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Eight month old sleep hell - any advice please

(18 Posts)
Highlove Sun 16-Nov-14 20:04:13

So I posted here last week wondering about an eight-month sleep regression. I guess that may simply be the problem but I'm (desperately) wondering if I'm doing something wrong or could do something else as we're having a hideous time through the night. So any help or thought gratefully relieved!

DD hasn't ever been a great sleeper but ok - till about 2-3 weeks ago fed (BF) 2/3 times per night and would often need settling once or twice during the evening. By day, having once been a terrible cat napper, she now reliably does an hour in the morning and 90 mins after lunch. I make sure she's awake by about 3.15ish. Bedtime is at 7 after bath, book and BF either to sleep or to v drowsy. Generally she goes off to sleep well but recently, 10-30 mins after she goes off she'll wake again and is getting harder and harder to settle. We'll then be up and down to her for up to a couple of hours resettling. Can take 30 mins or so snd then she'll wake again a few mins later. Eventually she'll settle off for an hour or two, will need feeding and then pretty much repeat through the night. So currently I'm feeding maybe four times at night and she's awake 8/10/12 times. She'll generally wake for the day between 7.30 and 8.

I guess I'm clutching at straws but does this sound like she could be under or over-tired? Also, I use white noise to settle her for naps and leave it in throughout but don't use it at bedtime - might that be a problem and should I drop it from naps? Or do I just stop clutching at straws and ride it out. I'm so tired, as is DH, and we're bickering as a result.

I don't expect her to sleep through but I would have thought she ought to be able to routinely manage chunks of say 4-6 hours solid sleep by now.

ilovetosleep Sun 16-Nov-14 21:22:11

watching with interest! Same here, although our sleep has been hideous since 3 months. Until this week (7 months ) he was content with waking and feeding every 2 hours from 10pm, this week he is doing exactly as you describe, we have been upstairs 3 times already this evening....

Highlove Sun 16-Nov-14 22:04:34

I've lost count tonight. Help.

boopdoop Mon 17-Nov-14 05:19:11

Also watching with interest as similar here, so exhausted. Supposed to have job interview tmrw, can't see I'll make much sense, on about 10th wake up and haven't slept since 3am.

icklekid Mon 17-Nov-14 05:23:30

Oh dear my only suggestion is to use white noise at night? My ds has had it every time he wakes from birth! Now if he wakes and isn't hungry I pop white noise on, put his dummy in and mostly this settles him... worth a try? Sleep depravation, especially broken sleep, is so hard so you have my sympathies!

josephine1986 Mon 17-Nov-14 09:46:36

Yes there is a big wonder week phase around this time, look it up, I found this very reassuring . Our dd was awake for hours in the night and very unsettled. Out of character and fortunately stopped as quickly as it started , after about 2-3 weeks . Just do your best to cope and it should pass. Sympathies !

EarthDays Mon 17-Nov-14 09:50:24

I've got a 20 month old like this, tried everything. I'm just riding it out and hoping once she can be reasoned with it'll improve!

Highlove Mon 17-Nov-14 18:39:43

Josephine, I'm pinning my hopes on your 2-3 weeks - then we'd be over the worst of it! <crosses fingers firmly>

Last night was hellish - between 7 and 11 DH and I were basically a tag team going in and out to resettle her. Took up to 40 minutes each time. I fed her off a couple of times do I'm probably creating dreadful habits, too. Gah. Is like when she was tiny and we couldn't eat dinner together as she wouldn't be out down for the first six weeks.

I dropped the white noise cold-turkey for all today's naps. She fought going down this morning but was fine when she went off. Had a couple of wake-ups this afternoon. So we'll see if it makes any difference tonight - not that optimistic tbh.

Wish me luck. Lovetosleep hope your night is better, too!

Any further advice still most welcome!

GeorgeTheGiraffe Mon 17-Nov-14 21:57:45

I'm no expert but it sounds to me like she's got a big bf= sleep association for bedtime/night times. I read somewhere that when they feed to sleep and wake up not feeding, it's like us going to bed and waking up in the garden! They don't know how to get to sleep by themselves if they're always fed to sleep/fed to really drowsy.

Many apologies if I've got this wrong. As I say I'm no expert. But I've had probs with my dd and know now that this was her problem. From waking up 3-4 times a night and me feeding her every time, we took all that away, taught her to self settle and she now sleeps all night.

