Talk

Advanced search

I don't know what to do anymore

(11 Posts)
newmum7369 Thu 07-Dec-17 06:25:55

DS is 18 weeks old, champion sleeper for the first 2 months. Then he caught a cold which lingered for a while and I think we then went straight into 4 month sleep regression.

At the moment he goes down between 7 and 8, wakes for a feed at 11, then he wakes constantly until morning. He will sleep for half an hour at a time, sometimes an hour we're lucky. He has a dummy, Sleepyhead, Ewan the dream sheep and we've just bought a MyHummy. We've tried earlier and later bedtimes but it didn't seem to make any difference.

In the day he'll take frequent 45 min naps but I can't make him nap any longer than that.

Have a bedtime routine of bath, bottle, bed and to be fair he is good at going to bed, he just can't stay asleep. He's formula fed and in his own room because he's quite a noisy sleeper.

I just don't know what to do anymore. I'm sat in bed in the spare room in tears because I can't do anything to help this. DS is in his room wide awake talking to himself and I've shut the door on him just to have a bit of peace - he's fine, fed, clean etc but he's constantly moaning and I just need a few minutes of quiet to have a cry on my own. I feel so guilty turning my back on him, I love the bones of that baby and during the day he is an absolute delight but I just feel like I'm failing at looking after him. DH struggles with lack of sleep and is working so needs to sleep, but even if he were to help out more at night I seem to have the sixth sense that I wake up whenever DS makes a noise so I'd be up anyway.

I don't really know why I'm posting. I've googled everything there is to google and read heaps of threads on here about the 4 month sleep regression so I know there's loads of advice, but nothing I try seems to work. I know the answer is probably just to ride it out and that it will get better, but I just feel completely useless.

Gannetseatfish Thu 07-Dec-17 07:41:27

Oh you poor love my heart goes out to you. I have a 5 month old who is going through a terrible patch of sleep at the moment so I understand how truly awful it is and how desperate it makes you feel. I don’t have any magic solutions for helping your DS sleep better, it will come in time, but for now you must try and get some help. Do you have friends or family who could take him for a couple of hours in the day? I know this doesn’t sound like much but it can make all the difference. I had to call my DP to come home from work early on Friday as I was in bits with exhaustion and wasn’t coping. A rest and a walk outside made all the difference...

Lallypopstick Thu 07-Dec-17 07:49:17

I can completely relate to the frustration of having to ride it out - in the early days I would have happily twatted anyone who told me “this too shall pass” when I was exhausted and wondering what the hell I’d done!

The only thing that helps me is going to bed when the baby does. Maybe you already do that?

You’re not failing him though. He’s happy, you’ve said that in your post. There’s no harm in leaving him for a few minutes.

Would it be easier if you were in the room with him? Less disruptive as you’re not getting up out of your own bed and room to go and see him.

Hopefully people will have better advice than me. But you’re doing a great job.

Chosenbyyou Thu 07-Dec-17 08:13:56

Aww it's awful - feel for you. You are at a tough age 5 months. As you know he is developing so rapidly and changing so much it is hard to sleep. I find the bit between 5 to 10ish months the hardest - worse than the newborn bit.

You can try loads of techniques and I do think there are baby steps to encourage sleep. But to be honest I think they develop this the same as other skills - when they are ready. I think you are also in the short nap phase?

I got really stressed with my first baby cuz I was so exhausted. Did all sorts of techniques and eventually she slept through on her own at 14m. This time I have got a calmer baby who self settles and has a dummy but still wakes a lot - has two feeds in the night and wants to get up at 4.30, this is at 8 months. Lots going on for him though he is crawling, trying to stand, etc. I found doing techniques just made me more stressed and frustrated - tried controlled crying once and I still feel a bit bad about that (she was sick on herself from crying).

If I was you I would try to focus on trying to get the basic things that you can work on that FATEdestiny often advises - ensure eats plenty in the day, dummy if poss, plenty of naps (however you can - push chair etc) and see if he will self settle. Then I would primarily focus on yourself (what I have done this time), take good vitamins, drink plenty of water day and night, eat properly, discuss with DH when you can have some time alone to sleep/relax and then look forward to it.

There is nothing wrong with leaving baby in cot when they are happy/playing about. My DS self settles so I always leave him in the night and day unless he is crying.

I hope this helps - I really understand how hard it is so I have tried to give advice on trying to keep stress down as that would have helped me the first time rather than trying to 'fix' her sleep.

