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Help .....Year old Granddaughter fights sleep!!

(35 Posts)
Nannyliz Sat 13-Feb-16 14:30:00

W look after our little granddaughter two days every other week. No matter how tired she is, will scream and scream rather than give in to much needed sleep. Even if she is falling asleep when playing with her toys on the floor and I pick her up and try and rock her to sleep she will not give in, only after she has cried herself to sleep after about five or ten minutes. She has no routine at home and her Mummy and Daddy usually walk the floor with her screaming, until she finally falls asleep in their arms. I should add that Mummy works full time and Daddy looks after her for 3 days a week.

I would so dearly love to get her into a routine of having a nap either in the morning or afternoon (or both if needed) while she is with us because I can't bear the tears. This worked with our children when they were babies. We have a travel cot here so it wouldn't be a problem. Is it possible that we could get her into a routine when she is with us despite the lack of routine at home?

At the moment we have the travel cot in our bedroom and my OH takes her up for a nap and puts her in the cot and lays on the bed until she finally give in and falls asleep and stays with her until she wakes up. He get to have a nap as well!! Any ideas?

Synonymous Sat 13-Feb-16 14:34:00

How old is your DGD? Are her parents concerned about the situation and have they mentioned it to you?

Nannyliz Sat 13-Feb-16 14:51:36

She is 11 months old, Synonymous. Her parents are fine with it, it is normal for them. Her Daddy often comments that he has spent 10 minutes walking the floor with her screaming until she finally gives in. It just seem so alien to me, I suppose we did things differently when our babies were tiny.

Anya Sat 13-Feb-16 15:38:23

I've heard of several parents, mostly dads, who have this problem. My nephew is one of these fathers and his son is almost three and still has to be rocked to sleep in his arms.

Rod for own back springs to mind.

Could you change this? Quite possibly if you had sole charge of this infant for about two weeks. Otherwise ...I'd say doubtful hmm

joannapiano Sat 13-Feb-16 15:58:09

Of all the DGC we have looked after, our Grandson was the hardest to get down for a nap after lunch, no matter how active he had been during the morning. I resorted to putting him in our pushchair in the lie-back position, with a blanket over him, and walking round the block (sometimes further!) He liked to be out and gradually relaxed into sleep. I would push him into a quiet room when we got home. If I attempted to get him out, he would wake up.
With weather like today, I used to put the rain-covers on the pushchair and brave the elements.
Luckily I like to walk.

joannapiano Sat 13-Feb-16 15:59:29

He was fine with his parents and going to sleep in the evening, I must add!

NanaandGrampy Sat 13-Feb-16 16:03:39

NannyLiz what a pickle .

I see where you're coming from and see no reason why you couldn't work something out . We have 4 grandchildren and bedtime and nap routines are very much more structured here than in their own homes but it seems to work .

We find our daughters spend a lot longer settling a child than we do but we're totally consistent whereas they're parents are a lot more hit and miss .

We nap till about the age of 2 . That's usually a short nap in the buggy after some fresh air and a longer after lunch nap .

We did find the travel cot didn't work for us . It was too dark and too different to the cot at home . So we actually bought a cot and have used it with all 4 with new mattresses .

We never stay in the room with the little one . We have some quiet time rocking or singing , then quietly into bed - minimum fuss and leave the room . If they cry - then we wait 5 mins to settle . If they don't settle I go back in , no lights , settle them down again , but no talking . And I keep doing that till they're asleep .

Takes a little while but they do settle and then it's routine . Good luck :-)

thatbags Sat 13-Feb-16 16:58:30

Sounds normal to me, nannyliz. Babies do fight sleep. My take on it is that they don't know what the tiredness feeling is and they don't like it so they cry and need someone to be with them, rocking them to sleep or whatever. I used to bung mine in a sling or, when they were older, in a proper baby backpack and do the housework. I got quite skilled at tipping them into their cot once they'd conked.

That said, DD3 was the easiest. I flatter myself I'd got better at imposing a routine by then (which I had) but the plain truth is probably that she sucked her thumb and that helped.

Nonnie Sat 13-Feb-16 17:07:10

I understand that those who go to nursery always go to sleep when put in a cot but don't always oblige for their parents. Seems to me they learn from a very early age that rules are different depending where they are.

phoenix Sat 13-Feb-16 17:25:31

Yes, anya rod for own back indeed at nearly 3! With ds1, I made the mistake of breastfeeding until he fell asleep, with the result that he wasn't used to being put in the cot awake.

