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At my wits end
DS sleep issues


10 replies to this topic

#1 Lil Chickens

Posted 26 April 2012 - 09:28 PM

DS is almost 9 months and has started waking about an hour after he goes down for the night and he will scream for up two hours - regardless of what we do.  We pat him in his cot, we pick him up and rock him, we have "Sounds for Silence" by Dr Harry Zehnwirth playing all the time, we bring him out and lay with him, I will feed him (although I try not to as it's usually only been 1 or 2 hours since last feed) and it doesn't work anyway (he just started up screaming again afterward the other day).

I'm at my wits end and can't bear to go near him as he whinges most of the day - he is a whingy clingy baby just like DD was - so by the end of the day I can't bear him anymore.  I told DH tonight that if I drank alcohol I would be sloshed by 5pm every afternoon - instead I eat junk food when I can get away from the pair of them!

To make matters worse DH is out at 4:30am, comes in for dinner 6:00/6:30 and then usually goes back out for an hour or so after the kids are put to bed at 7 (DS) and 7:30 (DD).  So when DS wakes up it's me all over again until he comes inside.  I'm at the point that if he wouldn't wake up DD I'd let him scream in his cot.

He's screaming as I write this and DH is in there trying to stop it.  I have just come back from DD as he woke her up.

I don't know what else to do anymore, I used a day stay sleep school for DD and it helped and we are using all the same techniques this time.  He doesn't have a dummy BTW.

ETA: He's never gone to sleep well but at least until very recently he was going down then waking between 10pm/11pm for a feed and then between 4am/5am for a feed.  Now, after we settle him fom the screamy eriod, he wakes almost 2 hourly.

He rarely sleeps longer than an hour for day naps and it's usually a battle to get him down.

Thanks for the iron suggestion MARsmum we are going to the doctor for DD tomorrow so might ask him about that while we are there.

Edited by Isabelle Thomas, 26 April 2012 - 09:48 PM.


#2 MARsmum

Posted 26 April 2012 - 09:38 PM

I went through the ringer with my DS who was a non sleeper.  I tried everything from a 5 day stay at Tresillian to surgery to remove his tonsils and adenoids and still he didn't sleep!  He would either wake every hour or so through the night or have a chunk of sleep and then be awake for three or four hours during the night.  It was torture!  My last straw was having a blood test and it showed he was low in Iron.  I gave him a liquid supplement and he slept through the night that night.  It was AMAZING!  He still wakes some nights or starts the day at 5am however his sleep is completely different now that he is on an Iron supplement.  So, I would really advise having his Iron levels tested.  Apparently, when a child is low in Iron they can not produce serotonin and then can not move into the deep level of sleep.

Good luck and I hope you get some relief!

#3 Mumof1OneontheWay

Posted 26 April 2012 - 09:49 PM

Maybe try and get him checked out by a chiropractor - there may be something that they can do to help. Not sure where you are located - I know a couple in Sydney if that is where you are located. My son has been seeing one since birth and we have found it very beneficial.

#4 BeachedAsBro

Posted 26 April 2012 - 09:56 PM

Teething? DD has been having a really hard time lately & is only three weeks older than your son. She cut her 5th tooth today & for the first time since last week is asleep before 11pm

#5 Honeymummy

Posted 26 April 2012 - 09:57 PM

Are you sure he is not teething? The waking pattern you described fits my three bubs teething pattern perfectly. Have you tried to give him neurofen about an hour before bed? And with the wingeing during the day - could it be teething also? My no two was wingey so I know what you mean.

The other thing - could you introduce a cuddly at night. Its a soft bit of blanket with a head on it. It may help him get back to sleep. If you sleep with it down your shirt for a night it will smell like you and he will find that comforting.

But seriously - it really could be the teeth. My no 3 teeths for weeks before anyting comes through.

#6 lynneyours

Posted 26 April 2012 - 10:00 PM

OP - I am sure you have thought of all the following, but when DD's have been like that (screaming for hours without stopping) they have variously had:
* night terrors (DD1 used to look awake - eyes open - but wasn't actually awake at all)
* constipation/all better once she'd poo'd
* sore teeth
* getting ill
* ear ache
* PJ's hurting them

I hope the GP can help.  




#7 Tesseract

Posted 26 April 2012 - 10:01 PM

I have been through the ringer with sleep issues too so I understand how hard it is to look at the situation objectively and hence formulate an action plan.

