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Desperate - please give me any useful advice

(26 Posts)
fifitot Sat 18-Dec-10 21:39:11

Hello. I am on various sleep threads already but am starting this as am so tired and desperate that I would welcome any suggestions on how to get more sleep.

DS is 5 months old and since 3 months wakes every 2 hours or less in the night and wants BFing. I had hoped it was a phase but it has gone on and on. He really can't be that hungry can he?

Sometimes he doesn't even settle straight back down after a feed and we have even more time awake.

I have reached a point where I feel I can't go on. Am returning to work in Jan and won't be able to cope. My relationship with DS is suffering as feel so angry at him at night sometimes. DD also suffers as I am so snappy and exhausted with her.

DS won't take a bottle or a dummy despite our best efforts. I have read NCSS but can't see how it can help tbh. Can't co-sleep, have tried but it doesn't really help. It's too cold to sleep so that there is access to my boobs for DS and anyway the bed isn't very big.

Thinking about PUPD tonight but scared that the crying will wake DD and that's all I need!

I have a feeling that all of this is developmental and that he will sleep eventually but i can't find the energy to get through it now and we are all suffering. I need to nudge him along.

Please please please post any advice.

boomboombaby Sun 19-Dec-10 09:05:12

Difficult to help unless you describe what you/his daytime routine is, as nighttime behaviour is very much linked to daytime naps and feeds. To save you typing it all out again, can you post a link to one of your other threads?

omnietyinstables Sun 19-Dec-10 09:09:39

yes agree with boomboom - he sounds like he hsas swapped his days and nights when dd did this we made sure we really tanked her up during the day and then only fed at 11 and 3 during the night and cuddled for the other times instead - there is no magic solution but it gets better really quickly if you stick at it.

They often wake a lot at this age because they are developing so much - just stick with it.

fifitot Sun 19-Dec-10 09:13:39

I am on so many but thanks for replying.

Basically naps well during the day. Up around 6.30, has a short nap of 30 mins at 7.30-8. Usually 1-2 hours at 11 and about 45 mints -1hour around 3. Has a good bedtime routine and is in bed after being fed to sleep at 7. Then after that wakes every 2 hours and won't sleep until he fed to sleep.

He doesn't feed 2 hourly in the day, more like 3-4 hours.

Won't hardly ever settle without breastfeed which I don't mind except at night. Last night was horrendous, decided to just settle him without feeding. He cried for over 2.5 hours despite us holding him, or patting him. Never stopped crying. I gave up in the end.

I am scared it will always be like this. If he cries like that then even tough approaches like CC won't work will they? He just wouldn't give up.

omnietyinstables Sun 19-Dec-10 09:18:27

I would try and feed him more often in the day and then at least you would know he may not be hungry at night. though if I was going to be completely honest I didnt do any of this until after 6 months when I could be sure that he wasnt hungry.

I think you need to somehow break the association of feeding to sleep during the day before you do it at night - its a bit mean to make him do it at night if you havent done it for the naps which are 'easier' - the alternative is co-sleeping - how do you feel about that?

fifitot Sun 19-Dec-10 09:38:48

Thanks. Just not comfortable co-sleeping in the true sense of it. He sleeps next to me on top of the bed sometimes towards the end of the night after a feed but can't get along with it all the time.

Thing is he doesn't always need BF for naps so know he can do it. He does though usually need the pram. If he could sleep at night in the pram I am sure he would be fine! Goes off in there quite easily with a bit of jiggling.

I could just hang on for 6 months when soon he will be on 3 meals and developmentally older and maybe more ready for it - it's just killing me at the moment though.

I don't mind the feed to sleep association if I'm honest but don't understand why it has to be 2 hourly at night, when he doesn't need this in the day!

rr16 Sun 19-Dec-10 09:40:02

I don't want to stress you out any more but you may as well know what might happen.

The same thing happened to my ds at 4 mo and it went on constantly for months and months... I thought he'd just grow out of so I let him nurse when he woke and so he just carried on waking for a feed every 2 hours every night. My ds is now 10 mo and after the 9mo sleep regression I thought I was going insane from the lack of sleep and a lo who woke every 1/2 or 1 hour. I longed for the nights when he managed to go 2 or 3 hours in a row.

I made sure he napped well in the daytime and fed him up really well b4 bed. To give myself a break I stopped bfing at night so DH or my mum could take him whenever possible and I could have a bit of sleep at least.

I opted for CC in the end. It was a very difficult decision to make but I really was utterly desperate. I was strong for the first 2 nights then cried and fell out with dh but somehow I stuck at it and it worked (but much longer than anyone else I'd read about).

