Talk

Advanced search

DS sleep problem, my sleep problem, or both? And any advice?

(7 Posts)
HolidaysQueen Fri 05-Sep-08 09:23:37

I have a 5 month old DS. For his first three months he slept well - only woke once a night, and gradually pushed this out to 5am-6am, and then slept from 11-7.30 for 2 whole weeks at 10 weeks. Then from 3-4 months he would wake around 4-5am and then from 4 months to now he has been completely haywire in his sleeping.

He goes down well (drowsy or sometimes wide awake) after a big breastfeed at about 7.30-8ish, and then wakes somewhere between 10.30 and 11.30 when dad gives him a 7oz bottle, which he always nearly finishes and then goes back down well. Then the unpredictability begins - sometimes he wakes at 1.30-2 and then again at 5-5.30 and other times he wakes at 3 or 4, or sometimes he wakes at 2 but then goes through until 7. Each time the only way to get him back to sleep is to feed him - sometimes he is clearly ravenous but other times it seems a bit more of a comfort thing.

Aside from the fact that his sleep is worse than at any time since he was a newborn, the main problem is that I have suffered from terrible insomnia since he was born. I can get to sleep very easily at night, but when I have to get up to feed or comfort him I find it very very hard to get back to sleep. So probably every other night I am awake for anywhere between 1 and 3 hours after feeding him, and then often have only just drifted off when I need to get up with him again.

Consequently, I am exhausted and dread the night feeds even more so think I am making my insomnia worse because when I feed him at say 2am I start fretting about whether I'll get any more sleep, so of course I'm not relaxed enough to sleep.

Because I am pretty sure he can go through until at least 5am (he slept 11-6 a couple of nights ago, and he often does 11-4.30/5), I'm wondering if I should try some sleep training. I don't mind if I can't get back to sleep after 5am because at least then I'll feel I got about 5-6 hours sleep myself.

I know this could all be developmental at this age so we may have no luck, but the lack of sleep is killing me so I feel like I need to try something in case he does respond well to it.

Any tips? Any advice on sleep training to try? Any advice on how to get myself back to sleep after a feed?

HolidaysQueen Fri 05-Sep-08 19:29:13

bump - anyone?

snooks Fri 05-Sep-08 19:50:11

oh blimey, poor you. let me start by saying that i'm not going to be much help at all but at least i can offer sympathy. dd3 is 4mths 3wks and like your ds, was an absolute dream sleeper til the last month or so. for 6 nights out of 7 she would go from 8-9pm til 5-6ish, have a quick 10-min feed then back to sleep til 7am.

not any longer! last night she woke for feeds every 1 1/2 hours or so. and overall 2 nights are never the same, as you say, it's completely haywire. i don't think she is ready to be weaned and from what you say it doesn't sound like your ds is either.... oh god i wish i had some answers for both you and me - i'm so tired after lokking after ds1&2 in the day (almost 4 and 2.4) that i just feed her because i know she will go back to sleep.

not sure about sleep training a 5 mth old really. we did gina ford with ds1 when he was about 11mths because his sleeping was abysmal and it worked, but tbh i can't imagine doing it now. i'm aware that there are lots of different types of sleep training tho', and i'm no expert. not much help am i?

could you try (if you haven't already) feeding him lying down? i always drift off then in a light doze, but i never feel really 'comfortable' (ie worried about smothering her) til the lo is a bit older.

sorry about lack of caps, am bf dd so typing one-handed. hope someone comes along soon with some good solid advice - really do feel for you! x

snickersnack Fri 05-Sep-08 20:07:56

Lots and lots and lots of sympathy - when ds was doing this I also found it hard to go back to sleep, and it killed me. I think it was a hormonal thing, it seems to have settled down now.

First of all, if he's waking at those random times I'd say he's definitely hungry. So probably in your shoes I'd feed rather than not feed. But you know him best.

Is there any chance you could leave him with someone for a couple of nights if you're not breastfeeding so you can catch up on some sleep?