The thing that stuck me about your post is a) he is whingey and clingy all day, and b) he screams no matter what you do. If he was simply waking up often to feed/rock back to sleep I would put it down to classic sleep association issue, but the two points above indicate that it might be something else...?

So my point is: are you sure it's a sleep issue and not something else? PP mentioned chiropractor and I second this, I saw an osteo for DD and it was great (she was stuck posterior and I had a very long pushing stage during her birth, this sort of 'birth trauma' can impact their little spines).

Other things that spring to mind are food intolerances. How long has he been like this?

Eta: yes, teeth! I know people say it doesn't exist but my DD teeths for weeks and weeks before it comes through, it is such a pain! I know it is probably teeth when I finally give her baby panadol and she passes out 15-20 minutes after the dose. Have you tried giving pain killers? Does it have any impact? I'm not up for dosing kids unnecessarily, but if he is crying that much he may be in pain.

Edited by Tesseract, 26 April 2012 - 10:05 PM.


#8 lozoodle

Posted 26 April 2012 - 10:05 PM

Have you tried just leaving him to it?

Both of mine went through this around the same age, and the more we went in and tried different things, the worse it got. I used to give a bit of bonjela in case teething, and then say night night and walk out again. Quick cuddle of course!

9 times out of 10 they both settled within 5 minutes. If it went on longer than that of course I would go back in there, but it never really seemed necessary.

#9 hkclaire

Posted 26 April 2012 - 10:17 PM

Have you introduced any new foods recently? In particular at nights? It may be an intolerance or mild allergy?
Just an thought.
Hope things improve soon

#10 Jenflea

Posted 26 April 2012 - 10:24 PM

Ear ache ? I'd get him checked out for ears at the GP. My daughter was the same and it was a middle ear infection. She never pulled on her ears like the books say either so I had no idea until she ran a temp of 39 or 40.

#11 Lil Chickens

Posted 26 April 2012 - 10:26 PM

Thanks ladies for all your great suggestions, they have given me food for thought and have made me sit and think about what we are doing.  As you said Tesseract when you are in it it's hard to keep thinking and form a plan.

Have just fed him to sleep after 1h30m of screaming - last ditch effort having tried everything else we could think of (and DH had been there patting and rocking for about 45m woth no success).  Cross fingers he has gone down without a whimper tonight.

Chiro: we have seen a chiro from birth till about 4 months when he was all good and they suggested to come back when walking but I might go earlier, call tomorrow and see when I can get an appt.  They did wonders for DD and DS early on.

Teething: DH keeps saying that and we have tried panadol about 30m before bed but then he still wakes at that hourish mark and his first three teeth cut with no real discernible change to behaviour.  He does have one under his gum - his fourth.  We have tried Bonjela on his gums but it hasn't helped either.  If his tooth cuts through and it all stops I'll know I was wrong.

Night terrors (DD1 used to look awake - eyes open - but wasn't actually awake at all) - I have heard of thi sbut what can we do to calm him if it is that and how can we be sure?

Constipation/all better once she'd poo'd - he is very regular, poos 3 or 4 times a day, starting with a huge soft one every morning!!

Getting ill - no other signs he is ill and again the panadol seems to do nothing if he is so I have sort of dismissed that and ear ache.  Like Tesseract I am not big on dosing up the kids unless it's necessary and since the baby panadol seems to be making no difference I have stopped it.

PJ's hurting them - his PJs are a little bog for him so I don't think this is the problem.

Food intolerances - I reckon it's been a week and a half or so.  I did just say to DH tonight that perhaps he hates chocolate and it's a vicious circle - the more he whinges and cries, the more chocolate I eat and the more he whinges and cries.  He's never shown any signs of any intolerance to anything I've eaten and he eats ALL food and has had no change to behaviour with the introduction of foods but maybe I will cut the chocolate - it is the only real change there has been to my diet - Easter came, DD got too much from family and I have been comfort eating it!

Cuddly - he has a teddy that I slept with for thre nights before we took the dummy away and slipped the cuddly in to replace it (at 5.5mths).  This worked a treat with DD and she still sleps with that teddy but he seems to ignore anything else in the cot.  I have heard about putting an old tshirt on the cost - under the sheet - so he can smell me I might try it but I am no comfort to him in his state anyway, he squirms out of my arms just like anyone else (at night not in the day).

Leaving him to it - have done this.  DD had a sleepover at Nana and Pops the last 2 nights so I left him about 5 minutes but it was just escalating so I went in.  Tonight I dared 5 minutes and then thought he'd wake DD so went and tried to calm him.



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