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Hang in there - things WILL get better!

(39 Posts)
MYA2016 Fri 17-Feb-17 21:58:03

My ds is 13 months. I've just been reading through a years worth of things I posted, almost all of them sleep related. (I'm bored)

He slept okay ish till he was around 4 months. Don't get me wrong, he'd only sleep on me (bf baby). But he'd sleep well on me throughout the night!

At 4 months life changed. He suddenly started waking, within weeks it was hideous. We were getting 45-60 minute stretches at most.

I began to detest motherhood, detest my baby and longed for my old life. I was absolutely exhausted, felt like I was getting it all wrong. I was told by MIL everyday "I've never know a baby like him, you've produced the most needy baby ever by breastfeeding".

I must have posted a new thread weekly begging for help. I always got conflicting advice as everyone had different babies and different experiences.

This went on till he was around 7.5/8 months. So around 4 months of hell.

Well if I could go back 12 months now, I would tell myself this.

This isn't forever

Sleep deprivation is absolutely awful. But it doesn't last a lifetime. Sometimes it lasts for weeks, for others it's months. Very rarely years. I know the odd person who's 3 year old still wakes but we're talking once a night maybe twice and it's brief.

The 1st year sleep deprivation is truly awful but IT DOES END! I was so hung up on 'bad habits' and the fact my 4 month old wasn't able to self soothe! What 4 month old should self soothe? ! Why should they have to! They're so tiny!

I really found for us that around the 10 month mark things began to change. They start being able to form attachments to teddies which they find comfort in, and they also are able to start to realise that if you leave, you will come back.

I contemplated cry it out so many times and I'm so glad now that I didn't. At 10 months we did 3 nights of controlled crying. It worked a treat BECAUSE HE WAS READY. He quickly learned that we would go back to him and was then confident to fall asleep on his own. He wouldn't have been able to grasp this at a much younger age so it just wasn't worth it.

At 13 months he now falls asleep on his own every night without a single tear. He cuddles his teddy and chats to himself for 2 mins and then will sleep 12 hours through.

Please in no way think this is a boast post! As it isn't although I do know I'm lucky (and also know it's all subject to change. And could be a totally different story if we have another baby).

But 9 months ago I longed to hear people tell me that it would get better as I couldn't see an end in sight.

Hang in there. Motherhood is bloody hard but things WILL get better.

Don't end up like me, regretting that you spent so much of that precious year worrying about sleep habits and getting it all wrong.

Do what feels right for you :-)

Laura1206 Sat 18-Feb-17 11:41:12

This was what I needed to read last night, thank you! My baby is nearly 16 weeks, BF on demand and teething. He will sometimes sleep in his next2me, most of the time he has to be in with me. I've been getting myself into a right tizz stressing about bedtime routines and being a HV doesn't help. Thank you so much, your post has made me feel so much better.

Tatlerer Sat 18-Feb-17 14:37:12

Mya I'm delighted to read this as I remember reading some of your old posts! My DD slept terribly as a baby. Now at age 3 and 3 months she still naps for 1.5-2 hrs if offered one and sleeps for 12-12.5 hours straight at night. If someone had told me that 3 years ago I'd have laughed in their face!

Scrumptiouscrumpets Sat 18-Feb-17 16:07:56

That's great op! I am struggling with DS2 at the moment, he is 5.5 months old and wakes loads. DS1 is 2 years old and still wakes often and struggles to go back to sleep, so I feel very hopeless a lot of the time. Reading posts like yours does give me hope it'll get better!

EleanorofCastile Sat 18-Feb-17 19:47:53

Thanks for posting. I also needed to read this. My daughter's (17 weeks) sleep is getting to the stage where we are having 45 minute wake ups for part of each night.... there is conflicting advice as to whether to just roll with it and it'll get better as she matures- or it needs to be addressed or it will detereorate and that she'll never learn to sleep alone, EVER if we take the path of least resistance and keep feeding to sleep on each wake up/co sleep! I just so want to do the right thing by her - I can cope with a bit of sleep deprivation, but I'm tied up in knots about the right approach to take.

onemorelindor Sat 18-Feb-17 21:06:40

Love this post, OP. Thank you!

RedLemonade Sat 18-Feb-17 21:11:46

Thanks for this OP.

6.5 months in with DD2 and I'm thankfully much more zen about the sleepless nights than I was with DD1. But every so often I do wonder if I'm doing the right thing by letting nature take its course, so your post was a timely reassurance!

