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Can't take anymore - any suggestions? (9 month old)

(53 Posts)
Breakingpointhasbeenreached Tue 17-May-16 21:43:19

DD is 9 months old and I have absolutely hit breaking point with her.

For a bit of background; she's never been a great sleeper. She either feeds to sleep, or is rocked to sleep. She is breastfed, up until her last feed around 10pm ish. Then (because I am unwell) dh does the 1am/2am feed, 3am/4am feed, and then she comes into bed with us (unfortunately!) until 6am/7am at the latest, where I then feed her.

During the day, she'll only really nap on us, once she's been fed or rocked to sleep. She will sleep in the pram, eventually, but wakes up as soon as the pram stops moving. Same with the car.

This has always worked for us, as we've tried putting her down etc etc many times and it just doesn't work.

We moved house recently and she was ok to begin with, but the last week or so has been an absolute nightmare. Usually at night she niggles for a feed and it slowly escalates. The last few days, she has gone straight into a blood curling scream. She holds her breath and then screams and screams and screams. She's inconsolable. This can go on for a good 45 minutes or so. Then se refuses the bottle and wants to be breastfeed. She then falls asleep, but wakes up pretty soon after as she's still hungry, I assume because I don't have any milk at that time of night as I've never fed her during the middle of the night before.

The nights are just a nightmare. I can't even articulate how loud and angrily she screams, until it then turns into very distressed sobs and she can't breathe as she's so worked up.

Today, when she needed a nap, she screamed and sobbed for 1 hour and 10 minutes. There was literally nothing I could do to console her. Not her teddy, feeding, rocking in my arms, rocking in the pram, lying in the cot holding hands, in the cot with me outside the room, lying on the bed together cuddled up....nothing worked.

I'm just at breaking point. I feel so ill, I just can't cope with 2-3 hours sleep a night. I just can't. And now she's getting like it in the day too, what to I do?!

The house we've just moved into is rented, and the person who lives next doesn't leave the house (has carers come twice a day etc), so she must hear ALL of this. The walls are so thin we can clearly hear her talking to visitors etc, so she must hear this as DD is so loud when she screams me and dh can't hear each other. So apart from when I'm out of the house, this poor woman doesn't have a break from DD's screaming. She screams over everything; nappy changes, wiping hands after food, cleaning her teeth, telling her no etc so next door must be so fed up. I'm worried their going to complain to our letting agents and then our tenancy won't be renewed in 6 months sad but that's another problem.

What can I do, if anything, about her sleep? I've tried everything; rocking or feeding to sleep, putting down on her own and having my hand on her reassuring her and gently retreating, going in the pram.. what else can I do?! And how can I stop the absolute hysterics during the night? sad it goes on for hours in total sad sad

milkyman Tue 17-May-16 22:28:43

Have you tried white noise?

FifiFerusha Tue 17-May-16 22:28:53

I feel really sorry for you. It is clear that your lovely girl is struggling with the transition. Is she in your room with you? Maybe it is time to regress and have her in your room again. Or even co sleep until she is comfortable in her new home. Maybe you can get the sleep you need until you are better then. Then perhaps after a month or two put her in a cot in your room and then gradually into her own room. It must be very hard. I am sure you are at your wits end. 9 months is a typical time for sleep regression and separation anxiety too so she may be a little shell shocked. Extra love, security and attention is what they are desperate for during separation anxiety but I understand how hard it is when you are physically ill. I am having issues with something similar.

Could you persevere with the pram naps, or even car naps? OT will make the nights harder.

I really hope it gets better for you. It might be worth having a chat with your neighbour about the circumstances. She may understand. It also seems that your anxiety levels are quite high(I get that) as you worry about your tenancy but they can't fob you off because of a crying baby.

I wish I could solve this for you but hopefully someone might be along with better advice. Lots of good wishes x x x

brightgreenllama Thu 19-May-16 00:32:43

Might she be teething? Our DD (generally an average sleeper) has been having some terrible nights, up screaming for hours. We were at our wits end until it occurred to us it might be her teeth. Her bottom ones had come through without too much trouble. I'm sure you've probably already thought of this but we didn't! Ibuprofen seems to be more effective for us with teething pain. flowers to you. It will get better!

FifiFerusha Thu 19-May-16 09:54:59

Actually, yes. I should have put that. Could be a lot to do with teething. Cal profane helps as bright green said.

