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Officially the worlds worst sleeper. And I mean officially!

(24 Posts)
Bet01 Fri 12-Aug-11 10:30:15

I was posting on the 4 month regression thread but I've decided DS deserves his own thread. There are so many problems I don't know where to start:
DS is 24 weeks and he will only bf to sleep. He will only cosleep right next to me, where he nibbles on and off all night. By 'on and off' I mean every 20 mins some nights, every 2 hours on a really good night. He's not hungry, he just needs it to get back to sleep. Thank god for his morning nap or I would have gone mental with lack of sleep.
He's been like this since 14 weeks when we went on a weekend trip to Wales. So I've had 10 weeks of it.
If I dont let him nibble when he wants to, he cries after about 5 mins. If I try and put him to sleep in his bedside cot he cries and gets upset. I'm not prepared to do CC. I'm so jealous of people whose babies sleep. Why doesn't mine? What am I doing wrong?
Before it all went tits up he'd settle in his cot and sleep for 4-5 hours before a feed, then sleep another couple. So not great, but much better.
I guess I'm not really looking for any advice, as I don't really think there's much I can do about it, just reassurance from others that it will get better. Help!

Bet01 Fri 12-Aug-11 10:43:22

Forgot to mention I have to go to bed when he does because he's such a light sleeper he wakes as soon as I move. So I have no evenings because I'm in bed by 8pm (sadly not sleeping though).

waspandbee Fri 12-Aug-11 10:58:33

You are not doing anything wrong and it will get better! I promise. Just survive and do what you have to do now.

My DS went through exactly the same thing - it lasted until he was around five months.

He is now 7.5 months. His sleep is not brilliant - I do about three feeds a night on average and we still co-sleep for most of the night, but it is slowly improving. There will be set-backs for teething, illness or when they just get a bit freaked out and want to know you are there, but a baby needing his mum is the night is NORMAL. It is knackering, but he will grow out of it.

Good luck, keep going to bed early, and drink coffee!

HotChip Fri 12-Aug-11 11:05:51

I'm totally with you there, none of the mums I know are having such a shitty time through the night. DD is 9months and has never slept more than 3 hours at a time, but the past few weeks 2 hours between feeds would be good.

Last night I started putting her down at half 6 and she didn't settle till 10, then woke every hour between 1 and 6am. Needless to say, she's a little bundle of joy today. We've been co-sleeping too but tonight the side is going on the cot and feeds restricted to 3 hourly. Once she's used to the cot. It'll be a dream feed at 10 then nothing till 6. Sounds harsh but I've been so resentful and angry at her in the night and it's not fair on any of us.

I feel the same about controlled crying, but can't carry on like this.

I think if you decide what would be fair and acceptable for his age and work out a plan you can stick to with your partner's support.

verylittlecarrot Fri 12-Aug-11 11:06:16

This sounds normal to me. So sorry.
<zips mouth about 18 month old's sleeping habits>

It is entirely possible that your baby may be a splendid sleeper eventually. My dd was horrific and by the age of 3 is wonderful. I think they just evolve, and if you can bear with it, they'll get there without too much trauma or any need for training.

Bet01 Fri 12-Aug-11 11:40:28

Thanks all, I know you're right. He's such a lovely smiley little boy, it's obviously doing him no harm. I guess I'm just very jealous when my friends tell me their 6 month old DCs are moving into their own room, sleeping through, etc. I'd be grateful if my DS would go to sleep without my boob in his mouth for once, let alone moving to his own room! Very tired today too which doesn't help.

waspandbee Fri 12-Aug-11 11:48:55

I think the main problem here is expectations. People forget how frequently their babies wake when they are little and other mums exaggerate how well their babies sleep. It is awful - believe me I know - we had a terrible night last night.

goddessofplenty Fri 12-Aug-11 15:26:44

This is exactly what my DS does too and I'm starting to get to my wits' end - and he usually wakes up knackered at around 6am and won't sleep unless on me or DH, who's not around most of the time. But now I'm not comfortable enough and he'll only go down for half an hour at a time in the day, making for a fractious LO if we go out. Weirdly he seems OK if we stay in unless he's super tired. Is a shame though, because if we go to a group he's the crier, and he really isn't most of the time. As long as I don't leave him for more than 10 minutes at a time and make sure he's constantly doing different things...why is my boy the only one in his group like this?

Bet01 Fri 12-Aug-11 15:29:47

Wasp I agree. I ready Kellymom avidly because it reassures me DS is 'normal', but then my friend tells me his DS slept 11 hours last night and didn't wake up once, and I go and get all disheartened again!

fififrog Fri 12-Aug-11 19:18:41

Hi again bet sorry to hear no improvement. hotchip I've had some success delaying DD til midnight but it's hard waiting even half an hour! Good luck! My nights sleep are no better than a few weeks ago either if it's any consolation...

