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One year old sleep getting worse (and needing milk constantly!)

(25 Posts)
TheHubblesWindscreenWipers Wed 21-Sep-16 09:08:37

Ds is almost one. He's always been a dreadful sleeper. Up every twenty mins some days. No intolerances or allergies, we've tried all the usual stuff (routine, gradual retreat, pupd, shhpat, white noise, controlled crying, reflux meds, sleep consultants etc.) zero success. Nothing works.

He's now wanting to be on the boob 24/7. I want to cut down feeding to morning and night. I've tried cutting one feed at a time, and dh responding to him at night but it's not working. He is waking in the night, really hungry. We feed him loads in the day (he's not a great eater so we go for snacks too and fortify what he does eat) and he's only 8.2kg.
I'm getting very rundown and Ill (physically and mentally) with the constant waking and never having a moment to myself. I've not managed to be away from him for more than a couple of hours day or night for a year. He has to go to nursery soon and I have to go back to work. I'm so tired I'm sick.

Why can't he go more than a couple of hours without food? Any tips or advice?

FATEdestiny Wed 21-Sep-16 14:36:21

8.2kg is the 25th centile. Nothing wrong with being on the small side, his weight is fine.

I very much doubt he 'needs' to feed every 2 hours now he's nearly a year old, or to breastfeed all the time. his weight is healthy and you mention his diet it too. There are likely to be other reasons for his need to breastfeed that is not to do with a need for the milk.

TheHubblesWindscreenWipers Wed 21-Sep-16 15:09:49

Docs have concerns over his weight as it's dropped quite a bit.. he looks so thin as well. It's so noticeable at playschool - I feel like I've got a like Dickensian urchin among all these little puddings!
. I honestly do think he's hungry. He is very active and cant go long in the day without food. Plus this strong smell of ketones... I don't doubt it's habit as well, he's very clingy and always has been, but I do think he's hungry. I suppose one reinforces the other.

I'm just not sure how to cut down without him getting really upset. I'm so exhausted I don't have the strength for a battle

FATEdestiny Wed 21-Sep-16 16:20:53

I think I remember your previous posts on the sleep board.

I'm getting very rundown and Ill (physically and mentally)

Have you talked to your doctor about your mental health?

Are you in the UK?

What is it that your doctor is concerned about? I see you are worrying about his weight, but I cannot understand why a medical professional would at nearly 1 year old. We are not talking a newborn dropping centiles, we are talking a toddler funding his natural weight.

Do you mind me asking if you are on the smaller side (feel free to ignore of you don't want to answer). It might be that your DS is just genetically small.

Being cubby is not healthy, not even in a baby and cetainly not in a toddler. So while comparing your smaller son to bigger children may be hard for you to avoid, I'm fact your son would be the healthy one, not the chubby children.

TheHubblesWindscreenWipers Wed 21-Sep-16 18:07:30

I'm short (but a bit fat these days, hey ho...) dh is six foot. He just looks a bit waify and transparent against all the little solid ones here. It's been a battle to keep his weight up - twice weve dropped off the bottom of the charts and had to be monitored more... he's heading down again so I think that's why they are worried? I think he is a natural skinny and active on top - he's extremely active so probably burning through what he eats quickly.
Agree that kids are often naturally skinny though and I was a tiny runty child - I was six stone something when I went to uni, despite being healthy, sporty and eating well. I just didn't grow.

Not in the U.K... I have an appointment with baby clinic next week so I will tell them (for the umpteenth time) how bad I feel. They just don't seem concerned.

It'll pass, I know... I just want him to sleep for longer!

Laquila Wed 21-Sep-16 18:15:58

Ahhh I feel for you, you must be exhausted. By that age I was still feeding my elder son a few times a day but mercifully not overnight. The younger one is only 7 months though and feeds like a monster all bloody night. It's very hard when you have the ability to calm him down/soothe him (i.e., boobs) and you're too damn knackered to do so.

Does he have any formula at all and if so does he drink from a bottle or a cup? I say this all the time on these boards but I'm a firm believer that sleep is about 15% about forming good sleep habits and the rest of sheer luck. Good luck and chin up.

TheHubblesWindscreenWipers Wed 21-Sep-16 18:44:03

Won't touch formula and will only take little sips from a sippy cup - most of it drools out.
My next one is having a bottle alongside the breast from the start! My biggest regret is not giving a regular bottle so others could feed him. He won't take a dummy but is very sucky so I'm his pacifier :/

Agree with the sheer luck thing. We saw the hospital consultant who said that a small percentage of perfectly healthy babies just don't sleep for no obvious reason... sad

FATEdestiny Wed 21-Sep-16 18:55:07

We saw the hospital consultant who said that a small percentage of perfectly healthy babies just don't sleep for no obvious reason

In that case why not frame the situation a different way. Instead of focusing on the chokds sleep, focus solely on maximising your own sleep

- cosleep on a mattress on floor (so it's safe) with your top off for immediate boob acesss.
- get used to not properly waking up during night feeds. Don't open your eyes. Move as little as possible. Learn to size through it all.
- get rid of the clock in the bedroom. Don't keep track of night waking frequencies or times. Size through it all.
- Go to bed early. Embrace the 'luxury' or being able to go to bed at 8pm and chill out in bed
- Cosleep for all daytime naps. Even if you dont sleep, at least you are relaxing.

