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Long term poor sleepers...anyone??

(33 Posts)
Purpleboa Sun 03-Jul-16 13:31:42

Hi all. There was a thread for those of us with continually bad sleepers, but think it's achieved zombie status - hopefully that's a good thing as it means babies are sleeping! Starting a new thread though, as my DD who has just turned 1 is sleeping even less, and I'm feeling lonely and desperate!

She's always been a poor sleeper, ups and downs but only done a 6 hour stretch once, and on average were talking every 2 or 3 hourly wakings. Recently things have got very bad, multiple wakings then up for the day at 5am. I think she's on the verge of walking and talking.

I don't breastfeed her during the day anymore but I'm finding the night feeding so hard to give up. I know, I know, I need to night wean her. But I'm so exhausted that I haven't got the energy to do anything mire than shove a boob in her mouth when she wakes!

We co sleep for most of the night, DH in a separate bed. When I think back and realise it's been a year of this, I feel like a massive failure. I don't feel I can confide in people in RL because they're all like 'really, she's still not sleeping??' It's embarrassing. I'm back at work too and it goes without saying that exhaustion has become my natural state. Sometimes it feels like life is just a constant drudge and I never have time off!

I'm not looking for advice as I know what I need to do - but any hand holding or similar stories would really help me feel a bit more sane!

Metalhead Sun 03-Jul-16 20:36:34

No words of wisdom here I'm afraid but didn't want to let your post go unanswered. My DD2 likes to start the day at 5am too but at least she's sleeping through, I can only imagine how exhausting it must be for you! (And this is in no way meant as a stealth boast, honest!)

Please don't feel like a failure though, some babies are just better at sleeping than others. A good friend of mine had a terrible sleeper as her DC2, but he is now finally sleeping through at 2 years old. Hopefully yours will get there too eventually (and maybe a bit earlier than that...). flowers

Metalhead Sun 03-Jul-16 20:40:57

Oh and also, does your DH help out at all? If you're co-sleeping and feeding during the night does he get up with her in the mornings to give you an extra hour or two in bed? Or give you a lie-in at the weekend? If not he definitely should, unless he's doing some sort of life-or-death job during the day...

PotteringAlong Sun 03-Jul-16 20:42:26

DS 1 was like this. Until he was 2.5. He's now 4 and sleeps like a dream. This too will pass...

5minutestobed Sun 03-Jul-16 20:43:47

Can I join? I have a thee year old how doesn't sleep and now have a newborn who wakes up every two hours. Quite tired!! They will sleep eventually right?!?

BelfastSmile Sun 03-Jul-16 20:45:06

I have one of those too. He's nearly 2, and the longest he has ever slept was 5 hours, once, and otherwise 4 hours. He has eczema, which used to wake him in the night, plus he got his teeth quite early and those caused lots of waking, so I think he's just never learned how to sleep properly.

He is also still bf at night, which I know he needs to be weaned off, but I'm too tired to do it, and DH doesn't really have the patience to be up with him screaming!

Just this week we've moved him into his own bed, so DH is back in with me. Hasn't improved his sleeping, and I now have to get out of bed during the night rather than just rolling over! DH is off for a bit, thankfully, so he can get up with him most mornings.

It's so hard, though!

user1467491951 Sun 03-Jul-16 20:45:51

For the better part of 5 years I've suffered with sleeping problems. It's not so much that I can't fall to sleep, but that I can't stay asleep for very long at all. Usually no more than 30-40 minutes at a time.

Peppapogstillonaloop Sun 03-Jul-16 20:47:07

Oh don't feel like a failure! My ds3 is the same and he is 17months! And ds2 was the same..I night weaned him at 20 months but he was still a crap sleeper! Just had to go and cuddle him instead of boob! He still prefers to come into bed with me in the night even now and he's 4. My dd on the other hand was a great sleeper (after she turned two!! Crap before that!!)
Honestly some kids are just shit sleepers..sure night weaning might help but it really might not! It honestly will pass eventually..
Don't care what other people think would be my best what YOU want to do..sleepy booby cuddles are great nothing wrong with that grin

thereareworsethingsicoulddo Sun 03-Jul-16 20:47:10

I'm in the same boat although DS is 9.5 months so a bit younger. Cosleeping and breastfeeding and longest ever stretch of sleep so far has been 4 hours.
Handholding and sympathy for you flowers
I'm back to work in 4 weeks she wondering how I will cope when most days I am like the walking dead.
I'm not quite at the lying to people stage, I do the - haha he's not a sleeper!- chuckle with gritted teeth but can imagine once he's one I will start fibbing. Already battling helpful GPs over the 'still not in his own room' debate. Funnily enough when I'm BF 4/5 times a night I don't fancy moving him.