How is it going? X

NamelessEnsign Thu 19-May-16 10:28:41

I'm really sorry you are going through this. My DD was the same, but looking back, she was chronically sleep deprived, which makes everything so much harder.

I know from experience that you will feel like you have tried everything we are suggesting. Stick with it - something here will work. Something will eventually work (2 year for DD and she never napped regularly). I have learned a lot with DS (easier baby, and I have put a lot of effort in to naps this time!). I'm typing on a phone so apologies if this seems abrupt.
First up, you need to get her, and you, as much sleep as possible, whatever way you can. Once she is a little more rested, I'd suggest starting with addressing her naps first, as you will be a bit more resilient in the day,

What sort of pattern are you aiming for? My 8.5m DS is usually on two naps a day now, but she may need three if she isn't sleeping longer than one sleep cycle.

For 2 naps, you are looking at getting her to sleep 2 hours after waking, then again three hours after her nap ends, then down for bed 4 hours after the nap ended.

You need a mini routine for each and every nap. You may want to give up all classes and everything for a week or two while you work on this.

Something like: do something quiet like a cuddle and a chat. Then tell her it is nap time with lots of smiles. Then upstairs, into sleeping bag, pull the blinds down. Read a story and maybe have a feed. Rock/bounce/pat/shush to sleep. Take whatever sleep she will do and resettle her if you can if she wakes quickly. Make sure you smile at her as much as you can through the whole sleep process to reassure her (I used to be so angry and anxious that it didn't help).

Try to get her attached to something that isn't you. Hold a soft toy while you are feeding for her to stroke it. Put it near her cot so she can see it or grab it (if safe).

Be consistent, for days at a time. My DS is actually getting to a stage where bouncing and patting just disturbs him, but he sometimes still needs it.

Hopefully you can make some progress with naps. When she is more rested and more used to settling, the nights will be easier. 9 months is a shot time for sleep anyway and a low point at which it seems every other baby is sleeping. You'll get there.

My DD didn't sleep well until she was in a single bed. She hated the cot. DS loves his sleepyhead grand, and it makes him so cosy, and also makes his bed the same wherever he sleeps (in his cot in his room, or his bedside cot with us), or away.

Would she prefer sleeping on her front or side? Does she have reflux? Is she eating well in the day? Reverse cycling with milk? All of these things could factor in. Can you spend one night elsewhere to catch up on sleep, maybe?

Breakingpointhasbeenreached Thu 19-May-16 20:56:45

Thanks for the replies flowers will try and answer all q's!

I have tried white noise with her, a couple of times over the months but it's never made a difference.

She is very active so she can get herself on her tummy if she wanted, but she sleeps ok her back to begin with, and then often curls up on her side. She absolutely loves being in our bed under the duvet (a big no no I know). I'm wondering if her sleeping bag is restricting her?

I literally can't put her down for a nap in the day. Everyone has tried and tried and tried but it's impossible. She doesn't cry, she just wakes up smiling, wanting to know what's going on. So I have to let her nap on me or she literally won't nap. And when she's asleep we can't talk, or make any noise, boil the kettle etc. I never intended her to be this way. When she was born we are staying at my mums and she was fine. We went back home at 4 weeks and then when I was home alone with her, I struggled to get up to put her in the pram when she was asleep (c section). I was also so tired that I'd just recline the sofa and lie there cuddling her, resting as she slept - so there was no background noise. After just 2 days of doing that she would never let herself be put down or have any noise. She does sleep through the TV in the evening though. It's weird. Anyway, my point is, I can't put her in the sleeping bag, in the cot etc for the sleep cues. People say oh just leave her niggle for her nap but she doesn't niggle! I was determined to make her nap alone once and she went SEVEN hours without a nap because she woke up when put down. That night was hell, so I figured I'd just let her be.

She didn't have any night terrors last night. The difference is really clear, last night was "just" crying; albeit it very loud and stroppy crying! However, she decided she definitely didn't want the bottle and only wanted the boob. I've had a migraine for about 4 hours today as I'm just so ill and run down I can't cope with lack of sleep! Dh has been doing the feeds since she was 3 days old (I know I'm very lucky) so I'm just not used to this sad

Re teeth: she is having a huge issue with teeth. She had a haematoma on her top tooth. It's finally gone but the tooth itself is still really struggling to break though - it's been 4 weeks now. She's also just had her 6th tooth come through. But I don't think this is causing the night terrors as it really is just so different to her normal crying in pain.

