Woman on the edge! Please give me your advice / encouragement / kind words...

(18 Posts)
maldivemoment Wed 13-Feb-13 20:45:00

Baby now almost 8 months old and still waking continually, say every 2 hours, from bedtime (7ish until getting up time (6/7ish).

I also have a 3 year old and am now beginning to REALLY feel the effects of sleep deprivation and NEVER having a moment to myself.

Baby is breastfed. Thought a bottle may help so she has 5oz before bedtime. Has it helped her sleep? Not-a-bloody-jot! She wakens every 2 hours through the night and looks for me to get her back to sleep (see, this is where feeding-on-demand has got me!). She won't really feed as such, more just lovely, comforting, mummy/booby snuggles to get back to sleep. Husband has tried (not the feeding obviously, I mean he's tried putting her down, getting her back to sleep) but she just cries louder / for longer and then I do that whole "oh just bloody give her here..." routine so we can all get back to sleep. Most nights she ends up in with us. For almost 8 months I have been going to bed the same time as a 7 month old and I'VE HAD ENOUGH! I want my life / marriage / husband back please. Oh yes, and I also want to do it it the easiest, smoothest way possible!
I'm now fed up thinking once she's a little bigger / once she's on solids / bla, bla, bla, her sleeping will improve. ARGH...IT'S NOT BLOODY IMPROVING!

Joking aside I'm now becoming a little concerned about my mental health. Feeling rather low most of the time which definitely isn't like me. Finding it hard to get motivated and my patience is almost non-existent. This isn't really fair on my adorable 3 year old.

Oh god, without any more incoherent rambling, can someone please help? Bought NCSS but not had a chance to read it all the way through. Should I go down this route? Any success stories? Last night I almost caved in and just let baby scream herself to sleep and this most definitely is not like me. I NEVER thought I would let one of my babies cry!

Anyone got any comforting words for me?

Iggly Wed 13-Feb-13 21:30:22

<hugs>

You sound like me a few months ago. I also have a 3 year old.

Dd was a dreadful sleeper due to tongue ie, acid reflux and food intolerances so I knew that sleep training wouldn't help.

What I did do was get her used to being in her cot at the start of the night so I could have a couple of hours to myself with DH. Then coslept the rest of the night.

I would feed her to sleep, thoroughly wind her then put in cot once fast asleep. Didn't always work but kept trying every night til she got used to the idea. Sometimes I'd have to go back up after 45 mins but that gradually lessened.

Then I started putting her in her cot after night feeds at around 9/10 months.

Once she got used to that she slept a bit better.

I will add - I didn't beat myself up too much if she didn't settle in her cot. I'd just take her back in bed. But by keeping on trying, I was buoyed by the odd success then it gradually got easier!

Now she settles like a dream (14 months) and sleeps through some nights grin

Snusmumriken Wed 13-Feb-13 21:32:45

Poor, poor you. It sounds really difficult. Why don't you move this post to breast and bottle feeding. There are usually loads of brilliant and helpful mums netters on that thread. I m sure they would be able to advise you.

Good luck!

Snusmumriken Wed 13-Feb-13 21:33:40

Opps, x-post.

Loislane78 Wed 13-Feb-13 21:38:46

I'm no expert and am having some troubles with my 6 mo after illness etc. but this sounds like a self settling/comfort/wants snuggles issue rather than feeding. I'm going down the NCSS method and have started with daytime naps in the cot. Put her down tired but awake and sit with her until she's asleep, no rocking etc. takes about 10 mins and she's asleep. Need to progress to going down awake and me leaving the room.

LadyWidmerpool Wed 13-Feb-13 21:48:41

Chat to your GP or HV about your mood. There might be something underlying that they can treat, like your thyroid. Or you might have depression, which is very treatable. I'm not saying it's definitely anything other than lack of sleep because heaven knows that's bad enough. But worth ruling things out.

ct148 Wed 13-Feb-13 22:08:31

I tell everyone to have a look at a thread called 'what worked for us'. You sound just like me. I used to go to bed really early and had no evenings, hardly saw my husband etc because I'd constantly fed my DS to sleep and he'd wake up 30 mins after being put down in his cot and would refuse to go back in there. Its all about them learning to go to sleep without feeding. And its not as hard as I thought actually. Basically its the gradual withdrawal method, tho I never actually moved away from his cot. Which is probably why DS still not an amazing sleeper though does go all night sometimes but usually wakes once or twice. I would advise giving it a go if you've got to the point where you can't take it anymore. Massively helped me and I knew I had to do something as I was starting to feel angry (esp when he'd wake up before I'd even got to sleep from the last time) hope things improve whatever you decide, its torture and I didn't even have a 3 year old too!