HerRoyalFattyness Sun 03-Jul-16 20:47:46

Hello. I am the mother of a now 7 year old who didn't sleep through the night until he was 4. He still wakes at stupid of clock but can amuse himself until the alarm goes off
I also have a 2 year old dd who luckily sleeps through usually, and an 11 month old who hates sleep as much as his older brother did.
I've started giving water in the night instead of milk in the hope it will help but no luck.

Icecappedpinetrees Sun 03-Jul-16 20:52:29

DS was awful.

We thought we'd "fixed him" at 13 months but oh no, at 18 months he'd only fall asleep in my knee, it was an epic regression.

He started reliably sleeping at 2. I'm so sorry, that must seem like forever.

I honestly believe that there is nothing you can do, they either do or don't. But they will eventually.

You're not alone. Knowing that others were dealing with the same thing helped me when I was losing my marbles.

Minkybinkyboo Sun 03-Jul-16 20:53:41

My two and a half year old DD was not a sleeper at all, even as a tiny baby! We tried everything and in the end resorted to a double bed in her room as she liked the space (and at least it was comfortable when settling her back down). She's a little better now, but is up at 5am everyday and several times through the night. I think I've just get used to it, and now I have a 7 week old and they take it in turns! I'm shattered but keep reminding myself that no stage lasts forever (right?!?)

DrSingleMum Sun 03-Jul-16 20:57:08

Don't feel like a failure! You're really not.
My now 5.5 year old has always been a terrible sleeper - similar patterns to those above. This week they have slept through the night, in their own bed, four nights in a row!!!! This is an absolute miracle for us :D In their life they've only slept all night a handful of times prior to this. When they started school I thought I'd be the only one with a non-sleeping child, but I'm not - a few other mums have confessed that their kids don't sleep either. It will happen.

DiamondInTheRuff Sun 03-Jul-16 20:57:32

My DS was like this, he didn't sleep through the night at all until he was 14 months old. I was knackered. Turned out he had CMPI and once we took hi off dairy things improved a bit, but it was hard to break the bad habits he was in. FWIW I bf'd day and night until he was 2.8 and his sleep was pretty much sorted by the time he was 2, so it's not always connected.

He's 3.5 now and hardly ever wakes in the night. He's still an early riser though.

I found the best way to fit through it was to plot the many, many ways I could wake him up when he's a teen...

BelfastSmile Sun 03-Jul-16 21:05:53

I always comfort myself with the idea that even if he never sleeps through the night, there comes a point at which it's no longer my problem.

Andcake Sun 03-Jul-16 21:12:33

Ds didn't sleep through the night until 3 ish ( now nearly 4 and we still get the odd ad night) we had stopped feeding at night at about 7 mo so made no difference.
Our saving grace was that we had bought a proper single bed not a toddler bed so I could fall asleep next to him ( or move ds in with fo and get a good night sleep in the single😀)

Joebananas Sun 03-Jul-16 21:12:40

Hi. I posted for the first time on here today with a similar issue with my one year old( DS2) We're currently cutting out the night milk as he's been waking every three hours and I've gone back to a new job and am beyond exhausted. Anyway, that aside I wanted to say don't ever be embarrassed about the choices you've made around sleep. My DS1 was also a shocker and slept on my boob all night every night until we cut out the milk. Second child I took a completely different approach, thought I'd nailed it at 6months as goes to sleep really well but yet we've still ended up in a similar position with sleep. This time though I'm alot less stressed about it (still stressed enough to be posting on mumsnet! But less stressed for sure) I remember feeling the same as you with DS1, everyone else's children seemed to be sleeping, everyone kept telling me to stop feeding but it was impossible. I was too tired. You will find that it will get better. And you'll probably find you get to a point where enough is enough and you find the strength to do it. It'll be hard but it will get better. Anyway, I'm rambling. I just wanted to post to say screw what anyone else thinks. Every decision we make is done because it feels like the best or sometimes only option at the time and there's nothing wrong with that. It'll all right itself. Take care and hope you get a bit more sleep. (p.s DS1 sleeps like a champion now - happy ending. Obviously still working on DS2) xx

FretYeNotAllIsShiny Sun 03-Jul-16 21:16:04

My youngest two kids didn't sleep through reliably until nursery. We never had a bedtime that didn't take up to an hour, and you could guarantee one or both would be back downstairs by midnight.It was bloody awful and it lasted years. We tried controlled crying, returning them silently, sitting outside the door, bath story bed. You name it, we tried it. I would have drugged the feckers if I'd thought it would have worked. You have my utmost sympathies. Apparently I was exactly the same as a baby.

