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Nervous breakdown or PND - too much night waking and screaming making me crazy!!!! Need technique...

(20 Posts)
akimbu Sun 30-Aug-09 21:18:34

I've spent all evening reading posts about sleeping, bf thru the night, controlled crying etc
My DD is 11 months 1 week.
I am looking for a kind humane way to cut out night feeding so I can sleep more than a 3 or 4 hours stretch.
I've been trying to ride it out until she spontaneously changes but I can't take all the night waking/feeding anymore.
I have reached my limit and it is affecting my moods/behaviour/relationship with partner/ability to care for my DD.
I really wish I could just continue to bf on demand at night until she is grows out of it because I do believe she will at some point - next week or next year but I'm afraid i might have to do something radical.
My DH and I disagree vehemently on controlled crying - he says its ok but I don't want to do it.
My DD has no prob settling herself now in the eves or for daytime naps but when she wakes in the night she cries and sometimes screams and will be only settled by boob.
We are sure she is not hungry as have tried to give expressed milk in a cup and she rejects, but loves the cuddle/comfort, and really I don't want to deny her as I see it as an investment in her future emotional stability.
She is such a friendly giggly sociable happy baby in the day and crazed howling loony at night (not every night! every 2nd or 3rd night)
There must be a way to save my sanity and have her only wake once from 7.30pm-6.30am instead of 3 times or amazingly not at all.
I am fed up of hearing about the babies who sleep thru at x weeks or never cry. And terrified to hear of the ones who still bf thru the night at 18mo etc
I really don't think I will survive and keep thinking do I need to check myself into hospital to get a night's sleep?
I know this is a really common post/problem but SOMEONE PLEASE HELP! sad

sally78 Sun 30-Aug-09 21:30:14

How about a dummy?

sally78 Sun 30-Aug-09 21:33:17

I would get DH to feed at 10/11pm whilst your in bed ASLEEP!!

You then do the 3am feed which I think at 11 weeks is going to happen (mine slept through from 10pm till 6am at 12 weeks, I think 7-7 is expecting a miracle!. Then swadle, dummy if needed and you go back to bed.

YES THIS IS A TOTALLY NORMAL PROBLEM, been there!!!

sally78 Sun 30-Aug-09 21:35:36

Another option:

You breastfeed at 10/11pm, get DH to wake up. Then DH feeds at 3am expressed/formula. She may settle for him......

Jenbot Sun 30-Aug-09 21:44:33

Ugh, I'm there too OP, DD's about the same age (13 months but she was 2 months early) and is up usually every couple of hours a night, has been for months. Some days I don't mind but others I really struggle.

Actually, it is past 9.30, I should go to bed as I know I'll be up half the night!

Good luck with your night tonight, and the only thing I would suggest is can you sleep with her during the day at all? If I've had a run of particularly bad nights I still do it!

moosemama Sun 30-Aug-09 22:42:38

Oh you poor thing. You sound desperate. I'm afraid I'm probaby not much help as its not a problem I've had to deal with myself (plenty of other problems, just not this particular one). I just didn't want your post to disappear as I am sure there are others on here that can help you.

Off the top of my head. Is she in your room or her own room?

I've kept all three of mine in my room longer than most people do and dd who is now 7 months is still in a bedside crib. This means that if she wakes in the night, she can sense I am close and I can put my hand on her chest to soothe her or if necessary give her a dummy with the minimum of disturbance or disruption.

This has worked really well for us, but the problem with it for you (if she has already gone into her own room) might be that either you will disturb her sleep or she will disturb yours even further.

Sorry, I'm not much use am I? Really hope someone comes along to help you out soon.

wheresmypaddle Sun 30-Aug-09 23:56:50

Hi there, poor you sleep deprivation is a truly terrible thing especially over such a long time with no definite end in sight. CC and other sleep techniques are very emotive subjects but I feel they are worth serious consideration in your situation as it sounds like you are on the edge of becoming poorly due to lack of sleep- which will have a negative effect on your relationship with DD.

CC does work but only you can decide if you and DD are ready for this approach. I know many mums who were very against this approach but as DC got older and sleep deprivation took a hold on their entire lives they did CC and did not regret it. I don't think that many babies of this age regularly self settle all the time but if you could get to a situation where DD could be settled by reassurance from you or DH rather than a BF you would at least get more sleep.

GirlsAreLoud Mon 31-Aug-09 00:01:05

Sally78 the op's baby is 11 months not 11 weeks.

Have you tried pick up put down OP? Gentler than controlled crying but worked wonders for us.

sally78 Mon 31-Aug-09 19:20:46

Oh sorry misread. 11 months ok

Her comfort and sleep cue is you and your boobs! So you need to replace them with something. It maybe a snuggly, a soft toy, music, words etc. Combine this with pick up and put down but don't give in as hard as this will be. There is a great book, i'll dig out the title for you.

sally78 Mon 31-Aug-09 19:23:42

Found it

The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night: Foreword by William Sears, M.D.

