Non sleeping child - desperate

(52 Posts)

My DD is 1 today. She is also driving me to the edge of insanity with disrupted sleep. She's exhausted by 5.30pm most days and we start bedtime routine at about 6pm. She goes down with no fuss, bottle & cuddles are the order of the day and she's asleep by 6.30pm without fail.

Early evenings are fine, but come about 1am and she's awake about every 90 minutes and wants feeding (I still bf overnight) before going back to sleep. From about 4am she won't go back to sleep.

I'm on my knees, I work 4 days a week in a fairly high pressure and busy job, I'm getting to the stage I can't cope. DH does as much as he can, but obviously he lacks boobs to feed her with...

Ideally I want her off the boob and sleeping through - where do I start??

Please offer me advice lovely MN people, I'm desperate and unhappy. I was so tired last week I felt like my life was a stop motion animation with jumpy staggered movements and missing bits of conversations.

I have to leave for work in 3 hours and I have the stupidest workload today. DH does the evening pickup and bedtime on Mondays so I can stay until it's done, but that's not really the point...

ABumDance Mon 02-Dec-13 04:13:10

Does she sleep in with you? Is that an option? She may be feeding out of comfort,rather than hunger. I'm not sure what other advice to give. Hopefully somebody wiser will be along soon.

No she sleeps in a cot in her room. Tried cosleeping, she's large and wriggly so it was a disaster, just not enough room for us all...

BarberryRicePud Mon 02-Dec-13 04:35:35

Depends how hard you feel you can be about it really. And you'll need to accept some worse nights for a few days/weeks.

I'd stop bf personally. So to start with give a bf at first wake up then after that offer water only for a set limit of time, e.g. Decide to bf no more than every 2 hours to begin. Best if your dh does the water offering. Then extend the gap so no bfax for 3 hours etc until there's only the one feed at first wakeup. Then offer only water for that one too.

Of course a far quicker way is for your DH to take over at night and only offer water and cuddles. And later sooth just in the cot and gradually retreat. But it may involve more screaming.

Also make sure she has as much to eat and drink as possible in the daytime.

I really like the no cry sleep solution but it sounds like you may not have much time to read!

Good luck OP.

ABumDance Mon 02-Dec-13 04:39:49

I can understand that, DS is 3 and we have had to put a single bed next to ours as there just isn't room in our small double! He still comes in, especially if I've nipped to the loo, I always come back to him snoring away in my space! He still feeds throughout the night occasionally too.

Sittingbull Mon 02-Dec-13 05:23:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Turnipsandsproutswithtinselon Mon 02-Dec-13 05:45:06

I am a truly evil mother as will no doubt be pointed out by other posters, but here we go. One night after DH had been away on travel for two nights, I looking after DS2 18m and mums very young rescued puppy, between the two of them they had me up every 20 minutes.
On the third night I resolutely shut the door to our bedroom and let them scream it out. It worked.
I know it is not for everyone- and that some people will think I have scarred ds2 for life, but I was desperate, and I felt it was important for me to be able to function during the day.

Good luck whatever strategy you decide - sleep deprivation is hell.

Turnipsandsproutswithtinselon Mon 02-Dec-13 05:46:09

Should have said ds2 was bf and was comfort feeding.

Misfitless Mon 02-Dec-13 05:55:05

With all respect to everyone else's ideas, I'd go cold turkey!

I agree with barberry that in order for her to sleep through you need to stop bfing, but I personally think doing the whole water, weaning off one feed, doing every 2 hours etc prolongs it.

I might get flamed but I think the best way is controlled crying.
It will be hell, but a week from now you'll wonder how you ever managed on so little sleep. It does work, just don't give up half way through.

Maybe time it so you start the first night to coincide with being off the next day. So, if you're off weekends, start it on Friday night, and get the first couple of days out the way when you can lie in/have an easy lazy day if at all possible.

