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When did parenting get easier for you?

(28 Posts)
nutbrownhare15 Fri 04-Dec-15 10:12:43

I'm just hoping that it does get easier after awful night with my 4 month old. I feel like my eyeballs are going to fall out I'm so tired. How can i be a decent mum when it's like this? I know it's not her fault but i get so angry and can't even look at her after the 6th or 7th wake up when its still only 3am. I still feel a bit peed off with her in the morning too. I am on the sleep 4 month regression thread and DH is very supportive so I know I am luckier than many.
But please tell me there is light at the end of the tunnel? Even if it's a long tunnel grin

CoodleMoodle Fri 04-Dec-15 10:26:00

Been there OP! DD was the same, and so was I, sometimes. It really gets to you after a little while. I used to cry and cry at night, rocking a baby who refused to sleep. Awful. I still struggle if we're going through a bad patch, but the 4month regression was the absolute pits.

Her sleep goes up and down, but is definitely better. She's 21mo and life in general is better! For us, every milestone improved things. So sitting up, holding things, standing, walking (DD still can't crawl and has only just learnt how to get to her feet from her bum!). All of these things bring challenges but also a more interactive, interesting baby, who has just that tiny bit of independence.

It does get easier. And harder, too. But as your DD gets bigger, she'll be more fun, more interactive, and be able to show you some love in return.

Keep going, OP. You'll all get through it!

fatpony Fri 04-Dec-15 10:30:27

I'm not sure when it gets easier (only have a 13 month old) but my litle guy had horrendous sleep around 4 months - def' had the regression. I made sure he got enough sleep during the day and rode it out. We about 5 weeks in of bad sleep (this was last Feb-March) and one morning I burst into tears to my DH and said I couldn't do it anymore and we thought about trying a little sleep training. That night the wee bugger slept through by himself! It literally changed over night. Hopefully your little girl will do that too suddenly.

purpledasies Fri 04-Dec-15 10:38:06

Both of mine were awful at 4 months - they're growing fast at that age and their little tummies can't really take in enough food at one time to last them more than an hour or two, especially if you're breast feeding. They both got a bit better once I started giving a bottle of formula at bedtime, and then properly better from around 7/8 months when they were eating proper food in the day time, then they'd only wake once around 6am which was wonderful and makes you feel quite human again.

zoobaby Fri 04-Dec-15 11:12:04

DS was teething for such a long time it wasn't funny. I had no idea at the time of course! As said previously, every milestone makes things easier. I'd say it got relatively easier I managed to find the energy to TTC a sibling around 18 months and has progressed nicely since then. Sorry it's some time off for you. The change at 2 - 2.5 - 3 has been amazing and it's wonderful to have a little person who can interact and understand and do things independently and follow instructions.

You're doing great and it is so bloody hard, but worth it. Plus you'll really appreciate sleep once you get it.

BasinHaircut Fri 04-Dec-15 11:18:26

It doesn't get easier it just gets different!

But it's so much more bearable when they sleep better. I am a nightmare when I don't get enough sleep but honestly, it only feels so bad because you are tired.

Are you BF? Or could you have a whole night off of night duty? I spent a night on a friends sofa when DS was about the same age so I could get some decent sleep and it really helped not only the tiredness but give me a little 'reset' and it didn't seem so bad the next day.

MangosteenSoda Fri 04-Dec-15 11:21:06

Months four and five were the 'diabolical months' here. Full on sleep regression that lasted for ages.

He is almost nine months now and has slept through twice, consecutive nights around the 6 month stage.

It has got easier, but he is a screamer and a clinger, so it's still quite challenging.

Cut his first tooth today. The children down the road noticed before I did. He cries and whines so much normally, I didn't even notice he was teething blush

twirlypoo Fri 04-Dec-15 11:22:59

4 months was a bitch of a time I remember (I was a lone parent, it nearly finished me off) Okay, being honest - it got easier around a year, then much easier again about 2 years (he started sleeping then!) and now at 3.5, there are hard moments but I would say I now enjoy parenting and we are hopefully over the worst. Hang on in there! It gets easier I promise!

fortifiedwithtea Fri 04-Dec-15 11:28:24

The baby stage is the most horrible. Toddlers that wake at 5.00am to watch dinosaur videos aren't much better.

IME children are lovely between the ages of 7 and 10. Early teens are tricky. By 15 they start to be lovely again. And at 17 DD1 is amazing, funny and I can have a proper conversation with her.

