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 Bedtime question....help!

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alka
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PostSubject: Bedtime question....help!   Thu 11 Sep 2008, 9:41 am

Yay! Thank you Liz for this!

Hi everyone, can anyone give me any tips on the following...

Jake is 10 months now, crawling, pulling himself up, loves to be on his feet. He sleeps in a sleeping bag at night as he's such a wriggler so it's pointless putting covers on him. But now that he can stand, when I put him in his cot at night, he stands straight up (in his bag!) and just stays there, looking over the top, waiting for me to come in and lay him back down, which I have been doing, and for the first few times, I think he thought it was a game, but then he gets fretful because he's tired, still won't stay laid down, and before I know it, it's 10 O' Clock and I have one very over tired little fella on my hands so I end up rocking him to sleep.

How on earth can I get him to stay lying down?!?!?

Advise would be most appreciated.

Thanks
Nic x flower
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Laurie
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PostSubject: Re: Bedtime question....help!   Thu 11 Sep 2008, 10:14 am

Hi Nic
OMG your post swept me back fifteen years....
Joe was not a good sleeper - I'm sure all that fighting to stay alive in utero made him determined to stay 'in the world' as much as possible. He also loved standing - like Jake from about 10 months. He could walk with a brick truck, and climb stairs almost faster than I could (but he wasn't strong enough to walk on his own until around 14 months). So he certainly went to bed exhausted, and I knew that wasn't the problem. I tried all sorts of things with feeding times, spent huge sums of money on night lights and music boxes, massaged with lavender etc etc. And in those days, sleeping bags were relatively hard to come by. But nothing seemed to work. He even had a very, very important transitional object (Bunny aka Nuh-nuh), but he still wanted more.

In the end, it was a battle of wills. As much as it broke my heart, the only thing that worked was "controlled crying" - where you time your returns to the room, don't interact just put them back to bed, and then leave. And in the end, he got the message - I would come back, but I would not talk to him or comfort him, it was not the time for all that. And yes, for a while it was all I did in the evening. But after a few months (he got chickenpox and bronchialitis during this time, so it took longer than it should have done...) I got my evenings back. He would go to bed at 6.30, and that would be that....

until the wee hours of the morning. After midnight it was the law of the jungle - he might be up once, he might be up five times. But I always dealt with it the same, unless he'd had a bad dream (and by the time he was four, I even treated bad dreams with relative efficiency). He finally slept through when he was five and had started school, but he still woke at about 6am until he was 8 or 9. Now he's nearly 16 and has no trouble sleeping until noon.... Laughing

The second one also needed controlled crying when he got to being a toddler - I think it starts as an unwillingness to let the world (and you) go, and ends up as a power game. But he slept through much, much earlier (btw he's now 8 and is FINALLY waking at a reasonable 7am). The only thing that Jim had more of than Joe was cranial osteopathy. For various reasons I stopped taking Joe when he was around 6 months old, but Jim had treatments for longer (and a much less traumatic birth). That might help if there is an underlying sleep problem, and you should definitely give him a nightcap of Calpol if he's teething, but if it's basically toddlerhood you're dealing with, it's going to be up to you to establish the boundaries with Jake.

I always remember something from one of Libby Purves' brilliant and hilarious books about motherhood - that we are so much bigger than them, Goliaths to their howling, rebellious Davids, and all we really need to do is to remind them that we're in charge. It doesn't take anger, or tears (although there's plenty of that!!!) just love, confidence and infinite patience. He loves you and wants you to be with him all the time. But he needs you to help him be comfortable with being alone.

x
Laurie


PS I just remembered the absolute lowpoint of all this - it was New Years Eve so he had just turned 1 (and just about to come down with chickenpox), and we were at our friends' house with him upstairs in a travel cot. He'd fallen asleep, but at some point woke up again and I hadn't heard him. He must have been screaming for ages, but all was quiet when I went up to check on him... I found him hunched over Bunny, rocking himself back and forward in the cot whimpering, "Want cuddle, want cuddle, want cuddle, want cuddle..." I'm amazed I ever got back down the stairs. I can feel the guilt even now!!! Rolling Eyes
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alka
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PostSubject: Re: Bedtime question....help!   Thu 11 Sep 2008, 10:40 am

Oh Laurie, thank you so much for your post, it really made me laugh!

You are totally right of course, and I know deep down that Controlled Crying is probably the only way to go, either that or I continue to rock him and develop arm muscles the size of pumpkins.....! Hmmm.

It's very tempting to rock him I must admit, as it literally take 5 minutes, and he's out cold, the problem is I'm not doing him any favours in the long run and he's just getting so heavy!

Oh your story of your New Years Eve, bless his heart, things like that haunt you don't they, even though he probably doesn't even remember it at all!

Thank you for the advice, I need to bite the bullet don't I................ pale

xxxx
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Liz Pidgley
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PostSubject: Re: Bedtime question....help!   Thu 11 Sep 2008, 11:35 am

Laurie your post is a replica of our story too!

It was an absolute battle of wills and Aimee would scream till she threw up (deliberatley) pooed/peed her pants or held her breath till she passed out. But we found simply saying night night, love you. whenever we went back in more effective than the silence as Aimee thought we were cross with her.
I also found putting a sweaty tshirt of mine near her helpful as she could still smell me!

Good Luck Nic - its hard work but they keywords here are calm, consistence & perseverance!


Best Wishes
Liz

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clearmoonlight13
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PostSubject: Re: Bedtime question....help!   Thu 11 Sep 2008, 11:46 am

Hi
Oh, dear... this sounds so familiar....
Dylan is now 26 months, and I have to be honest, he still goes to sleep on my lap, 99% of the time... I suppose it was my fault, as I got him so used to it, and didn't hear everones advice - but, since he was almost 5 months when he came home, I really enjoyed cuddling him to sleep.
He still cuddles up on my lap, at an evening, and stays there until he goes to sleep. Sometimes, if I put him in bed without him being asleep, he'll end up falling asleep by himself, other times he just cries until I pick him up.
I know that if I just let him cry, eventually, he will go to sleep by himself, but until this stage, I have not felt the need to stop the cuddling time.
xxx
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Laurie
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PostSubject: Re: Bedtime question....help!   Thu 11 Sep 2008, 11:59 am

Oops, yes, forgot that bit - would always give a little "affirmation"! flower
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mouse
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PostSubject: Re: Bedtime question....help!   Thu 11 Sep 2008, 8:14 pm

Hi Nic & everyone else
Yasmin started doing the same at 10 months & was settling OK before that but we started rocking her to sleep too because it took 10 mins as opposed to 1.5h, & have only just started trying to sort it out.
I just can't do controlled crying - I'm a complete softie & just couldn't do it as I know it would go on for a LONG & painful time (more me than her I'm sure) & I would end up giving in.
SO for the past week I've been doing the pick up put down thing & have been surprised how well it's working. No eye contact & just put her down & say it's time to go to sleep (although like the sound of night night we love you v much & may change tomorrow). The first night I put her down about 50 times but tonight put her down once & she put herself down to sleep. Am amazed because she's teething & has a stinky cold so the worst time to try a new regime but I'm getting slightly anxious about no.2 & how I'll cope so wanted to get on with it!
Don't think there's a right or wrong way - whatever you feel most comfortable with.
Best of luck
xx
PS Grobag stops her from getting cold but has meant that a few times she has tripped & smacked her face on the cot Sad
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