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can anyone offer any support? 6 MO waking every 2 hours. exhausted and can't function.

(37 Posts)
nello Mon 12-Sep-11 06:43:53

The title says it all really. I just don't know what to do and I am now sat here trying to feed her solids and have no energy and just feel sick and dizzy from lack of sleep. And i can't stop crying and feel so guilty becuase I am her mummy and should be able to deal with this and she shouldn't be seeing me cry. I haven no idea why she is waking so much, or what to do. Any ideas...?

CountBapula Mon 12-Sep-11 07:21:25

Hello there. Really feel for you - I was in exactly the same position as you when my DS was six months old. He's nearly 1 now and still wakes once or twice a night, but that's a doddle compared to every two hours (or every hour some nights).

Do you have a DH or DP who can help out? If you're bf it can be difficult, but my DH sometimes used to be able to cuddle DS back to sleep so I could get a longer stretch. I was always hopeless at expressing but could you get DP to do a shift with some EBM/formula? Also, my DH used to take DS downstairs after his morning feed, give him breakfast, play with him, change his nappy etc while I caught up on sleep (still does, actually blush). Would that be a possibility?

Now that she's six months, you could try some sleep training. It doesn't have to involve leaving her alone to cry. Have you tried anything like that yet?

Keep an eye on your mood - sleep deprivation can cause PND. I got very low and went to my GP. They referred me to a counsellor and I had six sessions of cognitive behaviour therapy. It really helped - I was still knackered, but helped me deal with some of the feelings you describe (I should be able to cope with this, I must be a crap mum, I'm doing everything wrong etc).

My DS basically figured it out on his own and things got better around 8 months but that was after four months of horrendous sleep deprivation night after night. It nearly finished me off so I totally understand how you feel.

Keep posting if you want to chat.

nello Mon 12-Sep-11 07:31:50

thanks so much for your reply, I just feel the need to talk, even if it isn't actually going to help her sleep more. It has only been the last week that it has got this bad, though has been getting progressively worse for the last month. DP is great, but leaves for work at 7am so not really possible for him to help out in the mornings. i have just put her down for a nap, we'll see how that goes....poor thing was too tired to eat her breakfast and then fell asleep whilst feeding her from my breast. not great!

when you say sleep training what do you mean? At the moment I am uncertain what exacctly I should do when she wakes in the night. should i be feeding her each time (i have been doing) or is this bad practgice...seems a bit dafe considering that she can last 4 hours+ in the day between feeds, so she can't be hungry every two hours... what would you suggest? did you do sleep training with your LO?

i am feeling a bit depressed to be honest, just feel like i can't cope, guilty etc etc and like a nervous wreck, have the monitor on and my nerves are so high that i might hear her cry, because I can't bear to hear her cry right now. pleeease sleep....! unfortunatley not in the UK so not sure what support there is available or else would def speak to HV/doctor.

thanks so much

haloflo Mon 12-Sep-11 08:03:32

nello I saw your other thread but didn't get chance to reply. I don't think I can help but wanted to offer sympathy and support.

My DD is 23 weeks and last night woke up about 8 times. I think I fed her every 3 hours and used the dummy every other time. She was wide awake from 2 until 3 for no reason. Yesterday she too was too tired to function and had to be carried most of the day.

What is her napping like? My DD gets 3 x 30-45 and it doesn't seem enough.

Can she self settle? Mine can with a dummy but I don't think it's helping much at the moment!

What is her daytime appetite like? My DD is just about to have her first tastes but you said yours in on 3 meals a day. My DD is a snacker so I genuinely believe she is hungry every 3-4 hours. Breastmilk digests in 2 hours so i'm hopeful that meals will help once we get going.

Are you back at work? Maybe it's a separation thing which will pass?

There is no point my DP helping me as I can't sleep when DD is awake (even if she's quiet, I just seem to know!)

You aren't doing anything wrong, your DD loves you and will sleep better at some point. Remember other mums exaggerate about how well their DC sleep and/or let them cry alot.

To cope I nap when she naps first thing in the morning, I keep busy with friends and baby groups, lie in on the weekend when DP can have her and go to bed no later than 9 most nights.