Thank you flowers

insertcleverusername Mon 20-Feb-17 13:13:53

It's hard to remember in the middle of the night that we aren't going through this alone; 1am, 2am, 3am (or whatever multiple hours your babies are waking you up at) feels like the loneliest time in the world, all you can think is everyone else out there is experiencing that amazing thing we once experienced called "a good nights sleep".

But reading this thread now just shows me how so many of us are struggling with some aspect of our babies sleep, whether it's nap time or bed time (or at the moment for me, it's both!)

After some horrendous nights and chronic sleep deprivation, basically what I'm trying to say is that this has brought some comfort and hope to me so thank you for posting this!

MYA2016 Mon 20-Feb-17 21:39:48

I'm really glad this has given a little reassurance to some of you.
I remember that feeling so well, of feeling so alone when I had "the worst sleeper in the world".
I'd text my friends from antenatal to ask how their nights went but they were too polite to say 'great' so they'd avoid the question which made me feel like a failure as everyone took pity on me!
I heard the line "some are just shit sleepers" more times than I care to remember. I hated that as it made it feel like it was never going to end.

I think MOST babies go though phases and therefore when we go through these horribless periods we have to remind our self's just that - it's a phase. Everything with a baby is a phase!

firsttimemum15 Mon 20-Feb-17 21:42:55

Your baby is similar age to mine and she doesnt sleep through but things got better we eernt through what u describe. Great ubtil 5 months 5 months until 10 months awful gradually improving a bit now

Newmother8668 Tue 21-Feb-17 10:49:44

Thank you! I need this as I sit here rocking my 4 month old for the third hour today. He's so tired but refuses to sleep. Finally his night sleeping is great and he's stretching out to three hours between feeds for the first time, but his naps during the day only last 30 minutes. When will it end? He obviously knows how to sleep longer stretches because one day he had three solid naps at 90 minutes each, but went back to 30 minute naps the next day. Now he only does 30 minute naps and is cranky but every third day, he has one two hour nap before going back to 30 minute naps. The phases of a baby are weird. The first three months of my baby's life, I loved him, but wasn't in love with him and didn't like the newborn phase at all. Wouldn't want to go through it ever again. Then I fell in love with him at 3 months, but since this sleep regression, I don't even like him sometimes. I keep wondering if he is developmentally dumb because he can't do something simple like take a nap because he's crying because he's so tired.

splendide Tue 21-Feb-17 11:28:46

I felt the same! And now have a two year old who sleeps for 2 hours in the afternoon and 11 hours at night and goes to sleep on his own.

Turns out I hadn't spoiled or broken him with all that cuddling to sleep.

I will say that we had a weird couple of months at nearly two when his sleep went utterly to shit again but I hung in their and it went back to good again! I had to sleep on his floor for a while!

firsttimemum15 Tue 21-Feb-17 13:27:50

Oh Newmother it does get easier. Talk to someone if you feel you need to

Uiscebeatha85 Tue 21-Feb-17 19:41:27

I didn't read this and think 'boast post' at all. I'm genuinely happy for you that you're finally getting decent sleep.

Thanks for posting, MYA2016 it has given me some hope.

Tftpoo Tue 21-Feb-17 19:44:27

Your OP describes my 10 month old's sleep history perfectly! Thank you, it is great to know things get better. They are already loads better than a couple of months ago (down to one wake up and feed about 1am now) but we still can't get her to fall asleep in the evening on her own.

almmummy Thu 23-Feb-17 14:13:54

Great post! I have had the difficulty of endlessly wondering why my son hasn't done what his sister did (slept through at 9months), self soothed beautifully. My son gets up twice still and many more times if he is ill/teething. I had almost developed a phobia of the nights as he is so unpredictable - he can be up after an hour, two, six - who knows?! But have been thinking like you lately - it won't last forever and he'll soon tire more. We went to a playgroup yesterday and he was shattered after crawling around for hours there. Six hours stretch with a brief gulp of milk and back until morning. Hurrah! Glad sleep came back for you, enjoy!

Bex107 Thu 23-Feb-17 14:31:11

Such a great post OP, and just what I needed to read today - we're struggling through a potential dairy allergy, bronchiolitis, and teething at the minute with my 9 month old!

