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Advise me please before I lose all sense of reason!

(27 Posts)
Indith Sat 25-Jul-09 10:56:55

Dd is 7 months, she has never really slept. I know that it is normal, I know that it will happen one day but I am not coping.

I am ratty and horrible, I feel depressed, I have no patience with ds and keep snapping at him, shouting at him, sticking him in front of cbeebies and generally getting annopyed with the way he is when he is just being a toddler and not a particularly bad one either. I am also being horrible to dh, shouting at him, talking to him like he stupid, ppicking holes in everything. I can see what I am doing but I can't seem to get a grip on it. I think/hope it is sleep deprivation related rather than pnd as on the rare occasions I have had a good night I have felt completely different.

As a general rule I am one of those AP co-sleeping types. However, dd did not really do co-sleeping, she liked her own bit of space and so for the first 6 months slept in a sidecar. When co-sleeping she woke every 30-45 mins, had a 2 hour playtime between 12/1 and 2/3am and then woke for the day at 5am. I got more sleep during growth spurts as at least then she just fed and slept! We kicked her out at 6 months and things have improved a little in that she doesn't have playtime overnight!

We've just had SF so she is just getting back to "normal" after that but typically she goes to bed at 6.30 and wakes at 9 then pretty much hourly until 2.30/3 when she will sleep until 5 then sometimes she will go back to sleep until 6.30. The past couple of nights she hasn't been hungry at all, she falls asleep again the instant her mouth hits breast but if dh tries to settle her she screams and screams. Before the SF we were having more success with dh settling her so hopefully she will go back to that but I don't know how to get back to that without screaming.

I just have no idea what to do, everything seems to involve huge amounts of screaming (and we've tried NCSS methods).

I need to sleep, I need to get her sleeping as it is affecting my relationship with the whole family including her and I can't go on like that. I know there isn't a magic solution but I feel like I need someone to hold my hand and set out a plan for me to follow for a few nights.

MomOrMum Sat 25-Jul-09 17:47:04

Indith - Hi from the Dec 08 thread! Can only post very quickly now as I am on the slowest dial up internet in history, but more later. Just to say...I am in the same boat. Am alternating between feeling great (after a rare good night) and feeling like I have PND and getting so angry with DS in the small hours that I am shouting at him. I am trying to formulate a plan, but then think he has teething pain (did cut a tooth last week and think another on the way), or is actually hungry, etc., etc. I am constrained by the fact that I am staying with my parents until September so trying to keep noise to a minimum. But let's embark on a plan together! Also, join the 6 month sleep threat if you haven't already as there are others in the same situation there.

Indith Sat 25-Jul-09 18:21:59

Thanks MOM

shootfromthehip Sat 25-Jul-09 18:38:44

I had this problem with my DD and I had to stop feeding her at night ad deal with the fall out. If she is on solid food (and I await being shot down for what I am about to say) but she should be able to sleep through the night without being fed. I know how hard it is to stop feeding during the night as it is the quickest, easiest thing to get them back over but it becomes as much for comfort as it does for food imo.

You need to pack her full of food during the day- are you feeding on demand, if so maybe you could structure her feeds. That way you can settle her back to sleep by patting/ stroking/ singing etc. Once you have broken the back of the not feeding thing then you can work on the night waking. And you DH can help too if it is no longer a food 'ishoo'. You can think about it in terms of you not getting any sleep anyway, so not feeding her is not going to make it any worse.

I had a really dood HV (!!!- I know) who gave me the confidence to get my DS sleeping through at 4 1/2 mths despite being a bf baby. Any I had to drop the night feeds to make it happen.

Good luck- my DH and I nearly split up with DD as the lack of sleep was KILLING me and turning me into someone I didn't recognise, never mind like!!!

Indith Sun 26-Jul-09 14:03:03

Argh!

I Am trying to cut down on the night feeding, I am reluctant to stop completely as I don't think it unreasonable at all for her to still need a couple of feeds but I certainly I think I do need ot be more aware of her needs during the day as I've been losing the plot a bit and constantly offering as she is quite crabby due to lack of sleep so of copurse she never really feeds well and we end up in one huge, frustrated, overtired mess at the end of the day!

