8 month old up every hour every night. cant do it anymore(27 Posts)
My son is 8 months + 1 week old.
He has been EBF since birth. He is a great eater. He will have his breakfast in the morning (whetabix, porridge or toast) around 8.30 followed by a BF at 10ish, then toast around 10.30, lunch at 12 (fruit pot, crisps and ususally a squeegy sachet of puree) dinner at 5 (he eats anything, chicken casserole, fish fingers, mini waffles... veg fingers) you name it.
Hes not a chubby boy, hes 19lbs almost and the average length of a 1 year old... so hes big that way (length wise) he has 6 teeth and i can see no more coming in for now.
Anyway, during the day he naps usually 2-3 times by going to sleep in his bouncer, bath at half 7 every night, up to bed, breast feed and sleep. He literally wakes up every single hour and he has done this for the past 3 months. Ive always had some excuse for him (oh hes teething, oh he had wind...) but ive came to the conclusion now hes neither hungry, or sore and to be honest i now just cry the whole night because i am so exhausted.
I am on my own so no partner to help and im going back to work in a months time and have no idea how i am going to do this. Ive tried a dummy, hates it, tried formula or bottle and he hates it, tried supper then breastmilk, doesnt help, got white noise, doesnt help. Hes up every hour regardless of what is done and all he wants is to sook my nipple back to sleep... if its for 30 seconds or 30 minutes, he comes off when hes fell asleep and as soon as i move to put him down he latches back on for a second until hes down.
Im literally at the end of my tether and verging on depression.
Can someone please help me?!
The only thing i havent tried is self settling as he gets so worked up its horrible to see....
Please someone, anyone
A very tired mummy.
Should add this has been the same story for around 4 -5 months now...
I feel your pain! Sleep deprivation makes the days so difficult. I guess if you think that he is not hungry/in pain etc then he is probably waking as part of his natural sleep cycles and at the moment needs your help to go back to sleep each time. He will no doubt grow out of this in his own time if you do nothing, but have you tried any of the gentler sleep settling techniques to help him self settle? Or if he is predictable waking every hour, have you tried going to him 5min before he wakes to shush/pat him through that cycle? I would probably look at how he gets to sleep for naps and initial nighttime stretch first to help him learn to go to sleep without feeding.
Do you co-sleep? It's what I did. Yes I was woken ever couple of hours but I never fully woke up. Sort of halfway-house thing I suppose. I didn't have to return to work mind.
My DS is also 8.5 months. His sleep was bad from 4 months and then got worse a few weeks ago (10 wake ups).
I hate suggesting this, as it is such a MN cliche, but we started reluctantly co-sleeping. He starts the night in his cot and comes in to bed from his first wake up once I am in bed. He now goes 3/4 hours between feeds. He will stir in between and usually roll closer, which does disturb me but only marginally. I also feed lying down and occasionally fall asleep feeding. It's not what I want to do but it is saving my sanity for now.
I’m sorry you are not getting any sleep. Sleep deprivation is the worst! And doing it by yourself?! You are superwoman! I have a 9m old and fortunately (🤞) she’s a good sleeper, my only suggestion is to read the gentle sleep book and follow the routine on the sleep site website. I didn’t leave the house for a week to try and nail the routine and it was hard but it worked for me. Good luck x
I'd be tempted to try and up his food during hte day - lunch doesn't sound very filling, perhaps add a sandwich or an omelette or similar. You also only mention one BF, but assume he has more than that? I assume he has a feed before bed too? How about another helping of porridge or cereal after his dinner, but before bed? Do you give a feed before you go to bed?
I sympathise, I remember DD was back on 2 hourly feeds throughout the day and night at 8 months, and she hadn't really taken to solids either. It's a killer. I think with her it was a growth spurt, so did ease after a couple of weeks - yours seems to have been going on for a while.
I really sympathise, how exhausted you must be. I do not say this lightly but I think you should consider sleep training. If you only have a month left before you go back to work you need to get it sorted. It will be a few nights of pain but it will work. He's not waking because he is hungry, he needs to learn that it's ok to wake up and go back to sleep without being fed.
Sleep training may not be as bad as you think, some people get it cracked in a single night, but even if it takes a few nights it will still save your sanity.
Thanks @F10029. - I haven't tried any of the gentler options, what do you suggest? He's my first baby and I feel so alone with advice and tips so thank you for your advice. He inst that predictable , its not on the button but as soon as hes awake, i'm awake, lucky if I got 1 hour total last night - zombie for the day i think haha! x
We don't co-sleep as I'm so worried he rolls out or i roll on top of him, am i being paranoid?
A sandwich sounds a good idea and a more filling lunch...
Sorry I only mentioned one BF (tiredness kicked in) but he has no less than 3 BF per day.
1 in the morning, 1 around 12 and if he wants one at 3 and before bed of course...
Hes currently still in the bedroom with me, however in his cot, its quite a large room, do you suggest putting him in his own room with the monitors and leaving him to cry?
