Near breaking point my child whinges constantly and never sleeps

(31 Posts)
Nicole2781 Sat 04-May-13 22:34:16

My DS is coming up to 7months.
If I'd have known how hard this is I don't think I'd have had a child and I definitely can't see me wanting another. Not to say I don't love my son I do with all my heart he's amazing but I'm really really struggling and so is my partner.

Does it get any easier?

He woke at 7am and has had two naps today consisting of around an hour each time. He's just gone to sleep and it's now 10:30 pm! I know when he's tired and I try so hard to get him to sleep but he fights so hard and ends up really upset.
Tonight it has taken us 2 hours to get him to sleep.

There's no point in getting happy that he's asleep and we will finally have some time together as we know it won't be long before he wakes again for a bottle or just to whinge for a bit.

I sound awful complaining but everyone we know says their child sleeps through mostly and is lovely.

I'm so jealous of them and I'm constantly thinking what we might be doing wrong?

Is there anyone going through similar things? Or has anyone had this experience and can offer any tips/advice?

I dread waking up in the morning as I know it's going to be another long day of constant moaning and then dread going to bed as I know it's going to be a shit nights sleep sad

Cravingdairy Sat 04-May-13 22:40:21

Lots of mums find it very hard at this age but they don't always want to admit it! The only things I can say are it will get better, and I would try to get out as much as possible in the daytime.

Also have you ruled out intolerances? Mine was a horrible sleeper and we now know she has cow's milk protein intolerance. I think her sore tummy was waking her up.

joanofarchitrave Sat 04-May-13 22:43:48

Jeez that's horrible, and no it's not unusual to feel like this. 6 - 8 months was a shitty time for us as ds wanted to be mobile and couldn't be.

Seems slightly off the wall, but have you tried a walker of some kind? You obviously have to keep a close eye on babies while they are in them - they aren't recommended as babies can fall, but OMG I got lent one by an aunt and it was a godsend, ds LOVED it and it tired him out (a bit).

But before all that, see your health visitor urgently. Yes it is common for it to be this awful but get some hep when you feel like this.

Cravingdairy Sat 04-May-13 22:50:15

Oh and I doubt your doing anything wrong. Some babies are much harder work than others. The best thing I did was accept how things were and do the best I could to function around that. It will get much easier as your baby gets bigger and becomes more independent. You will have lots of fun together! Just keep swimming now, look after yourselves and take up an offers of help. If you have family or friends nearby get them to take DS out for a couple of hours so you can have a nap. Good luck, things will improve soon!

Springforward Sat 04-May-13 22:50:56

You know, parents do sometimes lie about their DC sleeping through. I never really understood why, but there seems to be a badge of honour in having this sorted. Trouble is it's not helpful when you're shattered.

Do you ever get any time to yourself? DH used to take DS off my hands just so I could pop out, something like an hour in Costa with a newspaper, when things were getting on top of me.

Cravingdairy Sat 04-May-13 22:51:19

you're [mortified]

PolyesterBride Sat 04-May-13 22:56:57

My kids were not sleeping through by 7 months and I think that lots aren't so I don't think you're doing anything wrong. It might just be a tough phase. Lots of babies go through miserable stages and then when they get to the next stage, like sitting up or crawling, they're happy again.

In the day, I would try to keep busy - make lots if plans to go to baby groups and stuff. Whining is much easier to take if the baby's in the buggy and you're on your way somewhere instead of stuck at home. Night times are hard - there's no denying it. Go to bed as early as you can, take naps when you can, get a break when you can.

The good thing is, it definitely gets easier! Both mine were sleeping through by 1. I bet its the same for you.

AnnaClaudia Sun 05-May-13 13:09:50

Poor you, I really sympathise. I had a winger, if I put him down he would hold on to my leg and I'd have to drag him round with me! Had to cook the dinner for the other 3 though, couldn't have him clinging to me all the time! We called him "Koala", lol. He also at about 6 months started to wake up 5 times a night. I was shattered! Turns out he was alergic to apple! (I worked this out myself from reading in a book that babies from families prone to allergies can be intollerant to apple, oranges and cucumber)! Anyway, as soon as I cut out the apple he had daily, the night screaming stopped. Poor child must have had pains in his tummy. It will get better for you eventually, try to keep your spirits up anyway you can. x

ghosteditor Sun 05-May-13 13:34:32

I know the feeling exactly and I'm sorry for you!

DD didn't sleep through the night until she was 13mo, and even then not consistently. Now she is 15mo she still wakes at 5am, and doesn't always go back to sleep. Her napping is the best it ever was - a 45-90 min nap around lunchtime.

I know the feeling of total emotional exhaustion and fatigue, which peaked around 9mo for us. By then I just made DH take her in the night - even though we were all awake and she was screaming, knowing it wasn't my responsibility was less stressful. I honestly thought I was going to do something stupid with sleep deprivation. We tried every technique, nothing worked. So you're not alone.

All I can recommend is carrying him in a sling in the day to stop the whinging while you get on with things. Go outdoors a lot.

