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Tips for coping with sleep deprivation

(33 Posts)
firsttimemum889 Sun 11-Mar-18 19:03:51

My lottle one, 18 weeks , is a terrible sleeper for the last 6 weeks he has been waking up every 1 hour 2 if am lucky. I sleep when he sleeps to try and get as much sleep as possible . This means i go to bed at 7 . Its starting to really get me down i am exchasted and dreading night time . My husband helps alot but i am not comfortable with him not sleeping and driving to work in the morning . Am looking for any tips on how to cope with the physical and emotional aspects of thia period
Is really getting me down . Am not against sleep training and i think i will try it if things dont gwt better by the time he moves to his own room but am looking of ways to cope in the meantime

123456kent Mon 12-Mar-18 14:57:35

Early evenings would depress me, that’s time to be an adult not just a mum. Can you sleep when baby sleeps during the day? I thought this advice rubbish when mine was born, I was so wired and busy and she was so small and fragile. Now I’m chilled, exhausted sometimes, and she’s bigger (5 months) so we can snuggle up on bed and sleep during the day

firsttimemum889 Mon 12-Mar-18 18:08:02

He wont sleep in his cot for naps he sleeps on me so i cannot sleep during the day ! But you are right early evenings depresses me too ! I just cant see an end to this !

123456kent Mon 12-Mar-18 19:10:46

Not recommending you do something out of guidelines, but I sleep with her when she is napping if I am tired. I am happy and confident with the position we are in that I will not roll on her and she is in no danger. It makes her sleep longer, cuddling me, and I feel relaxed and drift into a nice light nap too. But of course I’m not telling you to do that if you are extremely tired and you feel it won’t be safe.
Can someone take baby for an hours walk while you nap?

ChocolateDollyMixture Mon 12-Mar-18 19:14:17

I 'm all for sleep training and would be the thing to do but as you suggest your DS is a little young.
Is there anything to suggest why he's waking so often at night?

Basically -look to the root of the issue rather than finding a way to carry on (caffeine will only get you so far).

How does he sleep in the day? (Is he overtired/ undertired?)
Around 4months they hit one hell of a sleep regression -I found that one tough with both of mine.

If it is the sleep regression -it does get better. They're changing from the newborn sleepiness to proper child sleep patterns and it goes a bit haywire.
Knowledge is power so read up about why they change at 4months and it might help in knowing that this is all part of your DS growing as he should, it doesn't last for long.

In the meantime can anyone else sit with him for naps or take him out for a walk while you sleep?

Notlostjustexploring Mon 12-Mar-18 19:31:58

The only thing that got me through sleep deprivation was on Saturday and Sunday my husband got up at 6/7am and left me to sleep until I woke up - usually woke up 10-11 am, but it got me through the rest of the week where I tried to not wake him. I also got an hour every morning before he went to work if required.

He once complained that he never got a lie in any more. I pointed out I wasn't getting a lie in either, I was catching up on five consecutive nights lost sleep and I was happy to share the weekend 'lie ins' but I would be waking him up 6 times a night when I was getting up in return. He decided on reflection he was being unreasonable.

I also drank a lot of coffee and tried not to have complicated conversations with people. And have low expectations of pretty much everything.

It's fucking horrendous. But it WILL get better. It just doesn't feel like it when your brain is made from tar and your eyes from ground glass.

halfwitpicker Mon 12-Mar-18 19:35:41

I got into the habit of taking two strong paracetamol every day to cope with the headache, and loads of coffee.

Its utterly brutal.

Callamia Mon 12-Mar-18 19:40:00

I could have asked this same thing this morning. I swear my 7mo woke up every half an hour or something.

We ended up taking tunes to settle
him (he definitely wasn’t hungry very time), and we’ve drank a decent amount of coffee today. I’m trying to also work, and will need to spend this evening working, so early bed is out. Get lie-ins when you can is my best advice. Take turns as much as possible. It’s monstrous, but it won’t be for too long.

dorifish Mon 12-Mar-18 19:40:44

if you can afford it get a cleaner. get someone to babysit while you sleep.
minimise having to cook or clean as much as possible.
basically get extra help so you dont have to do as much and manage to sleep.

