How the hell do I survive this? Need a hand hold.(44 Posts)
4 month DS is waking almost every hour after midnight.
It is killing me. Sat here in tears of exhaustion.
He is EBF and won't take a bottle. He goes down around 8pm then wakes at 12am, 2am, 3am, 4am...every hour until 7am.
This is not his usual pattern - he previously did 8pm until 6am with one or two feeds.
When he wakes at night I can only get him back to sleep by feeding him / rocking him.
He sleeps in his cotbed in our room. He's not too hot or cold. Our room is dark. He has a white noise thing that we play when he goes down to sleep.
I'm praying this is the four month regression or a growth spurt. I'm battling PND so finding things tough enough as it is without chronic sleep deprivation on top. I can't catch up on sleep during the day as I have toddler DD to look after.
I'm sure he's getting to the lighter part of his sleep cycle, waking and not being able to settle himself again. But this doesn't help solve the problem
How do I get through this? Will it ever end? Is there anything I can do? Any advice or hand holding would be gratefully received.
I'm in the same position with my 5.5 mo dd (and posted something similar a few days ago). She wakes after an hour or less and takes anything from 30 - 60 mins of feeding then rocking to go back to sleep. Then she wakes up again when I put her down in her crib.
No advice I'm afraid. But hand holding and sympathy.
Have you tried keeping the white noise on during the night, so it's still on when he's attempting to move between sleep cycles? It might not make any difference ( we have white noise on all night and it's clearly not helping here), but might be worth a go.
Do you have a dp? We started to take turns - night on night off, sleep downstairs on sofa with ear plugs - when we had those phases of poor sleeping. If breast feeding just do the actual feed but not the settling/changing etc. It doesn't last but it is hell - even without pnd!!!
And/or do you have friends who can have toddler for a couple of hours? Can you get other help, like a cleaner for a few weeks? Maybe do only things that are minimum effort for you, like play centres /play groups during the day?
My ds was like this from about 4 months, you have my sympathies, it's awful. It did get better as he got bigger. I never figured out how to cure it but felt slightly better if I brought him into my bed and fed lying down - I could go straight back to sleep and he'd just boob away by himself. It's not for everyone, but might help you get a little bit more sleep?
Possibly not what you want to hear but only because you said PND is in the mix, I think you need to make every effort to get your ds on to the bottle. I had PND twice. The first time I didn't know any better and soldiered on through with the breast feeding and it is ultimately what broke me. It was horrendous. You're saying he won't take the bottle. I've read before that if a baby is hungry it will feed, from anything (take proper advice obv that though!). It will be horrible and distressing for you going through the transition but he won't remember a thing. Once he's on the bottle you can establish a good routine with your partner and do the feeds 50/50 over night, on weekends (if poss in your situation). Presuming your ds is otherwise healthy, looking after yourself while you've got PND has to come first and foremost, you are no good to anyone otherwise.
Lots of and for you. I was exactly the same with dd. It was horrendous, I had pnd as well and the exhaustion just adds to how awful you feel.
It gets better though. I know it sounds ages away but my dd started sleeping through reliably at 20mo and looking back, this coincided with all her teeth coming through.
I co-slept with dd when she needed it and gave her nurafen as well (calpol didn't seem to touch it).
Try just to get through the day and nap when he naps. I think a lot of people experience this and it's really tough x
Gosh, thank you all so much for your replies. You are very kind.
(I'm on the app so can't see them all as I type this; will try and remember all the points!)
gray funny you should say that- I did just turn the white noise on again when he started stirring and he stayed asleep. Will try that again tomorrow, thank you. So sorry you're going through the same. It is utterly soul destroying.
Co-sleeping doesn't seem to work for us and I'm not sure why. I actually wake up more if he's in the bed next to me.
DH is wonderful but rubbish at settling DS I don't understand it but he is. I am trying so hard to get him onto bottles. I wish I'd never bloody breastfed him now, which makes me feel awful.
for you, it's so hard to have a bad sleeper. We have tried everything I can find and not much has made a difference to his sleep.
I've kind of accepted it and switched my focus onto how we can survive it! Here's what works for us. It hasn't made him sleep any better but it's just about saving my sanity. Most days.
In the mornings, ds wakes at 4. I keep him in bed with me until 5 the dh gets up and takes him downstairs for an hour at least, he starts working on his email (dh, not ds) and gives him breakfast. I sleep (this is the only unbroken sleep I'm getting.)
Ds is chronically tired, so I try very hard to give him two solid naps and a catnap a day. I go out with the pram or take him to bed and try to nap too
On weekends, dh and I do shifts for half a day. One looks after ds while the other sleeps
It is very difficult and I dont think there are any magic solutions. Some babies respond well to specific techniques and others don't.
Do whatever works for you. It's tough
Zaurak has some good advice on coping strategies. My Dd is also always up by 4.30 / 5 and my dh takes her from 5.30 for an hour and a half so I can sleep. I find this makes a big difference to how well I cope with the day.
Controlled crying. I did CC with DD at 4 months and it worked in one day. One day. And then she slept through 7-7 with a dream feed at 10
until teething hit.
