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Really struggling 8.5 month old

(19 Posts)
golfmonkey Tue 03-Jan-17 14:40:17

Dd2 is a terrible sleeper but I have managed to get her self settling with a dummy (which she can now pick up and insert herself) at bedtime and have stopped feeding her at night (sort of, last 3 nights different). The best she has managed is going to bed at 6.30 and waking at 3 then about every hour after. This has happened 2 times ever. Most nights she wakes every 1-2 hours after 9pm, but on bad nights (like last night) she wakes every 10-90 mins. She woke every half hour from 7pm till 6am last night, but was awake between 1.30-2 and 4-5 ish too.

I'm sure it's all just a phase but I'm at breaking point. I start work soon and am really worried. I'm angry at dd2 and also don't feel I am being a decent parent to either kid because I'm such a zombie. The holidays haven't helped as there are so few activities on and anything we have done messes with naps. Bedtime is always sacred and has been fine until last week though.

Last night I got so wound up I let her cry for less 2 minutes, and she puked on the bed. She had no temperature and has no teeth, I'm not against giving calpol just in case, but don't want to do it every night if there isn't any reason. She's crap at naps too, 3x 30 mins if I am lucky though she has had occasional 1hr 20mins naps in the last month or so.

Is tonight the right time to do proper controlled crying? I've always been against it but I'm such a mess and get lower and lower in mood each time I have a bad few nights. I just want to leave home at the moment. I feel like this because I'm sleep deprived. The minute I get a couple of 2 hour stretches of sleep I feel amazing again.

So do I do controlled crying from tonight? Do I just wait a week and see if things gradually improve? Thanks for reading and any advice, I'm desperate.

FATEdestiny Tue 03-Jan-17 14:52:43

8.5 months old is too young for controlled crying.

It isn't recommended for under 12 months old because a baby under 1 may not have the phsyical skills to adequately self-sooth when distressed and also it is not unreasonable to expect night feeds and natural night wakes in the first year.

While I can see there would be some leyway with using controlled crying in certain situations for an 11 month old or maybe a 10 month old because that is almost 1y.

At 8 months you are still in the early weaning phase (6-9m) when everything changes and will be unsettled as baby learns a while new way of feeding.

I'm sorry, that's probably not what you wanted to hear flowers but no, I wouldn't do controlled crying tonight.

golfmonkey Tue 03-Jan-17 15:35:45

No I really appreciate the quick reply thank you. The studies I read (meta analysis) said there was no harm from controlled crying after 7 months but I do accept she is young and isn't just doing this on purpose and I really want to do it a different way. I never did cc with dd1 but she was just so different. I have been doing a kind of gradual retreat for all other issues (bedtime was never an issue until now) so may think about this again for bedtime.

One step forward and two steps back. My relationship with my husband and both daughters is suffering as well as my own mental health and my relationships with friends and wider family as I just don't want to do anything outside of existing until things get better. The one thing I can't do is let it affect my job which is why I want a quick solution. But from everything I've read, cc is only a temporary quick solution then has to be repeated when things go wrong again and I don't want to get into that cycle.
If she wasn't so clingyin the day it might help too but she isn't happy unless she's physically touching me which wears me out.
Thanks again, just nice to go through it and know someone has read it

Introvertedbuthappy Tue 03-Jan-17 15:43:07

Is your DH stepping up to help out? My DS2 has been like this (up every 2 hours) until 2 nights ago where he's now suddenly gone to sleeping 6:45-9:30, then 9:45-5! He's 9 months old next week so I'm hoping this is it getting better, especially as I've been back to work since November.

We've been doing a night each since 5 months ish when he switched fully to formula. He has always got up at 5 so whoever does the 'night shift' goes back to bed between 5-7:30 to try and catch up. Not ideal, but it's helped mentally knowing that you can sleep every other night. We also give each other a lie in at the weekend.

FATEdestiny Tue 03-Jan-17 15:59:13

I can see from your posts golfmonkey that you really want controlled crying to be your magic wand.

I am not inherently against cc in the right situation, but you seem to be wanting to use it when it won't help.

It's like trying to use a spanner to loosen a screw - it's a tool, but it's the wrong tool for the specific situation.

golfmonkey Tue 03-Jan-17 17:44:51

I'd rather something other than cc was a magic wand, i definitely dnot want to use it if possible. I've decided a super early bedtime, calpol and sitting by the cot in the dark shushing but not touching till she is sleeping. Not sure whether to lie her back down and give her the dummy when she gets up or just leave her totally and literally just shush and see if she figures out how to lie back down by herself.