princesssmartypantss Sat 16-Feb-13 16:08:20

We had similar problem when ds (now 19m) was 8m old, ncss really helped i spent quite a few evenings sitting near his cot just making the odd shhh-ing sound until he was going off to sleep more quickly then night by night edged a little further toward the door once i was out of the room there were still a few nights of shhh-ing from outside. We have stumbled upon problem as he has self weaned as although wasn't fed to sleep it really helped calm him down. Now he finds it difficult to switch off but he seems to have teeth popping up every week so maybe its just something that will pass once teeth through.
Do know how awful being totally exhausted is, and how wonderful it is when they sleep a proper night. Hope you start to see improvement soon. PM me if you want more info.

princesssmartypantss Sat 16-Feb-13 16:08:38

We had similar problem when ds (now 19m) was 8m old, ncss really helped i spent quite a few evenings sitting near his cot just making the odd shhh-ing sound until he was going off to sleep more quickly then night by night edged a little further toward the door once i was out of the room there were still a few nights of shhh-ing from outside. We have stumbled upon problem as he has self weaned as although wasn't fed to sleep it really helped calm him down. Now he finds it difficult to switch off but he seems to have teeth popping up every week so maybe its just something that will pass once teeth through.
Do know how awful being totally exhausted is, and how wonderful it is when they sleep a proper night. Hope you start to see improvement soon. PM me if you want more info.

Debzarella Sat 16-Feb-13 21:02:03

This is the exact position I am in - currently sat next to crying daughter in her cot and have been here for 2 hours trying to get her the f asleep sad

maldivemoment Sat 16-Feb-13 23:50:46

Thank you ladies.

As tough as it is, it's always reassuring to know you're not alone, right?

Have taken on board all your advice and will make some changes and see what happens. I keep reminding myself that although this is so difficult it's not forever and i (we) will get through it...

I may report back if things improve grin or (deep intake of breath) get worse confused

lemontop Mon 18-Feb-13 10:22:33

Just to let you know I am the exact same position with my DD who has just turned 7 months. I also have a 3 year old and have got to the stage where something has got to change. Please let me know if you find anything that works. I bf DD to sleep at about 7pm, if I am very lucky she sleeps till 10pm when I feed her again. After that it's totally random wakings every hour and recently she has been wide awake for hours in the middle of the night. Feeding her to sleep doesn't work any more. Need a solution before I go bonkers and definitely before I go back to work in a couple of months. Will try anything!

darlingoz Thu 21-Feb-13 10:30:46

My daughter was never a good sleeper. At 7 weeks they sent me to sleep school that's how bad it was. Anyway that was crap and Di nothing. A friend out me onto save our sleep by tizzie hall and desperate and exhausted I tried it and it worked within a week. Only after did I realise book and cc and any method really that leaves a baby to cry is controversial. Best thing about book for me is she teaches u difference between emotional cry vs protesting cry. She beloved u can leave a baby to protest cry for as long as it takes ( or u can handle it) but if it's emotional cry u need to comfort baby immediately. Anyway, understanding difference made it possible for me to leave daughter to cry that first week. She's now 7 months old and mostly sleeps through. Best thing is knowing I can put her down at 7 pm and within a couple of mins she's out leaving evening a time where I can catch up with partner. And have much needed me time. Worth a read. Sleep deprivation kills me ( happens everytime teething/illness/growthspurt happens) and I often wonder if I just find it harder than everyone else. This book ( parts of it anyway) really saved me

MsSampson Thu 21-Feb-13 21:18:41

OP - I'd definitely read NCSS a bit. You asked if there were any success stories, and I think we are. "Think" in the sense that I don't want to jinx it, and of course there's always the chance they would have got better by themselves anyway. Breaking the feeding to sleep association was the hardest, felt like it took forever, but actually, I think we started around Christmas time, and now DD kind of sleeps through most nights, if you consider 5.30am to be morning! But, we were on every two hours on a good night, so it's amazing really. I was put off by the idea of logging everything, because to be honest, if you're sleep deprived who's going to do that? So, I sort of muddled through. Once I'd broken the feed to sleep at the beginning of the night the wakes dropped dramatically, and then I started timing the night feeds, and cutting by 30 seconds every few nights, until we were down to just a couple of minutes, and I was reassured she wasn't actually hungry, and then we went cold turkey on feeds, which actually wasn't that bad at all because of all the Pantley ground work.
Anyway, lots of sympathy, because it's just a bit soul destroying, and like you say, starts to impact everything in your life. I think for me I started to just feel a tiny bit better when I had a plan, but maybe that's because I'm a massive control freak? Good luck whatever you do anyway...

maldivemoment Fri 22-Feb-13 08:26:18

MsSampson - my day has started with a smile thanks to you! (& my husband & babies, OBVIOUSLY!!!)

