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I messed up the first 5 months- what now? :(

(21 Posts)
DreamingOfSleeeep Tue 04-Dec-12 09:01:18

Goodness, thanks so much for the kind words! Just came back on all embarrassed to see if anyone replied to my woe is me! I honestly wasn't fishing for kind words but they were very, very appreciated.

Chocchip thanks, good to know that my approach could have worked with a different baby!

Thanks for all the advice. Things did get a bit better but it's 2 steps forward 52 back! I have had a glimpse into the future now tho! Once he's regularly having plural hours between feeds ill start trying to extend!

Thanks all again

Chocchip88 Fri 30-Nov-12 21:51:26

You poor thing. I have no advice but you have not done anything wrong! You respond to your baby quickly and efficiently - you are a great mum!
DS2 is 4 months old, he has never cried at night, I feed him before he has a chance. Last night he slept 7-3.30 before stirring.
DS1 was left until he started to cry, before it got to that I would ignore/pat/put mobile on to try and get him off without needing a feed. He didn't sleep as well as DS2 does.
In other words it's the baby and not you!!
Don't beat yourself up, you are truly a GREAT mum but sleep deprivation is a nightmare, hopefully you get some good advice to improve things smile

ThinkAboutItTomorrow Fri 30-Nov-12 21:45:53

Am in the same boat, just hit 6 months and it's getting easier. Though would still give santa a blow job for a 5 hour stretch of sleep* (apologies for gross image!)

We have moved DD into her own room. Stops us waking her at least.

Also moved to 3 hour feeding at night. Was shit at first, walking round holding her for 2 hours to get her to the 3 hour mark but it is starting to work. Also doing very gradual retreat so now we don't have to walk her, just put hands on her in the cot.

Aiming for her to self settle by christmas.

*disclaimer to Santa - after all the tough nights and screaming if she is settling by christmas you get NO credit. This is a one night only deal, that night is tonight!

CharlieMouseWillDoIt Fri 30-Nov-12 21:02:43

Oh bless you. You really haven't done anything wrong. You are loving and nurturing your DS. I know it's really hard right now, but things will get better, I promise.

I was in your situation a year or so ago. Night after night of being woken up every 90 minutes or so really does take its toll, but things gradually got better and it will do for you too.

Nightmoves Fri 30-Nov-12 20:31:01

Please don't beat yourself up! You are doing a great job by showing your LO that you can be relied upon to love him and comfort him no matter what, which can only be good. You know your baby best so go with your instinct. My DS is 8 months and still wakes soooo frequently it's not even funny. Had him at the doctors and all sorts when he was younger CONVINCED there was some logical medical reason that could be fixed. Nope, just the way he is! He will grow out of it eventually or lots of good suggestions above on how to gently persuade him to sleep longer. Also good is the No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley full of non-crying ideas and also makes you feel less alone. Also Dr Sears website is fabulous. And try to take care of yourself!!! It's easy to feel that everything is too much and that things are on top of you, especially at 3am and all you want is some sleep, and especially if you are blaming yourself. Get some help from DP or others etc. I had to have a frank conversation with my DH about feeling so tired and overwhelmed and he is a lot more helpful now. Things will improve, hang in there.

MotherNurture12 Fri 30-Nov-12 19:00:29

Yes we're the same here, actually she's waking more frequently now than she ever has and I always pick up and feed otherwise it wakes her brother. It's really hard isn't it. You are doing brilliantly though and I know what you mean about the "they stop crying when they realise no one will come" breaks my heart thinking about it

worldgonecrazy Fri 30-Nov-12 16:33:49

You really haven't messed up anything. I wonder if you're LO has hit the 6 month growth spurt a little early? My previously good sleeper suddenly started waking every hour.

All babies are different, some ebf sleep for several hours from very young, others take longer to get there.

Is your baby actually suckling milk or just comfort suckling when he stirs. I know some parents think dummies are the devil's work, but my DD loves hers and it helps her get some comfort at night.

In a couple of months - around 8-10 months, you can try offering water instead of milk during the night, maybe for one or two of the instances.

Good luck, and don't think you've done anything wrong. I know from overheard conversations that many parents lie about how much their child sleeps!

AnaisB Fri 30-Nov-12 16:26:45

You really haven't messed up i promise. I have done exactly the same as you - fed before the crying stage and ds sleeps really well. I'm not saying that to be an annoying/smug cow - i just want to show you that it's so dependent on the individual baby rather than what you do.

