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6 months old and still a shit sleeper

(66 Posts)
MYA2016 Thu 21-Jul-16 21:58:23

I've lurked on these threads since the birth of my first baby 6 months ago.... I'm still here... still wondering why he hates sleep so much.
I don't think I'm even hoping for advice anymore... just a rant.
Goes to bed at 7.30 after the same routine of dinner, bath, massage,in the night garden, book, bottle, take upstairs, lullaby, then the hell begins.
I've stopped bf to sleep at night (was very hit and miss anyway), put him in cot and either shh to sleep or if he is upset we hold him and rock him.
Usually takes 15 mins tops. Goes down easily.
40 mins later will wake. Always try to get him back to sleep without taking out of cot. Rarely works. Will never bf at this point.
And then it continues. Every 40-90 mins till midnight he wakes,crying. He just cannotated get through a sleep cycle.
At midnight he will not be put down. Cries and cries and cries every time his head hits the cot
So we bring him to our bed and some nights he'll sleep and wake once or twice, other nights he'll wake hourly still.
He eats loads and really well in the day, I've tried him on his back and tummy,he won't take a dummy and never has.
Feeling quite trapped as I'd love a break (all day naps have to be in my arms so I feel like I never get time to breathe) however I wouldn't put anyone else through the nights we have
Dh is very supportive of cosleeping and will always get up throughout the night to help, despite having work at 6am but ds will never settle with him.
Hv told me yesterday that when I made the choice to bf, I made the choice to not sleep as you can't have both.
Have enjoyed bf but really feeling like I won't do it again right now with any subsequent dcs .
Rant is over.

HelenF35 Thu 21-Jul-16 22:06:50

My ds was exactly the same at that age. It does get better. Your health visitor is an ass. I stopped breastfeeding at 7 months (bad biting finally made me throw in the towel) and my son did not magically start sleeping on formula, nor did me when he went onto solids. It was probably around 9 months it started to get better and by 10 he was sleeping 11 hours most nights. I found reducing his daytime sleep to fall in (pretty much) with Gina Fords sleep timings helped the most. Please note I did not use her methods, only the timings. Hang in there, it will get better!

TheLittlestBear Thu 21-Jul-16 22:13:36

Can you simplify bedtime? I guess you probably tried this and looking for a miracle. But we do bath, in the night garden, bottle in dark room and he gets drowsy and we put him down to sleep.

We used to use a dummy, but he sleeps at night without it now. (Naps, he uses a dummy). He used to wake crying, but he didn't really wake up, so we just gave dummy again and he would go back to sleep.

Can you give him some expressed milk when he wakes up?

By the way, I think that's really insensitive of your HV. I think all babies are different, I have friends who have ff and who have the same problem as you, and others who bf, who havebabies who sleep 7-7.

Jayfee Thu 21-Jul-16 22:41:08

Ok well health visitor is no help at all. With my first child, i breast fed for 9 months, but always a bottle at night. As I got tired during the day, there was not much milk for the end of day feed. The baby would suck for ages and I thought she was getting fed till the hunger crying started. I gave her a bottle from when she was 5 weeks and it never affected my milk production but helped with some aspects sleeping. However, my daughter did not sleep through the night till she was 18 months. She was allergic to food co!oring and bananas,b oth which also affect my husband. I'm not sayng this is the case for your son, but perhaps worth keeping him off any food which has colouring and bananas for a week and yourself too as I think stuff goes through breast milk. Not so much coloring now but still in a few things eg tortilla chips. Its only coal tar based food colouring which affects certain people. Babies and toddlers are affected more because their bodies are smaller.

One other thing, and it is hard, is to let him cry when he wakes the first time. Crying won't hurt him, but you would want to reassure yourself he was ok, so perhaps a camera unless you can peek in without him seeing you.

I am going to to wish very hard for you that he is soon sleeping through the night. Good luck.