FATEdestiny Wed 21-Sep-16 18:56:21

Correction (there are many in my post, sorry):

"Learn to size snooze through it all."

Coconut0il Wed 21-Sep-16 22:03:01

Definitely agree with above, if you can't change it you have to find ways to cope with it. Bed early, sleep in when you can, daytime naps if DP is there, co sleep so you don't have to get up. Sleep in shifts with your DP.
My DS2 is 12 months, he's not too bad but he'll have the odd week where he doesn't sleep well and he can be a very sucky baby. We do all of the above. It will pass, you've just got to get through it. That's what I tell myself!

TheHubblesWindscreenWipers Thu 22-Sep-16 07:54:48

We do all those things... I'm just not good at sleeping with him latched on. He's a very noisy, squirmy bed companion - he babbles in his sleep and moves around a lot and always has his eyes half open . It's actually quite hard to tell when he is asleep! He rarely goes into a 'still, quiet, obviously asleep' state. In the daytime I do often go with him to bed but again he's squirming, latching, biting, waking every few minutes. There's no way I can doze because he tries to fling himself off the bed and wakes constantly. It's not normal...
There's no space for a floor mattress in our room (can't move the bed,) I might see if there's space in what will be his room and buy a single ikea mattress
No chance of sleeping in. Once he's decided he up for the day he will climb/attempt to launch himself off the bed/scream until one of us gets up.

It's like he really struggles to get off to sleep and wakes all the time. I very very rarely see him totally sparked out. As soon as he's awake he's screaming.
I'm so tired, and so down. I'm convinced there's some sort of physical problem at the root of all this but the doctors seem to disagree. And maybe they're correct and I'm looking for an easy single factor to blame it on rather than think it's my parenting or that he just doesn't sleep.

TheHubblesWindscreenWipers Mon 26-Sep-16 13:31:24

Now he's refusing point blank to nap in the day as well. We got about two hours of broken sleep last night again and it's been like this for weeks.
He wants to be breastfed constantly and is screaming until he gets milk. Sippy cups refused and thrown.
He's obviously tired, yawning and rubbing his eyes but he will not go to sleep
When I do finally get him to sleep he pings awake after 10-15 mins, then it all starts again. What's wrong? Why won't he sleep for god's sake?!?

I'm so tired. I feel so low. I just can't stand the tiredness and whining and crying and biting and hair pulling and scratching - it's like being tormented.

FATEdestiny Mon 26-Sep-16 14:10:21

* I have an appointment with baby clinic next week so I will tell them (for the umpteenth time) how bad I feel. They just don't seem concerned.*

Please go to your doctor. Not the baby's doctor, yours. Talk about you.

The high anxiety tone of your posts worries me. I fear for your mental health Hubbles. I think the very first step for helping you and your baby is proper support for your depression/anxiety.

TheHubblesWindscreenWipers Mon 26-Sep-16 14:26:54

I have. I've spoken to them. They gave me antidepressants a few months back, which are about as effective as smarties. There is nothing more they will do. They won't give me anything else because I'm breastfeeding. There's no external support available for things like help with the baby (I asked.) the usual spiel about getting parents/friends etc to help with the baby, which isn't possible. We can't afford to hire a nanny etc (employing people here is several times what it costs in the uk.) all daycare is state allocated and we have been in the queue for a year now. Still no place, which means I will probably lose my job.

I'll manage, but I'm just a bit fed up. Just tried to get out for a walk, and had to come back because he was whining and crying ( and so was I...)

FATEdestiny Mon 26-Sep-16 17:58:30

There are lots of different antidepressant and antianxiety drugs you can safey take while breastfeeding.

These types of medication are restricted when you are pregnant, but not when breastfeeding. The reason for this is largely because it is widely recognised how significantly postnatal depression affects new mothers.

My best friend suffers with very serious and long term Post Traumatic Stress. She needed significant help with her mental health following the birth of her children and whilst breastfeeding. I cannot overstate how important anti anxiety medication is. I see all the signs in your post - catastrophising, loss of hope, frantic desperation.

There are lots of different medications you can take while breastfeeding. You have mentioned before (in other threads) a fear of admitting to doctors how you feel. Did you over come that? Please, please seek help. You life with baby will be so so SO much better with adequate mental health support.

So you mind me asking which country you are from?

I am not sure how cultures with no access to medication deal with anxiety. There must be ways. I am not a health professional but what about exercise? Sunlight? Great air?

