SLEEP => Night Wakings => Topic started by: trishr on June 07, 2017, 04:46:30 am

Title: 8 month old night sleep problems
Post by: trishr on June 07, 2017, 04:46:30 am

My DD is 8 months old and is starting to have problems at bedtime.  She always has and continues to do well at naps.  She puts herself to sleep whether it is here or the nanny. ( Although, the only time her naps emulate what is happening at night is when she is at home). About 3 weeks ago I stopped the dream feed and simultaneously changed the type of sleep sack she was in from one that was more restrictive to one less restrictive.  At home she did ok with naps then wouldn't go to sleep in it at night and woke all night for a few nights in a row.  So I put her back in the old sack for night and the nanny kept her in the new one in the daytime.  She has not had one single nap problem with nanny in the new sack and in fact today, she slept without anything on because this overtired mom forgot to send it with her.  This nanny sleep trained with me for a month before watching her at 4 months old so I am confident she is doing what I do.  I did cut the dream feed suddenly which is not recommended but it was by accident.  When she wouldn't sleep in the new sack, it took me until 10:30 or so to get her to sleep so I couldn't bring myself to DF at 11.  After the 3rd night of this and feeding her more in the day, I thought I better just move on.  After I moved on, which included putting her back in the old sack, we were back to STTN with minor events periodically taking no more than 10 mins of settling in the crib or shush pat in arms.  Now it is too warm outside to be in the old heavier confined sleep sack and for night time, I had to convert her again to the lighter one and the same problems are back.  She has always fallen asleep at 7pm while BF and gone right into her crib without waking up.  But in this new sack, both on the first try and second, she bolts awake and because she has had a quick catnap, thinks it is time to play.  If I leave she cries and escalates to the point i need to go back in.  Then the moment she sees me, the crying stops and she is playful again.  This continues for 2 or more hours.  I want to leave her and let her play but until she goes to sleep but she puts herself in a tizzy.  Now because of less sleep at night, she is waking throughout the night once or twice and we have the same pattern of playing and not letting me leave or bolting awake and going into immediate tizzy.  My guess is she misses me at work and the new sack isn't providing the safety/comfort she needs at home to know I am really here and that is why she wants me.  i am sad about having to work because this baby would crawl back into my tummy if she could :) i love that closeness she needs but this is one of those times it is hard.  I also think I should maybe not let her fall asleep at end of night BF any longer.  This is only difference between all other sleep times in the day.  Her A times are 3 hours between naps and 4 hours at night which had been working fine but maybe I should adjust this? Not sure if that will fix the bolting awake but last time we stretched A times, this was the perfect combo.  She falls right asleep at both naps and evening.  she BF or gets BM in bottle 4 times a day and eats solids 3 times at 4-6 oz each time.  I believe she is getting plenty to eat. 

sorry so long but wanted to provide all the details to help paint the picture.

Title: Re: 8 month old night sleep problems
Post by: jessmum46 on June 08, 2017, 17:15:05 pm
Sounds like she could be showing signs of separation anxiety in addition to getting used to the new sleep sack.  8 months is a prime time for this happening - my DD acted very similarly to what you are describing.  This link is fairly helpful -  I would have a think though about starting to put her down awake at bedtime, you can still feed right before bed but perhaps just do a little story or cuddle after the feed so she isn't surprised if she startles awake and finds herself somewhere different to where she fell asleep?  We transitioned slowly by reading a story during feed, then reading story during feed and perhaps for 10 secs afterwards, gradually lengthening the 'after' part to feed, story, bed (and eventually just story, bed when we dropped the feed).  DD was fine with that - and if your DD is used to self-settling at other times it shouldn't be too big a deal for her :)
Title: Re: 8 month old night sleep problems
Post by: trishr on June 09, 2017, 19:07:49 pm
Thank you soooo much for your reply.  I read this last night before bed and had been leaning towards these thoughts already.  It feels good to have someone confirm it could be real and they got through it!  Can I bullet point a couple of variances that you might be able to advise on?  Last night we did this song and dance for 6 hours with her passing out to sleep in 20 min intervals only 3 times.  I know things shouldn't be going that long but I couldn't leave the room, and I had to be touching her at all times or it was absolute melt down.  Most of the time I had to hold her.  Unfortunately, after the 20 min catnaps, she was refreshed and ready to play until I would leave and then absolute meltdown again.  So here are my variations of what happens and maybe you can advise me as I am certain I am not doing something correctly.  These can happen either when I first put her down or throughout the night.

