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Bad sleepers' parents please gather here to testify!

(69 Posts)
BazilGin Mon 17-Jun-13 12:19:44

I am not sure where to post this, I think maybe the feeding forum would be better, but here I am.
I have a gorgeous, clever 22 months DD who is still bf and is also a horrible sleeper.
She has a strong bf to sleep association and it is causing more and more tension between me and my DH. He has been really supportive of bf so far but even though he didn't say it out loud, I think he hints bf has become the root of the problem, i.e the lack of sleep.

DD has always been completely boob obsessed and he still feeds a few times a day...and night. She can be distracted with other things if she is not tired, but if she needs nap and/or sleep in the evening and bf is delayed, a hell breaks loose. I generally go with the attachment parenting, even though we don't co sleep she usually ends up in our bed early in the morning.

Please could someone just share their stories so I can show them to DH, that our DD is not the only toddler who still wakes up at night?
We are currently on holiday and DH got cross because she didnt want to nap in her buggy "like all the other children", while we go on enjoying our hols, but had to go back to the hotel instead.

Is he being unreasonable, or I?

BazilGin Mon 17-Jun-13 12:21:01

I should add that I would like to carry on nursing her for a while, she clearly still needs it. But I am also tired and often wish her bf needs were not as intense.

TheOrchardKeeper Mon 17-Jun-13 13:39:03

That's a tough one.

It's a behavior thing so it does need tackling eventually. They shouldn't theoretically wake at that age out of necessity but they certainly do wake (usually because they want whatever they went to sleep with, are scared, are used to co-sleeping and are in a cot etc).

Have you ever considered expressing? Or not feeding her at night?

BazilGin Mon 17-Jun-13 20:02:33


Thanks for replying. I have considered night weaning but it's a vicious circle, because I am so tired I havent got the energy to go through it...easier to bf and get some sleep. I am not 100% I am ready for it. Dh definitely is.

Middlesexmummy Mon 17-Jun-13 20:05:30

Hi , can I join ? My 15 month old dd eats really well in the day , has a snack about an hour before bed and the 5 oz at bed time plus a quick dream feed at 11 but still gets up in the night for a feed !!!!! I'm waiting in hope that she will grow out of it ......

PoppyWearer Mon 17-Jun-13 20:11:21

<waves to all>

My 22mo DC2 still wakes at night, hasn't slept through once in his life (well, there was one time he went 11pm to 5am without waking but I think I actually slept through him waking that time!).

DC1 slept through at 12mo to 18mo then started waking again 18mo to 30mo. Even now at 5yo she still wakes one or two nights a week with bad dreams and so on.

DC2 stopped being bf at 15mo and we stopped his bedtime milk to break the feed-to-sleep association and wet nappies waking him about 3 months ago. It didn't flipping work.

We had more success with removing the milk with DC1 but that was when she was over 2yo.

You are not alone!

<hands round matchsticks and strong coffee and gin>

Wonderstuff Mon 17-Jun-13 20:12:39

I fed a boob obsessed dd until 24 months. She was an awful sleeper. Night weaning is needed I feel. I did shush pat and held out on the boob for increasing periods of time. So no boob till midnight, next night no boob till 1am and so on. I did this at about 15 months, while co sleeping. when she was two she went in her own room and we did back to bed, which was horrendous for the first night but within 5 days she was sleeping through in her own room. We found if we relaxed the rules and let her back to us, say on holiday, she reverted to getting up, we had to be really firm and consistent.

Now typing this sat outside ds room, he's nearly three ans won't bloody stay in bed.

Wonderstuff Mon 17-Jun-13 20:13:52

Oh forgot to add, once I weaned her she rarely slept in the day at all.

Middlesexmummy Mon 17-Jun-13 20:15:37

Dd settles fine in her cot , she has a few wake up s before we go to bed but nothing major and goes back to bed .... I just wish she would drop the 4 am feed , i be tried to give her water but she just screamed , I'm working full time so give in just for an easy life , it will get better wont it .........

PoppyWearer Mon 17-Jun-13 20:15:38

FWIW there was an excellent good sleeper/bad sleeper thread some time ago on here.

There were lots of smug people coming on to say their excellent parenting and sleep training had resulted in excellent sleepers. They were then set upon by a legion of parents who had experienced one good sleeper and one bad sleeper in the same family (there were even some twins) and I think the conclusion was that its the luck of the draw.

Also, just wanted to say that I miss feeding to sleep these days. I'm sat here trying to get DC2 to sleep tonight and he is cocking about. I really wish I could anaesthetise him with the boob!! grin

Middlesexmummy Mon 17-Jun-13 20:19:57

Yeah I do believe its the luck of the draw , I do find myself having sleep envy of other s though , I'm becoming obsessed lol, it's the first question I ask when meeting other mums and they all say Yes !!!!! What's their secret I wonder : (

TheHuffAndPuffALot Mon 17-Jun-13 20:21:08

This is the thread for me!

My dd is 2.6 and our situation is exactly as you describe.

We tried night weaning but she made herself sick crying. Perhaps it's time to give it another go.

Middlesexmummy Mon 17-Jun-13 20:26:52

I can't bear the thought , I can cope with one wake up , quick feed and sleep till 7 am but the howling and tantrums at 4 doesn't bear thinking about . I know I'm in a viscous cycle : (

Middlesexmummy Mon 17-Jun-13 20:31:08

Huff and puff , 2.6 years old .... I thought problems would be solved by then , middx mummy sinks further under her cushion to contemplate the next 1.5 years of unbroken sleep ......

