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I have PND and a baby that won't sleep and I'm desperate

(16 Posts)
StrawberrySam Fri 25-Sep-09 08:24:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Wigeon Fri 25-Sep-09 08:46:32

Oh, gosh, just saw your post and didn't want it to go unanswered. Sleep deprivation is rubbish, isn't it. It makes everything seem so much worse. It sounds like you are doing everything you can for your baby despite feeling down - well done. Also, that's great that she is sleeping relatively well at night - go you!

I'm not sure I've got any magic answers, but given you need to get some sleep (for yourself!) in any way possible:

* have you tried lying down with her on your bed to get her to sleep, and then sleeping yourself?

* she might fall asleep in a pram, and the fresh air is good for both of you

* are you trying to get her to sleep at set times? If so, you could try just getting her to sleep when she looks sleepy, even if this means the gaps between naps are longer than you might think and she's grumpy. Now she's 3 months, she might be needing slightly less daytime sleep than when she was very very small? Can you take her out anywhere (the nearest shop, a walk around the block, a baby group) just to distract yourself from the grumping?

This won't help this morning, but I like the No Cry Sleep Solution book - lots and lots of tips which might work for you.

So, a virtual <hug>, and I really hope you can get through today. The sleep does get better, eventually.

And finally, I wanted to reply as I saw you are a fellow civil servant!

womblemeister Fri 25-Sep-09 08:52:07

have you got any friends/relatives who would take her for just a couple of hours so you can sleep? sometimes that's all you need to recover and feel better able to cope.

if not, try as wigeon says and just lie down on the bed. At least it's relaxing even if she won't sleep.

Persephoponce Fri 25-Sep-09 08:54:31

Hi there.

So sorry to hear you're feeling so low. It is terribly hard when you are this exhausted. I remember well this feeling with my first baby (not a great sleeper) and the desperation I felt. I also had PND (I'm sure the sleep deprivation was a major factor) and life seemed very bleak for a while.

Firstly, it won't help a huge amount but it is important to point out something that I think is often misrepresented to first time parents - nd that is that lots of babies do not sleep very well. And it's not your fault. And it's nothing you aren't doing or that you are doing. It's just that they are a bit more high maintenance, need a bit more help to get off to sleep, some of them just don't need as much sleep as others and hell, they are babies. there is no bloody rhyme or reasion with some of them grin

Trust me. It's the big secret that all of these bloody parenting manuals don't tell you. I have two children now and they were just completely different sleepers. My first was fussy, needed lots of soothing to get off to sleep, took hours to go down most nights etc. My second slept 5 hour stretches from day one and was sleeping 7pm-7am with absolutely no input from me at 6 weeks old. Nothing I did or didn't do.

So, first things first: do NOT beat yourself up about this.

Sleep options: I would take a by any means necessary approach at this stage and absolutely ignore any thoughts of the future, getting your baby into bad habits etc. Night time. Is co-sleeping an option? For me it wasn't as I got even less sleep with my baby in the bed, but for some people it is a great solution. Does your DH take a share of the night time wakings? I know he is working full time and it's hard, but you are not exactly loafing around fioling your nails durin g the day either - lookign after a baby full time is demanding and exhausting in the extreme.

During the day, will she sleep in her buggy? I used to put the raincover on the buggy then drape a blanket over to make it dark and cosy, then walk really, really fast around the park until my DS drifted off. As soon he did, I'd go to the cafe and have a coffee and read the paper and just breaaaaaathe.

In terms of getting a break now and then - are there relatives or friends nearby? If you can get a few hours a week or even the odd night away, you'll feel loads better.

PND. A tricky one. meds didnt help me, but I know they help many women. It's definitely worth going back to your GP and having a conversation. I was referred to counselling in the end, which was a moderate success. But it's telling that when my baby started to sleep properly, I started to feel better...

Hugs to you, anyway. I am happy to be your shoulder to cry on if you need one wink

adelicatequestion Fri 25-Sep-09 08:55:50

It's a,long time since mine were 12 weeks old and I expect guidelines have changed but I was given 2 bits of advice from my HV at the time who ran the baby sleep clinic.

At 12 weeks these days are babies starting weaning? If she is then my HV said to give her more protein based food at tea time to see her through the night. Sorry if this is not the done thing these days.

When she's feeding is she taking a reasonable amount from bottle. One of my sons would only take a few ounces and then kept waking up all night for little bits of food - it turned out he had reflux and a bit of baby gaviscon and we slept again!

Keep talking to your health visitor. Tell her how mad you feel and don;t let her put your feelings down to being tired.

Mine kept telling me as I cried every time the babies tried; what do you expect, you've just had twins!

My problems were more deep rooted and if I'd pushed then for councelling and help it would have saved a lot of years of heartache.

Keep talking to your health visitor.

Could your DH take a day off so you can jkust sleep or at the weekend (difficult I know if you are bf).

Take care

adelicatequestion Fri 25-Sep-09 08:58:04

So sorry - 4th paragraph should read tell her how Bad you feel not mad.

Wigeon Fri 25-Sep-09 09:02:29

Adelicatequestion - just to let you know that official advice based on current scientific / medical evidence is that 17 weeks is the very youngest you should even consider weaning, and that 6 months is the recommended age. Also, advice is that weaning won't help nighttime sleeping (although of course some mums will say that their baby started sleeping better when they started weaning, even if they can't prove the causual link!).

Sorry OP - just wanted to fill adelicatequestion in.

How are you feeling now? Have you had breakfast?

Jojay Fri 25-Sep-09 09:04:12

Could you take her for a drive till she goes to sleep, then park up somewhere and have a doze or take a book or magazine?

Not a permanemt solution I know but it will give you a bit of space for a bit.

