Can't take this anymore - I feel like my 5 month old will break me.

(55 Posts)
Elednor Tue 29-Jul-14 17:43:43

I'll try to keep it brief - my 5 month old has a REALLY hard time sleeping in the day. Originally she would only sleep on our chests, then she got to 14 weeks and decided she didn't like that anymore.

She'll sleep in the pram for 20 minutes - after 2 hours of walking. Same with the baby carrier. She won't nap on my chest, but will DH's, although she'll cry from anywhere from 5 minutes to half an hour. She has just started taking a few of her naps in her cot, but it takes a lot of work and effort. She won't co-sleep, if you leave her alone she will just roll around and play for ages until she starts whinging.

Today DH went back to work. He hasn't worked since the birth of DD2 as we both had issues after the birth, but we are now well enough and this is the first day I have had both DD's from 9-5.

It's been awful.

Both DD's up at 6am. Fed them and tried to get DD to nap at 7.30. I spent three hours trying to get her to sleep. She then slept for an hour (this is amazing, she normally sleeps for 20-30 minutes a time), had a bottle and a play, I put her back down and she went to sleep for 30 minutes.

Then next naptime, I spent 3 hours trying to settle her, I rocked her, put her on my chest, left her alone, I took her for a walk in the pram. She finally passed out from exhaustion and slept for 25 minutes.

I am at the end of my tether. I shouted and cried today. We have had such a bad time of it since she was born. She is such a lovely baby otherwise, so funny and sweet, but the feelings of resentment are creeping in - we haven't had a family day out since she was born and we've cancelled our holiday in October as we just can't see it getting better. Eldest DD hardly got any attention today and the house is a state.

I know none of this is her fault. I also know I have a harder time because she is used to DH getting her to sleep as I had to rest for weeks after delivery and after that it was easier for Dh to get her to sleep. I just don't know what I can do to fix it? I realise my sleep problems are minor in comparison to a lot of others, I'm ashamed to say that I'm not coping though sad

stargirl1701 Tue 29-Jul-14 17:47:53

A sling?

NormHonal Tue 29-Jul-14 17:56:27

Huge sympathy...with my DC1 this was the hardest bit for me, I cried many tears trying to get her into a nap routine. I was very glad when my maternity leave ended at 6mo - which looking back at it is incredibly sad I felt like that, because I found out with DC2 that 6-12mo is lots of fun. And all of that is just around the corner.

From my own experience, I would have done things differently and forgotten all about a routine. DC1 didn't suit a routine and didn't respond to it, whereas DC2 did.

I agree with the previous poster - pop her in a sling and get on with your day. She will nap when she needs to.

Elednor Tue 29-Jul-14 17:56:42

If only, she hates them, squirms and screams the second you pop her in sad

smokeandfluff Tue 29-Jul-14 17:59:00

Does she sleep well at night? Would a mechanical swing help? Will she take a soother? Would she sleep inthe car if you brought her for a short drive?

You have my sympathies! Ds stopped sleeping in my arms/sling at 3 months. We had a few miserable months before he started napping in the cot.

NormHonal Tue 29-Jul-14 17:59:02

What if you stop trying to get her to sleep - just let her play on playmat or pop her in the buggy when go to the playground with DC1. That's pretty much what I did with my DC2 and DC2 just napped on the fly, passed out on the sofa or playmat on many occasions. Or in the car, buggy, etc.

Elednor Tue 29-Jul-14 18:03:08

I'm going back to work part-time as of next week as DH's have allowed him to go part-time to work around mine! But truthfully the only reason I'm going back is because I'm struggling at home. With eldest DD she didn't sleep at all during the day, screamed for hours on end, didn't drink milk and had reflux, I went on to develop PND which took years to beat and I'm scared of that happening again.

Thanks for everyone's responses, it's nice to know people care thanks

InTheNorth123 Tue 29-Jul-14 18:04:18

Does she sleep much at night?

Is she crying in the day because she is tired? Unless she is distressed, I'd just let her stay up. Can you get her a baby walked to pop her in whilst you do your jobs? When DS was that age, I had to resort to popping him in front of the TV for ten/15 minutes to get on with jobs. Can you try that?

I hope it gets better soon OP brew

Elednor Tue 29-Jul-14 18:12:35

She sleeps well at night now, although started waking up occasionally, although she settles back down quickly, usually on her own!

She fusses in the swing too and unfortunately we don't have a car, I bet that would work though purely because it's not an option for us grin

I've tried just getting on with things out and about - it hasn't ended well! She screams for about half an hour, then passes out for half an hour, then wakes up completely miserable and wretched and starts crying inconsolably after a while. We have sort of become recluses to be honest, I really miss family days out.

Thanks all for your suggestions so far smile Sorry for not responding using names, my phone is a bugger for scrolling back through posts without refreshing and losing everything!

Elednor Tue 29-Jul-14 18:16:34

Yes, she cries because she's tired sad She sleeps about 10.5 hours at night, and about 2 hours in the day, usually in 30 minute naps.

She's perfectly happy to watch TV grin but I try not to have it on at all as it makes her even more fractious!

Fizbo Tue 29-Jul-14 18:22:02

My DD was like this OP, she suddenly changed at 9 months. I have no idea why. She also refused the sling and would only nap for 20 mins if at all.

