Desperate and Resentful: 10 month old won't go to sleep then wakes every 2 hours - Page 2
My 11 month old is a terrible sleeper. She wakes every 1-2 hours and seems to be getting worse instead of better. Tried increased solids, only one nap per day, all the tricks. Nothing worked. I figured I'm sleeping terribly nursing all night long but would sleep worse if I let her cry every time she woke up.
I played with my son in his crib instead of rocking him to sleep. Peakaboo and taking a blanket and putting it over him like a parachute. After a while he began to think of bed time as more fun. And we paly for a few minutes then I leave him alone and hes usually asleep within 10 to 15. The only problem is he wakes up and I can hear him playing in bed. He has a mobile that has buttons and males sounds and he likes to turn it on in the middle of the night if he wakes up too much. But for the most part he only wakes up once a night to nurse now.
Same deal for us, my baby didn't sleep for more than 45 minutes until he was 10 months old. I also began to completely resent my baby, hate my husband because he couldn't fix it, and feel like I had zero emotional bandwidth. 5 months and 9 months were the wors points. Craniosacral therapy helped my critter settle a bit. A referral from your pediatrician should ensure insurance coverage. At some point, I had to evaluate whether my parenting choices were preventing him from learning how to self soothe. They weren't, but it was important to be honest about that. Relief finally came at 11 months when I started working with a counselor who primarily works with autistic children...and she helped me find ways to get him to choose to sleep. Using cues and soothing objects, avoiding triggers, using a very rigid routine to create predictability, and more. Now (12month), we don't fight about sleeping and the stress is mostly gone. He still wakes up every few hours, but getting back to sleep isn't hard. He's happier and I am finally sane again. Once I started workign again (12 hrs/wk), I was able to have some time when I was away from the struggle and stress of sleeping, and so I had more energy for it. I also hired the neighbor girl to watch the baby a few hours a week so I could have a break. Good luck...it's brutal and can destroy your self of self and damage your relationships and your family balance. So, find help wherever you can...for your baby, yourself and your marriage/household.
I haven't had a chance to read replies, but I could read without replying. My son, 9 months old, is very similar to what you describe - I can count on one hand the number of times he's gone to bed "sleepy but awake" for me or my husband, for naps or bedtime. He doesn't fall asleep easily, and for months DH would hold him while he cried until he fell asleep (always less than 5 minutes, but sleep wouldn't come without tears). His longest stretch of sleep is 3 hours on a great night. There were weeks at a time when he would nurse every 45 minutes (we cosleep). The worst was when he would wake up to nurse and instead of going back to sleep, would fuss, cry, etc for an hour or longer after... DH doesn't really get involved in nighttime parenting, so it was some rough going there. I know I haven't slept more than two hours together since November. Anyways, I guess I'm sharing to say it's not as uncommon as you think, and after reading the Sleep Book and the Fussy Baby book in the Sears library, DS definitely sleeps like a high needs child. I haven't come out the other side yet, and the only tips I would give at this point is to do what works for you and try not to compare with other babies. I also had to stop reading any articles/blogs/books on sleep (I made an exception for the Sears books). I'm sure that one day, DS will require less of me at night. I'm also sure that there have been nights in the last few months when I felt like I couldn't make it one more night. Good luck, and I hope you find a nighttime solution that works for you.
I haven't been on the board in years, but as I was contemplating how we've made it through two awful sleepers and come out the other side, I thought I'd check back in and see if I could give some encouragement. Because mama, I was so there. More so with my first, though my second was also a horrible sleeper, he was better in some respects and as a second time mom, I KNEW it would get better, so I dealt with it better. As a first time mom, everyone tells you it gets easier but you cannot see the light. I was so desperate, I get it completely.
A few things I've learned along the way:
- 10 months is the absolute worst time for sleep. Your child is processing major developmental milestones in his sleep - walking, talking. It is also teething hell. I actually blame all my sons' wakings on teething. It simply affected them tremendously. The first time either STTN was as soon as their final tooth popped through. I don't think that's a coincidence.
- Drop your son's naps to an absolute minimum. We dropped to one nap with both at 12 months.
