Im getting so angry when baby won't sleep, it's scary(31 Posts)
Please don't judge me , I need help. I'm usually such a placid person.
Dd 6mths is sleeping really badly and naps have gone out of the window, but feeding is now also difficult with low supply following illness.
All her crying around feeding and sleep is making me so stressed and this is turning to anger, particularly at bedtime and in the middle of the night when I'm so tired.
I find myself waking hearing her and thinking grrr for f* sake! and once or twice shouted aaargh when she is writhing and screaming in my arms, but last night I shouted 'you f***ing bitch' during her impossible bedtime feed . I know this is completely unacceptable and I put her in her cot and ran and cried.
I usually calm down really quickly, although the calm doesn't always last long, but by then I have the sanity to get DH involved if I need support (he's great).
So, any suggestions about what to do to change?
Should I sleep train?
Should I do some kind of anger course?
I know I need to recognise it coming and hand off to DH before I get bad, but sometimes it seems to come on so fast I don't realise.
Poor you - been there with ds (now 12) and it was awful. It made me understand how people can lose control of their anger.
Sleep deprivation is used as torture - it is horrible not knowing whether you're going to woken up every ten / twenty minutes or not or whether you will get any sleep at all.
Is there any chance your h or another relative can do a night or two to help you catch up on sleep?
I strongly recommend you talk to your HV - they are v v experienced with this kind of problem.
I think you should consider that you may have some anxiety issues... Is formula for the last feed an option so your dh could do it? Sounds like everything is getting on top of you and making you snap...I had PND and regularly shouted at Dd but she's fine now and we have a great bond.
You don't need an anger course. You could be depressed though. When I'm feeling depressed my temper can be wafer thin.
Never underestimate sleep deprivation: it really can send you to the absolute brink. More than anything, I think you need a break and some unbroken sleep. But if you carry on finding it so hard to cope, think about speaking to your HV or GP.
Thank you so much for your lovely replies. I'm still feeling ropey from being ill (we all had a rather lovely vomiting bug) so I think I'm particularly on the edge.
I also usually nap every day but haven't been able to with dd not napping herself, and even when DH took her out for a couple of hours I couldn't switch off, so just relaxed in bed.
The feeding really pushed my buttons, there's something really primal about not being able to feed your child, and bfeeding was the one thing of parenthood that came easily to me.
I don't know what the best solution is but I just wanted to say I definitely feel myself getting very stressed and frustrated during the bedtime crying and if I was also being woken up repeatedly in the night and recovering from illness I would be really struggling too.
I very much doubt you are the first person to do this.
You may need a more drastic solution but could you set a time limit on how long you are dealing with the crying then swap with DH? eg after 10 minutes he takes over for 10 minutes? (or whatever timing would work for you). Then you would know you are dealing with it for a finite amount of time?
Another thought but if it's to do with feeding trouble, how would you feel about DH giving a bottle or sippy cup of formula at bedtime while you express (with earplugs if necessary...) until your supply improves? Then you get a break and you know she's definitely not hungry.
I don't know much about anger management training but suspect a general non-baby related one might not be that useful unless you feel that you have anger issues in other circumstances. eg when I looked up the general advice for self-management of IBS it said helpful things like 'eat your meals slowly and at regular times', 'get plenty of sleep'....
Hopefully someone will have some better ideas soon.
Pumping is something I might look at definitely. I'm not adverse to using formula if need be for the short term (and when it suits otherwise!)
I think just being more mindful of my state of mind would be beneficial.
And dd has just gone down for her morning nap with only 5 minutes crying! So I'm trying for a nap too. Fingers crossed she sleeps for more than 40 mins...
I wonder if your DH could become more proactively involved - not just stepping in when you're overwhelmed, but doing some settling, soothing and (if appropriate) feeding - EBM or whatever you decide - on a more routine basis?
Re the feeding, I'd get some face-to-face support from a BFing group.
It may be that some of her behaviour (frequent fussy feeding) is an attempt to restore your supply - which makes sense biologically although it's a great strain on you just when you're recovering from illness yourself. Trying to get some calm skin-to-skin time with her will help too - if you don't nap together, how about a bath?
One other thought - at six months I guess your DD is beginning to try food (?) - could there be something she's trying that's not agreeing with her?
I have an almost 5mo and a 3.8yo. I have experienced some very intense anger, always caused by tiredness and frustration. Mornings are really challenging for me - I wake up exhausted from broken sleep, parched with thirst and ravenous. Baby quickly becomes tired and irritable because he needs a nap an hour or so after waking but it's impossible to settle him for it unless we're out with the pram. If I can't get us all dressed, breakfasted and out of the house within 60 mins then the baby cluster feeds and cries, DS1 is fobbed off with too much tv and it's really stressful. I've shouted at my toddler and growled "shut up" at the baby which obviously makes me feel guilty. I just want a shower and coffee in peace!
