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Does it really get better? 8 months and still no better!

(44 Posts)
nov75 Thu 26-May-11 13:44:12

How can this still be? After 8 long months my beautiful DD still doesn't sleep more than 4 hours (and that's a good night). Everyone else around me has babies who sleep 12 hours with no wakings and I have reached breaking point. If one more person tells me it will get better and it doesn't/isn't I am going to scream. How can she still be such a poor sleeper and napper (lucky to get 2x1 hour naps per day)? Have read No Cry Sleep Solution religiously and tried EVERYTHING! DD is bf and such a good baby by day but honestly I am sick and tired of being exhausted by having 3/4 hours broken sleep every night. Have a sinking feeling I am in for a berthing haul. Heard scary tales of this lasting 3 years+. So, has anyone else been here and got through it still sane? How did you do it? Any survival tips for the many night time wakings?

cheekeymonkey Thu 26-May-11 14:38:56

Went through it for 4 years and no day time naps at all after the age of 1!

Can't vouch for whether or not I am still sane, just know I look a lot older sad.

I feel that it isn't down to anything that you do, it is just a child with a hyper brain!

Obviously, routine is important, not letting them get too tired, find out if bathing in morning is better as it used to wake my DD up rather than make her tired?

Not too much noise or light when they wake in the night as any stimulation will completely wake them.

The turnaround for me was probably the crying down method (which I hated but worked) and the sticker chart-but that obviously wont work for you yet.

Hope someone comes up with the magic answer for you.

BTW the reason we left it so late to do the crying down method was medical as we were told not to let her cry until she had had a hernia op ( in case of rupture). So maybe you could look into how young you can use this method?

RaisingMrC Thu 26-May-11 16:42:20

Hi Nov75 I have a 10 month old non-sleeping DS. There is actually a thread (the "no one can hear you scream" one) where we are trying things out and supporting each other through it! Some people have had some successes. Join us if you want.

Have you used any of the NCSS? Would you be open to trying something with a bit more crying? How does your DD settle to sleep? And when she wakes, does she feed?

Maybe if you work out why your DD wakes so much, you can try to address it?

(Though I write as someone who has attempted sleep training and given up a few times as DS cries more than I can cope with!)

nov75 Thu 26-May-11 17:33:17

Really don't want to do cc or any sort of crying to sleep as DD is so pleasant and chilled as a baby that it would be too much for us both! Don't get me wrong I have put her down to cry it out when exhausted but once was enough and the next day she was so clingy. I try and put her down awake but it can take numerous PUPD to get her asleep. Really can't see how cc is good for a child. Hoping she just adjusts to sleeping and settling.

Zimm Thu 26-May-11 17:51:23

<waves at Nov75> To give you some hope Nov - my friend's baby was exactly this - four hour stretches at best, sometimes just one hour! And day naps were rubbish. Then at 9 nine months he suddenly started sleeping through! At the same time his day naps got better. He just suddenly seemed to 'get it'. She did some of the NCss but to to be honest I think it was just his time to sleep through. As you know my DD at 9/5 months is still not sleeping through, we have had the odd seven hour stretch but generally 4 hours is our best atm. I truly hate the situation and dread return to work on this little sleep.

Tillyscoutsmum Thu 26-May-11 17:58:43

Both of mine have been rubbish sleepers. DD was my first and I had expectations that "babies" started sleeping through at about 3 months (pre MN days !). It was a huge shock when she still wasn't going any more than 3-4 hours at 10 months. She started doing longer stretches and suddenly, a week after her first birthday she started sleeping through. She's 4 now and has been a really good sleeper.

DS was even worse. He was a big baby and fed every 2 hours day and night until 7 months. He's now 17 months and still isn't a perfect sleeper but we generally have about 4 nights per week sleeping through and a couple of nights of one/two quick visits in the night.

We've coped much better with him because our expectations were more realistic and I realised it was nothing I was doing "wrong" (albeit I do acknowledge cc and/or stricter routines can help - I knew they weren't for us)

CountBapula Thu 26-May-11 19:54:03

I feel your pain. DS is 8 months too and a four-hour stretch is cause for celebration in our house ... hmm

nov75 Thu 26-May-11 20:30:25

Cheers guys. Your words feel like a giant hug. Was only saying to DH that I feel judged as a mum by how long my baby sleeps. MIL always bangs on that her four were poor sleepers but constantly makes me feel bad that she doesn't sleep very long and will not nap when we visit. she blames my bf and thinks she wakes as she is hungry and I am not feeding her enough. She feeds on demand all day long and loves food too! She was very low birth weight but now weighs 16 lb. You are all correct and I just need reassurance that it's "normal" and her time will come. Just hope it's soon.

CountBapula Thu 26-May-11 20:36:34

Come and join us on the sleep nightmares thread. It's kept me sane (well, relatively confused) for months. None of us are doing CC-type things either because we've all got screamers.

CamperFan Fri 27-May-11 15:31:20

Don't feel like you are being judged - honestly, whenever my mum talks about me or my brother it's like "oh yes, you were sleeping through by 2 weeks old, potty trained at 3 months". Well, not quite, but you get the picture. I can't even remember when DS1 did certain things and that was only 4 years ago, so how she can claim to remember it from 30 odd years ago I have no idea!

CountBapula Fri 27-May-11 15:50:09

I had some brilliant advice from the lady behind me in the supermarket queue the other day.