This won't get better on its own - as abumdance post inadvertently testifies...your DD will be three before you know it, and still waking up throughout the night if you don't take charge of this.

I've been there with my DC1. I was like a living zombie until I felt I was going to crack up and took drastic action (cold turkey) at about 14 months, and OP, I was a SAHM at the time - cannot begin to imagine how hard it is if you're holding down a stressful job.

And just in case anyone thinks I'm being critical of anyone who co-sleeps or bf I'm really not (my DC1 co-slept and I bf all 4 of my DCs).

MigGril Mon 02-Dec-13 06:02:52

how old is he? You say you work four days, how does he eat during the day?

It sounds like he's reverse cycling, and waking for you at night. it's not all about food but also comfort and closeness. You could try night weaning if he's old enough, but this is no guarantee that he'll then sleep through. He may still wake for the comfort although if your lucky it'll be less often. Try something like Jay Gorden night weaning method, it's very genital. and maybe read Dr Sears books the bits on night time parenting. just because it's night time doesn't mean you won't have to do some parenting. But I do understand you need to improve the current situation.

LovesBeingHereAgain Mon 02-Dec-13 06:03:20

I totally understand, this time last year was worst I can ever imagine. I work ft and my 1 year old was waking everynight with 2 nights a week he would refuse to even stay in a bed room. Infect it's not an over reaction to say I feel now I was one step away from being in serious trouble health wise.

It will pass. Ds now just over 2 and sleeps through. This too shall pass.

Firstly any naps in the day? With dd sleep made her sleep, tge more she had the more she wanted.

Is she getting enough to eat or drink during tge day, enough exercise etc.

Ds was a total boob monster but stopping feeding did not make him sleep, or make it easier to settle him. He was waking originally as he had a lip tie. Which wasn't found till he stopped bf. This was way he fed so often.

Co-sleeping only works IMO with one parent in tge bed, unless you have a massive hotel style bed. So kick your dh out or head to tge shops.

Good luck you will get through this. Please ensure you rest when you can and eat properly.

Thanks for all the above, she did eventually let me have an hour but I'm reeling with exhaustion and no idea how I'm going to do my job today. Will read all your replies properly at lunchtime and formulate a plan!

She does have bottles through the day, no issue with them so I think DH is going to be pressed into service forthwith for nighttime bottles as well.

I've also been putting off medication that I can't take while bf'ing, not urgent but getting more so now. Must be strong!

Misfitless Mon 02-Dec-13 06:14:39

Some DCs will start sleeping through the night by themselves and some just won't.

LovesBeingHereAgain what if OP's DD is one of the ones who won't...even by your reckoning, if her DD is the same as your DS, she could be looking at another 12 months of bugger all sleep!

OP, this might pass, it might not, it could take 12 months, or you could end up having a 3yr old like abumdance who still doesn't sleep.

OP has already said she's on her knees...!

kidinasweetshop Mon 02-Dec-13 06:17:26

Very genital smile

Aquariusgirl86 Mon 02-Dec-13 06:26:32

Just throwing out the idea that she still may wake up when you stop bfing but might be harder to get her back to sleep. Mine stopped bfing at 5 months and 11 months and are now 30 months and 15 months and have never slept through the night. I've tried everything and now we are at the busiest time of year and dh and I working crazy hours I've given up til jan, I have two toddlers in my bed, it's the best way currently to get any sleep. They don't wake for milk or water they just wake cause they want a cuddle. That said i m going to tackle again in the new year.

Misfitless Mon 02-Dec-13 06:31:21

Good luck *Woodburnerbabe" but can I just point out that your DD doesn't actually need feeding during the night, unless your HV/GP has advised it.

She needs to learn not to expect milk and cuddles during the night, and also that if she wakes up, that she can settle herself back to sleep.

If you substitute breast milk for formula, she won't learn that, she'll just learn that when she wakes up, your DP comes and gives her a bottle.

