Sleep hell, critique my evening please?

(29 Posts)
Sleepisheaven Fri 15-Jan-21 10:27:06

DC is 7m old, BF but taking 3 meals a day too part BLW part mashed. We’re in the depths of despair and have no idea where we’re going wrong. Yesterday I spent 3 hours throughout the day trying to get him to sleep for naps/night sleep in total after he started showing signs of tiredness. Day before it was 5 hours, this in consuming my life and I need a way out.

18:45 super tired looking red eyes and drowsy actions so put pjs on.

19:00 fed lying down in dark room, kept pulling off boob and crying.

19:30 DP gave top up bottle of expressed 50ml incase he was hungry. Offered dinner again cottage pie, refused.

19:39 put back on boob upstairs and kept pulling off crying and going back on. Crying every time I put him down on the bed, crying after I picked him up and soothed him. I left the room for the toilet and he stopped crying the whole time. Started as soon as I entered again. Pinching, scratching, pulling my hair, scramming my face and boobs. Left him on his own for 5 minutes whilst I calmed down, hoping he would too but he just played with his dummy’s and whined whilst I was gone (we watched on the monitor to make sure he was ok). Went back in at 20:05 and he went straight on boob, pulled off boob a few minutes later then back on and finally fell asleep with dummy and my hand on his back.

20:15 asleep.

20:50 awake, fed lying down.

20:55 back to sleep.

11:00 woke for boob, then waking every 1-2 hours for boob again.

What are we doing wrong? How have we got here? Trying pick up put down but it doesn’t work, he’s so stubborn.

OP’s posts: |
Thatwentbadly Fri 15-Jan-21 13:07:30

Teething? Try nurofen and anbesol liquid

ParadiseLaundry Fri 15-Jan-21 13:16:45

How many naps is he having in the day and and at what times?

OverTheRainbow88 Fri 15-Jan-21 13:29:15

18:45 super tired looking red eyes and drowsy actions so put pjs on.

19:00 fed lying down in dark room, kept pulling off boob and crying.

19:30 DP gave top up bottle of expressed 50ml incase he was hungry. Offered dinner again cottage pie, refused.

If tired at 18.45 why offer cottage pie at 19.30?

shotofchips Fri 15-Jan-21 13:41:41

Sounds overtired. I would assume the crying is out of frustration because they're tired and you probably need to do some form of shush/pat.

Sleepisheaven Fri 15-Jan-21 13:41:57

Thank you for reading and replyingsmile

So, naps: he usually has 3 40 minutes throughout the day, cannot sleep anymore than 1 sleep cycle, hasn’t been able to since 4m sleep regression. Sometimes even though he’s obviously tired he takes > 1 hour to settle for a nap.

Why did we try cottage pie? Great question, he didn’t eat much more than a few teaspoons of his tea at 17:30 so we thought he maybe hungry the way he was in and off the boob. As if there was no milk. There was some if I hand expressed though and he behaved the same after giving 50ml in bottle so we ruled that out.

Teething: we thought that so for 3 night gave ibuprofen and a powder and it didn’t change anything, no sign of anything in his gums either. Suppose it’s impossible to know for sure though.

OP’s posts: |
shotofchips Fri 15-Jan-21 13:43:41

I would try and sort out the self-settling with some form of gentle sleep training. Get down to one short morning nap, and one proper lunch nap of around 2 hours.

When self-settling, it's easier for them to link sleep cycles when napping.

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Sleepisheaven Fri 15-Jan-21 13:56:37

Sorry @shotofchips I posted before seeing your message.

Not on this day I’ve described above but other days/evenings we’ve tried the shh/pat and self settling but he’s really determined and hours later we’re still there. I feel awful having him in a dark room for ages trying to get him to sleep. It almost feels cruel but he needs sleep so badly.

OP’s posts: |
shotofchips Fri 15-Jan-21 14:43:56

Sleepisheaven

Sorry @shotofchips I posted before seeing your message.

Not on this day I’ve described above but other days/evenings we’ve tried the shh/pat and self settling but he’s really determined and hours later we’re still there. I feel awful having him in a dark room for ages trying to get him to sleep. It almost feels cruel but he needs sleep so badly.


They need their sleep and really need to learn to not be dependant on another person to fall asleep. I really stuck at shush pat and it was life changing but I was stubborn and kept the exact same routine.

