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At the end of my tether!

(10 Posts)
FelixFelix Thu 13-Nov-14 23:42:58

I really need some help with DD's sleep. She's almost 11 months and has never slept well. Sleep regression at 4 months, and spent the next four solid months waking up hourly. It got slightly better (never did anything different, she just changed one night) and she went down to waking 3 times a night for a few weeks. It's slowly gone back up to 6-10 times a night, and the past week she's been up hourly most nights. I am frustrated, angry and exhausted and I can't cope with it any longer.

She has a good bedtime routine and is in bed for 7 at the latest. She's generally easy to get to sleep (although she does have a bottle to go to sleep with which I know is a problem). She can sleep for an hour before she starts waking up. I usually put her dummy back in and she goes back down, but recently this isn't working and she will cry and not settle. It's got to the point where I'm just plying her with milk in the hope she will drop off again. She eats and drinks well through the day but still polishes off two 7oz bottles a night. She has a nap in the morning and sometimes one in the afternoon, but I'm starting to struggle getting her down for her afternoon nap. She's still in our room but we are moving house over this next week and she will be straight in to her own room.

So I know the main problems are having a dummy and using a bottle of milk to go to sleep. I just have no idea how to get rid of them as it's the only way she will sleep at all. I can't work out what is making her wake up so often. I'm too tired to be up all night with a crying baby and I'm not sure how ill manage it.

I want to try sleep training but have no idea what's best. The only thing im really aware of is leaving to cry for a set amount of time, then going back in to soothe then leaving again for another amount of time. Does this work? Is there another plan I can look at? I need one that deals with frequent wakings rather than getting a baby to sleep in the first place.

I really am desperate. DP has talked about looking up a sleep consultant but we really can't afford it. Can anyone help?

FelixFelix Fri 14-Nov-14 08:28:28


FelixFelix Fri 14-Nov-14 13:03:46

Hopeful bump!

TarkaTheOtter Fri 14-Nov-14 13:13:48

Hi felix

This book explains all the different sleep training methods. I would definitely think it's worth a try doing sleep training yourself before paying someone to go through it with you.
I'm in no position to be giving sleep advice as have two non-sleepers but I imagine what a consultant would say is,
1. Get into a nap routine. If afternoon nap is tricky, shorten the morning one.
2. Lose the sleep associations (bottle and dummy) and use sleep training to get baby to self settle. Lots of choices here. Controlled crying will work very quickly (baby will learn to self settle in under a week). Other options are gradual retreat and pick up put down. These take a bit longer but feel kinder (although in my experience involved a longer duration of crying in total). I think the no cry sleep solution stuff takes so long to work that you can't rule out the possibility that the improvements would have happened even if you did nothing.

FelixFelix Fri 14-Nov-14 13:48:13

Hi Tarka! Thanks for the link. I think you may have linked that before as I recognise it, but I totally forgot about it shock will buy it now.

TarkaTheOtter Fri 14-Nov-14 14:23:43

It's very cheap in kindle atm. I bought it jut now a I borrowed a friends copy last time. I'd forgotten that it is a bit strict - no night feeds after 6m etc. But it's no nonsense and is a cheap way of accessing the millpond clinic sleep experts.

FelixFelix Fri 14-Nov-14 14:49:25

I've just read the relevant bits to us, and it does make sense. I'm not bothered about leaving her to cry (heartless bitch grin) so I'm just going to go for it as it really needs sorting. The only thing I'm unsure about is stopping her having a dummy - it doesn't really mention not giving a dummy at bedtime, but it does mention not replacing the dummy through the night. Should I just stop giving her one all together or still let her have one when she initially goes to sleep? Also a bit confused about weaning off night time bottles. Part of it suggests slowly reducing the amount of milk each time she wakes up, but then another part says about just leaving her to cry and not offering milk at all. Unless I'm reading it wrong!

TarkaTheOtter Sat 15-Nov-14 22:06:12

I think because she is actually drinking so much maybe to cut down slowly.
IMO the key to cutting night wakings is how they get to sleep, so best to ditch dummy too unless she is able to replace it herself at night if it falls out.

We've done two nights of gradual retreat now where I've sat next to his cot and patted his back until he fell asleep. Took about an hour yesterday and 45mins today. There was some crying but nothing too bad especially tonight. Mainly just lots of standing up.
Last night he woke once in evening and I patted back to sleep and once in night where I fed as too lazy. So far tonight no waking. Fingers crossed.

Lwaterfield81 Sun 16-Nov-14 00:54:05

Our lovely daughter is 7wks old and for the last 7 days has not slept for more then 5 hours in every 24hrs.
I'm breast feeding her but finding she needs topping up with a bottle as after an hr of feeding is still hungry.
We have starting a bath/feed/bed routine and making sure she understands the difference between day and night by keeping it dark and quiet in the evening/night but it doesn't seem to matter what we do she is just wide awake all the time and cries when we we put her to bed. This morning she eventually fell asleep on my chest after feeding but only for a couple of hours and has been awake all day and still awake not at 1am

We do not know what else to do, whilst everyone says its just a phase we are struggling to cope with the lack of sleep.

We hope someone can help us!

TarkaTheOtter Mon 17-Nov-14 18:31:20

Are you trying to get her to self settle? What about if you rock her in the pushchair or carry her in a sling to get her off to sleep.
Totally normal for a bf baby to feed for hours on end in the evening (cluster feeding) at that age and topping up is counter productive. If she's taking an hour or more to feed at other times it might be worth having her checked for tt as that's at the longer end of normal and suggests milk transfer is not very efficient.
Tbh at that age you need to work more on what you can do to accomodate the lack of sleep and less on how you can get her to sleep more because it is just a phase and there is not a lot you can do about it.

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