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sleep problems 8 months

(31 Posts)
MadeForThis Sun 19-Jun-16 20:52:59

My DD is almost 9 months old and ebf. She has always been fed to sleep although DH can rock her to sleep. Until 4 months she was in a Moses basket and woke every 2 or 3 hours of a feed which I could handle.

At 4 months we moved her to a cot and everything fell apart. Although the we had some good nights, maybe 2 or 3, she began to wake every 45 mins. Sometimes she would wake as soon as she was put down and this could go on until 2 or 3 in the morning when I would crack and take her into bed with me. This lasted for 6 weeks, I was a zombie. Tired, snappy, crying at night. It couldn't go on so I began to keep her in bed from the start of the night.

Fast forward to now, she sleeps in our bed every night. She feeds throughout the night. More sucky than hungry, it's defiantly a comfort thing. But she needs me to be there. If she wakes up and I'm not there she cries and won't settle. I'm only ever away at the toilet or getting a drink. She constantly puts her arm out while she is sleeping to check that I'm there. This in itself isn't the end of the world but it's soo restrictive.
We can't go out at night for a meal because no one could settle her, although to be honest we haven't tried.

I would love to be able to have what everyone else seems to have, a baby you can put to bed at 7 and go downstairs and enjoy a some couple time.

She is supposed to start nursery in September and I've no idea how she will nap without being fed to sleep and me beside her.

My best friend is getting married in October and we are supposed to be staying that night in a hotel.

I've always said that I would never let her cry it out. And I don't like the idea of controlled crying. I can't even imagine that it would work. She is so stubborn that I think she would just keep crying. I would hate her to be that distressed.

I was happy with the co sleeping and imagined moving her to a cot when she was old enough to explain that we are next door etc. But speaking to the nursery has made me worry that I'm hurting her by not teaching her to sleep by herself.

Has anyone been in this situation and what would you advise?

I could keep doing this but how would she nap in the 3 days I'm at work?

We have family who would love to look after her while we were at the wedding but it wouldn't be fair on them or her to leave a baby who can't sleep alone.

Do we try some small version of controlled crying?

I'm really lost here. My DH will support whatever I'm happy with. If I'm honest he thinks that controlled crying never hurt us and that most people do it.

It's really upsetting me that I could be hurting DD by not teaching her to sleep without me.

CityDweller Sun 19-Jun-16 21:14:30

I don't have any experience of dealing with the exact co-sleeping issue you've got. However, I will say that a lot can/will change between now and September/October. That's 3-4 months, which is nearly half your baby's life. Also babies often sleep completely differently at nursery/childcare. Peer pressure, and all that.

In what way has the nursery "made you worry that I'm hurting her by not teaching her to sleep by herself." What did they say to you? I'd be more concerned that the nursery are passing judgement on your sleeping arrangements at home, than anything else in your post!

MadeForThis Sun 19-Jun-16 21:26:42

They didn't disagree with co sleeping they just said that she might struggle at nursery if she was used to me being there the whole time she is asleep.

I've tried to leave the room when she naps, but I'll go back in to check after 2 mins and she is awake.

I'm worried that she can't make it through a whole day with no naps so by leaving her at nursery I'll be hurting her.

FifiFerusha Sun 19-Jun-16 21:33:48

You have enough time to try more gentler sleep training methods. Once you have sussed that make sure it isn't only you putting your baby down to sleep. (I am a hypocrite by the way as it is very rare that my DS will nap, for anyone but me so I do know where you are coming from)

I honesty I can tell from your post that you will not be able to do CC as I think it might upset you too much. There is no need to put yourself through that. Look up gradual withdrawal and think of a plan x

Whatthefreakinwhatnow Sun 19-Jun-16 21:37:00

I had a massive thread about this at the beginning of this year, DD would have been 8 months ish too. Co sleeping had gone from fine to her constantly having to touch my face or she would scream, would scratch and pull my hair the whole time too and if she wasn't allowed to that made her scream. She wouldn't sleep for DP ,she barely slept for me. It got progressively worse until she was barely sleeping 5 hours in total and she looked so poorly 😢 DP and I were on our knees,and something had to give.

