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  • Resisting Sleep!

    I am going spare here! DS is fighting sleep. I do not know what to do. I am seriously stressed out. He has been awake since four this morning (its now 2pm)! He is so tired that he is literally sitting on the ground with a glazed look and just rocking. I have been trying to get him to sleep all day. I have tried all of the normal things that work and all of the things that dont normally work too. He just SCREAMS and kicks and scratches whenever I try and put him to sleep. Sometimes he will do that and then just fall off in your arms.......... I have just come out of the bedroom after TWO HOURS of him lying there like a dead fish in my arms, limp limbs but wide awake. He was like this yesterday too, and the day before. He is not sleeping at night either, he will only sleep for fifteen min at a time.

    I have tried paracetamol in case his teeth are bothering him. I have stayed in the room in case its sep anxiety. I have looked at his food, but there shouldnt be anything upsetting him there.

    I have really had enough. I am so tired myself I am just feeling resentful and glazed during the day. I feel bad because I really dont feel like spending any time with him.

    Please help. Even if to tell me that this is a phase and it will pass. I cannot keep this up. He has always been a terrible sleeper but this is just beyond a joke. I do not believe in CIO but am to the point where I am seriously considering it... thats why I am here. I know that you all feel the same as I do about CIO and really need some creative ideas. Cannot talk with family or friends because they will all say that they warned me that this would happen with AP.

    So, before the ideas come, here is what I have tried to get him to sleep..... feeding, rocking, wearing, car, stroller, music, bath, books, dad, sleeping on couch, sleeping with me for nap, putting him in his crib in the hope he would burn off energy, crying (in arms), choosing a toy, putting a toy to 'sleep'........ cant remember any more right now, although I feel that I am missing some things.

    What I think it is is that he has realised that he can keep himself awake, and I made the mistake of just getting him back up again a few days ago when he started doing this and so now its all just a terribly fun game. He is now over tired and can not switch his brain off. I do now know where to go from here.

    Thanks everyone. I know this is an emotional email. I am just so beyond tired and past this. I feel guilty for feeling resentment as I know its not his fault.

    Thanks.

  • #2
    just a quick brainstorm here of what could be the culprit...
    teeth
    change in routine--people visiting at your house, daddy out of town, mommy started a job, divorce, etc...
    is his belly distended or hard?
    is he pooping normally?

    how long has this been going on? how old is your son? yes, sleep disturbances are a normal part of development. This is not caused by your choice of AP. Even children who are "sleep trained" experience sleep disturbances. How much sleep is he getting over the course of 24 hours? If he seems way out of sync and you're concerned their could be a health issue it may be worth a visit to the doc. or naturopath to rule out any possible health issues preventing him from sleeping. Good luck and keep us posted!

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    • #3
      Hello runrebeccaray,

      Thank you for your reply.

      To answer your questions... DS is 11 months, just. Other than being really tired he is just wonderful. He started walking a couple of weeks ago and is now trying to run. And has started using a few more words. His nappies are normal, he doesn't have gas, no change to routine. His molars are imminent but paracetamol doesnt seem to help. So everything is normal other than the sleep.

      This has been going on for about four days now. Normally he will sleep 7 - 5 at night, with about three or four feeds. He doesnt actually wake up though. Then he has two naps of about an hour and a half each. This has been his schedual for the last month or so as we have really been working on getting him to sleep better... before that it was variable.
      The last few days he has been comatose by 5 in the evening, wakes every half hour until we go to bed. Then every hour for a feed. No naps all day.

      He just wont sleep. At all! He will lay in my arms for hours with his eyes open, not focused, but awake. Its like he cannot switch his brain off.