- Get outside as much as possible. It will boost your mood and wear your child out
- Don't obsess about getting him to sleep for naps. Getting my first son to sleep became my obsession and my job for a year. I became neurotic about it. I would try for an hour to get him to nap for a 45 minute nap! So pointless. Do yourself a favor and if he won't nap after 20 minutes of trying, give up. Do something completely different and try again later. This strategy saved my sanity with DS2. And he never ever suffered from what the parenting books like to call "over tired". The more tired the better in my experience!
- First rule about sleep, don't talk about sleep! In my experience, those moms who say their kids STTN are lying through their teeth. And the price their children paid for the nights when they do STTN is not worth it. At all. It never fails to amuse me when my coworker who let all three of her children CIO from birth complains about how all three girls were screaming awake the night before. Children simply don't STTN, it's not in our genetic make up.
Now, do some children sleep better than others, yes. Creating strategies to maintain your sanity and to survive is key. I think your swapping strategy is great. That's what we did too from about 12 months on when I started night weaning. Do you BF? If not, I would recommend that you try trading off entire nights so that you have a complete break every other night. If you do BF, consider using the Jay Gordon night weaning method at 12 months.
Spend at least one hour every week doing something completely for yourself without the baby anywhere near you.
Find local attachment parenting groups.
The golden question: when will my child sleep better? For us, it was 14 months for DS1 and 16 months for DS2. This was after all their teeth had come through and my DH was taking care of most night wakings.
Just hang in there mama. I vividly remember my DS1 at about 2.5 years asking me to leave his room at night so he could sleep alone. It broke my heart. I couldn't believe this came from my high maintenance super dependent, cosleeping, night feeding baby. I say this because the time is going by slowly for you now, but before you know it, your baby will be four years old, a total Daddy's boy, and your second child will be well on his way to being the same.
I hope this helps even a little bit. You're an amazing mother.
Hi Mom4Gus....my son is now 2.5 years, and I wish I could tell you that he magically started STTN...but...having said that, things have vastly improved since those horrid nights of hourly/2-hourly wake ups.....
- When he was about 13 months he started sleeping "longer" stretches - about 3-4 hours. It felt like a huge improvement to get a longer stretch of sleep myself and at least I could see some improvement.
- Hubs and I continued to take turns co-sleeping with him. Somewhere along the line his need to nurse during the night got later and later...from 1am, to 2am, then to 4am. I can't really remember when it happened.
- And I really can't remember how the rest of it happened, but since he was about 2, he would wake around once a night to nurse and go back to sleep. There were many nights when he would wake, and hubs would get him back to sleep, so b/c he didn't need to nurse at night, I effectively got a full night's sleep....woo hoo.
- I tried to nightwean a few times using the Dr Jay Gordon method, but it didn't work out, caused more stress, and he didn't stop night waking, so we returned to nursing once or twice a night, then he eventually stopped doing on his own.
- We went through this really HORRID stretch just before he turned 2 for a few months where he would wake for the day at, like, 5 am or sometimes even 4.45am. It sucked, it really did. We tried earlier/later bedtimes etc, changing nap time etc but he had this internal alarm clock and would pop up at "stupid o'clock" each morning.
- A few months ago we spent a month in Australia, and, jetlag aside, he returned to waking at a reasonable time...like 6 or 6.30. (Anythign with a 5 in it or less is offensive in my book).
- A few weeks ago he was SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT...like...all night...about 50 % of the time. But....lately...he wakes every night at 11 and will not go back to sleep. This started around the time when we started potty training, so maybe it's related. We just deal with it, knowing that things will get better on their own, then worse, then better, then someday he will leave for college.
- But honestly, I feel so much better now than back when I wrote this post. I should point out that the above improvements happened without any intervention by us, so all those stupid books that tell you if your kid is not STTN by 3 months, 6 months etc are WRONG.
A few other things that helped me get through that period were:
- Every morning I would take my son for a walk to the park, stopping to pick up an iced coffee on the way. The walk to and from the park, and hanging out at the park with him (once he started walking) was about 2 hours, and I found it gave me a focus each morning. Plus the fresh air and exercise helped my mood. And the ice coffee felt like such a treat.
- Every evening when hubs comes home, he hangs out with DS and I get some solitude or exercise etc. I found it helped having this downtime.
