No sleep for 9 months- now I hate her(36 Posts)
I am at my wits end. My breast fed baby has woken more or less every 2 hours from birth. I started settle and sooth from 6 months and things started to improve, but then went backwards again. Another little improvement at 8 months but we now have hourly waking and demand for breastmilk every 2 hours. I am on the verge of either giving up bf or doing cc. I feel that I hate her for ruining my life. I see posts from people with 18 month olds who don't sleep and I feel like I can't go on.
Try controlled crying. We did Gina Ford at 6 months and it changed our lives. Controlled crying does not make you a bad parent, however horrible you feel doing it. Once you've cracked the problem, both you and baby will be much happier. It is amazing how getting the sleep part sorted changes your whole perspective on everything! You will be able to enjoy her. Take a breath, do some research on controlled crying (i recommend looking into GF), make a plan and stick to it. All the very best and have a very unMN hug, as I know it is rough!!
Oh poor you, didn't want you to go un answered. Is she getting enough food? if you are exhausted you may not be producing as much and may have to start supplimenting with formula. You can also top up with water from a bottle or beaker which she could hold herself allowing you to get back into bed faster. Is there any one who could help you for a night if you express just to try and feel more human again? It really won't last forever it is just hard when you can't see the light at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully someone else can give you more advice.
Also, your dd does not need breastmilk every hour or 2 at this age. It is likely that she just wants mummy. It is so important that she learns to self-soothe and get herself back to sleep. I hope you take my advice and look into getting her into a routine with cc. It changed our lives.
our little girl was never as frequent a waker as yours is, but we found that hard enough.
I clearly remember me and DH having a chat about CC at about 6 1/2 months and deciding we couldn't do it and it was wrong and evil, and then just a week or so later, being up with her again, with her not actually being hungry, sleeping badly in my arms but complaining if I put her down. I was so distressed with her 'neediness' and my not being able to do anything to help.
We instantly changed our minds and started CC!
It was hard, but after 4-5 nights she slept through (at least, that's how i remember it... might have just been more hours in a row!)
She's so happy now that she's sleeping well.
I honestly believe that when you feel something needs to change is the time to make that change.
CC really worked for us, and lots of our friends and their little ones too.
Good luck. When you're that strung out, it feels like nothing will get better, but it happens so quickly... and then you'll get back to enjoying your lovely little one again.
Oh I have been there! It was when DD was about that age that I stormed up to DH in the spare room at 3am and shoved her in his face with the threat to disturb me on pain of death. I went back to bed and he had to take the next day off work to let me sleep.
At that point I realised my sanity was in danger and I needed to stop night feeds. I did do a bit of controlled crying a couple of months after that and within 3 nights she was sleeping all night from 7.30pm to 6.30/7am. The longest she cried for was the first wake-up on the first night and it was 45 minutes. It felt like a lifetime, but I didn't pick her up, just went in every 5 minutes to lay her down and shush her etc. After that the periods of crying reduced and each night the number of wake-ups reduced until she was sleeping through.
You might want to ask your DH to look after her overnight a few times, partly so you can sleep and recover a bit and partly because she is less likely to be looking for milk if you are not there.
It is horrible when you have been sleep-deprived for a long time, but you CAN leave her with someone else overnight while you have a proper sleep (in the same house or elsewhere) - she will be absolutely fine.
PS I don't want to actively recommend this, but am mentioning it in case it helps you - DD stopped sleeping well on her back and so I started putting her down on her front. It made a HUGE difference.
Lots of sympathy here. My babies didn't sleep at all for two years (Twins - one seemed to never ever sleep.) I wouldn't wish that on anyone. It ruins your life and your relationship with them and DP.
Three things that might help:
Last feed before bed - is she on good solids? Can you give her a filling but easily digestible meal such a baby rice, so she doesn't get thirsty?
Does she have any discomfort? Might she be waking up with tummy pains? Worth trying infacol and gripe water etc with final evening feed.
There's a gentler version of controlled crying. GF imo is a bit brutal. The kinder version works just as well. Can't remember the name of the book, but you go in and soothe them after two minutes, then four minutes, then eight etc. You don't make eye contact or touch them, you just say 'Go to sleep'. That way they know you're there but that you won't play. It'll be evil for three or four days, then they grow into the habit of it.