I agree with the other posters who say you should involve your dh in resettling him.

rolypolydoll Fri 30-Nov-12 16:18:15

Was in the same situation, really miserable and exhausted at that stage. Felt like teeth coming really added to it at 5 months. Remember people saying to leave him to fuss and he'll stop but it didn't work for us. Carried on until 9 months when we put him in his own cot and bedroom and we put him down awake, sat with him soothing till he went off and then going in and soothing (but not picking up or feeding) every time he woke. after a few days he slept through till 4am ish. Did it when dh was on hols so could share the load. This worked well for us as didn't want to leave him to cry. There is a thread on it somewhere which I'll try and look for later. Please don't beat yourself up about it, sleep deprivation has such a huge effect on your mental health. that 1st 6 months can be such a difficult time. Give yourself a congrats for ebf for so long, you're in the minority.

BartimaeusNeedsMoreSleep Fri 30-Nov-12 16:16:26


Sorry for shouting but you really haven't. You've responded to your baby's needs.

I read a brilliant book called "What mother's do (especially when it looks like nothing)". Very reassuring for mothers like me who hated to leave the baby to cry even for 30 seconds.

I also picked DS up at every snuffle, but he's never been a baby who would just squeak and go back down. I did try to leave him but all that happened was that he would start properly crying and wake himself up even more and so take ages to get back to sleep, by which time I was wide awake and nearly crying with frustration and exhaustion.

By pre-empting it (at this age anyway) it meant he was back down and I was asleep again in less than 10 minutes.

As he got older, and had stopped feeding to sleep I would be able to let him squeak and not go to him and he'd go back to sleep again - mostly.

I remember reading on MN people saying that he was so little at this age and needed him mum to comfort him. I remember thinking "but he's not little he's 5 MONTHS!!!" grin but now I have a strapping 14 month old, who still needs his mummy's cuddles, I really do think that 5 months was so little!

The difference now is that when DS wants a cuddle he comes to me and puts his arms up or hugs me. At 5 months the only thing he could do was cry for me. At night now he has a definite "I need a hug" cry which I do get up to, because he might be scared and I hate to think of him scared in the night by himself.

LetsBeAvenue Fri 30-Nov-12 16:06:00

Me too, havn't hit 5 hours yet, mostly it's 3 hourly, so take heart, you aren't alone! With Dd And DS1 I stopped night feeds at 6 months, they just got cuddles and had to get used to it and then they woke teething anyway....

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 30-Nov-12 15:47:13

Haven't read the thread OP but just to let you know that you're not alone. I have a 5 month old doing the exact same thing.

I haven't done anything differently with him but he's been the hardest. no idea why.

but i have the perspective of having had 2 already and i don't define my ability as a mother by my baby's sleeping habbits.

i don't know why this baby needs me more. I can only put it down to HIM, not me, and just do my best to meet his needs.

I also know from experience that babies just do what they do and that this phase will day................grin

HannahBerry Fri 30-Nov-12 15:42:02

Hugs to you! Comparing your baby to others is the quickest way to misery! Don't do it!

Your son will get there in his own time. It won't be like this forever, but I know sleep deprivation blows things out of perspective. You sound like you are a loving and wonderful mum, being so attentive and putting your son first.

I too try to cut out the night feeds, but the pain that follows is not worth it. It is just easier & quicker to feed for 5 minutes and avoid the tears. Good luck X

golemmings Thu 29-Nov-12 23:17:43

yup. been there. hard, isn't it?

DD slept through from 7mo. We cracked that one with 3 days of controlled crying.

Ds had reflux so went to sleep lying in our arms after every feed - he had to be kept upright for half an hour after bf - for 8 months.
Then we tried controlled crying but he wasn't having any of it. (We gave it 3 days and things got worse not better).

At 11mo he was still waking up 2 or 3 times a night so I started sending dh in to him. I knew he wasn't hungry but without milk on offer as a pacifier they had to learn a way for him to go back to sleep. I fed him at bedtime and at 10 and then not again until 6. What happened in between was dh's problem (I was working; he wasn't).

At 13 months I started ensuring he was awake when I put him down in the evening and 2 weeks later he's sleeping through more often than not.

You haven't messed up the first 5 months at all. You were just figuring out how you and your baby worked. Now you have a better idea you have to decide what you want and over what timescale and then look at ways to get there, and then negotiate a solution with your baby; that's the tricky bit!

