I'm not sure how much more of this I can take...

(24 Posts)
PolytheneHam Tue 06-Oct-20 14:13:03

I've put off writing this post for some time now because I really hoped things would improve without help, but I'm at a loss as to what I can do, and really in need of advice.

Please be gentle with me. I'm feeling rather fragile.

I have a 9 month old DS with a dreadful sleep pattern. He always settles brilliantly between 6.30pm and 7.00pm, but then wakes again between 11.00pm and midnight. When he wakes at this time he seems to think it's play time and will be awake for anything between one and three hours.

He then wakes again between 3.30 and 4.30, and often again will be wide awake for about an hour.

DH is very supportive and lovely, but a bit useless when it comes to settling DS, so I end up being up every single night (meaning he'll settle in one hour rather than three).

Things have become extra difficult recently as I have returned to work part time, meaning that I need to get up at 5am twice a week, often only having had an hour or two of sleep. My shifts are 12.5 hours long.

I've always been a very light sleeper, and i struggle to drop off meaning that I can't easily go back to sleep when DS does.

The lack of sleep is having a serious impact on my physical health (intermittent fever, extreme fatigue, dizziness, headaches), my mental health (I'm plagued by thoughts of self-harm) and my marriage (there's little time for intimacy, and we're both knackered!).

I feel like a failure because I can't get the sleeping thing right. I'm plagued with guilt because there are times I wish I hadn't had him and I miss the freedom of my old lifestyle.

I'm not a FTM so I really should be doing better than this. DD is now fifteen, so my memories of her babyhood are hazy , but I'm pretty sure she was sleeping through by three months.

I also have concerns about DS's development and worry that the disrupted sleeping pattern is having an impact on this. He isn't yet babbling, despite being very vocal, and also isn't crawling (although he's trying to).

I'm rambling now...

OP’s posts: |
OnlyFoolsnMothers Tue 06-Oct-20 14:18:02

What do you do when he wakes? Formula or bottle fed? In what way in your husband useless?

OnlyFoolsnMothers Tue 06-Oct-20 14:18:24

FYI don’t feel guilty, we don’t wish our kids away we just want some bloody sleep!!!

NameChange30 Tue 06-Oct-20 14:22:44

Your husband needs to do his share. If it takes him 3 hours to settle DS as opposed to your 1, so be it. Practice makes perfect so the more he does it the better he'll get; he'll have to.

You may need to tweak the daytime routine and sleep train. When I read lots of sleep advice (DS was a terrible sleeper) the advice that I found most sensible and helpful was from the blog www.babysleepscience.com and the Huckleberry app.

If you can afford it you could consider getting a sleep consultant to advise. You and DH would need to both follow the advice though and work consistently as a team, so it's only worth spending the money if you're both willing to do that.

messy123 Tue 06-Oct-20 14:25:32

I totally hear you. Lack of sleep is hurrendous. Take all the help you can. Is there any in -laws that could have your DS overnight while you get some sleep? Get your partner to help more. Any way of swapping shifts at work? Even just for a couple of months so you might have time to crack the sleep thing. Is your son hungry, cold, hot?

I'm not the best sleeper and have taken to putting an inflatable mat and sleeping bag in my DDs room so she knows I'm there and doesn't wake up as often. It helps on bad nights.

I would also say go to bed when DS does to get a few hours of sleep.. but know not all of us are made that way. Try sleep hypnosis (I recommend Glenn Harolds) when you go to bed early, it helps me hugely.

Know that this will pass.

NaturalStudy Tue 06-Oct-20 14:25:41

Have a read about 'split nights'. I used the Lucy Wolfe book Baby Sleep Solution and found it very helpful. You can slip into bad habits which make this sort of thing more likely without realising it. I also agree with PP that you need to let your DH do more.

PolytheneHam Tue 06-Oct-20 19:59:35

Thank you for the replies. I'm afraid I haven't yet worked out how to quote or reply to people individually!

DS is formula fed these days, but hasn't been interested in milk at night for some time now. I honestly don't think he's hungry.

He doesn't feel hot or cold, and I monitor the temperature of the room and dress him accordingly.

I've just started to use the Huckleberry app, but at present we' re unable to transition from three naps to two - probably because he doesn't sleep for long enough at night. If we attempt a two nap day, he wakes an hour after bedtime, thinking it was a nap.

DH's parents are no longer with us, so no in-laws. My mum had been having DS overnight once a month, but i don't feel able to do that this month becausd his sleep is so poot. My dad passed away in the summer and my mum is still wobbly so I don't want to put her under too much pressure.

I work on a hospital ward, so the only way to avoid early starts is to do night shifts.

I do on occasion go to bed shortly after he does, but if I'm finishing work at 7.30pm, I need time to unwind. Also, my daughter is doing her GCSEs and needs my support, so early evening is when we have chance to tall. Evening is also when i get chores (such as cleaning the floors) done.

DH is useless in thathe just can't get him to fall asleep. Sadly, due to being a light sleeper, I wake when baby does even if DH attends to him, and I can't get back to sleep again afterwards.

I'm going to work through the suggestions people have made, and I feel a little better just to have written it all down.

Thanks again.

OP’s posts: |

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NameChange30 Tue 06-Oct-20 20:38:45

Ear plugs when DH is on duty. The soft silicone ones are best.

Also... f* the floors, and get an early night from time to time.

NameChange30 Tue 06-Oct-20 20:40:49

Also why are you doing all the night wakings and all the chores? What does DH actually do? How supportive and lovely is he really?!

messy123 Tue 06-Oct-20 20:52:52

Yes to earplugs! Earfit ones, they are memory foam 👍

Do think your DH could help with the housework but I have the same problem in that area 🤦

Jacoba Tue 06-Oct-20 20:56:34

Is he next to you? My son was in in a cot at the other side of the room and he was properly awake by the time I heard him and went to him.
He was obviously unsettled by me not being there and took ages to go back off.
I moved him to a sidecar cot next to me and he went back off so much easier.