      I am confident that there is nothing wrong with him. He is fine within himself and doing exceptionally well. He is bright and seems to be ahead in most areas. He has recently started throwing tantrums and is really pushing the boundaries, especially with me. He is hot tempered and looses his cool easily. I think that this whole sleeping thing is more about seeing what he can get away with than him not being able to sleep. I think that he would just prefer to be up and playing! And then when I keep trying to put him to sleep he either looses it and throws a massive wobbly or just checks out and forces himself to stay awake. But of course he has to sleep, and because he has proved that he is capable of keeping himself awake for hours on end I need to know how far I am meant to push this, if at all.

      Hope that helps.
      Last edited by mumtoone; 09-11-2008, 01:02 AM.

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      • #4
        OMG my 11mo old is resisting sleep too! During the day he is so excited to play with his brother he can't turn off to nap.. so then he was so tired he fell asleep at 7pm... which means he woke at 4:30am! Ahh His brother has preschool tomorrow (th/fri) so maybe he can get a good nap!
        Good luck, I am pretty sure that this too will pass!

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        • #5
          it sounds like this is likely related to developmental milestones. he's learning lots of new fun things about the world and he can run and walk now, so he's probably staying awake to try to new stuff, adjust to the changes and see what else he can do. he'll likely reach a point where he needs to sleep and goes back to a routine that involves...um...SLEEP!!!! ;-) good luck in the meantime. i know it's likely waring you out keeping up with him. check in here for support.

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          • #6
            My oldest is at preschool now and the baby is ASLEEP! so I have a hour of child free time! I don't know what to do with myself!

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            • #7
              Dad is home today, and after a night of constant waking I threw my hands up and told DH that he can put him down for a nap.... asleep within five min. Little monkey.

              Thanks guys, I can see that it probably is to do with all of his new things. Am looking forward to more sleep, but I guess will just have to wait for a little while.

              naomifrederickmd - We seem to have similar little ones dont we?

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              • #8
                Mama!

                My DD when she was that age (well...a bit earlier than that) had a very difficult time going to sleep for ME but would go to sleep for my husband w/o even so much as a fuss (and this was my DH putting her down awake even!) For me...she had to be rocked and rocked and rocked until she was in a very deep sleep. Rocking upwards of 45min every time she woke at night. Sometimes an hour and a half.

                At that point, my DH just said that it was silly of me to get no sleep, so if she wouldn't go down in 15 min to come wake him up. I did, and boom, she'd go right out to sleep.

                Maybe this weekend you can have your DH take over as much as possible w/ the "going to sleep" part of the routine (I'm assuming that ya'll normally have a very solid routine that you always do??). It might just be that your little boy just wants to spend time w/ mommy and doesn't want to miss out on anything with you. Not that he doesn't love daddy, but it isn't nearly as exciting and thus- he might as well go to sleep.

                If nothing else, YOU can catch up on a little bit of sleep and (even if it is in another room) and you will be better able to enjoy the time w/ your son when both of you are awake.

                hugs again!

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                • #9
                  Mumtoone,

                  I was curious about your DS tantrums.

                  Originally posted by mumtoone View Post
                  He has recently started throwing tantrums and is really pushing the boundaries, especially with me. He is hot tempered and looses his cool easily. I think that this whole sleeping thing is more about seeing what he can get away with than him not being able to sleep.
                  When I read that paragraph it sounded like you were talking about a much older child. I was wondering if your expectations for his behaviour are too high given his age. For instance, I don't personally think it is possible for a child that age to deliberately push boundaries or "test" other people.

                  Can you tell us more about his tantrums?

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                  • #10
                    When I read that paragraph it sounded like you were talking about a much older child.
                    Hi Jessica. Yes, I agree that at 11 months it seems like he wouldnt be 'throwing tantrums' or 'pushing the boundaries'. I can understand why reading that about an 11 month old would make you wonder if I was expecting too much from him. We are very careful not to put too much pressure on him when it comes to what he can and cannot do, even though he does understand the difference between what he is allowed to do and not allowed to do... for example touch the oven.

