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Awake for 3 hrs in the middle of the night. I cannot cope

(16 Posts)
notthegruffalo Sun 09-Feb-14 04:56:47

2 problems:

1. Ds (7mo) is waking up from 3 to 5 every night. He is awake and happy and not hungry. Eventually falls back to sleep around 5 for an hr, then is up for the say like normal.

2. I am not a good parent in the middle of the night. I sometimes cry and sometimes shout at him and I sometimes have to put him down and go into the other room to throw some pillows around and get my aggression out. Please don't flame me, I know this is wrong, but I work 4 days a week and have to stay up late to work after ds goes to bed at 8pm, and I just cannot cope on this little sleep. I can somehow manage to get trough the days by putting on a brave face but at night I can't seem to cope at all

How do I get him to sleep?
And how do I start being a loving mum in the nighttime?

purplemurple1 Sun 09-Feb-14 05:19:53

Are you giving ds a heavy evening meal - porridge or similar.
It sounds like 3am is his wake up time with that hour actually being his first nap of the day - so could you try to move his schedule by 15 min each day to gradually move wake up time and in the mean time just get up with him the 'morning' and do your work then rather than the evening - that way at least you can go to bed early.

Btw - none of us are model parents when we are sleep deprived, your working ft so it's time for your OH to pull his weight and so half the nights.

purplemurple1 Sun 09-Feb-14 05:32:07

Or if he is happy can you give him a safe toy put in some ear plugs and go back to sleep.

notthegruffalo Sun 09-Feb-14 06:25:34

Thanks for your reply. He's not eating - we try but he refuses the spoon. At best, he sucks on sins fruit. I agree, that 3 seems to be his wake up time, but he's nothing to bed till 8 so I just don't get it ... Very good idea about the work, but if don't thinkni can work while he's awake - he's too demanding of my attention.

purplemurple1 Sun 09-Feb-14 06:53:34

You could try wake to sleep - you rouse them about an hour before they would normally wake and then resettle them.

I've not tried it myself - trying to force a change in naps first to see if that helps mine as he is waking for food.

TeeBee Sun 09-Feb-14 06:58:10

What does he do when he wakes up? Can you just leave him in his cot rather than go to him?

schmalex Sun 09-Feb-14 07:01:05

If he's happy, do you need to go in to him? I only go in if they're crying, and even then I'd leave it a couple of mins to see if they self-settle. He might go back to sleep by himself if you leave him to it. Worth a try!

SomewhatSilly Sun 09-Feb-14 07:01:19

What do you do when he wakes? Can you describe it to me?

I'm rubbish in the middle of the night too sad

notthegruffalo Sun 09-Feb-14 10:30:28

Thanks everyone, and sorry for the late reply. Am currently trying to encourage a nap. Much crying and frustration but I know he's tired ...

So, in the night I try to shush him, rub his head, give him a dummy. About one in 10 times that works. If not, and he starts to cry, I normally pick him up and cuddle him without looking at him, then put him back down when he's calmed down. I often try to feed him, but he's not really that hungry.

After a while, I leave him to gurgle to himself. This lasts for about 10 minutes max before he starts to cry. Then I go into him and it starts again.

Everything I do seems to stimulate him - if I give him a dummy he takes it out and starts to play with it; if I lean in to kiss him he gets really excited; if I try to stroke his head or his tummy he grabs my hand; if I pick him up he is normally the calmest, but be gets fixated on something in the room and can't stop staring and smiling at it.

Laquila Sun 09-Feb-14 21:31:23

Ahhhh OP I have a similar problem with my 5.5mth old and I really do sympathise. I know I'm not a bad parent but sometimes I have to go into his room (he sleeps in ours) and have an angry cry to myself. I just don't know where his 2am energy comes from.

RandomMess Sun 09-Feb-14 21:36:23

ARe you on your own? If not you need to be taking turns!!

Do you have the lights on? Keep it pitch black.

I would leave him completely alone until he is unhappy and then go in and cuddle him until calm. Once he is calm put him back down, again leave until he is unhappy and then pick up again etc etc

Nothing else though.

How does he usually get to sleep during the day and in the evening?

Pumpkinnose Sun 09-Feb-14 22:53:35

Oh poor you - sounds like you're doing wonderfully. How much sleep is he having in the daytime? Do you think you need to cut back on daytime nap. If not hungry that probably the next main culprit. Also i find sometimes they need a bit of a shout and I am making it worse with the shush patting. Does he start crying straight away?

notthegruffalo Tue 11-Feb-14 07:45:40

Thank you everyone. I tried shortening his naps and also not going in unless/ until he's actually crying. Last night he woke up at 1, fed, went back to sleep again and woke to at 6am!!! I spent quite a lot of the night watching him through a crack in the door - he woke up and even screamed a little bit in his sleep, but settled himself! Long may it last ... Thank you for all your suggestions!

purplemurple1 Tue 11-Feb-14 14:03:00

Now to put in some earplugs and let yourself get some sleep at night as well!

RandomMess Tue 11-Feb-14 17:38:30

Glad there has been some improvement. Some dc are incredibly noisy and vocal whilst asleep!

malteser17 Tue 18-Feb-14 05:18:08


Have just spotted your thread having posted something similar about my 11 month old son.

Firstly don't beat yourself up about being a bad mum in the middle of the night. If you occasionally shout at him or have to leave him for a few minutes to cry yourself then that is far better than some of the alternatives. I sat on the bed for 5 minutes earlier with my back to the cot listening to my son screaming at me because I just couldn't cope at that moment in time. We're now downstairs where I'm browsing Mumsnet for advice and I've got him crying next to me because I'm not paying him attention and instead typing messages on here. I don't believe in the cry-it-out method although he does seem to be tiring himself out which might be a good thing.

I hope you have managed to get your son to stay asleep during the night now. If you have any tips then do let me know :-)

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