LapinR0se Fri 22-Jul-16 07:52:50

The HV is speaking bollocks.
Your baby can't get through his sleep cycles at night because he is used to you helping him to sleep during the day.
You need to get him napping in his cot during the day and then the night sleep will come.
At 6 months he needs a nap 9-10 and another 12.30-3 (very approx) then bed 6.30pm

Metalhead Fri 22-Jul-16 07:56:38

No advice but just wanted to reiterate that you're HV is talking absolute rubbish! Your decision to bf has nothing to do with this, as you say it's more a problem of transitioning between sleep cycles, so don't feel bad about your feeding choices.

And just to offer you some hope re: daytime naps, my DD2 would only nap in my arms until she was nearly 6 months and then one day something just clicked and she started sleeping in her cot. Fx that your DS will show some improvement soon too!

CatsCantFlyFast Fri 22-Jul-16 07:56:49

your health visitor is an ass

Hahaha so true

Sleep has little to do with bf or formula feeding. And often it has little to do with what you do either, sometimes it's just luck - both babies and adults can find sleep easy or difficult.

I have a 27 month year old who is still a shit sleeper. I hope yours improves, some good advice above x

CatsCantFlyFast Fri 22-Jul-16 07:57:12

The x was accidental/out of habit blush

lornathewizzard Fri 22-Jul-16 08:39:25

Sorry if I'm missing something but are you trying to feed at night and he's not interested or are you not offering?
My dd was formula fed, but had one or two bottles during the night til around 9 or 10months.
Also my DD never slept like Lap suggests during the day so I don't think that's necessarily what you should aim for. They're all different, at 6 months DD had 3 x 45mind and a later bedtime. Worked for us. Good napping during the day is important though.
Good luck!

MYA2016 Fri 22-Jul-16 09:20:50

Thanks for all the advice. My hv is an ass I agree. She proceeded to tell me how likely I am to kill my baby by cosleeping and that no sleep is better than bedsharing. hmm

I'll try and answer all points

Helen - thanks that gives me some hope!!

Thelittlestbear - have tried to simplify routine. He doesn't always have the bath but also it depends on his last nap. He will go 2-3 hours between day naps but at night he needs 3-4 hours between last wake up and bedtime. If we try before it just leads to a lot of tears in the nursery for an hour or so.

Jayfee - I'll bear in mind about any allergies although I'm quite sure it isn't. He is the happiest baby ever in the day. Literally never cries at anything. I just think he doesn't like his cot sad

Lapinrose - have tried to get him in his cot for day naps but he just wakes instantly. In my arms he'll sleep for longer. But not those times you say,he's fallen into his in pattern which I'll put below.

Metal head - I will keep persevering with trying to put him down for day naps. It's good that yours started around 6 months and gives me some hope!

Not without - 27 and still a shit sleeper shock wow! And the x is fine... I need all the affection I can get haha

Lorna - thank you. It's good to know you were still offering night feeds at this point.

This is our routine below...

7.00 - wake up and bf
8.00 - breakfast
9.00 - bf and nap till 10 in my arms
11.30 - lunch
12.00 - 30 mins nap usually in the car as we're out
1.00 - formula
2.00 - snack
2.30 - 1 hour nap. Bf when wake
5.00 - dinner
6.00 - bath and massage
6.20 - in the night garden
6.50 - book and bottle of formula
7.15 - take upstairs and usually asleep easily by 7.30

When he wakes I will offer him bf or bottle if it's been 3-4 hours since he last had milk. The rest of the time I'll rock him to sleep. Last night he actually slept between 12-5am without waking but was up every 40 mins from 7.30-12.

