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4.5 month old nightmare sleeper - cant cope anymore!

(38 Posts)
mariloulou Mon 15-Jun-15 07:21:30

I have my other thread "4.5 month old would you do cc" - and after much response I fully accept that cc is not the way to go right now.

BUT DD2 is going from bad to worse...shes gone from waking every 2 hours.... to 1 hour and last night literally every 20 minutes until I caved in at 2.15am in utter desperation for sleep and brought her in bed with me. Initially I thought sod it, ill feed to sleep and co sleep to get through this regression. But im 5 weeks in now and im losing the will to live. She wakes countless times during the evening, the come my bedtime she wakes more frequently and I feel like I spend so much time trying to get her to sleep for her only to sleep for 20-30mins! I was on the brink of tears last night because im just so tired and fed up. I barely see DH, he has been giving his marching orders to the sofa, which I hate. My poor other DD has to cope with a mardy mum the next day and I just have no patience with anyone.
I thought I could ride it through but in 3 weeks im back to working a 30 hour week.
I really need some help, what else can I do? Heres what ive tried so far.... shush pat, lullaby apps, piece of clothing in cot, white noise, dummy...
I know her 10-15 times a night wakings are because she can't drift back off without assistance. Im not sure she was even that hungry last night either.
help help help

ForEverythingAReason Mon 15-Jun-15 09:58:05

Hi OP! That sounds so hard. I am no expert (ftm to 6mo) but don't want to read and run.

Are you EBF? If so, is your DD feeding a lot through the night? If she isn't or if you are ff, can you switch with your DH some night to catch up on some sleep? I read that sometimes babies are strangely more settled when their primary caregiver is not around.

Also, I found out accidentally that a change in routine at bedtime seemed to stop my DD waking for no apparent reason at the same time each night. She used to wake every morning at 3am and take ages to re-settle. We went away for a few days and the new surroundings and new routine seemed to jolt DD out of the regular waking. Someone said that a change of routine can do that.

I'm sure you've thought of this but do you think your DD could have reflux? That might explain the poor sleep.

FATEdestiny Mon 15-Jun-15 11:10:47

Why is co-sleeping 'giving in'?

If it was me I would invest in a super kingsized bed, have DH back in the family bed and embrace cosleeping.

Are you breastfeeding and if so how precious about it are you? I'd try for a 7ox bottle of formula (given by DH) at baby's bedtime then another 7oz bottle of formula at 11pm (again given by DH) and have DH in charge of the baby until 11pm when he goes to bed. That at least means you get a chunk of sleep.

Keep going with the dummy - it is worth it.

Feed more frequently through the daytime - 2 hourly?

Ensure regular sleep through the daytime, even if short. 30-45 minutes sleep in every 1.5-2hours through the day. Bouncy chair for daytime naps.

ForEverythingAReason Mon 15-Jun-15 11:45:22

Shocking as this might be to some, I would 100% not choose to co-sleep either FATE. An awful lot of MN posters seem to think co-sleeping is the silver bullet for sleep. Of course it is wonderful for some parents and their DC, but for others it means uncomfortable, disturbed sleep and no more of it! Sometimes, (as with the OP's DH), someone has to leave the bed and sleep on the sofa which for a lot of people is not ideal. Also, like it or not, there are certain risks associated with it for some people. I know this is an unpopular POV on MN but there you are.

I would never tell anyone not to co-sleep, but I kind of object to every other comment on here being someone suggesting the OP can solve all their woes by co-sleeping and implying they are a bit silly for not wanting to or even (gasp) listening to the mainstream advice on safe sleep.

Sorry OP - massively projecting. You may feel totally differently than I do.

sleeponeday Mon 15-Jun-15 11:53:55

I co-slept and still am, BUT: it is not for everyone. If it gets you through, fab. If not, don't do it. From your posts, I think your priority now needs to be your own sanity and your own ability to function, because you are the person caring for both kids in the days.

