Support thread for sleep deprived parents doing or considering CC(147 Posts)
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Seeing as our last thread got a little
hijacked off track, a new one seemed a excellent idea.
DD is 7months old and I'm about to start night 2. Last night took 90mins to settle, including a longish quiet time. This afternoon's nap took a long time, but in both cases she slept week once asleep.
Fingers crossed for tonight!
Ps please don't post any anti-cc comments - it's not something a parent does lightly so I ask that you respect our decision.
Thx elphaba, sound advice re the daytime routine. I do try to put dd down every 2 hours ish, usually only after a feed though. Also have sleep associations (music box, bunny etc). She usually goes down ok but is wide awake after half an hour and its a real battle getting her down again.
Totally agree with your other post btw, I don't think there is any real sleep solution that doesn't involve crying and the meltdowns from tiredness are worse.
Can I ask you all a question?
I have the Ferber book and started sleep training today with his naps, which actually went briliantly! He got himself to sleep with no crying the first 2 naps and 20 mins the third nap. Tonight is my first night. It will be the first night that I am eliminating nighttime feeds, after slowly reducing them over the past week.
My baby is 5.5 months and I know it is young, but he is a nightmare over night and I think I get about 2 hours sleep per night (he gets about 6 hours!)I can barely function during the day and he is crabby too, so this is a last resort. He is also in the 100th percentile for height and weight and is eating 3 small meals a day and about 40 ounces so there is no actual need for him to eat at night too!
Anyway, my question is, do you feed your babies at night and if so, how long would you wait? I know by my DS's age he should be sleeping about 11-12 hours but I don't know if he will be able to go that long without a feed....so should I feed him if he wakes after say 6 hours?
Another question, if your baby wakes up early at say 5.30am do you start your day from there and just give them an extra nap or do you keep a strict schedule and try and get them to stay awake until their planned nap time?
Thanks for any help....
I feed at night and intend on leaving it like that for a while yet (maybe...4-5 wakings a night is wearing me down). Don't know what the advice would be re: dropping feeds under 6 months - it's a grey area to which I'm inclined to say 'don't' but I'm BF on demand so it's a different kettle of fish (I think). I think Millpond book says 3 feeds per night is normal at this age, IIRC.
Early wakings - I'd say you're asking for trouble keeping your DS awake. Mine would be a screaming mess if I kept him awake longer than two hours from each waking. Getting and keeping him asleep would then be an impossibility
and the screaming would probably have me in tears too.
Before everything went awry with this cold which is still dragging on (and it remains terribly, terribly awry - I am sick with exhaustion ) it was appearing quite effective to keep the light off until a better wake-up time of 7am (or equivalent time, 12ish hours after bedtime). He'd charge around merrily in his cot in the dark and would often conk out again when light didn't come on, so I don't know if that's worth a try?
Thanks elpha. I read the Ferber book from cover to cover and he said after 5 months babies don't need night feeds... But I guess that is only one opinion.
Last night went brilliantly though. I figured I would try and stretch him to 5 hours between feeds so when he woke at 11.30 I did the progressive waiting approach, he didn't get frantic, but grizzled until about 1am and then fell asleep til 5.30am, I fed him and then he slept until 8am! I couldn't believe it.
It's the best night we have had in AGES. He is happy and well rested today
Hello, can I join in?
I wanted to post a good news story re sleeping and CC and this thread seems like the best place to put it. It's (really) long (sorry!), but I need to get it off my chest and also hopefully it will give people some hope that it can be done!
DD2 is nearly 8 months. She's been a pretty awful sleeper from the start. First bit, obviously, just feeding on demand through the day and night, so didn't expect her to sleep well. But then she started teething and got first two teeth at 4 months. She teethed continually, and painfully, until 7 months when she finally broke her 8th tooth!
Over that period she was swaddled and sleeping in the pram downstairs (to avoid waking up DD1). We often needing to bob and weave about with her over the shoulder before being put into the pram asleep. Many evenings were spent walking round in circles in the living room, pushing her in the pram, with white noise roaring out of the computer. Other times, I'd be crouched over holding the dummy in her mouth without making eye contact. Many nights she slept in the pram beside the dishwasher, which we would put on repeatedly through the night while one of us slept on the sofabed nearby.
