Be gentle with me - very tired mum of 8 month old

(35 Posts)
weebairn Fri 29-May-15 09:33:40

Be gentle with me, I haven't had more than 2 hours sleep in months…

So DD2 is 8 months old. She is pretty easy in the day. She self settles for naps and is fairly easy going. She is big for her age. She is exclusively breast fed. She is not really eating that much solids yet. She'll have some finger food but doesn't let me spoon feed her.

She has two naps in the day, around 9am and 1pm. One is usually 1.5 hrs, the other usually 45 mins. She has these in her cot if we are at home, or in the pushchair/sling if out and about.

At night she has a good bedtime routine. She has a change, feed, and a lullaby. She puts herself to sleep in her cot at 6.30pm. (She won't stay up later than this or she gets hysterically tired).

She wakes about every 2 hours throughout the night. About 4-5 feeds a night. She has a feed, a fairly short one (5-10 minutes) and then I put her back down awake and she self settles back to sleep. She isn't hard to put back to sleep. But she wakes up again 2 hrs later. Boyfriend has tried rocking her etc which occasionally works. Mostly she is chewing his arm off and seems very hungry. So mostly I end up feeding her. Plus it's quicker.

I am very tired.

She has been ill (one virus after another) for the best part of 6 weeks so I didn't want to do anything till she was better. She has been well for a week now. Sleep is just the same.

Considering sleep training but don't want to do anything too harsh. Not sure where to start. My first daughter would never self settle at all, and would sleep long stretches through the night, and yet everything I read seems to say a good nap routine, a good bedtime and being able to self settle are the keys to night time sleep… so confused.

weebairn Fri 29-May-15 09:37:03

I am also going back to work in the next couple of months. I do night shifts sometimes. I am trying not to panic sad

QuiteLikely5 Fri 29-May-15 09:38:52

You should definitely try to get more food into her during the day. Less of the boob will help here.

weebairn Fri 29-May-15 09:42:23

I do try, but it's really hard. She shuts her mouth and won't let me spoon feed her. She only eats so much finger food. I offer food many times in the day.

She has just had tonsillitis poor thing. Wouldn't eat anything for a week. But that is all gone now, and she is eating again. But not masses.

weebairn Fri 29-May-15 09:43:56

I have a two year old also and life is busy, so breastfeeding in the day can also be hard, she is so distracted. But I try at least twice a day to let her have a really long uninterrupted feed.

weebairn Fri 29-May-15 09:44:21

I don't mean she only feeds twice in the day - She feeds every 2 hours in the day, also. But she does get distracted.

splendide Fri 29-May-15 11:21:38

Will she put a spoon in her mouth herself? I load up spoons and hand them to my 7 month old and he's surprisingly pretty good at getting the stuff in. Eats loads more that way than finger food - I do finger food lunch and a bowl of something carby like readybrek or pasta for dinner.

Footle Fri 29-May-15 11:28:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Truffle40 Fri 29-May-15 11:31:39

give her a bottle of formula at bed time

addictedtosugar Fri 29-May-15 11:40:34

Can you double feed at bedtime: so feed, (bath?) change, lullaby, feed?

And can you pursuade her to take more at the feeds before you go to bed? So offer both sides if you usually only offer one, or 3/4/5 sides if she will keep taking it?

Porridge or wetabix before bed?

Babymamamama Fri 29-May-15 11:44:47

I think she may be hungry in the night. Maybe start offering a bottle at night and more food in the day and less breast feeding.

Greenstone Fri 29-May-15 12:14:45

How about smearing mashed food like stews and stuff onto sticks of finger food? Beef or chicken stew lumped onto a rice cake or a sweet potato wedge. Or my latest invention banana and almond butter spread.

It does sound like she has good sleep habits, fairly similar to my 7 month old who in the last couple of weeks has gone from 2 hour or less wakeups to two within a 12 hour stretch shock which I thought would never ever happen.
The tonsillitis will have set her back too but hopefully as she eats more she'll go lpnger?

weebairn Fri 29-May-15 12:15:26

Thanks for responses.

May try a bottle. Express if I have the energy or formula. Haven't tried either so far. Dd1 was always fine with just breast milk. She was smaller and also ate loads much earlier. She also wasn't ill all the bloody child- who'd be a second child eh. Didn't have a sniffle until after she was 1...

Have no idea if dd2 will take a bottle but may have to try.