I asked mumsnet for help, and was reccomended the superanny technique- I was worried about her crying but then realised she cried even when I was with her so felt we had nothing to lose.

As it turned out, she cried for less than 45 mins total the first night, less again the second and by night 3 was asleep within 5 mins! I put her in her cot with music and said goodnight, then went in after 2 mins, 4 mins etc and she just went to sleep!

She's just had a blip last week but two nights of supper nanny and last night she slept 7-6.15 again.

I really thought it would be awful, but actually it wasn't. she cried at first, went in after 2 mins, didn't touch her just reassured her and said goodnight, time for sleep or whatever. she cried a bit more when I left, repeated it again and after that it was whinging rather than crying and then she just slept!

I couldn't relax the first few nights, kept expecting he'd to wake up any moment and scream at me but after about 5 nights I started enjoying my newfound freedom lol!

Whatever you decide to try OP, I really hope it works for you and you get your eveninfo back! It's bloody tough, and makes you feel trapped whwn they have to be with you all the time flowers

CityDweller Sun 19-Jun-16 21:40:27

Just another thought - prompted by your comment about her putting her arm out to check you're there. Have you tried something like the Sleepyhead? They do it in a larger size for babies 8months+. We used this for DS when he was teeny tiny as he wouldn't sleep anywhere other than on us. It makes them feel cosy and secure, rather than being in the big expanse of a cot.

But, yes, other than that a method like gradual retreat might work.

MadeForThis Sun 19-Jun-16 21:45:14

Part of me knows that we just need to try it, something, so far I just dismiss everything as not going to work. But DD is so different now to she was at 4 months. If we try something slowly then we might get results.

I find it really hard to take a step back when it comes to DD. Now that she is weaning, and she really loves her food, she isn't breastfeeding nearly so much. In fact mostly just at sleep time. If I change the schedule so she feeds downstairs then upstairs for a nap/bedtime then we could try to get her to sleep in the cot.

My other question is, would we be better to move the cot to her own room so we don't disturb her at night. I imagine that if we do manage to get her to initially go to sleep in the cot the first time she wakes she will want me and will be able to see me, rather than maybe settling back to sleep.

Do I work on daytime naps so this is nailed for nursery or do we try for night time sleep too?

Whatthefreakinwhatnow Sun 19-Jun-16 21:51:41

Defo own room! We had the exact problem of her standing in the cot looking at us and wondering why we weren't getting her out!

If she is a light sleeper you could use music or white noise too, both my DD'S have heavy rain playing on Ipods on a loop in their room at night so they aren't disturbed by us walking on creaky floorboards or anything outside etc.

MadeForThis Sun 19-Jun-16 21:59:29

Whatthefreak - DD gets really grabby too some nights. Not pulling hair but pulling my top, slapping at my chest etc
Some nights are great and she wakes up a few times, feeds and rolls over back to sleep. Other nights it feels like she is constantly reaching for me and latching on for a couple of min then off then on.

I'm so much happier co sleeping than the constant waking up, feeding, holding her for long enough so she was deeply asleep and putting her down as it was at 4 months. It was so hard to survive on that little sleep. I was actually happy to co sleep this long. But I am beginning to find it confining.

I want her to be happy and rested. But I would also like to live a life with my DH too. Nothing mad just a cuddle on the sofa alone. Would love a DC2 but no chance of that happening!!

In my stronger moments I believe that I could try the 2 minute crying you describe. I just can't imagine it would work. I imagine that she would just keep up the crying no matter how many times I went in.

But it's worth a try.

But then I'm back to do I just worry about naps for now?? Or can we nail it all in one go?

