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Does anyone else just find the unpredictability of nighttime really hard?

(24 Posts)
teacher123 Sun 03-Feb-13 10:02:49

I've posted a lot on the sleep boards, as DS was awful to begin with and thanks to lots of support and great advice on here things have really improved. DS is 9mo, we have had a week of great sleeping through, and then last night, randomly was up in the night for 2 hours, crying, wailing, crashing about in his cot. Drifting off then waking up again etc etc. Fed him, changed him, gave him calpol and he eventually went back off until morning. Now, I KNOW babies wake in the night, and even last night was far better than we had it for months and months and months. But I almost dread going to bed as I don't know what's going to happen. And that makes me anxious and I struggle to sleep. How do others manage to adopt a 'what will be will be' approach?!

Orenishii Sun 03-Feb-13 11:53:57

Yes, yes, very much yes to this. The details are different in that I really struggle with the time before 11pm - trying to get him to sleep 7-11.30 when I go to bed. But definitely what you've said resonates - I feel like I don't know how I get him to sleep, so what do I do if he won't? Sometimes I don't even want to try because I'm so afraid of it not working.

Things change so fast, just when I think I've got it down pat, he changes again. I guess, even though I totally get that feeling of anxiety, we just have to tell ourselves "what's the worst that will happen if they don't sleep?" So they might go through a hard period but that too will pass.

forcedinsomnia Mon 04-Feb-13 14:38:18

Yes for sure. My ds is now 18 mo and has never been a good sleeper really (not worst or best by any means!!). But now he sleeps realtively well ish most nights, ie sleeps through perhaps 4 out of 7, sometimes wakes once others and then last night wakes 3 times (9.30, 11.45 and 1.55??) I mean really? I have no idea why. Nothing different. Possibly teeth....but then I always use that excuse. ha. Still dread bed time....especailly if I'm really tired (or Sunday night before work!) It's like he knows....grin

Ghostie Mon 04-Feb-13 20:42:50

Yes yes yes, I play games with my self and make stupid deals with "dream gods" about how much sleep I will get and how long she will last between feeds!

LouBeee Mon 04-Feb-13 20:57:39

Yes, yes, yes again. 17mo DS here. Average sleeper, prob same as forcedinsomnia 4 nights out of 7 sleeps through. But the ball of dread when you get into bed not knowing how your night wil be and praying to the sleep God. Deep breaths everyone!

scratchandsniff Mon 04-Feb-13 21:19:37

Yes, yes, yes here too. I start to feel anxious before bed wondering what's in store and then struggle to get to sleep. DS on the whole touch wood is a fairly good sleeper. Think I'm so worried about it going tits up. Got teething to contend with yet. We will all be back to 8 hrs straight again soon, won't we?!

Iggly Mon 04-Feb-13 21:22:14

Yes but it's second time around so I know there is going to be an improvement!

I do things to make life easier. To bed early, listen to podcasts when trying to get dd to sleep, nap at the weekends when DH is around.

This too shall pass

waterrat Tue 05-Feb-13 07:35:25

oh yes totally I often wonder when this unpredictability will come to an end.

Ds is also 9 months and has ocassionally slept from 11 until 6/7 - but not often. Yesterday I said 'it's great our sleep is getting better' - then last night he was wailing from 1.30 until 3, crawling howling to be picked up - standing up in the cot and couldn't lie down

I actually find it really hard when people talk about things like 'dropping the 3am feed' as a friend put it to me - or 'slept through from xx' - as though it's a simple mathematical formula - when our nights are just random chaos!

waterrat Tue 05-Feb-13 07:37:09

in terms of coping....I have worked quite hard to be zen about it, when I hold him in the dark, feeling sick with tiredness myself I think about how if there was a terrible accident or war and I couldn't be with him, or we weren't safe - I would miss this moment so much and cherish the memory of it - so that makes me love the moment...

bit extreme for some maybe, but my mind has always functioned that way! I try to focus on how much worse things could be so that I can appreciate what I have...

even so, its hard work!

Seriouslysleepdeprived Tue 05-Feb-13 08:01:16

We had pretty much the same thing. Almost three weeks of sleep throughs, even through illness. He has never slept through. Or slept when ill...but he did, couldn't believe it. Not a peep! I thought they have to start doing it eventually, he is 10 months now. Thank god, we're finally getting there.

He then stopped sleeping AT ALL between 1-5.30 for four days and is now up every two hours - WTF?!

Nothing has changed. I'm so gutted. I now realise how different patenting is if you have a's quite fun. You can actually do stuff and make plans.

acrabadabra Tue 05-Feb-13 08:04:06

I had terrible anxiety with ds, who fought sleep, and probably exacerbated the problem because he just knew.

When we had dd, ds was sleeping through reliably and, perhaps due to my extreme tiredness (2 under 19 months), I had no trouble falling asleep after she woke for a feed. She was an excellent sleeper.