TheHubblesWindscreenWipers Mon 26-Sep-16 18:48:33

I'm from the uk.
I know the SSRI class are reasonably safe during breastfeeding and I told the doctor this and requested the antidepressant I have found to work in the past. They refused until I'd been on sertraline 'for a few months'. They prescribe that because the pharmacokinetics show it enters breast milk in very low doses - despite the excellent safety profiles of several SSRIs which have years of safety surveillance behind them. They misunderstand the safety data.... less doesn't necessarily mean fewer effects. It just means less 🙄
Ironically, I work in clinical trials/ 5drug development and surveillance.
I have found they don't seem too bothered - plenty of the 'Hysterical woman' attitude and told to pull my socks up, all babies cry/don't sleep sometimes etc.
What I need is a break - someone to give me a few nights rest or a few days off.

How other cultures cope is interesting. You tend to find that some cultures display a great reluctance to label anything as mentally derived. Instead the disorder is somatised (i.e. the symptoms are expressed in a physical context.) in Cambodia for example they express as 'wind disorders' , in other cultures as stomach problems. It's a way of acknowledging the situation without saying it's mental, which could lead to ostracism.

I'm aware I'm unwell. I've asked for help... there just doesn't seem to be any on offer. Health system under great strain here, ironically due to increased migration ...

TheHubblesWindscreenWipers Mon 26-Sep-16 18:56:47

Also meant to say thank you for your concern - very kind of you

Laquila Tue 27-Sep-16 08:11:34

Oh OP I do feel for you. Could you see a doctor privately? I'm a big exponent of natural-term bf but I do think a mother's mental health is more important if it came to it, would you consider giving up bf so that you could be put on the right antidepressants? Of course that might bring more problems that it solves.

FATEdestiny Tue 27-Sep-16 10:20:25

Your GP should be more on-the-ball than that. Some need you to be very descriptive, more direct than many with depression can be. Maybe take along an nhs leaflet or poster and say "this is me".

Have you been on antidepresents before? My DH went on AD last year. He had a check every weeks initislly and when medication wasnt effective they furst upped the dose and then changed (from antidepressent medication to anti anxiety medication). This was all within the first month of taking medication for his mental health.

My best friend on the other hand was on anti anxiety medication for 10+ years before becoming pregnant. She didn't have a medication plan in place for her first child and things became very serious for tge first 6 months with self harm and disinterest in the baby. By her second child she had medication ready from the very day she gave birth.

I'll add that she breastfed both children for 2 years on her anti anxiety meds. I don't know the medication group she took but I think they were of the Prozac group (?) and we're high dose.

Please, please either make your GP understand or see a different doctor.

And keep trying to get baby to accept a bottle. The freedom it will give you is awesome.

FATEdestiny Tue 27-Sep-16 10:33:05

I'll just leave this here x

Naty1 Tue 27-Sep-16 10:55:39

My 14m old is similar. At night anyway. Im the dummy.
Could it be teething and reflux related? What did you try for reflux?
Dd is also quite a restless sleeper.

TheHubblesWindscreenWipers Tue 27-Sep-16 14:27:40

Thanks FATE... in retrospect I've been ill since he was born. It's very hard to get any help

I don't think he's teething - he has 8 through already. I can't look in his mouth as he has major meltdowns if anyone tries to touch his mouth/nose. We tried Nexium for reflux - zero improvement.
Been trying to get him to take a bottle or a dummy for months - he just won't. Dh took him last night because I was such a state. He screamed from 9pm (after finally falling asleep at 7pm) till 5:30 this morning. Only stopped when I fed him.

I look at that written down and I have no idea if it's normal. Babies cry, I am told ...

FATEdestiny Tue 27-Sep-16 18:42:44

It's not normal. I don't want to suggest that the sleep issues you are having with little one aren't real, they definately are. It's just that with mental health support you may feel calmer about it all.

It's really, really difficult to offer any practical help regarding sleep when it's catastrophosised.

I understand people who have severe insomnia can be helped by wearing sleep trackers, like fitbits or similar. The reason these help is specifically because it stops the catastrophising. It doesn't give the user more sleep, but it shows that they are actually getting more sleep and rest than they release.

I don't mean to minimise what you are going though. Your baby is clearly struggling with sleep and you are struggling too. I am not questioning that. But I wonder if using a similar mentality to the insomnia suffers would help you to see the positives and progress you make.

What's happened today with baby that has been great?

TheHubblesWindscreenWipers Tue 27-Sep-16 19:20:25

great? Well he's great generally. He's funny, affectionate, smart... He's already got a few words and he's almost walking. He's a lovely kid.

i know that. And I'm grateful he's healthy and happy. But that's working on an intellectual level for an emotional problem. I'm shattered, isolated, run down and not able to access the help I need. I know there's no magic bullet and that it's likely a complex issue and possibly just one of those things. That doesn't help with getting through the day though. And it's not helping him get better sleep.

TheHubblesWindscreenWipers Wed 28-Sep-16 22:09:39

Another day of no napping. Another night of screaming. He's benn screaming since 7pm and it's 11now here.

I really can't do this much longer

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