9 month old sleep training not working and I'm falling apart!(39 Posts)
9 month old DD wants to wake every hour from midnight each night. She goes down at 6, wakes at 10 for a feed, then midnight, then hourly. This is the routine she's had since birth and I have tried everything I can think of.
Recently I have been struggling with my health as a result and have been diagnosed with suicide headaches. Enough is enough so I finally decided that more gentle sleep training has not worked and I need to try leaving her to cry (with my company) when she wakes at 12 until she learns that night time is for sleeping not feeding or cuddles or whatever. My HV has been supportive of this but generally dismissive of how tough she's been to crack up until this point.
We are now on night 11 of doing this and every single night she has woken at 12, screamed until between 4:30 and 5am, slept until 6/6:30 and then been up for the day. I feel like we're getting nowhere whatsoever. Thank God her sister would sleep through a bomb going off.
I, however, cannot cope and I don't know what to do. I don't have anyone else who can take her for the night. I'm thinking about taking her to the GP (again) and demanding they take this more seriously. Frankly, I wouldn't be averse to medication. I don't know if that's even an option.
Does anyone have any idea how long this could go in for or been in a similar situation? All the HCPs I've spoken to so far have been very "oh yes well some babies are challenging but after 6 months they shouldn't need to wake for feeds" despite me pressing how utterly shit this is. Makes me want to throw something (perhaps DD?) At them.
Aww this sounds really awful for you. Is this every night or does she have nights where she is better?
I have a 10 month old who does the same as you describe but other nights he is randomly better and wakes just 2/3 times.
I don't have an answer and am struggling myself - I work four days and am finding it hard. I haven't done any sleep training as I couldn't get anything to work with my last baby who slept through on her own accord at 14m. I find it less stressful to not try sleep training.
All I do is go to bed v early every single night without fail. I have no 'me' time and I just prioritise sleep in that first stretch.
Just wondering have you tried a later bedtime? I haven't tried that so just wondered?
It sounds tough and I do feel for you xx
It's every single night unfortunately. I have tried pushing back her bed time but in all honesty she's so exhausted by about 4pm that 6 is about the latest I can drag it back to before she's over tired and won't go down at all.
I never sleep trained my first either. She gradually got better with longer gaps between waking s as she got older, and was sleeping through by about 18 months. DD2 however, has shown absolutely no change in sleep behaviour since her newbotn days, an that coupled with it now affecting my health and ability to look after both kids, meant I felt that sleep training was the only way to not end up in A&E (again).
I cannot understand why her routine is not changing at all when her daytime naps have slowly evolved and he is otherwise developing normally. I'm completely at a loss as to how to get her to pick up a new routine. I don't need her to sleep through, but more than an hour between waking is essential - and I don't feel like I'm asking much!!
This sounds awful.
How is here sleeping during the day? Does she have regular nap times which are longer than an hour?
Is she started eating some solid foods as well as her bottles?
Have you tried bringing her into your bed when she wakes at 12 and co sleeping?
That must be so tough for you.
Do you give her milk when she wakes? My son 20m still wakes every 2 hours some nights but I do leave him to cry (usually it lasts about 5 minutes or I wouldn't keep doing it) unless it's clearly a distressed one. If we have to go in we've always gone in with milk and given him that in his cot. He has bowel issues so we sometimes go in with calpol & milk depending on the cry.
Could there be any underlying issues, stomach pains, teething, night terrors, milk allergy? I'd try some form of pain relief to be honest but I know that not everybody agrees with that.
What is her daytime routine like, naps and feeds/meals?
How does she get to sleep at bedtime?
Co sleeping was the only thing that worked for us, not ideal if it’s not what you want to do but helped us all get some sleep!
My DD is the same at 18 months! I now put her in her cot at bedtime then when she wakes at 12/1 ish I bring her in with me and co sleep. Its not ideal but works for us and like you I was really beginning to suffer from lack of sleep.