With hindsight I don't think I persevered enough with the sling, I had no idea there were do many different ones out there. Do you have a sling meet up in your area? Search on Facebook or check on your local NCT site. I think you can hire them and try lots of different ones to see what works. Apologies if this has already been suggested, I haven't had a chance to read the whole thread.

Things will get better, I can assure you of that thanks

Elednor Tue 29-Jul-14 18:39:17

I do have a sling meet somewhere near me, I think a friend of mine goes there smile It's worth a try! Stupid question... but how do you stop them from overheating if you're wearing them in these kinds of temperatures?

startwig1982 Tue 29-Jul-14 18:44:45

You can put ice packs in towels in the pocket/fold to help with the heat.

Maybe don't try as hard to put her down. If it's taking 3 hours then try taking her to the park/swimming/baby group to tire her out.
Remember that it will get better and at least she sleeps at night!

Elednor Tue 29-Jul-14 18:55:31

She does get a lot of play and interaction with us, but maybe I should start taking her swimming with eldest DD. I don't think it's an undertiredness issue though, if anything it's more the opposite!

Elednor Tue 29-Jul-14 18:57:29

I actually get the feeling that she would benefit a lot from having some kind of routine so she'd know when naptime was, but it's impossible to set one for her as she's all over the place!

PPaka Tue 29-Jul-14 18:58:34

Forget trying to get her to sleep. Just leave her. Serously.
Take a big step back and watch her
If she wakes at 6, why are you trying to get her back to sleep at 7am?
I know babies are all different, but this seems a bit early to me
If you leave her you might find she'll have a big nap midday

CPtart Tue 29-Jul-14 18:58:35

DS1 was very similar. His inability to nap during the day nearly killed me and by 12 months old he gave up altogether although he always slept well at night. My solution.... I went back to work p/t and let someone else deal with it!

Elednor Tue 29-Jul-14 19:15:01

We tried leaving her but it just made her worse. For some reason she can't seem to go longer than an hour first thing in the morning, she's still really tired! Once she's then had another half hour or so she's fine for a couple of hours!

Lol I'd feel bad inflicting her on some innocent person grin Besides that, she's at that stage where if she so much as looks at someone that isn't me, her dad or her sister she bursts out into tears!

I could have written this myself! In desperation today i tried her on her front. I am now converted, despite SIDs risks... because she girzzled, self settled, then slept. Might work?

AWombWithoutARoof Tue 29-Jul-14 19:21:01

DD fought the sling too, I persevered though, and pretty soon she'd stop screeching and go to sleep.

The mechanical swing saved my sanity. We used to put it on warp speed and the wildly flailing back and forth gentle swinging seemed to work. It was a side to side one.

Elednor Tue 29-Jul-14 19:33:34

DD is also a tummy sleeper! As soon as she could roll over she slept on her front, the paediatrician said it was probably due to her silent reflux and trying to get comfy!

Didn't know they made side-to-side swings! Maybe I should persevere with trying the swing as a lot of people have sworn by them. Just don't want to build up another habit to break, but equally I value my sanity and will try anything grin

AWombWithoutARoof Tue 29-Jul-14 19:38:26

DD had silent reflux too, here, have some flowers. It's awful.

If you buy/borrow a swing try to get one that's mains operated, or buy a battery charger, the battery powered ones eat batteries.

I wouldn't worry about habits, you need something.

Elednor Tue 29-Jul-14 19:44:19

Thankyou thanks We think it's down to her cows milk protein allergy as it's cleared up a lot with hypoallergenic formula and medication smile Unfortunately she also suffers from permanent constipation which I think affects her sleep as she's so uncomfortable sad

WaxyDaisy Tue 29-Jul-14 19:50:05

Have you tried feeding her when she screams? Could she be one of those babies who likes to feed little and often? I agree, I'd never expect a 5 month old to nap at 7/7.30 after getting up at 6am. Mine would have gone 3-4hrs of more... But would have fed every 1.5-2hrs regardless.

It does sound awful and I hope things improve for you soon.

I agree you might find it easier to stop trying to get her to sleep. If she screams regardless, then it doesn't really make any difference. One of mine screamed a great deal for a few months. It was nerve jangling and nothing fixed it. In the end telling myself I would hold her and be with her whilst she cried, was easier than feeling the constant pressure to stop her crying.

ThreeYorkshires Tue 29-Jul-14 19:53:05

You poor thing, that does sound tough.

What time does she go to bed at night? Think six month old babies generally need about 11 hours at night and two naps a day (ish) of about an hour and a half. If she is up at 6 I'd try to keep her awake but with calming/quietish activities then aim for first nap about 9-10.30/11.00. Then you have some time to hang out, then lunch, then I'd try to have nap two at about 13.30-15.00, with bedtime routine and winding down from 17.30, for bedtime about 18.30.

Swimming could help physically tire her out, so you might want to do a lot of that while you're trying to establish a routine with rough nap times.

Good news is she has a 'normal' waking up time, so you're not starting completely from scratch! And you're right, she really isn't doing this on purpose, and it WILL get better smile You've also got her to sleep in her cot, which is more than I ever managed!

Btw, am the complete opposite of being a mad routine person, but DS was so much happier once we'd got daytime sleep sorted. And if all else fails...bouncy chair and Cloudbabies or Waybuloo seem to get most babies I know to conk out pretty quickly!

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