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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?

Middlesexmummy Wed 26-Jun-13 20:40:47

What has helped in cutting down feeds has been using cows milk , for the last two nights she has not been feeding at 4 ... It could be a fluke though

PoppyWearer Wed 26-Jun-13 20:30:50

woundbobbin if it gives you any hope, my DC1 got there by herself at 12mo without me doing/changing anything. She then slept through every night for 6 blissful months.

The problem was she regressed at 18mo after an illness and started waking again, then we gave her milk (formula/cow) to get her back to sleep. Then a year later had enough and cut it out, after which she slept through again.

OTOH I have been waiting for DC2 to get there by himself. He didn't. We cut the night feeds a while back. 22 months and counting...

IMO 9mo is too young to be cutting feeds but then I am a softie and don't like leaving them to cry, even if I'm there.

Middlesexmummy Wed 26-Jun-13 19:59:24

What we do is to bathe her , change her for bed and bottle in the guest bedroom , then carry her to her cot awake and out her down in her cot in her bedroom .... The first few days constant crying and sometimes she still does but more so she can go to her cot awake and fall asleep by herself . I think it's associating her bedroom with sleepy time and bed , we do the same with naps , the room is also dark and airy

woundbobbin Wed 26-Jun-13 19:50:59

That's my concern if I thought standing next to her for 45 mins would get her to sleep id do it but it can take 3 hours to rock her to sleep so stands to reason it'd take longer with no motion I couldn't tolerate her screaming for that long.
Are people generally of the opinion you have to 'do' something is it naive to think she will just get there on her own ??

pickledlily Wed 26-Jun-13 14:43:13

I think 45 mins crying is optimistic IME. If only it was that easy smile It was 2 hours of crying before we gave up. I've had to resort to co-sleeping for the time being.

Twattergy Wed 26-Jun-13 08:37:12

Wound an alternative to feeding and rocking is to keep them in their cot, go to them, place them on their front or back and put hand on tummy or back. no lights, noise, no picking up. They may cry with you there for up to 45 mins to start with but it quickly become much less. You don't leave them to cry but it's fine if they cry while you are there, they are crying from tiredness, frustration, not panic.

Middlesexmummy Tue 25-Jun-13 21:50:56

Personally I think 9 months is too soon to drop the feed .... My dd is down to 1 bottle at bed time , a dream feed and the dreaded 4 am one , ideally I want to drop the last 2 but could live with doing it slowly by dropping the 4 am one first ... As mentioned I was going to try and give her water at 4 as others have offered that but in the past she s not having it . We ve not rocked her to sleep for ages as thankfully she can soothe herself to sleep , it's staying asleep I have the issue s with

woundbobbin Tue 25-Jun-13 21:27:53

Can I ask those recommending stopping bf at night what do you do instead. Dd is 9 mths never slept for more than a few hours in a row I tend to feed back to sleep or dh rocks her if its his 'turn' I've dropped the day feeds down to 8am, 6pm & 8pm she refuses milk sometimes at night we then end up rocking her for up to three hours. I'm not keen to bf long term but what to replace it with rocking her is such hard work and getting harder as she grows gets more mobile etc. (I'm trying to avoid cc etc as I don't think I could do it)

Middlesexmummy Tue 25-Jun-13 21:20:10

What doesn't help me is that my dm keeps on saying that I should feed on demand , going 6 hours without a feed is too long , I keep trying to explain that she is eating 3 meals a day plus snacks then guzzling 10 oz milk all before 11pm so she should t b hungry at 4 , I'm counting the days when it over , perhaps when she s 10 .... ):

PoppyWearer Tue 25-Jun-13 21:14:38

Stopping the bf/formula at nights was key for my DC1. Stopping the bf was not the answer alone though. It just helped that DH could deal with her at nights too.

My DC2 has not been bf since last October and no formula/cow juice at nights since Easter. It has made NO difference. He still wakes. Repeatedly. 22mo.


Middlesexmummy Tue 25-Jun-13 21:10:28

Hi , I understand what u mean but mine is now on cows milk and she s drinking loads !

