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Baby ruining my life(82 Posts)
Baby #2, very much wanted but his sleeping habits are ruining my life. He's 10 months old. Never slept well other than a short-lived 3weeks phase around 3 months old where he would sleep in his cot and wake only once for a feed around 3-4am then back to sleep (so I know he's capable).
I have slept in the spare room with him since day 1 (so that DH can actually get rest in our room as no point us both being exhausted and he has the monitor for our two year old on case she needs him). Was my intention to be back in my own room by 6months but I'm still stuck with him now and becoming really resentful. I don't want to sleep away from my husband this length of time, its not healthy for a relationship. Husband doesn't complain to be clear, this is not what I want, it's making me very unhappy. I've had enough. 10 months is enough time away from my husband and my bed. And baby needs to start to fall into line somehow with sleeping in a room without me. He doesn't sleep well with me in the room anyway so he's a rubbish sleeper either way, why keep making myself miserable being apart from my other half every night.
Baby is a nightmare sleeper. I never get more than maybe 2 hours unbroken sleep but that's on good nights. Most of the time he's up more often than that. He's just super clingy and wants to be with me all the time. I do not want to co sleep with him. I did that on and off when he was small between trying to get him back into his cot because literally wouldn't settle any other way but it's always scared me for the safety element so I've never been able to relax or sleep properly when he's with me in the bed and now he's far too rolly and it's not safe for him to be on the bed at all, accident waiting to happen. He has to be on the cot for his own safety.
I've tried everything with him. Nothing works. Literally nothing. I'm at the point now where I just want to leave him in the room alone and let him work things out for himself even if that takes him hours. I don't want to sleep with him and I don't want to go to him. If I had a bedroom I could put him in at the other end of the house where he couldn't disturb us all with his whining and crying I probably with the mindframe I'm in right now would do it. I cannot physically continue to go on the way we are. I need to be back in my marital bed and be less exhausted so I can actually be a good parent to my eldest who is suffering everyday with a mum too tired to take her out or play properly and who has no patience or energy.
This morning after being up with him from 3am-6am with him refusing to sleep or go back in cot for that full 3 hour stretch I had had enough. When my daughter got up at 6 I took him into her room, put him in her crib and closed the door on him. He screamed and screamed for about 25minutes and I just left him. My husband was busy sorting out the dogs and the morning jobs then he did go get him.
I just don't know what to do or really what the point of this post is other than venting. I love my son but I despise him at night. I NEED him to be in a room on his own. I give him every little bit of me all day every day. I want some small part of my life back with being able to sleep with my husband at night but trying to leave him in a room alone he just screams the house down keeping us all awake anyway. I feel so hopeless.
I really sympathise. This was my son. I would be careful saying you "know he is capable" because he did it at 3 months. Their needs and capabilities are constantly changing and although I 100% Understand the resentment, he is not purposely choosing not to sleep. My son also slept through at 3 months, many people find it a sweet spot where milk satisfies for longer and before major motor development kicks in.
Co sleeping saved us tbh. At 10 months it is absolutely possible to co-sleep safely. Google the 'safe sleep 7' for more info. I didn't want to do it either but it was that or getting out of bed and resettling hourly from the age of 6 months to 18 months in the case of my son. It massively cut down night waking for us and we transitioned him out at about 18m. To be clear he started every night in his bed for his best stretch of sleep then came in at first wake up so DH and I still had that stretch of time together. I also found i became less sleep deprived over time as my body got used to running on less sleep.
Some babies just do this. I didn't parent mine any differently but my son has always struggled to stay asleep and still wakes usually once in the night now, at 3. Now it is a case of going in, quick cuddle and back out, it's no hardship, but he just needs a lot of help to stay asleep and get to sleep in the first place. I know several adults like this so it makes sense that there is a similar variation in child sleep.
My son now sleeps 10 hours in 24 which is the very low end of normal. He dropped his nap around 2 years which was his first major leap forward in terms of good sleep. He is completely average in every other way!
You could absolutely just leave him to scream and plenty of people do. I would not judge that decision, lots of people do it due to exhaustion. But you may find you need to continue to do it every time he goes through a new leap, teething episode, illness - anything that changes the sleep pattern again and then are constantly changing. Bear in mind at this age he has no way of telling you why he needs your attention in he night other than crying so by leaving to cry you are assuming that he is waking for "no reason just wants comfort". We found an osteopath helped slightly as he turned out to have tightness in his neck and it would only properly turn one way, which could have been something that was waking him. But who knows! It's really tricky.
