Feel like a crap 1st time mum - 10mo won’t sleep

(15 Posts)
Emmmmmmxxxxxx Mon 14-Dec-20 10:02:36

Feeling pretty terrible and need some advice, first time mum of one 10 month old boy. He’s a very tall boy (in 18-24mth clothes minimum!) he wakes frequently in the night and cries so much he can’t get back to sleep himself. I go in and try to comfort him but he is usually wide awake by this point and nothing but the pram and a bottle will get him back to sleep (I’ve tried sitting with him and calming him but it hasn’t worked so far).
I’m just looking for some advice if I’m going wrong somewhere and what your bedtime routines are/ if your lo sleeps through or if this is normal? (I’ve asked HV and she said he shouldn’t be having a feed in the night with him 3 meals and 3 feeds in the day and that he should be sleeping through)

Also when he does wake and try’s to get himself back to sleep how long do you leave the murmur and small cry’s for before you go in? I try to leave it but when he’s really upset I can’t help but go in but have been told by so many people “let him cry it out” which I really don’t want to do.

Just trying to get him to sleep - suffering with PTSD from the birth so no sleep is making us both suffer - LO and me
Any advice is welcome 🙏
Our current bedtime routine is;

5pm - tea time meal
5:30pm - play
6pm - bath time
6:30pm - books in cot light on with a bottle
7pm - lie down ready for bed sit with little one with nightlight on singing/ shushing/ rubbing tummy until he falls asleep
Please no judgement I already feel like I’m doing something wrong 😭

OP’s posts: |
Thenosleepclub Mon 14-Dec-20 10:13:36

Your HV is talking rubbish. It's really very common for babies to still need milk in the night until at least a year, and for them to wake long past that. My eldest didn't sleep through reliably until 18m.2nd is currently 11months and wakes a few times in the night at least and is in bed with me from 11pm.
Mine are/were both breastfed so a little different as they do tend to be more likely to wake and sleep bad, but also boys are more likely to I think (read it somewhere plus anecdotally it is the case amongst my friends)
Honestly, I would do whatever is easiest currently. Put him in bed with you, give him a bottle, whatever. He'll sleep through when he's ready. In the meantime are you having any help with the ptsd? Can your partner take more of the slack in the morning /you go to bed earlier to make up for the lack of sleep?
When they walk, and go to one nap, past 12m I find they are more tired too. Also good daytime naps =good nights.

Dillybear Mon 14-Dec-20 10:17:45

It sounds like you’ve had such a tough time! You really aren’t doing anything wrong, and the HV who told you that he ‘should’ be sleeping through sounds really unhelpful. Lots of babies don’t sleep through by ten months. Lots do, but lots don’t. And even the ones that do have regressions and developmental leaps and aren’t necessarily consistent - just a brief glance at the threads on here will tell you that! So you really are doing nothing wrong.

Your bedtime routine sounds great. It sounds like the problem is that your DS relies on help from you to get himself to sleep. So, when he wakes in the night, he can’t get himself back to sleep - he still needs that help from you. If you want to reduce night wakes I would start by teaching him how to fall asleep at the start of the night. Just work on that to begin with. Decide on a technique that you feel comfortable with, and be really consistent with that, until he is falling asleep well by himself. Then, if the night wakes don’t reduce automatically (they won’t necessarily) and you want to work on them, use the same technique for night wakings as you do at the start of the night.

In terms of technique, you could try controlled crying which would probably work fastest, but I think it sounds as though that wouldn’t be for you, and I personally wouldn’t jump in with that as a first step - but that’s just me and no judgement to you if that’s what you think will work for your baby. You might try gradual retreat - which is where you slowly reduce what you’re doing to get him to go to sleep, doing less and less until he manages to learn over time. You could also try stay and support which is basically popping him in the cot, sitting with him, and shushing and soothing him in the cot when you need to, but essentially just waiting for him to fall asleep by himself but he’s not alone. Your baby’s personality will be a big factor in what will work best so you’re best to judge that. The great thing about starting at bedtime is that he’ll be tired so even if it takes two hours, he will eventually fall asleep by himself.

Any form of sleep training usually involves some sort of crying. If that’s not for you, again no judgement from me, but you could try cosleeping from the first wake up, which might get you all a bit more sleep.

BringMeThatHorizon Mon 14-Dec-20 10:18:22

Hi OP. It's so tough when they won't sleep, I've been there too.

Can you start focusing on trying to get him to go to sleep in the same conditions that he wakes in overnight? If he goes to sleep at the start of the night with the light on and you there rubbing his tummy/singing, he's going to expect that every time he wakes.

With my DS we did a gradual retreat at the start of the night - so started just sitting next to him at the start of the night talking/shhing and holding his hand, then just shhing, then nothing, then sat at the end of his cot etc. All night time conditions - lights off, blackout curtains up etc.

Once that was cracked, with night time wakings we started leaving it slightly longer each time before going in. One night DH and I had been arguing about whose turn it was and by the time we'd worked it out (about 5-10 minutes) he'd gone back to sleep by himself. We'd still go in if he got properly upset, but he was sleeping through the night within two nights of that first time.