ParadiseLaundry Sat 16-Jan-21 07:10:32

Op he does not need to 'not be dependent on another person to fall asleep' and you can can no more 'teach him to self settle' than you could teach him to talk in full sentences at the minute. He's a tiny baby and it's completely ok for him to want and need your help to fall asleep.

I asked about naps as I found the timing of naps helped enormously in my kids not becoming overtired. What worked for my two was not waiting for sleepy queues but putting them down at timed intervals so for two hours after they woke for the day would be the first nap. Then 2.5/3 hours after that (depending on how long they'd slept for) would be their second nap, then the same again if they needed a third.

shotofchips Sat 16-Jan-21 08:16:05

ParadiseLaundry

Op he does not need to 'not be dependent on another person to fall asleep' and you can can no more 'teach him to self settle' than you could teach him to talk in full sentences at the minute. He's a tiny baby and it's completely ok for him to want and need your help to fall asleep.

I asked about naps as I found the timing of naps helped enormously in my kids not becoming overtired. What worked for my two was not waiting for sleepy queues but putting them down at timed intervals so for two hours after they woke for the day would be the first nap. Then 2.5/3 hours after that (depending on how long they'd slept for) would be their second nap, then the same again if they needed a third.


7 months is not tiny baby. And they can absolutely self settle at this age but we'll agree to disagree because sleep is a contentious issue and neither side ever change their mind.

All I know is that my son has been sleeping through since 6 months old, as have all my friends' babies that were sleep trained.

Various other friends have older toddlers that are still up multiple times a night - these babies were never sleep trained.

Sleepisheaven Sat 16-Jan-21 08:18:55

Thank you @ParadiseLaundry the naps in the day are crap, I think you’re right he’s probably overtired. I’m happy with him not self settling really and I’ve been totally guided by him since he was born, but this is escalating and I just feel so lost and can’t continue on the current trajectory. Last night he went to sleep at 18:21 (only had 2 40 minute naps in the day) and then woke up:

19:02
20:02
20:45
21:30
23:04
00:11
01:18
02:10-03:02
05:10
06:30

Then 8:04 just now for the day.
Up until 4m sleep regression he’d do 3 3-4 hour stunts at night. Then he started fighting naps, now since starting solids around 6 weeks ago he (or I) hasn’t slept for more than 1.5 hour, as you see we get the odd 2 hour. I’ve tried going to bed when he does but the first few hours he wakes so frequently it feels worse than staying up until 10/11 at night.

I’m starting to get really intrusive thoughts about him when he wakes up in the middle of the night, I think it’s actually anger I’m feeling too, I just need to find a better way. I don’t want to feel anger towards my tiny baby when we’ve thought the whole way we were just trying to do the right thing.

OP’s posts: |
shotofchips Sat 16-Jan-21 08:21:48

It's either gentle sleep training, or be guided by him.

I can't see another option?

shotofchips Sat 16-Jan-21 08:22:03

And I don't mean cry it out.

Cleverpolly3 Sat 16-Jan-21 08:27:37

What @shotofchips wrote

Have you tried pain relief in case he’s teething

Two i of f my three were like this it’s very hard

Sleepisheaven Sat 16-Jan-21 08:29:25

@shotofchips doesn’t all sleep training require some sort of crying it out though or am I reading the wrong stuff?

I read one article or blog I can’t remember where now that said they feel abandoned or like you’re not responding to them which can affect them later in life. It was a reliable place, not an OK mag or something.

To be honest though I don’t know that waking this often isn’t going to affect him later in life either! No win situation. Maybe you’re right. I will relook at the options

OP’s posts: |
ParadiseLaundry Sat 16-Jan-21 08:33:22

@sleepisheaven that sounds like a really tough night. I'm sorry it's been so rubbish. You are doing a fantastic job and are not doing anything wrong, it's just figuring out what works for this stage which can sometimes be tricky when they grow and change so quickly.

I think if you can improve his daytime naps his night time sleep will improve. It's true that sleep breeds sleep. So if he woke up at 8.05 today what time would you try him for his nap? After a bad night it might be worth trying him at 9.30am ish? Definitely no later than 10am. I found that after a bad night they had to try to catch back up.

IdentifyingCreamCake Sat 16-Jan-21 08:33:29

He hasn’t learnt how to link his sleep cycles on his own yet. That is broadly a developmental thing and each baby will do it at a different age. Sleep training may help with that but it also may not, he will likely still wake up that often but may be able to settle himself back to sleep.