THANKS SO MUCH for sharing your success. Things seem to be getting worse and for the past few nights I've thought 'right, I'm getting that book back out and we're tackling this 'cos I've BLOODY HAD ENOUGH!!!!' Sound familiar??

If I'm honest I want a quick fix because I don't know if I have the energy for logs, etc but on the other hand I'm just not the type to attempt controlled crying (think I would end up in a worse state than baby!) so NCSS here we come. I've tried the pick up/put down thing and shush/pat but baby just screams louder. It's prob her way of saying (in a very shouty voice) "look this is VERY simple. Just get your boobs out, I'll get all cosy and snuggly and we'll all be happy" grin

Thanks so much for sharing. Trust me it is VERY MUCH appreciated.

MsSampson Fri 22-Feb-13 18:57:38

No worries Maldivemoment - glad to help! I think people are too scared of sounding smug when talking to sleep deprived people to boast of success, but actually, I just wanted to hear that it might get better - when a woman in the playground said to me breezily "oh, x didn't sleep through the night until he went to school", I wanted to either punch her, or fall to the ground weeping, or both.

I think the other things from the NCSS book that helped us were getting her attached to a teddy bear (took ages though), and letting her play in the cot during the day, so she stopped seeing it as a bad place. I will warn you though, for us, it took ages for the Pantley Pull Off to feel like it was working (I snigger every time I say that btw, because it sounds so rude). It is definitely not a quick fix, so you need to keep going back to the book to reassure yourself.
I know what you mean about controlled crying - I tried a bit of shush pat at the beginning, and then after half an hour I would cave and get the boobs out, and then I'd be furious with myself for wasting that half an hour when we could both have been back asleep.

Anyway, best of luck!

maldivemoment Fri 22-Feb-13 22:10:10

MsSampson - are you me???? smile

Do you mind me asking how old your baby is and when you started? Re-read another few snippets from the book this evening and she seems to mention that when it all feels as if it's going a bit, ahem, t*ts up shock, shall we say, then just refer back to what works in the short term, i.e. boobs out and baby latched on. Did you have a few nights where this happened? Is/was it a case of 2 steps forward 1 step back?

I'm also trying the teddy bear thing but I think I'm doing it half-heartedly. I'm expecting her to nuzzle in to this bloomin teddy and cuddle it to sleep and when she doesn't I just chuck in back in the cot (usually muttering an expletive as I do so!) thinking "...well there's another thing that ain't working..."

So, when you say "ages", how long we talking here?

Gawd, I'm hard work ain't I?????

MsSampson Sun 24-Feb-13 15:30:51

Sorry for slow response - hangover - blurgh!
So, DD is 7 months now. We started, or at least, I bought the book, just before Christmas. I wasn't particularly consistent in following it though. So, it's been less than 2 months. Of course, I feel like I've jinxed things now because she's been up 3 or 4 times from 4am onwards for the past few days, but of course, compared to waking 3 times before midnight like in the old days that's nothing.
Anyway, I've been trying to work out what I tried, and when, and I know that one week in January I was staying with my parents, and I just gave up temporarily and just bought her into bed with me at 9pm every night for about 5 nights just to catch up a bit. As soon as she stirred I could either just pat her a bit or get a boob out and we'd both fall straight back asleep - was nice, but not sustainable, as bed at home is not big enough for the 3 of us. But I think it did give me the energy to do the other stuff. And to be honest, I don't feel like it really set us back at all. I still did the pull off stuff, and put her down without feeding her at the beginning of the night. In fact, she possibly benefitted by sleeping better herself.
The teddy bear - I think I tried to get her to attach to a bit of silky cloth that came with a slumber bear thing we were given as a present, and she just wasn't interested, so I swapped to the teddy. She wasn't particularly interested in that either, but I just kept it between us when I fed her before bed/naps, and then every time I put her back in the cot I'd put it next to her, and now she falls asleep cuddling it, which is very cute. Although tbf I have no idea if it's actually any use in helping her self-soothe?
But it's definitely 2 steps forward/one back. And it's very very hard not to just get frustrated when you think you've cracked something, and then they start waking before midnight again. And you know what, if you have a night where you just can't face faffing around with the Pantley Pull Off grin, it's not like you're going to ruin everything, like if you were doing CC or something.
Good luck again! And ask away about what we did, although I'm hardly an expert. DD is my first, and this is probably the first time I have been able to be at all helpful, and not just ask stupid questions on her...

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