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Waiting it out

(431 Posts)
burritofan Wed 18-Sep-19 20:28:44

Is anyone else following the extremely vague and lazy "wait it out and hope it spontaneously resolves itself, maybe solids/crawling/walking/time/eventual night-weaning/magic/bribery once she can talk or be reasoned with" baby sleep plan?

We're nipple-deep in the four-month regression, which followed fast from the 8-week-jabs endless night poo era, then the 12-week hourly waking growth spurt. Throw early teething,
a late tongue tie division and a crap reaction to 16-week jabs into the mix – all in the same week! Which is when she migrated from Snuzpod to sleeping in my armpit – and you get a shitstorm of night wakings, my solution to which is:

plonk baby (now 21 weeks) in bed with me each night – after first making comatose with boob after rock-solid bedtime routine – and reapply boob as needed. Sometimes sleepily snuggling works in the middle of the night. Sometimes she wakes, babbles, pats around to check I'm there, and resettles. (Rare as a unanimous AIBU? thread, but like sunshine when it happens!)

Sometimes we start the night with a 3-hour chunk, other times 45 minutes. Some nights she wakes up only 4 times, others what feels like 4,000. Very little crying unless more teeth/colds, in which case howling then calpol and boob and a lie-in if she grants it. (I know the advice is to wake at the same time each day but (a) the baby wakes herself at the crack of dawn most days and when she doesn't (b) if she was up for two hours howling because of her teeth, I'm not going to enforce a wake-up for the sake of some Gina Ford nonsense.)

The 45-minute wake-ups are guaranteed if I put her down in her sidecar crib now, or even if leave the room – sometimes she wakes straight away if I try to swap with DP. Even in deep sleep she has a batlike sense for my being in the room. She generally starts the night starfished on the bed; as the night goes on she gets more unsettled and likes my armpit to snuggle into best. Perhaps it's the woolly mammoth furriness?

She's not great at feeding lying down but I'm persevering because I'm lazy. Occasionally I attempt the pull-off thing of putting my finger in her mouth to delatch once she's asleep but I'm too knackered to do it consistently or time it to gradually reduce feeds, I think I'm doing it in a half-hearted "gosh I really should sort this sleep thing". Mostly I do it so I can go to sleep if I'm feeding sitting up. I've no idea how to shhhh-pat; PUPD seems like an awful lot of effort with a heavy baby when I could be lying down, and deeply confusing; gradual chair or whatever makes me want to weep with exhaustion more than the current situation; CC or CIO is neverrrrrrr going to happen. On the other hand, I have wistful recollections of evenings, of my lovely DP, of times when I ate dinner somewhere other than over a snoozing baby's head in the dark...

Basically is anyone else doing what I'm doing to improve their baby's sleep, i.e. not very much at all, and wants to commiserate while we ride it out, slash create bad habits, construct towering Jengas of rods for backs, build sleep crutches, and generally arse it up? Any experienced "totally winged it and it worked out fine" mothers want to share delightful stories of "Oh one day he just pushed the boob away, fell asleep and did 12 hours and it's been a fairytale ever since, I got my bed and my sex life back" lazy parenting magic?

DP & I are softies who plan on an open-door policy of "if the kid can't sleep because of nightmares or growing pains, come on in our bed, they're only little", have fond memories of childhood shenanigans of sleeping on the landing or sneaking down to see what the grown-ups are doing, BUT also have no interest in "giant floor bed co-sleeping til 20" and quite like each other and the idea of the kid in her own room eventually, it would be nice to have some hope.

::rambles on in a sleep-deprived manner while teething DD snores on my shoulder, preps coffee machine for tomorrow, hopes there are other chaotic parents out there doing the absolute least::

bottomflannel Thu 19-Sep-19 09:42:36

Hi burritofan - I had to check the name attached to your post because I swear I could have posted almost the exact same thing, aside from the age difference (DS2 is 3 months). Rather selfishly, I’m so relieved to find someone in the same ridiculous boat!

