When will my son settle ?
Sleep is a huge part of all of us and for me I have always went to bed late but hated waking in the morning. I always wished my children would have a sleep pattern like their dad, he can sleep any time , anywhere .
Since I had my 1st born son 4 years ago his sleep pattern has never been great.
At first he was like any other baby, he slept for four hours ,woke for a feed and a gurgle for an hour then slept another four hours till the next feed.
There was a one thing I had noticed from the start though and that was he would not sleep anywhere but our bed.
Although it used to be advised not to sleep with baby, my son would not sleep anywhere else .
We had him in the moses basket, bouncer chair, rocking lullaby swing chair and yes we even carried the whole pram up each night to see if that would help but no matter where he was placed he would not settle.
When the time came to put him in a cot we thought if we placed it to the side of the bed it would help and then we slowely began to move it away from our bed as the nights went by.
My son would scream and scream and so we tried placing our clothes we had worn that day inside his cot as a comfort with our scent on thinking that may help and it worked for a short time till he twigged it was not actually us and was a piece of clothing.
I have never had sleeping problems with any of my other children nor my step children.
My girls in fact basically slept for a full 12 hours on a night even as babies and were always in a fantastic routine.
This time however I think I may have either spoilt my son or have less patience to argue.
I am not sure if my son has my genes and just likes to stay up till really late or is it really my fault?
Maybe I was just cursed with a none sleeping baby to get me back after being so smug at how great my girls slept as my friends struggled with their children as I am now.
Maybe it has something to do with the fact there are more of them now and I just let him sit with us till he falls asleep, after all it does seem the easier option.
The thing is when he was born , my husband used to sit with him on his knee whilst he played on the computer games and my son would fall asleep, but this was late at night. He rarely ever had naps and so when he started school for half days I thought it would tire him out , but it has not .
I used to take him to bed at 7pm and lie there till 11pm with his crawling all over me giggling and wanting to play. I was knackered so I have no idea where he had all the energy from. He was sleeping only 6 hours like me at max sometimes but it never showed.
It does not seem to be the only problem though.
My 4 year old is still in my bed with me and my husband and as you can imagine although we love our special hugs from him still as he falls asleep , it is starting to become a routine that he will not get out of or we feel it to be that way.
We decorated his bedroom last year in aid of getting him to sleep in his own room. He chose the wallpaper and colours and bedding but it had no effect. He said he did not like it in his room .
After only 3 months of the bedrooms been decorated nothing was helping and so we decided to try and swap our bedrooms around. We moved the boys into a much bigger room where they could have more space and feel more comfortable and we placed our bed into the tiny box room which was once theres just to see if it would help.
Still another 3 months later , my son is sleeping in our room and although we have nights where he will fall asleep at 7pm on the sofa, we can carry him to his own bed but then find him crawling in with us at 10pm onwards.
Each night we leave the bathroom light on , which is outside his bedroom in case he feels scared and needs the toilet , thinking this will help also with any fears he may have but not helped, so then after trying to turn it off in case it was giving the opposite effect and keeping him up we found it made no difference at all.
I have tried the hot bath, warm drink and lying on a bed with him till he sleeps but it simply does not work.
I have never been one for going to bed early and find myself up till very late usually around 12am to 2am sometimes and I honestly think this child has been given my sleep pattern.
My son has slept at family members and went to sleep straight away so my conclusion is there are way too many children in the house for him to want to go to sleep, especially sharing a bedroom with 3 brothers sometimes 4. It has to be either that or me and my husband are being to soft and allowing him to sit with us till all hours and waiting for him to fall asleep.
With having so many already it is hard to even have the energy to argue most nights and I honestly have tried letting him cry his eyes out till but he never gives in before we do and it can take hours.
My son can be up till 11pm at night and wake up before any of us totally refreshed but I just wish he would fall asleep earlier like the other children .
Having 6 living under our roof already it is hard to get time with my husband already and having a 4 year old who will not go to bed can be a pain .
I know all children have their own times and ways of getting into their own routines for bedtime but it seems I have been truly tested with my son or maybe he was sent to me to teach me a lesson as I was exactly the same haha.
As we keep trying new ways to get him to at least fall asleep at a normal reasonable time , we are currently looking for a bigger home .
I am hoping this will help as he will have less people sharing his room to make more noise and wake him but for now we struggle on , hoping one day soon he will just wake up and decide to do it himself.
Maybe when he starts full time school in the coming September, who knows, can only hope .
Have you had a problem with sleeping with your little ones or even have any tips as to new things I could try to help him . I would appreciate your help?
Mummy needs a break !
20/3/2014 08:13:50 am
It's good that he seems refreshed in the mornings, but must be so frustrating for you and your other half! I don't have children, but have friends who do - and most of them seem to go for the "be cruel to be kind" option when their kids have poor sleeping patterns/refuse to sleep in the right place. Half-tempted to suggest some kind of reward system, like a star chart with a star for every night spent in his own bed, and a reward when he reaches a certain number of stars?
21/3/2014 01:56:26 am
we seem to be getting their very slowely then back to the start after one night of upset or illness , im sure eventully it will all fall into place but for now we just need to keep trying x
20/3/2014 08:52:33 am
Great post! Thanks for sharing :)
20/3/2014 09:48:44 am
I had this problem with few kids over the years. In the end we used a music therapy - ocean sounds and essential oils... but I think my kids were just very unsettled hence the sleeping problems.