1.  Cries out but is more of a "hey, I am here awake, come hang out".  I leave her alone until it becomes a distress cry.

2.  When in distress cry, I try to calm her in bed.  99% of the time does not work so I pick her up.  She wants to fall asleep on me but once is calm I put her down  (trying pu/pd at this point).  This goes into a frustration meltdown cry and we do this back and forth for up to an hour or more until she calms in the crib.  Sometimes she will stay awake and we start over with #1 and sometimes she falls asleep but no more than 20-30 mins.

3.  Even when I do hold her until she falls asleep, (and I hold 20 mins or more) she wakes up when I put her in the crib or at best 20-30 mins after being laid down.  This goes into the scenario described in #2.

4.  Sometimes she settles in the crib or after I hold and calm her and then immediately goes into play mode.  Tries to smile and get my attention and talk, laugh practice crawling, etc.  She has a full schedule at 2 am :)  Anyway, I then tell her "night-night" and "I love you" just like at naps - in a happy tone- and leave the room.  When I immediately come back, she thinks it is a game.  I keep leaving and coming back until she melts down into the frustration cry.

I think these are all the variations although my mind is really foggy as it has been a full week of this now and I wasn't full recouped from earlier sleep training and working FT.  Thank you again for your advice.  It is nice to get the first hand opinion of someone with such a similar experience.
Title: Re: 8 month old night sleep problems
Post by: jessmum46 on June 11, 2017, 20:19:37 pm
Last night we did this song and dance for 6 hours
:o wow that's a long time! Poor you!!  If it had gone on anywhere near that long I would probably have just called it quits and got her to sleep any way you could.  The 20 mins and waking up again makes me wonder if something else is bothering her?  Any chance she could be in pain from anything?  Teeth?  Solids upsetting her tummy?

I wonder if picking her up isn't helping here?  It seems like you may be holding her just a bit too long and so she is getting more cross and angry that you are calming her, then putting her down again.  With DD because I knew she was perfectly capable of going to sleep on her own I literally just lay her down, said goodnight and left.  Mad angry cry would sometimes begin immediately but I would go out of the room, pause, count to 10 in my head (not timing it, just forcing myself to pause and listen and give her a chance to settle), then go back in, lie her down if sitting/standing, say goodnight again, leave again....repeat repeat repeat.

The way I saw it was DD knew how to go to sleep, and wanted to go to sleep on her own because really that was what she was used to, but needed to know I would always come back.  My presence or trying to 'make' her sleep actually made it worse for her, even though she was intensely upset the second I left.  After to and fro multiple times I would actually find myself getting to 5 or 6 in my counting and she would already be starting to calm. 

It was a rough couple of weeks definitely and I did start to dread bedtime but it passed and she went right back to settling normally again.  Hang in there xx

Title: Re: 8 month old night sleep problems
Post by: trishr on June 12, 2017, 00:35:32 am
Thank you!!  It is already seeming to get a little better.  I just decided that she needed sleep as step one and then we would work on the separation stuff.  Since she will go down with anyone but me, I decided to have my husband do it.  For two nights he put her down and she slept 12 hours each night! Then the weekend is here so I put her down at naps and the first day had to work about 30 mins and today nothing.  I am praying tonight will go good although it is different to her than naps so I am anticipating some hardship.  I am also wondering about discomfort more and more like you mentioned.  She has broken out into a terrible rash that the dr said might be an allergic reaction but could also be a virus although she has shown no signs of being sick.  (Unless this horrible nighttime stuff was a part of that)  Either way I thank you again because now I feel like I have more tools and a little more confidence I am doing something that will work, not just flailing out there and guessing  :)
Title: Re: 8 month old night sleep problems
Post by: jessmum46 on June 12, 2017, 14:02:32 pm
That's good to hear.  Hope the rash clears soon and doesn't turn into anything else more uncomfortable for her :)
Title: Re: 8 month old night sleep problems
Post by: trishr on June 28, 2017, 10:12:24 am
Hi it is me again. I can start a new thread to the larger group but thought I'd start here first. Things have turned worse than when I originally wrote in. The rash has turned out to be an allergy so I don't think the NWs are discomfort. My DD has started responding to my husband the same way she was with me. It has been about 2 weeks again and she is not going to sleep at night without assistance and quite a bit of work to get her to settle and fall asleep., wakes 1 or more times  after finally going to bed, sometimes as quickly as 20 mins after going down,  and will often be so immediately wide awake she wants to play with you. If you leave her to play she cries her head off until we come back and are back to how we started the night. She is still an angel at the sitters for naps but we are held hostage at night and on weekends. I am currently writing this while BFing her to sleep because she woke at 11:30 and it is now almost 3 am. I am beyond tired and she has also now woken my 6 year old. I know she is stuck in a pattern of "requiring" mom and dad to assist her in going to sleep. I just do not know how to get out of it since she is so stubborn and I cannot make pu/pd work. I don't hold her anymore or very short if I do. She mostly gets settled in crib but then I try to go and it is a flip out or she settles in crib then starts Turing from side to stomach to back kicking legs trying to crawl etc and trying to play. If I leave, freak out but when I come back, proud look and giggling because she got a reaction. She is definitely having development mile stones but these problems have been here a while as you know. Should I try to extend A time? Decrease naps from 1.5 hours to less? (We almost always have to wake her from naps at 1.5 hour mark. Should I let her nap longer?