We gradually dropped elements of this ludicrous routine but each time it was a struggle. Stopping swaddling was the hardest (she is a big baby and she was breaking out of her swaddle and I was worried it was starting to look like a throttling hazard). She windmilled her arms violently and just couldn't drop off unless we pinned her arms to her sides/to the mattress (gently, of course!). She would fight and cry and then eventually give in.
Bit by bit, we made slow progress. Swaddle gone, white noise only when we really couldn't get her to sleep, into the cot upstairs rather than the pram etc. But none of it easy. We got her bedtime routine sorted finally, which we'd struggled to do for ages because of doing tea, bath and bed for DD1. And her daytime naps improved - she was getting better at settling herself and going through a single 45 minute cycle without needing help over to the next cycle.
But she still had only ever slept through the night once since birth and she was never predictable. Sometimes (hardly ever) she would go to sleep straight away. Other times you had to do a constant cycle of picking up, putting down, offering bottle, offering dummy, holding arms, leaving, coming back, offering dummy again, over and over in different combinations until eventually she would turn her head to the side and you'd think 'yes, she's going'. It could take up to 45 minutes to get her to sleep and sometimes she'd be awake again 20 minutes later. This would happen at least 3 or 4 (sometimes more) times a night. Soul-destroying.
But at least we weren't sleeping beside the dishwasher, so we felt like things were heading in the right direction!
Then at around 6 months we started to go backwards. She started waking up between bedtime and dream feed. All of a sudden, she was waking 4 or 5 times every evening, and then constantly through the night. DD1 had just started school, so to avoid her being shattered all day (they share a room), we started feeding DD2 when she woke up to stop her from crying/to get her back to sleep, or whisking her into our room when she just wouldn't settle.
We agonised over whether she was in some kind of pain. She would lift her legs up and whomp them down over and over, and cry with a really pained expression on her face. So we cut out dairy (other than her formula bottles) and wheat.
We agonised over whether she was hungry (she's big!) or whether she'd eaten too much (she likes her food!).
DH was exhausted from weeks of taking DD downstairs in the night to sleep on the sofa bed with her. He was getting depressed at the lack of sleep and lack of progress. I just felt more and more like a failure. Why couldn't we read what she wanted? Why couldn't she sleep? What was wrong? Why were daytime naps relatively painless now but night time sleep so disrupted?
So I decided (after a lot of reading) that we would do CC during half term. DH would take DD1 away to visit relatives for the week and I would do CC with DD2. The first night, DD1 went for a sleepover so DH and I could do CC together. Then the following 4 nights, I did it alone.
I read the Millpond Sleep Clinic book and followed their instructions to the letter. I think that was the key, and also that I prepped DH in advance - a lot - so he didn't derail things in the middle of the night. By this stage, I was confident that DD's waking was habit and becoming ingrained (just a gut feeling) and also felt like we'd got as far as we could doing things gently. I also took her to the docs to check her ears, tummy and breathing, just in case she had some kind of underlying pain, which she didn't.
So, we did usual bedtime routine. Bottle at 6pm, bath, dim lights in bedroom, gentle singing, into sleepsuit, rest of bottle on lap, into sleeping bag, into cot, give her the dummy (attached to a Sleepytot, highly recommended!), kiss on the head, night night. Leave.
Then wait out of sight by door and observe. As soon as she started to cry properly (not just intermittent grizzling, babbling or shouting), timer went on. After exactly 5 minutes, into the bedroom not too close to cot - definitely not right up to cot and definitely, absolutely no touching her - a couple of sentences "come on DD2, you're fine, go to sleep now, see you in the morning, night night" and leave.
Back to the door to observe. Timing only from when crying starts. After 10 minutes of crying repeat going in, talking but not touching. Leave. After crying for 15 minutes repeat going in. And so on. So, 5 mins of crying, then 10 mins, then 15 mins, and every 15 mins after that.