OP, I am another one for controlled crying. We did it the day DS turned 6 months. It took 2 nights, and he has slept 12 hours every night since (thats for 11 months) apart from occasional wakings due to illness, after which he still settles with a dose of calpol and a kiss. I am a great fan of the Gina Ford method, and have followed it to the letter when DS has had awkward phases.
You both need to be committed to doing it though, it is hard. If you can get your DH to deal with her so she knows BF is not available, that will help.
It is fine for babies to sleep on their front once they can turn themselves over. We put DS on his front from about 6 weeks (well before he could turn, and against DoH advice). once he could turn he still slept on his front or occasionally his side.
'No Cry Sleep Solution' racingheart?
I second the point about good solids. DS was having 3 hearty meals a day at 9months (and 4 bottles of formula ). If he wasn't getting all that he'd definitely never sleep either.
Do you also have a super solid routine? Think they need to know once the bedtime routine has been completed, that's it, there's no hope of more interaction (including food). We do walk DS back to sleep if he wakes in the night but we don't talk to him or even look at him!
We also tummy slept and he now chooses to sleep like that (12mo). He really doesn't seem able to sleep on his back. I do think you have to play around to find what
makes encourages each baby to sleep well, they all seem to need slightly different things.
I am solidly of the ANTI-controlled-crying lobby. There are far better ways! None of the get-more-sleep methods involve much sleep for you to start with so IMO you might as well pick one that is gentler on the baby and doesn't risk ruining your bond with her (which is clearly excellent given how responsive to her needs you've been!) There is the No Cry Sleep Solution if you want a book.
What we did with DD (and am about to do with 9mo DS who has also fed every 2 hours around the clock since birth and is now such a fatso he clearly doesn't need to!) was what I'd call controlled grumbling. It involves no leaving-to-cry at all. He's still in our room, so starting tonight he'll get his usual late-night feed at about 9.45 and then he's going cold turkey till about 4ish tomorrow. However, I WILL BE THERE ALL THE TIME - when he grumbles I'll be next to his cot, chatting to him. If he cries I will pick him up for a cuddle (if he falls asleep being cuddled so much the better). After four nights of this DD slept through and has slept through ever since. IMO something like this is way better than standing outside their bedroom door with a stopwatch listening to them scream their hearts out.
No wonder you are hating the whole world at the moment. It is not healthy for you to be like this.. so something has to change. I am not sure whether CC is for you or whether it is the right thing to do at this stage. I have just had one night of CC and I literally felt sick listening to DD (10 months) crying. However, after an hour of up and down and screaming she fell asleep and that was the quickest in weeks... Have to stick with it now to see whether it helps...
My DD is 10 months and she was breastfed till 7 months. She started sleeping through the night at 5 months and only recently begun waking at midnight refusing to go back to sleep. This is tiring as it is so I can't even imagine what you must be going through.
Your DD should not need feeding as often at this stage. I know that all babies are different but it looks like this may be out of habit than need (unless she's simply not getting enough..). If you think she is not in pain (teething) nor hungry I would give CC a try. Or the shush/pat technique. Do a bit of research to see what suits you best but do not continue like this. You are putting your health in danger...
All the best of luck!
it would be better to stop bf or do cc than to continue with a situation where you feel like you hate your child... fwiw, i quit bf at 8 months (sleeping and teeth) and dd slept through quite soon after. i realise you might not want to stop bf yet, but it's an option.
I had a horrendous time with lack of sleep I lasted 13 months and tried everything but eventually a woman I worked with saw the state I was in and gave me a book on controlled crying. It took 1 night! night 2 we had a full nights sleep and that was it. My ds is 17 years old now and have been trying to get him to wake up for teh last 2 years!
I have just come back to say that once DD stopped bf throughout the night, her daytime solids improved no end and I think that contributed to her moving on with sleeping through. I gave up night feeds before we did the cc method, I think doing both at once might be a bit much. I passed her over to DH for a couple of nights to stop the night bf and slept in the spare room with earplugs in. She coped really well and actually woke up less with him than with me, probably because she couldn't smell my milk.
I shall watch this with interest. I have started not feeding my son every time he wakes overnight because he really can't need that much milk (nearly 7 months) and it is slowly killing me. He reinforced this theory the night I started it by waking under an hour after the last feed. What he wants is a suckle.
We got to this stage with DD3 and around 8 months we both felt dead. She would wake every time she sensed me in the room (long story but she has to share with us due to lack of space). It got to the stage that I no longer wanted to go to bed, would put it off till 1-2, creep in as quietly as anything and she would wake up about 10 minutes after I'd shut my eyes. Every. single.fucking.night. For three months. She'd then wake up every 45 mn to 1 hour.
