Misery loves company: anyone want to join me on a support thread for those desperate and demoralised by their 8/9/10 mo sleep?

(1000 Posts)
Suchanamateur Tue 11-Dec-12 14:36:13

Bloody sleep regression. It's like 4 months all over again but worse because it felt (briefly) like we were getting somewhere. Feck. Anyone else want to share tales of woe or is it (a) just me or (b) way too depressing to post about..?

Nightmoves Sat 15-Dec-12 20:24:10

elphaba what an amazing idea. Love it. Will watch with interest.

blossombath Sat 15-Dec-12 21:21:13

Genius elphaba, trick the little blighters into sleep. You do have to look on the bright side - I like to think that the extra wake ups are extra times to cuddle ds before he gets old enough to not want mummy hugs. Hard to stick to that philosophy when you are too tired to stand up and/or they are screaming and flailing round seemingly enraged with you for picking them up/not picking them up/feeding/not feeding/just being there.

Fishandjam sorry to hear you're sobbing in evenings - can really sympathise with the emotional toll of tiredness, though most my sobbing happens in the mornings as DH leaves and I face the day. If it gives you hope my DS would only settle for me at about 6mo but now settles for either of us (mostly) so at least we can share some wakings.

Do any of you manage to get early nights as a coping strategy? I am useless at it, but wonder if I should make more effort.

PickledLily Sat 15-Dec-12 22:10:09

Oh yes, 8.30 is a late night in this house blush but we live in the sticks so nobody notices grin. I'm only awake now because baby pickle took an hour of rocking to settle at 8pm (late for her) so am anticipating the 10.30pm wake up.

Btw, how long can you give Calpol/Calprofen before it starts damaging them? I think DD has had a dose most days since 4mths. Doctor seemed very unconcerned when I asked.

TooImmatureMincePies Sat 15-Dec-12 22:13:27

Me too, me too! Please can I join? DD is 9 months and her sleep is shite. She was great and I was v smug between about 9 weeks and 4.5 months and then it all went to pot. She's developed every horrible trick in the book - it used to be just waking up every 2 hours or less, but she did feed back to sleep quickly. Now she'll fall asleep in my/DH's arms and look dead to the world but wake up and scream the instant she touches the cot, or 5 minutes later. I usually give up and let her co-sleep in the end.

Last night she screamed hysterically so I let her co-sleep from midnight, fed her a couple of times, and then she woke up at 4 and screamed again. I couldn't calm her down at all. DH eventually got up and walked/sang until she was calm enough to fall asleep on top of me.

I hate co-sleeping - wake up rigidly uncomfortable or with frozen arms from having them out from under the covers. DD seems to overheat, too, which worries me.

This evening she went to sleep at 7, woke up at 8 for a quick feed, then again at 9 and just would not go back to sleep. Both DH and I seem to have used up all our patience, so I brought her back into the living room and she's rolling around on the floor happily looking very wide awake. I don't mind that so much when it happens at this time - it's when she does it at 3am that's the killer.

I go back to work after Christmas too - I'm hoping nursery will help a bit. Maybe it'll knacker her enough that she'll have to sleep? <hopeful>

PickledLily Sat 15-Dec-12 22:26:22

Oh and I can vouch that self-settling does diddly squat to how long DD sleeps.

I think elphaba, you might be onto something. The other night baby pickle was thrashing around in my arms, absolutely shattered and, I thought suffering in pain. Oh more fool me. When I took her (swearing under my breath) to the spare room to cosleep, she lay there grinning at me, crawled over and gave me a hug and a kiss before then looking excitedly at absolutely everything in the room. She's 8months FFS and displaying teenage contrariness already.

So no more swearing at her now. Just sweet contented smiles as she tries to scratch me to shreds.

homeappliance Sat 15-Dec-12 22:27:02

My dd is 10 months now. Brilliant sleeper up to 4 months and its been rubbish ever since. It's gone from waking 2-3 times a night to now completely refusing to sleep in her cot. Possibly because we've recently moved house. Anyway, we're reluctantly co-sleeping now

blossom I go to bed at 7pm when DS does (for the first time of an evening, at least). I'm usually out before 8pm. Tonight I fell asleep seething with envy after reading a FB status of a friend with a baby six weeks younger than mine - she (friend, not baby) has gone to an Anne Summers party, leaving baby with her husband, knowing that her DD will be fed and asleep when she gets home and will remain that way until 7am tomorrow morning.

All I want is a night on the sofa with my DH FFS! I don't even want to go to a shitty Anne Summers party!

<sighs>

<half-hearted enthusiasm> Only three wake ups before midnight DS? You can do better than that! We might not end up in the spare room at this rate!

Oh, fuckit...

