Absolute breaking point with 15mth old(21 Posts)
I'm sorry if this is jumbled but I'm at absolute breaking point and would love any advice from anyone in a similar situation who may have experienced this.
My baby girl has always been a frequent waker at night but this has never really been a problem until the last few months as although she woke up a lot she would settle easily usually with a bf or a cuddle from her dad.
Around her first birthday she finally started sleeping longer stretches (6 hrs) on her own and things got better and better until she slept through for a week. After her birthday her sleep just got progressively worse. She has had a cold on and off for what feels like forever, cut a load of teeth in one go and had her 12 month jabs so I initially expected some regression in her sleep but it's just got beyond awful.
A few weeks ago I noticed she got more upset when we picked her up out of the cot, so was just touching her and shushing her and for about a week she would quite happily put herself to sleep like this. I thought this was real progress as she was falling asleep without the boob. Now we seem to have gone backwards. Every night she is awake for about three hours. Last night she woke at 1.20am and it was almost half four before I got back to bed. My poor DH (who does as much as me with her at night, bar bf) had to be up at 6am for work. She doesn't want to feed, she screams if she's put in the cot, she screams if she's cuddled. I just don't know what she wants and I feel so useless. It's just the absolute worst. I could handle the frequent waking much better than this. I just don't know what to do or try next. I've been through everything I can think of. She has also in the last week or so started taking ages to go to sleep at bedtime with loads of fuss whereas she always went to sleep so easily before.
She has a good bedtime routine and naps fine in the day, I don't let her sleep too late in the afternoon etc. She's not quite walking yet but is very active in the day. She has almost all of her teeth.
The worst thing is it's like she's trying to tell me she doesn't like the way we're doing it any more but I don't know what else to try. I feel like I'm failing her.
You have my sympathy. Not sure if this is useful but have you tried a dummy? Also calm music - we have a night light thing that plays classical music, which is very calming.
Is she full before sleeping, maybe a big bottle of milk might help (if you don't already do this).
What do you do to get her to sleep normally at bedtime?
Story, bath, pjs on in dimly lit room, quiet bf and sometimes if she's really tired she falls asleep on the boob, other times she finishes her feed and wants a cuddle. Usually she goes into the cot 90% asleep, kind of stirs a little and realises she's in her cot then goes to sleep. Lately she's wanted to be totally asleep before being transferred.
It's probably time to move the final breastfeed to before bath time and settle to sleep from fully awake in the cot.
I would set up either a spare bed or comfy chair next to the cot, lean right into her with lots and lots of reassurance, physical contact, eye contact and compassion right through all the crying until (eventually) asleep.
We got to 14 months and like you could not function anymore. Like you say, she doesn't want to feed.
We did: no more night feeds, cup of water for thirst for them to get themselves, and let them cry.
We'd go in initially. Check nappy, temperature etc. All being well wed just leave. It was the most horrendous time but it was about 3-5 nights of hours of crying. He just wanted to play and have attention. I really wouldn't sit there and pander to her.
People parent in different ways and many hate this approach. Ds has slept through every night since that week. He's 5 now and not damaged!
FATE- we had kind of been doing this when she stopped wanting to feed to sleep, but sometimes she just goes hysterical when placed in the cot. I'm fine reassuring her when she's okay but sometimes when she gets hysterical a bf is the only way to calm her down. Would I need to do the same when she wakes at night too? I'm also feeding her to sleep for naps because she usually falls asleep so quickly and easily then and it still feels a bit harsh to me to stop this all together... If it's what she needs I'd do it but it just feels a bit mean! Thanks for your advice, I was hoping you'd post on my thread 😊
I was going to say if it was me id I'd just do bedtime at first, not night wakes or naps. But that's because I favour the slowly, gentle, no rush route.
However I didn't know how far at the end of your tether you are. It's not unreasonable at this age to just have Had Enough and to deal with some screaming for quicker results, as it were. That would be ok, short term pain for long term gain, if you you've got to the Something Must Be Done stage, say if you're back at work and exhausted for example.
I'm a SAHM and my other children are school age, so have no time pressures. So it's fine for me to say 'take the slow route, be gentle' but that doesn't suit everyone.
If it was me though I would just seperate milk and sleep for bedtime first. This would be the 'easiest' (it won't be easy!) for baby to cope with. She should be tired but not exhausted and well fed.
I would use bedtime as the place to establish awake-to-asleep-in-cot, but choose your battles with wake ups and nap times. The more you establish it at bedtime, you should begin to be able to use the same principles at other times.