I do leave her in the night for a while and sometimes she goes back to sleep.

I really don't know how to get more food into her. I try finger food, spoon feeding, loading a spoon, sucking on those pouches... Maybe she'll just do it when she's older...

FATEdestiny Fri 29-May-15 12:19:45

What about the messy approach to weaning - purees but without spoons.

Spread something like porridge all over the highchair tray, all over her hands, maybe even pat some onto her lips. Then leave her to it to grab handfuls or smear it all over her face. The hope being that a fair amount goes in her mouth as she sucks her hand.

Bath afterwards, obviously! grin

I believe that your issue here is not a sleep issue, it is a weaning issue.

weebairn Fri 29-May-15 12:20:08

Sorry if I sound defensive. I feel a bit defeated.

Managed to breastfeed dd1 around return to work and night shifts and long shifts and missed bedtimes till 20 months old and it was hard at times but worth it. Seems like I'm not enough for dd2

Sorry this isn't meant to be against bottle feeding at all it's perfectly valid. I've just never done it and not even sure what to buy. I'm so tired I can't work out what's for the best.

weebairn Fri 29-May-15 12:22:10

I have tried food 4 times so far today and only lunchtime! It's so hard with the mess and a toddler. Dd1 was so bloody good at eating (still is, eating mussels last night- she's 2!) she was a crap napper mind...

FATEdestiny Fri 29-May-15 12:38:14

Babies are all different, including siblings.

It is entirely reasonable that you will have less time and energy to devote to feeding your second child than you would your first, by the simple fact that this time you have two to look after and last time you didn't.

I am not suggesting that you therefore give formula. But what I think you need to do here is give yourself permission to give DD2 formula if you want to or need to.

It does not need to mean the end of breastfeeding. But I suspect you already know that. Doesn't stop you grieving even at the idea or suggestion of giving formula, let alone actually doing it.

Another option, since you have been here before any understand the phases babies go through, is to just ride it out. I feel sure your DD2's sleep will get better once weaning is established. She won't refuse solids forever.

TropicalHorse Fri 29-May-15 13:01:41

A 'dream feed' when you/partner go up might help? My DD had a large bottle of that mornings' expressed milk shoved in her gob while sleeping and it worked brilliantly, keeping her asleep for a good block of time so I felt more human. Best of luck x

QuiteLikely5 Fri 29-May-15 14:22:44

What foods are you trying her with?

Ideas:

Rice cakes

Melon slices

Scrambled egg
Ella's kitchen fruit smoothie - give her the pouch to such from

All of these things you can put on her food tray

Toast

Bread smothered in houmous

QuiteLikely5 Fri 29-May-15 14:22:58

Suck

weebairn Fri 29-May-15 14:32:11

Let's see, she has

Bread & butter
Egg (omlette slices go down the best)
Banana
strawberries
crumpets
those marketed-as-healthy-but-clearly-not organix snacks
pasta
meatballs
fish
breadsticks
cheese
… or anything else the family is eating, really

lots of variety and tries anything and reasonable with her hands ( can pick up and eat blueberries/peas etc) but only probably eats 2 or 3 mouthfuls each time.

also have tried all manner of food pouches, both with spoon and sucking, plus yogurt and porridge, she'll have maybe 3 spoonfuls on a good day.

I can't really remember how much a baby should eat but her poos are still breastfed ones (with occasional bits) so clearly not much is going down.

Well, i went out and bought some formula and a bottle. Ive always been of the ride it out school before but feeling very under confident these days sad

strawberryshoes Fri 29-May-15 14:32:53

Have you tried the no cry sleep solution? Its a more gentle sleep training method, and takes longer than others, but is worth it if you cannot face the tears associated with controlled crying.

I agree she is probably hungry in the night, and it would be good to up her intake in the day (of milk and food), but I am sure you have tried this already.

My first DD was a 2 hourly waker until she was about a year - then she improved massively, on her own, without me doing anything... It might just take time.

weebairn Fri 29-May-15 14:33:33

I don't think i have the energy to express.

weebairn Fri 29-May-15 14:36:05

thank you strawberry - I am also sure she will grow out of it. but not sure when. I have only a month or two left of mat leave with my lovely girls and feel like I'm missing it all sad

Id like to try something like the no cry sleep solution. have ordered it from library. unless anyone would like to summarise smile

weebairn Fri 29-May-15 14:42:19

Thanks for your understanding post FATEdestiny.

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