I wish I'd booked myself into a hotel to sleep. if you can do that do it.

too much caffeine can make you sleepy and dehydration headachey so try to eat and drink as healthy as you can.

Also get checked for anaemia.

Hahanotfunnymylifeisamess Mon 12-Mar-18 19:44:38

Really empathise, my dd has always been a terrible sleeper. She resisted all my attempts at routine. Now she's 3 it's better (still not great) but her first 2 years are a bit of a blur to me because I was so tired.

I was very lucky and I realise this may not be an option but my dm tried to come over at least once a week for a 2 or 3 hours so I could have a sleep, or even just a lie down. It made a huge difference. Do you have anyone who could do that for you? Dd didn't usually sleep in these times but my dm was able to keep her occupied or take her for a walk in the pram just so I got some space, and only brought her to me for feeds (she was breastfed).

JustTerfingAlong1 Mon 12-Mar-18 19:50:34

Non of mine have slept until about age 3
How I cope:

Get me and them outside into daylight as soon as possible even if only for 10 minutes before breakfast. Helps regulate body clock. Through a window doesn't work.
Similarly try to have red/pink/orange rings lights at night and in the evening.

At night listen to podcasts through earphones for this middle of the night feeds, or getting them to bed. I learned to appreciate the solitude to listen to what I want without anyone yacking at me.

Try to get some fresh air exercise every day.

Make sure you have spoken to one adult about something non child related every day.

Don't overdo the caffeine and avoid carbs at lunch - minimises that afternoon slump. Seriously this one is a game changer.

Bedshaees for naps - or settle them in your bed then do a ninja crawl away. Same thing works in the evening. Just make sure it is safe with no covers/pillows/gaps etc for small ones .

Slings for those naps where you want to get jobs done. It is a skill to transfer from lap to sling but they do resettle remarkably quickly when wrapped nice and tight against you.

Accept it as a phase that WILL pass. flowers

JustTerfingAlong1 Mon 12-Mar-18 19:52:19

Sorry for typos - currently feeding ds (18 Mns) to sleep in my bed right now so typing one handed and autocorrect is being stupid

Cheekylittlenumber Mon 12-Mar-18 19:53:05

I'm going through this with DD2 who is 5.5 months. It's brutal. I'm going back to work in May and have been promoted while on maternity leave. I'm shitting myself that I won't be able to function.

When mine is 6 months I'm going to start a bottle in the night (she's currently EBF) to see if that helps a longer stretch. It helped with DD1s sleep, and then at least DH can do one feed in the night to give me a break.

I'm a terrible napper but trying to have lie ins when I can.

It doesn't last forever but it horrific. In the meantime lots of coffee and blush to look fresh faced!

firsttimemum889 Tue 13-Mar-18 13:13:43

Thanks everyone for the replies !
Currently typing this while he is napping on me !!
Unfortunately i dont have any family to help as am an expat here . Dh usually takes him from 6 to 8 so i can sleep in the morning which helps tremendously! Well today he suprised us as he didnt wake up from 3:30 to 7 ! Am i being too optimistic thinking he might be growing out of this 1 hour wake ups ? He was sleeping better before as soon as he entered the 4th month he started doing this !
I do believe the problem is asosiating sleep with me rocking him and needing me to rock him
Back to sleep when his sleep cycle ends.

I am going back home next week so i am Hoping To get some sleep , lots of people there to help am alsohpping that some sunshine might do him some good ! My mother inaists that we all slept through at 3 months ! Maybe is the water there ;p

firsttimemum889 Tue 13-Mar-18 13:15:07

@JustTerfingAlong1 thats a good idea regarding the podcasts i used to listen to alot of books before him on my way to work . I will do that again during the sleepless nights

firsttimemum889 Tue 13-Mar-18 13:17:34

@ChocolateDollyMixture i did read doctor ferbers book and it seems to me he has a problem
With sleep assosiation (rocking ) i am willing to give it a try but not now as he is sleeping with us . I am secretely hoping that by 6 months he will be better so i dont have to do it !

firsttimemum889 Tue 13-Mar-18 13:19:08

@JustTerfingAlong1 which sling do u use ? I never got the hang of them too complicated . I only used bjorn carrier

JustTerfingAlong1 Tue 13-Mar-18 14:02:02

I use woven wraps or a half buckle mei tai. But slings are very individual to both baby and parent - is there a sling library you can get to to try a load out and maybe hire a couple?