Solidarity to you OP. It was the absolute most challenging period of my life and I don't underestimate how shit you feel!
Sorry i re read your message and can see you said he he a bit of a pain in the bed when you co sleep which suggests to me he is fully awake. One, I would say that they get used to co sleeping so it no longer is a novelty that excites them. Two, if he is fully awake for long periods in the night i would definitely take a look at naps and routine as you may be expecting too much sleep. Can you say what his routine is and nap times/ durations? I did a lot of work with my DS on maximising night sleep as he was also prone to the middle of the night parties and tweaking day sleep and bed time often helped with that element. X
Thank you for replying. I don't really want to leave him to cry, I hate his being upset but I'm just so utterly frustrated and feel like since he's so rubbish at sleeping even when I'm in the room anyway, me not being in the room can't really make him worse as he's already terrible.
I will Google the safe 7 thing you suggest looking at. The reason I'm scared to keep sleeping with him in the bed is because there isn't a way with the room the way it is to have the bed against a wall, so one side of the bed, the side I'm not lying on, is open, and the floor of the room is tiled. I have previously blocked the other side of the bed with my massive pregnancy pillow I used to use before he could move around a lot but he can crawl over that now with how mobile he is and I don't want to risk him falling onto what is a very hard floor. Even with a blanket over it, it would be a very very hard landing and so dangerous.
Oh honey. I could have written your post as my son was exactly the same. He had severe silent reflux which we didn't realise at the time which meant he was physically finding lying down painful. Cosleeping saved my sanity. It's honestly worth looking into. You need to detach from the concept of the bedroom being just yours and DH's, though. Sex can happen anywhere!
You would need a bed guard and another mattress on the floor for safety
I totally get the frustration. I see what you're saying that he isn't sleeping whether you are there or not, but he is taking comfort from you being there. You will 100% get replies telling you to leave him to cry. I'm not going to tell you they are wrong, but I couldn't do it and there may be other things you are missing that would help. It's hard to see the wood for the trees when you're so tired.
Is he cruising, pulling up? From a similar age we taught DS to slide backwards off the bed onto his feet by practicing in the day. We also lay the mattress from the travel cot on the floor next to the bed so he had a soft landing. We have a king size bed which helped because he slept between us and there was plenty of space. I know it isn't always that easy.
His daytime napping is a bit erratic. He doesn't sleep much in general. He will usually have a half hour to 45 minute nap not long after his breakfast which is fairly consistent, this nap is usually with me holding him until he falls alsleep then I put him down on blankets in the living room while I play quietly with my toddler doing colouring in etc until he wakes. If I try to put him in a different room for the nap he wakes up immediately or just doesn't fall asleep in the first place, naps better staying in the same room we are playing in. Other than the morning nap, it really varies. Some days he will have another nap in the afternoon around 1 or 2 o'clock for another 30-45 and again another 30-45 around 4-5. But some days he totally skips either one or both of those afternoon naps with no reason I can really identify. If I go out for a walk in the pram at any time of day he will fall asleep in that and stay asleep for anything as long as 2.5 hours if I just bring the pram back into the house without taking him out of it. That hasn't happened too often recently though as it's been raining a lot so not been going out for so many pram walks!
As pp mentioned bed guards, yes great idea. You can get them on Amazon. We use them at my In laws because the bed the kids sleep in there is high .
Sounds like it’s time to start taking turns with DH sleeping with the baby.
I think rather than ' sleep training' at night you absolutely need to work on consolidating the day naps. Also 4-5 is late for a nap.
Around this age, my son went from two to one nap and that helped move us forward with night sleep. Keeping them awake is hard but if you can push that first nap back until 11 or noon and see if he will go longer (go for a walk/ park trip with the eldest around this time if it helps) you can then possibly get through til bedtime which might have to be moved earlier at first.
They often struggle with nap transitions which makes people think it isn't working and they still need the old pattern. It can take a week or two to start to see a difference. It's like getting over jetlag - any change in the sleep pattern takes time to adjust to. He might be happy with the current pattern but you aren't so you need to force it - sounds harsh but not as harsh as leaving them to cry so I went with this tactic! Does take perseverance though. You need to collect up the total amount of sleep they are taking in 24 hours and organise it into a way that works best for your family.
