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Thread: Still fights sleep

  1. #1

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    Default Still fights sleep

    Well after all this time and effort I thought Maggie would be going to sleep much easier, well it is getting worse. She fights it the whole way, no matter how tired she is. Everything that used to be a wind down for her has now been turned around into a tool of distraction by her. eg She liked to hold my water bottle between her legs (mimics the way she falls asleep in the pram), after awhile rather than just holding it and going to sleep, she would start playing with it and sloshing it about, so keeping herself awake.



    I am at a loss at what to do, I am happy to put her to sleep by rocking, booby etc, but I just can't seem to get her into enough of a sleepy level for these to work. All the advise I have read does not seem to cover this, it always seems to assume that if they go to sleep on the boob, they do so easily and therefore you can break them of it. Nothing covers the getting of the bed and running away, the playing with the bedside lights, spending ages walking up and down the bed, playing peek-a-boo with the blanket. If all distractions are removed from her, she finds them on herself or on me. She takes of her clothes, plays with hair, pokes my face etc.

    It doesn't matter what time she wakes in the morning or how busy her day has been, she still fights the same. Sleep time is becoming a frustrating, angry place, I really need some help to get her to wind down.

    Note: this week I have set up the cot sidecar against the bed, this seems to be helping with the night wake ups a bit.

  2. #2

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    Does she get upset if you leave the room? If not maybe you could leave her alone for awhile to wind herself down, she may not want to play as much if your not in sight.
    I know there is quite a age gap between our children but I just find with my DD sometimes if she hasn't fallen asleep by boob and shes in bed awake and I'm in the room she will be getting all excited and chatty and if I just leave she will wind down and after awhile she will either fall asleep or call out and be much more easily settled then earlier.
    Sorry thats all I can think of at the moment.

  3. #3

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    Have not tried it since we have changed cot set up, before the only place I could leave her safely was in the cot and she would get hysterical. I could try it now as we have set everything up so she can get on and off the bed safely, but the bedroom has no door (so sick of renovating) so she can get out of the room and go elsewhere in the house.

  4. #4
    Melinda Guest

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    Perhaps you could try leaving her and see what happens. If she's happy, then leave her, but obviously if she gets upset, then you need to go to her. This has been our approach with Jacob for a long time, i.e. if he's happy, hands off, if he's unhappy, hands on!

    Have you tried putting a gate across her door to stop her from leaving the room? Perhaps you could remove some of the stimulating toys or things from her room so that if she does get up, there's not much for her to play with or look at in there IYKWIM?

    What sort of sleep is she having during the day, i.e. how much? Does she need to drop a sleep perhaps? Have you tried keeping her up for a while beyond her normal nap time to see then if she's more tired later on and will therefore go down a fraction easier?

    If she's prone to taking her clothes off, could you put her in a sleeping bag that may be harder for her to take off? Perhaps she could then sleep just in that instead of blankets on the bed? Perhaps a bedrail too? Jacob has a bedrail because he roams the bed during his sleep and otherwise would end up in the floor in the middle of the night!

  5. #5

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    Yeah, the only way Kynan is really able to wind down for his night sleep is to be left in his cot by himself. Even then he usually bounces around in there, babbling etc, for an hour or so before he drifts off. So if you find Maggie is happy to be left in her cot now then it might work.

    That's a great idea that Mel had about the sleeping bag. We put Kynan's on backwards now (so the zip does up at the back) otherwise he fiddles around with it, half taking it off and getting tangled in it before he goes to sleep LOL.

  6. #6

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    Tried leaving and she just followed me and got upset. So I just pretended to sleep. I don't think it is gentle to avoid eye contact, so I would much rather "nap" and hope she gets the idea. She seems to not muck around as much when I do.

    It is so frustrating, she will be almost asleep, and then suddenly jump up and be hyper. It is so odd that she does fight it, a when I first say bedtime, she happily goes up to DH for a kiss and then walks into the bedroom and climbs on the bed. Confusing.

    Not sure about the sleeping bags, the weather is too hot at the moment, but they are something I do use when it is colder (must buy larger ones soon).

    As for her naps, she had one about midday (or later) for normally 1 1/2 hours, but sometimes shorter. She does sometimes go without, especially if she is too difficult to get to sleep. This results in a very cranky little girl all afternoon. Sometimes she will go to sleep quickly, but only in the pram, other times she will still take 2+ hours and be hysterical the whole time.