Added to all the things you describe, we’ve had the joy of overnight congestion added to the mix the past few days. No cold or anything, he’s just absolutely bunged for some reason and so feeding and sleeping have been somewhat challenging. Plus my nips are now raw as he’s pulling about trying to breathe through the gunk and feed at the same time - as well as contending with my fast letdown. Funsies!

My only light at the end of the tunnel is knowing my first was the same, and he eventually slept through regularly at about 2 years with minimal input/help. He’s been a rock-solid sleeper ever since - he’s 8 now. I didn’t cosleep with him and used to get up out of bed for every waking, which nearly killed me!

I’m worried about cosleeping this time (nervous about creating a ‘bad habit’; I miss DH, who sleeps downstairs as he has 5.30am starts; I don’t find it particularly comfortable - but that’s more to do with him usually sleeping on top of me from 2am-6.30am), but I would be even less functional if I had to get out of bed each time DS2 wakes. We’re doing to put away/sell our Cozee crib and Sleepyhead, which have been slept in overnight a grand total of 0 times, and put his cot beside our bed in the hope that I can lean into it, feed him and then leave him in his own space while I have the bed. For some reason, despite the fact that he isn’t mobile, I always end up right on the edge of the bed while he enjoys all the space...

Good god, I’m dreading the four-month sleep regression... how can it possibly get any worse?!

SecondTimer2019 Thu 19-Sep-19 16:13:37

Hi burritofan. I love reading your posts because they're so hilarious, but I know the reality is not at all funny.

I too have zero strategy with my nearly 23 week old and just feed him every time he wakes (I think 4 times last night). I don't tend to co-sleep because it doesn't seem to work/help but at the very end of the night he usually ends up on the bed or in the sling with DP.

I don't think I have the kind of story you're looking for and I can't relate to some of the details of your daughter's sleep, but like the previous poster I used the same strategy (no strategy) with my firstborn and he eventually slept through at 19 months. He's been a great sleeper ever since.

I don't know if it was coincidence but he started sleeping through about 2 weeks after I noticed my milk was drying up (because of pregnancy) and at the same time as I was experiencing a horrendous breastfeeding aversion (apparently also common in pregnancy). I just couldn't bear to feed him any more. I don't really remember what we did in those 2 weeks, even though it's only a year ago, but I guess we just comforted him instead. He went from sleeping appalling to going 7pm-7am.

So. That's not much help is it? But it does show you don't need a strategy. It just takes aaaages.

Virtual hugs.

Harrysmummy246 Thu 19-Sep-19 16:41:30

Don't even bother with any of the sleep training nonsense or delatching unless you have to.
DS and I didn't manage lying down feeds until about 6 mo when he was a bit stronger to lie on his side and yes, cosleeping saved us.

I nightweaned VERY gently at 21 mo and then finished entirely at 22mo.

Now at 26 mo, I actually wake up in my own bed sometimes and did have to ask DH if I'd had to get up for him or not the previous night i.e. he sleeps through more than once in a blue moon but it isn't a guarantee.

Still cosleep if needed, in his room. Still 'babywear' for dog walks.

Still stay with him til he's asleep, patting, singing or stroking as he now asks for.

Try Sarah Ockwell Smith's Gentle Sleep book if you want to reassure yourself or tweak strategies

burritofan Thu 19-Sep-19 17:25:23

bottomflannel you don’t know how reassuring it is to hear from someone who is on their second and still bumbling about! I’m beaming at my phone screen.

SecondTimer thank you! Despite the sleep dep I do find it all kind of grimly funny a lot of the time. I mean, the other day I nearly got a 3-hour stretch out of my daughter but she was woken by A DYING SEAGULL in our side return (there’s a seagull vigilante on the loose in Brighton). That’s terrible and funny! (And outing for anyone who knows me.) But I tell this story at baby groups and people just stare blankly and suggest I fill her up with baby rice or formula or sleep train.

I’m quite reassured by 19 months, actually. I should still just be young enough by then to have another...

Harrysmummy perfect, this is exactly the reassurance I needed. I know very few first-time new-mum friends and those I do know are very pro-sleep consultant, sleep training, early weaning, blah blah. And the cosleeping crowd all seem to find lying-down feeding a breeze.

