Baby waking all night and I no longer see the point

(258 Posts)
LetTheBirdsSing Sun 19-Jul-20 04:54:10

Baby is just shy of five months old and had slept well from birth, up to about a month ago he would do 5 or 6 hour stretches at the beginning of the night and settled well after a feed.

But now he’s waking every 1-2 hours most nights. Last night he did a 6 hour stretch and I thought we might be coming out of this hell but no, I’ve been up all night again.

This is my second baby. My first baby slept terribly and was not a very settled baby (he is now 2). I ‘lost’ the first year of my eldest’s life to postnatal depression; I cried pretty much every day for the first year of his life.

I am slipping down that path again and I feel a lot of it is due to sleep deprivation, as well as the social isolation of lockdown. I am so tired and I can’t think straight. I feel like I’m losing my mind. I find myself not really wanting to be alive anymore as I feel alone and joyless. I am feeling really cross with my baby waking up all night. I don’t know why he slept for six hours straight last night and then not even two hours in a row tonight. I am so, so sad that I am falling down the postnatal depression rabbit hole again. I had all of these plans in place for coping well second time round and the Covid situation has just wrecked them all- childcare for my eldest a couple of days a week, which would allow me to do some exercises each week and attend some baby groups with the baby. That would be good bonding time with the baby but also get me out and about with other mums.
My husband works from 6am Monday to Friday so there is no rest. I’m just alone and exhausted. I don’t know how to find joy in life when I am so exhausted. I don’t know how to cope with this.

OP’s posts: |
ilovewinterpansies Sun 19-Jul-20 04:57:13

Hi I'm so sorry you're feeling like this. Things will get better but I know that's not much consolation now.

Speak to someone - your health visitor or's really important you do this xxx

LetTheBirdsSing Sun 19-Jul-20 04:59:11

@ilovewinterpansies thanks for your kind reply. I just don’t see the point in speaking to anyone. Tried the GP last time and they were sympathetic but all they could offer me was antidepressants. I just need to sleep sad

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ilovewinterpansies Sun 19-Jul-20 05:05:17

It's so so hard being so sleep deprived sadI don't know what practical advice to give you tbh as I'm sure you've tried it all. It's so difficult when you don't have any help and your husband is working so much. Just hang in there and I'm sure you'll get some good advice from other mums, but in the meantime please try and stay positive and look after yourself. Xx

Soon2BeMumof3 Sun 19-Jul-20 05:16:25

OP did you take the anti depressants that the GP recommended? I really think you should do this. Your situation sounds quite serious and the anti depressants might keep your mood in a more manageable range, which in turn will help you cope with all the pressures and disappointments you are dealing with.

You must remind yourself that the sleep will improve. Just take it one day at a time, rest how & when you can.

Please go back to your GP. You don't need to feel like this

Soon2BeMumof3 Sun 19-Jul-20 05:17:24

And sympathies OP thanks sleep deprivation is the worst.

SenorPeabodyEsq Sun 19-Jul-20 05:28:40

Antidepressants can help you keep your head above water so that you can cope with all these horrible circumstances. I would reconsider that path.

Sleep deprivation is horrific at the best of times and these are not the best of times.


SewingKit Sun 19-Jul-20 05:42:05

Have you night weaned yet?
Otherwise, when things got to that stage for me I sleep trained.
I’ve used the Ferber method and for an end of the line method there’s ‘The New Basics’ written by paediatrician Dr Michel Cohen. If you are going to do any traveling in the near future I’d suggest not doing any sleep training.
But just FYI with the Cohen method it’s very hard and you feel like rubbish afterwards. There is a lot of shame associated with it, so if you’re going to do it you need to be 100 percent that it’s the right thing for your baby and yourself.

Totty26 Sun 19-Jul-20 05:49:29

I have a baby of the same age and I know it's not encouraged but I have co slept since he was born. He wakes every couple of hours still to feed but settles very quickly back beside me. Would you consider co sleeping? I have other children also, so I know it's not feasible to nap when baby does during the day but could you put DVD on for your other child and lie down on sofa while he watches it? My first two children were born close together and I often use to go for drives during the day to get them to sleep and I'd pull in and just give myself some quiet time. It will get better, sleep deprivation is awful. Good luck x

GreyPanther Sun 19-Jul-20 05:58:17

Oh OP I am sorry to hear this. Sleep deprivation is just the worse. I am reading this thinking I felt exactly the same when my DS was 5 months old. You will get through this.
If your DS is gaining weight, could you think about night weaning/sleep training?
Now that restrictions are easing, could you get a family member to help at night?

labyrinthloafer Sun 19-Jul-20 06:07:37

Firstly flowers you are understandably knackered. Plus lockdown is just the pits.