It's worth adding that he barely drinks any milk, hence why I offer feeds so often. If he bf he's only latched on for 2 mins or so and formula he will never drink more than 2oz a time. He's always been like this but hv wasn't concerned as he's steadily followed 50th line

Thanks for responding to my rant. If anyone can see where I'm going wrong please feel free to point it out smile

MYA2016 Fri 22-Jul-16 09:21:42

Sorry that was so long, I understand if nobody can be arsed to read it grin

FizzyFeet Fri 22-Jul-16 10:26:31

You've probably come across these already, but might be worth a try:

For helping connect the sleep cycles, try the wake to sleep method - if he wakes every 40 mins during the evening, try going in after 30 mins and gently readjusting him. The idea is that he wakes slightly but not fully and tips over into the next sleep cycle. Sounds bonkers but if he's waking anyway it's worth a try for a few days/ a week if necessary. Does he have a burp after 40 mins? DD (same age) often does but will go back off once it's out.

On the not liking the cot thing - you could try the Cheshire Baby Whisperer (different from the 'regular' baby whisperer!) Again, sounds counterintuitive - based on lots of sensory play in the cot before bed) but maybe worth investigating.

Final thought - how long do you leave it before you go in? If he's not in actual distress you could try leaving him to moan for 2-3 mins to see if he'll go off by himself. Really bloody hard to do, and I still never do it past midnight!

And as PP have said, ignore your HV. What a load of crap!

lornathewizzard Fri 22-Jul-16 10:30:22

Jeez I really can't see anything obvious that I would suggest changing MYA but obviously something is bothering him to be up so often the first part of the night. Is it possibly wind or reflux or something? Might explain why he's not taking much formula/bf at a time either I guess.
Sorry that wasn't very helpful!

s098 Fri 22-Jul-16 11:54:50

Is your Ds in your room or his own room? My Dd was a shit sleeper too, seemed really uncomfortable, would wake up as soon as i put her back in cot so had to have her on me from about 4am.
Moved her to her own room last thurs and things have been much better.
Hope things get better for you soon

ashley0710 Fri 22-Jul-16 20:38:46

Have you tried a sleep pod or something similar in his cot so it's more snug? And also previous poster made a good point could be reflux ect
I stopped bathing my 10 month old before bed as I found it kept her awake so I moved it to late afternoon before her tea and she goes to sleep much easier now
Are you leaving him a few minutes to see if he will re settle by himself? I only ask as I was guilty of every noise or murmur running in and I was doing more harm than good.
I'd ring your Drs see if they can suggest anything if your health visitor isn't the best.
Hope he sleeps for you soon, no sleep is the pits xx

reallywittyname Fri 22-Jul-16 21:06:37

OK, I just looked at his routine and I think he might be going to bed too late. I would give him dinner, bath/massage, then book and bed. He doesn't really need to watch ITNG at his age so you could cut that out and take him up to his room for quiet cuddles and book etc. I think the advice that no screen time before bed is good.

If he won't sleep in his cot for daytime naps, could you put him in his pram? I did this with my DD1 who also wouldn't nap in her cot, and I made sure her pram was dark and boring and then walked her round the garden (or rolled her back and forth in the kitchen when it was raining) until she dropped off.

Oh, and your health visitor is talking crap. FF doesn't guarantee sleep and BF doesn't mean no sleep.

reallywittyname Fri 22-Jul-16 21:08:09

Sorry meant to add bottle to his bedtime routine. And say of course offer milk overnight as well.

Fomalhaut Fri 22-Jul-16 21:16:51

Oh it's so hard isn't it? Our nine month old is a shit sleeper - every bloody twenty minutes some nights.
I know he can join sleep cycles because Ive seen him do it!

My advice is stop beating yourself up. We have just a accepted now that sleep is not happening for a few years - we are in survival mode. Some weekends we sleep in shifts 😁 Try the tips, but if they do t work, they don't. Even cc didn't work on ours. Some are just bad sleepers.

A few things though - keep trying the cot. Ours is now back in his for the first hour which is a major breakthrough. Don't force it, don't let them get upset, just try, every few nights, to transfer to cot after falling asleep. Ours now wakes, howls but with a firm hand gently on him and his fave song we realised he wasnt actually awake... Next step will be transferring awake. Baby steps.,
Secondly. Teeth. Got any yet? At six months ours sprouted six in one go and poor guy, it made him suffer. Looking back he was unsettled for weeks before. Teething can really hurt them.
My sympathies anyway - you're not alone! flowers

puglife15 Sat 23-Jul-16 21:58:17

The whole bf / sleeping thing is utter bollocks. My eldest who was ebf and bf to sleep slept 11 hours straight before he was 6 months old (it didn't last!). He could never nap through a sleep cycle at that stage either. His brother is a different kettle of fish!

