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11 mo DD is driving me and DP insane with no sleep - WHY!?/Help!

(8 Posts)
eepie Wed 10-Jun-15 17:11:23

Sorry for long post...please please any responses or advice would be so great...My DD's sleep has never been amazing but we'd got to a really good place or just one feed at night...But it's been getting steadily worse for a month now....See this thread for info on bedtime routine etc

Last week we were on holiday and had to sleep in the same room as her so were really quite quick to respond to shh and pat her for 10 days as we couldn't stand to lie in the dark hearing her cry for even 5 mins. Think wakings have got worse since then....and she slept super well for ONE night once we got back home and she got back into her room/cot on Thursday (only waking once for a breastfeed and settling well)... then since Friday she has just been like a demon child...not settling after feed...waking only 3 hours after being asleep (so just as we are knackered and going to bed...) Screaming her lungs out immediately 0-60 (she's always been like this and is like this in the day time as well if we don't immediately follow her as she tries to lead us around with her hands (not quite walking yet) We have never left her for longer than 5-10 minutes using CC ...or settle and leave or whatever. We usually just lay her back down (standing up in cot) and say 'Time to sleep now' and pat and leave...quite quickly. She was responding well & settling after that. We have actually only left for her 10 minutes maybe twice in her life recently when we have been completely desperate and didn't know what else to do...the times when I had bf her and cuddled her and shh patted her and nothing had worked.
All of these wakings by the way she does settle herself or settle immediately if we pick her up quite well...she will sometimes even accept being put back into the cot really well but between 10 mins and half an hour later she is awake again !! Why? We thought it was teething but neurofen or bonjela didn't help and she has 7 teeth but hasn't been bad with any of them so far really..not for this long anyway. She loves her cot as well and has teddies in there that she is attached to 7 cuddles. She has white noise in her room and a soothing, long predictable bed time routine..she's not fed to sleep at bedtime anymore. She settles herself very easily and quickly for bedtime and naps. I just don't get it !! We had 3 hours last night of one of us going in there every 5-10 minutes to settle her, then she'd sleep for 10-20 mins and wake up with a bloodcurdling scream again. Sometimes when we'd pick her up she'll then start gurgling and cooing and blowing raspberries when seconds earlier she sounded like the was being murdered !!?? So surely she can't be in pain?
Also on holiday we were so desperate we brought her into bed with us once (after bfing wouldn't settle her) and she fell asleep on me for 10minutes then woke up laughing and climbing all over me like it was playtime / daytime ! (she's not used to sleeping in our bed, hasn't since she was newborn) So co-sleeping doesn't seem to work either ! I try not to feed her more than once in the night because I am trying to night wean gently - for 2 months now she has been happy with just one short feed a night usually...But yeah the last 5 days have been hell. And before that on holiday...We had 1 or 2 good nights but mostly bad. We are just shouting at each other and I thought I was going to crash my car yesterday cos I was so spaced out whilst driving. This is not good ! I'm going mad ! I don't know what we're doing wrong or what's wrong with her. Please help !! She's a happy baby in day time if a bit clingy at the moment and screamy if she doesn't get something she points at and wants or if she doesn't get our full attention ie. if we're talking. Is it just her personality??

FATEdestiny Thu 11-Jun-15 14:26:27

Sometimes when we'd pick her up she'll then start gurgling and cooing and blowing raspberries when seconds earlier she sounded like the was being murdered !!?? So surely she can't be in pain?

No, she just wants some comfort and her main source of comfort is a cuddle from Mum & Dad and her only means of getting that comfort is for screaming very loud so that eventually you come and she gets the comfort.

I don't like CC and wouldn't recommend it to others. I say that as someone who has used CC on my eldest when only a month older than yours.

However if you are going to use CC, it needs to be consistent.

This sounds harsh and blunt, but it I don't mean for you to take this to heart or personally. But for CC to be effective, your DD needs to learn that she will not get the comfort she seeks at sleeptime (being picked up, cuddle, breastfeed). Not ever, not at all. No matter how much or how long she screams for - that comfort will never come so therefore she needs to 'give up' and accept that she just must sleep without it. Always. Every time.

You mention one night feed. You mention sometimes picking her up (which she is supremely happy about). These things are not compatible with the controlled crying technique.

Again I will reiterate that I do not recommend CC in your case. But since it is your choice to use, my advise would be that you need to do CC properly and wholly and be consistent.

Leaving baby to scream sometimes and then at other times not only picking her up to cuddle her, but giving her a special breastfeeding cuddle - will be mixed messages and leave her confused.

An 11 month old cannot be expected to understand that sometimes she is "allowed" a breastfeed when she is upset. Sometimes she isn't. Sometimes she is "allowed" to be picked up. Sometimes she isn't. Sometimes she is "allowed" to have a cuddle, sometimes she isn't.

