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1 year old waking every hour or two

(10 Posts)
Utini Sun 10-Sep-17 14:01:50

DD is almost 1 and has always been a bad sleeper. We had about 6 weeks of reasonable sleep (up to 6 hours for the first stretch) until the 8 month sleep regression, but things have been pretty bad since then - on a good night she might sleep for 2 to 3 hours at a time, on a bad night she's waking hourly.

She's breastfed and has coslept since she was a few weeks old. Feeds to sleep at night and for wake ups. When waking very frequently she's only having small amounts to get back to sleep.

She goes to bed around 9pm (she won't stay asleep for long unless I stay with her, hence the late bedtime). For the last 6 nights I've been trying to limit the night feeds, not feeding until after 2am for the first feed and 6am for the second. It's not made any difference in the number of awakenings so far!

I'm exhausted, but really reluctant to do any form of sleep training that involves crying. She isn't soothed by anything other than picking up and feeding when she gets to the point of screaming, and tbh I can't bear to leave her to cry.

Where do I go from here? If I continue to limit night feeds will she eventually get the message and start sleeping for longer? Should I try and get her in a cot in case I'm disturbing her (although I have no idea how I'd actually get her to settle in one, she never would in the snuzpod)? Has anyone had any success with cranial osteopathy at this late age? I go back to work in two months and have no idea how I'm going to cope!

OP’s posts: |
FATEdestiny Sun 10-Sep-17 20:35:47

For the last 6 nights I've been trying to limit the night feeds, not feeding until after 2am for the first feed and 6am for the second. It's not made any difference in the number of awakenings so far!

Night weaning is just the first step towards sleeping through. It is not thst once night weaned then baby will sleep through, it's that baby cannot begin to learn to sleep through until night weaned.

You're not even night weaning either, just reducing night feeds. So i think you need to reset your expectations somewhat. For comparison there was 6 months between when I fully night weaned (no milk for the whole of 12h over night) and getting consistant nights of 11h stretches without waking. So 6 months worth of non-feeding resettles.

Given you haven't yet got to fully night weaning, it may be even longer. You sound to be doing the Jay Gordon night weaning methods, with setting time limits. A big part (I'd say the biggest aspect) of these gentle, attachment parenting slerp sleep training methods is about setting realistic expectations and understanding that this is a long-term and very slow process.

You're only a week in. You may not see any reductions in night wakes a month in, but there will still be progress. The progress is not feeding so often in the night. And further down the line the next step is extending the gap between feeds even further. Again this may not reduce night wakes, the progress comes from no longer feeding to sleep more often as time goes on.

I go back to work in two months and have no idea how I'm going to cope!

You could try some of the faster, harsher sleep training methods?

It's about balancing your priorities and no-one here can tell you what is right for you. If your priorities for gentle parenting are greater than your need to have unbroken nights sleep - then find ways to cope with your sleep deprivation and focus on changing your own sleep habits, not baby's. If your priority for unbroken nights sleep yourself is greater than your need to gentle parent, then sleep training methods that cause crying will be the way forward. They don't all involve leaving baby to cry alone, but they will all involve baby crying.

Littleguggi Mon 11-Sep-17 10:28:39

I couldn't have been writing this exact post a month or two ago, except my daughter sleeps in a cot in her own room! My daughter has just turned one and was also a bad sleeper since day one. Around two months ago I night weaned my daughter from the breast by going cold turkey. It was the best thing I did and has been a big step towards her sleeping through the night. I did of course make sure she was ready to night wean by ensuring she was eating and drinking enough throughout the day, also I realised she was using night feeds as a way of comfort. We now stay with her until she falls asleep and only attend to her in the night if she is crying and unsettled. There is light at the end of the tunnel. I've been back at work 2 weeks and I was worried we would go back to square one but thankfully we haven't (yet!)

Littleguggi Mon 11-Sep-17 10:29:09

I could have been*

Utini Mon 11-Sep-17 12:15:00

Thanks Fate, yes, what I'm attempting is similar to the Jay Gordon method. He suggests it should take a couple of weeks rather than months, although I appreciate every baby is different. I'm hoping we can get down to a more reasonable 2 or 3 wakings in the short term, which I know I can cope with if I go to bed early. That should be achievable before I go back to work using gentle methods, surely?

If sleeping through takes another 6 months then so be it, but I don't think the harsher methods are right for us. DD isn't soothed at all by anything other than picking up and feeding when she really gets upset, and I'd fully expect her to scream for a long time. I couldn't deal with it in or out of the room.

Perhaps expecting an improvement in a week is too optimistic though, I think for now I'll continue what I'm doing, then if she stops waking so much, start trying to push the first feed back. If she'll go a decent stretch before her first feed I'd like to get her sleeping in a cot attached to the bed, although I think that's a long way off yet!

OP’s posts: |
Utini Mon 11-Sep-17 12:19:46

Glad it's worked well for you Littleguggi. I'm reluctant to night wean cold turkey as DD is currently taking quite a large amount of milk overnight, so would probably be left hungry. I'm not sure she's eating enough during the day, (probably because of all the night milk), although I think she's had more than normal the last couple of days, so maybe this is gradually having an effect.

Hopefully over the next few weeks I can encourage a shift of calories from nighttime to daytime.

OP’s posts: |
chocaroundtheclock Mon 11-Sep-17 14:28:33

Hi Utini
Just a quick post to say I am in the same situation. Not helpful I know, but I understand how tired you must be flowers. I have been considering the Jay Gordon method but not sure how to settle dc without breastfeeding him as he cries without it to settle him. Anyways, please can you keep us updated with how things pan out smile. Thanks and Good luck!

chocaroundtheclock Sat 30-Sep-17 13:38:11

Hi Utini,
Just wondered how things were going? I hope things are improving for you. Any update?
Thanks 😉

Utini Sun 01-Oct-17 18:23:02

Hi Choc, we were seeing a bit of an improvement, I was managing to go around four hours between feeds for the first two night feeds, after that if I don't feed straight away she's much harder to settle when it gets closer to morning.

I've been using a white noise app all night, and turning up the volume when she wakes, or failing that turning on the hairdryer for a bit tends to send her off if she's not really hungry.

I've also just set up a cot attached to the bed, and am trying to get her sleeping in that by leaning in to feed and rolling away.

I was having times where she'd stir and grumble, and then settle by herself, so seemed like good progress. Then she caught an awful cold a couple of weeks ago, and then had her jabs on Friday, and I noticed yesterday that her first molar had come through. She's been pretty unsettled through all that so I've just been feeding at every wake again. Will start again this week.

Last night was lovely though, after a three wake ups very close together I abandoned the cot and brought her onto my mattress, and we both slept for over 6 hours! Hoping for more of that!

How are you doing?

OP’s posts: |
chocaroundtheclock Mon 02-Oct-17 14:20:48

Hi Utini,
Thanks for your reply post. I hope you had another 6 hour stretch last night! 🙂
My DC has been waking up even more frequently in the early hours. For the first part of the night he seems to sleep better – waking once or twice. So early nights are on the cards at the moment 😉
He seems to go through phases of disturbed sleep but this last one has been going on a while now (5 weeks ish) He cries and cries until b/fed back to sleep, so I am going with the flow for now. Injections due in the next couple of weeks so not sure how that may affect things too.
Good luck with everything and going back to work! 🍀🎉

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