Random lady (seeing uncharacteristically snoozing DS in pushchair): Aww. Does he sleep through the night?
Me: Er, no. Nowhere near.
RL: How old is he?
Me: 8 months.
RL: Oh, well, he should be sleeping through by now. Mine were evil until six months, then I started to leave a bottle and a rusk next to the cot so they could help themselves. He does know how to drink out of a bottle by himself doesn't he?
Me: I don't know, never tried it, he's breastfed.
RL: Oh, well you definitely need to get him on a bottle then, otherwise you're making a rod for your own back, etc etc ...


Parietal Fri 27-May-11 16:01:04

Don't feel judged, some babies are just like that. Dd1 didn't sleep properly until 18 months and still (at 3yrs) only sleeps all night about 50% of the time.

Does your DD feed in the night? Or just want cuddles?

CamperFan Fri 27-May-11 16:06:07

count that is classic!

JoinTheDots Fri 27-May-11 16:34:11

I have been lurking on the "scream" thread, and really just wanted to say you could be me... really chilled lovely DD who sleeps OK nap wise (only on me though, with boob in mouth) for about 3 hours total in daytime (2 longish naps morning and lunchtime, one power one early evening) but in the night 4 hours is good, 1 hour is not rare. She likes to be in bed for 12 hours at night, but also likes to be on boob for about 10 of those hours...

I have been blaming teeth, colds, developmental spurts, growth spurts, regressions etc, but I think I just have a poor sleeper who has grown used to a little milk fix to settle and now I am going to have to wait for her to grow out of it (am hoping its by a year).

I might feel better if weaning were going well, but she is taking the food is fun until one thing very seriously and usually just laughs at the food she steals off my plate before smashing it into the nearest hard to clean surface!

She has just turned 9 months by the way.

This experience is seriously making me consider having an only child!

Zimm Fri 27-May-11 16:52:23

LOl @ Count.
jointhedots - No cry sleep solution is good for situations such as yours I believe...
9.5 month here - anything from 1-4 wake-ups :-(

JoinTheDots Fri 27-May-11 17:14:52

thanks Zimm, NCSS is well thumbed, and have tried pantley pull off to reduce reliance on boob but so far no improvement in 8 weeks sad

Oh well, I try to think of the bigger picture, it can't last forever, can it...!

FloweryBoots Sat 28-May-11 21:09:44

Te he he, <waves at all the folks from the boat>. Thought here was a different thread that might help, and who do I find, lots of friendly folk from our sailing boat! We're on an average of about 3 wakngs per night and one feed. But it varries. Think it all jsut takes time. Funny how there seem to be loads of us on MN with 9 month olds still not sleeping through and not night weaned either, and yet in real life I don't seem to find anyone still having to deal with all this!

bigkidsmademe Sat 28-May-11 21:16:31

I think people don't admit to it in real life as, of all the many aspects of parenting, people really judge sleeping and think sleeping through = good parent. I HATE this view. My DS does not sleep for reasons of his own but not because I'm a hopeless mum!

In FACT I think I might start an AIBU about this!

Zimm Sun 29-May-11 07:53:38

bidkidmadame - yup I too feel judged that DD does not sleep through, I comfort myself by reminding myself that DD probably would sleep through if I let her cry but I won't.

CoteDAzur Sun 29-May-11 07:59:33

Nov75 - You can some sort of slept training (not "cry it out") or you can wait for her to decide to sleep through the night on her own. This might take several years.

ilovemountains Sun 29-May-11 08:15:33

I agree with cotedazur.
I see comments such as "she probably would sleep through if I let her cry" frequently on Mm. I've never understood this point of view. There is plenty of research that shows that babies and toddlers need good sleep. Most nine month olds are not waking up multiple times at night. IMHO a couple of nights of small amounts of crying is better in the long term for the baby if it means they are no longer sleep deprived.

CoteDAzur Sun 29-May-11 08:29:48

sleep training, obviously.

DialMforMummy Sun 29-May-11 08:58:36

Hi nov75, it must be really hard. I am not surprised you feel like you are going nuts. I am going to say something you might not agree with but you maybe should consider.
It is the dreaded CC. We have done this with DC and it has worked really well. It did take three shit nights (crying for 1hour or 45 mns) but since, nothing. My child is also very chilled, cheerful and happy during the day and doing this had not changed his behaviour in any way. My DP was supportive and we both agreed on what to do the night we decided to go for it. Your child will not be traumatised or resentful if you let him cry for him to learn to self settle.
CC is neither neglect not child abuse, but I can appreciate that it is not for everybody. Whoever decides to go down that route must be extremely consistent otherwise it will not work.
I wish you all the best and hope you find a solution that works for you soon.

Zimm Sun 29-May-11 16:42:03

ilovemountains - that is not a very helpful comment. Just because a baby wakes several times in the night they are not sleep deprived. My daughter does sleep - but she does so in several chunks, which does not happen to suit my modern western life style of busy busy all day and sleep all night, but then she hasn't realised she is part of 21st century society yet. And it is the long terms effects of CC that worry me, not the short term. Obviously I don't know for sure if there are any, but I will not risk it. I think you always need to consider such questions by looking at what humans have been doing for thousands of years. Cave dwelling humans (which for 99% of our existence of a species we have been) would not have left their babies to cry as this would have brought the tigers running. So therefore it cannot be necessary to leave a baby to cry to force them to sleep through the night as humans have evolved to present cognitively advanced state without this treatment.

I don't think CC is neglect or child abuse, but nor do I think it is the right approach for me.

DialMforMummy Sun 29-May-11 16:50:33

This may be so Zimm but I have to admit that I am way more rested after sleeping through in one go rather than waking up every few hours. So in fact sleeping through or in chunks for me makes a huge difference so I can only imagine it would be the same for our DC.
I am also pretty skeptical about the comment about the long term effects of CC.

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