eepie Mon 22-Jun-15 20:43:51

Fatedestiny - thanks for your reply.. you are so right and what you said has made a lot of sense. I had never seen it in that way before. I guess I was following bad advice or incomplete advice about CC. I don't like leaving her to cry either (even for short periods) and I know she really wants the comfort...but doesn't she deserve a happy and well rested Mum as well? Not one who is not chronically sleep deprived and unable to enjoy parenting at all somedays as she is so tired, grouchy, spaced out, and arguing with her father all the time because of sleep deprivation??
It has got to the point where I feel like if I give her some comfort or reassurance she just wants more and more and more and it disturbs her sleep more and more. She begins to wake every 4 hours or less, doesn't settle well after a feed (before when I was feeding at night) if I cuddle and sleep next to her in the day bed in her room she will be content with that for 10 mins or half an hour and then she will just wake up and start climbing all over me (so much so that I'm worried she will just fall off the bed if I fall asleep so I can't sleep) or fight to get my boobs out of my top and sleep with my nipple in her mouth all night. I feel like if she had a her way at the moment we would be back to newborn -- she'd sleep next to me, tit in mouth (did I mention she has 8 teeth!) , me completely uncomfortable & hardly able to sleep at all.
I feel at my wits end and completely green with envy at anybody who is getting more than 4 hours sleep in a row, it's almost causing my relationship to disintegrate... in the VERY rare nights that I have had 6 or 7 hours in a row (when MIL has taken over at night when we were at breaking point, or when I first used CC successfully) then I feel like a new person, a better Mum and better partner to my DP and more capable of actually coping with every day stuff..I feel like a real human being again and it's addictive...I want to feel like that more often..I can't carry on in this half zombie half irritable bitch half spaced out mum state....I can't see any other way other than CC or Cry It Out as any interaction or reassurance seems to cause more agitation and upset when it is withdrawn, and my DP is bipolar so cannot really handle the nights very often as he needs regular sleep so as not to trigger BP so hard to implement any gradual gentle longer term approaches. I am desperate ! I totally understand why people just give up and do CIO. Because some nights after the 6 or 7th time of reassuring her and walking out of her room...hearing her settle herself into blissful silence for 10 or 20mins and then just as I am falling back to sleep hearing the most bloody curdling sleep imaginable, I don't even hear my darling daughter anymore I am so tired I just hear a demon-child who is being completely unreasonable as asking for more than I can give. I am starting to dread going to bed & avoiding doing things or going away to see friends because I know I can't handle it with my DD waking in the night & being awake for 2 hours !
I feel like for a year I have just been giving and giving and giving (breastfeeding and handling 90% of night wakings completely on my own) and am a SAHM looking after my DD and giving her all my attention and love all now I feel like when night time comes around I have nothing left to give & I cannot go on like this for another year ! Not even another month ! There always seems to be something that disturbs her sleep ...just as we have one or two good nights...then it goes awful again and we think it's because she has a sore throat or a tooth coming or she is ill or it's because we went away for a weekend..always something & it never settles !
It will be worse when she can call out "mama!!" Don't know what to do. sad The sound of my daughters cries are so stressful and heartbreaking but in my state at the moment it's hard not to resent her and see the screams as manipulating or her asking for "too much" as well. Especially when I go in there and then she gurgles or laughs or climbs on me and doesn't sleep. I am such a present and affectionate mother to her even though I am tired as hell...I engage with her all day long, comfort her, stimulate her through play and outings and let her blow off steam by wrestling with me and being silly...I never just sit there on my phone ignoring her I am always doing stuff WITH her & paying attention to her. Why is it not enough and why can't she just feel safe and cosy in her lovely cot & teddies..which she seems to love and happily goes to sleep in at 7pm with no fuss...WHy does she then wake in the night and scream for me until I almost let her crawl back inside my womb like a newborn bloody baby !!?!?! I don't get it ! Sorry for rant but am at my wits end. sad

Mintyy Mon 22-Jun-15 20:58:24

Controlled crying works very well for some babies. Certainly did for mine smile flowers.

Mintyy Mon 22-Jun-15 21:00:07

Have you read lots of other threads in the Sleep topic for tips? Everything is archived on Mumsnet so you will find many posts from other Mumsnetters who are going through exactly the same as you. Don't give up! You can do something about it.

yorkshirejo Tue 23-Jun-15 00:29:16

Eepie have you read Alison Scott Wright's book? I found it excellent both on practical and emotional level. There are excellent groups on Facebook where mums provide mutual support too. Blissful baby expert has fb page and replies free to all emails offering specific advice. HTH X flowers

coffeetofunction Mon 06-Jul-15 18:32:31

op I have an eleven month old too & we had a about a week of this so I feel your pain.

our DD has always been a sleeper so when this started happening I didn't know what to do....

I took everything out of the cot (no stimulation), reduced blankets (due to heat), & undertook CC... which I swore I'd never do.

I felt the key was to not talk to her & to ensure she wasn't distressed.

it took some doing, & we really had to stick with it.

hope you get some sleep soon thanks

overthemill Mon 06-Jul-15 18:43:42

Sounds to me that you are just so desperate that you are muddling everything up. When my dad was born she was 4 weeks prem and on midwife advice I had her sleep on top of duvet next to me with no top on so she could suckle whenever she wanted. After 4 weeks moved to Moses basket next to bed and I fed four hourly. At 12 weeks she moved into her cot in her room and I would feed her at her bedtime, at my bedtime and at round 5 am. Wake up time in our house was 6.30. At her bedtime she had a mobile on which played an irritating nursery rhyme but it signalled bedtime. Prior to that she had bath ( later on it was bath bottle book bed).
When she was in cot she slept through from my bed time ( about 11) until 5.30 or sometimes 6.30. If I went into her for anything
other than feed I didn't talk to her or pick her up. I checked nappy for example but didn't speak. She was a fantastic sleeper because I trained her too be - she had no reason to do anything other than are stimulating her and responding to her with different methods all the time and as for lying down next to her to soothe her - OMG. Stop.

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