JimandPam Mon 14-Dec-20 10:20:58

Absolutely no judgement here at all and it sounds just awful for you.

You're doing amazingly considering lack of sleep!

My DS is 11 months and he didn't sleep through until we taught him to self settle.

I know many will shriek at the term sleep training but I honestly wouldn't say what we did involved any crying. We spent two weeks gradually changing things little by little until we could put him down and leave him to go to sleep on his own and then he suddenly stopped waking so much.

Equally, your boy could just need the bottle in the night as many do-or not be ready to sleep through yet.

Don't give yourself a hard time though. Do whatever feels right for you and your DS and I would personally ignore the HV advice. Mine told me my DS should be taking steps by now and it's 'concerning' he's not. Utter pish-he'll walk when he's ready.

JimandPam Mon 14-Dec-20 10:23:42

@Dillybear has some great advice and techniques. We did the stay and support and then gradual retreat and our DS whined slightly (I wouldn't even call it crying) but settled into it nicely. I almost think he was relieved to have us stop bothering him 😆

But I also completely agree with consistency and doing the same in the day as you do overnight

But...it might not be for you and he may still also wake. It's completely your decision

OhToBeASeahorse Mon 14-Dec-20 18:40:39

Fucking HVs - they can be really damaging. There is no should at all. Your LO is capable of sleeping through the night but that doesnt mean he should.
Sleep deprivation is a fucking killer. You have my sympathy. The only thing that worked for us was a sleep consultant. It helped drown out all the other noise of advice.


isawthat Mon 14-Dec-20 18:57:25

Please don’t put pressure on yourself, not all babies will sleep through the night at that age. Your bedtime routine sounds fine, the issue seems to be that your DS doesn’t get himself to sleep and needs you to help him. I think gradual retreat sounds like the best technique for your family, but please don’t put pressure on yourself and do what works for you.

chloeM1 Thu 17-Dec-20 05:32:04

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Useruseruserusee Thu 17-Dec-20 06:03:13


Please don’t put pressure on yourself, not all babies will sleep through the night at that age. Your bedtime routine sounds fine, the issue seems to be that your DS doesn’t get himself to sleep and needs you to help him. I think gradual retreat sounds like the best technique for your family, but please don’t put pressure on yourself and do what works for you.

I agree with this. My second was a complete non-sleeper and the thing that helped the most was when I stopped blaming myself for it. They are all different.

Pleaseaddcaffine Thu 17-Dec-20 06:22:16

My 2.5 year old literally just slept through the night. When he was 6 mths old he would wake every hour all night. I was broken and I had pnd. He was very very tall too 99th per centile and a hungry boy. He's now in 3 to 4 year old clothes and stil the same.
Honestly your doing great and don't let HV tell you otherwise.
My ds didn't get self settling till he was 2...even my mom who had 4 children couldn't get him to sleep easily or the childminder. It's just who he is.
Best advice I got was let everything else go, no housework, just sleep. I went back to work ft at 6mts and did zero housework really unless absolutely nessiafy. Your partner can help you or rope in bubble support you by doing housework or pay someone

Lou2120 Fri 18-Dec-20 19:29:56

My 3rd baby is 10 months and still wakes in the night your doing nothing wrong. In fact your giving him everything he needs by the sounds of it!! Well done mama!!

Kayjay2018 Fri 18-Dec-20 19:33:23

@Emmmmmmxxxxxx when I had my son nearly 17 years ago, he didn't sleep through till 18 months. I was on my own with him and I got into the habit of bringing him into bed as it was the only way I could get some sleep and work full time. I Can assure you he grew out of it and at nearly 17 has to be dragged from his bed 😀. I'm now mum to a 7 month old, she does about 4 hours maximum at night before waking. I'm trying to remember that while it feels like it's been ages with no full night sleep it won't last forever.

Ohalrightthen Fri 18-Dec-20 19:37:07

Basically, you help him go to sleep, so whenever he wakes up he needs you there to drift back off. Teach him how to fall asleep by himself at bedtime and you may find the night wakings much easier.

Emmmmmmxxxxxx Fri 18-Dec-20 21:18:17

Hi Everyone!
Thank you so much for all of your replies - it’s made me feel slightly better knowing it’s relatively normal for babies to still go through this at 10 months old!
I’m definitely going to try the gradual retreat and see if that helps - thank you for this advice!
I think you’re all right about him needing me to help him sleep, on average (like tonight) it takes around 1hr minimum of sitting with him to get him to sleep and he gets very distressed but you can see he is overly tired. He has two naps in the day for around 3 hours altogether in total.
I’m getting help with my PTSD but I’ve recently been discharged from the MIND service as I missed one phone call appointment by seconds as I was sorting the little one out so I now have to re sign up and go back on the waitlist which isn’t ideal. I always feel an awful lot worse with little sleep though so I think if I can crack that or ease it - I might start to be able to change my mindset fingerscrossed
My partner is really really helpful - he works full time usually 10-12 hour days so it’s usually just me but when he is off or comes home he does help out and does his fair share but since the pandemic he has been the only help I’ve had - not even my own mum has been able to help which is probably what’s been the hardest.
Thank you all for your advice! Fingers crossed we get somewhere 🙏

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