Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Why won't Zachary go to sleep in his cot?

Answers on a postcard. Please.

I think I may have mentioned this in a Blog before (yes I have - just found it) but a few weeks ago we were having real problems getting Z to sleep in his cot. He would go to sleep at bedtime there with no (or few!) problems. He'd then wake for his next feed, which I'd give him lying down in our bed and then the fun starts. If I leave him in the bed where he's fed then there are no problems, he'll sleep through to next feed. But the minute I pick him up to put him in the cot he starts jiffling, rubbing his eyes and eventually wailing.

Sometimes this was easily cured with a burp but more often than not it could take a good half hour or so to get him back to bed - having first settled him on my shoulder and then transferring him with extreme caution and care. Several times he would end up in our bed for the night because he would settle much more easily. However, no matter how many times I put him in the middle of the bed he always seems to gravitate towards me during the night. And while it's lovely and enchanting the first few times, being pushed back to 2 inches at the side of the bed and having a baby yammed up against my armpit most of the night is not really conducive to a good night's sleep!!! Me that is. Z sleeps soundly on!

We tried putting him on his side - worked for a night, a dummy - worked for a night (and now he just pudoings it out of his mouth with over zealous sucking!), and finally L hit on the idea that it might be a comfort thing and we tried leaving our arms round him as much as we could when laying him down until he had settled properly and this - hurrah - was highly successful.

Had then several nights where Z would wake to feed, but I could get him back in his cot immediately and without any waking and even progressed as far as two nights last week when he only woke once during the night to feed (rather than 2 or 3). Hurray! This coincided with the hottest days and nights so far - Z slept in just his nappy but seemed really happy.

But things have reverted. I don't know if it's just his development, or he's too used to our bed, or it's a sign that we need to start weaning him a bit early, or whether the late night on Saturday upset his routine more than we thought, or even that now the nights are cooler we've not got his happy sleeping temperature quite right, but we've had 2 nights now when the cot has been refused again. And he's waking 2 or 3 times again for feeds. It might not even be the cot, but something else that we haven't identified yet. It's even been difficult to get him to go to sleep initially at bedtime in it.

Last night after the 1am feed, it took 6 or 7 goes to get him back into the cot, and only then because he'd woken himself up properly and was content to lie there thumping his legs and crinkling his noisy toy while he settled back to sleep. I tried the arms round him thing (although I think my patience with that is short when I'm tired, and I'm always aware of my fringe dangling in his face which I can't think would be comfortable - itchy!), tried putting him on one of my pillows (smell of me / softer thing to lie on), tried changing his nappy, tried putting him on his side. None successful. As I say, it was only really when Z'd got himself all awake that he was more manageable, but I don't think that's the long term answer!

I suspect that it will just be something we have to work through again and simply persevere with the cot and transferring him until it comes good once more. My other strategy if this doesn't work is to try feeding him in my arms rather than lying on the bed in the hope that half of the job of transferring him is already done and moving him should then be less disrupting.

But who knows. This is all guess work here!

On the up side, these nighttime shenanigans don't seem to be affecting his temperament during the day thankfully, and he's now almost sitting up properly on his own (although he is still drifting forwards and sideways quite a lot!) and is really enjoying playing on his tummy - legs kicking and little squeals of delight and everything. My beautiful boy.

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