With sleep training you don't have to leave her to cry. Have you read the No Cry Sleep Solution? It basically talks about how to encourage good sleep habits by gently removing the food/sleep association. It talks about making sleep logs and then a plan. 10 days later you do a new sleep log and look for small wins to keep you going.

There are other things like PUPD where you pick up your baby when they cry and put them down when they stop. I think this can be a lot of work though works quite well with my DD when she wakes in the early evening from overtiredness.

Best go, DD is getting bored of the playmat.

MustControlFistOfDeath Mon 12-Sep-11 08:04:08

Oh Nello, it's really hard I know but it does get better (even though it might not seem that way!)

My DS was the same, you could almost set your watch by the 2-hourly wake ups (sometimes it was worse shock ). He's 9.5mo now, and if I'm very lucky he will go for 5 hours without waking up smile grin

If you haven't already done so, try and get some sort of routine going, i.e. mealtimes at the same time every day, bath before bed at the same time etc etc. Naps are really important, if my DS didn't get his morning and afternoon naps he would be even worse during the night (overtired I guess).

My HV also suggested that if possible make the last solid meal of the day a really big one, preferable starchy i.e rice, basically to stop him waking up through hunger.

Is she teething? This will play havoc with sleep obviously, oh the joy!!!

Please don't feel guilty..sleep deprivation is torture and makes it really hard to deal with even small things. Try and sleep during the day when she's napping if you can - sod the housework etc.

Hang in there, it will get better.

Good luck x

nello Mon 12-Sep-11 08:14:22

Thanks Haloflo, i recognise your name - think we are both in the March 2011 group? It's good to know that our wee ones are similar, at least it makes me feel less on my own. My LO is on about week 3 of first tastes, though some days she is more enthusiastic than other days...

napping is ok-ish, very day depending! she takes one nap in her cot in the morning, ranging between 45 mins to 2 hours (god, i love those days, though they are rare!) and then i take her for a walk with the pram in the afternoon for the second nap, which ranges between 45 mins and 1.5 hours normally, though these both vary a lot between days.

i am in a new city and am starting a baby group this wednesday so hopefully i will meet some nice mummy friends who i can chat with which could help me feel less down about the sleep (and i'll avoid any who have angel babies who sleep through!!)

Not back at work, taking a full year out, but we have had a lot of upheavals recently so maybe could be due to that, although she was fine during the upheavals, now is the aftermath when everything should be much calmer for her!

anyway, i am rambling, my brain doesn't seem to work properly any more. thanks for your message. i'll try and bit more cuddling tonight and less feeding in the night i think, see how that goes down hmm

nello Mon 12-Sep-11 08:21:52

Thanks MustControl , it really does help just to hear from people...the little bugger sweetheart will still wake every two hours tonight, but it is just so nice not to feel so alone with it and i have dried my eyes for the day! She used to sleep though aged 10 weeks, for about a month, which is the really cruel part....i've experienced how sweet the feeling of your baby sleeping through. Maybe i didn't show enough appreciation of it, and this is my retribution?!

nello Mon 12-Sep-11 08:24:48

mustcontrol teething - i don't know. the other night she was unconsolable at 9.30pm and i had to feed her to stop her crying. we also gave her some calpol (first time ever) due to the severity of the crying and guess what...she slept all the way until 5.30am. amazing, but a one off. Does calpol have a drousy effect on babies? Or could it be that she was in pain and she slept better because the pain was reduced. still, she doesn't seem to be in pain when she wakes each 2 hours.... what do you think, i have no experience of this.

If she is going 4+ hours between feeds during the day, I would look up a term called reverse cycling on kellymom. You need to feed her more during the day and then she won't need to feed so much at night. Loads of babies do this, so don't worry.

DedalusDigglesPocketWatch Mon 12-Sep-11 08:29:33

Hello, just a quick post as got school run to do. Just wanted to say we had the sane with ds, at 6m he was still waking every 1.5hrs to feed, but sucked up most of it which led us to believe he didn't actually want the milk, just the comfort. We tried just cuddling but that made him worse. We ended up having to leave him to cry. Within 2nights he was sleeping for 4hrs without waking. What really helped though was moving him out of our room as he is a very light sleeper.