TooImmatureMincePies Sun 16-Dec-12 11:30:18

I gave in and co-slept last night from 1am. DD had only gone to sleep at midnight and when she woke up DH went in to her but couldn't settle her, so I took her into bed with me. She actually slept pretty well as a result, grr! Or maybe her wakings just disturbed me less.

Hope everyone had a great night's sleep! <optimistic>

HearMyRoar Sun 16-Dec-12 15:14:22

Well, on the plus side dd didn't cry at me all night which was nice. Unfortunately I had plenty of time to appreciate it as she woke up every 30 to 40 mins from midnight till dp got up with her at 6. She would only go back to sleep if I sat up and cuddled her and then if I didn't hold her for at least 10 mins she would wake as soon as I lay down again.

Like others she is going through a phase of refusing to settle for dp at night which is a drag. Still I got up this morning to find dp cleaning the bathroom floor with dd in the bath playing happily. Bless him. He is earning some serious brownie points this weekend smile

Hoping for a better night tonight as I work Mondays. Though to reassure those going back soon work really is quite a nice break in many ways.

Xmarksthespot Mon 17-Dec-12 07:18:34

Haven't slept next to my husband for 9+ months. Co-sleeping started around 5 months - its the only way I can get a half decent night's sleep when ds1 wakes, oh I don't know, every 2 hours...and that's been since birth. Nuff said.

Just read this pearl of wisdom on page 90 in the 'Birth to Five' NHS book <ahem>:

'By the time your child is six months old, it's reasonable to expect them to sleep through most nights.'

<Elphaba places book on towering pile of books that DS has neglected to read...>

My latest strategy is to try and cut down/out night feeds so that, if DS at least needs cuddling back to sleep, DH can do some of them, rather than every night waking being up to the one with the boobs to deal with. Anyone tried this? I guess if you have it was unsuccessful and you wouldn't be here, but it would be nice to find out...

HearMyRoar I'm back to work full time in less than six weeks and I'm rapidly giving up hope that this sleep is going to be sorted before then. DS will be increasing his time at nursery gradually before then. Am I best using the baby-free time before I go back to work to catch up on sleep, or just harden up and stay awake since I'm obviously not exactly going to get the chance to kip at work? (I work in a hospital - seeing all those snoozing patients in their beds is going to be tough...envy)

Fishandjam Mon 17-Dec-12 09:11:48

DD managed every 2 hours last night. And thrashed about in between, so despite co-sleeping I still got no kip! Chocolate crispy cakes for breakfast here grin.

Elphaba, can you kip in your car at work? When I was pg with DD (see, she's been a pain ever since sperm met egg!) I was so exhausted, I had to get a lunchtime nap. It was wintertime during the first trimester, so I had a blanket in the car to stop me getting cold... I also fell asleep on the floor of the disabled cludgie at one point, but I don't recommend that.

Nah - it takes me 20-30 minutes to fall asleep (or longer), which is the length of my lunch break, and I'm not one of those who can sleep anywhere, especially not in a car. Besides, being a martyr and all, I'll probably be using my lunch breaks to express!

artifarti Mon 17-Dec-12 10:00:19

Elphaba - I was on a similar thread to this when DS1 was a baby and I remember quoting that NHS book bollocks back then!

Xmarks - DP and I have also been in different rooms since DS2 was born. DP is a crap sleeper at the best of times and he usually ends up with DS1 in with him at some point. I try to think that none of this will last forever but I do feel like an old Granny sometimes, heading off to my room with my hot water bottle and a handful of breastpads.

DS2's teething seems to be ramping up which is both awful but will hopefully mean some teeth will emerge soon. We co-slept from 11pm last night. When he is in his cot he wakes all the time and thrashes about seemingly in agony but as soon as he is snuggled up with me, he rubs his mouth a bit and self-settles to sleep quite happily. I suppose I should be flattered...

TooImmatureMincePies Mon 17-Dec-12 11:52:30

Elphaba, I've tried getting DH to settle DD - she will sometimes settle for him, which is great, but she still wakes up just as frequently. I'm considering night-weaning too, though, because she's stopped eating much during the day and is happily topping herself up with bm at night, grr!

I hate co-sleeping. I let DD into our bed at 10.40 after she'd been up at 8.15, 9.30, 10.20 and then 10.40 after a 7pm bedtime. It was fine to begin with until I woke up at 3am sweating like a pig, back aching and an overwhelming urge to wriggle frantically. Oh, and with one dead arm because DD was using it as pillow. At 6 I couldn't stand it any more and woke DD up handing her to DH just so I could lie down and stretch. Any tips for happier co-sleeping?

