I am losing my mind(22 Posts)
My baby refuses to sleep. She is nine months old and has always been fed to sleep so I’m working on breaking this as it meant I had to do every nap time, bedtime and every night waking. She wakes pretty much every 90 mins and ends up in bed with me and my partner has moved into another room as a result.
I’ve been putting her down after a feed in her bag, drowsy, and stroking her gently and shushing her to soothe her. This goes on for two hours usually then she sleeps for 50 mins.
Today it took half an hour and she’d been asleep for four minutes and my partner’s son slammed the bathroom door and she woke up again. It’s been over an hour now trying to get her back down. She is screaming with tiredness, keeps pulling up to stand or sit and falling back down asleep, but waking up as she hits the mattress.
This is killing me. She is such a light sleeper, a mouse could piss in the garden and the sounds of the tiny droplets hitting the grass will have her springing up.
It is making me fantasise about walking out and never coming back because I’ve not had more than 90 mins of sleep at any one time in nine months. My partner only wants to do cry it out and I can’t, but he has said he will not help unless he can do it his way. It just seems too drastic for a cosleeping, BF to sleep baby. I want to ease her into sleeping by herself. But I’ve been doing this for a week now and she just doesn’t sleep and I’m spending four hours a day minimum in a dark room going fucking ‘shushhhh’ until my throat is raw.
I’ve had no food yet today as I spent an hour doing the morning nap (which ended after 30 mins because our neighbour three roads away farted or something) then he did lunch whilst I had a wash and did some chores and then it’s been back into the dark room to try and get her to have a decent nap as she is knackered.
How can I fix this? Im desperate.
You could do gradual retreat?
I have a baby who was bf, co-sleeping, fed to sleep, awful sleeper and we did modified Ferber/ controlled crying at 9mo. It was hard emotionally but worked very quickly - asleep within 30 minutes the first night, within 10 the second (we were going in every 3-5 minute intervals to resettle) and going down in cot awake and falling asleep contentedly alone and sleeping through 7-5.30 within 3 nights. Also sleeps more deeply. Saved my sanity and my relationship.
My friend who was adamant she would never sleep train, that it's cruel and damaging, is still co-sleeping with an 18mo (huge toddler, lots of teeth 😬) who feeds to sleep, feeds all through the night, wakes every 30-90 minutes for resettling. She is a wreck and says she would 100% sleep train any future children.
I have had to redo the cc stuff from time to time when we've moved house, they are poorly etc but it's always effective very fast.
You are important too @Dusty.
My partner and I also disagreed on the 'right' thing to do, there are so many things in parenting that you would never think to discuss before you have a baby (what's the right way to sleep train? for example) and it's hard to negotiate.
Fwiw my partner did the cc with our baby, I put earplugs in and went to sleep and he was on duty for 3 nights. Getting daddy at night and not mummy/boobs seemed to dissuade waking up.
You could try night weaning? So just cut out the night feeds? My kids were like yours. Total nightmare
Have you tried white noise? I made the Alexa make dishwasher noise at her (this actually exists!) and it worked. And then she got used to the idea of going to sleep on her own.
I suspect she’s no a light sleeper
She’s just very very wired and chronically lacking sleep (as you are)
At 9 months and what sounds like an utterly sore situation - is cry it out.
Did it with my eldest. Awful for two days. Much better third. Sorted by fourth
I'm in a similar situation with my 8.5 month old - bf and bed sharing, waking every hour or two.
I bought no cry sleep solution book by Elizabeth Pantley and am 2 weeks in and seeing improvements, she did 5 hours 2 nights ago! The main thing I'm doing is removing the nipple just before she falls asleep, as if they fall asleep still sucking when they stir at the end of their sleep cycle and it's gone they panic and wake. It cost me two quid off eBay, well worth a try as there really is no crying. She objects when I take it out so she does back on and then do it til she just rolls away. I think the most times I've done it is 6, over the course of about 5 minutes.
