can't find a reason why. His days are wonderful... he's VERY happy and smiling all the time. People don't believe us that he's so difficult at night; how could he be so great during the day but up all night?!

My Dr told me to let him cry it out, so I asked for a specialist. The ped told me he was fine. I take him to a chiro, but haven't found it to be helpful for his sleep.

He sleeps in his own room in his crib and he loves it in there. We've tried him sleeping in the same room as us, but that has no effect. When he's in the same bed, he just gets excited and wants to wake up and play, even if we're doing all the sleep cues, or pretending to be sleeping ourselves.

I really can't do this anymore!! I feel like we've done everything. I feel like we've read every book and tried every technique I can find.

Any advice would be appreciated!

TIA!

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Old 09-06-2010, 06:38 PM   #2
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Re: I'm losing it - baby sleep problems

I don't have any real advice but hugs!!!!! Maybe keeping a journal of him to try to find a pattern. I had to do this for other reasons. Every 30 minutes I made a note of what my ds had eaten, done, slept before. Then I would catch it up in the morning for the night. It is also very powerful to take to a doctor, they like data.

Is a temperature thing? My boys can't sleep unless they are cold. That's the only wimpy guess I have
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Old 09-06-2010, 07:42 PM   #3
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Re: I'm losing it - baby sleep problems

9 months is a common age for sleep regression. what you are experiencing, while exhausting, sounds normal. There is a lot of developmental stuff going on that age - so much so it can keep them awake. Good news is that it won't last forever and you can get through it. Here is some more info: http://www.askmoxie.org/2008/03/talk-about-the.html
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Old 09-06-2010, 09:21 PM   #4
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Re: I'm losing it - baby sleep problems

This sounds like my story. Like, exactly. I could never let my son cry it out, he woke up every 3-4 hours to eat until he was 12 months. He took two naps but I never knew if I had 15 minutes or two hour. I thought I was going to go insane. He's a great sleeper now, though, at 2 years old, and I attribute it to although he changed ALL THE TIME- slept ok and then regressed, went down smiling and cozy or cried, we stayed the same. We did the same 3-step routine every night (Pj's and lotion, singing, bed) put him down, comforted him when he needed it, but always put him back in his crib to sleep. We tried to co-sleep in the beginning, it didn't work. We always responded immediately to his needs at night, whether he needed to eat or just cuddle, because we wanted him to feel secure. In the end we did decide to let him to cry it out, and it took one time of 25 minutes of crying for him to fall asleep and learn to fall asleep. We finally did it because it got to the point where it didn't even seem like he wanted to be rocked to sleep. When he was happy for us to hold him, we were happy to do it, but it got to the point that he was inconsolable no matter what, and figured out that it was more about him being overtired and unable to get himself to relax. Here's a link to my blog about that time in my life: http://www.littlekitegirl.com/2009/0...f-in-the-head/ Sorry for all the extra info, the cry it out episode is at the end.

I NEVER wanted to do cry it out. I finally gave my son an earlier bedtime and let him cry it out because it was clear that he was getting frantically tired, and it wasn't a comfort issue anymore. And it worked for us in the end. But I only had to let him cry it out one night for 25 minutes...so I it worked for me before I even had a chance to second-guess myself. That might be a-typical and non-helpful...now that I've typed all that.

But I guess what I REALLY can say with complete confidence is this: he'll sleep one day! And you will too! Hang in there Momma and do what feels right to you and I'm sure you'll get through it just fine.

(Also, one more thing...this was the age that I noticed that the 2-3-4 rule really kicked in for us. First nap was best 2 hours after waking up for the day, second nap three hours after waking up from first nap, bed for the night 4 hours after waking up from that.)
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Old 09-06-2010, 11:51 PM   #5
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Re: I'm losing it - baby sleep problems

Sounds like he may be getting too much sleep. At his age, he needs about 13.5 hrs per day. Try moving his bedtime back to 8 so he's more tired when it's time to go to bed, and wake him up around 6 to start the day. Keep him up till about 9, then try getting him down for his first nap.

DS was exactly the same way at that age. At 10 mos, we cut out the morning nap, and moved the afternoon nap to right after lunch (and moved lunch up earlier too). It helped a LOT.

I've found Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems by Ferber to be the best book addressing sleep. If you haven't read it, I'd recommend it!
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Old 09-06-2010, 11:53 PM   #6
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Re: I'm losing it - baby sleep problems

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Originally Posted by KiteGirl View Post

(Also, one more thing...this was the age that I noticed that the 2-3-4 rule really kicked in for us. First nap was best 2 hours after waking up for the day, second nap three hours after waking up from first nap, bed for the night 4 hours after waking up from that.)
Your 12 mo old sleeps 15 hours per day? Am I reading that right?
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Old 09-07-2010, 05:10 AM   #7
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Re: I'm losing it - baby sleep problems

My son is 13 1/2 months now. I don't have any special advice - and sometimes I think advice isn't helpful with sleep stuff. I know how I felt whenever I heard any advice was a) I've tried that, or b) I'm not going to let him cry it out and that's the only solution people tell me to do which makes me feel like I have no right to complain.