Whatthefreakinwhatnow Sun 19-Jun-16 22:07:36

I felt the same about DD,she's so bloody stubborn and strong willed that I really didn't think it would work, she was unbelievably bad, so much do that the last night when I decided enough was enough, she'd been clawing at my face,crying and overtired until 5am when DP took jer out in the car to calm her down, I figured I couldn't get worse than that.

She really suprised me, they crying wasn't desperate or sad, it was cross and so short lived I really couldn't believe it. The constant going bsck in just reassured her I was still there, but she fell asleep without any help at all from me, it was amazing and still is. After stories downstairs, we just take her up, pop her rain on and use a stock phrase of "goodnight, sweet dreams" etc with a kiss, into the cot and leave her. She snuggles down on her front and away she goes!

She fighta daytime naps like a trooper though, but after a few mins of standing in her cot shouting me, she just goes off! She thinks she is missing out on something I think! 😂

Whatthefreakinwhatnow Sun 19-Jun-16 22:09:20

Oh as to the end of your post, I bit the bullet and did it all in one go, figured if I cuddled her for naps but not bed it would massively confuse her; but I didn't try it so I don't know that it wouldn't have worked.

MadeForThis Sun 19-Jun-16 22:23:19

You are making it sound easy!!

I'm definitely up for it. It makes sense to do it all at once. Or at least try. At the min her cot is in our room and it's full of toys. I use it as a playpen and a place to leave her safely of I need to use the bathroom. Hopefully this doesn't confuse her. A change of room might be enough to make it all feel different.

She loves white noise. We use an app on our phones and it knocks her out. Stops her crying too. We could leave that running on the iPad. Bought that prince lionheart bear but it was no good. Clicked off to which would even wake me.

I'm meeting a work friend for a catch up dinner on tues so DH will be putting her to sleep. That's the first time he has ever done it alone so a good chance to see how she reacts to no boobs for sleep. He can usually rock her to sleep but then hands her to me.

I need to learn to take a step back. She doesn't need me 100% of the time as she did in the early days. She was attached to me 24/7 so I've just got used to doing it all.

Did you pick a certain day to start - weekend, DH off work etc or did you just stop making excuses and go for it.

I'm already putting it off to Wednesday because of my dinner plans on tues. next weekend as DH will be off work. Or the end of the month cause she will be 9 months and might understand more???

It's pathetic. I want to help her to sleep alone I'm just scared.

Coconut0il Sun 19-Jun-16 22:41:24

You are not alone OP. I've not managed a baby that goes up alone at 7 with either DS1 or DS2. I co slept with both of them from night one, very much as you describe I pretty much come up to bed with DS2, feed him to sleep then read, online shop, mumsnet. Not much evening time with DP but we always try to do nice things together on his days off. I know from DS1 it won't be forever, he just grew out of needing me there as he grew older.

As for nursery I really would try not to worry. My nephew would fight daytime naps at home, he never wanted to sleep but at nursery he naps every time.

Going out is a bit harder but I found if someone else looked after DS1 they could get him to sleep in the pushchair which for a few hours till we got back was ok. I haven't left DS2, 10 months with anyone apart from DP yet but I think he could probably nap in the pushchair then be transferred to bed later.

MadeForThis Sun 19-Jun-16 23:10:19

Thanks coconutoil
My original plan was to co sleep until she was ready to sleep alone but some days I would love to be able to pop her in the cot and have some alone time.

Her naps are generally great as long as she is with me. She sleeps twice a day for and hour and often longer in the afternoon. But she is in my arms or lying beside me. Her eyes spring open if u leave. She has super powers I'm convinced!!

At night she usually feeds for a while and drifts off to sleep. If she's over tired my husband rocks her. It's calm and easy. That's how we have drifted along for the last 4 months. The problems come if the routine changes, a wedding, we would like a night out, nursery. Our way of sleeping just makes it impossible. And although I'm sleeping loads and loads better than I was when we were trying to put her back into the cot I'm still being woken multiple times per night and miss being able to stretch out in bed or swap sides to sleep on.

So far I've been telling myself that she is happy and getting lots of sleep and that all that matters. But if she can't sleep at nursery then I have a problem.