DragonFlye Thu 19-Sep-19 17:45:29

Yep OP - DD is 8 months and I'm just riding it out. A combination of not being willing to leave her to cry and laziness at researching some method I don't actually believe will work anyway.

She's never slept through. Had a blissful few weeks of one wake up a night but am now back to three. I'm knackered, but DH gets up with her first thing whilst I sleep and between us we are managing.

For some reason I am confident she will sleep through by one as most of my friends' awful sleepers have done so. It's probably not going to happen but gives me hope I've broken the back of it?

SecondTimer2019 Thu 19-Sep-19 17:58:00

OMG I'm laughing at the dying seagull. I promise if I was in your baby groups I would laugh. Unfortunately I couldn't be much further away (in Scotland).

Sometimes new mums are a special breed of humourless grin

bottomflannel Thu 19-Sep-19 18:17:40

The seagull! I’d have laughed too. Ooh Brighton... one of my most favourite places. I’m on the south coast as well smile

I often think the world is conspiring against me to stop my baby sleeping. I’ll have just got him to doze off on the school run (he’s getting better in the pram, thankfully) and then the loudest ambulance in the world will speed by/someone’s toddler starts being loud just as we get level with them/the planets will align in a way that displeases and therefore awakens the aforementioned baby...

It’s good to connect with people going through the same thing. Sadly all the new mum friends I’ve made through NCT have sleepers. I had a support thread on here with a bunch of lovely mums first time round and it helped so much, even if just to offload.

burritofan Thu 19-Sep-19 18:34:57

Yes, bottomflannel, the conspiracy! We took DD out in the sling the other weekend and there turned out to be a motorcycle rally in Brighton. No matter what tiny side road or small park we ventured into, she'd be about to drop off and they'd roar by with impeccable nap-ruining timing. Sirens, catfights, Jehovah's Witnesses at the door, an ill-timed sneeze...

walkwalk Thu 19-Sep-19 20:27:36

Hi OP I too could have written your post! You're definitely not alone. My DD has just turned one and has a variety of crap sleeping tricks up her sleeve... we have tried a few things here and there (including the pantley pull off, which amused DH to no end, prompting jokes such as "I wouldn't mind a pantley pull off" etc..)

DD will only fall asleep for boob or buggy - that's a moving buggy, outside only. She's a nightmare to get down for bedtime, even with feeding to sleep. I have to practically restrain her and force the boob on her sometimes as when I don't she just wriggles free, runs and plays around getting more and more overtired (this can last hours) until having a full on meltdown. At which point I have to feed her to sleep anyway. If I try to walk/rock/cuddle to sleep she just goes for the boob, then proceeds to wriggle free.

Once asleep I transfer her to a double mattress on the floor in her room and sneak away when she finally unlatches (depending on my energy and hunger levels!)

She tends to wake every 10-50 mins through out the evening if I go downstairs. So a lot of up and down and several attempts at my dinner. At some point she does go into proper "night sleep", around 10pm maybe, and will only wake every 1-2 hours then. I go into her around 10.30- 11 anyway and we cosleep (yes I have not seen my own bed in months and yes I miss my DH!)

She has had phases of giving me chunks of up to 5 hours in the night before but not regularly and not for ages

I really miss my evenings and cooking and eating too, and of course chats with my lovely DH when he gets home from work. It's all pretty rare these days sad can't believe I've done a year of this actually!

Like someone else said, DD has spent 0 nights in a crib or cot. I don't mind Co sleeping at all and it would be no big deal to be woken once in the night for a feed say, but I am so over being a human dummy! And am actually getting quite a bad back from it. Not sure how long we will keep doing not much about it but am definitely up for a bit of commiserating/support/laughing at the ridiculous situations we got ourselves into etc. and would also LOVE to hear from any mums who woke up one day to perfect sleeper babies after months of sleep deprivation torments

I know we'll never do CC or CIO but I have read posts about people leaving their DH and LO to it for a night or two and coming back to a lovely sleepy baby... hmmm

Ah also I remember finding a thread on here once asking what age people's crap sleepers sorted themselves out and 14 months seemed to be a popular answer. So I am really hoping we get somewhere soon! Although I hope you and the others here won't have to wait as long as I have!!