I am so confused by all of this but THANK YOU ALL for your input.
I would see if he is more settled with co sleeping tbh.
We discovered the miracle of porridge for supper.
Wasn't a sleep through, but did improve things.
Would it be possible to try and encourage naps in the cot? He might sleep better there than in his bouncer, so be less tired at night (some of this could be connected to overtiredness, if he is waking that much during the night). It will also help associate the cot with proper sleeping.
I would try and put him down for his naps awake, to help him learn to self-settle. Just lay him down with lots of patting and shushing. Maybe stay in the room with him, just sitting quietly so he knows that you are there.
How does he falls sleep for naps? Is he always fed to sleep?
The way I did it was:
Had a very consistent "wind down" bedtime routine of dinner, Moon & Me, bath, nappy, story, feed, bed. And used the same lullaby music every night.
Moved the baby into her own bedroom and keep both bedroom doors closed so that I only wake up if she's properly crying (not just if she snuffles/makes a noise in her sleep)
Always waited a couple of minutes initially before going in as often she would go back to sleep after a minute or two. If she didn't stop, I'd go in. But I left it longer and longer between each time. Some sleep training methods advise you leave it two minutes, then four, then six, then eight then ten but never longer than ten. 10 minutes can feel like a lifetime with a crying baby, I know. That is the hard bit of sleep training!!
Stopped offering milk feeds between midnight and 5am. If she woke up during that time I would go in and rock/cuddle her but not feed her. I wanted her to associate milk with daytime only. Sometimes people offer water instead of milk.
It took about three nights to crack it. She still has the odd bad night but I try to follow these rules and now at 10 months she generally sleeps for 11 hours at night without waking. She was 8 months old when this started so about the same age as your baby.
I actually wouldn't co sleep as I think it is a tough habit to break once you're out of the early days, but of course it totally works for some people.
It will get better and you are doing brilliantly.
I was worried about rolling when co-sleeping. I am in a king sized bed, just me and DS. I wouldn't roll on top of him, partly because I sleep fairly lightly and partly the position (sleep on my side facing him so if I roll it is away from him). I worried he would roll out the bed but he always shifts towards me! You can get a bed guard or put the mattress on the floor. I put a couple of duvets on the floor so if he did fall it was quite soft. You do need to be mindful of bedding etc but a healthy 8 month old who can roll, probably crawl etc is different to a newborn.
I also second sleep training, and moving baby to their own room.
It did involve a bit of crying for us (we never left them for more than 3 minutes and only got to that point a couple of times) but after 3 nights they slept through so overall they were significantly more well-rested, cried less and so had less of the stress hormone in their body. It was life changing for us.
I started offering water at night wake ups and limited feeds to just one around 2am, then dropped that a few weeks later. At 2.5 they're the most brilliant sleeper now, but from 4 months to 8 months they woke up every 30 minutes all night and I was broken.
Co-sleeping saved my sanity when I was in the same boat! As another poster said, get a bed guard or put the mattress on the floor. Don't have loads of bedding- wear warm pyjamas and bed socks, and keep the room reasonably warm (not too hot).
I was a bit worried about rolling onto him, but often lay on my side cuddled up to him with my arm kind of underneath him - I couldn't really roll, other than away from him.
Thank you Everybody! Ive now moved Jack's cot into his own room, monitor charged and im going to hope for the best
Tonights schedule will be
Dinner at 5 o'clock as usual...
Porridge or wheatbix before bath
Bath at half 7
Boob and bed
Followed by a full nights sleep...
Will update in the morning of progress...
Wish me luck!
Agree you need to sleep train! Feed, into cot awake, say night night and leave the room. If upset leave for 2 minutes, go back in and reassure (but don’t take out of the cot) and leave again. Repeat after 4 minutes, 8 minutes etc. You may wish to go cold turkey on feeds or decide to offer one after a certain time.
Good luck @Kat90kee! You can do it!
I also recommend putting ear plugs in for the bits where you are waiting out the crying. You will still be able to hear it but it will make it slightly less acute.
Hope it goes ok, I will be rooting for you!
Solidarity, I have an EBF wake-every-hour baby too, its utterly exhausting!! I think it really depends on your personal parenting style as to how you proceed with this. For us, co-sleeping has been a game changer for getting more sleep. I read "the gentle sleep book" by Sarah Ockwell Smith. There is also some good evidence here, if co-sleeping is something you are interested in trying https://www.basisonline.org.uk/
Ultimatley, you should do whatever feels right to you, good luck! X
If he always feeds to sleep then that is the issue, he likes comfort sucking to nod off.
Hope last night went better.
Just wanted to say hang in there. My boy was a terrible sleeper. It will get better in time, you don't have to do anything (I felt like maybe I had to, or it was my fault, and this and tracking everything just made me feel worse). What saved me was acceptance, co-sleeping and resting when he napped. And coffee and chocolate of course. You've got this.
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