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Thread: Trouble getting DD to sleep

  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Default Trouble getting DD to sleep

    Once upon a time sleep was easy. DD (13.5 months) used to nurse to sleep and was BF on demand. If she looked tired all I had to do was nurse her and she'd drop off to sleep. I fell pregnant when she was 9 months, by 11 months she was self weaning and totally self weaned 12.5 months. Sleep is now horrible. She barely naps during the day anymore but definitely needs it. If I do manage to get her to sleep during the day she'll sleep for 1-3 hours depending on the day but getting her to sleep is such a fight. If I manage to catch a very tiny window she will happily just lay next to me in bed, cuddle and fall asleep. If I try too early, she cries and screams for up to 2 hours, and if I try too late she's overtired and we have the same problem with crying and screaming. We're now also having the problem where she seems to get angry and will hit, pinch and bite (both me and herself) while she's crying.

    Nights aren't quite as bad, usually DD will happily just fall asleep if both DF and I are in bed. But if I try and put her to bed without DF and I both being there it can be pretty hit and miss which makes it hard when he's on night shift! Her bed time has been shocking for quite some time, though thankfully we can now get her to sleep before 2am! We had managed to get it to 8pm when she was 7 months but then went overseas for 6 weeks and when we got home it went out the window and was back to being 2am. Now it's anything from 9:30-11pm. If I try any earlier it's just tantrums or she plays and jumps on us. I know her bed time issues are largely my doing as I was following her lead a bit too literally and now I'm worried I've 'broken' her.

    What can I do to help her nap during the day and to get her sleeping earlier at night without the tantrums? I'm really worried about what will happen when baby #2 arrives in March.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Trouble getting DD to sleep

    Quote Originally Posted by Miss_Dee View Post

    What can I do to help her nap during the day and to get her sleeping earlier at night without the tantrums? I'm really worried about what will happen when baby #2 arrives in March.
    I re-read Pantley's 'No Cry Sleep Solution' a couple of days ago as that seemed to help my little one with his day sleeps a couple of months ago. My son is a very energetic expressive little man (he's a red head!), doing controlled crying or anything like that would be out of the question and totally against my instincts. My son is 8months old now, your little one is a bit older but some of the suggestions may help. I tried;
    * Making his room dark by putting an old doona over the window (helped with daylight savings)
    * Playing some relaxing music to settle him down
    * Getting on top of day time sleeps with a routine
    * Having a settle down hour before bedtime with a warm bath and stories.

    Now i'm trying to put him down while he's dozy but still awake...it is really hard because he falls asleep quickly during a feed. He wakes every hour if he's not sleeping with me at night so I co-sleep now and he sleeps in 3 hour stretches. My pediatrition wants to send me to a sleep day-centre but I'm going to keep trying by myself, follow my instincts and try to stay sane. The advice I got from the professionals made me feel guilty and depressed and totally confused and left me feeling like I couldn't face another night. But I keep telling myself that i'm doing the best I can with what I've got.

    Also second babies seem to fit in well enough by themselves. I've heard that giving your first born a 'baby' doll of their own can help and/or giving them a present from the baby when they arrive can ease the tension. Wish you the best of luck.

  3. #3

    Join Date
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    Default Re: Trouble getting DD to sleep

    That sounds hard.
    But please don't blame yourself for following your baby's cues. She's not broken!
    Feeding to sleep is awesome and it's always a nuisance when you can't do it any more.
    This is a transition time for her, so it's likely that something that has always been a bit hard for her will get harder. Try not to think ahead to March - I know you're anxious about it, but things will work out somehow. I promise.

    My son was a sleep fighter. What worked was this - I gave up trying completely for day sleeps. If he happened to nod off in the car or stroller, great. Otherwise, forget it. I decided to stop running my life around struggling to get him to sleep.
    Bed time was different, because he really did have to go to sleep at some time. So that meant finding the right time - sounds like your little one's 'right time' is a bit later than you'd like - and just taking him in, lying down with him and waiting it out. He fought me - literally - but then eventually conked out. It was pretty awful. He grew out of it, rather suddenly, at 2. You have my empathy.

    Anyway, when they're transitioning from different numbers of day sleeps or different methods of going to sleep, they have a really hard time of it, as mentioned. It does settle down with a bit of time once you both hit on the right combination (until the next transition).

    Loveinfinity, for what it's worth, if feeding to sleep is quick and simple, then do that! Worry about doing other things when feeding to sleep stops working and don't make your life more difficult right now.

  4. #4

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    Default Re: Trouble getting DD to sleep

    Thanks ladies. Since posting we've had some huge improvement! She now sleeps (give or take an hour) 8pm-8am and day sleeps have become much easier aswell. We often get at least 1 nap, sometimes 2.

    As you said MadB, it's been a time of transition so we really just had to find our groove. Now that it's improved I'm back to feeling happy and confident in my choice to follow her lead, but I've definitely realised that sometimes I need to take charge and it's just a matter of finding the right balance. So now if she looks tired we try to lay down for some quiet time. I'm focussed on just chilling out and relaxing, rather than sleeping. Sometimes she naps, sometimes she doesnt but either way she's had some time to wind down. I also realised that part of the problem was that I was letting nap too late. So now, if we hit 4pm and she hasn't napped, I keep her awake and will wake her by 5pm at the latest if she does have an afternoon nap. That really has helped immensely. In fact, she currently curled up next to me fast asleep and it's not even 7pm! Our next challenge is trying to get her to fall asleep in her own bed. I've taken the side off the cot to make it a toddler bed so we're starting by just trying to resettle her there when she wakes but bringing her back to bed if it doesn't work. It's slow going but there's been definite progress and I'm feeling much less anxious about what will happen when the baby arrives

  5. #5

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    Default Re: Trouble getting DD to sleep

    Oh great! I didn't even realise this was 2 months old


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