We did see an improvement after she learned to crawl then after a bit it all went to shit again. She started walking this week so maybe that will help.

Oh and we do feed lying down but as someone else said we only got the hang of it when she was a little older so worth it to keep trying I would say!

Oh and dying seagull would have cracked me up god those groups can be so dry sometimes!!

Sorry also for the long ramble - I'm a long time mn lurker but it's actually my first post so I guess it's all waiting to tumble out lol

mclover Thu 19-Sep-19 20:28:21

I'm a softie breastfeeding baby wearing mama and even I did sleep training (don't stone me anyone).

My boy was around 7 months and he was tired and cranky all day As he wasn't getting enough sleep. He'd wake every 45 mins and crying, needed my boob to go back to sleep. I was sooo tired too.

I tried PUPD - he howled as he couldn't understand why I kept leaving him! Tried gradual retreat but again made him wail as he could see me but I wasn't going to him.

So even though I said i would NEVER leave him to cry, I did. I put the baby video on him, kissed him goodnight and watched on the montitor. He was angry. He cried for about ten minutes. Then he grumbled and grizzled for 20 mins. Then he fell asleep. I could see him on the video all the time, I new he was full or milk, clean bum, had a lovely day etc. So he cried / grumbled for about 30 mins first night.

Next night was about 15 minutes. Third night about 5 minutes. After that, he would usually not cry, or might moan for about a minute, then he slept through the NIGHT. Miracle. He'd wake up full of beans, I was full of energy for him. Best thing I ever did.

Now people say CIO is really bad. In my experience he cried less than an hour over 3 days. When I was feeding every 45 mins over night, he'd be crying for around 30- 45 mins a night when you add up all those little wake ups. He learnt a valuable life skill (self settle) his day naps improved in length as he could stitch his sleep cycles together, and he was well rested and woke up ready to play.

Each baby is different and you have to wait till they are 6 months, but it worked for us, even though I swore I would never do CIO!!

Good luck whatever you do

woblob Thu 19-Sep-19 20:39:21

I'm right there with you. DS (7.5m) currently screaming his head off after I transferred him into his cot 30 minutes ago. It's every 20-45 minutes for us, most of the night. I sometimes get a 90 minute stretch but usually DD (almost 3) handily times her wakeups for those stretches.
We've had a LOT of upheaval in the past several months (we've moved twice since DS was born, one of those times was international) so we've had to do what needed doing to keep the show on the road. But. The show is falling apart. I'm SO snappy at them both (but mostly DD because she's a toddler who's testing, and, more often than not, a complete jerk) and I have an absolute hair trigger. I'm always on the verge of rage. It's feels completely shit. We did some controlled crying last weekend and the first night he only woke up twice for quick feeds! But I felt like shit leaving him to scream. But he's screaming his face off with DH right now anyway, sooooo......

burritofan Fri 20-Sep-19 08:26:44

Welcome, walkwalk! I too have read these lovely fairytales of leaving the baby for a night and voila, it magically sleeps. I'm hoping that, as DD is still just shy of 5 months, there's time for her to sort herself out and be one of those unicorn ones who one night just goes "Mmm, actually, sleep" and I can become one of the wise elders of MN who sagely advises that there are no rods for backs or bad habits. Hold on for the magical 14-month stage!

Last night in the burrito household was premier dickhead land. Awake every two hours from 7pm-3am, fine, standard, at least I'm in bed. Then the singing began… and the wailing… the feed to sleep over and over and over but popping awake 5-10 minutes later, writhing and shouting but half asleep. God knows what was going on – nightmares? Congestion? She just wouldn't settle, even when held. Eventually DP took her for a walk and I had a 5am nap, waking up in a panic because no baby next to me!

mclover, I just can't and won't do it, nor do I think it would do anything but harm – when she works herself up she just escalates. Besides which, she can self settle in the middle of the night, as I discovered when she began her 2am singing practice sessions – I left her to it and she fell asleep. But she still wakes up. I don't believe self-soothing is the holy grail for every baby. And she's not cranky in the day, she's a scamp.

woblob Sorry to hear of the rage. I think I'm still in the post-birth adrenaline stage where it's all a bit of an adventure and I can imagine looking back fondly from the future. But then I don't have a toddler as well. We are planning a move, though, to a baby-death-trap fixer-upper. I expect that should cure my good humour. Do you ever cosleep to survive or are you strictly cot?