DedalusDigglesPocketWatch Mon 12-Sep-11 08:30:44

sicked not sucked

cherub59 Mon 12-Sep-11 08:31:05

Hey nello
Am also march 11 and recognise your name!
Just to say am in v similar situation you are not alone! My ds3 was 6m on Saturday and we have just had 2 horrendous weeks of sleep with him having a cold and now testing with 5 teeth all coming through tigether. Last night was a "good" night with one 4 hour block then hourly from 2.45 and up at 5.50. Like u my dh leaves early at 6am so I rarely ask for help at night and he is in the stated for a week now anyhow. Weaning also going v slowly! You are not alone!
Your dc napping in the day sounds ok.... Night times can be tricky now due to weaning (digestive discomfort), teething, wriggling (ds3 is getting his head against bars and feet through the other side) and just general development. All I can say is that I have been thru this twice before so I keep repeating to myself that it won't last long!
Have you tried lying down to sleep with your little one at lunchtime. I still do that sometimes when am exhausted and it is a godsend!

cherub59 Mon 12-Sep-11 08:36:06

Oh yes I agree - Sod the housework! Calpol working may mean he has teething pain as it doesn't make them drowsy. Or any chance he has an ear infection? If he has had a cold with runny nose watch for any pulling of ears or scratching head near ears..... Ear infections are soooo painful and worse at night...

nello Mon 12-Sep-11 08:41:23

thanks cherub good to have another fellow march2011 in the same boat...and i like that you have experienced it twice before, helps me believe that it will get better!

yes, i try to nap when she does, though easily get distracted by mumsnet and suddenly the time has gone!

nello Mon 12-Sep-11 08:45:56

...so maybe i should give her calpol when she wakes hmm. oh i wish she could tell me what she needs!

nello Mon 12-Sep-11 08:49:30

does anyone know....can the mini pill affect milk? it's progesterone only so they say not , but been taking it now for only a couple of weeks so wonder if that could be doing anything...a desperate stab in the dark!

GetOutMyPub Mon 12-Sep-11 08:55:52

I would try & not feed dd everytime she woke up. Give her a little pat or stroke in first instance, maybe even pick her up & settle her (but dont let her fall asleep in your arms)

DS1 is a fab sleeper. I never let him fall asleep in my arms or on the breast, he was always gently woken & put in his cot awake so he learnt to self-settle. I also waited a minute or two beofre I responded to him and 9/10 times he went back to sleep by himslef.

However DS2 still wakes at least once a night (at 2 and a half!!!) I completly believe this is because he never learnt to self-settle.

I would jump out of bed as soon as he made a noise so as not to wake up a then 18month old and a DH that was struggling with broken sleep & working 12 hr days. Then if he fell asleep feeding, I would leave him asleep. He soon developed a need for milk as his sleep trigger. Even now he asks for milk everytime he wakes up & for daytime naps. I have stopped giving him milk for daytime naps "to break the habit" which has helped at night times. I sometimes still give him milk at night. I tend to hold off as much as possible, but if he continues not to settle, I will give him some milk. Sometimes I think he is hungry or in pain. He also suffers with his ears. Ear infections can be very hard to detect. DS always seemed to have one when teething, which masked the ear infection.

Also as you have started weaning it could even be a touch of "silent reflux" where her body is getting used to digesting solid food. It is "silent" because there are little outward symptoms, but lying flat causes the baby to suffer heartburn/indigestion type symptoms. If you think that could be the case, put a pillow under the mattress or prop the cot up at one end with some argos catalogues so that DD is not completly flat.

GetOutMyPub Mon 12-Sep-11 08:57:09

also there is no harm in giving her calpol. Maybe give her some when you go to bed & then see how it goes.

fishie Mon 12-Sep-11 08:59:38

no idea about pill / bm, shouldn't think so. I have a strapping 6yo so have no place here in babyland but I do well remember the 2 hour thing. Ds fed every 2 hours round the clock till he was about 7mo. I don't think solids are going to make much difference, there are more calories in bm - I tried that too with late night porridge, it didn't work.