ladypanda Mon 31-Aug-09 22:19:01

Loads of support, we had this, in fact every now and again (he's 21 months now!) we still do, but it's rare. I was going completely insane, I totally understand. The first thing I would recommend (partner willing) is earplugs and if you can manage it a seperate room- let your partner do a night to give you a whole night off, armed with a bottle (in case she's really hungry, but I doubt it), and a sling (if you use one to get her off, we did) failing that a lot of rocking in his arms! You'll feel so much better and begin to get a grip.
We put an end to it through controlled crying, it was tough to go through (I was SO against it and my husband plugged away to get me to see it as the right thing), but unbelievably quick- 3 nights and he was sleeping through.
To reiterate, I think we're always in for some broken nights, as they get older the causes change (hunger, teething, nightmares, wet beds etc..) but it is so fundamental that they learn to resettle themselves each time they come into light sleep rather than have you/ your boobs to do it for them. If you ever want to sleep normally again that is!
Good LUCK and hang on in there it wil get better xxx

ladypanda Mon 31-Aug-09 22:21:31

ps I read the no cry sleep solution- it is a very sweetly written book and helpfully gets you to keep a sleep diary and analyse any patterns, BUT it doesn't have a magic answer and ends by telling you if all else fails go for controlled crying!

But it is a help as it helps you realise we're all in the same boat

akimbu Tue 01-Sep-09 10:11:10

Wow you are all so lovely. Thank you for all your helpful posts.

@ Jenbot - I do have daytime naps with her often but sometimes I just feel groggy and then am chasing the day cos there is so much to get done.

@ Moosemama - My DD is in the room with us in a cot next to the bed.

@ GirlsAreLoud -have heard of 'pick up put down' but don't know the details of it. Am interested in trying it.

@ Sally78 - I have Sears "The Baby Book" which I like a lot although it is slightly vague in some areas like sleeping so maybe the dedicated book gets more specific. I'll try and get a copy from the library.

Specifically, she rejects DH in the nights pushing him away when he picks her up and arching her back away from him and screaming more then totally quiets when I pick her up. So with it always coming down to me, it creates niggles between DH and me cos I'm exhausted and he wants to help but not much he can do.
He says this is the situation I have created by insisting on bf on demand from the outset.

I DO UNDERSTAND that nearly all babies wake in the night but my DD cries and screams for 2/3 hours often when she wakes and it's so distressing. She gets herself all worked up into a frenzy and its so hard to bring her down. Our adrenaline gets going and hormones go racing and I can't always stay calm.

I just keep thinking over and over "what am I missing?"

We have a cranial appt book for next week BTW. hmm

piprabbit Tue 01-Sep-09 10:42:16

Hi akimbo,

I've not got a solution but I just wanted to let you know my experience.
Your DD sounds just like my DS at 11-12 months. I was getting desperate and really struggling with not having had more than a couple of hours sleep at a time in over a year (the pregnancy was hard at the end too).

He would wake in the night and scream, the only place he would finally go to sleep was in my bed. I tried leaving him in his cot and sitting beside him, talking quietly or patting his back. It just made him scream even more as he could see me but not understand why on earth I wasn't doing something.

I then hit upon the idea of laying on the floor beside the cot... where he couldn't always see me if he was also laying down. I'd get comfy with a pillow and a blanket and quite often drift off myself. Whether this approach coincided with him moving into a new developmental phase, I really don't know, but within a week he was settling himself in the cot, and things improved from there, and he can now (at 16 months) sleep through at least some of the time.

Whatever works for you, keep trying different things, do try and catch up on your sleep during the day if you can and hold on to the fact that it will (eventually) get better.

ladypanda Tue 01-Sep-09 22:22:30

A friend of mine ended up in a similar position after BFing on demand and having her dd in bed with her from the off- when it came to needing to stop the night wakings, she engaged the use of a sleep trainer- who apparently came round and stayed for 24 hours, observed, and showed her what to do/ not do across the whole day and night to aid sleep. And it worked! It was about £200 but she swears worth every penny.

Can your partner cope with being rejected like this? she will eventually pass out from crying/ tiredness, as long as you are somewhere where you can't hear and he can cope with it, you will get your much needed whole unboken night's sleep. I hope that doesn't make me sound selfish but every now and again a night like that literally made me able to go on, whereas I'm not sure I could have without it!
Other than that remember the mantra of everything's a phase.....
big support x

akimbu Wed 02-Sep-09 12:28:35

@ Ladypanda - thanks good words.
Sleep trainer - interesting scary idea. Can you ask your friend for details? I would go with a recommendation but not a random Google search.

MilaMae Wed 02-Sep-09 14:27:40

God I did controlled crying with my 3 and not 1 has ever screamed 2-3 hours, I'd be very worried about their emotional welfare if they had of done,she must be very distressed.

With controlled crying we just had 2 or 3 nights with 5 min bursts then job done. I'm not sure why you're so dead against it.

At the end of the day if you don't want to be a human dummy(and it sounds as if you don't)I would thought 2 or 3 nights of controlled crying would be the answer. At the end of the day it's your choice and you getting more than 4 hours sleep and withdrawing what your dd wants is going to involve some hollering.

2 or 3 nights of 5 minute bursts is surely kinder than regular 2-3 hours solid screaming.

ladypanda Wed 02-Sep-09 21:09:11

I will track down details and post, my friend was the biggest baby-lead hippy on demand type mum going, but she really had had enough and this sorted all out with it seems a minimum of pain. Apart from financial

Onwards and sleepwards xx

ladypanda Thu 03-Sep-09 10:56:01

Help is at hand and her name is Su- tel. 07881801801. (just realised of course we are London based which doesn't help if you are living in Inverness or some such....)

akimbu Thu 03-Sep-09 20:16:12

@ Ladypanda - you are very kind for doing that. THANK YOU SO MUCH! Will post results!

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