KatnissK Fri 20-Sep-19 08:38:50

Hi OP, my son was a crap sleeper and much like you describe! I co-slept/breastfed and did not sleep train. He started to sleep through at about 12 months but not consistently. It took turning 2 before I would say he sleeps through more often than not! He is 2.4 now and (shock horror!) still in our bed! We did contemplate moving him but he loves snuggling up to us and we love having him (plus we are super lazy and neither of us fancy prancing back and forth across the landing all night) so we just bought a super king size bed instead, haha! Also with the breastfeeding, he genuinely did go from attached to me what felt like permanently to pushing the boob away, rolling over and going to sleep! Happened when he was 18 months, slightly helped by a bunged up nose due to a cold which meant he struggled to latch and breathe but he never went back even when he was better. I very much identify with your style of parenting and DS is a happy, healthy little chap who now sleeps and I don't regret anything we did - in fact, the only regret I have is persisting with the sodding moses basket for 2 months before giving it up for co-sleeping which saved my sanity.

bottomflannel Fri 20-Sep-19 09:51:47

Welcome all!

Night from hell here too. What do you do when neither boob nor holding - the only surefire ways to get even a sniff of a sleep - work?! Didn’t get my hour of evening sleep last night either as DH fell asleep in the armchair holding him and I couldn’t shake images of him dropping DS2 or DS2 suffocating somehow. So took him to bed and then he was awake every hour until 6.30, when he promptly had the biggest, wettest poo I’ve ever heard. By the time I’d got the change stuff ready, it had leaked out of his nappy both sides, covering his legs, vest, Sleepsuit and the bedsheet. Blehhhhh.

On the other hand, DS1 was a little star this morning. He had his first Cubs session yesterday evening and it didn’t finish until 8, and he wasn’t asleep until gone 9. But when I got up to deal with PooGate at 6.30, he’d already got himself up and dressed. Superstar.

Was thinking about trying a new playgroup this morning, but baby now snoozing on my lap and loathe to wake him.

Hope you all have a good day.

walkwalk Fri 20-Sep-19 18:48:40

Oh no @bottomflannel a literal shitstorm! I hope you get dry sheets and some shuteye tonight.

Likewise @burritofan I hope whatever possessed your LO last night has kindly moved on and you have an easier night tonight!

Amazingly I've put DD to bed already tonight with no fuss at all.. sure its because she had the 12 and 13th month jabs today and is feeling a bit rough. I should probably go downstairs....

Haha she woke as I was typing blush

Feeding back to sleep now and wondering whether to take advantage of her (maybe) sleepiness and go downstairs or stay snuggled up with her since she's a little poorly.

Anyway good luck to everyone tonight!

tumtitum Fri 20-Sep-19 20:22:37

Hello everybody! Walkwalk our babies sound very similar! Currently lying on her mattress on the floor in her room feeding her to sleep for the second time... we co-sleep but have made the room safe and are going to put a baby gate on the door and try doing less co-sleeping as if she's asleep when I come to bed she wakes!
You've reminded me she's due her one year jabs, thanks! grin

BaaBaaBS Fri 20-Sep-19 20:26:46

We waited it out... Baby is finally sleeping through the night, she's 15 months old 🤔😅

MissSmith80 Fri 20-Sep-19 20:27:47

Joining in! My nearly 5 month old likes to keep me on my toes. Without fail he ends up with his nose in my armpit every night after the umpteenth feed and tbh I'm just too knackered to do anything than snuggle in with him (and kind of like it too). Keep telling myself that once 4 month regression is over things will get easier. Someone also told me that the first 6 months should purely be about survival, after that you can start to put things into action - one month and counting!

walkwalk Fri 20-Sep-19 20:53:10

@tumtitum yep I'm up here for the third time already while my dinner gets cold downstairs! woukd love to be settling in for a cosy Friday night with a glass of wine. Sigh.

