Desperate. Changes need making!(6 Posts)
Not my first thread on here!
Ok, so DD: 7 months, never slept well. She's ebf, refuses a bottle. I have always fed her to sleep.
The last month has seen things get worse. We've got into a pattern where she settles in her cot for the first part of the night, and then comes in with me (I sleep in her room) for the second part. She just will not settle into her cot. Even sleeping with me, she'll still wake up sometimes and cry. So I give in and feed her. Because it's easiest to do. Because I'm so exhausted that I can't even bring myself to sit up sometimes, let alone stand up.
I know I have made a rod for my own back and that I'll probably get flamed by some of you. In my defense, 7 months of shit sleep just drives you to do what you have to do in order to survive.
But I can't keep doing this.
I want my bed back.
I want my evenings back.
I want us both to sleep again!
I really don't want to do CIO. But gentle techniques don't seem to be working too well. I know I need to be consistent. Problem is that requires energy which I quite simply do not have! But I know I need to do it.
Any words of advice or support to get me started would be hugely appreciated. Right now I'm on my third feed of the night. Keep waiting till she's in a deep sleep, transfer her...and she wakes. Been well over an hour. It's ridiculous!
I have been exactly where you are.
You WILL get your bed back. You WILL get your evenings back. You WILL both sleep again.
...just maybe not right now. I know that's not what you want to hear. And I really really do understand the exhaustion. Your LO is only 7 months old though.
I went completely mental around that time (my LO is nearly 10months now). I realised a big part of the problem was all the pressure and 'advice' on what my baby 'should' be doing.
There is a huge amount of pressure that babies should be sleeping through the night, on their own. You are not 'giving in' by feeding her. If she needs to feed/be comforted by you, and it means you both get some sleep. Brilliant.
How's she getting on with weaning?
I found that, contrary to what EVERYONE told me, my LO got worse not better when he started on solids, as he refused some milk feeds during the day and wanted to catch up at night.
How are nap times?
You mention that she settles in her cot for the first part of the night...so does she go into her cot awake?
Any words of advice or support to get me started would be hugely appreciated.
What kind of advise are you after Purple? You have a lovely answer above that is absolutely right, you can just stop stressing about what you 'should' be doing and instead embrace what you are doing without trying to change things.
Alternatively, you do not need to feel bad or guilty for wanting some freedom and space from your baby. Your own bed, your own time in the evening and some sleep are all perfectly OK things to expect with a 7 month old.
So it's fine to bite the bullet and go "Right, that's it. The time has come where something must be done about this".
Right now I'm on my third feed of the night. Keep waiting till she's in a deep sleep, transfer her...and she wakes. Been well over an hour. It's ridiculous!
That sounds like the Pick Up Put Down method. I'm not a fan because not only it is really hard to put down a sleeping baby, it also doesn't teach much long-term, because baby wonders why she isn't in your arms still as soon as she gets to a sleep-cycle end.
Instead I would work on ways to settle her to sleep in the cot. You always being there, reassuring, firm hand on chest. Patting, shushing, calm words, stroking, tickling - whatever is needed to help her calm and sooth and (eventually) go to sleep.
Hard work at first, but teaching her to go to sleep in her cot is the first step towards a bit of personal space for you.
Yep, I'm with FATE, that's where I was headed with my questions about naptimes and bedtimes as, for me, these were the best times to start teaching my LO to self settle.
If your DD is already settling herself in her cot at nap/bedtime, then definitely start trying to be consistent with this at night too. But, be gentle on yourself, if one night goes really badly and you are just too tired and need to take the easy option...do it, try again when you feel better.
I saw your post on another thread that your DD is not eating much food yet (completely fine at this age btw). So if you feel confident that she's had plenty of milk throughout the day and is not hungry, you could start nightweaning. Get your OH involved to help as they won't smell of milk!
It took about a week for my DS but now he doesn't want a feed until 4/5am, so my OH helps with the earlier resettles. Slowly but surely he is now sleeping better, doing 7-4 roughly every other night now, so there is hope! (probably would have been a lot sooner if it wasn't for the constant bloody coughs, colds and teething!!)
It's such a relief to not feel like I'm the only one who can resettle him now. If I need an evening off, my OH can be in charge.
Keep reminding yourself of your end goal as it will initially feel like things are a bit worse, but then suddenly you'll start to have a bit of time to yourself again.
Good luck xx
From my experience, getting them to settle in the cot is exhausting and mentally draining - but is really worth it. I think I went a bit batty when I was doing it as I felt I was spending all of my time bending over the cot shushing, patting, stroking.... So two pieces of advice - get a chair or comfy place to sit while you shush etc and listen to an audiobook or some music (using headphones). Wish I had done this last one as it would have felt like a little bit of 'me' time.
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