She's also become so bad tempered and hits me, pulls my hair, scrams my face sad Sorry, I know that's not a sleep thing, but it's just like everything about her has changed in a few weeks. I don't recognise her anymore. She is in a "leap" as well, but it's never ever like this.

I'm wondering whether to ring the HV and ask for advice? But the way I'm feeling, I can see she'd palm me off with pnd as I feel low because of all this.

Breakingpointhasbeenreached Thu 19-May-16 20:58:27

Sorry I know there's typos I'm so tired I can't see straight.

Also she doesn't aways feed well in the day - if we are busy she gets too nosey and won't feed. If I try and force it she bites my nipple. So I know sometimes her bad nights are due to playing catch up.

Girliefriendlikesflowers Thu 19-May-16 21:07:42

How is she with eating during the day?

At 9 months can you not stop the night feeds? I wonder whether she has just fallen into the habit of waking and then needing to feed to sleep. I think I would be looking to stop the night feeds and literally do anything else to get her back to sleep to start with. I'm personally not a fan of co-sleeping as for me anyway it just meant I would lay there awake all night worrying about dd and dd would wake frequently wanting boob!

I am the same as you op and don't cope well with sleep deprivation so was quite strict with my dd when it came to sleep. I stopped night feeds when she was 6 months ish and she was in her own cot in her own room. I had a bedtime routine, if she woke during the night I would offer water, shh pat, change nappy if wet etc. For me it was worth it as she would sleep but know its not for everyone.

MummaGiles Thu 19-May-16 21:10:26

I'm sure I will get flamed for this, but if she is struggling to feed from the boob through the day, could it be time to move on to bottles altogether? Wean her off the boob? That might help with the night time need for milk too. If you could get more calories down her during the day she might sleep a bit longer. I didn't (couldn't) breast feed so I know the feeding patterns can be different to formula but a friend who breast fed and had a terrible time with her DD at around the same age with waking in the night etc gave her DD banana as a bedtime snack to fill her up a bit. How is weaning going? Might she be hungry?

BeauGlacons Thu 19-May-16 21:18:35

Please can I suggest you take her to the GP and have her ears checked. Mine were hell with sleeping. Both suffered terribly with ear problems and became different children when the ear problems resolved.

Also don't underestimate teething pain. My ds was a toughie and I'll never forget him sobbing into the sofa aged 9 when he was cutting a molar. Made me look back a bit sadly.

Breakingpointhasbeenreached Thu 19-May-16 21:32:44

She literally won't take a single sip from a bottle or sippy cup in the day. When we're just us 2 she feeds so well. When it's the weekend and we've got visitors and are out and about a lot more etc, or just knowing her dad is in the house - she just doesn't want to feed! So I can't stop bf as she honestly would rather starve than take the bottle sad

Re night feeds: She doesn't feed to sleep as apart from last few nights, she had 2 bottles at night and never falls asleep on them. So I don't know how to stop the night feeds as she just screams and screams, she's inconsolable so I just don't know how to do it without her screaming. It's not just a normal cry, It a proper angry scream and she holds her breath and then sobs hysterically and shakes. She does have a lip tie (only just been diagnosed, grade 4) so I don't know if that would be effecting anything?!

I didn't sleep through until I was 18 months, and apparently she's very similar to me in so many ways. But we could cope how things were. But this screaming for hours on end is new, and we just can't cope. Both me and dh have M.E so it's really affecting us. I've also just been told I've got 2 forms of anaemia (which explains why I'm exhausted all the time) so I'm desperately trying to get my iron levels up so I have the strength to deal with this.

Is there a 9 month sleep regression? Or am I just clutching at straws? If it is night terrors, how do I help her?

If she had an ear infection, wouldn't she be like it in the daytime too?

Girliefriendlikesflowers Thu 19-May-16 21:43:48

I would take her to the Dr just to rule out anything physical that could be causing it. How is she with eating food? I honestly think you need to stop the night feeding, what time does she go to bed? Is she in her own room?

When she wakes do you go straight in or wait to see if she will settle? I wonder if going in and giving her milk is just waking her up even more.

Sorry for all the questions!!