                    To use that as an example in order to answer your question - he is aware that he is not allowed to touch the oven. I know that he understands this because he will put his hand out (not quite touching) look right at me shake his head and say "no". I respond by saying "thats right, the oven is hot, we do not touch the oven, lets go and play with ......" If he does touch I repeat the above sentence and just redirect... this is where the pushing the boundaries start. I will take his hand and walk him to his toys and try and distract, he shakes his head at me, pushes me away and heads straight back for the oven, turns and smiles and touches it again. I repeat all of the above. This can go on and on. I will literally take him to the other side of the house and shut the door. He will at this point throw himself onto the ground and start screaming. I continue to attempt at redirecting but by this stage he will be seriously angry and the only thing to do is sit next to him and wait for him to calm down. I will then cuddle him and we will continue on with the day.

                    Its not like this is happening all the time. He is so lovely and cuddly and happy. When he is doing this its more like a game then him trying to wind me up... thats why I describe it as pushing the boundaries. He is obviously (well I think so anyway) seeing how much I mean it.

                    There are very few things that we say no about as we know that he is very little. Everything that we are able to move that he is not allowed to touch is out of reach. I am at a loss really. I feel so mean because I know that he is just so little still..... but when he obviously GETS it I dont know where I stand.

                    I am not sure I have explained myself very well.... Sorry this has turned into a novel! Do you think that I am being too hard on him? Now I feel like I big mean mum.
                    Last edited by mumtoone; 09-12-2008, 02:55 AM. Reason: Keep adding things!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by bluebonnet View Post
                      Mama!

                      My DD when she was that age (well...a bit earlier than that) had a very difficult time going to sleep for ME but would go to sleep for my husband w/o even so much as a fuss (and this was my DH putting her down awake even!) For me...she had to be rocked and rocked and rocked until she was in a very deep sleep. Rocking upwards of 45min every time she woke at night.
                      That sounds just like DS! I am taking your advise at the moment. DH is putting him to bed and I am having a coffee. Its it very nice!

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                      • #12
                        Mumtoone I think you explained yourself very well. And I definitely don’t think you should feel like a mean mom. We’re all out here trying our best wondering if we’re doing as good a job as we can. Trying things and not knowing what to try!

                        The stuff you wrote about the oven is very reminiscent of my little guy. But instead of the stove it was the garbage can and he wasn’t 11 months he was 13 months. We tried to teach him not to get into the garbage can. Like your DS he really seemed to understand that he wasn’t supposed to touch the garbage can but he still persisted. Here are some of the conclusions we reached about the situation after much frustration and thought:

                        A) He could understand that he wasn’t supposed to touch the garbage can but his impulse control wasn’t developed enough for him to stop himself.

                        B) I’d heard of other kids being able to comply when told not to touch something at this age but my DS was not able to. It wasn’t because he was testing us or that he was less obedient by nature than these kids, it was because he had a stronger “curiosity drive” and/or lower impulse control.

                        C) We couldn’t decrease his “curiosity drive” and we had to wait for his impulse control to mature. All we could do was work with him the best we could and wait it out. Months later (can’t remember exactly how long it took) he was able to learn not to touch.

                        When I read about your DS persisting in going to the oven it also reminded me of a situation that occurred when one of my DS’s friends was visiting. And, I wonder if your DS’s persistence with touching the stove is actually the process of him learning not to touch it as it was for my son’s friend Billy.

                        Billy was having a playdate at our house. He was told not to touch the heater (though it was not on). He would go up to the heater and touch it while saying “no na” (don’t touch). His mom would take his hand off and say “that’s right don’t touch”. We tried to distract him but he would always find his way back to the heater and touch it while saying “no na” over and over again. He did it obsessively. He came back to our house about a week later and went right back to the heater. This time he would reach his hand out toward it but stop about an inch away while saying “no na”. Again, he did this repeatedly. He came over again a few days later and just stood in front of the heater without touching it but still saying “no na”, “no na”. It seemed obvious to us at this point that all his obsessive heater behaviour was his way of learning to control his impulse to touch the heater.

                        Hope some of this is useful.

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