Hit A Wall(9 Posts)
This is about the only thing I ever post about: sleep. I've hit a wall and don't know what to do.
LO is 6 months today. We've chosen attachment style parenting: coslept, sling, exclusively breastfed. She's never been too bad at night after the initial 2-3 month bit but has always wanted to sleep in my arms. Fine. We planned for it. She's had it.
She had terrible reflux and couldn't be laid flat. Nursing strikes meant our napping routine went straight out the window. So I've spent months endlessly walking in this god awful extended winter we had.
Then 3 weeks ago she just got it: transferred quickly to sleep merrily albeit on her tummy. She did 2 long naps a day. My god. It was incredible.
Then something happened. She's now so bad that she is waking every two hours, earlier and earlier wake up times, no naps/ minimal naps and evening screaming fits.
Nothing comforts her. If I hold her she screams and flails. If I put her down she goes bananas. Sling is a no go as she won't sleep in it inside. She's decided the pram is evil. Massage, white noise.....
So yesterday I made sure she was fed, clean and safe and went and took a shower. I am starting to dislike her. I've given everything, consistent routines, tried every trick and now even I can't sooth her.
So I'm close to letting her cry to see what happens. She screams in my arms for an hour or more. I don't feel like I'm helping.
How long has the recent screaming been going on? It feels like a lifetime, I know, but is it a week, a few days?
Is she chewing/dribbling more than normal? I'm thinking teething - see if you can see any bulging gums. Try a blob of Calgel or similar when she's screaming and it should at least stop her in her tracks momentarily. If that works, reach for the Calpol or Nurofen Kids (the latter is better for teething, IMVHO).
Or, could she be coming down with something? My DCs have been as you describe when coming down with <whispers> chickenpox. It can mess up their guts too.
Are you weaning yet?
The line that rings alarm bells for me in your post is the 'I'm starting to dislike her' one. I totally get where you're coming from with regards to walking for frigging miles to get naps etc, and it is soul destroying, but i think you need to speak to your GP about how your feeling. (I have been diagnosed with PND and anxiety, and have been on antidepressants for nearly 2 months, has made a big difference)
With regards to the sleeping it could be any number of things, teething, hunger, temperature, habit etc etc. I have a baby who refuses to be 'put' to sleep, there's nothing I can do but leave him to it. Read Tizzie hall 'save our sleep' as I found it helpful. I was in the situation that he would scream for an hour whilst I was holding him. The first evening I left him after bedtime routine he was asleep in 8 minutes! We've had ups and downs, but it was the best thing I ever did. I now know that he will go to sleep eventually...
Hope things improve soon x
Thank you both. I needed these calm, nonjudgmental answers.
She has been doing this for pushing two weeks now. She had a cold so I rolled with it. The screaming isn't any better for the two weeks of solids or calpol when I thought she needed it.
I adore her. My cuddle bug is a happy, confident baby and I really believed the parenting choice we made helped that. It's the screaming in my arms and walking 4 hours for 40 minutes sleep that switches on horrible feelings. I just start feeling I don't like her which if course is ridiculous because I adore my little Buddha. It's the 'battle' for sleep that I thought I avoided by avoiding sleep training. How did I end up here?
I've always watched her rhythm and supported it with routines: straight in the sling with a song and out the door or dim lights, lullaby toy and sleeping sack/ swaddle. Now she has no rhythm and nothing soothes her.
I feel like I'm torturing her by holding her if that makes any sense?
I think that a baby led approach in this case might be leaving her to see what happens and see if she calms down on her own? She may be overstimulated, and struggling to switch off if you're trying lots of different things? DS will not sleep with anyone else in the room...!
Just started weaning 2 weeks ago? Possible allergy; start a food diary.
Agree with the others the possibilities are:
- lingering illness
- weaning (causes issues even with no allergies)
- developmental leap
- growth spurt/hungry
You seem v hung up on parenting style. I co-slept for a bit, BF etc. but don't label myself an AP because things change and if reading these threads has taught me anything - its that regardless of 'style' you can still, and do, get all the same challenges.
I don't mean that to sound harsh as I'm v sympathetic, its nothing you did or didn't do and perhaps being flexible in your approach might work ie. leaving her for 5 mins and observe what happens.
I totally feel your pain. I have a 7 month old DD who is going through the same thing, although it started at 4 months. It has been very hard, and I can relate to yor feelings as the I ly way I can describe the crying is someone taking a drill to my head. It's horrible, and no amount of comforting helps until my DD is ready to settle herself.
I took her to a cranial osteopath and she said it could be headaches causing the problem. She has had 1 treatment and she's gone from waking up 7/8 times a night to 4. Still quite exhausting, but I've also noticed she is now teething! I've got another osteopath treatment for her booked for this week so hopefully we'll see more of a difference.
The osteopath also mentioned if her matress is too firm she will keep waking. Maybe try padding out her matress (under the cot sheet of cpurse) and watch her gums for signs of teething? And if you have a osteopath maybe try giving that a go?
I think I felt very strongly that I could carry my baby and fix every cry. The reflux felt like a problem to fix and now it doesn't seem to be a problem I'm floundering. I guess I'm guilty of romanticising parenting. You're right, it's not black and white.
In the last 2 days we left her to see what happened and she screamed for 40 mins both times before I couldn't take anymore and held her till she stopped. BUT she also seems to do remarkably well on 2x 40 mins then tanks up every few days is what I've realised. It's not perfect but if she's coping in the meantime, I can't force her to sleep.
So I think let the cold fully settle (she's been miles better at night) and continue with the times that seemed to suit her and try not to panic at only 40 minutes: she'll crash out eventually and hopefully those naps will increase.
I've also learned that I don't have to be in the room if nothing is working- she doesn't like either but I can come in fresh and be a better mummy the rest of the day as I don't begrudge her. I want to comfort her in fact.
I'll play this out and see what happens
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