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Please help - getting desperate

(28 Posts)
ToonLass Tue 23-Jun-15 09:42:12

Everyone tells you it will get better, that this is just a phase, but DD is 8 months this week and each 'phase' seems to be worse than the last.

Sorry this is going to end up a long post - thanks if you read it and can offer any advice.

DD has never been a great sleeper, we've had some (very) brief spells of her only getting up twice a night, but generally she is up 3 times on a very good night, and about 10 times on a bad night.

She's ebf and has 3 meals a day. She typically takes 4/5 feeds from me during the day, and a further 3 during the night. She has always been quite unsettled, especially as a newborn. Certainly, she seems more content for longer spells during the day, but has such a temper and can go from smiling and giggling one second to screaming the next. She's very attached to me and doesn't settle very well for other people when she's upset.

Naps are always a struggle too - I've resigned myself to rocking her in her pram for her naps to get her to sleep (usually accompanied by tears!) as she will sleep longer than the 30mins she manages in her cot. Similarly in her pram, I need to be there after 30 mins to rock her back to sleep when she starts rousing. If I can get her back over she can then go on to sleep another hour.

We have had the same bedtime routine since she was about 2 months on. She currently gets her dinner (solids) around 5/5.30 (she usually wakes from her last nap around 3/4 when I'll feed her myself). At 6.15 we'll strip her off and let her roll about naked - she loves this! At 6.30 we do quiet time with stories etc, 6.45 we'll do bath and pyjamas (she always gets upset when getting into her pyjamas - had done since birth!), I'll feed her at 7 and more often than not she'll fall asleep during this feed and I'll put her in her cot. If she doesn't fall asleep, I'll give her a kiss and cuddle and put her in her cot before leaving. She'll wait a maximum of 5/10 mins before crying.

She won't take a dummy (have tried nearly every brand available!) but does have a wee blanket she likes cuddling into, I give it her when I feed her at night in the vain hope she'll associate it will drifting off to sleep - no luck yet!! She will, however, suck my pinky to get her to sleep. This results in a very sore back from stooping over cot.

I typically feed her at 11/2/5 and then she's awake for the day at 7. She can be up twice between feeds, I use my pinky to get her back over, or pick her up and she'll fall asleep on my shoulder. Sometimes it takes 5 mins, sometimes 30. If her Dad goes in to settle her she gets even more upset and just screams until I can't take anymore and go and take her.

I'm so tired, my back is really sore, and I'm starting back to work soon. ( going back reduced hours thankfully!) last night I ended up sleeping in spare bed with her, I did get a bit more sleep but am conscious of the consequences of this long term.

I've not tried sleep training as such. I don't think I could stand any method which meant leaving her to cry - even short periods. I also worry on are there's a REASON she's so unsettled during the night. Certainly, she is very windy during the night, Nd when I pick her up she often lets out quite a few farts! She's also teething just now. Just seems like there's always something I can blame it on.

During the day I always feel quite positive - maybe TONIGHT she'll sleep a bit better. At night though I am getting so so angry. It's not healthy, but I just don't know the best way to tackle it.

Can anyone offer any kind of advice? Have you been here before and if so, what helped (if anything??).

If you've got to end of this - well done and thank you!!

Thatsmyboys Tue 23-Jun-15 09:54:18

Oh bless you. It's hard isn't it!

What are you feeding her in the day? Is she getting enough carbs at her last meal? I'd limit fruit at this meal too to stop night time pooing/wind.

I'm afraid I've always used C/C for mine. Couple of nights of pain and then it's fine.

Is she still in with you?

ToonLass Tue 23-Jun-15 10:08:23

Thanks so much for reading and replying!

She has just started to eat quite a lot more. So for her last meal she'll either have what we are having - meat/veg/potatoes etc and she'll just pick away at it, or if we are having something she can't have (a lazy dinner eg) she'll get a pouch of Ella's kitchen - she'll have nearly the whole pouch. She doesn't typically get fruit except in her breakfast in the morning and sometimes mixed in with yogurt as a snack. I've also tried to feed her more during the day but she's not usually interested.