She woke at 8 for the first time last night, dh went to her and settled her but she woke eleventy million times during the evening then again at 9.30. We'd decided on no feeding before 10 (as a reasonable dream feed going to bed time for me) and then try to make it until 4 if possible. Obviously flexible depending on if she is actually hungry etc. She screamed until 10 as dh tried to settle her, fed her back down (but she wasn't bothered about actually feeding). Then it gets to be a bit of a blur as ds was unsettled too for some reason and kept waking up. Then dd was screaming her head off at 2.30 and ds was having trouble getting back to sleep so I ended up feeding dd to get her quiet so ds could sleep! Then ds had a night terror, then he was up again at 5 and inconsolable having had a nightmare and would go back to sleep even with us and the noise woke dd again who then did a massive poo and decided it was morning.

We are moving house soon, I think it may be a lot easier to wait until then as it has a loft room so we can sort dd without disturbing ds. We really want to be able to have them sharing a room though. Plus I really need it sorted by the end of August as dh is having a knee op then and will not be mobile for quite a while so I will be doing everything for him and the children.

Indith Sun 26-Jul-09 20:50:09

Please talk to me

Dd woke at 8.30 and is screaming. Dh is dealing with her. She has napped well today, was happy at bedtime, has eaten and fed well. She just always starts waking up from 8 onwards.

Indith Sun 26-Jul-09 20:53:25

Please?

Indith Sun 26-Jul-09 20:57:00

Still screaming

Owls Sun 26-Jul-09 21:09:33

Oh I'm sorry it's so hard isn't it.

Have you tried feeding again? <clutching at straws> I feel for you. sad

MomOrMum Mon 27-Jul-09 02:54:03

Okay - a bit late now, and still on horrendous slow dial up internet but....in our house evening wake ups generally mean overtired during the day or discomfort (e.g. teeth). But if she napped well today and you don't think teeth, could it be that the flu episode has left her with a major boob addiction? I.e., she was unwell and upset and boob comforted her and now every time she comes into light sleep she looks for boob?

One thing I am learning is that new "habits" come on very quickly; a couple of days is such a long time in the life of our 7 month olds. So, in my case, I used to be able to soothe DS in his cot if he woke in the evenings, which he was doing loads in the past couple of months. I would go in, pat pat, he would go back off. Last week he was teething and uncomfortable and my mom suggested picking him up and cuddling because he was really not settling with patting in the cot anymore, so I did. He will now NOT go back to sleep unless I pick him up...literally after one or two days of doing this, he now wants to be picked up every time he wakes. As soon as I pick him up and shh, he goes limp and I can put him back down (in the evening that is, after midnight forget it).

I really feel for you, Indith. Especially with two. I am not coping and I only have the one. It is completely reasonable that you are at the end of your tether and now need improvements in sleep. I spent today in floods of tears all day, feeling like such a failure with my entire family looking on as DS screamed and wouldn't nap. And I am exactly the same in the way I am treating DH and I hate myself for it. I have venomously shouted at him and called him a moron more than once in the last couple of months. sad

So, if you think that DD is not unwell and not in pain you could try something more drastic than NCSS like pick up/put down. We had to do this at the beginning of June to get rid of hourly wake ups and a major dummy addiction. It worked. There was screaming, but we were there with him the whole time and we cracked it in 2-3 days. Now we are just left with a couple of wakings in the evenings (most days) and usually 2 wakings between 11 and 5 (though sometimes more).

FWIW, here is my current "plan" (ha ha ha).

1. In September cut out night feeds altogether when DS is about 9 months. He is taking to BLW really well, so by September I hope I will feel confident that he can get enough calories during the day.

Between now and September, I am trying to:

1. Not have him fall asleep on the boob at bedtime. I am trying to read stories after BF at bedtime so that he remembers falling asleep in his bed.

2. Bring back the dream feed, which I had stopped doing a month or so ago. This is to try to cut out the 12:30/1:00 feed.