The first night she cried 5 mins, then 10 mins and fell asleep after a few minutes of the first 15. She woke quite a few times over the course of the evening but each time we repeated the steps above and she cried for 5 mins, 10 mins, and some of the first 15. It wasn't fun but I knew once we started we had to see it through and we were resolved to do it, so no caving.
Gave her dream feed as usual at 10pm, she went straight to sleep afterwards. She woke once at 2am and did a bit of half-hearted crying for 5 minutes and went to sleep. AND SLEPT TIL 7am!!!
Second night, she cried for 5 mins plus a bit of the 10. Then went to sleep, had a dream feed at 10pm and SLEPT THROUGH THE ENTIRE REST OF THE NIGHT!
Third and fourth nights. SHE SLEPT THROUGH! (A couple of little cough-y type cries a couple of times, which woke me up but didn't require any intervention.)
And she has slept through ever since - now 2 weeks and counting. Including through a nasty stomach bug.
Believe me, this seems like a miracle to us. She sometimes cries when she's first put down for either naps or bedtime, but it's not for more than a couple of minutes and then she's asleep.
So, in total she probably cried for maybe 45 minutes but not in a row - over 3 or 4 nights, and in 5, 10 or 15 minute bursts. Never more than 15 minutes in a row.
She is happy and smiling and laughing during the day (as she was before), and there are no signs of any distress or change in personality at all. Other than me and DH are human again and enjoying having two DDs in a way we haven't been able to until now.
So, if you've tried everything else and your DCs are 6 months and above, and you're gut feeling is that they're not hungry or in pain, but just in bad habits, and you're sure you can see it through and do it properly, I'd say go for it. And good luck!
Welcome Elm. Good to hear someone's getting some sleep and that it seems to be working for you.
Don't know if anyone else is still hanging around this thread but I need a rant because I'm trying to put a stoic face on it IRL. Apologies in advance
when if I get sweary.
I am So. Fucking. Tired.
DS lulled me into a false sense of security for the first 12 weeks of his life, sleeping from 9pm until 6am with a quick feed at 4am. I was so smug about my lovely little boy sleeping through the night. For the first six of those weeks, I could even put him down awake in his cot and have him fall asleep himself within about five minutes.
Then gradually, it all just went horribly, horribly wrong. First the number of night wakings to feed went from one, to two, to three. Then I suddenly stopped being able to put him straight back into his cot after a night feed - I had to hold him for half an hour after every feed before he could go back or he'd scream. Then night wakings went up to four, plus the holding. Then he stopped napping for any longer than half an hour during the day, unless he was sleeping on me. Either way, I was getting no catch up sleep.
Then we moved his bedtime earlier and did a bit of gradual withdrawal to break the holding thing. One week of hell, and he was going straight back into his cot for night feeds.
Then the night wakings went up to five.
He's now had a cold that's lasted about two weeks and he's back to having to be held for 20-30 mins after every waking which are now up around 6-8 every night.
So in addition to not having had a block of sleep longer than three hours in 14 weeks, I have subsisted on a sleeping pattern where I get around 40 minutes of sleep in every hour, followed by 30 minutes of holding for the past two of those weeks. I even tried co-sleeping, which scares me to death and makes me sleep so lightly there's hardly any point to it. Doesn't make any difference to him anyway - he doesn't sleep any longer, and still needs me to hold him before I put him on the bed next to me.
I go to bed when he does at 6:30pm because the longest stretch of sleep I know I'll get is somewhere between 7 and 10. I haven't been out in the evening since he was born. I haven't had an evening in with my DH, just the two of us in front of the TV eating crap food, in months.
If anyone else tells me this is 'perfectly normal', 'he needs his mummy' and 'this too shall
fucking pass' I'll probably scream, and if I see anyone else on here moaning about being horribly sleep deprived because their DC is waking twice every night while napping beautifully and sleeping otherwise from 7 til 7, I'll probably lose my jolly outward demeanour and, in a phrase from my yoof in the Antipodes, 'cut sick' (i.e. totally, utterly and homicidally lose it).
All that said, I adore my DS and don't resent him for one second, for which I feel very grateful and lucky. I also have an amazing, wonderful, supportive DH who does everything he can, even if it's not a great deal at 2am...3am...3:40am...
