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9 month old - total sleep deprivation

(17 Posts)
piplypip Tue 05-Mar-13 11:11:32

Hi all,
I know this is a well worn discussion but I am at the end of my sleep tether. I cant bear the idea of controlled crying with my DS as when his cries go beyond just irritation and into hysterical tears and distress I just go to pieces. The pick up and put down method just seems to wake him more than anything else and trying to do gentle passive things like sssshhing and patting/ stroking seem to aggravate him more than lull him to sleep.
He has never slept much and is breast fed, refusing to take a bottle or dummy or be comforted by anyone except me. When DH tries to help it just seems to remind him that I am not feeding him and that is the only way he knows how to get back to sleep.
He refuses to co sleep now (although we used to do this when he was younger) as he arches his back and struggles as though he is not comfortable.
Someone just suggested turning the monitor down and not going as quite as often and I thought this sounded ok as it is clear to me that he is not really hungry but just wants comfort from me. I tried this last night and he worked himself up into hysteria and I hated it and myself for letting him get like this.
Has anyone got any advice to give me as Im at my wits' end.

StitchAteMySleep Tue 05-Mar-13 11:20:35

Not much advise really, I have been in the ride it out camp twice (just coming out other side now dd2 is 1 yr).

There is a sleep regression plus teething that makes that time sheer hell. The only thing that helped me was cat napping whenever I could and lie ins on the weekends.

Come and join us here, there are a few in the same boat, a bit of mutual moaning and support helps too.

Shmumty Tue 05-Mar-13 11:21:28


StitchAteMySleep Tue 05-Mar-13 11:21:36

Advice blush

QTPie Tue 05-Mar-13 13:33:10

Is he in a cot?

Try putting a mattress, duvet and pillow on the floor next to him (anything to keep yourself warm and comfortable and able to sleep) and lie down next to him. Try holding his hand or a gentle hand on his back: so physical reassurance without being too aggravating.

We didn't do this when DS was that young (he didn't need it - good sleeper), but did it through prime teething time (13 to 19 months). DS didn't need anything, just needed to know that we were there. And we needed as much sleep as possible - so the answer was to make ourselves as comfortable as possible.


ZuleikaD Tue 05-Mar-13 16:26:51

I would just feed back to sleep at night - you could probably start cutting the times down (I used to give both DCs about 2 minutes then put them down drowsy) if it's just for comfort. Solids haven't really kicked in yet at 9m and they do often still need to top up their calories at night.

I'd also second the idea of sleeping in his room, or even moving him back in with you. 9m is top separation anxiety time and he may just need you with him.

piplypip Tue 05-Mar-13 19:35:00

Thanks ZuleikaD and QTpie. He sleeps in his own room now since 8 months and in a cot ater being in the bednest until then. He is still going through separation anxiety in a big way and i cant ever leave the room as he gets very anxious. So perhaps this is one of the reasons his waking is getting more frequent and he seems to need more comfort than before. He's waking every hour most nights from about 11pm onwards.
Think I might try moving a mattress into his room to see if he will tolerate co sleeping there as he definitely doesnt like it in our bed any more. Bit sad to leave hubby but then we are both so exhausted that probably wont make any difference to us anyway.

piplypip Tue 05-Mar-13 19:35:23

He wont take one :0(

piplypip Tue 05-Mar-13 19:37:47

That last message was meant to be for Shmumty! sorry new to this!

QTPie Tue 05-Mar-13 20:50:41

DS wouldn't cosleep with us at that age either (although I never encouraged it when he was younger - so wasn't surprised). He saw coming into bed with us as "playtime" and NOBODY would get any sleep sad

So that was why we moved the mattress into his room (albeit he was older than you DS).

However I think that moving into their room has several advantages:
- they learn to become settled and comfortable and secure in their own room and cot.
- if, at times, they do fall deeply asleep, you can "sneak out" (I have a detailed mental map of all of the creaky floorboards in DS's room now!) and back to your own bed for some quality sleep and cuddles with DH.
- later on, when DS DOES sleep better (it will happen), then it is easier to slowly withdraw yourself from his room. We actually found that when DS stopped his first round of teething (19 months on the dot!), he started consistently sleeping through again, just like that! We kept the mattress on the floor pretty much permanantly though: blooming useless if he was ever ill. We moved him to a full single bed just before his 3rd birthday and he either comes in with us or we get not bed with him if he is unwell now.

I think there are (unless you are incredibly lucky!) when there will be sleep deprivation (DS was a fab sleeper, but still teething really screwed his sleep up): it is about finding ways to cope when you have those times and maximising "as comfortable as possible" sleep. For us that was a mattress, duvet and pillow on DS's floor: wasn't as comfortable as my own bed, but it did. I was lucky: DS accepted DH doing it too - so DH and I took turns. However it was a fairly "long haul" (13 to 19 months) of one of us spending a fair proportion of the night on the mattress most nights.