3. Offer water and a cuddle if he wakes anytime before 3:00.

4. If water and cuddles don't work, BF but only one side and gently ease him off after he has stopped properly sucking.

5. Bring him into bed anytime after 5:00 to try to get more sleep for me and him (he has always been a bad co sleeper too, but he will generally sleep until 7:00 if I bring him in with me when he is unsettled after 5:00).

Am sure this is not at all helpful, but just in case. I have my "plan" written down on a tear-soaked piece of paper from the Delta hotel I was staying in last week when I hit rock bottom! Deep down I really believe that his night wakings are tied into hunger (he is massive...95th percentile, if not more now) and the comfort of BFing (fair enough!) and that I need to cut out BF at night before things will improve drastically. I am not happy to do that until 9 months, but I know lots of people who have stopped night feeds much earlier.

I just wanted to write so that you know others are struggling too. I am in a state and I have so little patience now, I am feeling so frustrated with him in the wee hours when he is up loads, I am hissing and shouting at him and it is awful. sad Something has to give.

Here is the link to the 6 months (+++) sleep club. Comiserate with us. And write a plan down on paper...even if you have no chance to follow it, writing it down can make you feel a bit better!
6 month sleep club

Indith Tue 28-Jul-09 11:23:29

Thaks Owls, sorry by the time you posted I had got into a blazing row with dh blush

MoM I like your plan. You sound very in control! Unfortunately all I can come out with when dh asks is "I don't fucking well know" which doesn't bode well.

Habits are formed very quickly it is true (and unfortunately that lasts well into toddlerhood!) We kicked the dummy so well and for a little while it seemed as though it was helping. I don't know what is going on, obviously yes she got used to having hte breast back each time she woke when she was ill and now it is harder but I just can't cope with the levels of screaming if I send dh in.

We were yelling at each other again last night. Ds was very unsettled too for some reason and wouldn't go to sleep then kept asking to come into our bed but not going to sleep, just crying and wimpering and fussing. He woke dd a couple of times, dh got fed up because he wouldn't sleep but wouldn't tell us what was wrong (he isn't great at expressing things like that yet) so he went into ds's bed so I was going between dd who wouldn't resettle and ds who was crying in my bed. Ds eventually went to sleep but dd was screaming her head off so I came down with her. She eventually crashed a couple of hours later, I put her down but getting back into bed set ds off again then dd woke at 5.20 for the day. So all told I got somewhere between 2 and 2 and a half hours and not all in one go.

I think I need to just keep giving her the breast for now until we move, try to get as much sleep as I can then when we move and can put her in the loft where she won't wake ds and vice versa we can tackle it head on.

EustaciaVye Tue 28-Jul-09 13:25:50

Hi Indith,

It's really hard isnt it.

With DD2 when she woke for a feed every night I started to ut her feeds by 1 minute a night. Eg if she fed for 20 mins I cut it to 19 then 18 then 17. By about 10 mins she then stopped waking for feeds.

I'm sure it wont work for all babies but it is worth a try.

EustaciaVye Tue 28-Jul-09 13:26:32

also, dont underestimate the impact that all being ill and moving house can have.

Indith Tue 28-Jul-09 14:40:03

Don't worry I know only too well the impact of moving house! Ds had been sleeping through all perfectly naturally, dropping feeds all by himself and then we moved, was hell for a loooooong time after that!

accessorizequeen Tue 28-Jul-09 19:52:08

God indith, it is bloody hard isn't it? I have been there (only a bit there at the moment luckily) and it's not possible to function on 2 hours sleep. I am an ogre on less than 5 usually (so ogre quite often!).
You know that I have used the sleep clinic round here (don't know if there is such a thing in ur neck of the woods) and she's coming to see me next week too. Gist of it is that some babies have such a hard time settling themselves and fwiw I think girls are worse as I know several like your dd and mine. I think some advice on handling ds would also help you as the 2 are so intertwined. It's actually really hard to keep track of what happens sometimes, I often can't remember if I actually fed either of the dt's or not first thing in the morning (or just calmed then down).

The sleep clinic lady concentrated on getting daytime naps & bedtime routine first so that the association b/t milk and sleep broken. Which is what MOM's said too I think. Lost track of whether that's the issue for you or it's just nighttime wakings now?