HearMyRoar Mon 17-Dec-12 19:54:58

elphaba I do just have an office job so apart from some purposeful striding along corridors its not very physical. even when its pretty stressful its so different from looking after dd that it really isn't as bad as you would think even when I've had no sleep.

Too I don't know exactly how other people do cosleeping but here is our set up which is pretty happy I would say (or at least would be if some more sleeping was actually involved). We all share abed and me and dp have never slept seperatly, which is really important to me, though as we both work the same amount in similar jobs it makes sense for us to share the pain a bit.

1) we have other biggest bed we can fit in our room. We haver a super king which really makes it manageable for all 3 of us to share a bed as we also have a huge baby.

2) I've always used blankets rather then a duvet so didn't need to worry about dd getting stuck under a duvet and also it makes it easy to add or remove layers to stop either of us getting too hot or cold.

3) huge bed means that there is almost 2 foot of spare, clear mattress beside our pillows so dd can be quite high in the bed without me worrying about her getting smothered by pillows. This mean I can have the blankets higher to keep warm shoulders (I also wear a pj top which helps).

4) once dd got past 6 months or so she stopped wanting to snuggle up quite as much (think getting the huge bed helped). She still likes to touch me but we have enough room that I can move about, sleep on my back, etc without disturbing her too much.

We also keep a selection of toys next to the bed so as soon as she wakes up in the morning we can just pop her on the floor next to the bed and she will play for 15 mins while we wake up.

For me the bad bits, like dd's recent habit of rotating found during the night so I wake up to find she is taking up half the bed and kicking me in the bladder, are all made up for by not having to get out of bed when she wakes up. Also by the times I get woken up by her singing next to me and smiling away...but then I'm a big softy really.

I also found I enjoyed cosleeping more when we just decided that it was what we were going to do and so stopped stressing about it or worrying that we were failing somehow by not having her asleep in a cot.

Sorry this has become a bit of an essay. Cosleeping has worked for us though to be honest it would never have crossed our minds to do it if dd hadn't been such a bad sleeper. Really it was a matter of making the best of a crap situation. I can totally understand why people would dislike it and know its not for everyone.

TooImmatureMincePies Mon 17-Dec-12 21:34:24

Hear, thanks for the advice! We have a super-king bed too. I suppose what might help is pushing it against the wall on my side so I'm not worrying she'll fall out if I'm not holding onto her. I think you're right about it becoming easier once you make the decision to do it properly and not thinking that co-sleeping= failure to make DD sleep in her own bed.

She's in her cot now - fingers crossed!

ScreamIfYouStillBelieveInSanta Tue 18-Dec-12 00:30:31

This thread is both the most comforting thread I've ever read, and the most depressing! wink

<waves to Too!>

Clearly it's the right place for me though! My DD is 7.5 months old and has never slept well. There have been the occasional nights when she's only woken up a couple of times, but those are usually when I'm not there! (My Mum has had her overnight a couple of times to give me a break, plus DH has had her without me a few times). There was no 4 month sleep regression, she had nothing to regress from! Even when she was teething her sleep only seemed as broken as usual.

Generally she has no consistent pattern. Despite my best efforts she doesn't nap at the same time each day, and regardless of my 7pm bedtime routine she can fall asleep for the first time anytime between 8 and midnight. She's up and down all night long, usually hourly although tonight she's woken every time I've put her in her cot since 10pm confused

She's always been clingy and sobs whenever she wakes and finds she's not being held. I think I mostly took it in my stride for the first 6 months. I just thought it was normal (even though all my rl friends' babies started sleeping through by 12 weeks envy). I just thought she'd grow out of it. Plus she's my first child so I could just slob around in my pjs all day when the exhaustion got on top of me. Since 6 months though it's really starting to scare me, I'm terrified she won't sleep through for YEARS! DH has a cousin whose FIVE yo DS has always been a nightmare sleeper, and he STILL gets up a couple of times a night (even after a full day at school).

Sorry to be a killjoy, I know in the teeny tiny logical part of my brain that that is an incredibly rare and unhelpful story. It's just half midnight, I haven't slept yet, I haven't had more than 4 or 5 hours sleep in a night for a long time (and those hours are never consecutive). So I'm griping. Please forgive the long rant.

I'm up for trying some reverse psychology! Or a sedative, whatever works! wink

Fishandjam Tue 18-Dec-12 05:17:46

Hello SIYSBIS. I know exactly what you mean about getting scared she'll never sleep properly! I feel we never had any "honeymoon period" with DD; she got over her horrendous colic (screaming for hours and hours each day for weeks) only to hit the 4 month sleep regression.

Tonight's been another stinker at this end. DD went to bed at 7pm, slept until 9.30, woke and fed, went back to sleep until 10.30, woke and fed again, then went back to sleep until 12.30 and has been awake ever since - though I think she might have given up and gone back to sleep now (I left her to cry - couldn't stand it any longer sad).