Good luck, it really is so very tough but you're not alone
I would just feed her to sleep if it works. Work on maximising your sleep when she sleeps although easier said than done. Things will improve with time, and I am glad I still have feeding to sleep as a tool
I'd second white noise. We use vacuum sounds even now DS is 14 months. I found it a nightmare to get to sleep with the noise at first, but now I struggle to sleep without it It definitely made a difference to him being disturbed by other noises in the house after bedtime too
Sleep train via Ferber method and cut out the night feeds. Gradually cut down feeds every night and then in 4-5 nights time only offer water. Don't go bank- once you've stopped offering milk do not offer again at night.
Research sleeping training- get your partner to fully commit to and do the first nights checks. Stick with it.
I promise you both of these combined will make your baby sleep. I was exactly the same. My baby never slept, I used to feel
Sick with exhaustion, it's indescribable how bad it makes you feel. I despaired and was desperate. I brought a ST book and watched lots of YouTube videos then did it.
I have read so many mn comments recently about this and i can only say follow this advice and I promise you your baby will be sleeping through within 3 weeks but you must commit to both.
Also my son is 19 months now and amazing, he sleeps 12 hours and is the happiest boy. So pleased he sleeps!!
Sorry about typos- on my phone and it has a mind of its own!
Agreed on the ear plugs (and noise cancelling headphones) and partner do night duty! I did some nap training for DD and I went on our roof deck with the baby monitor on mute so I couldn’t hear her. She was constantly tired and unhappy and needed to sleep better. Within 3 days she went from never napping more than 40 mins at a time to consistently take 1-2 1.5+ hour naps a day (with no tears). It was hard for me to listen to her cry but I think harder for her to be constantly tired.
Thank you. We have white noise - she has a speaker right by her cot playing white noise. Her longest stretch at the moment is 3 hours.
Honestly, I feel like my partner is saying that because he thinks I won’t agree so he’ll never have to do anything. We had an awful night last night so I said do your thing this weekend, but he can’t as his sons are visiting so he needs a full night’s sleep so he’s not tired for them (they are late teens/adults). Then he has a full on job in the week.
He sleeps in his son’s bedroom on the nights he’s not here.
She fought her afternoon nap for two hours today and we were both in tears, and then she slept for 30 minutes. She went down perfectly in the morning, and slept for over an hour. Some days it’s fine, others it’s like nothing I ever thought I could ever experience.
I can see how exhausted she is, 90 mins after she was first put in her cot, but her sheer determination to not sleep is unbelievable.
I’ve stopped feeding to sleep completely and I only feed her in the night now at every other wake up - it’s every four hours for feeding, despite much more frequent wakings. I’m trying to easy myself off it too, and I’m also conscious that we have neighbours above, below and next to us and she really goes for it when she’s screaming.
I will look into the methods everyone has recommended. I am also thinking about going away for a few nights when lockdown ends and just leaving him to it!
Thank you everyone for your advice. I’ve scrolled through this board and it looks like I’m not alone in this. Obviously she’s older now but it was so much easier when I could take her to classes and wear her out! We are pretty cooped up in a small flat with not much outdoor space and we’re all feeling it I think.
If it's financially viable, could you work with a sleep consultant? I did when my DD was four months and it changed my life. She now sleeps 11 hours a night and has 3 x 1hr naps a day (she's 8 months old)
Before then it was similar to you and I thought I was going to have a breakdown
I have similar problems. Truthfully the only thing that worked was to let go of my preconceptions about sleep. Baby “should” sleep without being fed, “should” have a nap, “should” go to bed at 7pm, “should” sleep on his own. I feed my baby to sleep most times; we have a lie down and a feed, and if he doesn’t go to sleep then we get up and try again later. He won’t sleep without someone lying beside him, he isn’t tired at 7pm, he’s often awake till 11pm. Trying to force a made-up sleep schedule on him doesn’t work. He sleeps when he sleeps 🤷♀️
We were in a similar position. We tried night weaning (DH rocking/singing to sleep). It didn't work well and was 2+ hours of screaming each time he woke. For me the shushing whilst he cried was worse than frequent feeds. I didn't want to do controlled crying when he had no way of self soothing. DH did manage to do naps though as I was back to work, and DS would settle better for DH. I was co-sleeping from first wake up.