CC is very controversial on MN and I am fully prepared to be flamed but I know plenty of people who've used it at this age (and indeed younger) in RL.
It works when you have a sleep association issue and they are waking every cycle, want to sleep but need your help. Doesn't work of course if they are hungry or in pain but yours does sound like sleep association.
I don't agree with the advice to get him on the bottle (even if that involves distressing him by keeping him hungry). If you're going to let him cry you might as well do CC which will very likely fix the sleep issue.
Poor you. That would be hard enough for anyone without PND and a toddler thrown in the mix.
It does sound like a growth spurt to me. My first was an awful sleeper throughout babyhood. DS was find but, like yours, got a bit messed up at a slightly later stage (around 5 months). I ended up weaning early. Sorry, I don't know what the guidelines are but it was 6 months when mine were small (now 7 and 12).
I did same as minipie. 4 month sleep regression lasted to almost 6 months, I had pnd and could not cope and was not enjoying it one bit. Changed everything.
We tried cc and it didn't work at all 😪 He just got himself so worked up and couldn't fall asleep at all. After several days with literally minutes sleep and him getting more and more upset I gave up.
Again, thank you all so much for taking the time to reply.
If I'm honest I'm not sure I have the balls to do CC. But then I guess I might just get to that point?
Same with getting him on the bottle. I'm going to go out on Saturday morning, not far, just into town and leave him with DH and a bottle. If the shit hits the fan then me and my boobs can come home.
Will be trying the white noise thing tonight.
I also think I'm going to wean at five months. I know it's not a sleep cure but fuck it, at the moment I'll try anything.
Because he's so tired during the day he's being really 'challenging' too. I'm trying to remember this will all one day be a distant memory but it's so hard when you're in the thick of it.
for all those living through this too.
Just done the CC - could see I was heading for trouble mentally if didn't do something so although I kept putting it off as, like you say, I didn't have the balls, I chose a date and just went for it.
As Minipie found out - went loads better that could ever have imagined, DS is much better for it. But it is controversial subject so it's not widely discussed :-/
For me it really did get to the point where I thought 'something's got to give' so that made my mind up for me really.
Can I just ask those of you who did cc - how long did it take your child to fall asleep the first few days? And how long do you keep going for?
Do you feed him to sleep? I had same issue with DS at 4 months and used gradual retreat method to get him to go to sleep by himself as he couldn't self settle. There are a couple of different sleep training methods out there that don't involve controlled crying, but I think they take longer. It took 2 weeks for DS.
He was sleeping with wakes at 11 and 4 for feeds until teething arrived recently (9 months) and now he's really unpredictable again so really feel your pain. It is horrendous when you aren't getting enough sleep, you just become an emotional wreck. Hope things improve for you soon.
Please don't do controlled crying with a four month old, it is cruel. Research shows that even when babies stop crying they still have very high stress levels.
OP it is awful and I've been there but it will get better I promise. Your baby is tiny. It is common for them to still wake every hour in the night and for you to end up feeding back to sleep. I promise this will improve, hand in there. Go to bed at sand time as baby, take turns with your dp whenever possible and look after yourself.
But pls don't leave a four month old baby crying alone in the dark
Zaurak here's what I can remember (it was 3 years ago)
I did CC starting with naps rather than starting at bedtime, which I think is quite unusual but I would recommend.
Here's what the first day looked like.
First nap 9am ish - DD cried for 20 minutes. We popped in and stroked/patted her every few minutes but it didn't really change her crying. She cried hard at this point, proper wailing, I won't lie.
Second nap 12.30 ish - I am not sure. It was longer than the first nap by some distance. It was miserable and I hated it so much I went out and DH took over till she was asleep.
Third nap - in the buggy.
Bedtime 7ish - she didn't cry nearly as long, maybe 10 minutes? And much less hard.
That night - she Did Not Wake Up. We woke her for a feed at 10.30. She then slept till 7 (maybe 6.45). It was a bleeding miracle.
Following week or two - 10 min ish of crying/whinging (gradually becoming less crying and more whinging) at most sleep times, except bedtime which was usually pretty much cry free. Still sleeping through at night with one dream feed. Gradually the whinging turned to chatting.
This continued till she got ill and then started teething - but even then we had one wake up a night, maybe two or three on the worst nights, never back to the multiple sleep cycle related wake ups we'd had before. We didn't leave her to cry if she woke due to illness or teething.
I'm sure many people will read this and think me barbaric for allowing my baby to cry that much during the CC stage. But she'd been crying lots anyway when she was waking up multiple times (and her naps were awful too so she was always tired). And I was so tired I nearly dropped her down the stairs. That's when I decided on CC.
Two nights is pretty normal I think. I waited to closer to six months but i know people that did it earlier. There was less crying that the non-cry methods in tried until that point (from both of us). It didn't really work for me at nap times, we improved those with a strong routine and strong will!
Don't do cc.
Please try him with a bottle of formula.
Good luck op
Millpond - sleep training people - saved us at that stage (6 month old DS waking 12/13 times a night). £300 or thereabouts, which is a lot, but worth it if you can afford it.
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