I've left her to cry on a few occasions - it's been necessary as I've had to get away and calm down. Her crying is nothing but hysterical, she can make herself stick and the sight of her tear streaked face is heartbreaking. As I said, I also worry she in pain/uncomfortable and I wouldn't want to put her through that if that's the case.

In saying that, I feel I am coming to the end of my coping reserves and may have to be more tough sad

Greenstone Tue 23-Jun-15 10:12:04

Oh gosh, can't offer any advice, just solidarity. Our babies sound really similar in terms of routine, solids intake, personality and so on.

DD2 is a week off 8 months and same kind of story going on - spells of good sleep with just 2 wakes for food, and then other times up and down all evening and night. I also go through spells of convincing myself of all sorts of reasons why she won't sleep - e.g. 'is she CMPI?' etc.

Anyway, last night was a good night - asleep at 7.30pm, 2 wakes for a feed and up for the day at 6.30. I feel positive today (as opposed to stressed and angry).

I've come to the conclusion that colds and teething have played a huge part in the crap sleep of the last few weeks and that the misery of both shouldn't be underestimated for a small baby. DD has been a snot factory of late and has also just cut her first tooth. She's also going to start properly crawling any second.

I am clinging to the hope that by 10/11 months or very latest 13/14 months DD will be so active by day that she will just be too zonked to be waking constantly - probably not sleeping through the whole night, just sleeping for reliably longer stretches.

I think you're not really doing anything 'wrong'. Yes it would be great if she napped in her cot, but as long as she's getting enough daytime sleep who cares where it happens. Yes it would amazing if she would suck a dummy instead of your pinky, so no harm still trying to make that happen. But otherwise, I just don't know. Maybe try dinner at 4.30pm instead of 5/5.30. We did an earlier dinner last night - maybe that helped? <baffled shrug>

Laquila Tue 23-Jun-15 10:26:43

I just wanted to say that my son was similar in terms of sleep pattern around that age and we tried a lot of different tactics (although never did proper cc) and at around ten months he suddenly "got it" and has literally slept through since then, bar some hiccups with teething/illness/occasional grumpy or mardy phases. We didn't change a thing - he just decided he could sleep through and didn't need overnight feeds! I'm not saying this is exactly what'll happen for you, but I just wanted to say that sometimes it's nothing to do with you, it's just one of those things they have to sort out themselves. I reckon baby sleep is about 15% what you can do to help then learn the skills they need, and 85% sheer bloody luck/temperament!

stowbeau Tue 23-Jun-15 10:27:54

Ahhggg poor you! I am having similar problems with my 8 month old daughter - I'm currently reading the No Cry Sleep Solution which has some very good advice.

Currently I'm trying to do everything possible to encourage her to fall asleep without any help and to sleep for longer naps. Proving difficult though, and she now has a cold so feel we've gone a bit backwards.

Reading your post above - during the night can she only sleep if she's sucking something? Be it a finger or breast? If that's the case then that's whst to concentrate on - re teaching her that she can fall asleep without these props (sorry if that's stating the frustratingly obvious)!

The book I refernced has some very good tips about breaking these associations.

My DD doesn't associate sucking with sleeping but still wakes about every two hours, we do shush pat & she usually goes straight back to sleep (though sometimes there's an hour of screaming!!) - I wonder if she thinks she can only go back to sleep with shushing & patting!

Very very tired & frustrated!

FATEdestiny Tue 23-Jun-15 10:28:20

last night I ended up sleeping in spare bed with her, I did get a bit more sleep but am conscious of the consequences of this long term.

Do you mean you were in a bed (the spare bed) and she was in her cot? If so, please explain what you fear in terms of consequences here, because I don't understand any problem?

I get that co-sleeping can be habit forming. But being in your own space in your bed, while she is also in her own space in her cot, but you are nearby so that you can respond to her quicker and get more sleep. I don't understand.

You are not the first person I have read posts from who worry about sleeping in the same room as their non-sleeping-through baby, so you are not alone. But I really don't understand what perceived (bad?) consequences this may cause.

