HELP! Is there light at the end of this long, dark, tunnel??

(7 Posts)
cracker82 Sat 11-May-13 14:59:08

I'm sat here in a state of severe sleep deprivation, with tears streaming down my face and wondering when I will feel like the old me again? My DS is now 6 months old and I love him with all my heart. In the day he the happiest little boy but he has never slept more than 2 hours in a row at night and it's starting to seriously take it's toll on me. My DH is in a high stress job and so can't really take over the night shifts although on weekends he does take DS away in the morning so I can get a little extra sleep. DS is now on three solid meals a day, as well as breast feeding, so I know it's not hunger as he eats a lot. I'm also finding that it's taking me increasingly longer to actually get to sleep and if my DH takes him off me in the day I can rarely sleep for longer than two hours - its like my internal clock is set at that time now. I'm struggling to do the most simplest of tasks and I'm due to go back to work in a couple of months. I truly don't know how I'm going to do it and I feel completely panicked when I think about it:-( DS also seems to have a constant rotation of colds (which he also gives to me) and teething. I guess I could cope better if I could see an end to it. Everyone tells me it'll get better but I just don't think I can do another 6 months like this, especially if I'm back to work too. I've tried everything from co sleeping to putting him in a separate room but it's always the same outcome - he is up every two hours at the most and when he wakes, it takes me an hour to get back off to sleep. I cosleep with now as getting up and down was terrible but I'm always aware that he is next to me and he always wakes me when he is trying to latch on. I feel like a very think fog surrounds me and I'm no longer the happy, go-lucky girl I once was. Everyone says what a great mum I am as he is so happy but I just feel ill most of the time. When he wakes in the morning he always gives me a big smile and I love him so much but everyday is getting harder and harder. I just wish I knew when it was going to get better so I could work towards an end point but it just seems never ending. I saw a post on here with a woman who was still waking every two hours and her DS was 19 months old!!! Shoot me now if that is to be my fate....

teacher123 Sat 11-May-13 17:26:26

Hello, I am absolutely no expert, but I have read so many posts about sleep that I feel that I can at least be reassuring!! smile You might have to get tough and have some crying in order for things to change significantly. It is easier to take the path of least resistance when you're knackered, but cosleeping obviously isn't working for you at the moment. At about 5 months I stopped feeding to sleep at bedtime as it was no longer working. Once he started settling at bedtime on his own (not going to lie-there was some crying but not a catastrophic amount by any means) the night wakings began to tail off gradually. I also used to wait a bit longer before going in to him in the night, and sometimes he'd go back over by himself. However whenever he cries properly I always go in straightaway, or if he's generally unsettled. He does wake up bastard early now though, but I'll take that... He goes to bed really early, so I try and get to bed by 10 latest.

minipie Sun 12-May-13 17:44:22

How does he get back to sleep when he wakes? do you rock him, feed him, put dummy in? does he go back to sleep quite quickly when you rock/feed or whatever it is?

if so - it may well be a sleep association issue, ie he has formed the habit that needs you to do X (rock/feed) to get him back to sleep whenever he comes into a light sleep and wakes momentarily (as we all do throughout the night). he hasn't learned how to go back to sleep by himself. if it is a sleep association, controlled crying is quite likely to work, and work within a few days. but you have to be prepared to stick with it as it does take a couple of days of a LOT of crying. some people are ideologically opposed to it (many on MN think it's evil, personally I think it's a lesser evil than a broken mother).

the no cry sleep solution is also often recommended as a softer approach, though it takes a lot longer and endless patience.

good luck.

Jayne266 Sun 12-May-13 20:19:07

My DS was similar (now 10 months old) for me routine, routine, routine was the way to go.
How many naps does he have during the day? Have you noticed a pattern? How does he nap?
What's your bedtime routine? Do you use any comforters?
Unfortunately when they are sick it throws a spanner into the works for us but it's normally only 1 day.

KatAndKit Sun 12-May-13 21:01:26

Of course your DH can help in the night. You are doing a high stress job too and you are not coping at the moment. Getting up once in the night will not make him unable to do his day at work. It sounds like you are feeling very low and could perhaps do with having a chat with your health visitor but you do need support at home. I also struggle to get back to sleep when i have been woken in the night but if you are having real problems sleeping yourself that can quickly lead to depression.

At 6 months he should ideally still be having 3 naps per day - do whatever it takes to get them, driving round, pushing in buggy, sling, whatever so that he does not get overtired as that makes nights harder.
Often it is just a bad phase. I had a killer time at 4 months and again at 8 months, we were up so many times each night. It did get better.

Put a mattress on the floor in your DS's room next to the cot. Divide the night into two shifts. Both of you take a turn sleeping on the mattress and the other one gets peace and quiet in their own bed for half the night. You can't carry on doing it all yourself or you will make yourself ill. Does your DH have any holiday days left so that he could spend a few days at home with DS while you recuperate a bit?

minipie Mon 13-May-13 09:31:05

yy, overtiredness can also cause frequent waking, he needs 3 hrs of naps in the day (which is easier said than done if he is overtired)

gentlemantobed Tue 14-May-13 09:07:28

My DS1 was very much the same at 6 months. I did not believe there was any light at the end of our tunnel! We saw a very small improvement in sleep once he started crawling (8m) and a definite improvement once he was up on his feet ( about 10 m with a walker and 14m all by himself). So for us it was a combination of wearing him out and controlled crying on first put down that eventually got him from at 4m waking every 45 min to at 14 m sleeping through.

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