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What am I going to do about this?

(11 Posts)
ilovetosleep Wed 05-Nov-14 22:00:40

DS2 is a hideous sleeper. I was excellent up until 3 months and I haven't slept more than 2 hrs is a row since then - he's now 7 months. In a bad night he'll wake every half an hour between about 10pm and 6am. On a very good night he might wake 3 times. An average night he'll wake and feed every 2 hrs. Usually I'm up for about 30 mins each time, feeding then holding upright until deep sleep. Sometimes I have to get up and rock him. Sometimes he'll be up for 2 hrs at a time. Sometimes he's windy and writhing and sometimes he is just wired and excitable.

He is definitely reverse cycling - he has accepted only one or two milk feeds (bf) during the day since this all began with a nursing strike at 12 wks. He had severe reflux which seems to be under cobtrol now but sleep has got a little worse since solids - until 6 months he'd usually sleep from 7pm til around 11/12, it's more like 930 now.

I feed him back to sleep because I can't find the energy to do anything else. He has never self settled. I never could let him try as he was in such discomfort as a small baby. And anyway I have issues with CIO/cc.

DS1 was a bad sleeper but this is just beyond bad. I am reaching breaking point, I'm unwell and unhealthy because if it. DS1 isn't getting the attention he deserves - neither is DS2 either, in daylight hours anyway. He is grumpy as he'll all day long. Historically this was always put down to tummy troubles and reflux but now I suspect it's chronic tiredness.

Where do I even begin? I plan to continue bf and would like to continue feeding to sleep at least for naps. He naps ok actually.

Any advice welcome

ilovetosleep Thu 06-Nov-14 03:59:44


This is a bad night, I've been up at 930, 12, 1.30, 2.30, 3.30. I'm up for 30 mins each time as he's so wriggly and windy.

He's asleep in my arms now and I'm scared t out him down,also scared to check his nappy as I know not will wake him sad

purplemurple1 Thu 06-Nov-14 04:16:09

In your situation I would start putting him to the breast every 2 or 3 hrs in the day to try and get him back into the correct cycle. Personally for a few days I'd let him nap extra as getting an overtired baby into q routine is very difficult. But after that I would try to get him to two regular naps each day.
At night if you want to feed to sleep, I'd just accept it and co sleep and bf lying down.

We also found solids caused a few weeks of disturbed sleep, our had also been very windy as a small baby. But things did start to settle down. We found skipping meat helped in the early days of solids.

NotMrsTumble Thu 06-Nov-14 04:24:43

flowers it's awful when they decide day is night and night is day. Maybe pick a day when you have someone else around, to try to keep ds 2 awake and feeding, except for scheduled naps. It will be no fun, but, might help push him back into a more liveable pattern. FWIW, sticking loosely to the <whispers> Gina routine worked for mine, though I seem to remember having to re-start at the routine for newborns to fix reverse cycling. (it may just have been coincidence that ds2 finally "got" the day and night thing, but at least I felt I was doing something to try to help.)

ilovetosleep Thu 06-Nov-14 07:39:55

The thing is, he completely refuses to bf in the day apart from to get to sleep. He has mammoth feed at 830/9am and again at midday, and I've introduced a bottle around 4pm to get more in him.

Naps wise, he has about an hour at 830am and 2 hrs at 1230pm although yesterday it was 3 hrs!

I thing he's teething which doesn't help

NotMrsTumble Thu 06-Nov-14 15:06:58

Typed a huge reply this morning which then disappeared - blooming phone! Anyway, the gist of it was this: Sounds like he's napping ok during the day, it might be worth trying to get him to have a 30 min nap around 4.15. The theory being that he might be so tired at 7 he falls straight into a deep sleep and then can't get back to sleep when he wakes in the night. Also if he's doing OK with solids and having 3 milk feeds a day, then the night feeds might be more about comfort, which is all well and good until you collapse from exhaustion! Might be worth seeing if he'll take cooled boiled water in the night and if he'll settle with that?

Wolfbasher Thu 06-Nov-14 15:11:57

If he's teething, it might be that the discomfort is waking him, and the only thing that masks it for him is suckling. Which implies it might pass when his teeth situation improves. Or you could consider seeing if a dummy helps?

My 3 all slept like this though. I co-slept which made it possible. There is no way I could have got out of bed every 2 hours and held them upright. I just let them latch on by themselves next to me and stayed half-asleep myself. I was still tired, but could function. That might not be much help to you if you don't want to do that.

fuzzywigsmum Thu 06-Nov-14 20:36:00

Ilove - huge sympathies to you. It sounds like your having a really difficult time. That little sleep met be killing you!