My sincere advice to you is to decide which route you're going to take (it's too early for CC and as you're feeling desperate I'd take this situation in hand asap) you mentioned PUPD. Read up so you've got a clear plan of action, get as much help from those around you so you can have a rest in the daytime away from lo coz the nights are going to be hard for a while and STICK AT IT. I think every sleep solution works but as we all know every baby is different and just because it worked in 4 days for someone else's baby doesn't mean you've messed up coz your lo is taking longer!

Good luck xXx

boomboombaby Sun 19-Dec-10 10:24:21

I think you HAVE to try the tough approach. He's at an age where he knows how to get what he wants. Daytime naps and feeds sound fine. Do you do a dream feed?

Agree you need to break the feed to sleep habit. It will be utterly horrendous but shouldn't take more than a few days if that, if you are really strong. Get some good earplugs... (Soft skin coloured foam ones from are brilliant.) Good luck.

LostInTheSnowAgain Sun 19-Dec-10 10:39:23

Ds was similar until about two weeks ago and then I think a combination of things worked. Firstly I started weaning him at five months and three weeks, baby rice then a third to a half of a small jar of purée once a day. Secondly we took him to a cranial Osteopath, we have had two visits and he is much more relaxed and happier to lie down in general. Thirdly we moved him into a different room so we weren't disturbing him in the night. Finally I sent my DH in at night when he woke for the first couple of nights so that he didn't have a milk leaking mum trying to persuade him to sleep without a feed. I make sure I feed him immediately before I put him to bed ( about tenish) so that he will drop off and now if he wakes in the night he grizzles before settling back to sleep on his own - previously he would scream the place down. I would definitely recommend the cranial Osteopath or a chiropractor to check if there is a physical reason why he might find it uncomfortable when lying down as you are fighting a losing battle unless this is fixed, no matter what else you do. Anyway, good luck, I have my fingers crossed for you!

boomboombaby Sun 19-Dec-10 10:47:37

Its just a habit you need to break - don't waste your money on a cranial osteopath!

fifitot Sun 19-Dec-10 12:32:00

Actually he saw a cranial oesteopath for an unrelated reason and they said it may also help with sleep - didn't.

I can't put him in a different room as he will eventually have to share with DD and we only have 2 rooms!

I will try the dreamfeed though. Have started solids, just a bit of baby rice at teatime and will increase this over next 2 weeks.

I know I can't really do cc until 6 months but PUPD was sooooo horrendous last night, it seemed to make him more frantic all that picking up. 2.5 hours of crying and then I gave in

fifitot Sun 19-Dec-10 12:34:01

Sorry didn't finish post!

Your ideas are most welcome and thanks all for replying and wishing me luck. I think I know now I have to DO something instead of waiting of him to do it himself but just worried that PUPD won't work.....can I bear it if it takes ages! Also scared it wakes DD.

Should I try it again tonight do you think, even though gave in last night?

omnietyinstables Sun 19-Dec-10 13:42:31

OK this maybe not what you want to hear but if you start anything - doesnt matter what it is then you must see it through or dont start it in the first place - I dont think pupd is that good - its supposed to be for older babies anyway isnt it - I would break the feed/sleep association in the day first or he will always cry for hours - he just doesnt know what he's supposed to be doing to get back to sleep.

You can either replace it for naps with something else - dummy/toy/music/white noise etc or do it cold turkey and rock and stroke etc.

If you crack the daytime naps first then it will be easier at night - but I wouldnt try again until you've done it - especially if you give in - hes then been crying for hours for nothing effectively.

Sorry to be so blunt - I know its horrible.

Samvet Sun 19-Dec-10 14:19:06

Contact milpond for advise. £75 young baby advice. Brilliant.

beachavendrea Sun 19-Dec-10 17:25:50

i second millpond they literally saved my sanity, I was like you just didn't know which way to go or what method to try and they gave me a plan to follow that I was comfortable with and within 6 weeks totally changed his sleep around. He still wakes in the night for comfort but never for a feed and usually only once if that.

Hope things get better for you

fifitot Sun 19-Dec-10 17:52:33

Will Millpond give advice for a 5 month old then?

I am very lost. Keep reading different approaches and some information contradicts other info. Feel like I am banging head against a hard surface.


beachavendrea Sun 19-Dec-10 18:28:31

my ds was 5 months when we did it we used a package which cost about £270 i think but I would pay it again to get a full nights sleep!

