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Exhausted, anxious, beaten. Not how I expected being a mum to be.

(44 Posts)
Catheroooo Fri 10-Aug-18 22:10:54

Mummy to my very much loved nearly 8 month old girl. First 6 months were hell. Woke hourly even when co sleeping. Naps on me. Broke me so we sleep trained. First few weeks she slept so well. Ever since she wakes anything between 30 minutes to 1.5 hours after bed. Some nights we get a stretch 11-3 but mostly waking every 3-3.5 hours.

She's a light sleeper. We recently stayed in a holiday cottage and had to share a room. She woke as soon as I opened the door, even though I was so quiet. We couldn't leave the window open in the hot weather as cars in the road woke her.

No matter what I do, she will not sleep longer than 30 mins in the car or buggy. I try to prioritise her sleep at home but as we are napping 2 sometimes 3 times a day it's hard. However I feel like life has stopped. We had been invited to camp with some friends but there's no way she could sleep. The zip of the tent would wake her or even noise from other campers. So we compromised and visited then for the day. Despite leaving at nap time where she sleeps for 1.5 hours she woke after 30 mins. She slept for 20 mins or so as we walked whilst in a sling, but woke when I sat. On the way home she was so tired but again woke after 30 mins then cried for the last 20 mins of the journey. She hardly feeds all day as is so distracted by anything (tried darkened rooms etc but this is impossible when out). So she feeds mostly at night.

She's weaning but it is slow.

I'm just broken. I worry about whether I'm meeting her needs constantlybut equally I can't stay in my house all day everyday. I so wanted a family but just feeling a sense of life is over.

I'm constantly searching online for reassuring stories of people with similar experiences. Today I can't across the baby whispered personality categories and she does seem to fit the touchy baby. I'm terrified that this is going to be the way for a long time and whilst I will get through it, I'm worried what the resulting family will be like as I just feel a shell of my for her self.

I love my little girl but please tell my life will get enjoyable soon!

Moononthehill28 Fri 10-Aug-18 22:17:55

Oh dear, no wonder you are shattered you poor love. I can only think that she is waking constantly because she is hungry. The question is why she won’t feed during the day
How much does she drink/eat during the day? Do you persevere in feeding her even if ah sleeps getting distracted? Does she eat/feed better in some circumstances rather than others? Do you have a health visitor you can go to for advice?

Spudlet Fri 10-Aug-18 22:18:48

When my ds was the age of your dd, sometimes I felt so broken and frustrated at trying to get him to sleep that I banged my head on the walls and floor. I have never felt so lost. I felt like my life was over and this was it, forever and ever.

So please, please believe me when I say this - it gets better. It truly, truly does.

How much rl support do you have? Is your dd's dad in the picture and does he pull his weight? Does he know how you feel? Don't hide it away - tell someone that you trust.

When DS was 10 or 11 mo ths old, he started going to a childminder for one afternoon a week. It was a lifeline for me - that break! Time to read, or have a bath! I highly recommend it. And then ds started crawling at 9 months and a whole new world of entertainment opened up to us. You will get there too. The cooler weather will no doubt help as well. The heat makes it hard.

Keep going, keep talking and trust me, trust me - it gets better. And you are doing a great job.

ILoveMyDressingGown Fri 10-Aug-18 22:20:04

Life will slowly get better. I can't tell you when because each baby is different, but it will. She won't be doing this at 18! (or, at least, if she is you can tell her to bugger off).

CloudCaptain Fri 10-Aug-18 22:21:00

Ah, I couldn't read and run. My first ds was similar. Slept badly in 20min stretches and colic.
Do you want advice/ opinions or just a shoulder to cry on?
He's 4yo now and mostly sleeps through. Ds2 had similar issues, but which we had figured out how to manage, and got him into a magical 3hr sleep routine.

Neverenoughspoons Fri 10-Aug-18 22:22:40

I would definitely contact your health visitor for advice and if she's breastfed see if you can find a breastfeeding group. There may be more to it than her getting distracted. Does she have any other symptoms, hiccups, rashes, digestive problems?

Catheroooo Fri 10-Aug-18 22:23:28

Thank you.

She's bf but my partner is very supportive. We talk all the time and he is always there.

She's always been super alert so that's what is keeping her distracted. The slightest noise and she will turn. I am hoping that weaning will help but it's a slow process!

