DS is 9 months and for the past five weeks, his sleeping has been TERRIBLE. The day his sleeping really started on a decline was the day we started a music class on Monday mornings for my daughter. This was the only class available and it happens to coincide with DS's nap. I thought we could push it like after class I would nurse him in the car and he would fall asleep. But the exact opposite has happened and DS now can't seem to fall asleep well in the car unless he is near collapse. And he wakes up as soon as I get his seat out of the car or try to unlatch him. For other naps, any noise in the house seems to wake him. Many days, his naps last maybe twenty minutes. He will not settle back to sleep. He wakes up and stands up and calls out.
Night sleeping is horrendous in that some nights it is after ten before I can get him to settle. My daughter needed major parenting to sleep as a baby, too. The difference with her was that I could have a quiet, dark house so that she could stay asleep. I've read NCSS and have tried to follow the stepwise progression. But it feels like a black hole because DS wakes up more if I don't nurse him to sleep or be right next to him. I'm grain, soy, and dairy free, so food problems are not interfering with sleep. He has had two teeth pop in this month and both have been horrid experiences for him. DS wears an amber teething necklace. Oh yes, I recently purchased a giraffe that makes soothing jungle and white noise that I turn on in the crib to try to block out other sounds.
So I feel like I'm doing everything I can to get DS to sleep well and it just isn't working. At the same time, all of this attention on DS means that DD isn't getting the attention she needs. For a long time, I've made DS's nap time my time to do something one-on-one with my daughter such as a craft project, pretend play, baking or reading. But with DS's short naps, our time to do things is so limited. When DS is awake, he is into everything, making it very hard to work on a craft or read a story with DD.
I want my daughter to have her needs met, and I feel like they just aren't. DH is out of town a lot for work, so I can't depend on him to help with this problem. Some day, DS will sleep better. In the meantime, advice on making his crappy sleeping habits and into-everything waking habits mesh well with the needs of a four-year-old will be greatly appreciated.
If noise wakes him up, will white noise in his room help to mask the noise?
Also, if it's teething pain, nothing has helped my younger dd sleep even semi decently during that except baby pain reliever, like baby Tylenol. Not natural, but if she's in pain she gets it. My older dd was not so sensitive to physical discomfort and it was not such an issue with her. But she would sleep through noise too, and the younger one is sensitive to noise. It sounds like your younger child might be more sensitive to physical things too.
My older one had to be nursed to sleep at that age. The younger one doesn't really nurse to sleep, but nurses and then snuggles next to me until she's asleep. I stay until they're asleep though.
And finally, a lot goes on at 9 months. There's often a growth spurt then, and there can be some sleep regression. This is likely to improve when he gets just a little bit older, so try not to fret too much. :hug