I getting desperate(7 Posts)
Hi I'm new here but I'm getting desperate. My 4 month old dd doesn't sleep during the night. We do a bedtime routine and put her down between 7.30-8.30 she usually goes down with little fuss (Although she wouldn't go without bf). She sleeps reasonably well until we go to bed at 11ish. She wakes up for a feed then she wakes every 20 minutes/hour (sometimes if I'm really lucky she will go 2 or 3 but rarely) for the rest of the night. sometimes she settles quickly with a dummy, sometimes it takes a lot of stroking/sshushing and she feeds every 2 hours until 5.30am when she is wide awake and takes an hour to go back down, she wakes again at 7 when dh goes to work then I bring her into my bed where she sleeps until 9ish. She had been in our room in a cosleep crib until recently but I thought maybe we were disturbing her so she's moved to her own room...It's made no difference at all, she is no better but no worse.
I can't cosleep as when dh is in the bed to the duvet ends up over her head and I'm so worried she might suffocate I don't sleep. She's ebf and is a terrible napper having 3x 30min naps at most. I don't agree with cio type sleep training.I can't go to bed earlier or I'd never see dh (who sleeps all night and doest help).I really don't know what to do. I'm shattered. I don't mind if she doesn't sleep through, getting up once or twice would be fine but sometimes it's only 15 minutes between wakings. I can't go on like this!!
I cannot praise enough the use of a co-sleeper full sized cot. This is your full sized cot with one side removed (easily done with an allen key) and butting this up to your bed. I wrote a couple of really lengthy posts about this the other day, please feel free to have a read:
Thread about co-sleeper cot
Ensure very frequent daytime naps and daytime feeds. I'd be looking at 2 hourly full feeds through the daytime and also no longer than h-h awake between daytime naps. I would highly recommend a bouncy chair for daytime napping.
Sadly We can't fit a full size cot in our bedroom.
How do you 'ensure' frequent naps when she just won't go to sleep! She does have 2hr bf feeds day and night!
Solution, temporarily, is to go to bed when she does, I know it means missing out on time to yourself but you will get that back I promise, right now you need to concentrate on getting sleep when you can, and that would be a good 3.5 hour stretch.
I used to bring baby to bed and Co sleep until the first wakening, generally about the time DH came to bed at 11. (he would bring a hot water bottle to put in crib so when I put baby down again after feed he was nice a warm)
Then I'd feed baby, burp and put him down again in the crib, and generally would get up every 2 hours or so. I know broken sleep isn't ideal but it's better than none, I also didn't plan to leave the house before noon so we napped on and off in the morning time.
4 months is particularly hard, but your baby will get there, it may be a year before you get a really good stretch but in the meantime go to bed at night with the baby, and see how that goes.
We can't fit a full size cot in our bedroom
Have you got a chest of drawers in your bedroom? You could move the drawers into the nursery. Likewise wardrobe.
I mean the bottom line is you will either be (a) padding into another room all night for many months yet and suffer the sleep deprivation that goes with that. Or (b) end up co-sleeping out of sheer exhaustion, which you have said you don't want to do.
So finding a way to for a co-sleeper cot into your room is a simple solution all round. Baby is likely to be waking in the night for some time you, you are kidding yourself if you think otherwise so this is more about making life as easy as possible.
How do you 'ensure' frequent naps
You need to just full-on focus on it. Baby's don't 'just go to sleep' so you have to work really really hard at it. Baby not going to sleep (or not staying asleep) is not baby's choice - it is not baby saying they have had enough sleep. It's just all they can manage without more help.
I mentioned bouncy chair. These with the dummy are great for focused 'I am going to keep going until you go to sleep whether you damn well like it or not'. Baby in chair infront of you while you sit on the sofa. Then foot on chair and foot bounce. Bounce, bounce, bounce, bounce that bay into sleep oblivion. Keep putting dummy back in as needed and keep bouncing. If/when baby wakes or stirs, gentle bounces and dummy reinsert to try to lull through one sleep cycle into another to keep baby asleep.
I favour EASY to ensure regular naps and feeds in the daytime. This is a structure of repeated cycles that are repeated throughput your day. You modify the length of the cycles according to your individual baby but as an estimate I would be doing 2 hourly EASY cycles at 4 months old.
E - Eat - Start with a full feed
A - Awake Activity - Ideally about 60 mins from first waking at this age, no more than 80 mins. If it takes a long time to settle baby to sleep then activity time is reduced accordingly
S - Sleep - Bouncy chair, dummy, you sat on sofa. Foot bounce, bounce, bounce.
Y - You time - While sitting on sofa when baby sleeps.
Repeat, repeat, repeat.
If it takes you, say, 30 minutes to get baby to sleep then activity time might only be 30 minutes from waking. This includes the time take for the feed. So if a nappy change is needed it might just be 10 or 20 minutes playing the working on getting back to sleep again.
Likewise if your baby's naps are short, then you might need to shorten the whole cycle down. The key is to pay attention not to nap time, but awake time. However long baby sleeps for, aim for helping him back to sleep within 60-80 minutes of waking up.
If you are feeding every two hours then the baby is hungry.
Why dont you introduce some formula. I know I will get the f/f haters out now but try it.
It does depend on the frequency of daytime feeds FlatOnTheHill, but agreed.
I have seen people who say baby hardly wants feeding during the day and goes 4 plus hours between daytime feeds. But grrr, why is my child feeding every 2 hours through the night when he can go 5 hours during the day?!
The obvious suggestion is - feed your baby every 2 hours through the daytime then he should swap his longer gaps between feeds for night times.
However if a baby is feeding every 2 hours day and night - you've got to question feeding issues.
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