I am back to work at the end of next month. She will be with my partner for 4 weeks then at nursery. I will be home 2 days a week.

She won't take a bottle and I can't express anything! So am hoping she will take formula from a sippy cup as is doing well with water in one, but we haven't triedas I don't want to give her formula until I have to. But feel a bit mean just 'leaving her to it's when I shut the door on the first day.

superking Fri 10-Aug-18 22:25:36

I really feel for you, non sleeping babies are so hard. Your life is absolutely not over, it's changed dramatically and this is the hardest bit, but it really will get easier soon.

I don't have any great advice, I just muddled through in a sleep deprived haze with my non sleeper. Just wanted to reassure you that it doesn't last forever and there really is light at the end of the tunnel. DS is 5 now and those awful days of sleep deprivation and obsession seem so far away. Hang in there!

Spudlet Fri 10-Aug-18 22:28:50

DS was a bottle refuser too, but once he started having solids he came round to the idea of a bottle. He could then drink milk and nose at everything simultaneously. He got on well with the faster flowing MAM bottles and teats - he was a guts and I had a fast letdown, so bottles with slow teats were too annoying for him. He wanted it all right there and then!

I have to say I began weaning to formula and finished bf-ing entirely at 10 months - not the right choice for everyone but it worked for me. You have to find your own way.

It does get easier though, it does.

thisonebreath Fri 10-Aug-18 22:29:31

Oh you have my full sympathies. Mine were shocking sleepers and it was brutal. I don't have any advice as I don't feel I actually cracked it, they did just eventually grow out of it. It will pass and it will get better, I promise.

Neverenoughspoons Fri 10-Aug-18 22:30:25

I would caution leaving it until your at work to introduce formula in a cup. Have you had any help with expressing?

Fatted Fri 10-Aug-18 22:34:01

I'm sure you probably have already, but if she is a generally grumpy baby have you looked into any physical issues such as reflux or allergies which could be causing her problems.

It does and will get easier. My DS1 was the evil colicky reflux baby from hell. He's 5 now and is amazing. I even went onto have another and he's 3!

Catheroooo Fri 10-Aug-18 22:36:56

Thanks, we had thought reflux but I'm pretty sure it's not. She had gaviscon and ranitidine but it made no difference. She was only sicky not in pain.

SeaToSki Fri 10-Aug-18 22:37:52

One way to manage super distractable sensitive babaies is to direct them into an absolute routine, so that the routine carries them through what would have distracted them. If you want an idea for a suitable routine, look at the Contented Baby books by Gina Ford and adapt to suit your little one. Then stick to it come hell or high water for 2 months. And that does mean being tied to the house for nap time and bed time but it is worth it given the present situation.

Catheroooo Fri 10-Aug-18 22:38:05

Allergies seem not a problem either. I've carefully given her typical foods one at a time and no reaction.

Catheroooo Fri 10-Aug-18 22:40:45

Thanks seatoski. I've pretty much got a routine going, but I'm going bonkers at home everyday. She does sleep on the go just not long. When I watch her on the monitor she always stirs at 30 mins but rolls around a bit and then settled herself. My guess is she stirs as normal I the carseat or buggy but because she's restrained she can't move around and get comfortable again so fully wakes. She's a super active sleeper.

AgentCooper Fri 10-Aug-18 22:48:28

Just watched to offer you my sympathy (no advice, sorry) flowers

My DS is 10 months and so similar to your DD! I couldn't have the bedroom window open at night in the heat either and I was roasting. He still naps on me and is in bed with me at night. He usually gets woken in the morning by DH tiptoeing into the bathroom. At 5:30, bloody DH.

Fingers crossed it all improves soon.

SeaToSki Fri 10-Aug-18 22:58:45

But your routine has her feeding so much at night. Im wondering if you can shift that so you can both get more sleep.

SingingTunelessly Fri 10-Aug-18 22:59:15

Catheroooo, I’ve just posted on an empty nest thread and reading your post brought back all the memories of being a new mum. It’s so hard when all you want is a contented sleepy baby and a good night’s sleep for yourself. It sounds like you’re doing everything you can for your baby so please don’t worry. Some babies are so alert and sometimes people don’t really get this if they haven’t experienced it. My DD1 was a hideous sleeper. Just do what you need to do to get through this as it is a phase. This may not feel it’s much help at the minute but honestly it will pass. flowers

Stuckforthefourthtime Fri 10-Aug-18 23:00:44

One of my sons was like this. People who have never been through a baby waking hourly have NO IDEA what it is like, and the well meant advice is almost as frustrating as the nap refusal.