Yes dh helps out but dd1 is up a lot and his job is a lot of evenings and nights so it's not always possible. I think I need to cut out breastfeeding completely, we tried water at night bit that's stopped helping. She's only having a breastfeed first thing (after 4.30 ideally ) so I get an extra half hour or so but maybe I should just suck it up and make a bottle then. That's the hardest bit of the night for me - pre 4am and I have a lot of willpower.

Introvertedbuthappy Tue 03-Jan-17 18:17:47

How's weaning in terms of food going?

FATEdestiny Tue 03-Jan-17 18:21:56

Does she settle without crying with you just sitting next to the cot shushing?

And yes, she needs lying back down. You have to actively teach her to lie down and be still to go to sleep.

Chocolateorangegoblin Tue 03-Jan-17 18:26:45

Is she crying when she wakes or just grumbling? Teething?Reflux? Food intolerances? If she can go to sleep on her own initially I would look at medical reasons that might be causing discomfort.

golfmonkey Tue 03-Jan-17 21:04:53

Weaning going really well - she eats more than her sister. She's very active so seems hungry. 3 meals (7.30, 11.30, 4 30) plus an afternoon snack about 3. 5oz bottles at 9.30, 1.30 and 6pm (bf 5am-ish). Bed usually 6.30 after bath. Could I be over feeding her? She's putting on weight normally I think, 25th centile since birth.

Fate, she settles with shushing plus a bit of patting on the bum or hand holding, but not when she wakes each time crying. I have to get dummy in and lie her down before she gets too worked up or it makes it worse and she's hysterical. I try not to pick her up and cuddle her, not because I'm cruel but because I've worked really hard on gentle sleep training/gradual retreat and night weaning and don't want to undo my hard work. She's cruising and crawling loads in the day so really active and literally never stops moving/kicking arms and legs if being held etc. My dd1 was so calm!

She's been up 3x the last hour but settied within a minute or two of dummy in, lie down (pin her down a bit) and shush pat once shes cAlmer. The problem is this is likely to continue all night and so I get exhausted. I think she is chronically sleep deprived tbh, but it's hard to do a bedtime much earlier.

I have thought about food intolerance but don't really believe she has any, same with teething, I think she probably is, but nurofen doesn't change things too much usually. I try to only give drugs if temp is 37.6 or higher at my bedtime spot check or she's been gnawing away all day. Probably 3 out of 7 days blush.

Thanks again for all the advice and taking time to reply. Think I will go sleep next to her cot again when she next wakes, it helps me get more rest, just feels like a backward step but it helped lots previously.

FATEdestiny Tue 03-Jan-17 21:24:16

Think I will go sleep next to her cot again when she next wakes, it helps me get more rest

I was going to suggest this.

Gradual Withdrawal does take steps backwards as well as forwards. Don't beat yourself up about this, its just normal development that is usually non-linear.

It was with you mentioning not touching baby when settling - if baby us calm and settling with just you standing next to the cot and without hands on her, that's mega process for GW. Next steps from there is making your way out the room, which really is the final straight.

The rest of what you're saying though suggest a she's not at the stage of settlin to sleep with just you standing nearby shushing though, so a step too far just yet. You will get there though, there is light at the end of the tunnel if you keep going and stay patient.

She's been up 3x the last hour but settied within a minute or two of dummy in, lie down

She's not putting her own dummy in then? You mentioned in the op that she could. This may well be the crux of ehy she can't settle without you just yet. I kept my children In in the cot next to my bed until they'd got this skill. Mainly just to save my sanity and sleep. "Dummy runs" are a nightmare if you have to get up to do the reinsert.

Does she have a way to find the dummy when it's dark and she's distressed?

Being able to move the dummy from hand to mouth is very different to finding it. She will not have the searching skills of an adult, finding the dummy needs to be easy for her, even if it's just right next to her. I sewed a ribbon into the sleeping bag with a press stud at the end. Worked the same as a dummy saver clip but without the lumpy clip.

flapjackfairy Tue 03-Jan-17 21:36:03

You could try putting her to bed a bit later so she is not sleeping( Or not ) for so long . She may not need as many hours of sleep as you think . Good luck

jbee1979 Tue 03-Jan-17 21:43:47

I followed the Wonder Weeks, and there's a big developmental Leap at about 8.5m. It wasn't fun in this house! I downloaded the app so I could "see" the end in sight.