On the other hand her sister is 13 and I have to keep reminding myself this really irritating stage will pass.

na5ima Fri 04-Dec-15 16:22:39

I really struggled from day one. My nipples cracked but I wanted to breastfeed my DS and I did. It was painful but I came across nipple shields which really helped me. My son was hungry every hour and in the afternoon he kept on crying crying and cry. I really struggled and I was crying every night.. I use to get really angry at my boy but DH use to say it's not the babies fault as it's a baby and cuddle me saying things will get better. I use to feel soo bad at the time and cry over for being a nasty mother etc.

I gave him infocol at the age of 1 months cz he kept on crying and was never full. He use to nurse for about 20 min and fall asleep and wake up for a feed again.. I just couldn't handle it- he was never full.
I started expressing and my life just changed from then. He was a heavy drinker and my breast milk want enough.. ( once i knew the volume he was drinking he was such a happy baby and later 3hour which was a miracle for me at the time) He started sleeping through the nights. I think it started getting better after 3month.. Before that I really struggled- no sleep, couldn't get out as I was too scared to feed him, kept on crying crying crying.

Today my DS is 6 months and weaning him is a struggle- he just like the feeling and starts to gag bless him

wigglybeezer Fri 04-Dec-15 16:29:58

I was about to say the same as fortified, between 7 and 10 is the most fun (although I have a soft spot for toddlers, just not DS1!). I am still finding DS1 difficult at 17 1/2 and usually wake at 4am worrying about him.

it does all get easier to cope with when you have a bit more sleep though.

ODog Fri 04-Dec-15 17:22:26

I had a high needs baby who has turned into a high needs toddler who sleeps reasonably ok-ish most of the time. However, it is soooo much easier now and so much better. People with easy, sleeping babies find the toddler stage horrendous so cling on to that. Not sure when it turned but as pp said, I think it got gradually easier with every milestone. When we got to 2 1hr naps a day without needing to be attached to me was a major turning point too. I think that was around 9/10mo.

Memeto3boys Fri 04-Dec-15 17:28:28

Also not sure. I have a sn ds whos 11 and hard work sleeps little and has lots of attitude. I have a 2 year old ds who is also sn who refuses to sleep for a full night for at least once a week. I have a 1 year old ds who still wakes up at least twice a night. I know my situation it's very exaggerated due to my 2 eldest being sn but I have come to accept being a sleep deprived unfunction mess is going to be my life till my dc's are at least adults fhmm

bigbuttons Fri 04-Dec-15 17:30:36

I'm 17 years in and it's harder than it was when they were all little. Teens...... really not easy. They make rampaging tantruming toddler look like angels.

ClancyMoped Fri 04-Dec-15 17:31:02

It's been a lot easier since DC4 darted Uni. Now all of them are happy and settled at their Unis so I feel I can relax and not have to worry. I found different stages hard work in different ways. Alevels were really stressful but not hard work. Sometimes I wished they were little again and I could just kiss their troubles away.

nutbrownhare15 Sat 05-Dec-15 11:44:41

Thanks all for your replies. They have helped to put things into perspective, I did know parenting wouldn't be easy so I am going to try to roll with the lows and embrace the highs. I am EBF so can't really get help at night. I decided not to worry about it last night and went to bed when DD did. Kicked DH out of the bed so he didn't wake me up getting in or out. Decided not to look at the clock, just counted the wake ups. 4 during the night, so not too bad. My main problem is dropping back off after a 3/4am feed at the moment, she normally sleeps for at least 3 hours at that point but I'm usually wide awake til the next wakeup and it was the same last night. I got some sleep between 9 and 3, albeit broken, and a bit after 7 so going to try not to worry about it as I think that makes insomnia worse. Now just have to clear the air after the most almighty row with DH this morning (unrelated to sleeping arrangements)....angry

Strawberrybubblegum Sun 06-Dec-15 16:03:42

Fortified and wiggly - really? You give me hope - DD is almost 3,and whilst I've found that it gets better at each stage so far, I thought that 7 was when it gets not so nice (based on what people have told me) - and was feeling sad about how little of this loveliness with DD I have left! Really good to know that you think that's the best age of all grin. It does seem like there's lots to do with them when they're that bit older... But toddlers are so gorgeous and fun!

OP - lack of sleep is the absolute pits. It's no wonder you're finding this awful. DD was a difficult baby, and I found it got better with each milestone, which was about every 6 months - she was happier with more independence, and just more fun!

2 years marked a big change for us - she became so much more reasonable and easy - and the development between 2 and 3 years is mind-blowing, which is why that's been my favourite time so far. I know that seems like a lifetime away, but it honestly will come around soon.