I know for me that lots of fresh air makes me feel better, even when i think I'm too tired to go out. I've recently introduced a bedtime bottle of formula for dh to give the baby so that I can completely abdicate responsibility for a couple of hours every evening - it's the only way I can feel truly relaxed. I hated expressing and could only get milk in the morning, which as I've explained is stressful enough already! I know what will trigger me to feel that frustrated rage and do my best to pre-empt it. It feels terrible but I think you just have to try to find ways to get a bit of a break.
Bah 5 mins! Oh the screaming!
DH would and does do a lot, he'll happily do anything he can, but as I'm at home, he can't really do too many night settles and isn't around in the day to help.
I don't have any useful advise but I wanted to say you're not alone. When my DD was 4 months she went through a phase of waking every hour at night and I often lost it and cried and swore at her. It was like I was a different person and anger just took over because I was just so tired.
I know everyone says it but it DOESN'T last forever! When we put DD in her own room her sleep changed literally overnight and I've never been back to that angry, weeping, uncontrollable person!
You're really not alone. My 7 month old's sleep has gone to pot over the last couple of months and it has made me feel like a crazy woman at times! I think the worst thing is trying to sleep not knowing if you're going to be woken in 5 hours or 5 minutes. It makes it sooooo hard to relax. Obviously if you're very worried about how angry you feel do speak to your HV or GP but to me it sounds like you're having a normal reaction to a really difficult and exhausting situation. What's helped me a tiny bit is trying to remember that a) it WILL pass eventually and b) that the more tense and angry I get the more trouble I have getting back to sleep once the baby's finally settled. But honestly, sometimes I think you just have to go into another room for 5 mins and pummel a pillow
I hope you're feeling a bit better now and that you get some time to relax at some point today. There are loads of us on here who are dealing with/have dealt with similar situations if you want to vent. And if all else fails gallons of and huge slabs of can be very therapeutic.
You have my sympathy - I'm going through something similar. Last night I ended up just leaning over the bath and crying because of how tired I am because DS's sleep is do, so bad at the moment.
I have raised my voice to him in the early hours when I just can't bear to listen to the grizzling anymore. Usually it's along the lines of "For Gods Sake 'x' just go to sleep!!" - and I really shout it. My DH knows when to intervene to prevent me cracking up.
Have you taken her to the GP to rule out any possible reason why she may not be sleeping? Reflux or ear infection etc?
You aren't alone, you aren't the first to lose your temper with your baby and you won't be the last. I hate myself when I do it but in that sleep deprived state I just can't help myself sometimes.
Thanks everyone for your support. It's great to hear it's not just me and no one is appalled shouting for social services to whisk her away.
I managed a cat nap this morning and I'm definitely taking her out in the pram for a huge chocolate cake later.
I do think part of the problem for me is her naps are usually so good I'd got used to napping and resting when she was to make the nights easier, and now her max 40mins isn't refreshing her and she's grizzly all day.
It's a phase, its a phase it's a phase...
Glad you're feeling better Littlef00t. That sounds like a good plan for the day.
One suggestion: the thing that seems to have got my DS taking longer naps (he was a 40 minute man for months) is putting him in his pram in the kitchen and putting the extractor fan in the cooker hood on. The noise seems to soothe him. It might not work for you but you've got nothing to lose by trying.
Incidentally, I cannot bring myself to watch watch Land Before Time ever again, WAY too sad (if that's not where your username is from then apologies for derailing!)
I feel for you.
Can you get a nights sleep in someone else's house/ hotel? You will feel a million times better on even one nights sleep. Baby will survive one night ok with daddy cuddles
Thanks kate, we've been taking her out for long car rides occasionally to ensure she doesn't get chronically overtired but I'd rather keep at improving cot naps as she used to be much better.
Ha yes land before time is v sad, but my username is an in joke with my tall bigfooted DH.
Thanks to those who suggest a night away. I may do, but my DH is struggling too, mh issues mean insomnia and she's feeding back to sleep mostly in the night so I don't think I'll look at that until I'm proper desperate.
It's odd. During the day I feel so sane, then it all comes back at night.
2/3 of her naps today she's fallen asleep within 15 mons which is a result. Maybe things are improving. <tries not to get too hopeful>
Ps sorry if I don't respond to points made in individual posts, I'm reading and considering them all but also trying to handle dd.