I don't like controlled crying and have not and would not. But I am a stay at home parent, with family help, an older child of school age so I can nap with the baby, and comfy with co-sleeping. if I had no family backup, an older child still at home, and worked, I would do it and feel no guilt. The evidence that it harms is taken from extreme orphanage levels of neglect, not loving parenting, and you have to balance the cost to the older child of a cranky, exhausted mother, too.

Can you buy in a day's childcare just to sleep in? Is that in any way affordable - both children, I mean? That could give you the respite you absolutely do need. Could your DH give that to you one full weekend day - as in, take the kids out - just for the next few months?

If you have to do CC just to make it through, do it. Your kids need a mother who can function, and they will also need your salary. Sometimes parenting isn't about ideal, but about best in the circumstances. You have to apply your own oxygen mask in order to apply theirs, so to speak, and sleep deprivation can be really dangerous on all kinds of fronts.

mariloulou Mon 15-Jun-15 14:06:38

Thanks for replies.
foreverything-she slept well enough up til 4 months so im not sure its reflux, it's mainly this bloody regression!
Fate-im not against co sleeping, i totally get why people do it, but for me, my family, babies, children should be in their bed and i share my bed with my husband. I feel anxious and uncomfortable and often wake with a dead arm when kiddies are in bed!
sleeponeday-your right, im losing the plot. Im absolutely dreading bedtime and it's only 2pm! I occasionally have help from friends, partners family and ill sleep when i can but nightime remains a problem that won't go away. It seems minor when i step back, shes young, just a baby who needs my love but at the time after hours of battling with her it feels like its the worst thing ever. I wish there was an easy fix, i want to help my daughter sleep and make life easier but dont know how!

BiscuitMillionaire Mon 15-Jun-15 14:11:38
Their book is very good. Could you afford to get some individual help from them?

Pestopanini Mon 15-Jun-15 15:58:20

I could have written this post until very recently. My dd's regression started at about 3.5 months and its now starting to get better at 5 months. I scoured the internet and read a number of books for anything that might help. My dd was waking every 30-45 mins without fail and could not get through a sleep cycle without some assistance getting back off to sleep. In the end I brought her into bed with me and she slept in my arms fairly well. I really didn't like doing this though and co-sleeping definitely was not for me.

I always fed my dd to sleep and that was the first thing I cut out completely. At bedtime I feed before changing her and then place her awake in the cot. I play a lullaby and lie on the bed next to her until she falls asleep. At first this was met with crying as she had never fallen asleep in her cot awake before. I would let her cry but lie with her holding her hand and talking to her softly. She very rarely cries now going into the cot; the lullaby or having a story read in a soft voice is usually enough. It only took a couple of weeks for this to work.

My dd always had her naps in the pram and she could sleep really well in the pram (2 hours at a time). I think it was because it was cosy as it had a cover and she was strapped in. I tried to get her to have naps in her cot but she would always wake after 30-45 mins.

Last week I read a post somewhere on mumsnet about the sleepyhead which you can get in John Lewis. In desperation I ordered one online (not cheap at £150). First night I put dd in it she slept from 6.30pm to 3.30am. She had never, not once slept this long in her life. Second night not as good she woke 3 times but still had long stretches between wake ups, which had it not been for the 9 hour sleep the night before I would have been amazed at. For the last couple of days she has also napped in her cot and had longer naps.

I think we might finally be getting somewhere. I hope this helps.

FATEdestiny Mon 15-Jun-15 18:41:06

Sorry OP - massively projecting

Jezz, yes you are ForEverythingAReason

Not least because I actually do not advocate co-sleeping. Have not co-slept with my children and if other things would work I would generally always (I can use bold to make a non-point too) recommend those first.

I answer lots and lots of threads on the sleep board and never leave anything unanswered on this board. Co-sleeping is most definitely not the usual answer on here, definitely (another great use of bold to make a point there) not by me.

I am neither anti nor pro co-sleeping. I jut try to answer sleep threads with useful help and my opinions.

In the OPs post, since the OP seems to have tried almost everything (including my staple answer of dummy and shush pat) - I made an attempt to help by saying what I would do in the OPs situation. If nothing else works, I would co-sleep for the sake of my sanity. I guess you ForEverythingAReason would rather just deal with the crying and no sleep if nothing else is working?