But God, I wish, I wish my child would fucking SLEEP!
That is all. Thank you for reading
elpha you poor thing. My DS only sleeps for 30 mins naps during the day as well. I am from Oz too, not that that helps much!
My DS isn't as bad as yours, thank god, your post actually made me feel a bit better to be honest, as horrible as that sounds. You must be having a hell of a time.
Are you doing CC?
I hope it's ok the I joined this thread too, I just jumped on in my sleep deprived haze!
I haven't done CC yet but I'm not averse to it. We're getting his tongue tie (belatedly) sorted in the hope that it might make him want to feed less. We're going to take him to a cranial osteopath which I have heretofore dismissed as lentil-weaving hooey, but if someone told me that baying naked at the moon had a modicum of success, I'd probably give it a shot. Then, if there are persistent sleep issues (which I will expect so as not to get myself bitterly disappointed yet again) I will take him to the doctor to have him cleared of all medical issues, after which I will do another round of gradual withdrawal before moving him into his own room. I'll probably stick with the gradual withdrawal unless I hit a wall, in which case, yes, I will probably do CC.
If I reach that point, I will start a thread titled, 'I'm doing CC. Try me.' and woe betide anyone who tries to suggest I haven't considered other options or that they 'all sort themselves out in the end, given time'.
He has now woken up four times since I put him in his cot at 7. This is going to be a fucking awful night.
PS Glad I made you feel better. Sort of. Cobber
Elph I feel your pain, I really do. I totally sympathise. It is soul-destroying, life-ruining-ly - awful, and no one really wants to hear about the full, terrible details IRL. I could happily have brained DH a few times (and him, me) in the middle of the night with both of us glaring wild-eyed at each other, hissing expletives so as not to wake up DD1, while bobbing about with DD2, trying to get her the f* to sleep...
The worse thing is you can't even go out for the evening as a couple to get away because you can't really give them to anyone else. My mate kept saying she'd come and babysit but really, how can you have a babysitter when you know they're going to wake up every 30 minutes and need some kind of black art, only understood by their delirious parents, to get them back to sleep?!
So rant away. All I can say is, you were us just a couple of weeks ago. DD2 was doing exactly what your DS is doing. Get the tongue tie sorted, do the cranial what-not, see the doc and all that. You'll feel better once you get to CC knowing you've done everything you can. It gave me the resolve to do CC and do it properly. You won't look back.
Really good luck and I hope you get some sleep soon
Thanks Elm. Yeah - the in-laws keep kindly offering to look after him so we can have an evening out.
Three hours with the non-sleeping bottle-refuser and they probably wouldn't be offering again in a hurry. Nor would we be accepting, not least because of the humiliation I would have endured by falling asleep in the restaurant, snoring gently while my cheek rested on the starter.
I think maybe you should accept the Inlaws offer and go out for dinner! They won't mind if he's unsettled, people are much less sensitive to other people's babies crying than they are to their own. From when DS was 8 weeks old I had rehearsals two nights a week and had to leave him with either DH or grandparents. They had some fun evenings, I can assure you! However I cannot express how important it was to get away from the darkened room of 'go the hell to sleep'! Twice a week, not my problem. Even if you just snooze into your starter! Hope things get better soon
Hey ladies, hope you are ok. I started doing the Ferber progressive waiting approach...
The first night he full on cried for about 15 mins then grizzled for another hour, the second he cried for 5 mins and then grizzled for 25 and last night he just grizzled for about 15 mins! For the last 3 nights he has gone 10.5 hours between feeds! I've been putting him down at 7pm and he has been waking around 5.30am, I have fed him and there has slept til 7/8am!
Also he has been going down for naps with no crying at all and falling asleep within 15 mins. It is a miracle.
Honestly, I thought he was going to cry for hours, but he barely even cried the first night! I have just been too much of a wimp to want to do anything like it and now it's me waking every couple of hours to make sure he is ok, rather than him waking me up!
Hi all can I join?