Didn't make the same mistake with ds2!

Jalima Sat 13-Feb-16 17:37:34

DD1 was like this; when put in her cot she would cry for 5 or 10 minutes until she fell asleep however tired she was.
My DM said that some children need 'to get over a hump' before they can sleep; even when she was older she used to do 'acrobatics' on her bed (we'd hear thump, crash, bump from upstairs!) until she could fall asleep.
As long as they are clean, well-fed and safe I see no reason why she shouldn't be left for a short time to cry herself to sleep, but if any longer than 5 or 10 minutes then I knew something was wrong.

Granarchist Sat 13-Feb-16 17:40:16

nanaandgrampy I so like your style. That is exactly what I did with my DDs and luckily they have done it with DGC - so wherever they go to bed (tonight its with us as we are babysitting) they just put them down and to sleep they go. They were utterly consistent when the babies were tiny and now they are reaping the benefits. It was hard with both DDs with their first babies but they stuck with it. All four children now can be taken out to supper if they go to friends and will just go to sleep. Agony to start with but system is the one that always works and the sooner parents start it the better. The oldest is now 4 and the youngest 18 months.

loopylou Sat 13-Feb-16 17:43:56

I did that with dd phoenix, and she didn't sleep through the night until she was 25 months old either ?, a couple of weeks before DS was born.
DS was a doddle in comparison, slept through the night at 6 weeks old, bottle fed from 7 weeks and always happy to go in his cot.

Jalima Sat 13-Feb-16 17:50:27

When I was settling the DGDs for a day-time nap I would put them in the cot, make them comfy and then tell then I would be 'doing some jobs upstairs', that way they knew (even when they were quite young) that I wasn't far away although they couldn't see me. They usually settled down for a nap fairly quickly, although once or twice I got caught out when trying to creep back downstairs to see DGD2 beaming at me from the end of the cot, having hauled herself up by the bars, reached over and opened the door smile

grannyactivist Sat 13-Feb-16 17:58:37

Children and babies are all so different aren't they? My three daughters settled to sleep easily and with no fuss, but my fourth child was well over a year before he ever once slept through the night. His younger brother was breast fed until he was fifteen months old and usually fell asleep during his last feed of the day. My daughter is currently having a terrible time trying to get her baby into a good sleep routine, she had nearly achieved it and then the little one got a fever and having been unwell for a few days they're now back to square one.

phoenix Sat 13-Feb-16 18:02:23

loopy I breastfed ds2 as well, but he was always put into his cot awake whenever possible. I did also give him 1 bottle of formula a day, usually around 6pm, from the age of about 2 weeks.

(Plus lifting him and giving him a sneaky asleep breast top up when I went to bed, really helped to sleep that bit longer)

Nelliemoser Sat 13-Feb-16 18:07:51

Sounds like my DGS2. I rather feel my DD has made a rod for her own back by always feeding him to sleep and wearing him in a sling when he not playing. She has never tried to get him to sleep by himself.

DDs attitude is "he will feel lonely."

NanaandGrampy Sat 13-Feb-16 18:11:53

Granarchist there's loads of new modern ideas that are great but I think some of the old ways still work. I drive my daughters nuts when they say one of the children wouldn't sleep or kept getting up in the night and I can truthfully say, not at our house they don't smile .

I'm convinced routine is the thing. We do similar stuff when they come , we eat similar things at the time they expect and I can truthfully say they seem to love it.

Right down to not changing the cupboard the biscuit tin is kept in smile

I think you're so right .

