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I feel like I am failing as a mother- 4 month old dependent on me to sleep

(41 Posts)
Muminneed60 Thu 06-Mar-14 12:34:25

Name changed.

This is my second dc. With the first she only slept after I breast fed her. As a toddler, dh and I had to lay down with her.

Now in the same position with dc2. He is 4 months and only sleeps after being breastfed. We only put him in his cot once sleeping. HV advised we let him get off to sleep alone. He is currently screaming.

I have three friends with young babies. They all sleep through the night unaided. envy One is breast fed so I cannot even use the arguement that formula fed babies sleep through.

Where am I going wrong? How could I let myself sink into the same routine again?

Even dh is questioning my parenting and advising me to speak with friends to identify what they have put in place. I feel so pathetic.

I have to return to work this year so definitely need to start a routine.

dinkystinky Thu 06-Mar-14 12:38:24

You're not failing. 4 month is the hardest - its sleep regression territory and basically you just need to do what you can to get through it.

Try to instil a mini pre-sleep routine (story/lullaby) before bf then to sleep. Then when he's abit older (try next month) and well you can try switching the two around - so bf till dozy, short story or lullaby and then put them down and stay with them to get them to sleep.

DS3 was like your DS at 4 months - and at 6 months - at 7 months we introduced a bedtime/naptime routine and he puts himself off to sleep without the boob now so its not forever, I promise.

hellymelly Thu 06-Mar-14 12:41:36

I think it is just normal. Both my dds did/do the same .Please stop beating yourself up over it, parenthood is hard enough! In what way are you "failing"? You sound a kind and loving mother, so clearly you aren't failing your ds. Babies have fallen asleep with their carers for milllenia, it would have been highly unsafe for them not to. They like to know their mother is near, like all small mammals. Your friends are the exception I would say, rather than the rule.

Muminneed60 Thu 06-Mar-14 12:48:16

I am just not coping. I do not nap in the day as I use this time to catch up with housework or cooking. I have awful bags around my eyes. The HV even commented on them.

Feel she was judging me. I am hardly a young mum and not even a 1st timer.

I hate feeling so hopeless. I have no control.

pilotsprincess Thu 06-Mar-14 12:54:34

I felt exactly the same when my dd was younger, everyone around me looked great and had babies sleeping through the night.
I on the other hand had to get her off to sleep and she didn't sleep through untill 18 months.
She's a toddler now 2.5 and I still have to settle her to sleep.
I don't see it as a failure anymore, she's happy and I'm happy.
We just did what worked for us.
I find a lot of people like to stretch the truth anyway when it comes to babies and sleep.

Please don't feel like you're failing, motherhood is hard enough without that.
This too shall pass brew

LearnerM0ther Thu 06-Mar-14 13:05:35

Stretch the truth.. Omit the truth.. Outright lie.. Oh, yes. It goes on. I'm currently looking for tips to help my 17 month old to settle unaided - without my HVs suggestion of CC (several months ago). I should probably have toughened up then. I always thought I'd be firm but fair. Turns out he turns my heart to moosh when he cries!! This is hard. You're doing your best and trying other ways, so you're not failing. That's all we can do.

Babieseverywhere Thu 06-Mar-14 13:12:06

The only problem is you doing housework when your baby should be taking that time to rest or sleep yourself,

I aways have nursed my babies to sleep. It is the best and easiest way of settling breastfed babies. I don't understand why following a method of parenting which works for you is wrong ?

Try not to worry, do what works best for you and don't forget, he is still so very little, when he gets bigger he will sleep through in his own time.

Muminneed60 Thu 06-Mar-14 13:35:03

It is horrible when somebody tells you that your way is wrong. It is so hard. I am holding him after the 4th attempt of putting him down. I feel like walking out of the house but I won't. I want to run away but I have got nowhere to go.

My neighbours probably heard his screaming. I feel embarrassed.

He does not deserve me as a mother.

Muminneed60 Thu 06-Mar-14 13:37:33

I tried controlled crying with my dc1 and gave up after a few days. It looks like I am heading the same way with dc2.

How does it work for my friends? If they can do it with little effort surely I can with effort.

BertieBotts Thu 06-Mar-14 13:40:42

You are not failing as a mother angry Four month olds are SUPPOSED to depend on their mothers for sleep. Your health visitor is just plain wrong - there is no need to make him sleep alone just yet.

If you want to cut down then The No Cry Sleep Solution is good, and it might be more helpful closer to the time you go back to work, but really, your 4 month old sounds like a perfectly normal 4 month old, and you are not doing anything wrong.

BertieBotts Thu 06-Mar-14 13:41:34

Your friends are either lying, or very very lucky. Most 4 month olds, breastfed or not, don't sleep through.

LadyMetroland Thu 06-Mar-14 13:50:48

Babies do what they want. If your friends' babies sleep through it is just good luck on their part. Also it is common for them to sleep well at 3/4 months then completely regress ar 4/5 months. Your friends may find they aren't so smug in a couple of weeks.

I've had three babies. Fed all of them to sleep because it's the most natural thing in the world. Baby 1 was like your dd and needed human presence all the time, never slept alone in a cot. Babies 2&3 were the opposite and after being fed to sleep were easily transfered to a cot. It's just luck of the draw. You need to stop being so hard on yourself and just go with the flow otherwise you will remain unhappy for many months ahead.