    If I had my way I would not put her to bed till about 8.30, so she would be falling asleep when the sun had gone completely. This seems to work better, but every night the moment she rubs an eye DH goes on about it and then precedes to point out every single one after that and asks when I am putting her to bed. So I give into his nagging and take her to bed. Experience has shown me that she needs a lot more eye rubs and "big" eye rubs before she is ready to go to sleep. DH is also commenting on when she gets up, he is certain that if she is up at 7.00 then she will go down easier, not true I have tried it and it never works on Childcare days when she is up earlier and very busy all day.

    Anyway I have ordered the No Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers and see what that says. At least that way if DH questions, I can say I am just following the book. I am desperate for him to work away again, just so I can try something different without question.

  7. #7
    Melinda Guest

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    Yes that's the same with Jacob - he's more inclined to go to sleep if he knows (or thinks!) you are asleep too. When you think about it, as far as babies and toddlers are concerned, YOU never sleep! They don't see you asleep do they?! LOL

    Jacob will also quite happily go to bed. He will say goodnight to his toys etc and run and jump into bed for his bedtime stories.

    FWIW, Jacob isn't ready for sleep at night until he's been up for around 7 hours post-daytime nap. So if he wakes up at 1.30 from his daytime nap, then he's not tired until 8.30 pm. There are exceptions to this rule naturally, but not very often! It always works out to be about 7 hours. It's also around 4.5 - 5 hours after he wakes for the day, that he's ready for his daytime nap!

    If we try to put Jacob to bed earlier, then we have a LOT of difficulty. He will willingly go to bed, but just not sleep or be happy in there on his own, so we have to stay with him. During the day he will stay there on his own if he's tired, and put himself to sleep, but NEVER of a night time. So we wait it out!! We are consistent with his sleep rituals, but the end result is always the same, so despite what everybody says about him needing to be in bed by 7pm (the countless times I've heard that!), that simply doesn't work for him. Sure, if he's awake by midday after his nap, then it works! LOL

    It's funny you know as currently Ruby is very different. She is having her bath at 6.30 pm and in bed and asleep after her bottle by 7pm. If she's still awake after her bottle, then she just puts herself to sleep. She wakes once overnight for a feed and then goes back to sleep (even if the bottle is at 6.30 am!). Last night she only had 30ml of a bottle at 6.45 pm and didn't wake again until 7.30 am! I thought something must have been wrong! She's a catnapper by day though.......

    So it all depends on the individual baby....it's a pity you can't just let Maggie go until around 8.30 pm if that's what works for her best.......

  8. #8

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    Thanks Melinda, nice to know that Maggie is not the only one. Until the NCSS comes in, I will just leave her till 8.30. When I was in Tassie I used to do that, as we had people around to see us of an evening and the room we were in was bright till very late and thought I would have trouble but it was easier than normal.

    By the looks of today though, she wont be having a nap till late, if at all.

  9. #9

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    Astrid, I dont know if this will help but its just another suggestion to consider...

    ... surrender. I think Marisa's sleep problems were much worse when I was so stressed and always looking for an answer, until the day I let go. Until the day I told myself that this was just her fiesty little personality and it will pass, when who knows... but for now I will surrender and do what I need to do to survive.

    She was just a little over two when she started asking to go to bed. You are getting closer to the day when she will! And I can tell you my fiesty little sleep fighter got better and better with it and now you are asking for it if you try waking her before she is ready! She got up at 9.30 this morning! Shame about Elijah but he's just over two and will be there soon I know... this morning he came to me at 6.30am in the morning from his own bed! This was a babe who has been completely infant-led fed and was even sneaking in feeds at night until a few months ago, and sometimes still will if he is sick or has gone to bed too early.

    Hang in there hon! Surrender to her little personality, I know it's exhausting, I have had two of them like this - but they get really good at sleep, with confidence. Get more demanding for YOU time - I am getting a little better at that! Spend more time during the day with friends, wear her out with lots of exercise and days out... I spent the day with Cailin yesterday so their little minds were so exhausted Marisa slept in til 9.30 and Elijah slept through til 6.30am. I think this is one of the things I learnt quickly, that they sleep better after a busy day out. John will take Elijah and/or Marisa for walks after dinner, to get those last stores out of the system if they are looking particularly bouncy. Even though she's little, she can still have a walk somewhere and it will tire her quickly I am sure The weather will be a huge help during summer I dont stress with bedtimes, I try to aim for 8-8.30 but there's no point in that if Elijah has had a 4pm sleep, which I try to avoid, but sometimes happens if the day has been busy, then he has some quiet time for a bit too long!
    Last edited by BellyBelly; January 3rd, 2007 at 02:00 PM.
    Kelly xx

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  10. #10

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    I know about surrendering, I do it every so often, but then the doubts creep back in (often DH induced) and I start trying to contol again. It is so hard to surrender when the overtiredness hits and she wont leave anything alone and tantrums at the slightest thing (like now, it is almost impossible to type this).

