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Why won't you bloody well sleep?!

(61 Posts)
PickledLily Sat 25-Aug-12 08:37:14

I thought it was 4mth sleep regression, but we've now hit 5mths and her sleep is still rubbish. Last night for example, she went to sleep at 7, then woke at 9.30, 11.30, 1.30-4, then 5.30 and hasn't slept since.

She has a cold, which is this week's excuse, but to be honest the sleep pattern is pretty consistent except she normally doesn't wake at 9.30.

How do I get her to sleep now? She's playing on the floor showing no signs of giving in. White noise, rocking and feeding have all failed.

<props extra matchsticks under eyelids>

PickledLily Sat 25-Aug-12 10:53:06

Finally, she collapsed for a (30 min) nap.

How do I get her sleeping longer?!

DaveyStott Sat 25-Aug-12 11:00:15

I have no advice or tips - my DD was/is an appalling sleeper. She's now 16mo & still either goes to bed late/wakes up early & sometimes has 2-3 hours awake in the middle of the night. Nothing I did seemed to change her, though we do normally get a few hours sleep each night. You have my sympathies.

crochetcircle Sat 25-Aug-12 16:11:37

Pickledlily my dd's sleep regression lasted from 4-7 months, so you might have to tough it out a bit longer... does it help to think it as a phase rather than a permanent state?

On the positive side dd now sleeps brilliantly and has done since 7 months.

I found it helped my sanity to keep a sleep diary when it became clear her sleep wasn't magically going to improve. I did identify some patterns in her sleep which helped. I read No Cry Sleep Solution and did the sleep diary recommended there. There are lots of suggestions for improving sleep in there too - its like a menu of possible things to try.

Good luck. Hope your baby sleeps better soon.

nickelcognito Sat 25-Aug-12 16:15:21

no idea.
just joining in with the empathy!

DD never sleeps.
then she'll have a half hour nap.
or 10 minutes
or an hour when she's exhausted herself so much there's no other option.

i'm sure people think i exaggerate.

she wakes at least every two hours at night. and doesn't go back to sleep until she's had a full feed.

PickledLily Sat 25-Aug-12 16:52:53

7 months? 16 months? Nooooooooo!!! I was prepared for a 'phase', but not that long! I was hoping I might have SOME daylight hours vaguely conscious whilst on mat leave.

<sobs uncontrollably into her decaff tea>

I've been in a foul mood all day. Poor DH is hiding in his cave office and keeps scampering away when he sees me.

So if this is how it will be, I will be buying a copy of 'No Cry Sleep Solution', praying for miracles and... I don't know, how do you stay awake sane?!

nickelcognito Sat 25-Aug-12 16:58:09

i think that's where you're going wrong - you need caffeine wink

crochetcircle Sat 25-Aug-12 18:25:34

Pickledlily, I meant it lasted 3 months - from age 4 months to 7 months. That was long enough! I can count the number of broken nights sleep on two hands since then (she's now 14 months).

You will get through it.

I hope I haven't made you feel worse! It's just I remembered feeling so bad at the time - like I'd ruined dd's sleep forever, I would never sleep again, and there was nothing I could do. It was meant to be reassuring!

nomoreminibreaks Sat 25-Aug-12 18:41:32

Just wanted to come along and join in with the sympathy really. DS is 17 months and I can still count the number of unbroken nights' sleep on one hand. It does seem to get better very gradually - but, like his colic that lasted until 6 months old, I find the best coping mechanism is to not get your hopes up that you've 'finally cracked it', as we were generally disappointed. I've discovered with DS that everything is a phase - good and bad.

If it helps at all, when I do manage to get more than 5 hours sleep I get a headache now as it's as much of an adjustment!

DH gets mad as he says everyone he talks to with kids says theirs sleep through, but I reckon those whose don't are too tired to talk about it ashamed in some way that they can't get theirs to sleep.

