Can NOT get my child to sleep anymore! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 05-24-2011, 10:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm really hoping someone has some advice here...I'm starting to get so angry every night I can feel rage pulsing through me from frustration.

 

Since Jax (now 12.5 months) was born, we've swaddled him and bounced him to sleep.

He's never been a good sleeper (to say the least) and he's always really fought falling asleep...but the swaddle and the bouncing and some lullabye singing has been able to override his ability to fight sleep.

 

That seems to all be changing...like in the course of a week or two.

 

He started fighting the swaddle, which is fine, I figured he'd let me know when he was done with that...he did.  

 

But now, when I cradle him to start bouncing, he fights and kicks and screams.  If I hold him through that he'll relax again, but will NOT fall asleep.  It's almost like he gets really close, then wants to turn over to get comfortable, can't, and get's pissed and we start the 20 minute process of fighting being held, calming down, relaxing, almost asleep, then pissed off again.  I can not bounce him that long anymore!!

 

So, I figure we'd bounce him till really drowsy, then lie down in bed with him (he sleeps with us in our bed).  But, as soon as we do that, he wants to nurse..which would be fine, except he just sucks for a second, turns over lays there for 5 seconds, turns back over, latches on for 2 seconds, turns over lays there for 5 seconds and does this over and over, until he is well awake and then he sits up. I try and lay him back down with me over and over and tell him it's bed time, but after about 25 times, he starts to get really frustrated and all worked up, then he's in a fit.  It doesn't feel good (for either of us i'm sure) to have him hysterical.  He can't calm himself down on his own.  So then I try and bounce him again, and we start the whole process over again.  It's so frustrating!  Eventually, maybe an hour and a half later, somewhere during this process he falls asleep.  This can't be the best way to put him to sleep.  I leave the room after he falls asleep so frustrated and angry and worked up...but I literally don't have a clue what to do, or how to do anything different.  I have no problem parenting him to sleep, but this is not a relaxing pleasant experience for either of us.  And 1 full hour or more AFTER all our bedtime routine stuff (bath, nurse, book) just seems crazy!  And the bouncing...I just don't feel like I can take the bouncing anymore!

 

Does anyone have any suggestions?

 

The good news, is that once he falls asleep, he has miraculously been staying asleep well...for about three hours before his first night waking.  And then it's just 10 minutes of laying with him and nursing and he's right back asleep for another three hours.  So...that's amazing progress in terms of his sleep...and it tells me that it's not some development milestone or teething or something that's bothering him...since he's the best he's ever been the rest of the night.  

 

Oh - we've tried all different bed times too...we were pretty regular at around 7:30 or so when this all started, and we've tried 15 minute intervals later and later, thinking...he just must not be tired yet, but that doesn't seem to make a difference.  Last night we didn't start the process till about 8:30...and had the same results.

 

I'm really at a loss as to how to put him to sleep...any help would be so much appreciated!

 

Thanks mamas!!

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#2 of 8 Old 05-24-2011, 03:54 PM
 
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Just wanted to say that we often go through periods like this when DD has simply outgrown her current method of going to sleep and we haven't been able to figure out something new yet.  I think he's trying to tell you that the bouncing thing is over.  DD was a bounce-to-sleep baby, too, and our next step from there was lying in bed together with me rhythmically patting her back while singing to her.  Not lullabies - something repetitive, with a solid rhythm, like The Ants Go Marching.  At 14 months, she often still falls asleep lying across my chest while I thump (and yes, I mean THUMP moreso than pat) her back and sing to her.  I'd also say that the hysteria in our house is a sign that she's SOOOO frustrated that she can't sleep and, while I'm not a fan of hysteria, she always falls asleep when I switch from "putting her to sleep" mode to "soothing her" mode.  Try not to revert to the bouncing, if you can help it.  It's probably just...over.  Which you're really going to appreciate once you get through this transition, I promise!

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#3 of 8 Old 05-25-2011, 10:14 AM
 
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That sounds just Like DD to a TEE!  From about 11 months to 14 months dd took ages to fall asleep and then would wake every few hours. Once her molars finally cut through she started going to sleep with a story, two songs and a wee cuddle.  NOW she sleeps 11 hours straight at night!!!  It's a wearisome phase, but you'll get through it.

 

Some things that might help in the meantime:  Chammomile tea before bed, or sleepy time tea.  I have read that sour cherries have doses or some thing that encourages sleepiness, and also lavedar oil seems to help my LOs calm down and be still if not asleep...but for DD the only thing that worked at this stage was waiting it out.  DH and I were TIRED  But now we are rested.  It'll pass, I promise!