Every other comment on the sleep board is NOT to co-sleep. No need to project. All advise (even mine smile) is welcome here.

FATEdestiny Mon 15-Jun-15 18:45:52


Have you thought about a side-car cot?

Take one side off your cot and butt it up to your bed. At least it means you can deal with the settling while lying down in bed rather than getting up. It might be a good middle ground where baby gets to have her won space (and so do you), but you can still reach her easily.

what does her daytime sleep and feeding routine look like?

FATEdestiny Mon 15-Jun-15 18:46:51

won own space

girliefriend Mon 15-Jun-15 18:57:03

Hi Mari I replied on your other thread, sorry to hear things are still tough.

Have your spoken to G.p or HV for some rl advice? I am not an expert but your dd sounds extreme even for the 4 month sleep regression.

I am not a fan of cosleeping wither but can completely understand why you are at the moment.

Its really difficult to advice without knowing if there is a reason for the constant waking. How is she during the day? How many weeks is she now?

ForEverythingAReason Mon 15-Jun-15 18:59:15

My apologies FATE - I did have a bit of a rant there and it really wasn't directed at you personally flowers. I was totally projecting which I admit freely and apologise for.

ForEverythingAReason Mon 15-Jun-15 19:02:55

I can use bold to make a non-point too

This however was bitchy, off topic and unnecessary.

mariloulou Mon 15-Jun-15 20:11:23

Pesto how long did it take for your dd to fall asleep when you first put her down awake? Tonight i was able to put her down awake (purely accidently, she didnt fall asleep with her feed) she moaned abit but drifted off with my hand on her. This was at 7pm and she has just woken now, dummy in..back to sleep. What I don't understand is why she is waking.
Her daytime naps have increased recently. Shell have about a 1.5 in the morning, 1hr in afternoon and 30-45 mins waking at about 4pm. Her feedinghas decrdecreased actually. She will quite happily wait 4 hours but sometimes not even want a bottle then? She has about 4-5 5oz bottles in 24hrs.
i have seen just today seen side carring, may try that next. Her cot is already right up to my side of the bed already though and at the same level.
She is 19weeks now. If nothing at all improves in max 2 weeks ill have to contact hv because to me it just doesn't seem normal sad

mariloulou Mon 15-Jun-15 20:12:51

To add - during the day she is so so happy. A real joy to be with, you would never know she doesn't sleep!

FoylesForBooks Mon 15-Jun-15 20:15:03

At that age I would diagnose teething and try calpol before bed and see if it helps. Not for ever of course, but if teething is the problem then it'll help and won't harm for a few days.

mariloulou Mon 15-Jun-15 20:15:20

Pesto can you tell me more about this sleepy head? Im not sure what im searching for x

mariloulou Mon 15-Jun-15 20:16:12

Foyles - quite sure shes teething, gave calpol tonight, will see if it makes a difference

LovelyWeatherForDucks Mon 15-Jun-15 20:28:28

Sounds hellish, similar to how DS was, we didn't manag to fix it until about 8 months when we got a sleep consultant in. We had some minor success with 'shh pat' though. With the sleep expert, Step 1 was ditch the dummy, step 2 was gentle CC (ie not leaving him alone) but as you know best to wait til at least 6 months. I'm due with DC2 next month and have invested in a bedside crib and a sleepyhead (search on John Lewis for it) which has amazing reviews and I would have snapped one up if they had existed when DS1 was tiny! Now aged 2.5 he sort of sleeps ok....!!

LovelyWeatherForDucks Mon 15-Jun-15 20:30:10

PS found that when teething, Boots granules or Anbesol solution worked well, often the taste would distract him from fighting sleep and he'd stop crying and settle.

DuchessOfWeaseltown Mon 15-Jun-15 20:35:42

OP - no idea if you've mentioned this in your other thread and/or if you're dead set against it for any reason BUT... have you considered a dummy...?