The other thing is that, especially as my son got older and started talking and became more interactive, I have truly found it more fun to be with him during the daytime. We do lots of things together, and he likes to help me eg with cooking. The thing with a baby is that it's all very one way...me talking, me doing stuff etc. Now as a toddler, my DS is so funny and has his own little personality and interests.
So....as everyone says....it does get better but at the time it feels like hell, and rightly so.
Oh the other good thing that happened, was that when DS switched from 2 to 1 naps at about 16 months, instead of taking piddly little 30 minute naps, he started taking a glorious 2 hour nap. And I nap alongside him. And if feels amazing to get some sleep, glorious sleep.
God willing things will get better, my LO will one day request me to let him have some sleep (alone!).I now know there's surely nothing abnormal with him not STTN at 12m. Attachment parenting was my natural inclination, I intend to continue follow my motherly instinct.
Much love xx
I'm in the same boat with my 10.5 month old son. I'm going nuts, and have broken down almost every day this week. My husband has finally gone along with co-sleeping, AP and such, but I've reached a low point AGAIN, and every time this happens, he says we should just let our baby CIO. I HATE CIO, but my husband thinks it's the best way to get him to sttn. It doesn't help that my in-laws swear by it too. It's hard to vent to my husband, knowing that he doesn't really condone co-sleeping, he's just going along with it when he saw how important it is to me. I can't turn off my heart, I can't "make" my baby fall asleep, but I also can't be putting him to sleep all day and all night, and thinking about HOW I'm going to put him to sleep all day and all night. I'm turning into monster-mom, and it's really hard when my husband doesn't truly support what I'm doing :( When I complain to him, I'm not looking for more advice on CIO (I can get that anywhere) I'm just looking for some help and sympathy!
There are many things to try besides CIO. Some of them involve your baby, and some of them are about resetting the dynamic between your husband and you so that it's not your way vs his way.
- Change night nursing / feeding
- Change sleeping locations (this was the time when I moved my son to a crib mattress on the floor next to my bed in response to my husband's demands that something must change and he wanted to CIO. Of course, the change didn't help my son sleep any better, but it did give my husband something to focus on for about a month and half)
- come up with a gentle plan to for approaching sleeping that you and your husband can both deal with - The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night by Elizabeth Pantley has many excellent suggestions and worksheets
- Begin a bedtime routine that involves dad
- Establish routines for waking during the night
- Tell your husband what you need him to do to support you - believe it or not, he probably doesn't know, and thinks you want him to solve the situation
- Find a way to mutually acknowledge with your husband that this is a stage - what doesn't work now will work at some time, and conversely what works for a bit will probably only work until your child hits another developmental phase
- get a babysitter and go out with your husband so you have something to talk about with him besides contentious sleep issues
Good luck...8-12 months is the most brutal sleep period, in my experience. It will get better, but you have to get through it.
Oh, my other suggestion (hindsight on my part) is to stop trying to put him to sleep during the day for a few days. What I mean is to take your normal nap time but not have sleep as your goal. Think of it as cuddle time or quiet time for you together. if he sleeps, fine. If not, let him fall asleep on his own for a bit, whenever he's tired, even if that's face down on the kitchen floor. That will really help the strain on you of putting a baby to sleep all the time. You might even find that his sleep patterns have changed and he needs naps at different times than before.
(My son didn't sleep for more than 45 minutes at a time for a year, and then would scream for 30 minutes or more every time he woke up. He was exhausted and I was going crazy trying to get him to sleep. It turns out that he had medical issues, and no amount of sleep training made a difference.)
Thanks aurahal for all your advice!! It's definitely more difficult when you have to convince your husband that what you're doing will pay-off. Glad to know I'm not the only one. I think my husband sort of believes it, but I'm definitely the more patient of the two of us You're right, I do need to involve him more. I just need to trust him to be able to get our son into his crib with out waking him up! :) (He starts off in the crib and then sleeps with us after the first waking).