HotChip Fri 12-Aug-11 20:49:50

She's just fallen asleep after half an hour crying. Finally accepted sippy cup was the best she was going to get. smile

WeAreBorg Fri 12-Aug-11 23:10:54

Hi bet <waves forlornly from 4 month regression thread>. Sorry things are no better for you.
If it's any consolation we are not much better, there was a bit of improvement but then DS got a virus and we are back to square one. He has completely lost the ability to self settle and I am still trying to recover from the 2 nights he did not sleep at all.
DH went mental this morning and wants to let him cry it out so need to think of a plan! The plan is....late nap, put him to bed as soon as he wakes up from his late nap so he is happy to go in his cot and play for a bit. When he starts to twist I tried ssh patting him which did seem to work tonight anyway as he wasn't overtired and hysterical like he has been. He has woken up once already and I fed him, but compared to the last few nights that is not too bad. I've also been getting him to play in his cot in the day so it's a place he likes, don't know if that would help you? I appreciate the irony of me giving you advice when I've been up since 445 with a max sleep of 90mins in a row but nevermind.

HotChip Sat 13-Aug-11 08:52:42

Sleeping in the front room worked well, she slept three hour stretches!

drcrab Sat 13-Aug-11 09:41:41

He sounds like my DD. Nearly 11 months and the same. Last night she went down at 8.30 and when we were getting settled to watch a DVD (something we don't do), she woke up at 9.20 and needed me. And so I gave her the boob and she slept soundly whilst we watched the film.

Upstairs at 1130 and then needed boob at 2,3,4. Gave up after that, DH came in (sleeps in other room) and took her crying and screaming till 5.15 when she fell asleep having exhausted herself. In the meantime he fed her 2 food pouches (Elias kitchen type things).

I'm beside myself with tiredness. And I've been back at work since march. sad

RubyrooUK Sat 13-Aug-11 20:36:39

I've got a 12 month old. He has never slept more than 3 hours at a time. At the moment he is not going to bed till 10pm (may start another thread about this) and up at 6am. In between he wakes maybe 3-4 times and often feeds on and off from 3-6am. I work full-time. I am exhausted and destroyed; he seems absolutely happy like this.

Starting at the age of 4 months, he went through 8 weeks of sleeping no more than 45 minutes at a time, requiring a feed after every waking to resettle.

I swapped every tip with other mums, stayed over with friends with babies the same age to observe what they did, tried the same and the end result was that I just have a baby who is particularly stubborn and unwilling to sleep.

So what you are describing to me sounds very much like the actions of a baby. I never cracked all this "don't feed to sleep"; "a baby sleeps in a cot"; and actually, I didn't even really crack "this baby sleeps." I have very little faith I shall ever crack it. But you are not alone.

Bet01 Sun 14-Aug-11 10:01:33

Hello Borg and FiFi, sorry it's not going well. It's always good to have a plan though, makes things seem a little more positive!
I guess some babies just don't sleep. DS has, for the past few nights, been getting these really weird nightmare-type things where he wakes up really crying. Very upset crying, like when DP did a really loud sneeze the other day that frightened the life out of him(!)Before he wakes up I can hear his breathing start to get really shallow and he whimpers a little bit too. I can only guess that it's bad dreams.
But anyway, last night he was awake from 4.15-5am after a crying fit, but he did sleep from 10.15-2.15am before that, which is the longest in a long time.
Taking each night as it comes really.

GreenTeapot Sun 14-Aug-11 10:17:17

My first was like this and drove me round the twist. My second's just as bad, and I've now gone over 4 years without proper sleep, but it's easier for the simple reason that I know it'll get better even if I do nothing. That's not to say you won't find me posting here in desperate exasperation from time to time grin but I don't have the constant feeling that I have to find a solution this time. Which is nice.

Waspandbee has good advice. 24 weeks is still really young. Plenty time for things to sort themselves out yet.

Looooosie Mon 15-Aug-11 00:31:09

This is possibly a contentious ( and lengthy) philosophy, I am bracing myself for the backlash as I type.... when you say your baby 'nibbles' is he actually feeding or using you as a dummy? Feeding is one thing but if he is keeping you close for his own comfort 24/7 then he will think that is your purpose in life and I suspect he will never allow you to get any rest, read a book in your own bed, stay up late to watch a film (when he thinks you should be in bed with him!) or even regain some semblance of a life of your own.