Also a baby of that age will sometimes eat a decent amount of dinner and will sometimes completely refuse, totally normal. If he does refuse then once you’ve gone into the whole bedtime routine don’t switch back out and start offering food. He will not be hungry if you had given him milk. It will be really confusing if you’ve started the whole routine and then daddy randomly comes in trying to offer cottage pie.

He’s probably fussy at the boob due to being overtired or just struggling to know how to get himself off to sleep. Agree with pp to play around with the naps to see if that helps.

You can try sleep training if you are that way inclined but don’t be surprised if you find it too upsetting/frustrating etc and you give up, a lot of people do and it doesn’t mean you’ve failed. I tried it for a while around the same age and it nearly broke me, I did “gentle” methods and she still screamed the house down. In the end I went for the path of least resistance and adopted whatever strategies got us all the most sleep. This involved bringing her into our bed from about midnight onwards, wasn’t ideal but hey we survived. At 1.5 her sleep got a lot better and she started sleeping through the night, she was just ready.

Scaredykittycat Sat 16-Jan-21 08:41:27

He needs sleep training. You need to stop feeding to sleep and letting him self settle. Start with bedtime, move into the night (no feeding unless 4 hours have passed) and then naps.

There are many methods, pick one that works for you.

ParadiseLaundry Sat 16-Jan-21 08:44:25

@shotofchips some babies can self settle and some can't. I have never sleep trained my children and they are not (usually) up several times a night. It's not either or.

I believe the OP can improve her babies nighttime sleep by looking at the daytime sleep. She can still be guided by him, as is her wish, and help him sleep better without resorting to sleep training if she doesn't want to.

Restlessinthenorth Sat 16-Jan-21 08:52:03

Been a while since I had a tiny one so take my thoughts with a pinch of salt, but a few things stood out to me. Starting dinner at 5.30pm seems quite late. I wonder what impact that has on nighttime routine. Would mean bath wasn't till 6pm at earliest? For us, nighttime routine started probably 2 hours before bed so we needed tea done before that. Bath, quiet time, story, milk, all done consistently each night as cues for sleep. I wonder if that might help?

Sleep deprivation is hell. Those intrusive thoughts sound absolutely awful, but completely understandable. I know it does not help at all right now but I promise you it does get better. My kids never used to sleep as well as other people's and it really got me down. Now, 9 years later, I'm dragging them out of bed in a morning. Everything passes and this will too.

What is your health visitor like? If she's decent she may be able to give you some good advice on getting sleep sorted

namechangetogamechange Sat 16-Jan-21 09:26:15

Sleepisheaven

*@shotofchips* doesn’t all sleep training require some sort of crying it out though or am I reading the wrong stuff?

I read one article or blog I can’t remember where now that said they feel abandoned or like you’re not responding to them which can affect them later in life. It was a reliable place, not an OK mag or something.

To be honest though I don’t know that waking this often isn’t going to affect him later in life either! No win situation. Maybe you’re right. I will relook at the options


Yes crying is involved. But they're crying with you there patting them so they're not abandoned.

namechangetogamechange Sat 16-Jan-21 09:27:42

ParadiseLaundry

*@shotofchips* some babies can self settle and some can't. I have never sleep trained my children and they are not (usually) up several times a night. It's not either or.

I believe the OP can improve her babies nighttime sleep by looking at the daytime sleep. She can still be guided by him, as is her wish, and help him sleep better without resorting to sleep training if she doesn't want to.


Ok but actually, guiding them into healthy sleep routines isn't a bad thing.

We don't need to martyr ourselves.

namechangetogamechange Sat 16-Jan-21 09:34:29

Sleep training isn't something to be 'resorted' in my opinion. Gently done is good for the baby and for the parents.

Allowing a baby to settle themselves back into another sleep cycle lets them get enough sleep which is very much needed for their development.

The change in my baby was amazing. So much happier.

Yes a week of crying (with me there), mainly protesting at the routine change and not getting his own way, but I stuck at it and the result was everyone getting enough sleep.

SeptSpiral Sat 16-Jan-21 09:42:00

I found when my DD was having a horrible time going to sleep at night we needed to look at her naps. I’d have a week or two with no trips out planned that would disturb her routine then do whatever I needed to do get her to have a good nap. If that was sit with her on my knee then fine.

Then once the naps were sorted she’s start going to sleep about the same time everyday. Once the lights are out then we didn’t turn them back one again till morning. We gave her a bottle then she’d sit on our knee till she fell asleep.

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