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At a complete loss of how to fix 8month old sleep

(12 Posts)
user1471546177 Thu 19-Jan-17 13:47:06

I know this is probably my fault for not trying to 'fix' sooner but Its now got to the point where I'm constantly stressed/crying. My 8month oldlittle boy has always been a poor sleeper, he's been ebf and a bottle refuser and also always refused a dummy. He can only fall asleep by being fed to sleep or in the car then as soon as you put him down in a cot he's screaming. He will only nap being held. We have to cosleep at night as it's the only way he will sleep, though I don't exactly sleep. He still wakes approx every 2 hours during the night to breastfeed despite taking in a good amount of solids now in the day (if it's relevant he's a big boy, 96percentile for weight, 99th for height) when he does wake at night, boob is the only way to get him back to sleep, holding/shushing etc just results in screaming. I'm on my knees with tiredness and stress because my husband thinks I should just stop feeding at night and leave him to cry. I know something needs to be done, especially as I go back to work in 4 weeks and the stress of this and the tiredness is seriously ruining my last few weeks off with him.
I don't know anyone with a baby like this, all my friends seem to have babies that will go down tired/just a dummy etc and have taken a bottle so I just don't know what to do. I'm not expecting him to suddenly go to bed awake at 7 and sleep through for 12 hrs, but just 1/2 the night in his own bed and my husband able to put him down would be enough.. can anyone give me any advice?

onemorelindor Thu 19-Jan-17 16:35:58

Hi OP.
I'm so sorry you're feeling stressed out. I don't have any advice, but just wanted to say you are not alone - I have a baby like this. Won't take a dummy. Refuses a bottle. Prefers to nap in arms. Total aversion to his cot, so we co-sleep. Lost count of how many he times he woke last night (...and am trying to stop counting and clock-watching as it's probably better for my mental state!) Also a big boy. He's entered a pretty bad phase of sleep these past couple of weeks, which I think is down to teething, learning to crawl and a growth spurt! At the moment he'll only settle in the night with boob, whereas previously he'd go back down with a cuddle.
It's tough, and especially tough when you're going back to work.
I've seen posters on here recommend a side-car cot arrangement - one side off cot then securely attached to the side of the bed. Gives baby their own sleep space but allows you easy access for feeding. Is that something you could try?

NiceGlassOfSherryAndASitDown Thu 19-Jan-17 16:46:24

I'm going to pretend it's my younger self I'm replying to because I could have written this post myself when DS was a baby. You can't 'fix' baby sleep. You aren't responsible for how much they sleep, it's not your job to 'get' them to sleep - all you can do is provide the right environment and conditions and make sure they feel safe and the rest is up to them. You can't make a child eat, sleep or poop, repeat this to yourself often.

My DS was exactly like yours, I think many more babies are than people like to admit. The likelihood is things will get better in their own time. Everything is a phase. Settle into it, get some early nights and forgive yourself 💐

user1471546177 Thu 19-Jan-17 19:16:42

Thanks for the replies, it's nice to know I'm not alone! I'll try and not stress about it for a few weeks and just keep my fingers crossed for a change soon! The HV wasn't much help, just looked horrified when I said he was in our bed, I didn't dare say it's been like that for months smile

Kariana Fri 20-Jan-17 15:10:12

How much milk is he taking during the day? At 8 months the amount of solids he's taking is less relevant to hunger than the amount of milk. He should still be taking a full feed from both breasts at least 4 times a day as milk is the main source of nutrition until a year. If he's not taking enough he might be genuinely hungry in the night.

If he is taking enough and you are confident he isn't hungry you can try and wean him off some of the night feeds. As others say you don't necessarily need to 'fix' him, he isn't broken and you haven't done anything wrong, but if you are on your knees with tiredness and stress it might be helpful for you if you try to take some steps to improve the situation rather than just waiting it out, only to find it's not getting better months down the line.

SilverLinings2014 Sat 21-Jan-17 05:58:35

You've done nothing wrong here op. It's biologically normal for him to feed to sleep and want to be close to you. Modern life doesn't support that unfortunately, especially when you have to go back to work.