My impressions from several visits to sleep clinic over the years are that the calming down in the night (pupd, cc, whatever) is not the solution but to look at the routine across the whole day. Only way to do this is to write it down and get someone else to look at it. It is extremely hard to do this whilst struggling with such a lack of sleep. In your position, I would beg/order/request dh to deal with both of them for one night (express for dd) and go to a friends/hotel for the night. Ask your mum to come up and help/or MIL? Just for a couple of days so that you can get some sleep and start seeing things clearly again. I think you're right about daytime feeds, if she's not getting decent spaced out feeds during the day, the night will be a mess.
I don't think I'm helping much, feeling a bit dopey myself as our nights aren't great b/t dd, ds3 and ds2 who randomly screams just at the point we've managed to get both dt's to sleep!

MomOrMum Wed 29-Jul-09 02:41:31

Oh sweet jesus. If I sound in control it is an illusion. Since I last posted it has all gone even further tits up. We are in the worst patch since he was 3 or 4 weeks old. I am staying with my parents without my DH and I am in my own personal hell. I am currently on the computer while a dinner party is being hosted in my honour downstairs and my DS has been alternating crying and shouting with 10 minute bursts of sleep since bedtime 3 hours ago. Calpol not having even the slightest effect. I am taking him to the doctor tomorrow in case he has an earache or something. My fear is that he has just gotten totally off kilter with us travelling and me doing anything to keep the peace in other people's homes (boob, rocking to sleep, etc.) and I don't know how to get back to where we were.

Indith Wed 29-Jul-09 14:56:59

MOM I hope you got some sleep. The travelling must be so difficult.

Thanks AQ. I called the HV today and she is going to get someone to come round and told me to keep in touch. I think I'm going to lose her when we move though as we are oging to the other side of Durham, do hope I get a good one after the move as she is a star.

I think ds is just between needing anap and not needing one so today I have woken him after a decent nap but not let him sleep for hours so we shall see. Hopefully he is rested enough to not have terrors but not so much he refuses to sleep!

Dd's feeds have been better today, amazing how forcing yourself to pay attention for a coupl eof days can just knock feeds back into place like that. She had a good nap this morning and is currently having another good one but both times I got her to sleep in the sling and then put her down. I can't get her down in her bed at all, or rather it takes 45 mins of patting etc while she screams and I can't exactly leave ds downstairs alone for that length of time (yesterday I went to the loo and he had his cars under the grill, the gas on and was pressing the ignition button. Good job it is a shit grill that takes ages to ignite)

Aha dd awake. Pretty good timing, that should make her tired but not in meltdown mode for bedtime.

Leedsmumof1 Wed 29-Jul-09 15:17:53

Just to sympathise. I am in a very similar position with dd (6mo), though I just have the one. For us the 'answer' is co-sleeping, which means she, I and DH get some reasonable sleep, though not in the combination I would prefer smile. Unfortunately have just been to the clinic and made to feel like the world's worst mother for co-sleeping ("are you aware of the dangers?") so not feeling too good about that at the moment sad. Hope tonight is better for you.

MomOrMum Wed 29-Jul-09 15:32:01

Just found his second tooth has cut through, so maybe possibly an explanation for the shocker nights?! Well, nights have been hell for a week now (from the steady state of very miserable) so if it is a week per tooth then I have only 18 more hellish weeks in my future, correct? Not to mention the additional bad nights for illness, developmental milestones, etc. Hoorah.

MomOrMum Thu 30-Jul-09 00:17:27

BTW, Indith...definitely just keep giving the boob for now as long as you are able to cope. Despite my beautiful plan, I am pretty much deploying boob judiciously for now...clicking into survival mode! We too ditched the dummy about 6 weeks ago and I was so happy about how well it was going. Now I have had moments where I think I should just give it back. But for now, my "plan" when I can face it, and boob otherwise!

