My children are killing me, I don't know how to cope.(24 Posts)
DD is 16 months old and DS is 4. After "lights out" at 7.30pm, DS is usually up and down several times until 9pm ish.
DD falls asleep straight away, but then is awake , crying and wanting attention, at least 3 times in the night. Still! 11ish, 3ish, 5ish and wants to get up (standing in cot shaking sides, yelling) about 6.30 am at the latest. She has never, ever, slept for more than 5 hours in a row ever.
We've tried ignoring her, and she will cry and wail for 3 hours!, we've tried just giving her a bottle of water rather than milk, I even did CC at 3 am for 3 weeks .... (she started settling herself at bed time after a week of CC) ... but still she cries and wails unless we give her milk and cuddle her back to sleep. We have experimented with extra/fewer covers, night lights etc
It doesn't really matter whether it is DH or I who go to her, I really don't want to bring her into bed with us as the bed is v high and it is the only space in the (small) house that is child free! I know that this is not a long term solution, but I am so tired after 16 months that I no longer know what to do.
I am so tired now that I can barely function. I am very short tempered and shouty and I upset everyone I come into contact with because of this (this week, DH, DMum, DS and good friend). I went back to work at the start of January and feel like I am dying. DS was a champion sleeper from 6 months, it never corssed my mind that DD would still be waking several times in the night by the time I went back to work!
that sounds bad.
am really hopeless about sleep as i just had them in with me from the word go. then when i got cheesed off i gave them to dh.
you need somebody who knows about sleep training. i know you can get actual real live sleep trainers - could that be an option for you?
could you sleep on her floor for a few nights and then just gradually move away? i did that with dd when i got her into her own bed. it did work eventually, i don't know if you want to go down that route though.
really hope you find a solution to this, it is awful how lack of sleep affects your whole life.
So if you feed her milk, she'll go back to sleep?
Was she a windy baby? Teething?
My two were/are rubbish sleepers (ds 3.4 dd 14 months).
Dd sleeps much better if she doesn't eat foods which are windy (so no onions or green veg). She's also intolerant to dairy and soya so none of that (silent reflux, windy which makes her unsettled at night - its not hugely obvious until you cut it out).
She wakes up 1-2 times a night - I feed her then back to sleep really quickly.
Can you put your ds to bed a bit earlier? Maybe he's too tired to settle properly?
She'll go back to sleep if she has milk, yes. I am sure it is a comfort/habit thing. I really don't think she is hungry. She has never had a problem with wind or food intolerances.
We have been away this week, to my mum's ( somewhere she is familiar with) and I was sleeping in the same room as her, and her sleeping was no better.
As for DS - I think it is attention seeking, he's just getting his in before his sister wakes up! I really can't get them to bed any earlier, I don't get back from work til 5.45 ish, then it's after 6 by the time we get home from nursery.
What about reducing the amount of milk by an ounce every other night? This might reduce her appetite at night (she will be hungy for it because her stomach is used to it now) and she'll start to eat more in the day. Thats what Feber of CC fame recommends - he says you have to teach the stomach to not "ask" for food in the night.
I feel your pain re bedtime - I get home at 6pm and dd is asleep by 7pm. Ds by 8pm (unless we skip his nap, then it's 7 too).
Oh dear, I really feel for you. Things found desperate and desperate times calls for desperate measures. You say your bed is too high and you like it child free so I have to tell you that Elizabeth pantley of the no-cry-sleep solution fame would tell you to chuck a mattress on the floor (this night mean dismantling your bed or putting one in your daughters room) and bed down with your LO for the night. I'd do it! Leave your DH to take care of DS and go to bed at 7pm with your DD and get a few nights of 11 hours. You might get some new ideas when you've had some good sleeps. This is assuming that co-sleeping will help your DD to settle quickly. My 17 month old still wakes for a bottle at 2am and she gets it then usually sleeps in bed with me til 6am. It's the only way I can feel human!
Oh dear, just saw that sleeping in the same room didn't help. Maybe if she sleeps on your head? Works for my DD...
We did try cutting down milk and then mixing milk/water. We did get down to 4 oz of water, but then we were all ill, DD wasn't eating much during the day and actually was hungry at night so we went back to milk. Best to start cutting down again I think.
Worth a shot, I know it has worked for some people. I wouldn't mix with water, just reduce quantities all together and make sure she gets plenty of food and drink in the day. Also have you ruled out teething
We had a similar problem. DD just didn't sleep, and from 18 months didn't nap in the day, ever again. I did the pick up put down method by Tracy Hogg, sometimes every 20 mins every night. I was a zombie, and had lost my mojo completly.
I went back to work full time, DD was in nursery from 8:30 till 5:30 and we did this for two years, until I got seriously ill, I was just worn ragged, and now I work part time, and am able to rest.
DD sleeps now, after much up and downing of an evening, but I don't think I'll ever recover my sense of being relaxed at nighttime- in some ways I still sleep really lightly, and wake at every sound: I'm still scanning for signs of DD being awake!
It's awful when you're away on a so called holiday and get no sleep as well.
I feel for you, but can't really advise you on what you should do, just what worked(ish) for us.
Hope you get some refreshing sleep soon.
I really feel for you I know how horrible it is with little or no sleep.
