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where to go next - baby sleep related

(44 Posts)
Snifftest Tue 31-Jan-17 12:47:01

DS has been a dreadful sleeper from the get go. He is now 13mo and has never slept longer than 4 hours. He is breastfed. He attends nursery/ childcare full time, refuses milk from other sources but eats very well when away from me.

The issue is him staying asleep/ self settling during the night. He can do it with a bit of a winge at bed time, we no longer feed to sleep. He will sleep for 3 - 4 hours then wake to feed. If not fed he will scream/ cry/ claw at whoever goes to settle him. He will then scream/ cry for hours if not fed. The issue is if fed, he will go back to sleep very quickly, but will not unlatch. Putting him down then stars he scream/cry cycle again. If I allow him to feed until he unlatches he feeds for upwards of 1hr and will then wake again approx 45mins later and so it goes all night. I'm averaging 3-4 hours of broken sleep a night. We've tried a more thorough bedtime routine, cosleeping (which I HATE and got less sleep), later bedtime, earlier bed time, dummy, offering water/food/milk. Husband has done whole night shifts. We have tried controlled crying, kept it up for 2 weeks with no improvement at all. This week we tried CC again, I've not slept past 3am any night.

I don't know what to do. I'm exhausted, I'm stressed. I'm back at work (social services) full time and finding it really difficult to manage, I've got child care issues and we are trying to move house (should have completed before Christmas but heyho).

I don't know what else to do. We've tried controlled crying, which I really I didn't want to do but seriously couldn't cope anymore and it didn't fucking work!

PotteringAlong Tue 31-Jan-17 12:50:01

It didn't work with my DS1 either who sounds very much like your DS! At 2 and a bit he just decided he was going to sleep and stopped waking up. I have no advice because nothing we did made any difference but I have a lot of sympathy flowers

user892 Tue 31-Jan-17 12:56:05

Sorry, sounds normal by my own experience. The only way any of us could get any sleep was the following:

1. Bedsharing.

2. Turn and feed on my side /lying down immediately upon waking for a feed so as to not become distressed and cause probs falling back to sleep.

3. She invariably would fall asleep pretty soon (not really be awake) after 1 or 2 boob's worth of milk

4. Dummy came in handy sometimes.

5. Try to reduce general stress in the home. Babies pick up on it.

6. Remember this too shall pass.

She bedsharing and fed every 3 / 4 hrs into she was 3 and decided to have her own bedroom.

ollieplimsoles Tue 31-Jan-17 12:56:48

My DD is 15 months and we still feed to sleep, is I didn't let let her feed she would cry like your ds does. So what we are doing now is when she wakes for a feed, dh goes and settles her- if she's not settling I feed her after letting her winge with dh for a bit.
There is a big leap between 12-13 months and sleep regresses. Are you offering water or milk in a cup when you go to him?

If I were you I would drop the cc because its distressing and it isn't working for you. I would maybe go back to feeding to sleep just rill he gets over the leap and starts settling a bit easier, then start phasing out the feed to sleep a bit later by taking it in turns to settle him with dh.

DD also store when she unlatches, I found gently unlatching her with my finger then putting a dummy in and rocking her helps her settle back down.

Snifftest Tue 31-Jan-17 12:58:48

Thanks pottering and user. We do occasionally bedshare, but my boobs are too small to get a comfortable latch lying down/ on my side. He won't entertain a dummy.

Scaredycat3000 Tue 31-Jan-17 13:09:00

I wish I hadn't used up the last remaining energy I had trying too force DS1 to sleep how I wanted him too. It was a waste of energy and made no difference probably, he still didn't sleep. With DS2 I just decided we all got as much sleep as we could, for us it was BF on tap and co-sleeping, they would sleep much better in our bed and whilst it was disturbing I got more sleep that the frequent waking in their cot. I didn't get a full nights sleep with ether until they were well over 2. I don't know what the answer is but try going with whatever flow you have, they are tiny can't sleep though, try not to use what energy you do have stressing about it. Both mine sleep fine now, 5&7, they found their way.

Cornettoninja Tue 31-Jan-17 13:11:31

Oh god - I have no words of advice but wanted to post in solidarity!

I could have written your post word for word about dd who's the same age. The only difference being we co-sleep (which I hate and swore I'd never do but back issues mean I can't be hefting her in and out the cot all night) but deny breast feeding and it's all out snot and retching which takes forever to calm down from, never mind trying to get her in the cot and lying down...... cry it out did not work for us either.