DD was really difficult until she learned to walk at 9 months. As soon as she could explore, she was like a different child. Most people find that phase exhausting - and while physically it was draining pulling her off the banisters, chairs, and every other dangerous thing - it was much easier dealing with a happier baby.

ghosteditor Sun 05-May-13 13:37:21

Oh and also we've recently discovered that DD has a severe lip tie. It's likely that her early colicky phase, waking through the night to feed, and falling asleep feeding could have been caused by an inefficient latch. So it's worth considering all of this kind of thing - allergies, physical restrictions, as well as driving yourself nuts over routines and sleep strategies.

Cloverer Sun 05-May-13 13:38:25

What's his routine like? 7am wake-up and 2x1 hour naps sounds perfect, it's just the 2 hours to get him to sleep at 10.30pm that doesn't sound great. Does he need to go to bed earlier?

gingercats Sun 05-May-13 13:52:09

Sorry to hear you are struggling, I don't blame you for feeling the way you do. As ds gets older he should get easier esp when he is mobile. Dd 13months is a super whingy baby (lovely though as well of course). She has lots of trouble getting to sleep & staying asleep so we now use the pushchair to get her off to sleep & then transfer her to the cot when we go to bed. It's not recommended & perhaps creating another problem but it has improved things dramatically for us. We now have an evening together. She didn't sleep through regularly until 12months & we still have some difficult nights. A sling for some peace is a great suggestion, the Gemini beco was gd for us as Dd got older & bigger. Good luck.

gingercats Sun 05-May-13 14:02:10

... Also making sure she has enough sleep during the day makes a huge difference @ night, as well as a consistent bedtime routine. We do dinner, bath, night garden on I-player & story then walk. At your ds' sort of age we'd give her some baby rice b4 bed to fill her up too.
Really hope things improve for you soon. Are you returning to work? Having a 'break' working a couple of days during the week is wonderful, though finding the right child care for a high needs baby can bevanother issue!

sarahscarlet Sun 05-May-13 14:20:22

I felt just like you at that stage - hang on in there - I know it feels like this stage will never pass but it will and it really does get easier. I promise! Tiredness is so horrible and I used to spend all day worrying about how much sleep my dc was getting to try to make sure she had the right routine/amount of daytime sleep she needed - tbh none of it really worked as I literally tried every plan going and after seing sleepspecialists/doctors/chiropractors etc they all agreed she was a very 'active' thinker and when she woke her mind kept her thinking and awake. She's now 3 and only usually wakes up once or twice and for a minute or two so I can settle her back to sleep without waking myself up too much. Keep at it, you will get there - you've done it for 7 months and the next 7 will get easier. xx

Kiwiinkits Sun 05-May-13 22:37:30

Two naps of an hour each per day is about right - a total of 2-3 hours sleep during a day is bang on for a 7 month old.
What time do you start winding him down for bed? Bath, bottle and bed by 7pm?
If it's not routine (and it sounds like it's not, tbh) I think he might have some sort of pain or issue that is keeping him miserable. It could be something hidden like allergy (as someone has said upthread) or even kidney pain or headaches or anything. I don't know how you'd go about ruling out all those things but I would probably start with allergy testing of some sort.

Kiwiinkits Sun 05-May-13 22:39:02

I would do the first morning nap at 8.30 and the second nap at 12.30 after lunch.

Nicole2781 Sun 05-May-13 22:56:44

Hi people,

Thanks for all replies so far, it's really been a great comfort for the advice and knowing some of you have been in the same position.

His bedtime routine is bath at 6ish then bottle and then cuddles and we usually end up putting on some slow music and dancing slowly with him in my arms to get him to sleep then take him up. He seems to have clocked on to this and really fights it when we try this even though he's tired.

He does have silent reflux but is so much better now with his gaviscon and now hes eating foods as he used to scream in pain so we are pretty sure this is not really affecting him he's just being very stubborn it seems.

Nicole2781 Sun 05-May-13 23:01:18

Yes I do think maybe we should book an appointment with the doctor and see if we could rule out any allergies or other problems.

I will book tomorrow or tues if its not open tomorrow

cluelessnchaos Sun 05-May-13 23:02:16

Could the dancing be over stimulating him at bedtime. There is a developmental leap about 6 months that all if mine wouldn't be rocked to sleep after. I moved onto bath boob book bed, shushing to sleep in the cot. And for the record I had the most extreme high needs screamy baby who now at 2 is a delight and sleeps brilliantly. Sounds like your ds has got into a habit and if he's good at making habits he will be good at making new ones.

Nicole2781 Sun 05-May-13 23:05:23

Sorry for another message...keep forgetting to reply to posts!