Madallie Sat 25-Aug-12 18:42:20

Crochetcircle - my dd is 8mo and sometimes wakes in the night and is up ealy in the morning, 5am ish at times. She has inconsistent naps, wakes different times, for different lengths of time, is tired different times etc.

Everyday I think 'right, today will be the day we crack it (especially if we're having a good day nap wise) but then the next day just goes terrible and I feel i'm back to square one, clueless how to change anything. I too feel like you say you did - every day I think I've ruined her sleep forever, it will never get better than this etc but reading your post has mae me see there may be light at the end of the tunnel (fingers crossed and albeit slightly later than with you LO).

My main stress comes from her being so inconsistent. I just never know how long she will sleep for, when she'll be tired, when she'll wake in the night or in the morning. I sometimes feel that even if it's bad it might be better at least knwoing what to expect day to day and night to night.

Don't know if that rings any bells with you?

Anyway, thanks for posting - it's reassuring to know things change.

p.s. was it natural change or did you do anything in particular?

Raspberrysorbet Sat 25-Aug-12 19:36:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

fififrog Sat 25-Aug-12 20:07:36

5 months was THE PITS, I was so tired I wanted to die. We hired a sleep consultant. She was waking between 4 and 10 times a night and I could rarely settle her without feeding. Also had a persistent cold. You don't say how you normally get her to sleep, we were rocking, and then trying anything and everything in the night, and usually resorting to feeding if she'd been awake for more than an hour.

With the help of the consultant, we taught self-settling by getting her to learn to fall asleep in her cot while we sat next to her in silence. It literally took a few days to get her down to two night wakings, at which I fed her, finally droppe the last of those at 9.5 months.

Naps were tricky - had a couple of weeks where she barely slept til Irealised she had literally overnight gone from 4 naps to 2, and I had the timing all wrong. Started from scratch looking for tired signs, she'd gone from about 1.5 hours awake time to about 3.5 hours with no warning.

HTH! Good luck, it really does get better!

TheTermagantToaster Sat 25-Aug-12 20:31:26

Sympathies. I was just about to start a thread entitled, 'Why won't you FUCKING sleep?'.

My DS is nearly 22 months sad

He's still up sad

Raspberrysorbet Sat 25-Aug-12 20:31:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

loveisagirlnameddaisy Sat 25-Aug-12 21:20:45

No, that's not self-settling, Raspberry. You were there helping him. AFAIK, it literally means settling by themselves with no intervention or sleep aids (dummy, breast etc).

You can do things like gradual withdrawal or pick up, put down to gently teach them how to settle without help.

Raspberrysorbet Sat 25-Aug-12 21:25:20

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BuntyCollocks Sat 25-Aug-12 21:27:14

You have my sympathies. I was exceptionally smug, as my ds slept through from 2 weeks old until 4 months. Then it all went horribly wrong. He didn't sleep through again until 16 months, although its now consistent.

fififrog Sat 25-Aug-12 21:30:38

Raspberry i don't think that is technically self-settling if he's cuddled up next to you... I think the point is that they can get themselves to sleep without you in the room, as they would be in the middle of the night... Hmm, unless of course you're cosleeping. But def no milk involved!

Oh, you are cosleeping. Not really sure how it works in that case. Sorry! But to answer as best I can certainly learning to fall asleep in the evening with no physical contact made an incredible difference to what happened at night. Also deciding to stick with a feeding regime. I figured if she fed every 3 hrs in the day she shouldn't feed more frequently at night. I appreciate part of the joy of cosleeping is that they can just feed without you having to move, but I guess it means you have to be superstrong if you don't want them to.

Anyway, we were rocking to sleep and we gradually reduced that down til she was just lying in our lap before fallin asleep. The consultant told us to just put her in the cot and sit next to her silent, no eye contact and be prepared for up to an hour of crying. It took 7 mins the first night, 2 the second, and has varied ever since between zero and 10 (we're almost exactly a year on now). Repeat in the night (which obviously you can't do).