Breakingpointhasbeenreached Thu 19-May-16 21:56:06

She's not in her own room. We tried it about a month ago for a week and it was awful so she's been in our room since then. When we moved, her cot was at the end of our bed and sleep was rubbish so dh has her pushed right up next to him now in the cot. This way, there are fewer get ups as he can "delay" a feed by maybe 30-40 minutes by hand holding or giving her the dummy. We did this for a few nights as she was very unsettled (day and night) in the new house and we haven't tried her in her own room here yet. We still need curtains for that room, but she's so upset I any really bare for her to be away from us now. We do let her niggle and she does settle herself sometimes, but when she starts screaming we have to get up. As I said it's not a cry but a scream where she holds her breath. You can even hear it outside on the street cos it's so loud, so we can't leave it. Dh then tries rocking her but she's just hysterical by that point - and then it takes a good 45 minutes for her to accept a feed (this has been the last week or so since the suspected night terrors began).

Re weaning we are doing BLW so hard to monitor her intake. I do give her porridge for breakfast though, and soup for lunch quite often. She seems to love her food, there's nothing she doesn't like and she thoroughly enjoys meal times. If I push food with a spoon too much she goes "mmmmmmmm" all the time until she gets finger food as she likes to be able to explore all the textures with the food. I am very surprised at how successful BLW has been as I was skeptical before we did it - however, I obviously don't know how much she is actually taking in which is a pain.

In terms of going to bed - she goes down around 8 after a big fight. We are trying to push that to be earlier, so this week we've moved every meal time forward to have bath time earlier etc. We tried getting her down for 7 today but it was a huge battle and she went at 8, awake again 8.15 for a feed. She stays with us in dh's arms otherwise she wakes up. She wakes up so awake and we don't know what to do cos she isn't crying just happy!! It's like she has a little power nap that gives her loads of energy, so that's why she stays with us. She then cries around 9.45/10 so I feed her and then she goes in her cot then. If we try and put her in any earlier she wakes around 11. So we're really trying to aim for 7pm (will keep persevering) as I've read their best sleep is that first stretch of sleep, and hers isn't good so that's not setting her up well for the night either.

NamelessEnsign Thu 19-May-16 22:11:03

I've have been exactly where you have been so big hugs from me. I know how hopeless it all feels; it will get better sometime.

Everything you describe about her sleep sounds like classic sleep deprivation and massive over tiredness (especially the waking after 20 mins). I used to fight my daughter to sleep, often for 60-90 mins, in order to get her to sleep for 15 minutes.

It wasn't just me either - when I went back to work, she was 13 months, and nursery couldn't get her to sleep either, so they just let her stay awake! (I moved her away in the end).

My DD had a grade IV lip tie too. It rarely comes without tongue tie so I suspect your DD has TT too. It can cause reflux and pain, plus constant night feeding is a symptom. Are your nipples pinched and blanched after feeding? Like lipstick shaped? Does she struggle to maintain a latch? I'd recommend looking into getting her ties revised.

Have you thought about seeing a sleep consultant? It sounds like she needs to break all her sleep associations. Would you try a single bed so your husband could settle her in there and you have somewhere to sleep while settling her?

Hearing your experience is bringing it all back for me. I'm so sorry for you! With the benefit of hindsight and an easier baby, I can see I was missing a lot of her sleep cues and she was so wired all the time that she physically couldn't sleep, or stay asleep. It took a long time.

I know it is so hard to see past the day and night ahead when you are so tired. You need to figure out something that will make her nap. Even rest in her bed (especially if she isn't crying) is better than constant stimulation. Keep at it and keep it boring!

BeauGlacons Thu 19-May-16 22:13:28

Op another thing. Ears aside my ds was rubbish at sleeping - smiley and raring to go. Eventually, when he was nearly two we decided to go with the flow. We started putting him to bed when we went shock. About 10.30. He was ready to sleep then and slept until about six which gave us a reasonable stretch. It helped shed loads with the sanity

He's 21 now. Still has shedloads of energy. Was always alert and soaking up his surroundings. Wish we'd done it earlier. 10.30 - 6ish was just his pattern.

NamelessEnsign Thu 19-May-16 22:14:32

Ps I think bedtime may need to be even earlier - in bed by 6pm especially if she isn't napping much. And you must must get yourself some sleep in that first stretch. Think of it as a short term sacrifice of your life to try to catch up a bit.

I get migraines too (tongue tie and jaw issues here too) and get very low emotionally when sleep deprived; I can see how it looked like PND but I was so much better when she started sleeping!

ruby242 Sat 21-May-16 15:42:17

I second that I'd really look at whether tongue tie is causing some of your issues as someone suggested above

Breakingpointhasbeenreached Sat 21-May-16 16:19:59

I was told by my HV when she was first born that she didn't have a tongue tie. I don't know whether to believe her or not though, as she missed a glaringly obvious grade 4 lip tie. I've never actually had an problems with feeding though. My nipple have never hurt, cracked or bled or anything.