MamaBear17 Tue 05-Mar-13 21:05:56

With my dd I couldn't bear to let her cry either. However, I knew that all of her needs had been met and her crying was sheer frustration at being put to bed coupled with a bit of separation anxiety. I felt that I needed to teach her to settle but I couldnt leave her to cry for a prolonged amount of time like the HV's recommended. What I did was follow the same routine every night: bath, story, feed, lie down awake, kiss goodnight and then I left the room. DD would usually stand up and start crying, after one minute I would go back in, lay her down, Shhhs her and reassure her, give her a kiss and go out of the room. I then repeated this - going in after one minute and resettling - for about 2 hours on the first night, then about an hour on the next couple of nights, then just 10 minutes for a couple of days. For big sobs I picked up and comforted, but only held her for 30 seconds, then I put her down again. Now (she is 19 months) she has her milk and then says 'bed now mummy, tuck in now' I lay her down and she goes to sleep without a peep. I never left her alone, I was right outside the door and I never left her to cry for longer than one minute and I always went back in. I think it taught her that mummy was still there even if she couldn't see me. Good luck whatever you decide to do x

snoozed Tue 05-Mar-13 21:16:49

Dd was just like that, it's awful, you have my sympathies!

I had some good results using dr jays night weaning method, on phone so can't link but if you google it will come up.

Did when dd was about 10mo, he says to wait until they baby is 12 months but it is quite a gentle approach and you could perhaps just try the first stage, still feeding but stopping before the baby falls asleep and then holding and comforting.

After a week or so she was only waking once in the night - after waking hourly previously.

Good luck with whatever you try!

snoozed Tue 05-Mar-13 21:18:29

It's dr jay Gordon btw

ZuleikaD Wed 06-Mar-13 07:11:30

QTPie is quite right about taking a practical approach to sleeping - DH and I tend to do whatever works best, without worrying about whether it seems 'unromantic' or whatever. For example I'm sleeping in the spare room at the moment because I'm 38 weeks pg and really need the space to turn over at night and it means that I don't get woken up by the DCs in the night - likewise I'm not waking DH up, so we both sleep better. If a mattress in the baby's room means that everyone gets more sleep, go with it.

waterrat Wed 06-Mar-13 10:03:02

DS was like this - I can offer light at the end of the tunnel as now, at 11 months he sleeps much better - BUT..and I know it's tough, we did do some sleep training. We never actually left him crying for ages, but we did try and see if he would settle with a bit of shouting/ rolling around.

The advice we followed was from the Millpond Sleep clinic - there is a book - you stay next to them patting/ shhing/ singing but you don't pick up out of the cot. It's not very nice, as they do roll around and get hysterical, but it worked - he fell asleep the first night after 15 minutes which isn't that long and we hadn't left him. After this happened twice in the first part of the night he slept for SIX hours - an incredible improvement.

I really do believe that no matter how kind you want to be, they won't sleep well until they learn to settle back to sleep on their own when they wake briefly at night.

However - I am not a hardcore sleep type, and we did lots of back and forth picking up, rocking, mixed with not going in and letting him cry for 5/10 minutes sometimes - and that also worked .....

teaching him to fall asleep on his back in the cot did work - as did not going in immediately when he cries.......

also - I found that some sleeping next to his cot worked - made a bed on the floor next ot it and when he woke I would keep my hand in the cot stroking etc, it did help cut down night feeds. I have to say.....cutting night feeds saw a massive improvement in his sleep...not perfect and not entierely predictable, but much much better.

piplypip Wed 06-Mar-13 12:36:17

Gosh thanks everyone. This is all really helpful stuff. Patting, sshshing being in the room with him but not feeding him just seems to wake him up and send him off the rails into hysteria so I think Im going to embrace the idea of a mattress on the floor, feeding him but not completely to sleep and see how that goes for a few nights.
I think separation anxiety has a lot to do with it as last night I fed him as soon as he stirred every time without waiting for him to cry and he went back into a deep sleep much more quickly and only woke 4 times (instead of the 11 of the previous night). He seemed happier and more relaxed and I felt a bit mean for having made him ask for his feeds by crying the night before.
Mamabear, snoozed and waterrat Im taking notes for when hes a bit older and not so worried by being away from me! Thanks.
QTpie I know what you mean about the floorboards but there always seems to be a jingly/rattly toy too that catches me out.

QTPie Wed 06-Mar-13 13:34:32

Don't feel mean - honestly, sometimes, you need to try different things to see what works with your baby - they are all different and different things work for different babies. It is about finding the compromise that works for your family.

I am generally quite a strict, routine led mummy, it I always try to think from DS's perspective too: I try to work out (as much as I can) what is going on in his head and what will make it better. Does (or did) he want feeding? Does he just want comfort and sympathy instead? Is he gristling to get back to sleep or is he genuininely upset/distressed? If he is genuinely upset, is there a way that I can comfort him without killing myself with lack of sleep?

I think that physical comfort can often be the most effective "crutch" (providing you can make it work for yourself) and the easiest to slowly and gently withdraw at a later date (easier than bottles and dummies etc).

Good luck - sleep eprivation is the worst thing ever sad

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