GlennRheeismyfavourite Tue 13-Mar-18 14:21:04

I found I needed to get Baby used to going to sleep on her own - not rocked or fed but lying down. I waited until she had really clear times in the day when she'd sleep so I definitely knew she was tired then I put her in her cot in her sleeping bag at those times (9am, 11.30am, 2pm) and sat with her until she fell asleep. She always cries when I lie her down but I know it's just tiredness. I tend to read the highway rat (nice rhymes) then she'll fall asleep just after. Once she could sleep on her own in the day she's better at dropping off again when she wakes in the night. We started this at 5 months. That said, she woke up at 10,12,2 &4 last night so what do I know!!! Tonight I'm only going to feed at 10 & 2 - we just going to do the sitting next to her till she drops off other than that.

Blueskyrain Wed 14-Mar-18 15:55:39

OP, do you drive? Cook food? Cross roads?
Because you are doing those things with a baby, then you re putting you both at risk far more than your husband driving to work a bit more tired.

I don't think that someone working us a get out clause for night waking. Not in about 99% of jobs, so tbh, I'd share the nights more. We alternate regardless of who is working, and it's made such a difference our lives. It seems daft for one person to do all the waking, when it could be shared.

firsttimemum889 Fri 16-Mar-18 19:37:06

@Blueskyrain to be honest i barely
Out with him in the weekdays only
If i absolutely have to ! My dh does help
He takes him from 7 to 12 while
I sleep and then i do 12 to 6 and he does last hour 6 to7 so i can have a bit of sleep before making up in the morning .
The hourly wake ups have been going on for 7 weeks now and i just dont think this is the "regression" anymore am
So Depressed and tired am Not Enjoying my baby during the day i feel like
My days have no end just an endless cycle

redjoker Fri 16-Mar-18 19:46:10

Sorry i don't have the answer but just to say you are not alone! DP works away all week and DS naps in the day fine most of the time although not for long and then goes to sleep and wakes every hour sometimes every 30 min! I too go to bed as soon as he does and it's so bloody depressing but no idea how else to function

He goes off with a bottle so currently trying to feed him. Take bottle away and let him go on his own. Sometimes it works but tonight it is decending into chaos!

anotherexhaustedpigeon Fri 16-Mar-18 19:54:09

@firsttimemum889 your feelings are very very normal given the lack of sleep. It seems you're doing the best you can in terms of help and sleeping all the hours you can - I find the nap advice infuriating personally because I've no shortage of naps, every night is a succession of naps, what we need is a good solid chunk! So I think the best thing is to try and help your baby learn to self-settle as others have said. I'm currently attempting the same with my 6 month old, so I've by no means nailed it, but there are lots of sworn-by techniques out there - you just need to decide how you feel its best to go about it. Also second what others have said about getting outside - fresh air will do you both good, and is a way of entertaining your LO without needing 100% energy and effort from you (if, like me, you're done with endless repetitions of wheels on the bus). You can just meander about rambling about trees and buses or whatever you've got where you live. Minimise caffeine so you can sleep better when you sleep, minimise sugar too I find helps a bit. Try to remember that your baby wants to learn to sleep, they aren't trying to kill you with sleep deprivation even though it feels like it. You'll get through this.

firsttimemum889 Sat 17-Mar-18 01:23:43

@redjoker it sometimes feel like M
Alone ! Thank god for internet strangers ;p my nct group complains because their babies still wake up once or twice for feeds and i just want to say that sounds like a dream to me !!
@anotherexhaustedpigeon excactly, what i need is a chunk of sleep i get plenty of "naps". We are foing back home to my country next week so i will get more help (large family etc) and more fresh air and sunshine. I am planning on starting some sort of sleep training when i get back and he is a bit older . I was gonna start earlier but i thought there is no point since i ll be disturbing his routine with the trip . I am dreading sleep training to be homest but cant go on loke
This for much longer

anotherexhaustedpigeon Sat 17-Mar-18 19:01:20

@firsttimemum889 you won't have to, it will get better. You will survive this, I promise

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