Now, however, she's developed separation anxiety and been waking up to 5 times just for a few minutes mostly. It's lasted 3 months but is showing a little improvment in the last week. It will pass.

Can you put dh/dp on duty one night and wear some earplugs and or sleep in the spare room? Or sent them to grandmas house for a night to recharge your batteries. Not helpful in the long term but hopefully it's not a long term issue.

teacher123 Tue 05-Feb-13 09:28:25

Well last night was night 3 of horrific howling in the night, but we can see a stubby tooth about to break through on his gum. So I think we have to just ride it out. I totally agree though that parents with predicable sleepers must have a totally different experience. When DS was feeding lots in the night it was always random. His wakings have never ever ever been predictable. Lots of coffee today!

Seriouslysleepdeprived Tue 05-Feb-13 10:34:24

Lots of coffee indeed...on my third cup already. grin

Please you can feel a tooth. It does help when you know there's a cause. Not that it helps with the sleep deprivation of course.

I do get DH to do nights & I pop the ear plugs in. It helped in the earlier stages but barely touches the sides these days, the odd night of good sleep here & there. I need proper sleep on a semi regular basis now or I think I may crack up!

Fivemoreminutesmummy Tue 05-Feb-13 11:17:12

Yes yes, I wish I knew what to do to make things better or more predictable but I don't. I often feel like I'm doing things wrong.
I like the zen approach of 'this too will pass' and am so envious of people with sleeping babies as they actually get to enjoy their maternity leave whereas I look and feel like shit!
I'm sorry you 're all going through it too (but it's nice to have some company)

ChampyandtheWonderHorse Tue 05-Feb-13 11:21:41

OP - I don't strugglewith this any more as it's my third baby but I do understand.

I think I just have extremely lowered expectations!

waterrat Tue 05-Feb-13 14:15:41

champy does it get easier? this lack of sleep puts me off having more! But I like to believe that by then I will be able to know it doesn't last forever...

please tell me it doesn't last forever....
it's the torment that everytime you think it's cracked, they find a new reason not to sleep

MooseBeTimeForCoffee Tue 05-Feb-13 14:43:11

Ooh, can I join in? My son is 13 months and has never slept for more than 5 hours. We co-sleep to make Breastfeeding easier. My problem is that I struggle to get back to sleep, so can often be awake in the early hours for an hour or two. Just as I'm nodding off he wakes up again!

I have a husband who works 12 hour shifts (14 with the commute) and has to get up at 3:15 to be at work for 5, so he can't really get involved at night. DS won't take a bottle either.

This too shall pass ....... Won't it?

teacher123 Tue 05-Feb-13 18:07:10

My infuriating DH just said to me 'there's no point in worrying about it, either he'll sleep or he won't, there's nothing we can do now.' HOW CAN HE DO THAT?! How can he not worry, just like that?!

BabiesNeedInstructions Tue 05-Feb-13 19:43:57

I found that once they're old enough to not need feeding at night it really helps to take turns with your partner for who is responsible for the night. Even if it's only 1 or 2 nights a week, you can agree that whatever happens that night, the other person deals with it. Maybe the one who doesn't take the night shift gets up with them in the morning and so on. That way I found I could relax much more knowing I wouldn't have to get out of bed whatever happened and I slept much better those nights.

Iggly Tue 05-Feb-13 20:56:45

My son is 13 months and has never slept for more than 5 hours

That was dd at 13 months. she's just turned 14 and started sleeping all the way through shock I know she'll wake tonight but at least I've had three nights of sleep!

MooseBeTimeForCoffee Wed 06-Feb-13 02:23:01

Iggly please tell me that's months, not years?

Iggly Wed 06-Feb-13 06:49:27

grin months yes. It was like a switch! As predicted she woke up once last night but at least I know it'll get better again as opposed to hoping.

MooseBeTimeForCoffee Wed 06-Feb-13 07:08:28

We're having a really crap night. I don't know if its because he wouldn't eat much for supper, but he fell asleep at 6 and has woken pretty much every hour since (its just after midnight here). The comfort sucking is almost intolerable and sleep seems a long way off for me.

emmyloo2 Wed 06-Feb-13 07:08:46

Yes absolutely. I used to dread evenings when my DS was not sleeping. I even had to take sleeping tablets because of the anxiety and I wasn't able to sleep. I really really found it difficult. However, I also found that the longer it went on, I almost became resigned to it and when I did that, I found it easier to cope with. My son's sleep did improve after 2 consultations with an excellent sleep consultant and now he rarely wakes and if he does, because he is 2.3, I can simply tell him to go back to sleep and he does. So I am now not anxious. HOwever, I am expecting a baby in May and I am dreading the night time sleep issues.

And I found our son's sleep improved at 18 months when we started removing sleep associations (bottles etc). But it is really tough. You are not alone.

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