I think you're probably just unlucky, some babies do just wake a lot. It must be so tough but it will pass. If you can just get through another few months then maybe sleep training would be an option... I wouldn't bother at this stage tbh as I think he's too young for it to work well and there is often a bit of a regression and teething etc at 7 months so might all be undone.

I would definitely cut out ITNG. It could be stimulating him too much and TV not recommended for under 2's. You want darker, quieter, little or no electric light.

I would want to rule out CMPA, reflux, apnoea etc too if he's done this since birth.

If it's been up and down maybe just a combination of newborn sleep followed by a leap or two?

FruitCider Sat 23-Jul-16 22:01:09

Sorry to say this, but my dd is 3.5 and still wakes up some nights. Some kids sleep through ridiculously early. Some don't sleep through until they are exhausted from school. Formula feeding makes no difference. Breastfeeding mothers usually have better quality sleep. Your HV is talking out of her bottom.

FruitCider Sat 23-Jul-16 22:05:52

*7.00 - wake up and bf
8.00 - breakfast
9.00 - bf and nap till 10 in my arms
11.30 - lunch
12.00 - 30 mins nap usually in the car as we're out
1.00 - formula
2.00 - snack
2.30 - 1 hour nap. Bf when wake
5.00 - dinner
6.00 - bath and massage
6.20 - in the night garden
6.50 - book and bottle of formula
7.15 - take upstairs and usually asleep easily by 7.30*

This is nowhere near enough sleep for a baby that age. Assuming they sleep through the night (which we know they don't) they would only be getting 14 hours, and that's without taking into account the time they are awake at night. I would stop the 9am nap, and give a longer nap at 10, then another nap at 14:30, and bed at 6!

60sname Sat 23-Jul-16 22:08:24

We had this with now 10mo DS. Up every hour just before he reached six months. Feeding throughout the night. We were at our wits' end. He was still in with us and we held out till a week or so before the six month mark. At this point he was sleeping half the night on me (we have never voluntarily co-slept).

We did pick up put down (PUPD). The first night took five hours before he finally went down. By night three it was half an hour. We haven't looked back.

It's not perfect; he still wakes at night, though much less recently as he has belatedly embraced solids. But overall it's all so so much better.

puglife15 Sat 23-Jul-16 22:15:06

Yep my 3.5 year old gets up more now than he did when he was 6mo...

Fruit - I thought 14 hours a day is fine for this age? Obviously not reaching that given how much baby is waking in this instance.

beela Sat 23-Jul-16 22:18:50

Wow. I just wanted to join in and say your hv is talking utter shite.

My ds was a bad sleeper, and didn't reliably sleep through (by which I mean not wake at all between bedtime and getting up time) until after he started school.

Dd has always slept better but was still waking at least 3x per night at 8 months old. She's now 2 but sleeps better than the 5 year old.

Both were ebf, but I co-slept with dd because I couldn't face the thought of getting up and down in the night mainly because I was still so sleep deprived because ds was not yet sleeping properly. Co-sleeping is fine (and lovely) if you follow the guidelines.

Flisspaps Sat 23-Jul-16 22:28:42

Your HV is talking shit (just to echo the above sentiments!)

My two were shit sleepers. I wore out a vacuum with DD using it for white noise to get her to stay asleep at nap time. I have horrendous memories of rocking her singing The Wheels on the Bus and The Grand Old Duke of York to her for HOURS on end. I used a white noise app for DS's naps, and co slept at night until he was about 9mo.

They do sleep eventually but you have my sympathies, it's fucking hell at the time.

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