Please help, we are on our knees(22 Posts)
My son doesn't sleep and I don't know what to do, we are just barely scraping through life at the moment.
He is 15 months old. He sleeps for 2-3 hours at a time and wakes up screaming. He then needs holding, breastfeeding, and soothing back to sleep. That can only be done by me; his father really struggles when I absolutely need a night off or am away for work and they both end up having almost no sleep at all because Ds is awake for hours every time he wakes up.
I think he is in pain all the time. He seems to suffer with teething way more than any other babies we know. When we go to him in the night he is often clutching his mouth or his head and crying real tears, or screaming in what can only be pain or fear. He seems to be in pain lying down.
His birth was complicated and ended up with a ventouse delivery. I have read that that can be connected with headaches, ear problems, painful teething and so on- does anyone have any anecdotal experience of that? Or even better...any medical professionals who have any professional experience of this??
We have tried a sleep consultant who helped us through "gradual retreat", which didn't work. We have tried cosleeping, pick up/put down, calm bedtime routine, nightlights, white noise...but nothing has worked. The only thing we haven't tried is CiO, which we considered at one point but decided against, not least because of the pain he seems to be in.
We will take him to an osteopath next week. I know it's woo, I know the "evidence" is questionable, but we don't have to pay for it and it's worth a try, I feel like it's our last resort.
This is really starting to destroy us, we can't cope. Our son is exhausted and weepy and clingy, we are chronically sleep deprived and fighting all the time, we feel like we can't make any holiday plans or even plan to go out for an evening and leave him with a babysitter...we are miserable
Can anyone offer any wisdom at all here? Or even a "I've been there and it doesn't last forever"??
Following this as I have a similar child... no advice to give though! Was about to post about my tricky child. It’s awful being so sleep-deprived, isn’t it? Torture!
Does his pain seem to subside once you pick him up and his head is elevated a little?
Just a quick reply before school.
What time is he sleeping?
7-11 12-3 4-7 sort of thing?
What time is his tea/supper/last meal
Have you tried porridge, banana & toast at maybe 7pm?
Im no expert. Just trying to remember the hell with DD, she woke every 3hrs for BF & finally slept right through aged 2.
I might get flamed, but are you co-sleeping? Could you & DS sleep in a room together. It just might mean you both get a nights sleep.
My DS was the same, cried when laid down although not holding his head. What is he like after feeds, does he vomit? Does he cry like this during the day? I wonder if it could actually be something with his stomach, a reflux issue maybe? That was the problem with my DS. Hope you get it sorted soon.
I don't know what to suggest but you have my sympathy. Mine are on the way to being grown up and I remember how tough it was. (15 and 11). Number one wouldn't sleep and number 2 got up ridiculously early. Now it's difficult to get no 1 out of bed.
I presume you've tried calpol, teething granules etc?
With number 1 the only thing that worked was a mixture of pick up put down and crying it out. It took a couple of weeks of just being really persistent. She got there and so did we and she's a v well adjusted high achieving 15 year old now.
No 2 had to go with the flow as number 1 had just started school when he was born. It made me realise that I had probably caused some of her sleep issues. (I'm not saying you have).
The teething issue is a vicious cycle in that the pain causes lack of sleep but the lack of sleep makes the pain worse. Have you tried going to the GP to see if there is a physical issue more than just the normal?
Happy to be a hand hold for venting if it helps.
Definitely try and osteo and consider a food allergy or intolerance - including dairy - if your BF then cut it out of your diet as well as his.
If that doesn’t work then see you Dr. This isn’t normal. It’s exactly what we had after a hideous forceps delivery. An osteo was a huge help and DS has CMPA.
Something is wrong for that to the the norm, then you will have a few weeks / months of trying to re-set the patterns. We had to use CC for that but never CIO. He’d Just been through too much for that.
God you must be knackered! Have you had investigations for reflux / dairy intolerence. Sounds like my DD before we went dairy free. Speak to GP / HV. Don't let them fob you off
Obvious but are you giving calpol / nurofen if it is teeth, does it subside?
At 15 months it shouldn’t be reflux but maybe dairy allergy?
What’s daytime sleep like?
Hi I had ventouse delivery and my ds has none of the problems you describe
Does he feel better after you pick him up ? If you have taken him to the doctor and they have said there is nothing medically wrong with him. Then I think now is a good time to try the Ferber method. My dd was exactly exactly the same. She was soothing herself to sleep after only day 3 from the day we started to try it. It was a little upsetting at first. But we followed the method and kept to it. Amazing results for us.