However... Sounds like your LO is doing fine in the night (I imagine you can crack the 9.30 with a bit of persistence). And I hate to say it but we have never really cracked the early mornings. DD usually wakes at 5.30, has had many phases of waking earlier and lying there either burbling or wailing. Have never managed to intervene in such a way as to get her back to sleep. If she's not ill or distressed we just leave her which sounds harsh but she would either continue wailing or scream like a banshee or want to play if we went in.

PeggyCarter Sat 25-Aug-12 21:32:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

laracroft2001 Sat 25-Aug-12 21:34:12

Pickledlily... What does your daily 'routine' look like?

EyesDoMoreThanSee Sat 25-Aug-12 21:59:28

DD is 25 months.

She has slept for a five hour stretch six times since she was born. Until she was 22months she woke every 2-3 hours. For months at a time and for every development leap like crawling or walking she would wake every 40minutes and feed to go back to sleep or scream.

She has reflux which we didn't know about and trest until she was 22months. We stay with her every night now and alternate who sleeps in with her. Our life is FUBARed and will be until she figures out that sleep is good and she can sleep on her own all night.

I feel your pain.

crochetcircle Sun 26-Aug-12 11:55:14


I definitely hear you. The low points for me were spending what felt like hours trying to get her to nap in her cot during the day, and then realising I had spent all that time in a dark room shhing, not achieving anything, and not enjoying my daughter! And also waiting for that first yelp that indicated she was waking up at whatever time it was at night. Shoulders through the roof. It was at this point that I ordered the sleep book - and paid for next day delivery which cost more than the book, even though I was too tired to read it for the few days afterwards it felt better just having it in the house!

You asked how things changed and the answer is it was really gradual. I think things got better from a combination of her naturally changing, and some things that we did in particular. My theory is that babies is that they don't do anything til they are ready - so it is just trial and error and trusting your own judgement in terms of how long to try things for (easier said than done when you are knackered!). I think what was so good about the No Cry Sleep Solution was that it encouraged me to think about the individual sleep issues and address them one by one. It's also realistic about progress - no one thing will flick the switch to a baby who sleeps, and they often go backwards after a period of going forwards too.

The issues we dealt with included feeding to sleep, losing her dummy in the night, not falling asleep in her cot during the day, generally trying to wean off the dummy, waking several times in the night, and finally night weaning.

Really good luck with it. You will get there.

melliebobs Sun 26-Aug-12 12:00:23

She's a baby. No sleep or crap sleep is part of the package! Go with the flow it'll sort when she's ready smile

Madallie Sun 26-Aug-12 16:42:32

Thanks CC. You give me (some) hope.

Melliebobs I do agree with you to a certain extent but I don't think you can always just go with the flow, sometimes you have to act to try and improve things (for baby and for parents). Babies need good sleep otherwise they are in a perpetual cycle of overtiredness which just gets worse. Obviously that's just my opinion but doing nothing sometimes is just not the answer (imo).

Altho knowing what to do is the biggest issue!

PickledLily Sun 26-Aug-12 20:21:35

Hello, back again! It's been a couple of busy days. Thanks for the replies - it's nice to know I'm not the only one with a sleep resistant baby.

Nickel - you have a point about caffeine grin (though am afraid it would make DD even more unsettled)

Raspberry - am also gutted to learn that doesn't count as self-settling. The goalpost has just been moved. sad

Puddle - The problem is really getting DD to sleep, and to stay asleep for more than 2 hours at a time after midnight. I agree, all night is just not what babies this age do. But every 1-2hours?!. Do share your link if you find it so I can show the next person that asks me if DD is sleeping through the night yet

Lara - We don't have a strict 'nap schedule' but go by how tired she is, which means a nap 1-2hrs after she wakes. Generally she'll nap at 8am, 10.30ish, sometime between 12.30 and 1.30, then again at 4pm. Often she misses a nap because she just won't sleep (I hear where you are coming from, CrochetCircle!). Naps are never more than 30mins. On. The. Dot. I have no idea how she does it, but we can set our clocks by her.

Oh, and she has silent reflux which doesn't help, although she is on IG.

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