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Desperate for help!

(19 Posts)
Lostnames Mon 30-Mar-20 21:33:16

Hi has anyone got any advice I’m totally at the end of my tether.
My LG is a crap sleeper as it is, and yet again it’s got worse!
We finally got into a sort of day routine for naps and she suddenly started napping for an hour instead of 30 mins. For the past 5-6 weeks ish she’s been happily on 2 naps a day with a wake up of around 7
-7:30am and bed time around 7-7:30pm. Over this time she gradually started waking up earlier and was waking at 5:30am. However day naps were still okay ish. Her wake time was between 3-3.5hrs. She also self settled for naps and initial sleep.
All of a sudden she is now screaming at the sight of her sleeping bag/cot. She also is not able to stay awake more than 2hrs and can’t make it to bedtime so we had to add a third nap back in which is not working well. She needs to be rocked to sleep at bedtime as she screams and screams and has tears streaming down her face. I pushed her to stay awake for bedtime today at 6 and she woke up after 20 mins screaming again. She also wakes up about 5 or more times a night, which was awful anyway, but with her day sleep getting worse it’s just becoming a nightmare.
Getting to bedtime is starting to give me major anxiety and I’m starting to have panic attacks through the stress of it. I just want something to help her, she is obviously exhausted, but I can’t get her to sleep. She won’t sleep either if we co sleep with her she’s too distracted and stays awake or gets uncomfortable and can’t sleep for long. She’s almost 9 months old.
I’m so exhausted.

NuffSaidSam Mon 30-Mar-20 21:46:30

Ok, can you give us her timetable of sleep and food from wake up to bed time?

Are you feeding her at night?

Does she have any medical complications/additional needs?

Lostnames Tue 31-Mar-20 00:14:03

Hi thanks for the reply!
She is breastfed on demand throughout the day. She has 3 meals a day plus a small snack if I think she needs it, but has very small portions still.
Currently her day looks a bit like this
Example if she wakes at 5:30am
6am breakfast
7am milk
8/8:30am nap 30 mins
10am snack
11am milk
11/11:30 nap 30 mins
12:30 lunch
1:30 milk
2:30/3 nap 30 mins
4:30ish dinner
Milk before bed aiming to get her to bed at least after 6
It used to be that she would wake up around 7/7:30 and have 3-3.hrs of wake time and 2 naps for an hour each time and bed around 7/7:30. Similar timings between feeds as she is now.
She isn’t fed to sleep for any naps or initial sleep, but when she wakes at night she will not settle unless she has boob, I have tried leaving her or rocking her, but she just progressively gets worse and I’m too exhausted to listen to it.
She has no underlying health conditions or additional needs. She doesn’t appear to be unwell in any way and also has just cut her sixth tooth and we appear to be out the other end of it.

Lostnames Tue 31-Mar-20 20:16:55

@NuffSaidSam
Hi thanks for the reply!
She is breastfed on demand throughout the day. She has 3 meals a day plus a small snack if I think she needs it, but has very small portions still.
Currently her day looks a bit like this
Example if she wakes at 5:30am
6am breakfast
7am milk
8/8:30am nap 30 mins
10am snack
11am milk
11/11:30 nap 30 mins
12:30 lunch
1:30 milk
2:30/3 nap 30 mins
4:30ish dinner
Milk before bed aiming to get her to bed at least after 6
It used to be that she would wake up around 7/7:30 and have 3-3.hrs of wake time and 2 naps for an hour each time and bed around 7/7:30. Similar timings between feeds as she is now.
She isn’t fed to sleep for any naps or initial sleep, but when she wakes at night she will not settle unless she has boob, I have tried leaving her or rocking her, but she just progressively gets worse and I’m too exhausted to listen to it.
She has no underlying health conditions or additional needs. She doesn’t appear to be unwell in any way and also has just cut her sixth tooth and we appear to be out the other end of it.

NuffSaidSam Tue 31-Mar-20 20:30:28

It's a tricky one!

The night waking is due to the night feeding. At 9 months with no medical conditions she doesn't need to eat at night, which means it's habit, not hunger that's waking her up. Stopping the night feeds will be the quickest and easiest way to improve night time sleep. It would probably work best if your DP can be in charge of settling her as she won't have the bf associations or be able to smell the milk. It will be a nightmare for at least one night, maybe two or three but results are normally quite quick.

If you think she is hungry because she has dinner early, you can do a dream feed at 10:30pm/11pm. Then you know for sure that she isn't hungry.

She needs to learn to self settle, but obviously this is hard when she's screaming even at the sight of her bed! Does she have blackout blinds and white noise at bedtime? Both of those are worth trying.

Does she have a good bedtime routine?

In this situation I would try controlled crying or gradual retreat for sleep training.

I think once you've sorted nighttime, daytime should also be better.

If bedtime is making you anxious it would be best if your DP could do it, becuase she will pick up on how you're feeling and it creates a catch 22 situation.

Lostnames Tue 31-Mar-20 20:53:04

@NuffSaidSam
Thanks for the reply and suggestions!
She’s had the same bedtime routine since she was 6 weeks old, fresh nappy - in the sleeping bag - milk - story and in the cot. She has white noise and we are looking for blackout blinds for her room now it’s getting lighter but temporarily using a blanket behind the curtains, not perfect but helps a bit.
I know she can self settle as she does it for naps and initial night sleep (or she did), but struggles in the night.
Last night my husband rocked her back to sleep and held her for 2 hours just so I could rest as everytime he put her back down she started crying again without calming down. Do you have any suggestions? Should I let him to continue to try and resettle her throughout the night and then make sure he puts her down? What if she continues crying again? I usually get so frustrated that I end up going in there! I also don’t want to cause him issues at night by allowing him to hold her for that long.