For what it's worth, I have never co-slept (aside from the odd night here and there) with any of my 4 children. They've all been in their own cot from birth. But I have kept the cot in my room until they are sleeping the night. I cannot think of any terrible 'consequences' from doing this. Aside from my first-born (with whom I made several sleep mistakes), They've all slept well, gone into their own rooms easily, self-soothed (with dummy) without crying and so on. I therefore wonder what consequences you are conscious of?

ToonLass Tue 23-Jun-15 10:31:49

Thank you Green - nice to know we're not alone!

Have tried dinner at different times but doesn't seem to make a blind bit of deference! We are going to be teeth 5&6 (they always seems to come in pairs!) and I know they are bothering her. Nurofen seems to help, but trying to get it into her is like WW3 so try to avoid it haha.

I always ending up feeling so rubbish for the anger I have towards her during the night. I know she's not doing it on purpose, I'm sure she'd love a full night sleep as much as me!!

Greenstone Tue 23-Jun-15 10:39:26

Oh me too Toon, I'm a monster at night by the umpteenth wake up. It's a lonely place to be and hard to keep perspective.
If you are on teeth 5/6 you'd really have to hope that you're due some peace once they're through. That's hard going for your dd!

Also, great and lovely post from Laquila - and I have to say my dd1 was also a very poor sleeper initially (maybe not quite as rageful as dd2 because she had learned to suck her thumb by this age) and sure enough, things got a lot better by about 10 months and she started sleeping through between 12/13 months. Since then she's been the best little sleeper around and never gives us any trouble at night.

ToonLass Tue 23-Jun-15 12:18:32

Sorry, should have maybe been a bit more clear - I slept in the spare bed WITH my daughter last night. Feel there's more space rather than the three of us squeeze in in my own bed. She has been in her own room since she was too big for her Moses basket - so around 5 months. No space in our room for the cot unfortunately

FATEdestiny Tue 23-Jun-15 13:59:56

Oh I see, so it's the co-sleeping that you don't want to do. That's fair enough and your prerogative.

Maybe sleeping in the room with her, but not co-sleeping, could help you get more sleep?

I don't suppose you have a drop-side cot? I can lie on my bed and with the dropside lowered on the cot (it drops one side by about 15cm) can just (^just^!) reach DD with the mattress on the lowest setting. It means I can do some general settling without sitting up or opening my eyes.

Even without the dropside down, if your spare bed is next to the cot then it might just mean leaning into the cot from lying down. Easier on your back I would imagine than bending over the cot from standing.

These aren't really ideas to solve anything, but just to make life a bit easier for you.

ToonLass Tue 23-Jun-15 14:06:22

Unfortunately there's no room in my bedroom for the cot, or in the spare room! Quite a small house with cosy rooms.

Would have loved a cot that can be right beside me but unfortunately not possible sad

ToonLass Wed 24-Jun-15 08:27:48

She fed every two hours last night - she's just taking the Micky now!

LetThereBeCupcakes Wed 24-Jun-15 09:07:14

Hi Toon - Your DD sounds EXACTLY like my DS at that age. Right down to the screaming when going into PJs.

Green very briefly mentioned CMPI - this turned out to be the issue for us, though it wasn't diagnosed until 14 months. On day 20 of diary free he slept through the night for the first time. He's now 2.5 and is doing really well, aside from the expected hiccups when's he's poorly etc.

Have you tried keeping a food diary to see if there's any connection between a worse night and what's she's eating?

Re: Co-Sleeping. As FATE said it's obviously up to you if you'd rather not - but are you resisting doing it because you are worried about the consequences? Because I think you should consider the benefits of actually being able to get some sleep (especially since you're returning to work) and the "risk" of her getting into "bad habits". I say that, because she is still so little, and in many cultures co-sleeping is the norm. If you don't WANT to co-sleep then obviously that's different - I did it for a while when I really needed sleep but hated it - I need my space!

Needsweetstosurvive Wed 24-Jun-15 10:47:41

Cupcakes, I've PMed you, hope you don't mind!

