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Thread: HELP- A kid that doesn't sleep

  1. #1

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    Question HELP- A kid that doesn't sleep

    My kid doesn't sleep and it is driving me crazy.

    Her newborn sleepy period lasted about 3 days. There have only been 3 days since she was born (she is 4 months old) when she has had more than 2 day sleeps, and those days were bliss.

    She had colic up to when she was around 10-11 weeks but this all settled now

    On a great day, she will have one 2 hour sleep. Most days she will go for 12 hours without a sleep, or just have a powernap after a feed (not every feed, just one or two).

    The car used to be our failsafe and she would sleep in the car, but not so much anymore. It still works if she is really tired, and some days i just drive so she can sleep.

    The pram or carrier can work sometimes but i have to walk for 30 mins or so before she will sleep and then keep walking. I have a medical issue, and just can't do this everyday.

    At night, we do bath, feed etc and she usually passes out at 7pm and will usually go through til at least 12. and maybe wake twice for a feed. (So most nights are good, the days are just killing me).

    Last couple nights have been not as good with party in the middle of the night but this might be cos she is at 19 weeks ?? not too worried.

    In the morning, she gets up feed nappy change play and then i give her a bath (cos this did work for awhile to get her to have a morning sleep), get dressed and feed. Aim is to get her to bed but not happening this week. When i put her down, she just screams. (wakes up and screams if she put down asleep)

    She is in a hammock. She has a cot and we were starting to transition for day sleeps but with the sleeps gone out the door, just trying the hammock again.



    She is 100%BF, poos everyday- and won't sleep if she needs to go.

    Carrying her doesn't work unless i am moving, but i can't be on my feet non-stop and can't bend down etc with her attached.

    Any suggestions? The council has a sleep day stay program, but i went to their BF clinic earlier (where they also did sleep) and wasn't that keen on their methods but atm i don't know what to do.
    Last edited by HotI; August 27th, 2010 at 12:06 PM. Reason: added colic info

  2. #2

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    have you tried a sleep cue such as a blanket or sleeping bag??
    i gave DD2 a blankie ata round 6 months for sleeps and it worked really well, she used to hold it near her face. the other thing i did (just wish id done it earlier) was to use her sleeping bag during the day for sleeps as well as nights hope u get some sleep soon

  3. #3

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    I had one of these. She didn't sleep through until 14 months, she didn't go to bed before midnight until easily 18 months. When she did fall asleep anywhere (eg, on your lap) you couldn't move her without having to restart the settling process from scratch, even if you took 2 hours to get her down. Now, at 2 3/4 years old she goes to bed at 8-9pm and sleeps to 7:30am. Only has a day nap if she's sick or we take her for a 30 minute walk in the pram or a long drive mid-late afternoon. She'll only sleep well at home so we're really loathe to travel anywhere that involves an overnight stay unless we really have to. She's such a bad sleeper that if she was my first child there's no way I could have gone back to work before she was 18 months - I just wasn't getting good sleep before then.

    I have no idea if you even *can* do anything to get a non-sleeper to sleep, we go to such lengths to get DD#2 to sleep but the other two just ... slept. Without trying anything or doing anything out of the ordinary.

  4. #4

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    I put her in her sleeping bag and give her BF. We have a rabbit that she likes that we cuddle in when having a feed when i hope she might have a sleep but i haven't put it in to bed with her yet. Might try that.

    She has a dummy, but she doesn't need it to sleep and will spit it out.

    I thought about getting one of those things that projects pictures on the wall, maybe give her something to watch and fall asleep to.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by RumpledElf View Post
    I have no idea if you even *can* do anything to get a non-sleeper to sleep, we go to such lengths to get DD#2 to sleep but the other two just ... slept. Without trying anything or doing anything out of the ordinary.
    I think this is the clincher. i don't want to spend hours trying to get her to sleep if it's just not going to happen. But then i start to wonder if she is not sleeping cos i'm not trying hard enough... I think she does get along ok, for the most part, without day sleeps but it is really frustrating when i know she is tired and would be so much happier if she had a sleep, but she just fights it so much.

  6. #6

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    Heh, you should see what DD#2 goes to bed with. Cars, blocks, books, toys, several blankets, a music keyboard, a wind-up lullaby music thing, the works! Without them, we get screaming. Looks like this: http://giraffian.com/files/images/ca...ng.preview.jpg and has done for aages. When she was smaller we swaddled her and corked her with the dummy and HAD to have a night light on. When I stopped BF she HAD to have a sippy cup of water in bed.

    We just took the side off her bed. Now she thinks this is a license to get out and visit us at 11pm if she's not asleep yet

  7. #7

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    too cute!

  8. #8

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    My DS was very much like this. It's good that night sleep is not too bad - that's something at least (most of the time)
    It's hard to know, and only you can ultimately judge, but I certainly found there was no point in trying much. Just made my life harder.

    There was always a reason why he couldn't sleep - developmental, physical, whatever. Things improved markedly for day sleeps after 15-16 months. Night sleeps he slept through for the first time at 19 months, but still needed ltos of help going to sleep. It wasn't till nearly 2 that he stopped fighting it all the time

    The only thing that helped me was finding ways to cope better, rather than trying to change him. We coslept a lot. We used the HAB (sooo hard wen you have stay upright and moving - DS was the same). I walked him to sleep. I timed outings for sleepy times. Till 15-16 months, he rarely slept longer than 30 mins at a time during the day. No matter what.

    so, in sum, I have no real advice for you.

  9. #9

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    Ours was just TOO grouchy to co-sleep with. We slept in shifts instead - I got to go to bed relatively early while the other half dealt with grouchypants (he'd bring her to me to feed and take her away after) and then he'd sleep in in the morning while I was up dealing with grouchypants.