I'm taking a break from stressing about it for a month, she's cutting molars and has had bug after big this winter so I decided there's no point in trying when she's already a whinge bag generally.

My one ray of hope is she's started laying her head down to relax when she's awake (she's never relaxed off the boob). I'm hoping I can build on that and make a game of closing our eyes, massaging etc. It looks like I'm going to literally have to teach her to sleep as her comprehension gets better. Next step will be getting her out of my bloody bed so I can have a life (I.e sit on the sofa and watch eastenders rather than go to bed with her).

Sorry for the massive post but I sympathise massively and have exercised new levels of anger control at anyone who has a judgy undertone when they enquire after her sleeping (why bloody ask! I'm sick of living it never mind talking about it!)

Snifftest Tue 31-Jan-17 13:16:05

Thanks for the advice, I think how we currently do it is probably the most sleep I'm going to get then. DS won't sleep in my bed unless latched on and if latched on I can't sleep. So I'll take the 11pm until 4.30 shift then pass him to DH and hope it passes before I get too ill to carry on.

This too shall pass.

DontTouchTheMoustache Tue 31-Jan-17 13:17:49

No advice just flowers that sounds incredibly difficult. I have 12 month DS who only stays asleep while white noise is playing. I'm sure you will have tried it but thought I'd mention it anyway. As soon as we switch it off he wakes up and won't resettle, at this rate we will have white noise playing til he is 18 but I couldn't care less if it helps him sleep

Snifftest Tue 31-Jan-17 13:21:12

Don't touch- we did try it, but worth another try, especially as I now know i has to be louder than we had it to work. Thanks.

Scaredycat3000 Tue 31-Jan-17 13:24:04

Oh Sniff poor you flowers It will pass, honestly. It's far more common than we realise the not sleeping for years.

Cornettoninja Tue 31-Jan-17 13:26:16

Out of interest snifftest, have you tried not being there at all?

I have a theory that some of the best sleepers are those that get the opportunity to practice with other people, so sleepovers at family's houses etc. where you just aren't an option.

It's not something we've got the family to try, but it does make me wonder. Saying that I wouldn't inflict dd on any other poor bugger overnight grin

StrawberryMummy90 Tue 31-Jan-17 13:27:03

This sounds so tough OP but as you said it will eventually pass flowers

Just a question, I don't mean this in a patronising way at all but are you doing CC correctly? As I know some people who thought they were and were actually getting their babies to self settle initially but then letting them in to their beds in the middle of the night which was causing confusion.

I've read similar stories on here where parents have found out a few years down the line their LO's have food intolerances or something so it could be that as well perhaps...

Snifftest Tue 31-Jan-17 13:34:36

strawberry- I think so. We put him down as normal, then at first wake up I'd feed then put him down, say night night and pat/ rub his back quickly then leave, then return after two minutes, lay him down, say night night and leave, then 4 mins, then 6, then 8, then 10, then 10, then 10 etc. At those we didn't say anything, just lay him down again and left. We did this for hours and hours. He just got more and more upset. After 2.5-3 hours I couldn't take it anymore. We tried again the next night, and again for 10 days. Is this not right? I don't think I could leave him crying for more than 3 hours at a time. Me and DH take it in turns.

Cornetto, we have no one I'd inflict him on due to their health/ other commitments.

hawaiibaby Tue 31-Jan-17 13:36:00

Feel for you very much, especially with working ft flowers we are similar but slightly younger, he's 10m. Oh the fury he displays when we try not to feed him in the night and cc also didn't work and made me feel awful to boot.

Feel like I've tried everything and actually wish he'd cosleep but all he'll do is sleep ON someone after the first stretch in his cot. He might do 1.5 hours on me while I sit up and doze confused but often less but the cot we only get an hour max respite during the night, even though he does longer stretches in the evening which is frustrating.

Have just stopped feeding to sleep too which I really hoped would help the wakings but it's done fuck all so I'm pretty deflated. He also won't take a dummy and I actually think feeding so much in the night is making him uncomfortable and windy but I have zero alternates as his will is just so great and his anger so bountiful 😩

You've probably heard of the jay Gordon method? Not sure it will work with my ds or yours by the sound of it yet I don't want to bf for much longer. I don't think he'll let me stop though!

Good luck op - you're not alone.

SomethingBorrowed Tue 31-Jan-17 13:41:33

We had this phase for 2-3 months with DT1, followed by 3 months with DT2.