ToonLass Wed 24-Jun-15 13:14:08

Thanks cupcakes, I appreciate your advice.

When DD was approx 4 months old I cut out all dairy from my diet for 6 weeks. There was no notable difference and when I started eating dairy again she didn't seem affected.

A food diary is a great idea though - will start that today smile

WoollyHooligan Wed 24-Jun-15 20:29:24

I don't have any advice I'm afraid, I just wanted to say that you could be describing my just turned 8mo DD!

It's so hard, isn't it. Mine won't sleep any longer than 45 mins during the day & wakes every 2 hours in the night (it was every hour until about a month ago) & nine times out of ten will only go back to sleep with my nipple in her mouth.

The only thing that has worked so far has been co-sleeping as I physically could not get out of bed every hour in the night. I can't leave her to cry either as she wakes 3yo DS who then starts wailing too!

Like I said, no advice, just sending you sleep vibes & the hope that they just click and sleep through soon smile

ToonLass Wed 24-Jun-15 20:37:09

Thanks Woolly.

Just had a nightmare getting her to sleep - didn't fall asleep when I fed her and wanted to suck my pinky to sleep. My back is absolutely killing me from twisting and bending and so eventually I had to withdraw it. I tried picking her up, cuddling, singing, patting but nothing would stop the screaming. I eventually gave in again and gave her my pinky and she went to sleep eventually. I know I'm just making it worse for myself.

I'm at work tomorrow morning at 8 and so I may take her into the spare bed with me again when she wakes as need to feel human!!

blueduvet Wed 24-Jun-15 21:01:15

I'm sorry I've got no advice but my 1 year old is the same. It's very depressing not getting more than a couple of hours, sometimes an hour sleep in one go.

I'm bf and co-sleeping. I'd be up and down like a bloody yoyo if I didn't.

My baby has got CMPI so this thread did make me think again about food intolerances.

Just wanted to say you're not alone and it won't be anything you're doing wrong.

ToonLass Wed 24-Jun-15 21:48:40

Thanks blue, it's nice to know I'm not alone. What were your LO's symptoms for CMPI?

I know I need to teach DD how to self settle, it will be beneficial to both of us. She's so tired and grumpy through the day - and so am I!! It will do us the world of good to get some quality sleep.

Pickyknicks Thu 25-Jun-15 08:44:35

Hello, just to say me too (though actually even worse I think) and this is the third one I've had-all have been dreadful, but this one is not even consistent! I do co sleep - would die otherwise. V worried about starting back at work (full time) soon. Last time my mother stepped in as I got v depressed largely I think because of exhaustion. But my others didn't sleep properly hntil about 2 years. Brilliant since then... Sending sympathy!!

blueduvet Thu 25-Jun-15 09:16:58

ToonLass it was really manky, green, mucousy nappies which smelt of acid. Plus really bad reflux. I stopped eating dairy and soya and the nappies became normal.

FATEdestiny Thu 25-Jun-15 11:15:56

To be fair all of my children have had times (sometimes extended periods) of green nappies, often mucousy. They have never had any allergies or intolerances. I think green is quite normal on the spectrum of poo colour, especially in newborns.

However I can't say I recall a smell alongside the green mucously poo. So maybe that's not so 'normal'.

LetThereBeCupcakes Thu 25-Jun-15 11:20:48

It sucks, doesn't it? Always being exhausted, never really knowing if there's something wrong. Wondering what you should be doing. Picky I am in awe of you for doing it 3 times with bad sleepers! I've met so many parents who've not had any more children after they've had a bad sleeper.

blue's LO has pretty much the same symptoms that my DS had when the CMPI really started to flare up.

MadgeMak Thu 25-Jun-15 11:32:10

Personally I would co sleep if it means you all get better sleep. Don't worry about creating bad habits, spending half the night bent double over the cot with your pinky in her mouth is a worse habit to have, must be exhausting. It won't be forever, one day she will sleep and on her own, in the interim just do whatever it takes for you all to get some sleep in the easiest and least painful way.

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