Still, here is some well meant advice, or at least our experience...
It drove me nearly insane. We tried everything from lavender oil massage to reflux medication, I went on stupidly strict elimination diets, tried hydrolysed formula, hired a very expensive and highly recommended 'baby whisperer' midwife and sleep consultant - who gave us a refund on night 3 and referral to a specialist paedeatrician.
Nothing ever showed up, particularly, other than mild asthma. The Dr did say he'd probably be very bright, which seemed like they were trying to make us feel better at the time, but has turned out to be true. Also cheeringly, of 3 DCs only one has had these sleep troubles - it's not you, and there's a good chance that other dcs you have will be much more textbook.
Things improved for us as he got more mobile and especially when he started walking at 10 months, improved again when he started liking Napa in the buggy a month or so later (no more patting and shushing etc), then suddenly at 14 months he slept through completely one night, and has done so most nights since, we never quite knew why it changed. I'm sure that feels a long way away to you, but it isn't long, and things can improve. If the training worked at first, have you really checked detail by detail to see if he is (or you are) slipping back into old habits and you can change this? I know how tired you must be, but it's worth it. We found the No Cry Sleep Solution good for gentle ways to keep routine going without the pressure of many of the books to 'fix' your child's sleep.

My ds is 6 now, and a delight. He is still a sensitive soul but doesn't have any additional issues, or sensory problems that I'd feared at first. He's on the lower end of average for sleep time for his age, but has slept through for ages. Those days are a dim and grim memory and sooner than you think, they will be for you too. Do try to get some time for yourself, don't put pressure on you or her to do what some other babies would, and don't worry about other people suggesting that in some way you've 'caused' this - it's bollocks, you need to be more careful because she's so wakeful and not vice versa. Just do what you need to survive the next few months, and you'll emerge strong and with a lovely (and eventually sleeping) DD. If what you need includes a trip to the GP and some counselling and/or medication do that too, you need support as well. flowers

YesitsJacqueline Fri 10-Aug-18 23:05:17

My niece was like this, poor sil spent fortunes on that cranium thing, then looked into allergies / intolerance , colic , you name it they explored it ! Turns out it was just the way she was. She improved a lot when she started going to nursery and is much more contented and sleeping well , she is 4 on sunday.
Hang in there and do what you need to do to keep sane !

holidaylady Fri 10-Aug-18 23:08:43

Agree with stuck.
We had a non sleeper. You do get obsessive about it. And it is truly awful. Some day your baby will sleep better. I can't tell you when, and there may not be a definable reason.

Life will get better, hang in there X

FraterculaArctica Fri 10-Aug-18 23:09:03

My DS was like this. I spent most his first year feeling close to suicidal, and we sought endlessly for explanations for his terrible sleep and general grumpiness. Osteopathy, intolerances, bad routine, the whole lot. From around 8 months I escaped the house and left him with DH and a bottle of expressed milk on several nights, just for my own sanity. When he was 11 months we worked with a sleep consultant, dropped night feeds gradually and stopped feeding him to sleep - I was extremely sceptical but his sleep did improve hugely at that point and after that life became liveable again. (Though he remained a pretty difficult child, and still is at 4, but also lovely with it!)

Like a previous poster said, he seems to have been a freak - despite the torture of the first year we have since had DD who is a calm sleeper, only ever woke at night to a manageable degree, and has been a totally different experience!

kalidasa Fri 10-Aug-18 23:09:10

DS1 was just like this, it was horrendous. I didn't enjoy his first year at all. It really does get better! (And DS2 was easy in comparison.) DS1 is 5 now and he has quite an anxious personality, is bright but with some mild sensory issues. I think the sensory issues were a big factor actually in his dislike of babyhood, I think it was all v overwhelming for him. He's a lovely lovely 5 year old though and your little girl will be too!

holidaylady Fri 10-Aug-18 23:10:01

I would recommend cranial osteopathy actually. It did make a difference to the sleep and general happiness of our baby. Worth a go. But I can't promise anything, sorry

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