Sorry for the string of questions. Just truly baffled at this piibt.

Title: Re: 8 month old night sleep problems
Post by: jessmum46 on June 29, 2017, 19:01:38 pm
(((Hugs))), sounds awful for you all :(  Can you post what her daytime routine is looking like right now and how old she is exactly (9 months??)?
Title: Re: 8 month old night sleep problems
Post by: trishr on June 30, 2017, 09:00:38 am
Thank you. It is hard and has been going on so long I am out of steam to get it figured out. Here is her routine:

6:30 or 7 wakes for the day
E-7 (bf) 8 (solids)
S-10-11:30 (just 2 days ago I bumped it out from 9:30-11)

E-11:30 (bottle w sitter) 1 (solids)
S-2:30-3:30 (bumped from 2-3:15)

E-4:00 (bottle w sitter) 5:30(solids)
S- 6:30 or 7. This is when we BF again most times she starts the pattern described above and may go down to sleep finally an hour or so later.

We always have to wake her from her naps and always have regardless of when she is put down. I think because of this she really never has daytime practice of putting herself back to sleep so waking at night is hard for her to deal with on her own. Plus, we've gotten into such a bad pattern of her needing assistance to sleep at night or with us on weekends even though she does not need help from sitter on weekends.

Thank you for reaching out! We all are really exhausted.
Title: Re: 8 month old night sleep problems
Post by: jessmum46 on July 03, 2017, 18:34:26 pm
I think she needs a bump in A times.  3h is typical for a 6-7 month old, and I suspect you are in a cycle of her sleeping badly at night, therefore needing to catch up in the day (hence good naps after short A times), then UT for bed and nights so the cycle continues.  I would bump to 3h15 immediately, give it 3-4 days, then bump to 3h30.  Something like:

Wu 6.30
Nap 10-11.30
Nap 3-4
BT 7/7.30 (may need a touch less for her last A time as the second nap is a bit shorter)

The trouble settling may well resolve on its own if she is a bit more tired :)  But if not, we can tackle it once we know her daytime routine is a bit more appropriate for her age x
Title: Re: 8 month old night sleep problems
Post by: trishr on August 05, 2017, 19:39:54 pm
I never wrote back to say thank you for your reply but I do want to say thank you!!  I took the suggestion and it seemed to work for a few days, but then we went on extended vacation and had illness again and it is back to the same.  She will not go to sleep at night without a parent holding her to sleep and if she wakes she expects the same.  It is our doing for sure.  She is 10 months old now so I am transitioning her A time longer to 4 hours.  I am going to make this consistent as suggested above and see if this works.  If not, I am going to reach back out.  We are so tired it is crazy.  With my oldest, many of these techniques worked, but I am seeing quite a spirited side of this little girl as she gets older.  I am going to actually have to start transitioning her to 1 nap a day because she will have to start daycare in October and they are required at that age to move all their kids to one nap  >:(  But maybe it will actually be for the best???  It cannot get much worse now as it is.

Thank you again!
Title: Re: 8 month old night sleep problems
Post by: jessmum46 on August 10, 2017, 08:29:27 am
Sorry to hear things have been tough :(  Did you want to start a new post with a bit of an update of where you are at if things haven't settled soon?