I love "the no cry sleep solution" and am reading it for about the 5th time. I also realized that my son was getting constipated from the solids (mush) I was feeding him. He'd wake up grunting and tooting and thrashing around every morning around 4:30 or so until he was up for good around 6:30. I thought he was just gassy, but thanks to Dr. Sears I realized that all the food was too much on his tummy and causing some constipation. No wonder his poopies were so solid! I knew putting him in his crib wouldn't help, since he's still wake up and then wonder where Mommy is and of course freak out. Who wouldn't in the dark? I also knew/know CIO isn't the answer, as something was clearly bothering him. Since then he's been better with the gas, but still wakes up frequently. Now that he can crawl, he's been using me as a jungle gym all night. I finally hung up sheets and blankets in our room to darken it. I'd had a lot of luck doing that in his room, realizing that he gets so stimulated so easily. It's been much easier getting him to nap with a darker room, so I hope that by keeping our room darker at night, he won't be able to see anything and will realize it's still time to sleep!
How old is your son now? What were the issues he had? I hope it was nothing too serious. Do you have any suggestions for a routine in the middle of the night? I usually just nurse him again, but then that causes more gas and burps, which in turn keep him up even more! I'm usually just too tired to do anything else.
I hope you were able to work things out with your husband! Parenting definitely takes a lot of teamwork!!!
I'm the mama who wrote the original post - that was over 2 years ago. My son is now 3 and he sleeps perfectly.
For us, it got better just after 13 months when he "only" woke 3 times a night, then once he hit 2 years it was just once a night, at 2.5 he started STTN completely - and I think we were probably the extreme case. It got better on its own, without any intervention from us.
Also I found out there is a developmental leap at around 10 months which can cause a huge sleep regression.
Hubs and I got through the worst time by taking turns sleeping with our son. Hubs would sleep with him for the first part of the night until he wanted to nurse, then I would sleep with him for the rest of the night. At least each of us had some mental downtime where we weren't on parenting duty.
But it was so incredibly hard at the time. We tried everything and nothing changed how he slept, so we just accepted that and concentrated on getting through each night and each day. ANd that was a relief b/c then I didn't feel like I had to be fixing something.
Above all, please be very kind and gentle with yourself.
Maybe just try getting you, baby and hubby into same bed at night whenever you and hubby are ready for bed. 10pm or even 11pm so you're all on same schedule and sleep in harmony.
Put on some rain music, relaxation piano music, zen, spa stuff for deep sleep that is 8+ hours in duration (youtube has plenty) , that way if baby wants to wake the music keeps him calm. Lower room temperature. Make sure your son has a full belly and milk right before bed, also put some sort of background noise like a small fan on so it's not dead silent. All these things have been proven in studies to keep sleepers asleep. The white noise has a calming rhythm effect to reassure REM sleep subconsciously.
Is he too hot or cold or does he wake bc of wet diaper ? Wants to be comforted? Is he hungry?
Middle of the night routines are best when super simple, quiet and totally predictable. Boring, really. Just, "I love you. Night is for sleeping. We'll snuggle in the morning." With a pat on the back. Or whatever works for your situation. Just keep it really consistent so that a jangled kid can rely on it.
If your baby has gas or reflux problems, don't try to tank him up before sleep. That can backfire. Try eating then playing for a few minutes to let the food settle.
I agree that consistent sound can help with an easily stimulated baby. That's one reason why mama breathing in sleep is so soothing. Tabletop waterfall or a metronome seems to work well for us at times.
About the crawling at night - it's a phase and he'll get through it. He's probably close to learning to walk. Give him LOTS of opportunity to be VERY active right before bed. Play chase games on the bed and around the house. Hold his hands while he jumps on the bed, etc. Bath before bed also good for splashing, kicking, etc. We did also joint compression and weighting, by taking a pillow and pressing it down around him while he lay on the bed, from feet to head. Not so hard on the head, obviously! :)
Again, that's why I moved my son to his own at this point. I put a crib mattress on the floor between a wall and my bed (just a mattress and box spring on the floor), then lined the two walls at the head of his mattress with a sheet covered camping mattress to keep it soft. I put a dresser at the end of my bed, reaching to the wall, so that there wasn't anywhere for my son to go without going over me. Totally safe, right next to me, I could even have a hand on him to soothe him, and yet I didnt' get kicked all night.
Becuase my son's issues were feeding-related, I worked really hard to lengthen the time between nursing at night, and to stop nursing at night altogether as soon as I could. It made a big difference. There are two ways to reduce nursing - space out the feedings, reduce food amount at feedings. Both are tough emotionally on baby and mama. This is where you have to really know what you're trying to achieve (what problems you're solving). Your husband can help immensely with changing the expectations and routines around night feeding.