Middlesexmummy Mon 17-Jun-13 20:31:55

Ha I can only wish for unbroken sleep - meant broken !

TheYamiOfYawn Mon 17-Jun-13 20:42:41

My two were both pretty dreadful sleepers, especially DD. By her second birthday, I was exhausted - a night when she woke up 5 or 6 times was a night of fantastic sleep by her standards. Two and a half months later she was sleepung completely through the night 5 nights out of 7. I didn't do anything to make this happen. She just grew into sleep in the same way that she walked and talked when she was ready.

DS was a bit more mellow, but took a while longer to be able to sleep by himself. I think that he was around three and a quarter. He's three and a half now, and we still get a 4am visitor a couple of times a week, but generally it's a case of him waking up, climbing into bed next to me and falling straight back to sleep.

When DD was little, I did worry that I was making a rod for my own back, or doing her a disservice, but watching them both start sleeping at their own pace was actually something that I'm really proud of, and it had led me to trust them and their capabilities a bit more, I think.

FredKiller Mon 17-Jun-13 20:45:39

I've night weaned my 2 year old. It's made sod all difference to the number of times he wakes up. The one plus is that he will now accept daddy as well as mummy for comfort so we can share the load. Still a crap sleeper though.

absentmindeddooooodles Mon 17-Jun-13 20:52:00

My D's is 2.3 and still regularly wakes up in the night. He's always been a terrible sleeper. He was bf from birth but became allergic, so on formula until 1. ( again became allergic) so it was only due to all this that he kind of weaned himself at night. Otherwise he would be up and down all night I suspect. He does not stop drinking and eating! Not that its really relevant to your op, just thought I'd let you know there's at least another toddler out there who does not sleep. Haha. On another note, my mum has a dd, 3.3 and she still bf to sleep and during the night. Ideally my mum would have liked to stop earlier, but this is her comfort and the only way my poor mum can get a few hours sleep. You are not alone!!

TheYamiOfYawn Mon 17-Jun-13 20:54:37

Just to add that I was feeding my toddlers to sleep and whenever they woke up at night when they started sleeping through.

TheHuffAndPuffALot Mon 17-Jun-13 20:55:23

She still wakes about every 3-4 hours so I've put a double mattress on the floor of her bedroom, and usually end up co-sleeping on there with her.
This way I get some sleep!

Middlesexmummy Mon 17-Jun-13 21:00:38

Yay yamiofyawn , there's a glimmer of hope then ..... My friend s all seem to have perfect sleepers , my dd settles right back but once u r up then there's sod all chance of getting back to sleep
I know I'm lucky as its only once or twice but that's bad enough for me ! I'm I'm awe of those mums in here who r up 5 plus times a night but still jovial in their posts and hopeful it will all end sometimes soon - hats off to u x

Bearandcub Mon 17-Jun-13 21:01:20

<Walks in, settles on sofa, tries desperately to keep awake>

DS1 hideous at getting to sleep, but will only partially stir unless bad allergy night then it's cough cough cough. Plus when he wakes up in the morning (6-ish) he is wide awake. There is no transition he is switched on and active!

DS2 great at falling asleep but is awake at least once a night for an hour stretch. Usually between 1-3 am if again then 4.30-6.00 is his favourite. Falling back to sleep whilst DS1 has just got up.

I crave sleep constantly.

MissPlumBroughtALadder Mon 17-Jun-13 21:04:31

My 20 month old has been sent directly from sleep hell. He has always been breastfed to sleep, but has very recently starting allowing his daddy to lie with him until he drops off. He has never slept in a cot. He shares my kingsize bed and DH has slept in the spare room for the past 20 months. He wakes anywhere from 3 to 10 times at night, and the easiest thing by far is to breastfeed him back to sleep. Like you, OP, I just don't have the strength or energy or reserves to do anything but. I have him all night, then I hand him over to DH about 5am so I can get an hour or two of unbroken sleep.
It has been almost two years of desperation. I'm sort of resigned to it now, and have stopped fantasising about sleeeeeeeeep. I actually started feeling much better once I accepted that this is just the way it is for the moment and one day it will be different (I hope!). It has scuppered our loose previous plans of having two or three children; we are never NEVER doing this again. Ha, even if we wanted to I don't know how we would actually achieve conception of another baby, as we haven't had sex since he was born. Not sure where or when we would do the deed, as we don't share a bed, we are both constantly shattered, and weekends are spent taking it in turns to catch up on sleep. I couldn't tell you the last time I even thought about sex, it's so not on my radar. I've spoken to DH about it, and he says he doesn't think about it either, and he's actually sort of grateful we don't ever get the opportunity because is terrified of an unplanned pregnancy and says another baby would finish him off.
So OP you can show this post to your husband. He - and you - are not alone; we are with you in spirit! One day it won't be so unutterably shit.

Sunshine200 Mon 17-Jun-13 21:04:32

My dd is the same age as yours and we gradually stopped her bedtime milk by watering it down bit by bit. It worked a bit. She still rarely sleeps through but does go back to sleep now without milk/water. Weaning him off night time milk is obviously harder when breast feeding.
However, even if you did stop this I'd be surprised if it was a magic cure.

Middlesexmummy Mon 17-Jun-13 21:07:29

I couldn't even make it to the sofa tonight , Middlesex mummy is mumsnet ting from under the quilt !! I've had N exhausting day at work whilst dh has had the day off , he picked dd from nursery but failed to see the tired signs so when I get through the door it's all cling to mummy whilst I'm trying to get to the kitchen to make her supper !!! As a result clingy crying and over tired dd , definetly in for a few wake up s tonight

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