She still wakes frequently in the night but very easy to settle back. I just couldn't leave her to cry for hours that sounds quite harsh for such a young baby.
I will get flamed for this but my DD was exactly the same, if not worse, sometimes she would only go 20 minutes. Didn’t matter if she was co sleeping or in her cot. I understand your total desperation. I was hallucinating on some days I was so sleep deprived.
I had a very supportive health visitor and she was referred to the Great Ormond Street Sleep Clinic, now no more sadly. They said that there was no physical cause and I had no option but controlled crying out of the room, coming back after 5 minutes (but no stimulation of any sort) then 10, then 20 thereafter. No doubt it was cruel for both of us and she held out for 14 horrendous days. However it worked and she did start going longer more humane times between waking. She was still waking at least once in the night as a toddler, on one occasion she got me i the room shouting “head stuck” and she was an ingenious cot hurdler, as well as very active during the day.
GOSH said that babies like her often turn out to be exceptionally bright and my mum throughout said ditch the advice that babies can’t keep themselves awake, she doesn’t want to miss anything, and once she got to school she calmed down completely and all that energy and curiousity went into school work. She is now a research scientist and sleeps like a log....
Her younger sister was a laodback hippy and I loved our peaceful night feeds that she went straight back to sleep after.....
You could try giving her more solids at dinner time and make sure there is protein too as this helps with sleep.
You could also give a mashed banana with a bit of yoghurt in it before bed as this will help to fill her up.
Give her a bottle/feed just before you go to sleep without waking baby up - dream feed - then offer only water in a bottle during the night and don’t pick her up out of the cot to do it.
It may take a few nights but she will quickly realize she is not going to get what she wants. And hopefully sleep longer.
Try not to pick her up when she is waking during the night, no stimulation but give her the bottle with water if needed.
Hopefully this helps.. these are the things your taught during sleep training courses x
This sounds awful, you must be at breaking point. Could you post your daily routine with feeds and naps? Are you BF or FF? How do you get baby to sleep?
There’s a good Facebook group called respectful sleep training / learning - most members are American but obviously things are still relevant! There are great files on there about sleep training and lots of guidance. It is very pro - CC and not many gentle training methods -think most of the posters are in similar positions of needing something more drastic.
I don’t think she needs to go to the doctor as she just sounds like she’s being a 9 month old baby (just to reassure you she is ok). I would definitely try cosleeping through the worst of it - it is so hard but babies do still need parental attention at nighttime. What you’re going theoguh
Oops pressed send too early.
...what you’re going through sounds so awful and I really feel for you, but crying from midnight until 5/6 in the morning is a clear sign she needs something. I would definitely put her in the bed with you.
Do let us know how you get on and I wish you all the best.
Sympathy from here... fellow hideous sleep deprivation survivor.
Can you go to bed early and then do shifts with your husband from midnight onwards? I found if I slept from 10 till 1 and then from 5 till 7, I could cope. My husband needed the middle of the night slot but could cope with the early start.
Maybe try two hour slots... feed at 12, 2, 4 if you can cope with 2 hours of shush patting between feeds. Maybe put a mattress on her floor so that you can get comfortable on your shift or a comfortable chair...
It will get better.... I promise!
(Have you ruled out food intolerance and have you seen an osteopath? My son had poor guts and skin .. dealing with these helped a bit... osteo also helped a bit.. I would have danced round a maypole naked if I thought it would help... )
Try Gina Ford Contented baby book, l found it fab and it is gentler than letting her cry for hours, much more focus on the whole day and very detailed.
MY premie DD slept from 7.30 pm til 5.30 am at 4 and a half months due entirely to the routines and methods, my Ds did similar from 6 months, they were only 16months apart and l had no help whatsoever so sleep was crucial to being able to cope.
We recently had a sleep consultant come, as our 11 months old was very similar and I didn't think I could face another night, I was starting to consider just running away to be honest.