In the end it was her or me.
I slept on the sofa for a week and DH got up to her. She started sleeping better after a few days and after a week or so was sleeping 8-4 again. It was tough especially at first. The temptation is just to do what works in the short term (ie feed them) in wee small hours.
I fed her at 4 for a further 6 months then spun her out till 5 (so she was doing 8-5 then napping after a feed). She's now just turned 2 and sleeps 8:30-6, wakes up, has a feed and sleeps for another hour or so. We are starting to feel alive again.
artyparty I know those feelings exactly. Your baby sounds just like my 9 month old DD. DP has been at some of the spiteful things I've said about her because she won't let me sleep.
I've posted recently on the sleep board about what we've been doing. She's in her own room now, being rocked rather than fed to sleep and we've cut feeds right back (was 2hourly on a good night before). If she wakes and is not due a feed, we rock her back to sleep. She would cry in our arms the first few times as she wanted to be breastfed but now just grumbles briefly!
DP has been great and seems happy to be able to help at last. She's been waking less in the night (got two 4 hour stretches on night) and now settles with milk in a cup in the day.
Whatever you decide to do, once you see a bit of an improvement, you'll feel a million times better. I wouldn't recommend cc when your relationship is already strained. I kept threatening it for DD and then felt like an even crapper mother when I couldn't see it through.
My son woke every 2 hours for a bf until I decided I'd had enough of it at about 14 months and sent my H in with a beaker of water, that knocked it on the head in a week or so and I kept bf till 18 months.
6 months is very young to do CC.
It might solve itself. My DD was bottle fed so we had the hourly dummy run in the night rather than bf. She slept through bewteen 3 and 4 months then starting waking again in the night and it got steadily worse and worse until by 6 months she was waking about 10 or 12 times int eh night and crying for her dummy. This lasted for until she was 8.5 months. Then it got less and less until by 9 months she was sleeping through from 7pm til 6am more often than not. We didn't do anything different, it was just the passage of time that improved things.
I found 'Healthy Sleep Habits - Happy Baby' a good read, appart from the CC bit as that doesn't appeal to me.
Just popped back to say DS had his first night last night of no feeds between 9.30 and 4.30. He woke as usual at 11.30, went back to sleep after some grumbling and cuddling, woke again about 1 and was awake with me (either cuddling, chatting, singing or lying on the bed) till 2.30. Then slept till the early feed he was allowed at 4.30. No crying, 'controlled' or otherwise, involved anywhere. Another couple of nights of this and I think he won't bother waking up in the middle of the night.
That's great everyone thank you. I came back to the board fully expecting negative comments for what I said about DD. I was desperate when I wrote it. I've considered everything and think cc may be the last resort, as ive been on the attachment/ baby led side of things until now. I was doing the no cry sleep solution when things improved but as they seem to have gone backwards, I'm going to go cold turkey on the night feeds. 12 hours does seem a long time to go without a feed but something needs to change. For the first time I'm thinking DH can do a night shift if I'm not BF. Then he might be more sympathetic to my mental state! Xxx
If you think no night feeds at all might be too much for her, what about deciding on a time for one night feed, and trying to settle without feeding at all other times? Thats what we did and it hugely improved his sleep. Im not pretending he sleeps through all the time now, but he has done a few times and mostly only wakes once now. At the same time, weve been using gradual withdrawal to help him learn to self settle at bedtime. I think CC is something you have to be sure of before you do it and I have never been sure its something I want to do.
I definitely wouldn't try to make her go for 12 hours all at once. I'm aiming for seven hours with DS, as that's a sensible amount of sleep for me to have. We can work on extending it after that. No sleep 'solution' will work during developmental periods or teething etc so that maybe why your DD has changed her pattern after you'd gone the 'no cry' route with her. I would try it again - no rhythm lasts forever.
I started out giving DD a feed when I went to bed, then not offering anything else until the morning (not before 5.30/6am). So she was going maybe 6/7 hours. I cut the feed at my bedtime last of all.
I went through lots of angst and guilt about the idea of DH taking DD up to the spare room overnight, and when I look back I just think 'how ridiculous was that??' - But it is hard when you have spent the whole night every night next to your baby. You CAN let DH do a night shift - he will be fine, your DD will be fine and you do need to have some good quality sleep.
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