Morgan12 Tue 06-Oct-20 21:10:27

Have you tried co sleeping? I know some people are totally against this but my DS was exactly like this and I brought him into my bed and he sleeps 7-6.30 now. Sometimes wakes once or twice but falls right back over when he realises I'm there.

PolytheneHam Tue 06-Oct-20 21:13:28

DH probably does more cleaning than I do. We tend to do the floors together (one hoovering, one mopping) because it speeds it up. We have two cats and two dogs so it gets filthy pretty quickly.

We take it in turns to do the night shift but I still wake when it's his turn.

DS has his own room. I've tried taking him in with us but he just starts giggling and poking our faces!

I reckon I'll give earplugs a go on nights where it's DH's turn and I'm not at work the next day - I wouldn't want to miss my alarm.

OP’s posts: |
madcatladyforever Tue 06-Oct-20 21:14:45

Your husband needs to step up and stop pretending to be useless. Leave him to it or he won't learn. You have to or you will go insane.

zaffa Tue 06-Oct-20 21:28:32

Oh OP I hear you. The only solution I have found is co sleeping, since I brought DD into our bed we all sleep so much better. I know it's not for everyone but I was really at a point of having a little breakdown, sleep deprivation is awful.
Also, DD is ten months (she's been co sleeping since around seven or eight months) and has only just started crawling (she's been on her knees rocking for a month but just couldn't figure it out, and the day before she was ten months she started a weird floor shuffle that she's improving on every day and is now quite speedy). She only started babbling at nine months and she's actually pretty good in general at communication - she did her own version of babbling before that with lots of consonant whisperings but I was putting her down for bed one evening just before she was nine months and she whispered dadada to me, and now she can do every single vowel and consonant combination except mama.
It went from nothing to 100 though, there was no hanging about with it.
Good luck, you are not alone in the sleep trials x

NameChange30 Tue 06-Oct-20 21:32:47

You'll still hear the alarm with earplugs in, they will just muffle the sounds of DS enough for you to hopefully sleep through.

Surely the nights when you have work the next day are the nights that you really need sleep?!

loopylindazdaughter Tue 06-Oct-20 21:39:02

Mmm 9 months I'd be doing a dream feed then looking at controlled crying for a night or 2,

messy123 Tue 06-Oct-20 21:47:42

@PolytheneHam Co sleeping wasn't good for me either...DD is not a co sleeper ...she just got excited and started hitting us in the face! It might sound ridiculous to some but I do recommend making yourself comfortable (sleeping bag etc) in DSs room, so you can rest your head in his room while you are waiting for him to go back to sleep, he may go back to sleep quicker and you may drop off too. Saves waiting for DS to sleep and then creeping out again. Obviously not a long term solution but it can be comforting knowing it's there!

messy123 Tue 06-Oct-20 21:49:59

Yep you'll definitely still hear the alarm with earplugs in too

PolytheneHam Tue 06-Oct-20 22:02:12

I've dug out my silicone earplugs (originally bought for birth hospital bag) so I'm going to head to bed now and try to get a few hours in before tomorrow's shift!

Wish me luck!

OP’s posts: |
foodtoorder Tue 06-Oct-20 22:03:11

You really need to think about what is happening in the day. Really focus on reducing the naps he is having.
Do you have any leave coming up? If you can use the week as a focus week of getting to grips with it.
At 18months even when tired he should be easily distracted to keep going and have those 2 naps.
Start and finish the day at the same time every day, give meals and any milk at the same time for consistency.
Also put him down for naps in his room so he associates that with sleep, keep it as dark as possible.
Does he cry when he wakes in the night? If not leave him, try not to engage unless he is distressed.
Mine had short spells of waking and being alert and it's tough so really feel for you. I also turned off the baby monitor so I couldn't hear them through it, just the lights which I learnt to switch off to.
Could you afford a childminder 1 day a week so you can catch up on sleep? Even if only short term while you work on the sleep pattern. It's so easy to get caught up In day to day stuff that you can't always stop to breathe and think about how to change things.

OnlyFoolsnMothers Tue 06-Oct-20 22:42:57

I would advise trying to keep your LO awake more in the day to transition to the two naps, don’t go out so he can’t sleep in the car or buggy for the day. If he wakes and wants to play just leave him in the cot, as long as not crying just leave him be.

PolytheneHam Wed 07-Oct-20 05:24:44

Just got up for work. Aside from spitting out his dummy (we put it back in and he went straight back to sleep) at 9pm, DS slept through! He's only ever slept through twice, and not for months.

We're determined to sort out his daytime sleeping. He generally has three short naps, but we're going to give the transition to two a damn good go! Because he slept well last night, we're actually in a good position to begin this!

I'll definitely be using the earplugs again. Although they didn't need to block out any baby noise, I wasn't disturbed by any other sounds either, and actually felt calmer than I have in a long time.

I'm only on half a day today (annual leave, phased return from mat leave), so DH and I will be responsible for one nap each (DH will go to work when I) get home

OP’s posts: |
anonnancy Wed 07-Oct-20 07:12:05

Totally feel for you. I’ve just read the whole thread so I don’t repeat what anyone has suggested.

Glad you god a good sleep last night!

My little boy is also 9 months and I think we are starting to go through the 9 month sleep regression. takes large gulp of extra strong coffee ....we’ve been up since 5am. Not the worst thing in the world but I’m used to having an extra hour/ hour and a half in the morning!

This too shall pass.

Good luck on transitioning to two naps. I found it much easier once DS was able to stay awake for longer periods between sleeps. It took us ages to drop the third nap x

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