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#4 of 8 Old 05-25-2011, 11:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thank you both...it's really good to be given some perspective...and a great reminder that "this too shall pass".

 

we did get to sleep last night without bouncing.  (well, i held him over my shoulder and bounced for about one minute, just to settle him, but didn't cradle him and try to bounce to sleep).  He just won't lay still and I think he moves to keep himself awake. 

 

mamalizzy - i don't know the song ants go marching, but i tried 99 bottles of beer on the wall...with thumping.  I couldn't think of any other repetive steady beat song.  We made it to about 52 bottles before he was off the bed and crying at the door, but I figure that's pretty darn good.  that's when we bounced momentarily, i tried walking him around a couple minutes with his head on my shoulder, then we laid down and started the whole thing again.  Eventually he rolled over and went to sleep.  I guess practically speaking, what we "do" isn't what is going to make a difference...it's like Rebekah said...just get through it.  I'll try chammomile tonight.  Funny, I drink it every night...AFTER I get DS to bed!  We put lavender in the bath, and he won't really be still enough to get a little massage on him before bed, but i haven't tried for a while, so maybe it's time to attempt that again.

 

And mamalizzy, i definitely tried to just my attitude as well...to focus on soothing him, rather than accomplishing a task, or trying to get him to do something.  That certianly helped my attitude...thank you for that.  I did not leave his room angry last night!  Major progress.

 

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#5 of 8 Old 05-26-2011, 11:53 AM
 
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have you read dr weissbluths books healthy sleep habits, happy child?  it will save your life!  to me, it seems like he's over tired which is why he's not settling well.  I would put him to bed 15 min earlier each night until he drifts off fairly easily.  when ds was this age he was in bed by 6/6.30 pm.  Then he slept until 6.30/7 the next morning.  sometimes he'd nurse half way thru the night but not always.  also, you should try a sound machine that makes white noise.  that could help soothe him a lot. ds loves his!

both the book and machine are avail on amazon.  good luck!


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#6 of 8 Old 05-26-2011, 12:20 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newmamalizzy View Post

Just wanted to say that we often go through periods like this when DD has simply outgrown her current method of going to sleep and we haven't been able to figure out something new yet.  I think he's trying to tell you that the bouncing thing is over.  DD was a bounce-to-sleep baby, too, and our next step from there was lying in bed together with me rhythmically patting her back while singing to her.  Not lullabies - something repetitive, with a solid rhythm, like The Ants Go Marching.  At 14 months, she often still falls asleep lying across my chest while I thump (and yes, I mean THUMP moreso than pat) her back and sing to her.  I'd also say that the hysteria in our house is a sign that she's SOOOO frustrated that she can't sleep and, while I'm not a fan of hysteria, she always falls asleep when I switch from "putting her to sleep" mode to "soothing her" mode.  Try not to revert to the bouncing, if you can help it.  It's probably just...over.  Which you're really going to appreciate once you get through this transition, I promise!


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DD abruptly changed from nursing to sleep on my lap in bed to wanting to walk around the bedroom for about 5-15 minutes then nurse for about 5 minutes then wanted to lay beside me and fall asleep. It took me about a week to figure it out....it still sometimes changes but it seems to be the new 'routine.' Once I figured it out we were both more relaxed. I hope you both find something that works soon!

 


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#7 of 8 Old 05-29-2011, 10:12 PM
 
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I was told from the very beginning that not to get too comfortable with one way of doing things (like putting a baby/toddler to sleep) because they change often enough to make it frustrating.

 

So we have changed our routine at least 4 times (he's 16 months). Gotta stay one step ahead of em!


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#8 of 8 Old 05-29-2011, 10:27 PM
 
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Sounds like how my MIL described how hubby used to be, I ask her questions all the time for fear that AE may no longer be the perfect sleeper. It seems like my MIL never found out what helped him to pass out, possibly pure exhaustion. AE has always slept 10-12 hrs at night and 2 hrs during the day, but getting to that point wasnt easy, especially with breastfeeding, now she twirls her hair to help soothe her. Some say this is a bad habit, but whatever works :D

 

I also agree with lillitu, AE is currently 2yrs3mth and she is starting to wean off naps, if we stay home all day she will not take a nap, but if we are out she takes a nap, so i'm in the middle of finding our balance. AE was taking 2-3 hrs to fall asleep at night and 1 hr to fall asleep at night time, so i knew something had to change. I think i need to cut down on the nap, but also prepare myself for what may happen next, which is her no longer needing naps, even though she is so young.

 

overall, there needs to be a balance and babies/toddlers thrive on a daily rhythm and if that isn't consistent it can really throw them off and cause adverse reactions.


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