I think you know this already but it sounds to me that DS2 has become so dependent on feeding to sleep or being held that he is unable to sleep without continually going back to the boob every time he goes into lighter sleep. I had exactly the same situation with DD2 who needed to nurse every 20 minutes or so during lighter sleep cycles.

I'd really recommend considering doing some sleep training with DS2. It sounds to me like feeding to sleep isn't working out for anyone including him. He's not able to get proper sleep at the moment and there's also obviously a huge impact for you, DS1 and , I imagine, your DP.

I completely sympathise with not wanting to do CIO/CC, I wouldn't and haven't. I'd do gradual withdrawal with him. Have a look at this thread for an idea of how to go about it. I know you'll probably feel reluctant because it is going to involve some crying - although at 7 months it shouldn't be too bad. But things should improve very quickly. And honestly, in your situation, I think you have to way up the (very minimal) harm of him crying for a couple of nights (but with you there the whole time) against the the huge benefit of him getting the sleep that he needs plus the additional benefits to you, DD1 etc. To me it's a no-brainer.

I did it with DD2 and she's gone from being 'a terrible sleeper', to being an OK sleeper. She's 9 months now and sleeps from 7-5 or 6am. The first night was very emotional but I am so glad I did it. it made being a mum enjoyable again. I actually used a sleep consultant and I'd highly recommend it if you can afford one. It gave me the resolve to follow through and helped me with how I was feeling about letting DD2 cry - plus gave me really good tips about establishing a bedtime routine. There's quite recent post on the sleep board with some recommendations.

Sorry that this has been a long post - I just really feel for you as you're obviously knackered and sleep deprivation is so awful, especially when you've got more than one DC to look after. I think you feel guilty about the idea of sleep training but honestly, I think it would be for the best for everyone in your family, especially DS2.

I really hope things improve for you.

Sunshine200 Thu 06-Nov-14 21:23:52

My dd is similar to this at 13 months. My only advice would be that if you do decide to do sleep training, do it now before he learns to stand in his cot. Mine now just stands up every 10 seconds when I want her to go to sleep
- I really wish I did it earlier!

ilovetosleep Thu 13-Nov-14 13:49:30

Oh no, I am so sleep deprived I totally forgot about this thread...

Thanks for all the replies. Things haven't improved at all - in fact they are worse if anything. He will only sleep in our bed now but still only for 1-2 hour stretches.

Things we have tried:

Last night we tried an extra nap at 4pm, he ended up sleeping from 430-5pm and bedtime was a night mare, he was totally wide awake and as he can't self settle I had to leave him in his cot playing until he was so tired, when I picked him up at 7.45 he fell asleep straight away in my arms. He then woke in the night at 1am and didn't really settle back to sleep until 4am. Wonder if he had too much daytime sleep yesterday? (30mins + 120 mins + 30 mins)

I don't mind co sleeping, but ds has never managed to get the hang of lying down feeding and he just gets frustrated. I will persevere though. Thing is I don't really want to co sleep long term.

I remember the 'what worked for us' thread from DS1! Unfortunatelyit took 2 years to progress from sitting by the bed to leaving the room - but he is an amazing sleeper now. I wasn't sure if that gradual retreat was more for older babies? fuzzywigsmum was your programme pretty much the same as the post you linked to? I am just too tired at the moment to entertain the idea of sitting in a dark room in the evening for 3 hours. At the moment, he gets so wired and excited if he doesn't fall asleep on the boob TBH i have never let him get to the crying stage because I am too impatient - it would be at least a couple of hours I reckon.

But I will have to tackle it sooner or later an that looks like the most likely plan so far...

Wolfbasher Fri 14-Nov-14 08:32:47

If you are desperate and you can afford it, then look at the Millpond Sleep Clinic.

I considered using them at my worst point. They have two 'methods' - one involves controlled crying and one doesn't (the second one takes longer but would have been the method I chose). It seemed very good. My impression was that it wasn't rocket science, but it was about absolute consistency - and the fact that they told you exactly what to do and when to move from one step to the next (which is the thing that is hard to decide when you are absolutely exhausted from sleep-deprivation). The lady I spoke to there described it as a training programme for parents more than for babies, which I liked.

I didn't use them in the end, as things began to improve - there were some things we were doing in our routine that clearly needed changing and I thought i'd try that first - and it worked. At that point, my biggest problem was my oldest child, who just needed less sleep than most, and needed a later bedtime - which solved things.

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