Synonymous Sat 13-Feb-16 18:40:30

Nannyliz you will not be able to sort out your GD completely and certainly not in a 'oner' but you may well be able to show her that your house rules are different and little as she is she will understand.
It certainly sounds like she has her parents on a string and will also have you exactly where she wants you if you don't decide for yourselves how it is actually going to be in your own home.
I would not stay with a child to get them to go to sleep and would always assume that when one says that it is time for a sleep then that is what is going to happen.
Ten minutes crying seems very much longer than it is but having 'tried you out' a few times and discovering that it doesn't work in Nanny's house she will settle ever more easily each time. She may well get hot and bothered with her crying so just take a cool damp face cloth and give her face, back of the neck and hands a gentle wipe over and try again, explaining to her that she is there to have a sleep. If you need to do this again just make sure not to speak to her the second and following times because you have already explained that she is there to sleep.
Again, if she gets out of bed just treat her in the same way by explaining the first time and just gently putting her back in bed and leave the room again. It is tough but well worth the effort.
Since she has had her own way for all her life to date this might well take a bit of time but do not be discouraged. We had to this with a little niece 16 times on the first occasion shock but we never had to do it as often on the second occasion and it became ever easier. Important not to lose patience and keep your speaking tone gentle, quiet and low even whispering.
When sleep time is over then you can say encouraging things as in "because we have had a sleep we can do xyz now" so that it can be seen as a rewarding thing to do.
As for her parents "being fine with it" I would suggest that they may well be inured to it rather than fine with it and if you can get some semblance of routine going they could be trying out whatever you have succeeded with. I wish you well and will be interested to hear how it goes. smile

Daddima Sat 13-Feb-16 19:36:34

Sleep Scotland use this book;

Being able to " self settle" is a skill which needs to be learned.

Deedaa Sat 13-Feb-16 21:36:11

GS2 went through a spell of screaming himself to sleep when he was about a year old. He would scream for about 5 minutes and then fall asleep as if pole axed! Since he was two he has refused to have a daytime nap at home even if he's too exhausted to eat. At my house he curls up happily on the sofa for a nap after lunch. DD gets so cross grin

I had to babysit one evening last week. I put him to bed and we read some books, then I told him it was time to go to sleep while he assured me that he wouldn't. When I went into the bedroom five minutes later he was fast asleep. DD has to put up with lots of dramatic "Don't leave me all on my own Mummy !!!"

Nana3 Sat 13-Feb-16 22:32:30

I've used different tactics with all of the DG's including the walking with the pushchair, following the parents instructions.
I'm older now, have less energy and do it my own way with the latest, aged 2.
I read a short story on my bed, put her in the travel cot, curtains closed, door pulled to and I go downstairs. She always tries it on, calls for me and throws her dummy out of the cot. I go in and settle her by saying, it's sleep time now for you and for Nana, but keep it very brief. It usually works, sometimes have had to do it 3 or 4 times.
Her parents spend hours staying in the room till she's asleep, but not me.
I couldn't give them advice unless of course they asked me for it, it's made clear, in a nice way, it's not wanted. I think I was the same with my mum if I'm honest.

My best wishes Nannyliz, I just couldn't do without that hour and a half of peace after lunch.

Nannyliz Sun 14-Feb-16 00:05:16

Thank you all so much for your encouragement. It's good to know that other Grans have had similar experiences with their DGC! This little one is our 6th grandchild, our eldest grandson is 16 so we are a bit out of touch and as Nana3 says we are older now and have less energy. So I'm going to carry on with the travel cot routine. Nelliemoser my daughter in law also feeds our little one to sleep and carries her everywhere in a sling, I'm sure this this has something to do with her not wanting to sleep. Will keep you all updated as to how things progress. I am definitely feeling more positive now. smile

busylizzy Sun 14-Feb-16 09:41:06

Our darling little grandaughter, aged 3, has a very rare chromasome disorder, and though not confirmed yet, probable autism. Physically beautiful, and very sweet natured her main problem is that she has delayed learning and language development. She also doesn't sleep! My poor daughter gets about 2 - 2 hour blocks of sleep a night. ( partner long gone). If left to cry, she gets so distraught she is sick, and won't sleep again at all that night. If she gets cuddles, at least she might sleep again eventually. She is on medication at bedtime, , or she we would be worse. She won't let anyone other than Mum comfort her. Sorry for the long story, but they stayed over for the last 2 nights, so we were awake from 1:30 till 6 am. Got a couple of hours from 6 till 8. Shattered and so upset that we can't help. Poor daughter is like a zombie.

PPP Sun 14-Feb-16 09:54:06

Poor busylizzy. That is a terrible situation. You can cope with anything if you can get some sleep. Your poor daughter must get some help, especially if her daughter has a diagnosed problem? I feel for you. We had children that never slept well as babies and toddlers and it takes all the joy out of parenthood.