There isn't always a reason and you won't be doing anything wrong.

The priority is getting sleep where you can today, tomorrow, this week.

Is there anything you can do to sleep e.g. an hour when your DH is back from work? Can he take a day off for you to put ear plugs in and sleep as much as possible?

I.know it is really hard, I remember.

I have picked up on this in your post I find myself not really wanting to be alive anymore as I feel alone and joyless and I feel worried that you are saying this. Have you told your DH and doctor this? Please don't ignore this feeling, you matter very much.

Lockdownseperation Sun 19-Jul-20 06:10:59

Sleep deprivation is the worst.

I don’t know if you just want sympathy or practical advice. What time does your DH finish work and the other kids go to bed? For me I often needed to go to bed with the baby at 8 every night. Catch up with naps at the weekend. Is your baby bf or ff? I think 6 months is far too early to night wean and they still need milk over night at that age. Cosleeping has helped both of mine sleep so much better.

You say you have PND and don’t see the point of life. It sounds like you would benefit from speaking to your GP. Maybe think about trying antidepressants.

user1493413286 Sun 19-Jul-20 06:13:42

It sounds like the 4 month sleep regression which if it is means that it will pass! I have a nearly 5 month old and from 11 he is up every 1-2 hours; it’s exhausting and I’m holding out to get to 6 months and if it’s not better I’m going to do sleep training. I did sleep training with my older DD at 9/10 months and wished I’d done it earlier.
I’m surviving by going to bed after my baby at 8pm and getting a 2-3 hour stretch then; it’s not perfect but I feel like I’m in survival mode.
I had pnd after my son was born and I would really recommend talking to someone; the health visitors sometimes have sleep clinics which can help too.

ZigZaggyZoo Sun 19-Jul-20 06:23:30

the health visitors sometimes have sleep clinics which can help too.

I was coming to say speak to HV about the sleep, I think they can refer to sleep consultants

SewingKit Sun 19-Jul-20 06:32:51

Just on the night time weaning. Dr Richard Ferber states in his book ‘Solve your child’s sleep problems’ that no healthy full term 5 month old baby requires feeding for nighttime wake ups.
So if its something you think might help and you’re in doubt, consult your own GP and don’t trust internet advice.

Doyouavocado Sun 19-Jul-20 06:46:08

What’s your current sleep routine OP? Are you dreamfeeding?

WhatASadLittleLifeJane Sun 19-Jul-20 06:51:04

Get some ear plugs for you and your partner and have a stretch of sleep each. It's not just on you to get up, especially if you've been so poorly before

LividLaughLovely Sun 19-Jul-20 06:55:38

I hear ya. Seen every hour subvert midnight multiple times and have for several weeks.

Can’t think straight. Solidarity.

LividLaughLovely Sun 19-Jul-20 06:55:54


TheLovleyChebbyMcGee Sun 19-Jul-20 06:56:42

Sleep training solved a lot of our issues, but your baby is a bit too young for it yet.

I really think you should take the antidepressants, I had PND and struggled through to 10 months, it was only when my DS went of a feeding strike the change in hormones tipped me over the edge.

We had sleep troubles from birth and sleep trained at 9 months, I thought that once our sleep issues were fixed I'd be fine, but even though he was sleeping through I still wasn't feeling better. It took a few months of antidepressants to really help me.

It's totally ok to take them, they can really help!

Whereland Sun 19-Jul-20 07:57:56

Would you consider a sleep consultant? I know baby is still so small but they can help. My friend was in a similar situation, on the brink of losing it from lack of sleep. Paid £500 (not cheap) for a three week sleep consultant course and it helped no end

LetTheBirdsSing Sun 19-Jul-20 09:21:19

Wow, I am really touched by all of these replies. As you can probably tell by the time of my posting, I wrote my OP in a particularly hard moment.

I am breastfeeding so I am doing all of the night wakings. My DH is in a separate bedroom and deals with any wake ups by the two year old. I am already going to bed with the baby to try to maximise my sleep unfortunately. Finding it hard that I don’t have an evenings/childfree down time but I’ve tried to prioritise sleep.

I didn’t take anti depressants last time. I was breastfeeding and didn’t feel comfortable taking them whilst doing so, though the GP assured me it would be fine. I was also offered an appointment with a peri natal mental health doctor but the hospital was an hour away and I didn’t feel like I couldn’t manage the travel to and from the appointments with a demanding baby so I didn’t end up seeing anyone. That sounds pathetic now that I write it out but it felt too much at the time.