castlesintheair Thu 30-Jul-09 09:58:27

Hi Indith, just checking have you ruled out reflux (could it be the silent version aka DD1) or anything else that is bothering her physically? Friend's DD had a dodgy spine (nothing serious just needed a bit of osteopath tweaking) which became really noticeable at 6 months as it prevented her from sleeping.
Does she sleep a lot in the day? Can you start getting a bit strict about that (like Lennied says) and get her into a routine which is easier to enforce, as this will defo have a knock-on effect during the night.
In the meantime, take all the help you can get esp if it means you having a sleep during the day.
I descended into the pit of PND with DD1 and her screaming/non-sleeping so keep an eye on it smile

Indith Sun 02-Aug-09 11:11:14

Right. So on Thursday a lovely lady came round sent by the HV to talk about sleep. She was really fab, she stayed for an hour, read stories to ds when dd decided she was shattered so that I could get her off to sleep, listened and told me I was doing everything right in terms of what she ate, feeding on demand, bedtime routine etc. It was very good to have someone say that it is ok to do something about it and take away some of the guilt. She also brought home to me how little time we have before dh's operation so we made the decision to start tackling it now rather than when we move. She also said that in her experience it is good to start in the daytime with naps so that by the time you get to that night you've already done it twice and also during the day you don't feel as desperate as you are not losing sleep yourself. She did accept though that with a toddler around you cna't spend an hour upstairs so do it "properly" when you cna for naps but otherwise just do what you have to do to get her to sleep.

So we started yesterday, she went down fairly quickly with me just sitting with her for her nap, once she got over the fact that she had been put down she just kept raising her head to look at me then putting it back down to suck her thumb and the length of time between looks got longer and longer. She was out of the house for other sleeps. Bedtime she went down fine as usual then woke at 7.40. Dh went and sat with her, sometimes patting and talking to her and she went back to sleep after a while. Dh is sleeping in with her for a while and I am not allowed in unless he asks me to come in. She carried on waking at her usual intervals but it wasn't that bad. I fed when she woke at about 10.45 (targets are not before 10 then not before 4). She got better and easier to settle during the night until it was just fussing rather than screaming. She went back to sleep after a fuss just before 4 then didn't wake until 6.30! so she only fed once in the night! She then had a lovely morning feed. She went back down for a nap with only a little screaming after another decent feed and slept for a couple of hours!

So so far so good, hopefully tonight will be the same or better. I'm hoping that she will just stop waking for the breast once she works out that she isn't having it.

LenniEd Tue 04-Aug-09 20:43:24

How is it going now? Was last night any better?

MomOrMum Tue 04-Aug-09 21:12:20

Indith, that is great news. Well done you for dealing with it directly. I want to try the same once we get back home in September (don't think I can commence sleep training while staying with people!). Did the sleep person say what to do if they don't wake around 10? Any wakes before about 12:30 or 1:00 my DS will go back to sleep with a few pats, so we wouldn't have an opportunity for that 10:00 pm feed. I wonder if I would just perservere until 4 am with no feed, or if I should introduce a feed at 10 pm?

Good luck and hope it continues to get better for you!

Indith Fri 07-Aug-09 08:36:02

Hello

Well since starting we have had 2 good nights, 2 dreadful ones (not screaming just constant waking and fussing) and 2 ok ones so hopefully onwards and upwards.

MOM the feeding times are my personal targets so if she wakes before 10 dh settles her, the first waking after 10 I feed her and then I don't feed again until the first waking after 4. I'm hoping that as she gets used to not feeding and not waking up in general she will then just wake up when she actually needs a feed. So for example night before last she woke a million times during the evening but then once she had stopped trying to crawl around her cot grin she went back to sleep around 9 and didn't wake til 12 so that was when I fed her.

She is still waking a lot in the evenings which is really annoying as it just makes us both on edge but I think the nights are improving, she is settling easily without milk which is great.

The days have seen a massive improvement which is really great, the knock on effect has been that she's fallen into a lovely pattern in the day and is feeding much better and is also napping well (apart from today clearly as she has just woken up in a grump after a piddling half hour when she has been doing an hour and a half and waking up singing). All in all pretty good, I might let dh come back to bed! I must say I ahve been sleeping through a lot of the grumbling and in general sleeping much better as since dh is in the room with her I am not on alert all the time to hear her so I am actually switching off which feels bloody brilliant!

Just hope it continues when we move house.

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