MamaLyon Tue 03-Jan-17 21:46:38

Not sure if it will be helpful but have you tried co-sleeping? A few months ago I posted about my DD lack of sleep (waking every 2/3hours at 5 months). I gave up and took one side off her cot and attached to our bed. She wakes twice for feeds now but settles quickly again, she is 8months and still bf. How often is she waking in the night? Are your expectations in regards to her sleep too high? Our DD1 didn't sleep through until she was past 1 (she was bottle fed). DD2 for example tonight was asleep by 7.15, but has woken crying twice since then (which is very normal for us). I've given her a quick feed and she won't wake until 2ish now. So maybe co-sleeping might be worth it? Will she settle quickly during the night if given bf instead of dummy?

golfmonkey Wed 04-Jan-17 06:45:50

Thanks all. Re: finding dummy, she has had a couple if nights where she's found it and put it in herself so thought she has mastered it, but she has seemed to forget this skill again. So maybe she hasn't really mastered it yet.

Last night I slept by thr cot all night. She went from 10-11.30 ok then woke and needed settling for 5 mins or.so, then again at 1.10. At this point she was basically up till 2.30, with periods of calm less than 10 mins in length. I had to give water and force the dummy in and keep lying her down and patting/shushing. If I had picked her up and fed her she would have been the same anyway, ive tried re starting the night feed but she doesn't take much and is calm.on the breast but then freaks out as soon as I put her down again. So decided not to restart. After 2.30 she slept till 4.40 which was great, though I had to hold her hand through cot bars a lot. After 4.40 she woke every 20 mins and settled with me shushing, patting, putting dummy in. I gave in at 5.40 (she had gone back down at 5.25) and picked her up and fed her and got her up for the day. Tbh she didn't feed much at all and has just gone down for breakfast (passed her over to her dad at 5.50!).

She's in the middle of a wonder week leap, she was a couple of weeks early so either has 1 or 3 weeks left....

If feeding or Co sleeping meant I got more sleep I would do it. But I haven't shared a bed with dh for 8 months and she doesnt sleep massively.worse in the cot. I have been Co sleeping the last half of the night or from 4, but she's writhing around and just clawing at my boobs the majority of the time so I've decided no more Co 'sleeping' is best. I don't think my expectations are too high, I'd be happy with 3 or 4 dummy runs per night, I'd just like 2 stretches longer than 3 hours ideally.

I don't think she needs as much as say my.older dd sleep wise, but she can't be so far.off.the spectrum that she only needs 11 hrs over 24? However if the early.nights don't help, maybe I will go.to a later bedtime. All my instinct and reading says she is chronically overtired,though she has such a happy pereonality she hides.it well.

golfmonkey Wed 04-Jan-17 08:11:14

Ps fate you are right, I can't just shush her. Essentially I am having to restrain her to calm her down. She immediately rolls over then sits up or stands up after I lie her down. She's obviously shattered and just constantly wired. I don't know if that's just her personality or if you think that could be indicating a problem, or if there is anything that can be done to help. I lie her on her back sometimes and front sometimes. Should I be more consistent?

MamaLyon Wed 04-Jan-17 09:55:05

No other suggestions golf monkey but hope she improves soon for you. The rolling over and sitting straight up is what we have too!! Maybe she just doesn't like to sleep? DD is very active and inquisitive (stands alone at 8months too), I wonder if it's just their personality types that actively dislike sleeping? Sorry I couldn't offer more help!

FATEdestiny Wed 04-Jan-17 12:00:39

The mobile stage is really hard on sleep. Plus the more mobile baby is, the harder it is to establish.

Try to stop looking at the clock in the night. It has a really positive psychological effect on your sleep.

Also try to do as much as you can without getting up. Dummy reinserts for example, yes you'll wake up and that's annoying. But keep your eyes closed and just reach in, out dummy in, but of shushing and stroking and doze back off.

golfmonkey Wed 04-Jan-17 13:41:14

Thanks so much again fate. I should stop looking at the clock, in my head it's helping me analyse the situation but I suppose in reality it doesn't really help. Hopefully she'll get bored of practicing her new motor skills soon, though suspect it won't be for a while.

Mamalyon I fear you might be right. ....I hope this doesn't mean she's the naughty kid in school but i can totally imagine it!

Going to just try same again tonight and see if I can get help in the day looking after the kids. Dd2 doesn't seem to need many naps, 2x 20 mins so far today, may get another 20 mins later if im lucky. So no rest there either argh!

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