All the books say different things and I got so annoyed with them in fact i just had a big clear out and chucked most of them out.

fifitot Mon 20-Dec-10 10:49:24

beachavendrea - just for info, what kind of things did you have to do? How long did it take to kick in? Seems like alot of money, it would have to work!

ifaistos Mon 20-Dec-10 12:50:38

My dd started doing what you describe at about 4months. She would rarely sleep for longer than 1hr or so, and had to be bf back to sleep. I tried everything short of controlled crying. She was very stubborn and just wanted a feed. Nothing else would console her.

In the end, I put away the baby books which were stressing me out even more than the night wakings and gave up on the idea of training her. We put a single mattress next to our bed. Whenever she woke I would roll out of bed onto the mattress, feed her and get back into bed again. After a while I was more or less doing it in my sleep. It saved me a lot of stress and exhaustion in the end.

At about 14mo she stopped waking at the same time as I weaned her off bfing.

fifitot Mon 20-Dec-10 16:14:51

14m???????????????? OMG.

beachavendrea Mon 20-Dec-10 17:23:37

it is a lot of money but basically they put together a plan for me using various techniques, and pointed out where I was going wrong (napping him too much and stuff) They gave me a routine for him to follow and said i had to break certain sleep associations. They also told me to how to wean him off the night feeds, which i hadn't read anywhere how to do without letting them 'cry it out' we didn't use control crying but he did cry with me beside his cot singing and talking to him. They said that to me from the outset that he would cry but we never let him cry without soothing him.

For me it was good because i was so tired and had read all the books and was confused. they have loads of experience dealing with all types of sleep problems and babies in general. I am a first time mum very far away from home so needed some sensible advice.

Yes it did work now he does wake in the night if he is sick or distressed but not for long or sometimes just for comfort but usually once a night and returns to sleep straight away. Some nights he sleeps through.

For me it was invaluable I am now enjoying being a mum and feel much more balanced. This sounds a bit like an ad but it's not i promise. Also i think there are other sleep consultants that visit you in your home which some people prefer, millpond do it all over the phone and email I found them very reposnsive and I placed a few emergency calls to them and cried down the phone and they were very understanding.

beachavendrea Mon 20-Dec-10 17:24:51

Also sleeping through for us is 7-6:30.

ifaistos Mon 20-Dec-10 18:39:48

Sorry, didn't mean to scare you! The worst part was the first month or so, because I kept expecting things to suddenly get better. And they didn't. I got so caught up in trying all these different methods that I lost all sense of perspective.

Once I drastically lowered my expectations and found a compromise that worked for me (having her sleep on a mattress), things got much better. And she slept better too - she'd only wake a couple of times during the night.

Millpond sound like something that works for lots of people. I read their book and tried out some of their suggestions but didn't find anything for me. But that's probably because I just wasn't able to let dd cry for very long. I'd try for a few nights, but even staying by her side to comfort her, she was just so hysterical when crying, and would go for so long, that I couldn't bear to keep it up. So I guess it depends on you and your child...

DreamingofFour Mon 20-Dec-10 18:56:54

I think 5 months is old enough to do CC. I totally identify with desperation of sleep deprivation and worry of return to work and think now is an excellent time to tackle the problem with your DH since presumably he has some days off work coming up. A team approach is very helpful. This is what we did:

1. Move the baby to a separate room. If u are worried about not being able to check on him could always use Anglecare breathing monitor device (Argos). This means you and baby stop disturbing each other so much at night which will automatically cut down on thw wakings.

2. It is OK to put baby down in the evening after breastfeed but when baby wakes up after that I sent DH in to do CC. I could never do CC myself, too pathetic and emotional, but DH was strong enough to do it and follow through on it. Presume you have the CC/Richard Ferber book, it is very reassuring as you realise that you are actually benefiting the baby, also I found it very interesting insight into my own (disturbed) sleep. We found that by the third night of CC the baby was sleeping through. Everytime the baby got sick etc, we would have to re-do CC but it was so worth it, not least because I was a much much nicer mummy when not deranged with sleep deprivation, which is a huge bonus to the baby in daytime hours.

3. My DD1 could cry for an hour and a half (she is still high maintenance girl) but we just ploughed on with CC to the letter and it worked!

4. Well done for realising how it is affecting you, and don't be suprised by how long it takes to get over your sleep debt and get back into good sleep habits yourself- i had horrible insomnia around this time because my sleep pattern was so stuffed.
Good luck!

DreamingofFour Mon 20-Dec-10 19:02:20

Just to clarify, didn't do CC while they were sick but once better, as they often got back into waking at night after being sick

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