Don't beat yourself up about housework, it can wait.

So sorry you're feeling so low sad I really hope it passes for you.

Snowtiger Fri 25-Sep-09 09:07:19

My heart goes out to you strawberrysam my DS was exactly like that until he was 4 or 5 months old, and I had PND too, which I'm sure was made worse by lack of sleep.

First thing to say - it DOES get better, so please keep putting one foot in front of the other, and stay strong. GEt as much help as you can - it used to drive me nuts but DS would fall asleep in anyone else's arms but mine, even the health visitor's! Get a friend or family member to come over and give baby a cuddle to sleep while you go and lie down, even if it's only for 20 minutes.

My DS would also often only sleep in the car, and wake up the second we parked, which used to make me furious. Buggy was nearly as good though, so as another poster said, I'd put a dark coat / blanket over the buggy, go for a walk and once he'd gone to sleep come home, park the buggy in the hall and lie down on the sofa for a while.

I'm now pregnant with my 2nd and this time will do whatever it takes to get them to sleep. With DS I felt that if I didn't follow Gina Ford to the letter then my child would never learn to self-soothe etc. which is nonsense. Get yours to sleep with rocking, motion (pushchair), feeding, dummy, whatever, then just get yourself some rest. That's absolutely the most important thing at the moment.

Definitely get some help from your GP / HV about the PND. I never self harmed but I suffered from eating disorders and they threatened to raise their ugly heads again when I was really low in DS's first months. Stay strong, and konw that this will get better.

No Cry Sleep Solution has lots of good tips, definitely worth a read. Also, encourage your DD to suck her thumb - literally peel it away from her fist and put it in her mouth. It took DS until 6 months to get the hang of it but once he could suck his thumb to self-soothe he started sleeping brilliantly! He was like a different child, it was a godsend. Better than dummies too - they don't fall out and get lost in the cot at night!!

Ask for help and accept every bit of help that you're offered. This will end, and it will get better. Good luck!

Besom Fri 25-Sep-09 09:11:17

I really feel for you. I had pnd and a baby who wouldn't sleep. It is truly awful when you're in the middle of it.

One thing I think I will look into if I have another baby like this is cranial osteopathy. It's one of those things where it's hard to decide if it's helpful or a load of old tosh. I believe the theory is that some babies' skulls are not aligned properly (or something) and this often happens particularly if there has been a difficult birth. (My dd was born by crash section). People who believe in it say that babies' sleep can be disrupted by this and that this treatment could help. I don't know, but as I say, I would think about doing it next time.

I second lying down with them and napping (after making sure it is safe and you can find guidelines for this on the internet). Don't do this if taking any medication which is likely to make you sleep more heavily .

What kind of sling do you have? I found the wrap around one (a Kari Me) to be good. She wasn't so keen on the baby bjorn. We also used to put her in the sling and bounce up and down on an excercise ball! If she started to wake up - back on the ball for more bouncing until she went back off.

I would perservere with the sling if you can because it just gives you that little bit more freedom to move around.

Do you have much support around you - family or friends? If so then use them as much as you can. People may rally if they realise you are struggling and come and hold her for a couple of hours while you rest.

adelicatequestion Fri 25-Sep-09 09:18:54

Ignore old fashioned me!!lol

I don;t think either of my boys would have lasted till 6 months without a bit of baby rice.

But times move on....

NotSoRampantRabbit Fri 25-Sep-09 09:36:52


Really sorry you're struggling. Ihad PND and a refluxy baby first time round. It was the worst year of my life. sad

I took anti depressents which really helped me get some perspective and feel better able to look after myself and therefore DS.

Second the "by whatever means possible" approach to sleep.

Some other ideas for you:

White noise - buy a CD or if you have an iphone there's an application. Or just try hairdryer/hoover/washing machine. Works for DD (14 weeks) sometimes.

Have you got a vibrating bouncy chair? If not get one. It's another place to put them when grumbling even if they don't actually sleep.

Get in the bath with DD - few drops lavendar oil and feed her.

Keep going wth wrap sling.

Controversial but - put in cot fed, changed, happy and tired. Walk away for 5 mins. See what happens.

All you can do is give her opportunities to sleep. You can't make her sleep and she will not suffer long term through a lack of it.

You're doing a great job. Go to gp and talk about medication. Chin up.

swanriver Fri 25-Sep-09 09:44:50

Are there some things you could enjoy if and when baby is asleep on your lap, rather than worrying you can't get anything done? A lovely dvd, thermos of tea/coffee, sandwiches at the ready, phone, book? In the early days till 10 weeks my baby never slept.
I remember so well that awful feeling of trying in vain to get the baby to sleep in his cot, and wasting so much time settling him. I think now I should have not worried so much about putting him down. Whenever I was just sitting with other people cuddling him and chatting to them, or walking to get somewhere rather than to get him to sleep, things didn't seem so bad.
loads of milk (even you think you have fed her already)
Cranial osteopathy

Are there any drop in groups for babies and toddlers you could find to make the day a bit less endless - it makes such a difference to morale to go somewhere and be with other mothers and babies

StrawberrySam Fri 25-Sep-09 09:45:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

swanriver Fri 25-Sep-09 09:50:52

Another trick in the morning is to put the baby safely down in her cot, and have a long shower (you won't be able to HEAR her crying if she is, through the sound of the water) Then you will feel just slightly better - even if you have had to leave her for 5 minutes to cry.

Wigeon Fri 25-Sep-09 11:26:39

Good to hear back from you StrawberrySam! Just a word of warning about the No Cry book - it's not about quick fixes, and so things might not change immediately. But in my case, at least I felt like I was doing everything I could to help my baby sleep.

Feel free to rant again whenever you feel the need!

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