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several problems making life v. difficult with 9 month old

(10 Posts)
rhetorician Fri 21-Sep-12 11:12:09

I am just going to put these out there - some of them are related, others are not. DD2 is a perfectly healthy, happy, almost crawling, grinning, smiling, waving, clapping, chirping baby. BUT.

- she is breastfed and she is a biter. We have tried her on formula but (1) she won't drink much of it leading to reverse cycling and (2) it makes her constipated and uncomfortable which doesn't help with
- she will not sleep in her cot - or at least she will for naps, but not for the night, so she ends up in with us thrashing about and helping herself to milk (and biting)
- she tends to feed to sleep and cannot self-settle
- we did try just leaving her to it, letting her cry and picking her up from time to time, but she cried for three hours and didn't go to sleep. This was worse than having her in bed with us.

these things are getting worse rather than better (at about 6 months she was in cot all night, waking briefly for one feed at about 3).

My poor DP (who is doing all the feeding etc) is in the slough of despond and I feel powerless to help her. What we would like to get to is

1. baby sleeping in cot
2. it's ok for her to wake to feed once or twice, as long as she settles back

I don't know exactly what she weighs, but she isn't tiny (bigger at this age than dd1) she eats fairly ok (when not drinking formula) and really doesn't need more than one feed in the night, surely?

Despite being a much trickier baby dd1 was sleeping through pretty much at this point (I know this because I remember that DP went away for a weekend in November, when dd1 would have been 9-10 months old - no way could that happen with this baby!!)

tootiredtothinkofanickname Fri 21-Sep-12 12:02:25

Poor you and your DP, sleep deprivation is horrible. But... deep breath in, it is all just a phase, it really will get better. DS is now 19 months and had a horrible sleep regression at 9 months. At 7-8 months he used to go in his cot and sleep through until about 3am, when he had a quick feed and then went back down until 6ish. I was so happy, I thought we had turned a corner, and then the 9 months sleep regression hit.

From about 10-11 months he gradually got better again, but had a night feed until 13 months, when he dropped it by himself. Anyway, I'm not sure this is helpful now, but just to say that sleep is many times awful around 9 months.

I wouldn't worry about co-sleeping for now, just do whatever works. However, I think that the feeding to sleep association is the first one to tackle. I am a softie and against CC or CIO, but you can maybe try gradual withdrawal? Something along the lines of rubbing her back the first week, then keeping your hand on her back the second, then sitting next to her cot, then gradually move further away. Will she take a dummy, so after she is fed she can still suck on something and settle more easily?

I did this with DS at bedtime when he was about 1, but to be honest I was too shattered to do it in the night as well, so when he woke up again DH or I would just lie down with him and co-sleep in his room for the rest of the night. Gradually, the night wakings got less frequent, and now he sleeps through 3 or 4 nights a week.

I think at 9 months your DD might still need feeding in the night, but waking up hungry is different to feeding to sleep. IMO, tackling one thing at a time is the way to go, and meanwhile do whatever works for all of you, so you all get as much sleep as possible.

tootiredtothinkofanickname Fri 21-Sep-12 12:06:57

I forgot to say that IMO it might be better for your DP only to co-sleep for a couple of weeks, so she doesn't wake up at night and realise you are next to her and try to feed. You could decide on a time to feed at night, maybe 2 or 3am, and only do it then, then leave your DP with her for the rest of the night. It will be shattering, but it might only take a few nights if you are lucky.

rhetorician Fri 21-Sep-12 12:10:30

thanks - we are slowly dealing with the feeding to sleep vaguely following no cry sleep solution. haven't tried a dummy, but might be worth a go. I don't think we would be CC or CIO either really - we're lucky that despite living in a small house that dd1 sleeps through pretty much anything, so at least we don't have 2 children up in the night!

I suspect that the answer is time as well - it's not really helped at this point by everyone saying that she should be on bottles. It's very difficult to tackle these things when you are already knackerd, so tend to just go with line of least resistance!