Really can't take this any longer. Am sitting here crying yet again, feeling so ashamed that I can't cope with her. People say to me "it will get better" and I just want to punch them. GP was no use when I went to him to try to explain how awful I was feeling - he just launched straight into a lecture on how to start DD on solids (when he knows perfectly well I already have a DS aged 3, that I've already done it with) and stop BF and give her formula. Oh yes, and totally leave her to scream when she wakes at night. Because if she was in the jungle and cried at night she would be eaten by hyaenas, so she needs to learn not to hmm. If I go back to him I'll just get another lecture on feeding. (I have no intention of following his advice, BTW. Can't see how it will make that much difference!)

ScreamIfYouStillBelieveInSanta Tue 18-Dec-12 05:47:14

Hi Fish. Sending lots of hugs your way! I won't say it'll get better I think we're both waiting for proof of that! I can only say you're not alone!

Tonight has been horrendous here too. DD has literally woken every time I've tried to transfer her to her cot tonight. So all night long it's been - walk/bounce/soothe, get her to sleep on me for 10 mins, transfer her to cot, scream scream scream, repeat. All night. As usual I caved around 3 and tried co-sleeping but tonight even that wasn't working, she WOULD NOT lie next to me and I can't get any sleep lying with her on top of me because I have a bad back. I'm so tired and absolutely dreading the day.

Your GP sounds far worse than useless though Fish! I guess we have to just keep dragging ourselves through, and waiting for our "eureka!" moment!

ExhaustTed Tue 18-Dec-12 06:48:58

Hello again, still no sleep here, and getting worse. I so agree at the depressing thought that this is how it will be forever. I know it's just a phase, and that in 10 years or so they'll have grown out of it, but it's such a difficult phase, and a long phase. I am so scared about going back to work, so it does come as some conforms heremyroar that its not that bad. I think it's looming so its very depressing that maternity leave is almost done and I'm still so exhausted.
Cosleeping just doesn't work for me, when dd is awake she just doesn't want to lie down at all, only comforted when I'm walking around with her bouncing and shuushing. She'll sleep against my shoulder, but then if I try and put her down.... Waaahhhhhh, waaaahhhhh.
Any stories of it magically sorting itself as a present from Father Christmas for being a good mum?

Hideous here too - seven wake-ups last night. He was just now successfully falling asleep on the boob for a 9am nap and a bloody parcel delivery person showed up which has woken him up fully.

Fish Seriously, report that GP. You know he's talking bollocks (and going completely against advice from everyone from WHO, UNICEF, NHS et al regarding breastfeeding) but if he's telling the same hooey to other people, they might actually think he knows what he's talking about.

That said, when I spoke to a GP several weeks ago about DS's sleeping problems he said he'd prescribe a sedative (yes, for baby) shock He offered on two separate occasions as well, 'to give me a break'. I assured him it wouldn't give me a break as I'd be parked by the cot all night making sure my barely six-month-old baby was still breathing.

Oh thank God, he's knocked off. Let two hours of sitting parked on my bum with snoring baby across my lap commence. Better than an overtired tantrum, innit? God I wish I could sleep sitting up...

Fishandjam Tue 18-Dec-12 09:36:47

I am trying to be optimistic - have just got myself outside two rounds of bacon sarnie and a pint mug of tea, which always perks me up a bit. (So long as I don't look in the mirror, cos I look fecking dreadful - I suffer from very thin skin under my eyes, which is slightly shadowed at the best of times - currently doing a good impression of a raccoon. Though perhaps without the tendency to raid dustbins.)

I am going to get a bottle of proper nice champagne (none of your cava, prosecco or methode traditionnel rubbish grin) and put in in the fridge for the halcyon day that DD sleeps through between 11pm and 6am. And on that day, I'm gonna have it for breakfast. You are hereby all invited.

How's everyone else doing? Nights on a scale of 1 to 10? (10 being blissful slumber, 1 being the opposite!)

Still parked here with snoring DS across the lap after a 3/10 night (pretty bad but we've had worse). I could go some toast and a coffee...

Keznel Tue 18-Dec-12 10:55:24

May I join?
After a horrendous night of DD waking every hour, I'm emotionally and physically shattered!! I too return to work in 6 weeks and I fear for my career if I can't function at work through exhaustion grin. I think I have read too many sleep books and have all that 'advice' rattling round in my head making me sooooo frustrated when DD (8months) doesn't conform sad Her daytime naps are also a nightmare (or should that be daymare)! So we are swirling round in that vicious circle of poor daytime sleep leads to poor nighttime sleep with no end in sight!

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