Take care xx

Chosenbyyou Thu 07-Dec-17 08:15:59

I will also add that I think you will get a very bright and interesting toddler from this which is great. X

newmum7369 Thu 07-Dec-17 08:32:55

I do try to sleep when he does but because he only naps for 45 minutes by the time I manage to drop off it's not long until he wakes again.

I posted about this about a month ago and FATEdestiny suggested more calories more sleep. I've been putting him down for a nap so that he goes no longer than an hour and offering him milk every time he wakes but it hasn't seemed to help.

crazycatlady5 Thu 07-Dec-17 23:56:08

I do try to sleep when he does but because he only naps for 45 minutes by the time I manage to drop off it's not long until he wakes again.

This has always been the worst for me, so I’ve stopped trying to nap. It’s really awful so I really feel for you flowers it sounds like you’re going through the 4 month sleep regression which you’ll see is posted about frequently. That along with the 8 month one are dire! Really hard work. PROMISE you it won’t be forever, do whatever it takes to maximise sleep for all of you even if that means going to bed early x

FATEdestiny Fri 08-Dec-17 21:30:17

newmum7369 - stop trying to solve this like you just need a set if instructions to follow and all will be fine. It doesn't work like that.

Set up good sleep habits
Have realistic expectations.

The good sleep habits, it sounds like you have largely covered already
- well fed
- well winded
- limited awake time
- Warm enough and comfortable
- Go you sleep where baby stays asleep (ideally in the cot. But in daytime bouncer or pushchair may be easier)

So what you need to amend are your expectations. In going that, and accepting that baby might wake (sometimes a lot) make life as easy as possible for yourself.

At 28 weeks it is to be expected that baby will wake in the night. Sometimes a lot. If you have healthy sleep habits established (not feeding again every wake, settling baby in the cot) you gong need to stress the fact that baby wakes. Just make it easier for you.

For example if I had my baby in another room and was getting up two or three times a night (let alone more...) then I would be absolutely at the end of my tether with exhaustion within a month.

Instead, cot was next to my bed. Baby waking mostly just meant leaning and arm over the cot, feeling for dummy and reinserting. All done without opening my eyes or moving from under my duvet.

You seem to be of the mindset that if I do X,Y, Z then baby will sleep well. No, that's not how it is. If you do X, Y, Z then baby will learn to sleep well. The time frame for that happening is entirely child dependant. So in the mean time, while baby is learning the important skills you are teaching for independent sleep, make life easy horse yourself.

Primarily that will involve:

- cot next to your bed
- If baby isn't rolling, once side removed from the cot and wedged to your bed
- have a way to find dummy with your eyes closed. I sewed a ribbon with a press stud at end onto chest of sleeping bags.
- daytime naps in something that moves. A million times easier you settle to sleep. Or in bedside cot while you rest on the bed.

newmum7369 Sat 09-Dec-17 18:57:31

Thanks @FATEdestiny and everyone else.

We did try bringing him back in our room, trouble is he's such a noisy sleeper we were disturbed even when he was sleeping so that meant even less sleep for us.

I didn't mean to sound like I have unrealistic expectations, I totally understand that sleep is going to be a rollercoaster for a long time and you are so right, it's how you decide to cope with it that makes the difference. I just felt like I was losing the plot and as a first time mum I think you question whether you should be doing something differently.

I also appreciate that I got really lucky to start with, as DS slept through the night thanks to no particular effort from me so this has probably hit me particularly hard because I'd had such an easy ride before.

We've actually had a couple of better nights in a row now. 2 or 3 wake ups and very early starts which is totally manageable compared to of late.

DirtyDancing Tue 12-Dec-17 21:48:24

Possibly time for sleep training. He needs to learn to self settle. I've just been through this with my now 7 month old, and whilst sleep isn't perfect, we have gone from awake/ feeding every 2/3 hours (at 5 months) nearly. Full nights sleep. Granted she is doing early morning wakings now.. but it's a different issue. We used a very gentle technique, so it really wasn't too bad at all. Now training her for better lunchtime naps starting tomorrow. Good daytime sleep = good night time sleep. Sleep trainers are good, but expensive. The guides on Precious Little ones are excellent and £28.

RemainOptimistic Tue 12-Dec-17 21:53:56

OP I wore earplugs from day 1. I would not have been able to sleep at all otherwise. With the foam earplugs I still woke up when he cried! You could try them and DH can nudge you if needs be.

The 4 month sleep regression was hell on earth..I was a broken woman. DS is still not a "good" (uninterrupted) sleeper at 10 months, but my god it's an improvement.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now