DamnTheManSaveTheEmpire Fri 21-Sep-12 12:18:20

We did pupd mixed with cc at 6.5 months if you would like further info on what we did (dd 10monts sleeps 12hrs a night, 2-3 hr afternoon nap all in cot) then please feel free to pm me.

Iggly Fri 21-Sep-12 12:25:56

9 months is a classic classic time for a sleep regression.

Best thing is to put baby in cot at start of night no matter what it takes to get her in (by that I mean rock/feed to sleep etc). Fine to bring her back into bed with you later but it gets her used to it for night

The biting - I bet she's teething. Try some teething gel/powders and get your DP to work on teaching her not to bite. What worked for me was as soon as dd/ds bit, I'd pull them in closely to the boob, they'd let go and I'd say "no" firmly and take them off for a minute. And repeat. They both got it very quickly. TBH biting normally happens after they've taken most of the feed anyway so can pop them off before it happens (when their feedin slowly right down).

Bottles are clearly not working for you - I'd leave the formula. It's only a few months until she'll have dropped a few feeds.

My dd and ds are/were nightmare sleepers (dd is 9.5 months so feel your pain) but I found with ds if I was consistent about some things, he'd get back to good habits once any phase was over. In our case it was bedtime routine where he'd go in the cot.

I didn't worry about self settling with dd - she was getting there at 6-7 months, had a blip and now isn't doing it but I keep trying by putting her down drowsy and giving her a chance.

It'll get better, I promise! Just keep trying every now and then.

rhetorician Fri 21-Sep-12 12:36:58

I think we are just not going to do the formula thing at all now - it seems like a pointless struggle for little gain. Iggly I think our dds are the same age pretty much exactly (ours born Dec 4) - we do pretty much stick to the start the night in the cot thing. She is bang in the middle of separation anxiety too, so when she stirs, she realises she is on her own and starts to cry. Plus she is wiggling around all over the place and waking herself up. Sigh. It will pass I know and I think she'll be a good sleeper in the end - she is very lively and energetic - never stays still! I'm just a bit worried about DP's state of mind as much as anything.

Iggly Fri 21-Sep-12 12:44:53

Yes dd is 2 December!

I'm absolutely knackered. What we did with ds but haven't done yet with dd is got DH to tackle one night waking so I could get 4/5 hours of sleep which made the world of difference. Also dd can sleep until 22.30/11 in her cot provided I make sure she's been winded properly. There's always a burp with her!!! (just wondering about biting and whether she's always done it? She could be clamping down to slow the flow of milk?)

MoelFammau Fri 21-Sep-12 20:37:41

Biting probably equals teething. DD would bite at these times and my eyes would water. Best tip there is to push baby into the breast and sort of cut off the air supply. Baby lets go pretty sharpish. Pulling away is excruciating.

I also had the bottles talk from family etc. DD is 16mo and still breastfeeding. I'm fed up, it has to be said, but it's hard to find time to go cold turkey. We're always travelling, or DD is ill, or we moved house, or we're having a lot of stress at home.... all times when it seems mean to remove the comfort.

DD is also a bloody lousy sleeper. She's slept through twice in her life. Mostly she wakes at midnight and 4ish but she goes through times of waking every hour. Sometimes we have her in bed with us but she usually sleeps in the cot. There was a time at 9 months though where she slept with us for quite a while. It coincided with her learning to crawl. Guess her brain was rewiring and she couldn't settle. DD had silent reflux and sucked on me to soothe herself... could this be something she needs?

Sympathies!

pointythings Fri 21-Sep-12 21:31:34

DD1 was a biter too at this age - I'd second pulling her in to the boob and then taking her off, but I would be very careful of how you say 'No' to her - I did this with DD1 and she went on a nursing strike! It took 4 days before I could get her to take the breast again. Firm but calm is OK, loud and sharp is not, I learned that the hard way.

8 - 9 months is classic regression time, lots and lots going on in the brain, you just have to stick at it. DD1 had very bad separation anxiety but good sleep, DD2 was the opposite.

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