Preserving your sanity is paramount. A frazzled mother is useless to everyone and no one wants you to be a shadow of your former self. I have devoted 8 years to bringing up 2 children full-time but I do not consider it to be a mandatory 24 hour job. We mothers are 'on call' 24/7 but children should learn the difference between their time and our time - and it's never too early to teach them. Maybe it's time to pop baby in a cot next to you after feeds and, while controlled crying is achingly painful for mothers, it is quick and effective. Few mothers regret persevering with it and it works. It sounds like torture but babies make everything sound that way! Also, dummies have their place and as long as you leave them in the nursery as a sleep aid rather than as a 24 hr mute button for a 5 year old, they are very useful.

I have always been so determined to have my own space (at least at night) that I have NEVER encouraged either of my children to sleep in bed with me. I sometimes feel like I have missed out on lovely, tender moments but friends' struggles to get their kids OUT of their beds at 5 and 6 years old has reassured me. My 4 year old niece even insists on sharing grandparents' bed all night when she visits! I have lovely morning snuggles with my children and of course I would never turn away a distressed child wanting comfort after a nightmare etc.

I truly believe that habits form very quickly and at an early age. If you are on tap every second of the day you could find yourself being perpetually clung to for several years which is no good for either of you and you could grow to resent it .......

WeAreBorg Mon 15-Aug-11 12:51:16

looosie i hope you don't get the backlash! It's good to hear all opinions and ideas and you're right, a frazzled mother is no good for anyone. I think CC is great for some babies, and sometimes I give DS a couple of minutes as he sometimes has a shouty cry before sleep but I'd never leave him for longer than that as if he hasn't stopped by then it just escalates into mass panic!
I don't personally like the idea of the baby "using mum as a dummy" as surely the boob is there for comfort not just food. You're right when it's 24/7 that's no good but I'd rather he was attached to me rather than a bit of plastic. I was a BF/co-sleepy baby and I remember demanding to be in my own room when I was about 3 and my mum said I used to go in there and lie down in my bed before then but they wanted me in their room! I also remember wondering why the other children were crying for their mums on the first day of school. I know N=1 is not very scientific but I've always been secure and independent and even if leaving babies to cry has absolutely nothing to do with it, I don't want to take the chance. Probably to my detriment I'm sure, and I complain non-stop about DS sleep habits (and will probably change my mind about CC next week when I'm desperate) but that's parenthood I guess.

Bet01 Mon 15-Aug-11 13:13:58

Looosie I agree with alot of Borg's reply. I totally agree that having a 3 year old in your bed is something to be avoided, but I don't think I'm necessarily making a rod for my own back by having DS in our bed now. The way I see it is he's six months old; he's been on this planet for a tiny amount of time and at the moment I'm his whole world. I'm his source of food, comfort (and yes some of that is bf for comfort) and love. It seems a bit strange to try and teach this tiny person independence yet.
I think as someone said on this thread, sleep is developmental, as is leaving your parents bed and wanting your own. I firmly believe this is how secure, happy children are raised.
If DS doesn't want his own bed when he's much older I can be firmer with him knowing he understands what's happening and why, and can also tell me how he feels about it.
BUT that doesn't stop me complaining that he's a bad sleeper, because he is. I know it's nothing I've done, it's just how he is.

skybluepearl Fri 19-Aug-11 07:58:11

will he suck his own thumb?

Bet01 Mon 22-Aug-11 14:13:45

Update for anyone that's in the same boat: DS' sleep has improved dramatically for about 5 days now. He did 5 hours solid last night and has consistently been only waking 3 times between 9pm and 7am. He still won't go to sleep by himself and cannot wake up alone without a half hour screaming fit < tried that last night, DS was incredibly upset, bless him! >
but one problem at a time, I think.
I didn't do anything different, it just happens with time I guess. Took 11 weeks of hell to get there though!

Paula30CWR Tue 23-Aug-11 15:11:04

My baby is 24 weeks old as well and after worrying too much, I have decided that he will get there.
We tried controlled crying, let him cry out, a smoother crying (picking up, comforting, down again - more or less 1000 times)...none of these worked.

I think he's teething...I was exhausted, my husband more tired...We decided to have a good routine of feeding every three hours during the day so he drinks loads and on demand in the evening because I think he is still hungry despite eating solids already. He will get there... I got annoyed, frustrated, sad before...now, all I want is a happy baby!

Hoep this helps!

PANCHEY Sun 28-Aug-11 21:30:45

Hi, all of these lack of sleep stories sound so familiar to me, that I just had to make another suggestion. DD2 slept extremely badly until about 18months old, we co-slept I used to bf all night, following this, ff two or three times a night just to get her to settle. However this was to do with repeated ear infections, the worst nights coincided with her eardrums perforating. Is it worth checking out if your LO has and ear issues. DD2 had grommets inserted at 18months old and although her sleep is far from being perfect, it is a whole lot better than it was. So it may be worth giving it a go. We tried all the usual routine things and CC, (before we realised what was going on), so it may just be worth checking it out.

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