Twattergy Tue 25-Jun-13 20:58:36

I do agree to some extent that it's luck of the draw with how they sleep. However it strikes me that of the threads where babies aged 12 months and over are waking multiple times in the night they invariably are the ones that are being bf in the night. I love bf and think it is great for mum and baby, but I think if regular night waking is making mum tired then stopping night feeds is the logical way to go. I stopped night feeds at 5 months. He slept through between 5 and 9 months then became crap again, however at least when he woke after 9 months I knew it wasnt about milk and I used other techniques to get him back to sleep. So although giving up night feeds is no guarantee of getting them to sleep through, it takes pressure off mum to deal with night wakes and,I think, helps baby to move towards night time independence sooner rather than later.

CabbageHead Mon 24-Jun-13 13:48:10

Yes ds always been a bad sleeper night and day but he finally worked out how to STTN 2weeks before his 1st birthday hurrah!!! Didnt last but doesnt matter it was exciting! Night weaning def helped. Wld it be possible to mix expressed milk with formula then wean onto formula/cows milk slowly so that if u have to feed at night, dad could do it with bottle? Might be too late for that now as prob way too aware at 22mths!

Tell your DH to be thankful of your DD actually sleeps in buggy or car...!!! My DS NEVER sleeps in car/pram unless he is really really sleep deprived for days!!! Ive ALWAYS had to go home to DS,s cavelike dark room with LOUD white noise for naptime...yes highly inconvenient but sleep begets sleep in his case... And yes i get so much negative judgement for it from DP and his family... Which hurts cos as if i wld fartarse around doing that if i didnt have to!!!! All the other bubs in our mothers groups happily sleep away in their prams amidst bright sunshine and noise... My DS just gets more and more wired and no sleep... Or if a nap it will be 20mins...! We have managed to get him to sleep in the car twice in his life by playing his lullabies, not breathing/making any noise and driving non stop for at least 2 hours!!!!

Middlesexmummy Mon 24-Jun-13 11:16:59

Yes I petrified to say we be cracked as she has the knack of reverting back to type lol

DrinkFeckArseGirls Mon 24-Jun-13 10:47:07

I hope I didn't jinx it writing about it! shock

DrinkFeckArseGirls Mon 24-Jun-13 10:46:40

Things are looking up here. DD started to wake up at 6, not between 4.30 and 5.30. hmm

Middlesexmummy Mon 24-Jun-13 09:43:25

Hello all , well dd went down without a fight at 7 last night , I gave her a dream feed at about 10 30 . She stirred at 130 and wouldn't settle , I thought it was teeth so gave her some pain relief, I purposely didn't get up at 4 to feed her nor did she wake , she stirred again around 545 but kept quiet and finally I woke her at 7...... I fear it's a one off though, in terms of the 130 wake up , I automatically assumed it was teething. Thinking about it she opened her mouth easily when she felt the syringe so I'm thinking tonight ill fill one up with water and if she wakes try the same thing but with water as it may have just been a stir and I mistook it for pain , I think at that time u r in automatic pilot and think the obvious ! I've tried water from a beaker before buy she s not having any of it !! What do I think ?

pickledlily Mon 24-Jun-13 08:55:10

We've not tried it yet, although i have been seriously tempted to but I'm not convinced it is the right thing to do. I think she would still wake up.

I've been trying very gradual retreat - first time she was still screaming after 2 hours. She is very tenacious. It has got better over time (i can now pop her down when she's almost asleep and as long as she is holding my hand she will drift off) although last night i pulled her to bed with me at 2am having settled her 7 times only for her to wake 20mins later each time.