Ooh that's so annoying your LO wakes when you come to bed. Mine seems to always wake soon after I leave. Creaky doors and floorboards don't help haha. But actually I think she just turns over and if I'm not there her little alarm bells start ringing...

All the best with the one year jabs, they weren't nearly as bad as I feared (so far)

woblob Fri 20-Sep-19 21:54:29

Thanks burrit*o*. When are you moving? I'm usually strictly cot as I don't sleep deeply enough really with him in the bed, but we had to out of necessity the past two nights as he wakes 10-20 minutes after being transferred.

Bedtime was 8.10 this evening and so far since then I have managed 25 minutes downstairs to scoff some supper (and wine and chocolate) before he kicked off and he's been attached to me since. Just tried to pop him off so I could go and brush my teeth but there were immediate tears. He was double dosed with Nurofen and Calpol at 7.30 so shouldn't be in pain. Wondering if this might be the 8 month sleep regression 😫 who knows!

Fingers crossed for a shit-free night for you tonight bottom!

burritofan Sat 21-Sep-19 09:51:19

Morning! ::yawns:: My sleep gremlin has a head cold so another night of hourly wakings but with the added fun of a plaintive howl at each one, plus feeding-to-sleep only working 50% of the time – the other half more like feed-to-coughing fit, waking herself up coughing, howling, feeding again, repeat for all of eternity while DP lies next to me half-asleep and mumbling "should we do something?"

DP took her on his shoulder for a spell around 1am (remembering there's a sleep rule about "make nighttimes boring", hmmm), I cuddled her into suppression at some point, there was some side feeding on my left that only served to make right boob jealous and squirt milk everywhere and make her cross … to be honest it's all just a giant horrific blur and she will be an only child except babies are so cute maybe just ten more.

She's now lying on the playmat singing while I'm wondering if I can dip my contact lenses in coffee.

* Someone also told me that the first 6 months should purely be about survival, after that you can start to put things into action - one month and counting!*
Oh god, don't say that, I don't have the energy for putting things into action. What things? All I have at my disposal is boob, cuddles and a Snuzpod she's outgrown. I'm definitely still deep in survival mode, I feel like I'm training for the SAS or the Hunger Games.

woblob we've just learned there's a huge chain above us so moving and a bedroom for the snufflepig is as far off as sleeping through.

bottomflannel, sorry about the poo. DD likes to begin the day with an epic one, right into her overfull night nappy shock

Baa (too sleep deprived to remember full usernames), that's reassuring! My daughter is 5 months, only 10 to go! 🎉 This is MUCH more positive than the stranger on the bus who – apropos of nothing but spying my haggard face – patted my hand and said, "don't worry, they sleep once they start school".

Katniss this is precisely the positive story I need! And lol at "prancing across the landing": EXACTLY. Who has that kind of vigour at 2am?

HenSolo Sat 21-Sep-19 09:59:58

Hello! I have two boys now aged 4 and 2 and this was exactly my approach with both. Now at various points in the night they crawl into bed with us but I couldn’t give a shit as long as I get some sleep as for many many many months there was no sleep to be had. Literally no one else in my life did this so I’m glad I’ve found my people. winecake

MissSmith80 Sat 21-Sep-19 11:25:17

I think the 'things' that might start to help from 6 months are weaning - that the structure of meal times might help with setting daytime nap routines and maybe drop feeds? Melatonin levels being high enough it's easier to establish better night time sleep and baby being more active so more likely to get tired - I know none of this as fact, I too am in full survival mode, just hoping that the friend who told me to just hold tight for another month knows what's she's talking about (she is a mum of 3) x

Harrysmummy246 Sat 21-Sep-19 21:22:26

@walkwalk that's why DH and I eat dinner at 6 with DS and always have done since we started weaning!

@woblob Don't do nurofen and calpol at same time- space them so you can top up sooner!

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