It does pass eventually (or at least, they learn to read and can be trusted to amuse themselves in bed). My youngest is 13 now, and still doesn't need loads of sleep. I just told people that sleepless kids tend to be intelligent kids when they gave an opinion (I usually growled it through gritted teeth).

Babysafari Mon 04-Jul-16 13:01:44

I gosh I remember your other thread sorry to hear she's still not sleeping.

Well you've survived this long at least there'll come a time that she can play in her room safely.

Purpleboa Mon 04-Jul-16 13:55:42

Thank you all so much for your responses! That really means a lot to me and makes me feel better. Obviously I'd rather none of us were in this boat, but it's reassuring to have company!

I am beginning to accept that this is the way she is and it's not uncommon. On the plus side, she's now doing naps in her cot - this is a huge development, she used to do most of her naps on me! So I have faith if that can change, so can the night time.

My DH is wonderful and does everything he can to help. He does a few nights now I'm back at work. But I don't feel comfortable with him doing too much as he has a long car commute and I worry about his safety. He'll take her both weekend mornings so I can get a lie in till 8am! I don't know how I'd survive without his help tbh.

I had the bad luck to be part of a mum's group where every other baby sleeps through, apart from the odd bad night here and there. It sometimes feels very unfair!

Thanks again, you're all helping to keep me sane and smiling!

TheABC Mon 04-Jul-16 14:02:27

There's light at the end of the tunnel. DS is now three and just (literally the past week) started sleeping through the night. DD at six weeks old is already a better sleeper than he was! It has nothing to do with food - DD is breastfed, DS has been eating for years. Routines helped a bit, but really it's down to the individual child.

Good luck OP. You will be sleeping with your DH again.

FelixFelix Mon 04-Jul-16 14:07:47

I agree, there really is light at the end of the tunnel. My dd was a terrible sleeper. From 4-10 months she literally woke every hour of the night. Looking back, I don't even know how I functioned. From then onwards it was anything from 4-10+ times a night she would wake. I tried everything, but nothing made her improve. Then randomly at 22 months old, she started sleeping through. It was like someone flipped a switch! I didn't do anything differently, it just happened. Very strange. She's now 2.5 and sleeps very well. The sleepless nights are a distant memory.

I hope things improve for you soon. Just remember it won't be like this forever, so just do what you have to do for now brew

BelfastSmile Mon 11-Jul-16 08:15:04

He slept through!! After all I said above, and a terrible night on Thursday, suddenly on Friday night he slept until 5.30! On Saturday he slept until 3.30 and then back over until 6.30, and this morning he went until 5.30 again (unfortunately that was him up for the day, but still!!)! He had a very short nap on Friday, so we've been keeping his naps short to see if it helps, and it seems to be working.

He just turned 23 months on Friday, and it seems as if shortening his naps is finally making his night time sleep improve - any time we tried it before, it just made him sleep really badly.

I'm rejoicing!!

songbird123 Mon 11-Jul-16 10:42:19


well I just wanted to say I promise its gets easier! it truly does! and for all those people who say 'really she doesn't sleep through??' just ignore them because I bet they either can not remember or just were very lucky!

it has nothing to do with you doing anything wrong! its so hard to stop the breast feeding at night. it can take time and is drainging. if you do want to stop start to introduce a tippy cup or bottle, whatever you feel comfortable with. t

ry not to put any pressure on yourself though! my son did not sleep through the night until he was 5 years and 3 months old! he had just finished his first term at school and that must have helped to knock him out! he was never a good sleeper. he is now 9 and sleeps about 8 hours max a night.

my daughter slept through at 6 months. there is under 2 years between them. I thought what am I doing so wrong?! why is the baby sleeping but the toddlers isn't? but everyone is different. my son is actually very bright, I was told children who don't sleep well are very clever! well its a comfort even if its an old wives tale!

you will be fine. we all go though it. not that, that helps you much. can you possible go away for a night? let your husband see to the baby? go cold turkey with the feeding? it took both mine 3 nights to stop the feeding. I stopped through the day and then a week later I stopped at night. I gave them water in a cup. no milk. they had that through the day with their solids. first night is the hardest. co sleeping makes it harder to.

just do what you find best. don't be pushed into anything and please don't feel like you are doing something wrong! believe me you are not!
good luck and things will get better!


songbird123 Mon 11-Jul-16 10:43:36

just read he slept though!!! yay! congratulations!

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