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Getting REALLY desperate: baby hijacks our evenings

(133 Posts)
TrixieLox Fri 20-Sep-13 08:03:14

I really thought this would resolve itself by 3 months but it seems to be getting worse: my 15 week old baby girl simply will not settle from the time she has her bath etc to about 9pm or 10pm. My hubby and I have to take it in turns to have dinner and just can't relax. The last straw came last night when I went to cinema and came home to find my hubby hadn't eaten dinner cos our daughter had played up all evening.

By playing up, I mean she either cries or yelps in excitement, trying to get our attention and refusing to sleep.

We've tried everything: putting her in her crib upstairs (she screams hysterically so we have her downstairs in her vibrating chair or sitting on us), starting her bedtime routine earlier / later (yes, she has a routine: naked kickaround, story, bath), low lights and sounds, ignoring her, 'tricking' her by pretending to sleep upstairs, etc etc. Sometimes, some of these work and we think we've cracked it. Then she's at it again. She's perfect in every other way and sleeps through from 9pm or 10pm to 7am.

The advice we're getting divides into two camps: a) You're too soft, time to start controlled crying, or b) This is just what babies do, it'll sort itself out soon.

I feel 3 months is too early to start CC but am actually on the verge of trying it now. I also feel that no, it won't sort itself out and no, babies shouldn't be like this at this age. She's got into a habit and unless we stop it, it'll be the story of our lives for the next few years. I know people who's kids don't have their bedtime until 9pm or 10pm and evenings are havoc, I DO NOT want to be in that situation.

Please help before I start controlled crying (or maybe you recommend I do?!).

SoonToBeSix Mon 30-Sep-13 01:45:13

Babies under six month need to sleep in the same room as you, that includes naps and evening sleeping before you go to bed.

Sunnysummer Mon 30-Sep-13 07:49:23

Ocean, of course most babies born to our grandmas didn't naturally sleep through - there are baby books with tips through the generations about how on earth to get babies to sleep, or lullabies all over the world based on 'go the f#%^ to sleep' smile. Time has helped our grandmothers to forget what it was like, plus we also don't have recourse to all the pharmaceuticals that some of the previous generations did - my great aunt said she used to give here babies phenergan in their milk several times a week!

Older children are often a different story, there are plenty of mums now choosing less of a strict routine and whatever people's opinions, that does tend to lead to more night awakenings in many toddlers... But babies have always been tricky!

rallytog1 Mon 30-Sep-13 08:12:56

YY to what sunnysummer said. Memories fade remarkably quickly. My DD is five months and has recently started sleeping through. Already I've forgotten what it's like to be up two or three times in the night. I can totally see that by the time she's 20 I'll be swearing blind that she always slept through.

Also people were a lot more cavalier about drugging babies back in the day. My mum's doctor told her to give my non-sleeping baby brother whiskey in his bedtime bottle, and she did! Stuff like gripe water also had much more potent ingredients in as well. So a lot of the good sleeping was chemically enhanced.

Oceansurf Mon 30-Sep-13 14:10:08

valium This is true! Not everything they did was right!!

I guess to me it's about accepting what you accept though? If that makes sense. You see, to me, not getting sleep for 10 months would have been hell. DD slept through from 7 weeks. No get ups in the night.

If you're ok with getting up in the night (once, twice, however many) then of course, that's absolutely fine. IMO though I've only heard of (real life I mean!) Mums who rush to every whim and still don't get a full night's sleep when their kids are 2+. Indeed, one mum I know hasn't had a decent night's sleep since her DS1 was born. He's 5!

I do find it annoying that a lot of new mums on here are told that it's impossible to get a baby to sleep through unless you're torturing it with CC (or in other ways being a bad, neglectful parent) In other words, totally 'normal' for babies to keep you up and awake for months.

I don't think there is anything as a 'normal' baby btw. But I do believe you can help your baby to self settle early on. There is no reason why any mum should have to contend with zero sleep for months on ends. In my place, it just couldn't happen - I had to go back to work, and for work, I needed my sleep. I like my sleep. My baby likes her sleep. We all sleep. Happy days!

valiumredhead Mon 30-Sep-13 19:39:59

Well, I was a nanny for years, very experienced and I thought like you too before I actually had a non sleeper. Ds didn't do a full night until he was 3. I was on the brink of going to a sleep clinic I was that desperate. I was a fab nanny, I was head hunted and had a waiting list, do you think if there was anything I could have done I wouldn't have done it.

If you have a 'sleeper' you are fortunate, it has little to do with what you do, it's luck of the draw.

sebsmummy1 Tue 01-Oct-13 07:53:34

At three months my son was still cluster feeding so he would be awake all evening intermittently feeding, then we would hit the sack at 10pm and he would feed from me about three times in the night.

I think your expectations are too high.

MoominsYonisAreScary Tue 01-Oct-13 08:31:15

These threads always make me laugh, the idea that you can teach a very young baby to sleep. You cant, they sleep when they are ready. If you have one that sleeps from 7-8 weeks you are very lucky. Ive had one out of 4 that has slept through at 8 weeks. Suddenly at 8 months hes started waking up. Now I havent all of a sudden trained him to start waking up, its just something young babies do!

quickchat Tue 01-Oct-13 22:36:47

Sorry but I haven't got time to read over a hundred answers. Im sure what I have to say will have been said.

She is 15 weeks on earth. She will settle in time. Stick to the routine and she will slot into it.

I have 3. They all took 3-6 before we had any part of an evening. The first slept 12 hours with just one feed around 10.30pm at 3 months then soundly 12 hours at 6 months. The second led us a merry dance then just suddenly slept 12 hours at 6.5 months then number 3 decided to fool us a bit at first by only waking once or twice for a feed then at 4 months had us up many times until 9 months old when he had finished trying to kill us with exhaustion. All were breast fed and all were bathed and fed at the same time in the evenings etc.

You are new parents and are expecting way too much. I know this because I was a new parent once and remember it well smile.

It is a shock becoming a parent but you do get used to it and it does get easier and easier.

I now have no memory of my lovely easy old life which helps in the madness that has become my new and improved life!

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