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Kind of feel like I'm losing my mind

(6 Posts)
Skippydooda Sat 07-Oct-17 10:27:05

Everyone talks about how much easier things get at 6 months and in a way I have found that with DS, he is far more cheerful generally & has such a cute cheeky little personality now which just lights me up.

But in a lot of other ways things have got worse - especially sleep. We definitely had a 4 month sleep regression but that only really impacted night sleep. Is there a 6 month regression though? Because for the last 3 weeks sleep has become a major battle during the day & at night.

We've gone from sleeping 8 hour stretches at 3 months to 5-6 hours at 4 months & now waking every 2 hours all night long.

And getting him to nap is so hard - he fights sleep & if he does give in, wakes after 20-30 mins. So I think he's probably majorly sleep deprived by nighttime (having had maybe 1-1.5 hours of daytime sleep).

Other info:
He is ebf. We did start solids a couple of days before sleep went haywire. That's going very slowly so he's probably only getting a spoon or two of solids per day.

He's never done the going to sleep drowsy but awake thing. He used to feed to sleep but when he stopped doing that during the day at about 3 months we eventually introduced a dummy as otherwise he'd cry himself to sleep (in our arms being rocked or walked in sling). He still needs to fall asleep with me lying next to him though as can't do it himself with the dummy.

He goes to sleep lying with me on bed & then I transfer to cot next to bed. Given he's awake so much at night now we co-sleep after the first wake up (safely). He generally feeds back to sleep at night (about 2-3 night feeds) and then needs dummy when he wakes from about 5am onwards.

Are we doing something glaringly wrong? Is this normal at 6 months? Because every book goes on about how babies should be consolidating sleep at this point confused

So sorry this is a huge essay, but I need to get it off my chest and hoping someone has some advice!

Any help appreciated!

FATEdestiny Sat 07-Oct-17 13:30:22

A sidecar cot sounds like the perfect solution for you. I would have done it from birth, but no reason not to start now.

A sidecar cot is a normal cot or cotbed with one side removed. Then wedge it uo to your bed. It's not a special product, just a normal full sized cot.

The idea is to then gradually teach baby to go to sleep in the cot with the dummy. But this a done via a route where you start off cuddling baby to sleep in the cot with the dummy. So, for example:

- start off physically cuddling close in the sidecar cot. Encircle baby with your bottom arm, head close to baby's so he can feel/hear you breathing, other hand on baby's chest. Shushing every now and again. Dumny Dummy reinserts as needed. But mostly just stay still, stay close, keep the dummy in and stay there until asleeasleep.

Extract yourself to your own bed once asleep. Repeat at any wake ups and daytime naps. Over time (like over several weeks/months) start reducing the intensity of the comforting needed.

- start moving towards head close to baby's, hand on chest but now not encircling baby. Still stay close until asleep, extract yourself once asleep.

- start moving towards just hand on chest and dummy reinserts for settling. But you stay lying on your bed right next to baby in cot until asleep.

- after a while, settle baby with hand on chest and dummy, then move your hand away and just lie on your bed facing baby when going to sleep. But stay until asleep and always be prepared to go back up the ladder of comfort if extra help is needed.

- settle with hand on chest and dummy. Then stay on your bed next to cot but roll to face away from cot. Roll back and hand on chest if needed. Roll away but stay when calm. Stay until asleep. Now would be a good time to put the side back on the cot.

... You should hopefully get the idea from that. It is to gradually teach baby to go from awake to asleep in the cot with the dummy. This is not a quick fix, it will take patience and consistency to achieve.

Skippydooda Sat 07-Oct-17 17:07:07

Thanks so much fatedestiny

We did have a snuzpod and that was excellent so a sidecar cot seems like a great idea... just want to ensure it's fully safe in that there'd be no dangerous gaps?

In your experience can starting solids cause this kind of upset to sleep? Cos it's so coincidental!!!

Gertie777 Sat 07-Oct-17 17:39:15

We’ve been doing solids for 10 days and sleep has def been worse for us. NCT friends seem to have the same. I guess their tummies feel different, lots going on mentally, and there is also a growth spurt around now, so lots of possible reasons. Mine finally slept through again last night, so hopefully we’re now back to normal!

RandomMess Sat 07-Oct-17 17:45:47

Basically you seem to have a sleep association issue. He needs boob in mouth or you there with him every time he is in light sleep to get back to sleep.

If he's feeding lots at night that works for him, means he doesn't need to bother in the day (if he's the nosey sort or not that fussed about daytime eating)

FATEdestiny Sat 07-Oct-17 18:09:13

In your experience can starting solids cause this kind of upset to sleep?

A spoonful or two a day is neither here nor there. If anything, a more likely reason for sleep difficulties is needing more calories, since such a tiny amount won't help baby's increasing calorific need very much.

I am of the opinion to go full-on into weaning at 6 months. I would be doing 3 meals a day within the first week, including protein, dairy and carbs as finger food (given that fruit and veg are low calorie). As well as naintaining milk feeds as they were pre-weaning.

1 or 2 spoonfuls a day is such an insignificantly tiny amount that unless you have a child with food allergies, this is not going to make and difference to anything and should affect sleep.

We did have a snuzpod and that was excellent so a sidecar cot seems like a great idea... just want to ensure it's fully safe in that there'd be no dangerous gaps?

There are several suggestions for this online, if you Google. Some examples are:

- pool noodles between the cot and side furthest away from the bed to push the cot mattress across the bridge between cot and bed
- buy or cut a price of foam mattress, avaliable available from Amazon
- mattress connectors, available from various retailers
- rolled up towel/blanket in the gap
- large sheet pulled all the way across both bed and got mattress in one go

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