Weirdly though she didn't ask for milk, which is very unlike her. Perhaps she is changing and pigs will fly

Middlesexmummy Sun 23-Jun-13 21:37:23

Hi pickledlilly , it's so hard isn't it , I haven't dropped the early morning feed not the dream feed either , I'm just too petrified that she will scream blue mutder . Out of interest did u try cc ?

pickledlily Sun 23-Jun-13 20:43:01

Oh God. I was really hoping my DD would magically start sleeping through by 18mo if I dropped night feeds, but now I'm not convinced. confused

She's 15mo and rarely (I can count the number of times on one hand) sleeps more than 4 hours at a stretch. She usually wakes at least 3 times during the night, usually coughing/choking and always crying. I can sometimes settle her without a feed, but sometimes even a feed won't do the trick and it's an hour of sitting in the dark with her until she settles again. And then she's awake for the day at 4.30 or 5am, bright as a button. It is truly rubbish.

I don't even know if we still have a sitting room in our house; I've not seen it since she was born. I'm in bed by 8.30pm most nights. And my friends have started announcing their 2nd pregnancies and I'm thinking 'How on earth?!'

I mentioned her crap sleep to the HV, concerned she might still have reflux and she just said I need to do some sleep training. Doh. Stupid me. I hadn't thought of that.

Actually I feel rather cheated by the whole BF thing. No one told me how difficult it might be to stop, that "food-is-just-for-fun-until-12m' so don't stop BF because your baby will starve or that cutting down when they hit peak separation anxiety will be next to impossible.

Oops <looks around and realises everyone has drifted away> Sorry, bit of a rant. I had no idea I was quite so cheesed off with it all.

BazilGin Sun 23-Jun-13 07:28:48

Taranta, thanks for reassurance. i do hope DD will just 'click' and sleep through one day. i wish we could go back to one waking a night, I could cope with that. At the moment, we are dealing with 3...
Mumbles, my DD was also a reflux baby, very unhappy and we did all we could just to make her better, including feeding to sleep, rocking etc. I have no advice, I am afraid I am also looking for answers.
i was thinking of GrOClock, but I reckon my DD is too small for that yet.

MumblesUk Thu 20-Jun-13 13:57:24

thanks for this thread people. Am also on my knees . . . have DS who is 4.5 and while he loved the bf, we managed to get him to night wean in two days when I went back to work when he was 15 months. He has never got out of bed, never slept with us and although went through a phase of 5:30 waking, is now exhausted by preschool and life in general and normally goes from 7:30 til 6am. DD is a completely different matter! She is now 2.3 and is quite rubbish at sleeping. When she was really small she had reflux and would get easily distracted when bf'ing so I used to feed her when she woke up at night because I was worried she wasn't getting enough in her during the day. She is still having mlik before bed (although she goes down awake), at least twice a night, and several times during the day if I'm not at work. She has a 2 hour sleep after lunch and is currently getting up bright eyed and bushy tailed at 5:15am. I rarely get back to sleep after she wakes up as when I work (3 days a week), I have to be out the house at 6:30am. Sigh. She won't be comforted by DH during the night and it's beginning to drive me nuts! Help please!

Middlesexmummy Wed 19-Jun-13 15:33:27

Hi all , surprisingly another night of 7-5 am yesterday , actually I went in at 5 to feed her as I was petrified she would wake up at6 and not settle back - I know I need to take a deep breath and tackle this .....

Taranta Wed 19-Jun-13 06:38:00

Another voice of reassurance here, I hope. My DS, now 25 months, was a dreadful sleeper and now sleeps through. At worst, he was waking 5-6 times a night, would not sleep in with us, so that was never an option, and I remember several months of having to doze in a chair while he slept in my arms from 1-5am every night <shudders at memory>. He's still BF first thing in morning and last thing at night too. We adopted the philosophy of 'he'll do it in his own good time' and that's what happened. He started waking less and less, and then sleeping through at 22 months unprompted. It felt miraculous and although he is an early waker (5.30am as standard), it still feels miraculous. I'm still so pleased that we chose to be led by him, as he's such a bright and happy chap when waking it was clearly the right thing to do for him. Having said that, we're not in a hurry to have another one though!

CreatureRetorts Tue 18-Jun-13 22:26:49

We night weaned ds but he still woke a lot. His sleep did improve though.
Dd is 18 months and still feeds at night. I do try resettling without a feed and it works sometimes. I also don't feed her to sleep which makes a huge difference.

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