What really helped was when he got more active, crawling tired him out. Try taking her swimming, physical exhaustion is really helpful. He has gone on to be an excellent sleeper, never wakes once goes to sleep. It does end, honest!

HorridCold Mon 12-Sep-11 09:03:42

Nello, I'm so sorry that you're suffering with this. I will tell you my story, but I'm sure others will come on and will not agree with me, you have to make your own decision in the end.

My DD was always an excellent sleeper, slept through the night from about 5 weeks, maybe that's why it was such a shock when it happened to us! She was a bit older though, about 11 months if I remember correctly.

Suddenly for no reason she started waking up and it was like you say, every couple of hours. It went on for a week and I just couldn't cope. Because she'd never been one to wake in the night, we didn't know what to do. She didn't want milk, she wouldn't take medicine and she's never had a dummy. She's always self-settled aswell but she was screaming everytime we put her in her cot!

We went to extremes to be honest, we wondered if she'd started to dislike her cot. So we moved it out and moved a travel-cot in for the short term. Made no difference.

Now my Step-MIL is a nurse and finally, at the end of my tether (and having just been diagnosed with PND), I called her. She asked what we were doing to try and settle her and we said that we'd go in, try to soothe her blah blah blah and she said, "Leave her". Well the thought horrified me. I tried to find all excuses not to do it but she said, "she's playing you, leave her".

So that night, I put DD down in her cot, she was already crying but I walked out and shut the door. I got the phone and called Step-MIL. She could hear DD crying in the background and we had the video monitor on so that we could watch her. It was horrible but Step-MIL kept me talking about other things, including my PND and after about half an hour (a long time I know), DD laid down and went to sleep. She didn't wake until 7am the next morning and was all smiles and happy which actually made me cry with relief!

The next night, she cried for about 10 minutes.

She's never had a sleepless night since <disclaimer: unless she's been ill>.

It was the hardest week that we'd had with her and the weirdest as it had come out of nowhere. But just being hard with her for those two nights, worked a treat.

Like I said, your DD is younger so you may not think it appropriate for her. She may also have a very different history in relation to night times as DD has always slept through and self-settled. But I just wanted to tell you my experience.

nello Mon 12-Sep-11 09:04:42

thanks everone, you guys have really picked me up. have even managed to be all bouncy fun with the troublemaker my gorgeous girl upon waking from her nap!!

nello Mon 12-Sep-11 09:10:22

thanks fishie and horridcold....don't think i can face the crying thing yet....maybe in the future, but whether she is playing me or not she seems to be quite a sensitive baby and not sure it would be good for her...but i will keep it in mind for if improvements don't come. thanks for sharing.

haloflo Mon 12-Sep-11 09:14:52

Its not retribution for her being a good sleeper earlier on!

Glad you managed to have a nice play time after her nap.

You just have to get through the bad days and celebrate the good. I think it might be a combination of things. The disruption (as she doesn't know you are settled now), food, developmental etc. Hopefully things will improve soon, maybe of their own accord?

We are all in this together until they sleep through!

My next step is to move my DD out of my room I think to see if that helps. I don't want to at the moment though even though it might help because i'll miss her. How silly is that?!

nello Mon 12-Sep-11 09:21:29

haloflo i completely understand. we are in a new house and dd now has her own room, though I am sleeping in there at the moment because of her frequent feeding... i also didn't want to move her out, i loved having her cot next to my bed. it's not silly at all! DP on the otherhand couldn't wait for us to have our room back, thinking that we'd be able to have time to oursleves again...oh how things work out!!

fishie Mon 12-Sep-11 09:21:37

i didn't bother with the crying thing. It might have worked but couldn't face it and also since he was mainly waking up to feed I wasn't going to deny him that.

The total reliance is a relatively short but very intense stage. It got rid of my insomnia and turned me from a night owl into an early riser, which actually suits me much better so it was all worth it (and I read comic books in the small hours).

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