NuffSaidSam Tue 31-Mar-20 22:58:54

I would get your partner to deal with the night wakings. The fact that he could get her to sleep without milk is a great first step actually, even though he had to hold her for two hours! It shows you that she doesn't need that milk, she isn't starving!

When she wakes I would go in, not pick her up, but rub her back/tummy, shush her, sing if that helps, offer her a comfort toy, dummy whatever she has. Comfort her, but she stays in her bed.

Then leave and stay away for 2 mins. Then go and comfort again. Then come out for 3 mins. Then 4 mins. Then 5 mins. Each time go in so she knows he's there, comfort, but don't lift her up.

If that seems too harsh (it's not for everyone), then do the same comfort without picking up, but stay with her until she's asleep. Just keep shushing and patting until she's asleep.

It won't work immediately. You will have a couple of nights of horror so do it when you know you can stick to it.

What it is essentially is just breaking the habit of needing milk/cuddle everytime she stirs.

Lostnames Wed 01-Apr-20 10:49:26

@NuffSaidSam
Thank you so much for your advice I am so grateful!
We are having an issue that if you go near her or she sees you she gets hysterical and absolutely won’t calm down so I don’t know if she will settle if we go in and out, do you think it’s worth trying anyway?
Hopefully that’s my last question, thanks again for your help!

NuffSaidSam Wed 01-Apr-20 12:44:19

It's tricky obviously without knowing you or her.

What happens if you just leave her when she wakes in the night? How long do you normally leave it before going in to her? Does she get more upset when she sees you than if you just leave her to it?

The idea of going in and out is to let her know you're there, but it doesn't work for everyone. There are babies who it just aggregates!

Lostnames Wed 01-Apr-20 14:21:03

@NuffSaidSam She definitely gets worse when she sees us. I think we waited just over 10 minutes last night, my husband caved and said he wanted to let her know he was there, but it resulted in an absolutely awful meltdown where I had to go in again, however after that she slept for 3.5hrs which is pretty long for her.

NuffSaidSam Wed 01-Apr-20 14:25:53

Ok, if you leave her when she wakes does she ever then self settle or do you always have to go in to her?

Lostnames Wed 01-Apr-20 15:03:58

@Lostnames
I’ve always gone in because I can’t handle the crying and now she can sit up and stand it’s worse it seems! I’m not sure how long it would take for her to settle or if she would because I’m not really great at waiting for it 😬

Lostnames Wed 01-Apr-20 15:04:29

@NuffSaidSam
I’ve always gone in because I can’t handle the crying and now she can sit up and stand it’s worse it seems! I’m not sure how long it would take for her to settle or if she would because I’m not really great at waiting for it 😬

DorotheaHomeAlone Wed 01-Apr-20 15:13:41

I agree with pp about night weaning. Looking at your routine though I’d also say your naps are too early. You only need one short morning nap. Try to keep her awake until 9.30 then do second nap around midday/12.30. Give her lunch first and try to make that one longer. More like 1.5/2 hours. That should enable her to stay awake until bedtime at 7 but be properly tired/not overtired going into her night sleep. We did this at 8 months with both of ours, night weaned around then and then sleep trained them. Made sleep training pretty painless for both.

NuffSaidSam Wed 01-Apr-20 15:54:48

This is what I would do:

When she wakes, leave her for five minutes.

If after five minutes the crying is decreasing/tailing off and/or she looks like she's self settling leave her another five minutes and then re-evaluate. Keep doing this until either she's asleep or the crying has escalated and you need to go in.

If after the first five minutes the crying escalates, DP goes in, lies her down, pat's her back, says shhh it's bedtime and comes out.

Listen to the cry. If after five minutes it's increasing Dp goes in and resettles her. Comes out. Listen to the cry. And so on.

I would only go in to settle her if she's getting more upset. Don't go in and unsettle her if she's starting to wind down.

Be consistent and stick with it.

SomeoneElseEntirelyNow Wed 01-Apr-20 17:25:02

Jumping on because im in the same situation ( good sleeper/settler gone bananas) - what if she refuses to settle?

Lostnames Wed 01-Apr-20 18:13:32

@NuffSaidSam
Thank you so much for taking the time to help me and answer my questions we will try tonight and hope for the best. I really appreciate the advice!

@SomeoneElseEntirelyNow so sorry for you it’s soo difficult! Hope you get some relief soon 😩

Lostnames Mon 06-Apr-20 11:43:38

If anyone stumbles across this thread in the future here’s a small update after 5 nights.
Night 1 she slept fairly well woke up at 2am and cried for 5 mins then resettled and slept until 8am
Night 2 Bed at 7:30 self settled slept around 8. She again woke up at 2am, but cried on and off for 35mins before my husband went and rocked her to sleep then slept until 8:30am.
Night 3 Bed around 7:45pm sleep around 8pm again woke at 2am self settled and slept until 9:30am (omg)
Night 4 Bed around 7:30pm slept around 8pm woke at 3am and self settled and slept until 8am
Night 5 Due to bad day naps she went to bed at 6:30pm slept around 6:45pm and woke at 8pm self settled until 9:30pm and I fed her, she then woke every 1-2hrs all night, cried for less than 2mins each time and self settled, until 5am where I went in and fed her then she slept until 8am.

I am going in and feeding her around 10-11pm each night as a top up feed, but generally trying not to go in after that until the morning. Her naps have improved in the day and she’s back on 2 naps for around 1hr each. Hoping she will be okay tonight if she has decent day naps.
Really took on board the advice here and I am truly shocked at how well it’s going so far!

Lostnames Wed 22-Apr-20 21:58:01

New update
It’s all gone to shit 😂
She’s waking more than ever again!

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