You can slowly help him to get used to different sleep conditions but expect him to protest. At 8 months he's remembers where he was when he fell asleep so if that's on boob/ in arms he will expect to be in same place when he wakes, be distressed if that's not the case and need the same conditions to fall back to sleep. Imagine if you fell asleep in your bed and woke a few hours later in the shed without knowing how you got there. Look up object permanence and sleep. He needs to start falling asleep not on boob, maybe with you just lying next to him, gradually a bit further away, sat on edge of bed etc. A side car might help so he's safe from rolling off bed but could already be too big for one. Can you put his cot or a travel cot at the side of the bed?

And at 8 months I'd still be expecting to feed in the night but maybe only once or twice.

worrierandwine Sat 21-Jan-17 06:16:32

I could have written this myself, I'm in exactly the same boat as you and at the moment DD wants to use me boob as a dummy throughout the night - teething I think. I have no advice other than go to bed early at 8pm and feed baby lying down when you can just so you're in that resting state rather than being sat up. I go back to work in less than 3 weeks and am more worried about how DD2 will be throughout the day as she won't take a bottle. DD1 would take a bottle so I didn't have to worry about that. I'm genuinely worried she's going to be distressed all day as she finds so much comfort from breastfeeding.

worrierandwine Sat 21-Jan-17 06:19:37

Also, we spent £170 on a co-sleeper, she's would settle well in it up until being about 4 months then everything went tits up and she would only settle next to me. DD1 was a co- sleeper too and I wanted to keep DD2 in her cot but failed again as in the middle of the night when you just need sleep you do what works.

RNBrie Sat 21-Jan-17 06:31:24

You absolutely can "fix" how a baby sleeps. But it almost always takes some level of crying and that's very hard to deal with. So you have to decide what is worse for you personally... The sleep deprivation or the crying whilst you try and help them learn to sleep independently.

I'd start with The No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantly. It has some good suggestions for removing the boob/sleep connection.

In fairness, none of it really worked for dc1 who was very much like yours sounds and after several weeks of trial and error we did just leave her to cry which took three nights to get her sleeping through the night. I did start using her methods of dc2 and 3 when they were much younger than 8mo with varying levels of success.

My three dc share a room (5, 2 and 6mo) and all sleep 7-7 (the ebf baby gets a dream feed at 10pm) and it's taken effort to get them into this habit. It's very much trial and error as different things worked for each of them and all bets are off if they are ill but you can definitely change sleep habits if you want to.

LoveIsPatient Sat 21-Jan-17 10:23:13

My DS is 9.5 months and a few weeks ago I changed his bottle of milk to a Munchkin miracle cup which he can pick up himself. Maybe see if he will drink milk from something like that instead of a bottle? As the others have said, make sure he's getting enough calories through milk and solids during the day (my DS is 99th centile too with a big appetite).

Until mine was 6 months, he would only be breastfed to sleep and couldn't self settle but I then tried a bit of sleep training (going back and patting/shhing every 5-10 mins) and to my surprise he went to sleep quicker than I thought. I wouldn't leave him crying longer than 30 mins in total and I would do this for every nap/bedtime/nighttime so not to give mixed messages. If the learn to fall asleep by themselves at the beginning of a nap then they are more likely to settle themselves back and not need the boob in the middle of the night as much.

Also watch he doesn't sleep for too long in the day and help him to nap by putting him down before he's overtired but tired enough to sleep. Maybe set out some days to try this? Don't be hard on yourself, just set some realistic small goals and see how it goes. All babies are different, so don't worry too much about other people's situations.

You can always call a sleep specialist if it's in your budget, a friend of mine did this and it really helped.

user1484994332 Sat 21-Jan-17 10:45:28

Hi ,

Was wondering if anybody has a similar problem and found any solutions! My son is now 9 months old and for the past few months keeps spinning round in his cot and getting stuck, either in the corner or by banging his head against the bars , so then waking up distressed. Or flips onto his front and can't get back. Have tried towels and airwrap bumpers to prevent leverage but nothing works! Within 30 secs of me repositioning him in his sleep, he is back in the same position, then awake and upset again within a few minutes. HV couldn't suggest anything and it's causing extremely sleepless nights! Any suggestions appreciated!! smile

user1484994332 Sat 21-Jan-17 10:47:21

First time on here so sorry if that post is in wrong place!

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