  11. #11

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    I know it's really hard. My two didnt really like me being on the computer either, especially when only one of them is around and wants full attention.

    Perhaps you could sit down with hubby and let him know that its important Maggie has consistency, and this is how you would like to do it - can we come to an agreement?

    Its a huge difference when parents can function on the same page but not always easy.
    Kelly xx

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  12. #12
    Melinda Guest

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    The tiredness gets overwhelming doesn't it Astrid. It really takes it out of you. When what these little tigers are doing seems to unrelenting.....it can all get a bit much at times.

    I keep telling myself that one day Jacob WILL go to sleep on his own and it won't be at 8.30 or 9.00 pm. That's about the only thing that gets me through at times. We continually try to give him the opportunity to put himself to sleep, but to date, it just doesn't work at night time - only during the day. Every night one of us will sit with Jacob until he falls asleep. This can take anywhere up to an hour (sometimes longer) and sometimes I just can't do it because I start to lose my rag, my back hurts, I'm hellishly tired from looking after 2 wee tots etc etc. Thank god during the day is better, although once or twice a week he needs one of us to sit with him then too. I must admit though that sometimes I do giggle at him as I'm sitting beside him and he farts and whispers "pardon me" ever so quietly LOL. Priceless......

    I agree with Kelly that the exercise factor is a good one - Jacob always sleeps better if he's had a physically exhausting day. Kindergym is great for him! I must admit too, that he is very susceptible to picking up on my mood and responding accordingly - lately I've been very down with PND and his sleep has become unsettled as a result and he just wants to come in to our bed and snuggle up, poor little sausage. I'd say 3 - 4 nights a week ATM is spent with him in our bed half the night.....

    BTW, I didn't realise you were from Tassie?! Whereabouts did you live if I may ask?

  13. #13

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    Sometimes I think I ask a lot of her, I am terrible at sleeping and really do love my sleep ins. She seems the same way, unlike DH who can sleep anywhere through anything.

    She was funny one night, she had her new going to bed book and was "reading" it in the semi dark, when she came to the teethbrushing page she made the brushing noise and action. She then turned around and the same to her teddybear. Very cute.

    Melinda - I was from Launceston and DH from Longford. We will be going back in a year or 2.

  14. #14

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    I can totally relate to all these sleeping problems....

    Alexa is being a total ratbag at bedtime at the moment...

    Might have to try some of the suggestions you guys have posted...

    If all else fails, there is always energy drinks & coffee for meLOL

  15. #15

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    Astrid, sorry I haven't much to offer in the way of advice. I understand a bit how you must feel. William is a very active boy and has a tendency lately to get overexcited and overtired then fight sleep like mad at night. It's amazing how their little bodies just can't quite grasp the fact that if they would just lie down and shut their eyes, the problem would be solved!

    Lately, I've been taking advantage of daylight saving to take him for a walk in the pram in the evenings. He can be inside, whingeing like a trouper and carrying on but the minute we hit the road, he goes to sleep and doesn't wake up again, even when I lift him out to put him into the cot.

    I know he's much younger than Maggie so that probably isn't much help. I just try to do whatever I need to break the cycle and start him on the road to sleep.

    Hope things improve soon.

  16. #16

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    Off to the Dr this morning, Maggie does seem out of sorts at the moment and kept me awake all night, so I better get her checked out.

    Have tried the pram of an evening, but not with much luck, have even used the car in desperation at 10.00pm, neither got her to sleep, but they did help wind her down.

  17. #17
    Melinda Guest

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    I hope she's alright Astrid. Let us know, ok?

  18. #18

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    Nothing major, she has an incisor cutting through and the remains of a cold. A bit of fluid on the ears and a red throat. So just some pain relief and a Dimetapp at night. Poor thing.

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