But I want to give support because I've completely been through it. From your siggie you're expecting also? That must be particularly hard because I was wiped out when preggers. We're waiting a few more months for our hopeful second bean because I was so worried about being so tired.

My son never napped. Well - he'd sleep - but only if I held him. If I didn't hold him he's sleep for 15 minutes in the morning, and possibly up to 20 or 30 in the afternoon and would be grumpy all the time. So often I just held him at least for one nap - so that he wasn't miserable. His schedule was to bed at 8, and would usually be up by 11, then from then on we'd usually have to hold him an hour, he'd sleep for an hour, hold for an hour, sleep for an hour, hold an hour, sleep an hour... etc... I got a lot of trashy internet tv viewing done, but except for that miserable. I was still nursing whenever I had him at night, and if we lied him down before 45 minutes of going back to sleep again he'd wake within 5 minutes...

So that's how it was, these are some thigns that helped.

1- at 9-11 months there was definitely a sleep regression. He'd been getting better too. My ped said that it is a big motor development stage, and that it often makes them physically restless at night and to expect it. It will pass. I know that's impossible to hear when you don't know if you'll make it through a day, but it will pass, you'll survive, and when he's a teenager he wont get out of bed.
2 - at about 11 1/2 months I stopped nursing him through the night. I just wouldn't nurse him until morning. He was usually up for the day by 5-5:30. He actually settled into this very quickly. It didn't help at first, but about 2 weeks ago I tried sleeping with him again. Made a huge bed for us all on the floor, and now that he doesn't expect to nurse, he will go back to sleep while still in bed. He still wakes up, but I don't have to get out of bed or hold him, so lots more sleep.

I'm sorry this is so long, and I don't know if will help - but what I've found with him is just to trust your instincts. Eventually it will get better. There's not always anything you can do about it, and that's not nice to hear. But about where you're at now I sort of gave up - and just accepting it and dealing as best as I could - making daddy get up more - etc... made it easier. In my experience nobody or no book could help me - I just had to take time to restore my sanity, try an stay motivated, and just keep trying things.

Also - if it makes you feel any better (and that might be the only reason people say this) people have told me that the worse the sleeper - the smarter they are. Maybe your babe is destined for greatness! It's probably something that people just say to make you feel better, but anything that can do that is still good, right?

I totally know how hard it is - if you need a PM friend who's been there you're welcome to PM me.

Best,Anne
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Old 09-07-2010, 05:13 AM   #8
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Re: I'm losing it - baby sleep problems

Sorry I forgot to say - one of the reasons I survived it was I was asleep 5 minutes after he was. He'd nurse and go to bed at 8. At 7:30 I went upstairs and got ready for bed, if he was in bed by 8:45 I was asleep by 8:50. I think that first stretch (which for him was longer than the rest of the night also) was really my only sleep. Could you try that at least to get a bit of rest? Maybe pushing bedtime like the other mama said could work?
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Old 09-07-2010, 02:12 PM   #9
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Re: I'm losing it - baby sleep problems

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Originally Posted by applebutter View Post
Sounds like he may be getting too much sleep. At his age, he needs about 13.5 hrs per day. Try moving his bedtime back to 8 so he's more tired when it's time to go to bed, and wake him up around 6 to start the day. Keep him up till about 9, then try getting him down for his first nap.

DS was exactly the same way at that age. At 10 mos, we cut out the morning nap, and moved the afternoon nap to right after lunch (and moved lunch up earlier too). It helped a LOT.

I've found Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems by Ferber to be the best book addressing sleep. If you haven't read it, I'd recommend it!
I think 3 hours between waking up and the first nap is a recipe for overtired cranky baby. Our first nap was always within 2 hours of waking, and on the mornings ds got up at the butt-crack of dawn, even within an hour. But mostly, the 2-3-4 hour rule held true (2 hours after waking 1st nap, 3 hours after that nap an afternoon nap and 4 hours after that bedtime). Total sleep was between 13 to 14 hours a day. DS didn't drop his morning nap until 15 months at which time we moved up his afternoon nap so it was sooner. Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child has a lot of good information about sleep patterns in it, although the author's advice to let them CIO didn't sit well with me.
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Old 09-07-2010, 02:16 PM   #10
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Re: I'm losing it - baby sleep problems

if I had a penny for every time I read something like this I would be rich

it's normal and healthy for bfing babies to not STTN till 3-4 years of age...esp. those who cosleep.

no specialist needed...your baby is normal. our society has just become too focused on scheduling babies and making them more convenient. we hear stories of people who sleep train their kiddos and then feel that they should all sleep so many hours per night and be "good" little ones.

http://www.kathydettwyler.org/detsleepthrough.html
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