A really good FB page is "desperately seeking sleep'. The last has some excellent videos on the above approach. She has done a lot of research into infant sleep after parenting babies like ours.
Today your husband needs to do a shift.
You need a night, or a couple of nights unbroken sleep so you can think and plan what you want and what is achievable. You can’t make decisions in this state of deprivation.
I know that you want to be back in with him, but it’s not going to miraculously happen overnight.
Take some time to sleep, and look after yourself- he will manage.
Then when you can think rationally make a plan.
Sleep deprivation is the worst.
@callistography honestly it isn't about sex although more opportunity for that would be nice 😂 I just really miss sleeping in the same bed, having a cuddle and a chat before falling asleep. I miss the closeness.
OP I was where you were. I had a just turned 2yo and a 10mo who wouldn't sleep more than 90 minutes stints. I was so run down I got hand foot and mouth, shingles and pneumonia all within 3 months. I did leave him to cry. He cried for 2 hours that first night. I just couldn't cope anymore and was so unwell. It bloody worked though. The second night he only woke once and by night three he slept through.
@Ohalrightthen yes have tried controlled crying. It wasn't very successful. I don't seem to have success with anything that leaves him to self settle. I have to get him to sleep for any chance of him staying asleep. If I put him down drowsy or awake and try to just settle him with intermittent reassurance then leaving him the screaming starts and doesn't stop unless I pick him up so if I then go back and try to comfort without picking up he just gets more upset. He doesn't have a dummy. I've tried offering on from when he was quite little, he won't take one. I've tried giving him a comforter more recently, he stands up and throws it out of the cot. He's just so different to my first who was not a great sleeper but did respond to my efforts to try different things, think it's just a bit of a shock that nothing I had any success with with her works for him at all.
It sounds as if you're at breaking point. I'm shocked that you have been bearing the burden of sleepless nights alone for so long without asking your husband to do his share, and that he's allowed it to continue without offering to step in and do more. He might need his sleep but so do you; you sound desperate and bitter and rather hostile towards your child, which is understandable given how exhausted you are, but it's not really ok.
"He screamed and screamed for about 25minutes and I just left him. My husband was busy sorting out the dogs and the morning jobs then he did go get him."
It made me sad to read this; I can understand that you'd had enough after all the awful nights, but why on earth did your husband prioritise the dogs and other jobs over his screaming child? It seems that you have become the default parent and your husband thinks it's not his problem?
I have 3 pieces of advice for you:
- share the load with your husband
- rule out any health issues that could be contributing to poor sleep; reflux, CMPA, other
- then sleep train, using a method of your choice - given how desperate you are I would recommend controlled crying, as it works pretty fast. Please don't do "cry it out" though (leaving baby alone to cry without going in at regular intervals).
You're me, years ago. My youngest is now 6 (and the best sleeper ever... still up at 6am, but in bed by 7:30-8 and sleeps straight through).
But from birth to a week before his second birthday, I was you. And it nearly killed me. I caught parvovirus and developed an 8-month long auto-immune response which took 2 months to diagnose. I am certain it was because I was so sleep deprived. I was crazy with sleep deprivation and my immune system was in the gutter. My health went to hell in a handbasket and DH had to be the sleeper of the two of us. He's a GP. He HAD to sleep. His patients depend on a clear-headed doctor. Ironically, he made a terrible misdiagnosis which ended badly for a patient. It was the one and only time he has done this in 25 years. When he looked back at the dates it was when we were both so severly underslept. The lack of sleep is devastating. How the fuck our kids survive is beyond me. It's the stuff of miracles! It.Is. AWFUL and you have every single ounce of my sympathy.
I don't know why or how, but one night, DS just slept and that was that. I didn't bother with controlled crying because it didn't work with my other two and I found it just tormenting. Sometimes it really is what it is.