Have you had his ears checked?
Ear infections are agonising in small children and the pain is massively increased when lying flat but is relieved by being held upright.
Teething can cause ear congestion and pain in the same way as an infection.
Please get the gp to look in his ears.
My second was like this. He screamed for the whole first year. All the time. He was also covered in boils in his head it was CMPA and egg allergy Plus reflux and pain (eds)
It was hell but once we cut out certain foods and sorted his scalp out he was much happier. He developed migraines very early though and couldn’t verbalise what was wrong but did head clutching screaming etc too also on waking.... we had to rule out meningitis and epilepsy and he needed a lot of tests.
Def go and see the gp and hopefully they can help
My dd (who was our 3rd) cried non stop for 10 months unless she was being held. Then one day she just stopped and has been the happiest of the 3 since. So maybe once you've got through this hell you'll be on easy street. I hope so.
But you've got good advice here - re dairy/food intolerance and ear infections. I know it's a nightmare. But with each thing you try you're getting closer to resolving the prob.
I think you need to request that he is properly investigated at the doctors. This sounds like hell! Poor baby. And poor you guys too.
I'm in no way in your position, DS is only 4 months old. However, we had a difficult birth with 3 day Labour, back to back baby, ending in failed forceps so an emcs. My DS didn't sleep well or feed well for the first few weeks and although every one told me it was because he was a baby and i was expecting too much....i took him to an osteopath when he was maybe 6 weeks old. Straight away they pointed out my DS couldn't turn his head all the way round (I'd noticed this bit said nothing to test them abit). Basically he had crooked his neck during his delivery. 3 sessions later he could turn his head like an owl, feeds too much (!) And he started sleeping 6 hour chunks (not now thanks to 4m regression ) so just dont rule out the osteopath is all i would say.
Thank you for all the responses.
He has had a couple of ear infections and sinus infections so I'm pretty vigilant about checking to make sure he's not indicating another one. Again, it's associated with ventouse delivery (obviously not all children but a higher %)
I have the Ferber book but I cannot bring myself to do it. He's such a sensitive little boy and shows such signs of fear and pain when he cries in the night that I can't bear the thought of just leaving him to it. I have absolutely no judgement of those who have done CC, I know people who have had success with it and personally I don't believe it causes long term damage. Just can't do it!
But I will report back on the osteopath, here's hoping it's not just woo...
The doctors we have seen have been a bit useless to be honest "oh it's normal" etc.
We do cosleep- he starts in his own room then comes in with me first time he wakes up after I have gone to bed. It doesn't help unless he is on the boob, which results in me getting very little sleep.
Sleep pattern...usually 7-8:30, wake up for a scream, 8:45-10ish, then every couple of hours. sob
Bless you, it is so hard. My second was similar - woke up every few hours, would not go back to sleep unless physically carried about the house, seemed cross and distressed. It was exhausting especially as he grew older and heavier. We though as he grew older he might be more able to tell us what the problem was but he didn't seem to know himself what he wanted (apart from to be carried around).
I have to say this went on until he had his own bed at age two and a half, after which he would come into our bed where he would wriggle and sniff and cry and again wouldn't be able to tell us what the matter was. Sucking on my arm (!) seemed to give him some comfort, weirdly. He is now 7 and still wakes up cross in the night every so often but not every night thankfully.
SO that was a long way of sympathising but not being able to offer much in the way of advice. We tried the osteopath, didn't work for us although I know it does for some. Couldn't do CC for your reasons. I did wonder whether in our case it could have been reflux although he was thriving etc, or possibly allergic to dustmites or something else.
This is a random one but 2 of my 4 have woken screaming in the night like this. My daughter seems to be growing out of it she's 19 months but my son didn't. It is triggered by them needing a wee. For some reason needing to wee in the night an hour or two after they go to sleep would set them off in to either just hysterical crying or sort of night waking where they were acting things out. DS is 6 and he still does it. An hour or two after he has fallen asleep he will cry sometimes get up and walk around except his eyes open but he's not awake. Hope you get some answers and find something that works OP sleep deprivation is dreadful x
Yes, actually, needing a wee was one of the things with DS2 - he was always a terror for holding it in and refusing to go, and still if he doesn't go before bed we get exactly what you describe.
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