Anyways it turned out there's a whole lot more to sleep training than I thought, and even just having her for a consultation raised loads of things we hadn't even considered. It took time but a month on and she wakes once, chats for 20 minutes in her cot and then goes back to sleep which is an unbelievable improvement.
The lady was from smooth start Nanny services. No idea how far she will travel or where you are but she really was a game changer!
My little boy woke up every hour until he was about 20 months!
It's fucking hell and I'm
Not actually sure how I survived
Basically became a recluse and was barely functioning TBH
He's 2.5 and still waking every 2/3 hours but that's manageable
We ended up co sleeping which is not something I wanted to do
Still are now
No advice but hang in there! Do what you have to do!
I'm pregnant with my next baby and I pray to god they sleep better than my first, If they are the same then I will have to sleep train Eventho it's not something I want to do! But I don't think I can go through that again
Good luck x
I have to agree with Neeenaw that a sleep consultant is a good idea. I had read every book every written on sleep in fact considered writing my own as I was so good at getting DD to sleep (hollow laugh!!).
The lady we saw did talk about the day as well as the night and talked about increasing the amount he was eating during the day and also teaching him to settle during the day... (that never worked..). It wasn't a quick fix but it did get better.
Following with interest! OP a lot of sympathy/empathy from me xxx
That sounds exhausting and no wonder you are feeling utter despair. Offering sincere sympathy as my DS was similar - spectacularly resident to all forms of sleep training. He's still bloody single minded 5 years on and had anxieties about being alone in the middle of the night. I'm not suggesting this is your path but I gave into it and started to cosleep, which didn't stop the teething related howling in the night but meant I didn't have to get out of bed which helped a lot. I also got a low dose prescription of amiltriptaline from the doctors as I'm an insomniac, and that helped me hold it together. I could still wake up and sensibly deal with my son, but found it easier to fall asleep afterwards. It's non addictive and has been a wonder drug to me. Whatever you do, sending you the utmost luck. Sleep deprivation is truly the devil's work.
Oh my goodness this thread got busy during the day! Sorry for the delayed response. I'll do my best to answer any questions.
We've coslept with the cot side carred to the bed since day 1. It worked wonders for DD1. Hahahaha...
We tried having her in her cot separately for 2 weeks back in December as I wondered if she was actually being disturbed and needed her space (sometimes during the day she just needs a bit of time to herself and gets grisly if carried/snuggled during that time). It made absolutely no difference so we moved the cot back -mainly because psychologically I feel better having not had to actually get out of bed.
She is breastfed but will take a bottle of formula whenever I want to supplement like if I'm out for the day or something. She's never had any problem taking either but I find BF so much more convenient at night.
Currently she has 3 very good sized meals per day with plenty of protein and fruit/veg (I've found she needs quite a bit of roughage to keep her tummy comfortable as she gets constipated quite easily). She has 3 milk feeds per day, and usually 2 at night (10pm and 2am ish).
The screaming is with me for company, usually patting or letting her hold my hand. She wants to cuddle and suck on something- but doesn't seem to need a feed except for those two times in the night. I'd be more than happy keeping those feeds of she'd drop the waking up in between them.
Her day time naps are usually 9-10:30am and 12:30-2pm (sometimes this one is a bit longer if the morning has been busy or her sister has woken her up earlier than usual). She sleeps like a log during the day and isn't even woken up by said 3year old bounding about and shrieking.
She's otherwise developing very normally. Very active and perky. If I'm honest I think that's one of the main reasons HCPs have been so dismissive. She comes across as such a happy little thing.
Dd was exactly like this!
In the end I popped her in her cot and left the room. Because she couldn’t see me she calmed down within minutes. If she went from whinging to panicked crying I went back in to reassure and settle. But left immediately again. Only going back in if she absolutely needed it. Took one night.
If her naps are that good is she afraid of the dark?
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