So DD is 6 months old today and I have honestly not slept longer than a three hour stretch since in over three months. Right now I have stomach flu and DD is out in the car with DH because I can't do the feed-to-sleep-every-30-minutes dance we do every night.
The thing is I know I have no one else to blame that DD cannot self settle. Really don't know what to do and most days just feel like crying when my well meaning friends talk about their LO's waking twice in the night!
Long story short. We co-sleep and are struggling to get DD back out of bed into her own cot, but as DH's job takes him overseas for extended periods of time (he's just home after 6 weeks away) it always seemed easier to just stick DD on to feed when she woke than get up and do the walking/rocking thing.
Next problem is she won't take a bottle or a dummy for that matter so I am stuck in this feeding on demand nightmare and haven't had a single break from her since she was born. A few weeks ago I really tried every evening giving a bottle of formula, not only would she not take it, but now is covered almost head to toe in itchy baby eczema. I can see her trying to rub her chest in her sleep, something that adds to the rubbish sleep. Doctor has given us some cream but as yet it doesn't seem to be helping much.
Next teething, nothing through yet but she has all of the classic symptoms and will sometimes settle if given calpol so I think she may have some gum pain.
She will roll both ways happily during the day but at night seems to get stuck on her tummy and then wakes up.
We have started weaning, and is going well but has made absolutely no difference to her sleep.
Napping during the day is sporadic at best and we never know if it will be half and hour or two.
I know that we will most likely do CC at some point but just have no idea when to start as we have so many other issues to solve first!
Anyone else that ebf - when did you become confident that night wakings aren't hunger driven?
Any advice really as my lovely little girl is turning into a grumpy screaming mess during the day now and DH' and I seem to be disagreeing over everything. All in all we're in a truly awful situation.
Thanks for reading. Sorry for the rant!
Welcome bonbon at this ungodly hour
We seem to share a lot of issues and similar levels of sleep deprivation. My DH is currently in the bathroom with a stomach flu. If I catch it off him, I really haven't the faintest, faintest idea how I'll cope, because mine will not take bottles. I foresee a lot of lying on the bathroom floor crying with DS lying next to me, joining in.
I disagree with you that your DC's sleeping problems are your own fault. Some babies are just tough customers and are very good at quickly cementing their preferred ways of settling. You give the example of choosing to feed to sleep rather than walking and rocking. I'm pretty sure your DC (I've completely lost track of the sex, sorry, and I can't see your post while typing) would simply have decided walking and rocking was his/her preferred way of settling and become just as dependent on that. Feeding to sleep is a far quicker and more manageable solution for all at 3am I'm sure! I look back frequently, as you do in the wee small hours, at how I ended up in this sleepless situation and I honestly, honestly can't see how doing anything differently would have made any differently. DS was just cut out to be a craptacular sleeper. It's only those useless sleep books that like to make you think you could have done something about it.
Mine feeds to sleep, but I've also discovered, in the depths of night, that picking him up and holding him in feeding position is actually enough to knock him out in seconds. The thing that makes me want to scream is his nursery can get him asleep in nothing flat - he even falls asleep, yes, falls asleep in a bouncer in the middle of the play room. I haven't seen him do that since he was about six weeks old. Will he do it for me? Nope. Boob or bust.
No answers, sorry, just solidarity. We'll also be getting some physiological stuff sorted out before embarking on any sleep training, so hope yours gets sorted quickly so you can get on with finding a solution. Meanwhile, I shall get on with preparing divorce papers in the event of DH lumbering me with this vomiting bug.
*her and *would have made any difference (not differently, fecking predictive text)
another one joining in, i also have diabolically sleeping 5 month old ds2.
he wakes every 30 mins up till about 9pm, just to ensure i get no evening to myself. Then he rather generously extends this to every hour once i give in and go to bed - but he throws in the added inconvenience of doing all his poos at night so i have to change him and he will then be awake for 1-2 hours, at least once a night and sometimes up to three times.
I've now been holding him since midnight as he wakes when i try to put him down, I've only had 1hr50 mins of sleep tonight + can't see me getting much more now. Tomorrow is going to be, erm, interesting!
