Moving bedtime up or moving baby out - Mothering Forums

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Old 11-06-2011, 10:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My husband is coming home from deployment soon and my 11 month old son won't fall asleep unless its super late at night (like 11-1) AND he's in my bed.  The problem is that his dad needs to get up for work at 4:30 and can't function on just a few hours of sleep.  My son used to have an 8-8:30 bedtime but he has moved it slowly further and further back by refusing to sleep in favor of playing in bed.  We have a routine of teeth brushing, diaper change, music, nursing, sleep time but as soon as he's done nursing he will unlatch and try his little baby hardest to crawl away and play.  He bangs the blinds against the wall, he tries to open the dresser drawers, he pulls clothes out of baskets, ect ect.  I have to keep bringing him back to the bed for a half hour or more.  I've been trying to move him to his pack n play for a month now (immediately next to my bed) to try to contain this little tornado.  He was doing great and would lay down and fall asleep with very little intervention.  Then one night, poof.  Now whenever I put him in it he screams.  I tried shushing and singing, verbally reassuring him, patting his butt, giving him a teddy bear, picking him up and calming him all the way down to put him back in, rocking, nothing works.  I got so frustrated tonight that I just walked out and he cried until he fell asleep.

 

He normally naps at 11 AM and 5 PM.  I thought the second nap might be causing us issues but it doesn't change what time he finally goes to sleep unless I cut BOTH naps and then I have a cranky baby all.day.long.  I need him to go to sleep earlier or I'm going to have to move him (and possibly myself too) to the other room.

 

I don't have the No Cry Sleep Solution book but I've read summaries on the method and I don't know if it will work for us.  "She recommends rocking and feeding your baby to the point of drowsiness before putting him down — and responding immediately if he cries."  That doesn't happen here.  I can't rock him without him arching his back and trying to get away and he won't nurse to sleep unless he's absolutely exhausted.  I've even put him in his pack n play asleep and he will wake up and scream.


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Old 11-07-2011, 08:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Okay so I moved up his nap times to try to get him to sleep earlier.  He took his first nap at 10:30 for an hour and a half and his second around 3:30 for an hour and a half.  At around 7:10 he started rubbing his eyes. We did the brush teeth, diaper change, lullabies, boobie, but as soon as he touched the mattress of that pack n play he started crying. I picked him up, calmed him down, and put him back in the pack n play more than a dozen times and every single time he got fiercer. By about 7:40 he sounded like a pig squealing with little gasps in between. Around 7:45 he would start dozing off when I picked him up. Then around 8:00 he gave up on standing back up and let me pat his back. He fell asleep at this point but was still gasping every few seconds. 8:05 he woke up again. I picked him up and calmed him, set him back in the pack n play (where he started crying again), and accepted having his back patted until he went back to sleep. No gasping this time and he's been asleep for 50 minutes.

 

I don't want him to cry but it just kind of feels like somebody is going to be miserable no matter what we do.  Daddy is going to be miserable if we keep him in our bed because he'll be kept awake or kicked out of the bed by a squirmy baby, Mommy is going to be miserable if baby has to sleep in the other room while I play musical beds in the middle of the night, or Baby is going to be miserable because he wants to sleep with Mommy.


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Old 11-07-2011, 08:49 PM
 
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Do you have anything that smells like you? Maybe you could give him a shirt of yours so he has your scent. I'm sure your bed is covered with your scent, but the pack n' play isn't unless you were to somehow lay with him in it. I know babies can smell breastmilk; and breastmilk = comfort and security, so maybe the fact that even though the pack n' play is next to your bed, he can't smell your breastmilk which is a source of comfort, can't touch you, and may not even be able to see you because they're low to the ground is just too unsettling and he can't find a way to feel comfortable and safe.

 

Is there a reason he's playing so late? Maybe you should start to associate the pack n' play with play-time, but the bed as sleep-time, and move him to the pack n' play when he wants to play, and take him to the bed when he wants to sleep. Maybe he's confused and up until now thought you were okay with him using the bed as a dual play-and-sleep surface.

 

What about putting him in a toddler bed next to your side of the bed? The one thing I've found out is the harder you try and get a baby, or a toddler, or a child to get to bed at a certain time, the harder they fight against it.  My best advice, not having been there, is to get him a toddler bed and put it next to your bed on your side. That way he's still able to touch/smell/see you, knows the bed is for sleeping, and won't stir daddy.

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Old 11-07-2011, 08:52 PM
 
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Can you put him down in your bed instead of trying to lay him down in the pack and play and then move him later when you go to bed? Or, maybe put your mattress on the floor and have him on one side of you and you sleep in the middle as the PP suggested?


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Old 11-08-2011, 06:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sorry it took me all day to respond.  My computer crashed the first time I tried.  I gave him my shirt tonight but I don't know if that made much of a difference.  He was exhausted from waking up a half hour earlier than usual (I didn't think it would affect him that much!) and took two very early naps.  I tried to put him down for a third around 3:30 but he wasn't having it.  So from about 11 AM on he didn't get any more sleep.  6:00 comes around and he's crashing.  He was out within a few minutes of getting in the pack n play, too tired to fight back.  No screaming, just a little whimper cry and a bit of shushing calmed him down enough to go to sleep.

 

I'm wondering why everything has changed all of a sudden (tired at 6 and 7 instead of 11) and I have the slight feeling that either A, he took too late of a second nap before or B, he needed more to eat throughout the day.  Since trying to structure our day together I've been having more sit-down eating than grazing.

 

 

We tried just putting him on the outside before so he didn't kick Daddy but he would kick me and over the course of the night I would end up practically shoving him into the wall trying to scoot away from the kicking.  The toddler bed (although I'd use a twin) might work as long as he stops associating bedtime with playtime.  If he still thinks its playtime he will just climb down.

 

I'm going to try to feed him more (and more protein) throughout the day to see if that helps him get to sleep at a reasonable hour.  Maybe I'll cut the second nap (or cut it shorter) so he's tired earlier too.


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Old 11-09-2011, 12:45 PM
 
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Hang in there! Making that late nap earlier was a good call. I don't let Ellie sleep past 4 and she is asleep by 7 each night. I read the Sleep Lady Good night sleep tight and it really helped us. I was not intent on the CIO but she needed that crying to soothe herself. We always checked on her during the process but it turns out she needed to hum/lull herself to sleep and the crying was the first step.

You are doing great. I hope you get lots and lots of sleep soon!

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