Health visitor...I had a nice health visitor for my eldest but she seems to have disappeared. A new HV called me a few months after my eldest’s 2nd birthday and asked me to fill in a 2 year review questionnaire and booked in a call for us to discuss. I sent the form off and then never heard back from her. Then there’s been two different health visitors that have called since I had the baby. Nice enough but the whole thing feels very tick box-y (asking me if I knew I mustn’t ever shake the baby) and because I don’t seem to have one HV and it’s over the phone it’s hard to build up any kind of rapport. I admitted my feelings with my eldest and have been terrified of it being used against me at some point ever since.

I think I will call the PANDA postnatal depression charity helpline if I get a spare moment. I am working up the courage to do it really.

I feel like what I really need is some half decent sleep (I can do two night feeds a night, no trouble really, it’s the frequent wake ups and difficulty settling that get me). I also need some contact during the week with other people but it’s so difficult with the Covid situation. No baby or toddler groups running where I am. Almost all the mums I know are working (I am a SAHM).

I am Feeling bucketloads of shame for having a second child when I struggled so much first time round. I’m not cut out for this. Maybe I would have scraped by with a bit more sleep and if Covid hadnt happened. I felt like I had all these coping strategies in place that I can’t make use of. I feel so disappointed in myself

OP’s posts: |
LetTheBirdsSing Sun 19-Jul-20 09:25:07

I used a sleep consultant last time round. It involved lots of crying, which I don’t feel great about. I wouldn’t want to do that again until six months and I’m not sure if I have it in me to do it again. Baby is currently in the spare room with me but once he’s in his own room he will be right next to the toddler. I just foresee the baby keeping the toddler awake all night? I can’t really see how I could do it.

Sorry, I’m being utterly negative. I can only describe it as feeling like being in a maze and every path I try feels like it comes to a dead end. Will have another read through these lovely replies later.

OP’s posts: |
JustALittleChange Sun 19-Jul-20 10:25:01

I. FEEL. YOU. We had similar - a classic 4/5 month sleep regression for us. Apparently their sleep patterns change at more or less exactly the age you describe whereby they start having more 'adult' cycles which involves them waking up more fully between cycles (at one point or little bundle of joy was waking every 45 minutes - horror.)

I love my sleep. LOVE IT. And do not cope well on broken sleep (noone does to some extent but I'm right down there on the scale!)

We flexibly followed 'Little Ones' following on from flexible use of the 7pm-7am Sleeping Baby book and gradually night weaned (less and less milk and then just a bit of water followed by one single bout of 40minutes of soothing and leaving every few mins or so) and that more or less cracked it. DS was a big water during the day anyway.

It's HARD. It's perfectly normal that you're finding it hard and feeling cross. Of COURSE you are, you poor thing. It's brutal.

What kept me going was treating it like a science experiment "ok, X didn't work, let's tweak one variable tonight/today and see what effect that has". It sounds stupid, probably, but it made it feel less personal/like I was failing and also always having a slightly different plan gave me hope and stopped me falling into black despair.

DH and I also gave each other a whole day or night off occasionally (expressed milk when he was on duty) and having that to look forward to really took the edge off too.

You can do this - we've got your back!

LetTheBirdsSing Sun 19-Jul-20 19:13:25

Hello, just having another look at the replies before I head up to bed for the night with the baby- afternoon nap didn’t happen and the nights (if I can see any sort of vague pattern in this mess) seem to be worse after days where he’s got overtired in the afternoon/evening.

@Totty26 I have co-slept a bit in desperation but I’m not sure it makes me feel any more well rested. I end up either sleeping with baby in my arms, which are propped up with pillows underneath. Doesn’t meet safe sleeping guidelines, I know. Or I feed lying down on my side. Both leave me physically uncomfortable the next day from having to sleep in one uncomfortable position and I think I feel more resentful that what little sleep I have has still been restricted...if that makes any sense. I’m glad it’s working for you though, I know it helps lots of people smile

@SewingKit I completely agree that you can’t do sleep training half heartedly and I’m not at the point of wanting to head down that route yet (I don’t think?). I guess I’ll have to see how bearable things are once we reach six months. Although five weeks feels like a life time right now...sleep training isn’t something that naturally feels right for me but I don’t rate myself as a mum when I’m chronically sleep deprived, snapping and crying all the time so...

OP’s posts: |

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