Can't offer any advice as we are up every night with dcs (its like musical beds here!) But wanted you to know you are not alone.
Hope things improve for you soon.
DS2 was similar to this until we did sleep training with him at ten months. By that stage I was totally exhausted and desperate. There are a number of approaches and case studies for all ages on www.thesleepstore.co.nz (sorry on phone can't link) and they will also offer personalised feedback and tips. We used the verbal reassurance method which I know isn't for everyone but it was a three day miracle for us when nothing else had made a difference.
But there are loads of other tips and techniques on the site as well. Good luck, I know how you feel and it's bloody tough
I went to see a sight consultant specialist at a Uni hospital because my vision was so fucked from lack of sleep. I thought I had some sort of neurological problem and saw and was referred to lots of Drs, was awful. Turns out that my DS waking me 8/9 times a night was not so great for me. It was hell. Absolute hell.
You need to make things simpler elsewhere.
Can nursery feed children their tea, so you just have to get them in, bath and bed?
Pack lunches, lay out clothes, sort out bags and load car night before. Have an online shop every 2 weeks, meal plan.
Hire a cleaner for 2/hours a week. Do this for 2 months.
Ask for help at the weekends, ask GPs and mates to have kids for a couple of hours here and there. Get your head down, read a book, go for a brisk walk.
If you have the £ then I would go for a sleep consultant with the Millpond sleep clinic. If not....get the book and read up on the case studies, there were a couple in there that sounded like my DS (he was 18m when I cracked) and we applied a sleep solution to the letter for 6 nights. He slept. It was not easy, it was very hard and stressy.
I would have you and your partner take Thur/Fri off, start the sleep plan (whatever that might be...) on the Wednesday night and stick to it for at least a week. Consistency is key. If your older one can sleep at GPs over the weekend then even better.
Can you try being very, very boring when resettling your DD?
Go to her, but just say quietly "time to sleep" and sit by the bed. No cuddles, no bottle, no eye contact.
Once she starts to realise how boring you are and that nothing she does gets a response, she should get quicker to settle. Then you can start gradually sitting further away, until you end up outside the room after a few nights.
I know this is wildly unhelpful but we had exactly the same - we did try co-sleeping but doesn't help DS way it helps DD and DH couldn't take CC (wuss! I was at my wits end and would have done anything). And at 16 mnths he went from waking 3 times a night to sleeping through for no reason i can see at all - so may just happen.
Both of mine still woke up a lot at that age. It is debilitating. Mine are 17 months apart and it was flipping exhausting. Now they're 4 and 5 years old I can finally see light at the end of the tunnel.
I read Marc Weissbluth's book called Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child. I found it hugely helpful, although it's huge. I didn't do CC though but followed everything else he said and it did slowly improve. I also did what piprabbit said everytime. But I'm not sure whether it would have resolved itself in the end anyway.
Teething is a complete bugger though and colds, it made it all so much worse. You poor thing.
It was a real eye opener for me when I understood the reason why children wake in the night. After 6 months or so, if children are still waking in the night, it's usually not because of hunger but because of emotional tension.
You know how we as adults can't sleep if we are worried about something? Well it's the same with children.
Crying is actually a naturally healing process it makes us feel better, and helps us release emotional tension. Tears contain cortisol the stress hormone.
If we can stay with our children and offer love and support when they cry, they can release the tension and feel better.
This article here Helping young children sleepis what I did with my DD when she was 9 months, she has slept through ever since.
that sounds horrendous - just wanted to offer sympathy as I know how truly awful the constant lack of sleep is. I totally understand wanting to keep your bedroom child free as well - I think it sounds like you need a solution that will help her learn to settle when she wakes up rather than call for you - at least less often!
Personally I would call a sleep consultant at this point - could you afford one? If not, my health visitor was lovely and had been trained by the Millpond sleep clinic and gave me a lot of the same advice for free....as mentioned above, they have a book. There are versions of sleep trainers on line who will offer cheaper advice by email......
get yourself to babywhisperer boards. they will help you to unravel it and hold your hand whilst you do. With both of mine, it's always overtiredness that causes issues and that can be sorted out...especially with the younger children.
If you are still giving her milk in the middle of the night then that what she will be waking up for, stop the milk totally would be my first on the list.
I have 2.5 year old DD who still wakes at night. She woke in a similar pattern to yours. I agree with Iggly, if she is used to being fed at those times she will feel hungry as she is used to getting food then. I worked on reducing the time of one feed (is bf) or reduce ounces one by one, and then patted her back to sleep. She stopped last night feed last weekend, can still wake up in night but currently easy to settle in less than 5 mins with pats and shushing. We talk about not yelling at night time too! I do also give her a chance to self settle before I go in. She shares a room with 5 year old ds, if she disturbs him in night she gets taken downstairs but very rare now. If she is stopping him go to sleep, he can go into our bed and we transfer him later. Good luck, our s is a good sleeper too, so DD has been a total shock!
I used to leave milk in DS2 cot and he could grab it himself I even lined up a 3! As the months went on I added more water so it got diluted. It saved us being woke up but you could here him throwing the bottles out of the cot onto the timber floor when they were finished (hooligan in making). DS2 was demanding and he winged a lot. Still a very healthy and happy boy.
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