She's still completely refusing the bottle at night, so I did five feeds last night shock I kept falling asleep in bed with her, so tonight is going to be fun. Not.

In our old house, we had another bed so dh would co sleep with her from around 4am. We don't have a spare bed at the moment as we can't afford one. It would be useful as she gets woken by dh's alarm during the week so that's not helping things either.

I spoke to my new HV who is coming to see me in 2 weeks. She seemed skeptical that it's night terrors as they have to happen at the same time each night and the child be inconsolable - well that's what she's like. She wants me to keep a food & breastfeed diary 5 days leading up to her visit. She said it most likely sounds like a response to stress. And she is a very, very stressful child to be honest.

I'm just dull of migraines at the moment (hence being slow replying as can't use phone when I have them), and I can't even take codeine like usual due to breastfeeding. I swear they are lack of sleep related.

Tried an earlier bedtime (7pm) yesterday but it meant she was hanging during bath time so got quite cross. She woken at 8pm having had a power nap so it was so tough getting her back down. She was then awake for the day at 6am 😴 She's hardly ever up that early. She's had 3 naps today.

I'm torn between trying to time everything around naps next week trying to crack them, but I also want to go to baby groups to try and make new friends as I'm lonely here, and I also think it would do dd the world of good. But then I also feel like I need to do loads of housework, as I'm really struggling to stay on top of it all at the moment as I feel like I'm falling apart.

Breakingpointhasbeenreached Sat 21-May-16 16:21:44

Dh has just changed her nappy and her bum is bright red (she never normally gets nappy rash) and there's a little cut on her skin with a bit of pus coming out. That's new, so obviously hasn't been the cause of all her problems but it'll obviously be bothering her sad

fluffypacman Sat 21-May-16 16:33:25

My dc were both hideous sleepers at this age. Sleep does not consistently improve. You have ups and downs. We put dd2 back in with us and while she still woke I at least didn't have to get out of bed to console her which made it easier to manage for me psychologically I had the cot next to me so I could just reach out and pat her or give her a reassuring 'it's alright, mummy's here'. 9 months is key time for separation anxiety. If not in your room she might just be scared as she doesn't know where you are. This will pass Hun. It's a slog at the time. I did night wean around this time but comforted in other ways but babies can be hungry/thirsty in the night. It helped with dd1 but not dd2. Trial and error. Stick with whatever you're doing for a week or two before giving up though. We found Elizabeth Pantley's ' no cry sleep solution' really helpful. Non preachy and easy to read as well as being a gentle way of helping your baby to sleep longer. I would also rule out pain. Good luck.

NamelessEnsign Sat 21-May-16 19:05:15

Hi again. I'm also a migraine sufferer and yes they make it worse!

To clarify, you can easily have tongue tie that doesn't affect feeding. I fed DD to 2.4 years without any pain for me, but she had reflux, gas, frequent night waking, prolonged feeding through the night etc and then had an issue with solid food. All TT/LT related. And MWs miss them all the time, because they are generally trained to overlook posterior tongue ties.

Try the mommypotamus post on checking for TT for good advice on checking.

My 8.5mo was waking 4-8 times a night until very recently and only having 2 naps. I consider him my good sleeper! He hasn't gone six hours since he was a newborn with jaundice. He usually wakes between 6-7am too. You're not alone!

Breakingpointhasbeenreached Sat 21-May-16 19:46:59

I've looked at the symptoms on there and the only one I have is sleep deprivation! I think she does have a very mild tongue tie, but like I said my concerns regarding that were brushed off as "looking for problems as I was feeling low". She 100% has a lip tie though. I was told in hospital (repeatedly) that her latch was perfect. It's not. Her bottom lip spreads out like it should but he top lip stays lying against her gum.

She went to the dentist about an eruption cyst that wasn't getting any better and he said they wouldn't do anything about her lip tie now as it's too late. HV also said yesterday that they wouldn't do anything either (as I asked then if it could be affecting feeding as she's never slept through the night).

BeauGlacons Sat 21-May-16 20:00:36

Have you had her checked out by the doctor?

Breakingpointhasbeenreached Sat 21-May-16 20:07:56

In general or for the lip/tongue tie?

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