The key for us was to stop offering milk, just water.
One slept through after just one night of no-milk. The other took a little longer, but less than a week.
We were quite tough, no-co sleeping, controlled crying, etc. I know not everybody agrees.

SomethingBorrowed Tue 31-Jan-17 13:45:44

OP, from your last post then at first wake up I'd feed , did you try not feeding him at this point?
I am assuming at 13mo he has enough food during the day. Maybe a yoghurt before bed if you are worried (I did milk from a beaker but wasn't BFing, which I imagine makes it more difficult)

guinnessguzzler Tue 31-Jan-17 13:48:27

Hard going! Similar to others, had one like this who gradually got better and then started sleeping through at 2.2. I think once teeth were all in. On to the next one and it's exactly the same but this time round although exhausted I don't worry as I know from experience it will work out eventually. Is there anywhere you can go to get a full night's sleep eg once a month / fortnight in the meantime? Obviously plan with your partner for a time when they can stay up all night although baby will probably do better once he realises you're not there.

Failing that, book.annual leave on nursery days and sleep then. It's not ideal but it will get better longer term and now you just need to be able to cope.

StrawberryMummy90 Thu 02-Feb-17 12:20:43

sniff it sounds as though what you are doing is correct apart from feeding him when he first wakes. As another poster said at his age he shouldn't need any milk. It might be confusing for him. Mummy picks him up, feeds him, he thinks he's going to get a cuddle and fall back to sleep and then bam you put him back in the cot. At his age he has a lot of stamina so when he is frustrated at something will most likely cry for hours as you've said happens.

I would personally cut his night feeds all together, make sure he has a consistent routine that you follow to the T every single night, feed him with the lights still on but towards the end of his routine so he knows this is relaxing him and a sleep cue but not what actually puts him to sleep. Read a short story after feed (the same one every night) turn the lights off, give him a cuddle and put him in his cot. If he wakes do not get him out the cot just lie him back down. If you ever fear he is thirsty then give him water through a sippy cup (not a bottle) and lie him back down. The main thing is you shouldn't be taking him out the cot this might be what's riling him up.

mummymeister Thu 02-Feb-17 13:09:50

we used controlled crying with all 3 of ours because I honestly couldn't function on the lack of sleep.

it isn't for everyone. it isn't easy because no one likes to hear their LO distressed but similarly me not being able to go out due to tiredness or being snappy or exhausted wasn't any good for my family either.

we found a couple of small meals in the late afternoon/evening worked well rather than one big tea. something at 4, something at 6 and then again just before bed.

I don't think your little one needs a feed when they wake up and would cut out milk at night altogether.

controlled crying isn't crying it out. it does work if you stick to it but honestly only you can make that decision. for me, I just knew I didn't want to co-sleep so felt it was my best option. good luck.

ItsSoUnfairSoItIs Thu 02-Feb-17 13:13:44

I'm sorry I've got no helpful suggestions, I was thinking possibly a dummy, but I think when they dream feed its a comfort to feel you. You could take a toy into bed with you, like a snuggle blanket so it has your smell, then transfer it with DC when feeding is done, hopefully your scent will keep him sated. Good luck.

FeliciaJollygoodfellow Thu 02-Feb-17 13:24:59

Stop feeding him as a first step, then when he's happy with that, so controlled crying.

You say he's eating well so it's clearly for comfort - maybe after over a year you should put your own health first? I mean that in the nicest way possible, so many women on here push themselves into the ground to continue breastfeeding when there's not nutritional need and when comfort can be given in a myriad other ways.

Cut yourself a break. You don't mention if you work, but by the time my DS3 was 14 months and I was back at work full time, I was making myself ill with the broken sleep. DS was quite happy going all day with no boob but co sleeping and he wanted it all night. So I took a week off and did controlled crying to get him to sleep in a cot with no boob. He's five now and sleeps well (in the main!) with no ill effects from the one evening of crying for over an hour!

ThroneofJudgypants Thu 02-Feb-17 13:55:32

Oh please don't leave your child crying when you have it in your power to comfort him sad he's still tiny and the phase will pass. I found it improved a lot once all the teeth were through. Hang in there.

Kronutpearl Thu 02-Feb-17 13:57:42

Controlled crying was the only thing that worked for us. I'd do it again in a heartbeat. I was miserable and more importantly so was DS due to lack of sleep.

Kronutpearl Thu 02-Feb-17 13:58:38

I found it improved a lot once all the teeth were through

My ds teeth didn't all come through til he was 3, no way in hell am I going through three years of fuck all sleep if I can help it!!!

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