I'm waiting another few weeks + then going for some sleep training, I had great success with ds1 doing 'spaced soothing' - a form of cc where you leave them for 1 min and increase this by 1 minute each time, so not leaving them for as long. Don't know how successful I will be with ds2 though as he likes to puke spectacularly if left to cry for even a couple of minutes, but I have to do something + all other methods are failing!
I found an interesting site where a scientist mum reviewed all the research about cc, worth a read if you are considering it - i don't think cc is as bad as people make out, and certainly not worse than severe sleep deprivation! Also explains that more likely to be successful between 5.5 and 8 months due to developmental things going on outside of these times. Will try + link it if my sleep deprived brain can manage it
ok, trying to link - here
I'm also going to try cranial osteopathy this week to see if it will help as a last ditch attempt before sleep training
Hope everyone manages to get a little rest before daybreak!
Yep - Science of Mom blog. I think it's great.
Just put DS back in his cot after last posting. He lasted 5 minutes. Got our cranial osteopathy appointment today. I hope she has a magic wand because I feel like death.
ooh good luck for today then, fingers crossed it does the job.
I've given up trying to put him down, don't want his screams to wake ds1 - I defo couldn't cope today if he's grumpy from lack of sleep too
Just read that link, really interesting. Sleep deprivation is no joke. Feeling totally on the edge after a hideous night. DH is away so on my own & losing patience with the constant waking & crying. I'm just so fucking tired
DH had the stomach bug recently. He also had it when DS was 12 weeks & gave it to him. Was awful, he was really ill with it. I banished him to a room this time, then bleached & boil washed everything insight. Didn't let him near DS until 48 hours after the last 'episode'. We escaped it thankfully.
Also EFBing (& solids now). It's hard to know what hunger & what habit. I'm desperate to stop night feeds. DS has reflux do I have up hold him upright for 30mins after each feed. This basically means I'm awake for at least an hour each time.
I won't feed him unless i absolutely have to. He does go 9-12 hrs between feeds. If I can't get him off shhing then I'll feed him. I have a rule that if he can go 3-4 hours by day, he can do it a night & won't feed outside this.
Hope the cranialO was good. Hey did help with feeding may be I should take him back!!
sorry you had a bad night, last night was also my worst one by far, only got 2hrs sleep in total so i know how you feel. When is your dh home? Hope tonight is a better one for you.
ds2 has let dh settle him for naps today + for sleep tonight so hopefully we're starting to breaking the feed/sleep association - and at the risk of jinxing it, it looks like he has gone through to the next sleep cycle by himself, which is the first time for about a month
I'm off for yet another early night, so i wish everyone a peaceful night and sincerely hope i won't be on here all night again
After midnight last night I got half an hour of sleep, and not all at once. Before midnight I had a broken two hours. Maybe there was something in the air last night? I've quarantined vomiting DH into the en suite spare bedroom until he's 48 hours clear. When he asked me to bring him some toast I burst into tears. Sigh.
Apparently DS has a 'hard head' with 'tight membranes' and his jaw (alarmingly) 'needs to be rehung'. Whatevs. He got a gentle head rub and he was riveted by a Thomas the Tank toy they had. Let's see if it's done any good, eh? <she says with futile hope>
Time for the first lap to cot transfer of the night. Wish me luck. Nighty night!
It's so depressing when they wake up on transfer. It makes my heart sink having already been sat there for 45 mins, to then start the whole thing all over again.
I've started a self settling regime in the hope it helps him over night. He went down tonight awake in his cot & the same for all naps today. I'm sure feeding to sleep makes him wake more but we'll see.
I do rate the cranial osteopaths
although costs a bloody fortune. DS had a lump near his crown where the plates had been pushed up from the labour. She managed to sort that in three sessions. He didn't sleep any better but feeding improved.
DH back later this week. He said to call if I get stressed out bless him. Hopefully will be a better night. Couldn't be much worse than last night
don't jinx it.
Just found this thread, my dd was a really bad sleeper (slept 1 hour, awake for 2 every night). I did do CC and tbh it was the best thing I could have done.
I can offer handholding to anyone that wants it