Yes I'm returning to work in less than two weeks time! So I'm pretty nervous about this. It's only two days a week but one shift will be 14.5 hrs and they're already tiring but obviously now with a high needs baby I'm dreading it! I was looking forward to some time away but we will see how it goes! grin

Nicole2781 Sun 05-May-13 23:08:14

Maybe it is over stimulating him. I will give it a go though to just put him in his cot and shush him to sleep but I do think that's going to be difficult as when we try to settle him in the night by shushing him he will just get more and more upset that we're not picking him up.

cluelessnchaos Sun 05-May-13 23:17:39

My dc4 was just the same. I would lay my hand on him and shush until he settled then leave ( then repeat about 4 million times) only after discovering that he wasn't really settling if I took him into our bed or cuddle him, so if I knew he wasn't hungry then I might as well try it. It was not quick or easy but well worth it. He had a bout of croup last week and didn't wake in the night once. Sleeps most nights from 7:30 to 8:30 if I let him. I hope things get better for you soon, it's so exhausting.

Jimmybob Sun 05-May-13 23:32:03

dc1 slept through the night from 6 weeks as she was exhausted from colic. We used to rock her to sleep or have to lie with her to get her to go to sleep. It was a complete pain. Lived in a flat and paranoid about disturbing the neighbours. As soon as we moved, we reviewed the routine, bath, quiet story, sleep (controlled crying - 10 months at this point). Slept though and took 2 nights to sort. Never napped - suspect that was our fault.
dc2 - same routine from the start - persisted with it when it got difficult - around 5 months. Didn't sleep through the night until about 8 months, but always good about going back to bed. Had him in our room until about 10 months. Like first.
Both quite clingy and always wanting to be with me. v hard work and also nice to be wanted as well. On up side both v well adjusted individuals now - they cling to you as part of the bonding process. It will get easier. Are you going to use a nursery? I found nursery staff v supportive and as they are quite structured I found it helped when trying to encorporate structure at home. We learnt from our first and have been really strict about bedtimes. They didn't really realised for years that things happen after they go to bed...and we need our adult time without them! Also tired children are v grumpy and not nice to be with!

Jimmybob Sun 05-May-13 23:32:54

sorry about typos.

Jimmybob Sun 05-May-13 23:36:32

BTW - I think the controlled crying works when they understand a bit. I couldn't do the complete cry thing as it felt cruel to me. We did the no stimulation (i.e. leave light off, no interaction - no eye contact, or noise) - pick up settle down and leave. When they realise that waking mummy up doesn't get them anything & is quite boring - it isn't worth waking up. I would however, make sure there is nothing wrong first before trying this and it is just habit.

Nicole2781 Mon 06-May-13 00:39:23

I keep thinking about controlled crying but I really can't stand the thought of leaving him to cry as he gets very worked up! Even if he wakes in the night for a bottle I'm so quick to get in his room and make up his bottle by that time he's starting to get hysterical. Plus I think he might be a bit young and he is way too clingy. It does sound tempting though from all the success stories I've read! Maybe if he's not settled in a few months ill try that smile

cluelessnchaos Mon 06-May-13 08:41:23

I think you are right 7 months Is too young for controlled crying, I tried it on dd1 at that age and she was too young, it worked a treat when she was 10 months. I couldn't bear to use it again for my others and found the shush pat method much kinder on me.

CabbageHead Mon 06-May-13 13:24:59

I learnt thatbbathtime had to be way way before bedtime and that our DS needed a good one hour downtime prior to bedtime to even remotely get him in calm settled state. So dinner is early, I start at 4pm usually, then lotsof action usually outside to wear him out... (so much easier once they start crawling, walking).. Then shower or bath, then quiet time, usually walk in pram for at least half hour, 40 mins is ideal wind down time for pram walk, 20mins isn't enough may as well not bother! and turn all lights off or down low, no tv or radio, even cooking preparing noises would stimulate him into wanting to be where the action is! hmm

Also just try diff methods, if u have an alert HN bub, they figure everything out so quickly so u constantly have to change your approach. I used to whisper a story about sailing to dreamland to DS, this would entail saying lots of words with an 's' like sailing past dolphins, sharks, seahorses etc... While I stroked his forehead.. Then that didn't work after a while, so now I shush pat or rock him in cot..

Lots of teething and milestone saround this timeframe, and it's horrible. DS has just started STTN .. 2 weeks before his first birthday and I thought he would NEVER STTN! I was so excited as all the other bubs I know have been STTN since at least 6tmhs old. Lucky I had some friends who I would whinge to and they were great support throughout that horrible time. Sleep dep is the worst, you cannot function and you cannot tolerate much. Be easy on yourself. (smile) the nurse I saw before going to sleep school for DS said parents can only expect to get things right 30% of the time, so that helped me put things into perspective a bit!

niceupthedance Mon 06-May-13 13:33:34

At this age I read somewhere that taking them out in the late afternoon for fresh air could work - so I went every day to do a lap of the park. It did have some success <desperate>

JuliaScurr Mon 06-May-13 13:52:11

We and quite a few friends used this with good results, but apparently it's controversial - don't know why

It's bound to get better eventually
no matter what you do, someone will think you're wrong
Ignore them, do the easiest thing for you
Good luck

ItsallisnowaFeegle Wed 08-May-13 20:00:06

Nicole, you're baby is not the only baby who isn't sleeping through.

My DS is 22 weeks and he's still up between every 1-2 hours and every 2-3 hours through the night.

I don't foresee it changing anytime soon and I don't have any advice (obviously hmm) but you're not alone.

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