Muminneed60 Thu 06-Mar-14 13:51:17

They are definitely not lying. One of my friends has three and they all slept through by 4 months.

I hate that I am so led by what others say. Before the HV came I was content. Now I feel I should be doing things as she suggested, if not I will have years of petting him to sleep as with dc1. Why did I agree to a visit? If not, I would not feel like this.

At least seeing her has shown me that generally I am not coping - scraping it together more like. I did a questionnaire and the results show I am depressed.

HumphreyCobbler Thu 06-Mar-14 13:55:09

Why don't people ever congratulate us for being responsive to our baby's needs?

At four months some babies need their parents to sleep, this seems entirely normal, if knackering. Think about trying other stuff in a bit.

Can your dh take the baby out for a bit at the weekend? I

intheround Thu 06-Mar-14 13:57:01

Mine didn't sleep through til about 8-9 months.
Both would only be fed to sleep. I had to wait till they were zonked out and very carefully lay them down.
4 months is only 16 weeks- such a short time to be out of the womb. Please don't worry and def don't compare your babies to others.
Most of all do it your way, and what is right for you and your baby

lotsofcheese Thu 06-Mar-14 13:57:26

You sound utterly exhausted OP. It's not your fault. And unfortunately it sounds pretty normal to me.

Personally, having done CC I wouldn't do it again. I use pick-up-put-down by the Baby Whisperer. Currently doing that just now with 11 month old DD so she can settle a bit easier.

We always compare our self to the "exception" babies who sleep through early, rather than the "norm" babies who don't.

intheround Thu 06-Mar-14 14:00:31

Sod the housework for now.
Try to sleep when you can.

Muminneed60 Thu 06-Mar-14 14:00:36

Thank you so much for your encouragement.

I do not feel like a good mother at the best of times. I am an emotional wreck. I snap at my dc1, have very little patience. I could write so many things on all the wrong I do sad

I am not naturally maternal and it is very evident.

TheresLotsOfFarmyardAnimals Thu 06-Mar-14 14:01:29

You're not failing but I know that babyhood feels like it lasts forever and even though you do know that it is just phase, it will pass and so on it's hard to see the truth in it when you're just knackered!

I've copied and pasted from another thread I posted on. These are things to try that may help you. Please remember that feeding to sleep is totally natural and a good way to get babies to fall asleep in the beginning, it can just backfire for some at 4 months. Anyway, here you go:

The 4 month regression comes about when a baby does not know how to put themselves to sleep. Your baby has a sleep association of being fed to sleep and so he needs you to do this.

A good way for a baby to learn how to fall asleep on their own is the shh-pat method, it's perfect for 15 weeks old. It does take up to two weeks for them to get the idea of it but it is gentle and not a crying technique. See this link for how to do it

Another thing it so avoid overtiredness as at this age, sleep = more sleep. I like this link for awake time length by age. It is just a guide but it really helped me

As your baby is likely to still need 1-2 night feeds at this age, try and set a time limit so if bedtime is 10pm there can be milk then and maybe 2am and 6am?

I hope this helps.

Penano Thu 06-Mar-14 14:09:51

I have a nearly 4 month old and I'm currently nursing her to sleep. She has absolutely no fixed routine other than I tend to get her ready for bed with my older one & they have stories together, but I sit & bf her to sleep in the evening then put her into bed when we go. I stressed so much first time trying to get DC to sleep like all my friends' babies. This way is sooooo much nicer! Please be kind to yourself - you are absolutely not a failure!

Muminneed60 Thu 06-Mar-14 14:11:59

Thereslotsof Thanks. So many rules but I can see that it is worth persevering.

Muminneed60 Thu 06-Mar-14 14:14:14

Penano It really does not take much for me to feel like a failure. I am always too hard on myself. Maybe my anxiety comes out on my dc. The friends I mentioned are happy go lucky - totally opposite of me.

BertieBotts Thu 06-Mar-14 14:21:55

You said you were fine before the HV came along, then please stop beating yourself up over this sad HVs really just have an OPINION, her opinion of you means nothing, she will see another 99 mothers by the end of the week and probably won't even remember your baby's name. Please do not feel like you have to live up to some arbitrary advice that she has given you, if you were happy before she came, stick two metaphorical fingers up and carry on.

Everyone is snappy with their first when their second comes along, that's life. If you're having urges to throw her down the stairs then seek help, but seriously, it's a short time, she is little (and little people are very trying) and it will all be worth it when DD2 is just a little older and they can play together. That's when it starts to get easier again, so I am told!

Do you think it might be worth seeing your GP about your anxiety?

BertieBotts Thu 06-Mar-14 14:22:34

I was happy go lucky and felt DS was a fantastic sleeper, but he did not sleep through the night at 4 months old. He was over 2 by the time he was ready to do that.

whereisshe Thu 06-Mar-14 14:22:34

Don't be so hard on yourself. Give your DS a big cuddle and smell his lovely baby smell - remind yourself of all the good things. You're a good mum or you wouldn't be this worried about him.

Not all babies are amazing sleepers, it doesn't mean you need to use parenting techniques that upset you. The health visitor was thoroughly irresponsible for failing to mention other approaches. And your DH is being twattish - how can he blame you? Does he have no role in raising your children?

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