Sunnysummer Mon 02-Dec-13 06:43:15

No cry sleep solution is fab, it does take longer but with persistence it really gets results - and a sharp change may actually be harder to stick to if you're totally knackered. Cc works wonders with some kids, but not all, and it does require total commitment from both you and DH, or you end up with a lot of crying but still no solution, which is the worst of all worlds.

In either case, could you get someone to help you for a week or more? Or even a few nights? Night nannies aren't cheap, but they will help you keep resolve (and relationship) if you take a hard line, and might just give you enough rest that you can get together the determination to do the rest yourself. A family member who is totally committed to doing things the way you want would also be great, for us we found having an external person was a lifesaver!

DoItTooBabyJesus Mon 02-Dec-13 06:45:25

Yy, I agree with everyone who says stop bf during the night.

I pence you have cracked that the you can move onto some form of sleep training, whichever method suits you.

Easy for me to say. I stopped the bf bit a while ago, but back into night waking now and don't really want to sleep train, but I do want MORE sleep. Sorry to shout.

Misfitless Mon 02-Dec-13 06:50:19

Aquarious I agree completely.

If your DCs wake up and you stop bf but still give them cuddles they will still wake up for cuddles.

If they wake up and you give them cuddles and a bottle, they'll want cuddles and a bottle.

We can either teach them to sleep through the night, or we can teach them that when they wake up, to call out to us for a cuddle and/or some breast/formula milk.

If I were a baby, and I'd knew I'd get a cuddle and a nice milky drink in the middle of the night, then that's what I'd do!

If you suddenly stopped this I'd go ape...this will happen


Best do the whole thing in one go - that's what I meant by cold turkey.

One poster up thread said she let her DCs scream it out - I've done that too, it condenses what could be dragged out over two weeks into one/two/three nights.

Rewindtimeplease Mon 02-Dec-13 06:58:42

Cry it out. It will be tough, for all concerned. You will waiver. But after a few nights, your daughter will sleep for a very big chunk, if not through the night.

I always wonder about the people so adamantly against controlled crying or crying it out, and preferring to try very extended methods or simply to suck up the sleep deprivation. It must make parenting during the day a really stressful unpleasant affair.

Whereas if you do controlled crying or CIO, in the early hours of your daughter's second birthday, you won't be posting on mumsnet about lack of sleep, you will instead be fast asleep and everyone wake up happy to celebrate the milestone!

Misfitless Mon 02-Dec-13 07:01:22

Rewindtimeplease yy!

I definitely need to stop the bf. Only carried on so long as it's convenient during the night, now it has become less so I need to knock it on the head...

DH wants to just let her scream it out - I was always opposed to this, but I think this, or a variant thereof, is a real possibility... We have 2 older DC's as well (age 5 and 3) so I don't want them disturbed, but probably for a couple of nights it will benefit us all.

Am sat in work car park trying to urge myself to go and get started - deadlines aren't going to meet themselves, but am enjoying 2min of peace and quiet :-)

Thanks for all the advice - Id kind of assumed that she would just do it herself as the others did, guess it's time to get a bit tougher on her now!

Oh, and whatever I do, sucking up the sleep deprivation simply is not an option. I cannot carry on like this and still manage 3 kids, house, various other bits of stuff that I do and still stay sane.

JanePurdy Mon 02-Dec-13 08:09:22

When did your other DC sleep through? Neither of mine did until nearly 24months, am resigning myself to that if we have a DC3!

I did realise with dc2 that it was okay for them to cry in the night because they weren't getting what they wanted - breastfeed - with dc1 I couldn't let that happen. We went for sending DP in with non milky cuddles & she stopped waking with a fortnight.

Cluelessat30 Mon 02-Dec-13 08:12:58

I'm another one advocating controlled crying or letting her scream for a couple of nights. It'll be really hard but you can do it, and what's more, your baby can do it too (sleep in bigger chunks that is). Your needs are just as important as hers.
Good luck, it's so horrid to be sleep deprived x x

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