I think it's time to give her a chance to sleep in her cot in her own room. I suppose the worst that can happen is that it doesn't work and we go back to co sleeping.

Whatthefreakinwhatnow Mon 20-Jun-16 02:54:18

Pregnancy insomnia here Lol!

I know, to be honest it really was pretty easy. I think she was shattered bless her, she was so aware of where I was all the time that she was never deeply asleep, and if we went anywhere for the day and couldn't sleep on me she'd be so tired sad

I co slept with DD1 for 4 bloody years so couldn't understand why DD2 didn't sleep better when I was with her. I now know it's because she was hyper-aware of me and it over stimulated her, she wasn't relaxing properly and wpuld panic almost if she couldn't claw at my face/pull my hair/hold my ear!

Once in the cot, there wasn't any of that and she was just able to sleep! She wasn't disturbed by us as she was in her own room, so just slept!

DC3 is due at the end of the year, and to be honest to save my sanity this time HD or she will go into their own room at 6 months and I won't even try co sleeping, I sleep much better without the DC, me and DP have quality time and can sleep together without being squashed on one side with a DC sprawled on the other grin

Coconut0il Mon 20-Jun-16 07:51:43

Definitely give it a go, as you say you can always go back to what you're doing now. I could've written your last post word for word. Just don't worry about long term DS1 is 12 now and he's never had any sleep issues and he started out as you describe. We have the opposite problem now as we can't get him to wake up or get out of bed!

MadeForThis Mon 20-Jun-16 09:18:59

Thanks so much for all your advice. I'm going to move the cot and get started on Friday night.

I'm sure I'll have more questions as we go.

I'll practice on naps until then. I managed to be up and about this morning for 30 mins before she woke up. So I'll try that with naps all this week. Hopefully she will realise that it's ok to wake up without me there.

Whatthefreakinwhatnow Mon 20-Jun-16 10:19:12

Best of luck OP! I'm here if you need any moral support! Have confidence in yourself, you can do it and so can she smile

I really hope it goes as well for you as it has for us! The feeling of freedom is unbelievable once you've cracked it! flowers

Whatthefreakinwhatnow Mon 20-Jun-16 10:20:36

Oh and make sure DH helps, take it in turns to go in there for the reassurance checks, so it's not all on you!

I would definitely say make sure you put her down before she is overtired, as that will make it harder for you!

MadeForThis Mon 20-Jun-16 12:29:00

Yes, DH will definately help. He would love to be able to do bedtime with her at night.

I know I'll need him to hold my hand and maybe a wine glass too!!

I'm usually pretty good at judging her tiredness. Going to get a good routine in place so she understands what's happening and what comes next.

Feeling optimistic. Let's see what the weekend brings. smile

Whatthefreakinwhatnow Mon 20-Jun-16 12:41:48

Set the timer on your phone, at 2 mins, go in say night night, love you, come out, reset 2 mins, then 4, then 6 etc. I bet she won't get to 15 mins before she realises it's ok and stops crying. Really rooting for you all!

Fomalhaut Mon 20-Jun-16 13:04:45

Gosh, are you me? We have a boy but same age and same thing! We did try controlled crying and it didn't work alas - he just got incredibly afraid and upset and cried all night but it's worth a try ... Good luck, hope you find something that works!

Fomalhaut Mon 20-Jun-16 13:07:46

whatthe didn't work for us... Our doctor told us the same thing, that he'd calm down in an hour or so but nope...screamed all night. Then the next day he was still very upset - he was afraid of going upstairs formal for almost a week afterwards - he'd scream if I carried him upstairs or put him in bed. It took us nearly two weeks to get him to be relaxed at bed/nap times again

Whatthefreakinwhatnow Mon 20-Jun-16 13:40:36

Gosh whata shame formal, I've not come across anyone who's had a negative reaction like that befor

Whatthefreakinwhatnow Mon 20-Jun-16 13:40:55

before even! bloody phone!

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