Sarah Ockwell-Smith's 'The Gentle Sleep book' has been my sanity - it's great at explaining what's going on with your baby and why they might not be sleeping. It also gives me the strength to ignore naysayers who seem to think by breastfeeding him to sleep I've set him up to never learn to fall asleep on his own, and reassured me it's ok not to do CC/CIO if it's not for you.

I read a recent quote that said something like 'you don't stop being a parent just because it's night time' and this really struck a chord with me - I remember it during those 3am staggers to the cot, and it reminds me to be as patient and calm as I would be during the day. Hang on in there mommas (and daddies), you're all doing great!

splendide Thu 23-Feb-17 15:34:56

Yes Bex agreed! I used to think of that quote too. And that it wouldn't be forever and he needed me now.

Sometimes I would also think "go to fucking sleep you monster" but it was really helpful to at least try to start from a patient place. Also I found that once i let the panic about doing it wrong go I was loads happier. So I slept in his room for a couple of months, not ideal maybe but it worked OK for us.

Blossom567 Thu 23-Feb-17 15:56:53

Thanks OP. Also needed today. 7.5month DS who wakes every 1-2 hours at night and only naps 30mins. It's killing me. Been trying to lie him down 'drowsy' - what a joke. Results in me having to cuddle, rock, pace all over again. I'm exhausted. Just hope I can cope until it passes. It's also not fair on DS1 as I'm always knackered or upstairs trying to settle DS2 while he's stuck in front of tv. Tough times.

MummyFr0g Fri 24-Feb-17 09:23:50

Thanks for this from me too. I was having a bit of a panic that I'm doing everything wrong - feeding to sleep, letting him nap on me (only stays asleep for 10 mins if I put him down), getting up to him 3 or 4 times a night. He is so unpredictable and won't be forced into a routine! I go back to work in 8 weeks when he'll be 9 months, so something has to change before then, really not sure where to start... But it is reassuring to know that things might just work themselves out.

QueenRefusenik Fri 24-Feb-17 09:30:05

Yay! Celebratory cake all round! DS is 13 months and I absolutely despaired of getting more than 2 hrs sleep at a time for months. Since turning 12 months he's improved a lot - absolutely nothing to do with anything I've done, he's just growing. Sadly it's just all been put back a bit this week due to a hideous clusterfuck of gastro/stinking cold/conjunctivitis, but he's on the mend and I'm confident will continue to improve. I'm even planning for my first nights away since he was born... Hold on, parents of terrible sleepers, they will get there!

peaceloveandbiscuits Fri 24-Feb-17 09:39:02

Well done you, and mini-you! flowers
I recently read through my threads from September/October 2016 when my 22mo was waking all night and I was suicidal with tiredness. Like you, he was a dreadful sleeper until around 9mo when I sleep trained him (CC too). However, bad habits caught up with us around 18mo (when there's another regression FYI. Stay strong!) and, desperate for sleep, we started giving him milk whenever he woke. In October we went cold turkey on the milk and used a more gentle method of sleep training, since we found CC didn't work with him anymore. It took us four hellish weeks, but it worked. Now he's 2y2mo and sleeps through reliably again.
It's so empowering to read through and remember where you've come from. I was in danger of taking his sleep for granted again!
I'm pregnant again and feeling much more positive that it isn't forever.

Coffeelover56 Fri 24-Feb-17 21:41:28

My DS is 12 months, has never had a good night's sleep, and if we make it through a 45 minute sleep cycle I'm happy. It's every 20 minutes at the moment and we are all utterly exhausted. I really hope I can write a similar thread to you one day.

empirerecordsrocked Fri 24-Feb-17 21:50:15

So true op and it's so bloody hard to realise it in the middle of it. I was literally hallucinating with tiredness when dts were small - used to see eats and spiders running across the room.

Now, they're 6 and sleep like logs and have done for a long time but Jesus that first year!

BifsWif Fri 24-Feb-17 21:56:26

This is so true. I thought I would go out of my mind with exhaustion at one point. I hated being a mum, and I'm ashamed to say I regretted having my DD.

She just did not sleep. No naps, and awake every hour through the night. She had reflux, which did improve with medication, but she was never a good sleeper. I'd spend my evenings trying to get her to sleep, then fall into bed myself without having anything to eat or any time to unwind. She would wake up hourly, and then be up for the day between 5am and 6am.

I am happy to report that we saw a big change at around 11 months, and now she is almost two she goes to bed at 6pm and I quite often have to wake her at 8am the next day so I can go to work.

It feels like it will never end, but it does. flowers to all of you struggling at the moment x

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