The only thing I did was co-sleep. I truly moved into DC's room and just slept whenever I could. I think what really helped was when DH and I sat down and truly acknowledged that we were in the midst of trench warfare, that this wasn't going to go away soon, there was no quick fix. Intimacy with DH (I mean, let me be blunt, I was soooo tired, my libido was comatose), my own bed, normal sleep patterns had to be accepted as 'not present at this time' by both of us. Our marriage was suffering. So we looked at what we could control and what we could do to keep sane. This sounds terribly corny, I know, but we hugged each other A LOT. I cried on DH's shoulder. He cried on mine. We stopped arguing and snapping at each other when we really owned the reality that we were war buddies in a Vietnam jungle. We were all we had! I completely owned being fuuuucking exhausted, as did DH. Once we accepted how shit we felt and just sort of carried each other through these murky waters, we felt lighter because we took expectations off the table. We just didn't ask a thing of each other. To be honest, we must have had sex at some point, in some weird location. I can't remember anything. I probably slept through it. I'm surprised I still know our children's names! Our mantra was 'sleep when you can, where you can. We'll live through this.' I hope this doesn't sound defeatist. But you just get through your life in the trenches and remind yourself that it all passes! This is temporary.
I still lie in bed at night with DH and a good book and think it's the lap of luxury!
You absolutely can ask your GP for a referral to your local paediatric sleep medicine clinic. In London it is at the Evelina Children's hospital under paediatric neurology. I am not sure where you are located but paediatric neurology will usually run a sleep medicine clinic.
@Thatwentbadly I wish taking turns to have him overnight were an option but it just isn't. With the job that OH does it's really not an option for him to go to work too tired, he could do himself a real injury. He does have our daughters monitor and she usually wakes once a night, occasionally twice which he deals with. He does pull his weight, can't really fault him. Any afternoons he's not working he will get home and then take both the kids out for 4-5 hours and tell me to sleep (although most of the time I try to catch up on all the house stuff that hasn't been done so I'm probably not helping myself there).
I've bought a single mattress that folds up and doubles as something to jump on during the day. This goes on floor next to the cot mattress (not in cot). The single mattress is slightly higher which stops up her rolling on to it when asleep. I've blocked off the other sides of the cot mattress, but even if she fell off the mattress it would be a couple of inches on to a padded playmat (sounds like you could do with one of those in any case).
Anyway, none of this solves the sleep problems, but it's a lot more comfortable and if she falls alseep in my arms and I can go back to sleep quickly. Plus she likes it.
I've just re read your post about daytime naps and I think you need to prioritise getting him to have at least one long nap during the day, even if it means taking him out in the pram when it's raining. Going out in the rain is miserable but put waterproofs on - wellies and puddle suit for your oldest to do puddle jumping - and treat yourself to a hot chocolate or something when you get back home. It will be worth it if he naps.
Apparently when babies get overtired it makes their sleep worse - it's a vicious cycle that's hard to get out of - so if he naps better in the day it may well help at night, and vice versa. If I were you I'd get him napping by whatever means during the day, and start sleep training at bedtime then continue throughout night wakings. Once he's self settling at night you could try it for daytime naps too.
There's loads of sleep advice out there, I found the articles on this website/blog sensible and helpful. www.babysleepscience.com/resource-blog
If your breastfeeding, it will be much harder for you to sleep train. Swap with your husband - get him to deal with the baby for a week (he can take AL if work is a concern) and manage the sleep training, you get proper sleep and listen out for the toddler.
My 2nd was like this. Massive sympathies. DH travelled with work and I was on my knees. Such a shock after the first and they were close together.
I'm not going to lie, it didn't get better until he went to full time preschool and then it got better from there. Even now - he wakes up early but knows how to entertain himself until one of us is awake.
What saved me though was periodic overnight stays in a hotel. Not far away and nothing fancy. Just a night to get some unbroken sleep. It made such a difference.
Also putting a fan in his room (not blowing directly on him). Even now he still has to sleep with the fan on or he struggles to switch off.
Good luck - just remember it won't be forever. Can you afford any nursery sessions? It might help tire him out and give you a much needed break.
"Any afternoons he's not working he will get home and then take both the kids out for 4-5 hours and tell me to sleep (although most of the time I try to catch up on all the house stuff that hasn't been done so I'm probably not helping myself there)."
No you're really not.
He must have days off work, he should do the nights with baby when he's not working the next day. If you had just the occasional full night's sleep (or at least a longer stretch of sleep) you'd feel much more human.
Is there anything you could do to reduce night wakings for your oldest so you two only have the baby to deal with?
Oh you need your life back. Honestly, I would (and did) sleep train. A few days of sleep training isn't cruel - what's cruel is months of sleep deprivation, a baby's sleep ruining family life and everyone miserable as a result.