What am I doing wrong?: As I write this I’m in floods of... - NCT

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What am I doing wrong?

Just-hanging profile image

As I write this I’m in floods of tears. Tired and worn out. My 14 month old just doesn’t ever want to sleep. And I’m left feeling the consequence of not sleeping. He’s never been a good sleeper but since Christmas it’s been terrible.

I started to sleep train about a month ago. Letting him drink his milk then putting him in his cot saying goodnight and walking away. After a few days the cry turned to a little whine and now he’s asleep within 10/20mins GREAT. But then he wakes anywhere between 11 - 3. And will be up for 3/4 hours. Then up again at 6.30/7 and then whinges throughout the morning because he is tired.

I’ve moved him to one after lunch nap to see if that would help but it hasn’t. He has chamomile tea in his bedtime milk and honey.

He gets lots of exercise and everything else. Health visitor said no problems either.

But there must be something. I’m hardly getting any sleep. I fob my 5 year old off a lot and feel like a terrible parent.

I’ve dreamt about walking out many times. I’m miserable. I have no one who can help or willing to help. I’m even starting to not want to be around him during the day and find little joy in anything to do with him.

11 Replies

Sleep for children is developmental they will often wake up in the night regardless of what you do, can your partner do some of the night wake ups so you can sleep or can you bed share with your baby, my daughter shared a bed with us till she was 16 months old and even now she still sleeps better when snuggled up to me. If she's having a bad nights sleep I'll often get into her bed and stay with her so we both get some rest rather than trying to make her go back to sleep on her own and missing out on sleep myself.A lot of times they're going through leaps, teething, about to learn something new and it can all affect their sleep, so it's not something you're doing wrong. It does pass but the lack of sleep does feel like torture.

Do you go to any baby groups, we've got a few starting up in our area now ? They're often a great way of meeting mums in the same situation and it's good to chat to them and quite often get good ideas and tips from them. Even if it's just to have a good moan and eat cake together or all helps. Good luck x

Just-hanging profile image
Just-hanging in reply to Seb9

Hey - thanks for your reply

Yeah I quite often try putting him in bed with me but that doesn’t help. He just ends up hitting me in the face! Lol

When having him in bed with me wasn’t working I started to leave him in his cot and “ignoring” him but he still just doesn’t sleep. We’ve tried most suggested things.

I have been to a few groups and talk to many mums at the school gate who have all given advice etc a lot of mums I’ve met with similar aged babies gloat at how their baby sleeps 12 hours no problems 🙄

Sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture, no wonder you're feeling terrible. You're not a bad parent, you're doing a great job under extremely tough conditions and I'm not surprised you're feeling resentful at the little dictator.I don't know what your set up is but I'd just say throw any rules you think you should be sticking to out of the window and do whatever works to get some sleep. So if that means letting him sleep in your bed with you, or him wearing his incredible hulk costume to bed every night, bloody just do it.

I really hope it settles down soon. The parenting mantra is "this too shall pass" but it can feel endless while you're in the middle of it. Big hugs xxx

Thank you for replying x

I did start to do this. And tried letting him back in bed with me. This wasn’t working before and he was waking for hours on end so we started to leave him in his cot and “ignore” him but this didn’t work either. He doesn’t get upset or cry but just happily shouts and screams.

He is definitely a dictator of the house. I’ve been saying for months he will get over it but it just gets worse 😭

Defo not a sleep expert as suffer from bad sleepers myself. Just wondering if the honey might be giving him a sugar high and hence struggling to go back to bed, it is ultimately a form of sugar.

I’ve only been using the honey for about a week after a recommendation from another parent. Will try the chamomile without it and see if it makes a difference

The night wakings have been since xmas so waaay before I started to try anything

Wow. This sounds incredibly tough for you. Sleep deprivation is horrible. My little girl went through stages of this, I tried putting her in with me and she thought it was playtime or snack time so I went back to ignoring.

What’s his bedtime routine like? We used to make sure our little one wasn’t having screen time before bed, if she did then it was a bedtime children’s programme. Something else we started doing was playing music through a speaker so if she woke up at night, I would go into her room, keep the lights off, tell her it was still bedtime, try get her to lay back down, pat her bum and put music back on and walk out.

Another thing we bought was a colour change clock, so it was blue at night and then orange for day, to try and help her understand it was still bedtime.

Could you also try swapping the honey for something like a banana or apple sticks with peanut butter.

If he’s safe and in his cot then could you try putting some music on for you so you can’t hear him and try get yourself back to sleep?

Lack of sleep is so hard. X

Just-hanging profile image
Just-hanging in reply to Emdog87

He has a very calming/relaxing bedtime routine. He has a bath and then a massage whilst getting in pjs. Then he has his milk in his rocking chair while I do reading with the 5 year old. So he sits and listens to us. I then take him to his bed. Get his blankets and tuck him in with white noise playing. He cries as I leave but a few mins later stops and is usually asleep within 10mins.

The honey is mixed with chamomile tea in his milk after another parent at school recommended this. I’m going to try it without the honey and see how it goes. But the night wakings have been happening since Christmas way before I started to try anything.

I try to ignore him in his cot but we share a room so he gets louder which hypes him up more 🙄🙄

Emdog87 profile image
Emdog87 in reply to Just-hanging

If you’re sharing a room then that’ll make it so much harder for you to ignore him. Do you think that could be part of the issue? He’s waking up and he knows you’re there so he thinks it’s playtime? Could you try a test one night, when he wakes up tell him it’s sleepy time, try to settle him again but then go make yourself comfortable in another room? See if goes back to sleep, or at least you try and get some rest on the sofa or something? I can imagine with an older one too it’s really hard. I hope you manage to get some sleep. X

Hi, if you’ve done sleep training for the initial falling asleep bit, the same applies for night time wake ups. You could use a different sleep training method if needed, whichever works best for you

I had 1 out of 3 kids who was a crappy sleeper baby 3 so far going well hoping it doesn’t change. I think it’s the child they’re either rubbish sleepers or not eventually they just sleep but feel like forever to get there. I’ve no advice just try different things see if anything works for you. Are you waking him going to bed? Maybe need to be in his own room now. Good luck hopefully you can find something that works for you, although I’ve had 3 babies I still feel I’m winging it every night he does his routine but if he decided not to sleep bugger knows what I’d do lol

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