I know some LOs don't take them and I know some parents don't like them and I think (though could be wrong) that they're not advised in early stages of bfing as they may cause confusion (I didn't bf so please don't accept my word on this!!!!!)

BUT... I had a bad non-sleeper too and without the dummy I would literally have lost the plot.

Yes it's proving a nightmare for us to drop the bloody thing (DD is now 2.3) BUT I still thank my lucky stars that she took a dummy because I was cracking up; all the annoyance of still having the dummy (and tbf plenty of other toddlers do manage to drop the dummy OK) is worth it for the couple of years of sanity it bought me on the sleep front.

Anyway there may be all kinds of perfectly decent reasons why you're not using one but just wanted to suggest it in case it could possibly be the silver bullet for you
xx I know how hard it is xx

PterodactylTeaParty Mon 15-Jun-15 20:38:51

Sidecar bedside cot got me through the 4-month sleep regression (waking every 45 minutes for weeks - I was about to lose my mind and/or walk out in front of a bus).

We also started doing shifts, so DH would take her first thing in the morning before going to work and I'd get an hour or too of uninterrupted sleep time. Is something like that a possibility?

DuchessOfWeaseltown Mon 15-Jun-15 20:39:58

Oh God, OP, am so soryr ahve just re-read and seen that you have tried a dummy without success


fwiw we actually took it a step further with dummy as we had another problem where DD kept losing it in her cot at night and then waking to need another... we used a Sleepytot bunny, you attach a dummy to each pf 4 little velcro paws and then even a small baby should be able to reach out in the night and find a dummy more easily... DD now loves her bunny like no other (he has become her lovey, which - I must be honest - is part of the reason we are having a hard time ditching the dummy - but one problem at a time!!!)

Something similar could be worth it if one of the issues is that the dummy just causes more of a problem because LO can't find it in the middle of the night...

Though I accept it is perfecty sound advice to do the opposite and try to ditch the dummy completely... still, in our partic case, that didn't help so MORE dummies, attached to cuddly bunny thing, were really our only option at that point...

don't know if that helps!!!

Pestopanini Mon 15-Jun-15 20:57:29

When I started putting dd down in her cot awake it took quite a while (up to half an hour). There was a lot of crying and I at first tried pick up put down (see baby whisperer technique) but this just infuriated her. I found that letting her cry but holding her hand and saying softly "I'm here, it's ok" was better. At first she cried a lot and would eventually fall asleep but now there is virtually no crying at all. I put her in the cot with the lullaby and lights from a light up elephant (think it's called a slumber buddy) which I bought in toys r us for about £15. I use the same tune every night so that she knows it's bed time. I read that going into the cot awake was one of the most important things for sleeping well. I am so glad that I persevered with this as now she is very easy to put to bed.

The sleepyhead is essentially a mattress topper that fits in the cot. It comes in two sizes and I bought the second size (8months to 3 years) even though dd is only 5 months as it was expensive I didn't want to waste money on something she would grow out of very quickly. She is fine in the second size. It is oval shaped with a bumper all the way round, basically makes baby feel more cocooned. If you search on john lewis website for "sleepyhead grand" you will find the one I bought. The smaller size is a sleepyheads deluxe. The reviews on john lewis and Amazon were what convinced me to get it as it got really excellent reviews.

I have watched dd on video monitor and usually after 45 mins her arms would flail around and she would start rubbing her eyes and she just couldn't settle herself. With the sleepyhead, her arms just touch the sides and I guess she feels like she is being held. Her arms barely move and she stays asleep. I am only on my third night tonight so can't speak for the long term effect, however the first two nights were amazing in comparison to how she was sleeping. I actually couldn't believe she had slept for nine hours straight.

I should say I also tried shush pat and found it could work but dd came to rely on it and it could take twenty mins to settle her each time she woke. I got so little sleep because after all that effort to get her settled she woke literally half an hour later. I gave it up and focused on settling her awake in cot, with as minimal intervention as possible so that when she woke in the night she wouldn't need that same intervention.

Good luck I really totally understand what you're going through and hope that it improves very soon.

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