  10. #10

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    We did that at times too Elf. DS is an absolutely shocking bed hog, but still worked best a lot of the time (for him anyway)

  11. #11

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    Kate, at least you can say you have a good night sleeper. That must help with the sanity a bit. I think what worked for DS1 was wrapping him during the day for his sleeps. I know this does not work for everyone, but it worked for us. We had him in sleeping bags, but i got a huge sheet of muslin and wrapped him (arms out) and gave him his Ookie and patted/rocked/feed/cajoled him off to sleep. It seemed to help with that startle thing that babies (and adults!) have.
    And being prepared to sleep with him - even if that meant lying down during the day with him. Power naps were the big problem. If he caught just a tiny cat-nap instead of a sleep, then it seemed to recharge the batteries for another 3 hours or so.

    ETA - and Enya on repeat on a little cd player in his room.

  12. #12

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    What about a CD player in her room, there are quite a few CD's you can get for babies. Start it when you are feeding her so it becomes her sleep cue. It will take a while for her to catch on that the music means sleep time. This worked really well for DS. Oh and use it for all sleep. At night I used to put it on repeat. HTH

  13. #13

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    Will come back, my first is a bit of a non-sleeper as well, still is at 3

  14. #14

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    Aww, Kate you poor thing.

    I have to say, my little one could go for hours without a sleep and I work hard to get her down. Some days I spend longer getting her to sleep than she actually spends asleep but I don't mind. She has around 3-4 40 minute naps a day and is much happier for them. I'm not saying that you're not trying to get her to sleep and I totally know what you mean about not fighting with her to go to sleep - if missy seems wide awake, I sometimes give it half an hour and try her again.

    Do you wrap her? I have to swaddle missy tight - she might grizzle for a bit but we lie down and feed until she is asleep.

    Hugs
    Sue xxx

  15. #15

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    I think i might have jinxed myself, just had the 3rd rough night in a row. She sleeps in our room, and sometimes in our bed but i don't sleep as well (neither does she) cos if i move she wakes up again but every time we tried to put her back to bed she cracked it- and we were probably too tired to persist- and i don't want her going to sleep all worked up.

    Quote Originally Posted by marcellus View Post
    The only thing that helped me was finding ways to cope better, rather than trying to change him. We coslept a lot. We used the HAB (sooo hard wen you have stay upright and moving - DS was the same). I walked him to sleep. I timed outings for sleepy times.
    This is what i have been doing, but i hoped she would start to find it easier to sleep. I find it easier when i don't have to stress about other people or making appointments- or trying to make sure she is in a happy mood for visitors or appointments. We also have a reno going on which is probably not helping either of us to be calm and content.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lenny View Post
    And being prepared to sleep with him - even if that meant lying down during the day with him. Power naps were the big problem. If he caught just a tiny cat-nap instead of a sleep, then it seemed to recharge the batteries for another 3 hours or so.

    ETA - and Enya on repeat on a little cd player in his room.
    Powernaps definitely an issue here. Although sometimes i would be happy with just a little powernap. She sleeps in our room, and i don't know if i could cope with Enya on repeat! I used to lay down in the arvo so that she would sleep, maybe i need to start them again. She had a sleep yesterday arvo on my lap and was happier for it.

    Quote Originally Posted by MummaSue View Post
    I'm not saying that you're not trying to get her to sleep and I totally know what you mean about not fighting with her to go to sleep - if missy seems wide awake, I sometimes give it half an hour and try her again.
    I'm not sure anymore which way to go. She will be tired and ready for a sleep, but i can rock her for an hour or so in the pram and look in and she will just giggle at me.

    It is good to know that i'm not the only one with a non-sleeper. Good to remember when i am slowly losing my mind.

  16. #16

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    Personally, if it takes longer to get them to sleep than they actually sleep, then I'd stop trying. I remember spending hours getting DS to sleep for 20 minutes. It actually was a lot better when I eased off - we were both more relaxed. He didn't sleep any longer, but I stressed about it less.

  17. #17

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    I hope that you can find something that works Kate. Sometimes even a power nap from them can recharge your own batteries. I know I get exhausted if she doesn't nap in the day! And it does happen for us too, especially because she has reflux and lying down is an issue for her sometimes when her heartburn is particularly bad.

    I don't get stressed about her naps any more (I used to.... man, I used to!) and just go with the flow. If it takes 10 minutes to get her over then great, if it takes 30 then that is fine too. We usually just lie and "chat" or I read her a quiet story. Missy gets really really cranky if she hasn't had nap and even 15 minutes can see her happy again!!

    Hugs
    Sue xxx

  18. #18

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    oh you poor thing, it can be very hard without getting some sort of break during the day. I have a shocking sleeper (who is now almost 2) and it can be hard hard work.

    My boy is actually much better during the day than at night but there was a period (I think around 7 months so older than your bub) when he was terrible during the days too. The thing that seemed to work a bit was for one of us to go to bed with him for his day sleeps - we tried to do them at around the same time every day without being too uptight about it, and then just stayed in bed and patted him, breast fed him etc if it seemed like he would wake (I used to try to get him past 45mins I think). I can't remember how long we did this but it would have been at least a few weeks. Eventually he just settled into day sleeping and would regularly do somewhere between 45-75 mins on his own. It was kind of annoying because it meant that we couldn't do anything while he was sleeping but it is also good because it is some enforced rest. And now he is a good day sleeper who normally has at least two hours in the middle of the day (yay!)

    But I do agree that sometimes kids are just not good sleepers and there isn't that much you can do. It can help to remind yourself of this when you start thinking that the sleep problems are your own fault or that there is a magic remedy (well that is what I tell myself when my child wakes for the 100th time overnight!). good luck.

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