No judgement at all here, I know exactly where your'e coming from. I have really struggled at times with DD's sleep and staying anything at all approaching calm, I too have as-good-as yelled (not actually raised my voice but hissed in a furious whisper) 'just go to FUCKING sleep!!!"
I hate myself about 12 seconds later and make sure I apologise to DD (even when she was probably too little to understand) - maybe doing this would make you feel better too? I mean, obviosuly what we all want to avoid is losing it in the first place, but I do think that IF you lose it, an apology is the right thing to do when you're feeling calmer. My own mother was a shouty, furious kind of mother ALL THE TIME with me and never once apologised so it's something that matters a lot to me.
I'm sorry you're struggling, as others on here have said and understand only too well, constant sleep deprovation is actually torture, and it's almost impossible to be a calm saintly mother when the little thing you adore more than anything in the world is the one torturing you!!
FWIW it WILL get better, but it is godawful while it lasts. I really hope you can put some support structures in place but most important of all don't feel bad, you are aware of the fact that shouting like that is not a good thing which is more than many many parents!!
I understand you. I do not know if this will help in your situation, but when DS was first born a friend of ours ( also a GP) suggested that we don't try and share the night time wakings each and every night. That we alternate days, so that one night I was up for the nights, and the next night DH was up for the nights. It meant that although one of us was up 7-8 times in the night we could more or less look forward to a sleep the next night. It actually worked quite well- except that at first I was hot wired to respond to the crying. Once I just settled back into the spare room (we would alternate who was in what bed too to suit) it was fine.
Emerald, agree totally with apologising. I apologise after shouting and after every nap for letting her cry. Makes me feel a teeny bit better about the situation.
Unfortunately DH can't do alternate nights, due to insomnia he's already struggling on sleep. He does occasionally take a wake up if I'm struggling.
I don't want to sound defeatist, I don't feel dead on my feet like I have in the past, it's like my tolerance for her crying has reduced as she got older
and the crying got louder
Here's hoping for a good night, DH did all of the bedtime except the feed lovely man and I'm going to be hyper aware of how I'm feeling and hand off to him in huge night if I have to.
I appreciate your honesty - I have done the same thing. Being a mama is a beautiful job, but at the point where you have tried everything, cannot ever get a full nights sleep or squeeze in a nap, and your patience is running on empty - it's natural you would be responding that way - like everyone said - sleep deprivation is a b!tch.
I am at breaking point with my daughter. Since forever, she has been an irritable eater, who needs to be practically force fed, and is becoming the worst sleeper - ever. Probably because she is hungry, too. At almost a year old, I have been breastfeeding since birth and am ready to chuck it in. My husband annoys me because from day 1 it was "give her boob" and I got suckered into the "breast is best". While that may very well be...I cannot go anywhere without having anxiety that she somehow won't eat her actual meals and that I need to be there as a backup plan, plus I have been sharing my body, my bed, my soul with this little person, and with no job to go back to (was retrenched), I am just exhausted. I am tired of being the bad cop. I want a life for myself too and I want to stop being climbed, and used as a dairy farm, and I want to be able to go out on my own without giving a sh!t if she needs milk! My husband does not understand how mentally and physically challenging having a baby has been. I love my child, I know that I need to get over my anger and love my child...but I too am at breaking point. Help.
Have you tried drinking lots of liquids to help the milk flow? After vomiting you might have ended up a bit dehydrated.
Vitamin B complex is very good for your nerves. When my dd was growing up in Ireland all of us mothers said it was the only thing that stopped us from murdering our children at times.
Sometimes a trick I use for horrible unavoidable situations is to pretend I am a masochist, with a how much can I take attitude.
Good luck, OP.
I've been reading the no-cry sleep solution in an attempt to get a better night's sleep, haha! She has a suggestion for increasing nap lengths, which you could try. It involves re-setting the baby's body clock basically, by getting to her as soon as she comes into a light sleep, and soothing her back any way that works. Gradually she should manage longer naps on her own again. As for the anger - it's the sleep deprivation talking, and is awful, but will pass. Have you family nearby who could give you a break? Just a couple of hours to yourself can do wonders!
I think it would be fair for your Dh to do bedtime every night given you are dealing with all daytime naps and nightime waking. Once you have done the feed do something for yourself: a bath, a walk, meet a friend, cook dinner if that's relaxing for you.
However I have never tried to get my dc3 to sleep as I did find that stressful (and a potential flashpoint) with my older ones. I let the baby settle however works, at night usually in bed iwith me! So I can see why you are stressed by that as I personally can't do it. Occasionally I resort to driving or walking her to sleep during the day but generally it's sleep or don't, I can't cope with any sshhing patting etc.
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