On a practical, sleep-related note, there's another major sleep regression at 9 months. For me, that was the worst, and almost destroyed me. If your DD doesn't sleep well by then, I'd really recommend you consider sleep training at around 7 months. Before 6 months isn't recommended, and 9-12 months is a bad time developmentally for sleep training (since they start separation anxiety) - see the 'bed timing' book for more info on good and bad times to sleep train. We did it at 13 months, and in retrospect, I wish I'd done it before the 9 month regression. The millpond book is very good on how to do it correctly - there are a few things you need to get right.

To get you through this immediate hump, have you considered co-sleeping? I don't think it's 'making a rod' - sleep changes so much over time anyway. Do what works. When that stops working, change it. Know that sleep habits only take a week or less to change (if you think about what you're doing and apply it consistently - and get the timing right) - so aren't worth a month of hell for.

It will get easier flowers

skankingpiglet Mon 07-Dec-15 23:04:22

My DD is 18mo. I found the baby bit really tough, but just like coodle said, I've found things have improved as each milestone has been reached. She is a very full-on toddler, and on an emotional rollercoaster most of the time but it's still easier despite the new problems. Currently, without wanting to wish her life away, I'm desperately waiting for her vocabulary to improve. Walking has made her a much happier person, and I know getting a few more words under her belt will do also. She's very independent, and gets so frustrated not being able to communicate effectively.
We had an awful 4mo sleep regression which lasted about 5wks. It near broke me too as I'd done all the nights until then, with DH even getting a couple of nights a week in the spare room so he was fresh for work. In the end I announced on a Friday night to DH I was sleeping in the spare room, he was doing the night, and not to even think about coming into me until at least 7am when she had her morning feed. I left expressed milk in the fridge for him, went into the spare room and shut the door. Bliss. I felt like a new person the next day. Might be worth a go OP if you can express and get her to take a bottle? You need some rest for everyone's sake and your sanity.
Her getting the sleeping thing cracked has helped massively of course in terms of things getting easier, although without wanting to scare you, this took until she was 16mo. We had better periods in that time, and a worse one which did break me at 11mo (did some sleep training which made things manageable again). She now usually wakes once a night, which is amazing comparatively speaking, but is straight back down with a dummy replacement. I don't even fully wake myself to sort it out it's that quick, and I now share the responsibility with DH smile

BackforGood Mon 07-Dec-15 23:06:45

<Gets coat>

(I was about to say as they becomes teenagers..... probably not the answer you are after at the moment wink )

Heatherbell1978 Wed 09-Dec-15 20:50:23

I would echo previous poster. Doesn't necessarily get easier, just different. DS1 is 15 months and woke every hour between age of 4 and 6 months. His sleep wasn't amazing before but I'd at least get 3/4 hour chunks at night. It almost broke me. I felt like shit, looked like shit and felt like every other mum coped better than me with everything. The number of times I cried 'I'm too old for this (37) at 3am in the morning. I was lucky in that he was good during the day; would sleep and eat in a routine and I got stuff done. Then at 7 months he slept through and has slept pretty well ever since. We had a lovely time when he was 7/8 months before he started crawling then he started he's walking and taking tantrums, hates getting dressed....hates getting nappy changed....but I work full time so only have to deal with it a few hours a day. Everything is better with sleep, yes, but as one phase ends, another begins!

dementedma Wed 09-Dec-15 20:57:42

Babies are hard work
Toddlers are hard work - but sometimes funny
Older children are a bit dull
Teens are challenging
Once they are adults they are OK.
Once they leave home, it gets easier.

Diggum Wed 09-Dec-15 21:13:44

Hmmm, varied responses so far.

Obviously loved DD from the get-go, but I felt a sudden "hey, she's becoming kind of cool" moment around 6 months, then a definite "she's actually really fun" revelation at 12 months.

She's 19 months now and just figured out how to say "poo" today. She thinks life is hilarious and I'm in complete agreement.

So my vote is from 1 onwards sticks fingers in ears and hums loudly at the prospect of 2

feckitall Wed 09-Dec-15 21:19:39

When they leave home.... grin

Well that's theoretical...If you are lucky and don't get DIL grief after... <bitter experience >

The Not Helpful Award of the Week to Feckitall

dementedma Wed 09-Dec-15 21:26:44

Mine haven't actually fully left home. The fuckers keep coming back. But two out of three are away a lot of the time at uni/boyfriends/ in Spain with weird Spanish tattooed person who I have never met but who dd1 lives with for part of the year

trilbydoll Wed 09-Dec-15 21:32:20

DD1 is 2.5 and I'm finding her quite hard work, but not in the same relentless way dd2 is. If she wakes up in the night you can say "it's the middle of the night, go back to sleep" which is much better than when they're babies!

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