In terms of you being able to go to sleep afterwards - have you tried a relaxation tape? Apparently quite helpful. And tried the usual things like avoiding caffeine in the afternoon? Or perhaps try asking your doctor? In my case, it was definitely linked, in part, to stress and anxiety about ds's waking. Once I accepted it, hellish though it was, I at least could go back to sleep when he woke repeatedly.

As for sleep training, it's really your call. There are quite gentle variants you could try, like gradual withdrawal. I was far too much of a wimp to do it with either of mine until about 12 months, when in both cases a night of controlled crying seemed to more or less do the trick. But I couldn't have done it when they were smaller...

pudding25 Fri 05-Sep-08 22:51:38

I am with you in the unable to sleep after a feed. I am exactly the same.
However, I think he is probably now waking up out of habit and does nor need all these feeds.

CC could work if you are able to do it.

Or you could try what we have just done to get rid of dd's dummy (she is nearly 4mths).
I sat with her for 20 mins and stroked her head, held her hand (you could pick up if it would help), left for 5 mins, went back for 10 mins, left for 10 mins etc etc until she went back to sleep. I never had to do it for very long. I don't know if this would work for your situation but could be worth a try.

If your ds is eating lots during the day and at dreamfeed, he should not need so many feeds at night. It sounds like he is relying on your boob to go back to sleep just like dd was relying on her dummy. I was just like you, waiting for her to wake again and not getting back to sleep. She was waking several times at night. Although I would only feed her once, I had to go and put dummy back. They are both a prop.

pudding25 Fri 05-Sep-08 22:51:45

I am with you in the unable to sleep after a feed. I am exactly the same.
However, I think he is probably now waking up out of habit and does nor need all these feeds.

CC could work if you are able to do it.

Or you could try what we have just done to get rid of dd's dummy (she is nearly 4mths).
I sat with her for 20 mins and stroked her head, held her hand (you could pick up if it would help), left for 5 mins, went back for 10 mins, left for 10 mins etc etc until she went back to sleep. I never had to do it for very long. I don't know if this would work for your situation but could be worth a try.

If your ds is eating lots during the day and at dreamfeed, he should not need so many feeds at night. It sounds like he is relying on your boob to go back to sleep just like dd was relying on her dummy. I was just like you, waiting for her to wake again and not getting back to sleep. She was waking several times at night. Although I would only feed her once, I had to go and put dummy back. They are both a prop.

HolidaysQueen Sat 06-Sep-08 09:28:55

Thanks - it's nice to know i'm not alone, even if it's not nice that you guys can't sleep either. I think I've caused the problem really - if I just feed him quickly he goes back down without a murmur and I don't really wake up so can get back to sleep more easily, so it's been easier all round if I do that - but it's started to get worse for both of us the past month so I need to do something about it now I think.

He woke at 2.30 and then 4.30 last night. I tried to do a short breastfeed at 2.30 as he'd guzzled a 7oz bottle at 11.30 so I figured it was just a comfort thing but he then woke properly hungry at 4.30. He did then go through until 7.30 at least. I dozed fitfully between 2.30 and 4.30, but at least it was better than being wide awake, and then miraculously I slept easily after 4.30. DH got him up so I got an extra half hour of dozing in this morning.

DH is great, so I might get him to try the comforting. It won't help me sleep as I'll be listening to it all and worrying smile but it might help break the bf need in DS.

I don't mind so much if he wakes at 4-5am - I get a decent chunk of sleep and I can understand he might need food then. But 2-3 hours after a 7oz bottle seems more like comfort, even if he is guzzling the food down then. So I might start with some sort of rule - if it's before 4am then we try comforting, if it's after then he gets a feed.

Not sure I could do cc in the middle of the night just yet - it would be more likely to keep me awake with guilt!!! - but I'll bear that in mind if other things don't work.

Pudding - you may have something on the day time feeds. He feeds very faffily at the moment (breaking off to look at everything)so it's difficult to know if he's really had enough. So I'll try to get every last drop into him today and see if that makes a difference.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now