20/3/2014 10:30:52 am
As a mom of 4 very active kids myself, I know the bedtime pains. But we made a commitment very early on to keep our bed "sacred". Our kids have never been allowed to sleep in it, and that has saved our sanity. I feel very sad for you that you're in this situation. I don't know if you feel comfortable letting him cry a little, but it doesn't hurt. All 4 of our kids cried as babies when they couldn't have their own way, and they're all well-adjusted, loving kids now. I urge you, as early as possible, to teach your son that he is a welcome part of your family, but not the centre. Shuffling around furniture to accommodate his wants seems extreme. (Because life won't accommodate him. Just saying.)
20/3/2014 11:06:02 am
I struggled for 7 years to get the twins to sleep through and settle relatively well - and a year in to the better routine it's still a pain settling them. For years I told myself it was understandable that they didn't want to lie down - they both have pretty severe reflux and one has had surgery for it, so there are genuine reasons. But then we looked at the problem a different way. You CAN'T fix the sleep necessarily, but you CAN fix the routine/location. And you do have to be really firm and it's really tough- you may well have three nights of trauma until you are fit to drop. But you do have the additional problem of him having to share etc which complicates things. I think I would just tell him no he's a big boy things are going to change, you love him very much but he's too big for your bed. And stick to it - I'm not for ONE minute saying that's easy though!!
20/3/2014 01:05:26 pm
My first slept with me until he was 3 and it was so hard and exhausting getting him to sleep in his bed. It took a lot of determination. We are trying not to get into the habit with the boy twin who is very clingy to me. Hope you get sorted soon x
20/3/2014 01:16:16 pm
Our little boy was around 4 before he would sleep in his own bed all night without coming into us. He just seemed to grow out of it. We not have a 1 year old daughter that sleeps in bed with us, for ease more than anything as I need my sleep too! I really hope you manage to get his sleep issues sorted soon.
This must be so frustrating and tiring going on so long! I have had sleep problems on and off with mine, one is on melatonin to help him sleep and it works perfectly! But that is due to his asd.
20/3/2014 01:47:05 pm
Poor you, sounds stressful. My daughter is almost 1 and some nights she sleeps 10-12 hours and others she is up between 11pm-3am depending on the day. I wish they wanted to sleep as much as we do! x
I can only imagine how difficult this is for you all! Our son never slept well... woke every hour without fail until about 3 months of age and even at 2.5 he still only has about 9 hours a night and often wakes up needing us to go and settle him again.
20/3/2014 02:29:57 pm
Our son is the same thing. I took him to see alternative medicine. After 4 sessions, he is fine. I think you might need to bring him to check it up.
20/3/2014 04:52:06 pm
I have a terrible sleeper with my 4 year old. He sleeps in with me and OH sleeps in another room! Tonight for instance, he finally got to sleep at 11! I live in hope of easier times. :( I'll be checking back to see what advice people have offered you. x
20/3/2014 06:37:21 pm
I don't have any words of advice but I hope you get a good night soon. x
We had problems with Isaac wanting to sleep in our bed and I ended up getting help from www.childcareisfun.co.uk - if you send an email to Fi she will send you a bespoke plan to help settle him in his own bed. It took three days with Isaac but you have to be consistent and strong......the first night is the worse.....Good luck xx
21/3/2014 02:47:37 am
Can't help with this one I don't have kids yet ;)
I feel really sorry for you in this but I do think it's very common so please don't feel like you're the only one. I have a friend whose daughter crept into her bed every single night and one day she just decided that she was old enough not to - ok she was 10 years old but they do get there eventually! Must be tough on you though :(
21/3/2014 01:00:35 pm
I used to have issues getting my son to sleep and used to sit next to him with a meditation video of some waves on youtube. Now he is good at going to sleep but is always awake at 6am and always knackered, not fun either :(
22/3/2014 09:40:38 am
We've had the worst time with sleep with our son so I have no advise but I hope you find some solutions soon
Aww bless he is still very young... our boys love coming to snuggle with us and my eldest is about to turn 5. I know a lot of cosleeping families and most of them have said their children stopped wanting to sleep with the parents about 7 or 8 so I think that's when we will start to try and get the boys in their own routine etc. For now I'm enjoying the love as I know how much I'll miss it when they're older!
23/3/2014 12:54:44 pm
my 9 y/o doesn't sleep well - he just cant seem to get to sleep on a night but he seems to be OK for less sleep as he never seems to be tired the next day. Weird!
24/3/2014 12:06:21 pm
I completely sympathise with you. My only advice would be trust your instincts. My daughter sleeps with us and she's 2. She is better now at knowing when bedtime is, but we have to stay with her. The only other thing I would say is whatever steps you choose to take, be consistent, that was the key for us, but any routine can take a while to establish
24/4/2014 08:51:04 am
My first born, a boy, didn't sleep for more than one hour at a time until he was 10 months old, and only if one of us rocked/almost shook him to sleep, it was a nightmare. But your issue is very different because your son is at an age when he can have things explained to him and be reasoned with, and although some parents seem to get results with the "you're a big boy" conversation or a reward system, the only "cure" I know of that always works for older children is, make being awake boring, sounds easy - but you will be bored too and you just can not give in once you start it.
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