One last thing I'd add - since her lrimary source of comfort to sleep is breastfeeding, you need to prioritise established another, independant form of comfort. Like snuggling her to a special toy every time you breastfeed to establish a bond.
We did controlled crying in the end. I researched it thoroughly, made a plan of what I would/wouldn't do and got on with it. It was very tough - DH, who hadn't done the research, had to go for a drive once because he couldn't cope with it - but it worked within three days. A key thing for DD is having her teddies to cuddle and a big pillow, which obviously she couldn't have until she was that bit older. Now after milk/bath/pjs/story she cuddles up to her teddies and goes to sleep. Occasionally if she's poorly she asks for "counting" - DH sits next to the bed and quietly counts to 100. She finds singing too stimulating, no matter how quiet/gentle.
I know a lot of people would never do controlled crying, I was one of them before I had DD. I honestly think it was the kindest thing to do for her - she's so much happier with a full night of sleep and non-sleep deprived parents (now we have 8 week old DD2 but that's another story!)
Whatever you decide to do, good luck.
Thanks everyone. Leaving her alone to cry is not for me.
FATE- I'm a SAHM too so very keen to go down the softly softly route. She does have a comforter- a small muslin which she holds while we feed and she sniffs it at night (cute). I'm not properly properly at the end of my tether, it's more than I'm getting cues from her that something needs to change but I'm not sure what.
Last night for example, she had a small feed at bedtime then wasn't interested but when I put her in the cot she bypassed crying and went straight to full on top of her lungs catatonic screaming. Would you calm her down then pop her back in the cot until she gets it? I know the first few days will be hardest I'm gearing myself up for it... 🙁
We had similar with ds at the same age. He basically cried/moaned for a couple of hours unless we took him downstairs and then he would play quite happily with his toys. I still don't know why it happened. Thankfully it didn't last that long, maybe on and off for a few weeks? I started getting him outside for a little run around at the park after his lunchtime nap, to make sure he was tired out again before bedtime. This definitely helped. He's 18 months now and has been sleeping through for just over 2 weeks now .
Fwiw I still bf to sleep. He cries out in the night occasionally but for like 1 minute max and then goes back to sleep so I just leave him. So if you're happy to keep feeding to sleep we're proof that it won't stop him from sleeping through!
Went through a very similar thing a couple of months ago with DD when she was 15 months.
The health visitor suggested no TV, iPad or phone time in the afternoon or evening which has really helped.
I think some kids get over excited and overstimulated by tv etc - apparently it's the intelligent ones!
The hysterical screaming sounds like it might be a night terror? Does she seem fully awake and aware of you or are her eyes unfocused? These have also stopped since we have banned the tv etc in the afternoon / evening. Being overtired seemed to set them off as well, if she hadn't napped well in the day the slightest noise would wake her and set her off at night.
She's fully awake. She's very bright and an usually excellent communicator and it's like she's telling us she really, really doesn't want what we're doing.
TV is a bit of an issue for me... I hate her watching any at all but she loves it and asks for it on all the time! We obviously don't let her watch tons in one go- she usually has two or three small chunks of telly time through the day. I do let her watch it while I cook tea though but never after that. She doesn't use any other screens. I'll give it a try and see if it makes a difference, thanks for the suggestion
Well if I wasn't really at breaking point then I am now. Awake since 2.45am (with a wake up at 1am) and still going strong 😢
DS did the awake for hours in the night thing and it turned out to be teething. He also does it if he is in pain for other reasons, like ear ache. I know you've said your daughter has most of her teeth but the canines have been particularly bad for her and are some of the last ones to come through, any chance it's them?
Try reducing daytime naps, this helped with ours.
I do think she's cutting her canines Redkite as she's definitely teething and all she's missing are those and her rear molars (but think she's too young to get those yet?) but she doesn't necessarily display her teething symptoms during the tines she's awake. She's also on the back end of a cough and has been snotty for what feels like forever so I guess I need those things to clear up first. Just feeling sorry for myself today!
Did it pass for you once DS had his teeth?
Awe hugs for you. Our DD fell out of her sleep pattern a year ago for six weeks, I was 5 months pregnant and we were on our knees as both working FT and she was up between 1 and 3 everyday. We tried controlled crying, going in every 2 minutes and telling her we loved her before putting back down in cot. Took two nights and one middle of the night and haven't looked back since. It's not easy, first night she cried for an hour and 15 and I know it's controversial BUT overall she cried less doing this than she did waking every night and we are better parents with sleep !
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