Highlove Mon 17-Nov-14 23:16:58

Interesting George - I think you may well be right. How did you go about it? How long did it take? And did it involve lots of tears? I'm not really up for full on CC..

GeorgeTheGiraffe Tue 18-Nov-14 09:11:16

So firstly I cut out night feeds. Got hubby to go in to her for cuddles and rocking back to sleep. Did this for about a week.
Then made sure we had a solid bedtime routine in place which ended with story, song then bed rather than feed being the last thing (had to try as hard as poss to get dd napping later in day so she wouldn't be zonked by bedtime otherwise she'd feed to sleep). And at this point we rocked to sleep until we felt the routine had sunk in, then we started gradual retreat. We sat by the cot for the first 1.5 weeks patting mattress and saying little phrases like "lie down its sleepy time". Only picked up a few times to try and calm her down then straight back in the cot.
After that we felt it was time to try leaving the room when we first put her to bed, and we went back in after 10 mins if needed and stayed in until she was asleep. But one day when putting her down for a nap I was out the room longer than intended coz I needed to loo! And she calmed down by herself and went to sleep so from then on we stayed out the room for 10-15 min intervals depending on what sort of crying she was doing, and she always falls asleep on her own. There are still days when she cries a lot but I think this is mostly her way of getting to sleep.
It has certainly stopped her waking up lots each night and she's so much happier in the day.

I've read a way to stop feeding to sleep is to remove them once they're starting to fall asleep and to put a finger under their chin to stop them routing. I never did it but worth looking into.

Definitely look up troublesome tots website it really helped me x

GeorgeTheGiraffe Tue 18-Nov-14 09:13:05

Also have to say how important it is to be consistent with whatever method you try. Babies like routine to be able to see what's coming next. The number of times I almost caved in was unreal but now after a few weeks of being consistent I can't believe the transformation

Parsnipnibbler7 Tue 18-Nov-14 12:52:52

Hi George, reading your experience with interest. When you say you left the room for ten mins and went back if needed what was your little one doing? Crying? Or awake/playing? And what was she doing when you were patting the mattress?


GeorgeTheGiraffe Tue 18-Nov-14 13:59:20

Hi parsnip
If we went back into the room it was because she was crying and sitting up for 10 mins. We've got a camera in her room and I have to say I wouldn't have wanted to do this sleep training without it. We could see what she was doing and what sort of cry she was doing so now we know that if she's doing really loud shouty crying but lying down it's her way of going to sleep. We'd only go back in if she seemed upset or in distress. Pick her up offer some comforting words, sip of water, and once she'd calmed down we said "it's sleepy time" and put her back in cot and left the room.

When we stayed in room and patted mattress it was because she was in the crawling position crying and we kept saying lie down while patting mattress. It worked in the end!

I'm sure someone posted on here the differed types of cry a baby might do before falling asleep. It was SO useful because after reading it I now know when dd is going to fall asleep! Look up mantra cry and you might find it

GeorgeTheGiraffe Tue 18-Nov-14 14:04:44

Ps going back in and out of the room does make her cry loads on leaving but she soon calms down. I personally don't feel comfortable with not going in at all

Parsnipnibbler7 Thu 20-Nov-14 14:56:08

Thanks v much George, I'm going to look up the cries and might need to invest in a video monitor. Good to hear about your success, well done!

boopdoop Thu 20-Nov-14 21:52:20

This is an article I fpund really helpful re the different cries. It's quite long but I defintely found it really really useful

NocturnalBaby Fri 21-Nov-14 03:02:48

We are going through something similar with my 8mo DS, who has always been difficult to settle in the evening (would cry and cry and cry, even when held), and then increasingly restless throughout the evening. I've stopped feeding to sleep - sometimes it means a shorter feed, and I originally brought bedtime forward to make it easier to keep him awake. That's made a massive difference, but we also did controlled crying for bedtime only. Absolutely horrible, but after a week he now rolls on his side and drifts off the minute I put him down. Now dropping the night feeds - started by cutting down the amount of time I was feeding him each time, then went cold turkey. When he wakes in the night I'll sit with him until he falls asleep, patting his little bottom and picking him up if he gets really distressed. So far he has slept through one night this week, and not fed at night for the last 3. So we are getting there slowly I think. He's just fallen asleep now, after waking up fussing, but then just lying and watching me for an hour as he tried to drift off. Good luck with it all, it's pretty tough going.

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