There are dozens of sleep resources out there. Pick one you like the sound of and give it a go. And you'll get loads of support on here too.

used2bthin Thu 29-Nov-12 22:35:06

I also have a 5mo. She has had two (seperate)weeks of sleeping 4-5 hours but other than that is not much different now to when she was born, it really is exhausting and is affecting me badly too. I also have picked her up straight away at night as I don't want her big sister disturbed but tbh I think its just the way she is becaus there have been plenty of times I have left her longer than I'd have left dd1 in the day as have been busy with dd1.

I have tried various things but too tired to be consistent enough sad

I do think I will try not feeding in between the times I want her to though as have had some success with that its just I caved the last few nights. Good luck!

gingercats Thu 29-Nov-12 21:56:59

It doesn't sound as though you messed up at all! You are doing a great job loving DS. Dd is 8 months, still wakes frequently at night (2-3 hourly). I'm working p/t, exhausted & gaining weight :'(. I'm going to try leaving her a bit longer tonight, not rush straight in when she stirs, nor leave her to cry, just see if she settles herself at all. Like you I've been so concerned about her having good self-esteem & trust in me, I have perhaps been over keen jumping to soothe her instantly @night.

feekerry Thu 29-Nov-12 21:53:01

Your doing amazing. All babies are different. Read a thread recently about a set of twins who fed and ate the same and had the same routine but slept totally different at night.
Do whatever works for you

armedtotheteeth Thu 29-Nov-12 21:49:06

Awww sad

No advice as such, but don't beat yourself up! Dd1 was an amazing sleeper, dd2 and dd3 sadly not! Different babies sleep differently so don't assume it's something you've done wrong. You have my sympathy though - it's hard thanks

OovoofWelcome Thu 29-Nov-12 21:45:40

You haven't done anything wrong! You've responded beautifully to your baby!

My DS woke every 60-90 mins. When he was nearly 8 months (and we were crazed with tiredness!) we started to let him cry for a minute or so before jumping in. He sleeps much much better now (and began to sleep through at around 11 months).

You're not doing anything wrong at all. I bet loads of those other mums aren't being entirely truthful grin And even if they are, who cares? Your baby is an individual.

I know that when they're 0 - 6 months or so you want solutions that work instantly (I know I did!) but honestly, it WILL get better, and - the first year will be over before you know it.

Promise smile

SamSmalaidh Thu 29-Nov-12 21:43:56

It all sounds fairly normal to me!

Maybe try feeding 3 hourly at night - if he wakes in between ssh/pat him back to sleep - even better get his dad to resettle him in between feeds so he isn't expecting milk. Then you can extend to 4 hourly feeds.

Does he need to feed to get to sleep? You can try reorganising bedtime so rather than feeding to sleep, feed him, then do bath, then rock or pat him to sleep. Again, get his dad to do the settling to sleep, at least at first.

This is what worked for me at around the same age. I went straight to 4 hourly feeds though, bedtime/11pm/3am/morning. After a few nights he only woke for those feeds. Once he was going to bed without being fed to sleep (just being rocked) I did pick-up/put-down to get him going down with just sshing and patting.

DreamingOfSleeeep Thu 29-Nov-12 21:38:37

I know you shouldn't compare, but all the babies around the same age (and younger!) now sleep better than DS 5 months. That's NCT, baby groups, colleagues, Facebook people (lots of babies around this age??!?!?)

It's really getting me down. He has done 1x5 hour, 1x4, a couple of 3s but usually 1-2. He is EBF, as are most of the babies mentioned.

It's my fault. When he was little I was convinced I should feed once he stirred, rather than let him get to crying. Everyone else said they let their baby snuffle and 9/10 they'd get back off. I never tried this. He now wakes every 1-2 for feeding, v occasionally 3. It's been 5 months and I'm heavier than when pregnant and burst into tears frequently.

Soooooo what to do? Will the snuffling and shuffling still send him back off? I've tried but it usually gets to crying and I cave. The reason I started this approach was reading <on here!> that it teaches them there's no point crying as no one will come, the saddest thing I could think of :-(((((

Sorry for the long post, can anyone help? ;'-(

>>pre empting, I do express but only get tiny, going to start saving it up so dp can do 1 night feed on a fri or sat night. We have a sidecar cot and do bring him in with me also. Tried so hard to feed laying down but can't. Naps are 30-40 min and make me feel worse!! Sorry!

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