About 10m sleep improved a bit (some nights of 3 wake ups) and about 13m things got much better. We nightweaned and insisted on his cot and it mostly worked. (Slept through for a week, now back to 1/2 feeds but back in his cot - I'm ok with thus).
Your DP is being very unhelpful saying he can't be tired for his kids. Like you, I did most of the wake-ups (breastfeeding, DH was willing) and worked and looked after 2 children. Your DH needs to step up. He certainly could be doing sushing at bedtime and weekend naps, plus some night times. Although if the shushing isn't working, maybe have a rethink for now? Could you do it, say, at bedtime but use a buggy for naps? I also wonder if it's a bit confusing for the baby to understand why sometimes you feed at night and sometimes you don't, although I get you are trying to stretch out the feeds.
@Dustyzest mine was like this too- 9 months and we were waking up every fucking hour at one point!!! I was in bits. This is what helped us:
Stopped feeding to sleep for naps and bed time (although feed at night still)
Partner did all the wake ups until 11pm. I went to bed at 7 so I got some sleep then took over.
Sorted out her reflux with medication and watching what I have her for tea. Some foods are harder to digest and might cause wake ups- look up alkaline diet. For instance rice at tea time is a no no for us.
I also put her down awake for her nap and stay in the room but if she cried for longer than 30 minutes I pick her up and do something else, try again in 30 minutes. Some days she only has one nap, not the end of the world!
This regime lasted for 10 days and then...
For the past 3 nights she has only woken up 2 or 3 times. I gave her boob for the wake ups after 11.
I have slept with my dp for the first time in months!!!
Good luck, let us know how you get o !
I'm so sorry to read you are going through this. Your partner needs to step up looking after you, providing drinks and food so that you are at least fed and watered.
What chores can possibly be more important than your own eating. All the very best xx
@Toastiemaker oh you’ve given me hope!
She slept for 3.5 hours last night then was up frequently with a big whinging sesh from 3.35 until about 5.30, before I caved and brought her into bed with me until 7.
I was so tired I fell asleep and then jumped out of my skin because in my head, her hand on my wrist was a tarantula!
@BendingSpoons I used to use the buggy pre lockdown but we haven’t in about five weeks and now she screams and screams when we put her in it! She used to love it but seems to have got used to the carrier, but it kills my shoulders now!
My partner has said he’ll help tonight so we’ll see. She seems to sleep better when I’m not in the room with her but there’s not much room to sleep elsewhere here.
Unfortunately we’re stuck in a very small flat at the moment as we were mid-house renovation when lockdown struck. We were supposed to be back in our house now and all in our own rooms! I am hopeful that putting her in her own space where she’s not right up against my creaky bed will help too...
@mightym I am going to get a sleep consultant once we’re back home! I’m stressed about changing her environment yet again (poor baby, she’s been on the move constantly since she was born!) so it seems like a good time to bring a consultant in. Hopefully once we’re home we’re staying put!
@FinallyHere I think the problem is if I don’t cram stuff in it never gets done, especially when the weekends are so hectic. I was sorting out the washing, making sure we had enough clothes for her, cleaning her bedding (she has eczema and scratches a lot when she’s distressed and bleeds on everything) and prepping her next meals too because she’s into everything so I can’t cook anything whilst she’s awake as she’ll shoot off and try and dive off the sofa or climb in the toilet or something If I’m not constantly watching her.
Thank you again every one
Oh, OP, I'm so sorry you're going through this. It sounds absolutely brutal. I don't have much advice except to say don't feel guilty. There are a lot of people out there who will try to tell you that any sleep training is cruel and that it's normal for babies to wake 5 times a night at 10 months. Fine if that's how they want to do it, but it would have killed me. I found the Little Ones routines quite useful; maybe worth a try? Good luck
And (I'm sorry if this isn't helpful, but I dithered about posting it and am now so cross I need to) your partner sounds like an absolute dick. Why are you doing everything while he gets to sleep beautifully? The baby's sleep is normal (if upsetting); his behaviour isn't. Please give him a rocket and get him to step up. She's his baby too.
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