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Please help, I’m desperate!(12 Posts)
My 7 month old daughter has been a terrible sleeper since 4 months old but it’s just getting worse and worse and I’m really struggling to cope now.
She goes down for all naps and bedtime very well. Quick cuddle, Into cot awake, plays about for a few minutes starts to get a bit annoyed at which point I go in tap her bum a few times give her her dummy and she’s away in a minute or 2 no problem, so far so good. She wakes maybe about 3-4 times between 19:30 and 1am but usually settles quite quickly with a bum tap however after 1am she will absolutely refuse to settle, will become hysterical until picked up and then refuse to be put back down. Won’t co sleep will only tolerate being held or lying on my chest. She’s obviously still tired her eyes are barely opened but this goes on and on for hours every night. Eventually she will go back to sleep for a few hours in her cot and sleep until half 5 at which point she wants to start the day (although I refuse to be up at that time and will usually hold her until 7am). I’m getting so so little sleep and I just don’t know how to fix this. Im pretty sure this is not pain or teething or anything like that as she sleeps well for naps and first part of the evening.
Current routine (although not very strict with timings etc)
9am nap- 45minutes
12:30 nap- 1.5-2 hours
16:30 cat nap 10-15 minutes (although this 3rd nap doesn’t always happen depending on when she wakes from her last nap- I think this nap is being dropped?)
19:00-1930 bedtime- can be slightly earlier if no 3rd nap.
I should mention I don’t think it’s hunger, she feeds well during the day and eats 2 meals and will generally refuse a bottle when offered through the night. Any suggestions on how to improve this, I’m on my knees with exhaustion.
I can’t help (mine are older now but I remember the exhaustion) except to say that things will improve.
Another one to say how much I feel for you. I remember the exhaustion is excruciating.
I remember this stage clearly with my DCs. I may be wrong (especially as you said you doubt she is hungry), but I think it’s a long time for her to go without food/bottle from tea time to breakfast.
Mine were all bad sleepers and at this age I went to a mother /baby unit (not in UK) and they suggested giving a ‘dreamfeed’ at say 10.30 (pick them up and offer them bottle while keeping things quiet and dark). Then resettle. If you have a DP, they can do this so you get to sleep earlier.
It does get better, I promise you
Thank you @GalOopNorth and @FriendlyBiscuit. You are right it is so so difficult. Thankfully I have a wonderful husband who does more than his fair share so I am getting some sleep but sometimes that makes me feel even worse because he seems to cope so well even when working full time running a business and I’m just a nervous wreak every night! In my head I know this too shall pass but it just seems to get worse and worse!
I’ve never tried a dream feed with her but will give it a go I suppose anything is worth a try!
Is she learning a new skill? Is she trying to crawl?
It can be down to development that sleep goes to pot.
If not, I would try a dream feed. It worked well with mine.
@Moonshine11 she just started crawling last week so I’m sure this is playing a big part or it because she’s waking up and crawling in her cot and tbh ever since she started rolling (which is when her sleep went haywire) she’s not stopped practicing her gross motor skills in her cot, but does that mean it won’t get better until she’s walking
Deffo her skills then, a lot of babies practise these in their cot.
They do go back into their normal routine so this won’t be life until she walks etc.
I suppose my worry is this does seem to be her normal routine, literally since she started rolling it was that constantly and then pivoting then army crawling not proper crawling and sitting up, and now she’s already started trying to pull up
On the bars. I don’t think we have had a reprieve since she started to become mobile.
You have everything in place there for sleep to improve (although my best guess is that night feeds are needed) so you maybe need to change your though process to finding ways to maximise your sleep while dealing with this, rather than hoping to not have to deal with it IYSWIM.
- Have the cot in your room, if it isn't already. Makes dealing with night wakes easier.
- Have the cot as a sidecar cot (one side removed), to make settling even easier for you
- Have the dummy within easy reach and easy to find, with cot right next to you in bed. You could expect to be able to find and reinsert dummy, and pat/shush baby all without opening your eyes, moving from your bed and barely even waking up.
- Cover, remove or turn around the clock in your bedroom. Make it so you cant see the time in the night. It makes a huge psychological difference.
- Have no phone in your room and definately never use your phone in the night. I can see this post written at 3am ish - being on Mumsnet at that time of night is hindering you, not helping. Leave your phone downstairs, your sleep will improve.
- If baby is in a cot next to your bed, consider using ear plug. These will not stop you hearing baby cry, but will lower external noise stimulation for you and generally keep you in a more subdued, sleepy mood.
- Cosleep. If independent sleep isn't happening, let baby nap next to you in bed.
Do you think the dummy could be causing the problem? As in she needs it to fall asleep? I ask because we had this issue, and ended up removing it around five months. It was painful for a night or two but drastically improved our baby's sleep. I was terrified of doing it but really glad we did.
To me it doesn't sound like night feeds are needed if she's refusing them...
I sympathise, bad sleep is torturous.
My DD is 7.5 months and I could have written the exact same thing. I’m exhausted and feel terrible. Ever since she started rolling it’s been a nightmare. She can’t quite crawl yet but as soon as she wakes she’s immediately on all fours rocking and screaming. No advice but solidarity and hope things improve for us both soon 🙏
DS is exactly like this at the moment. He’s 5.5 months and has started crawling, so just wants to practise all the time.
As soon as he is on his back, he cries and arches it. Last night he woke three times between 7-10 before DH took over so I could get some sleep - he lasted 45 mins before another feed.
We used to get 5-6 hour stretches out of him, now I’m lucky to get 2 hours.