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14 months of sleep deprivation

(7 Posts)
NobbyD Tue 15-Sep-09 09:50:41

I have posted many times on here and usually about the same thing and I'm not sure what I am hoping to get out of this one but sometimes just writing it down helps...

My 14month ds just does not sleep. I am exhausted. I work full time and get on average 4 hours sleep a night and thats not always consecutive. He has slept through on occassions but prob for a total of a week in over a year.

He's had his molers come through and he was waking every 2 hours or so screaming. Sometimes a cuddle, nurofen etc would get him to sleep but he'd just wake again in a couple hours and more unhappy so we'd give milk. He's now got up to having about 2 (sometimes 3) bottles of milk in the night. Its awful - I feel so bad as I feel I am over feeding him. He wakes up soaking wet too! But nothing else works.

Could this really still be teething problems after all this time? Could something else be making him this distressed at night? He is so happy and bouncy full of life during the day that its hard to accept teething as the problem as it only occurs at night.

I am typing this at work so badly wanting to go to sleep. I fear that I will lose my job as I am always so tired.

Someone also suggested using liquid anti histemine(sp?) as it has a drowsy affect - used it and he still woke several times a night!!!!

I know people say it will pass, but I'm on 14 months of sporadic night wakings and still not getting better so am finding it hard to believe that it will change.

eggontoast Tue 15-Sep-09 10:06:03

I am not convinced that you will easily be able to come up with the solution yourself, reading your thread.

It appears to me that you could end up/are so tired and ill yourself that you cannot find a way to solve the issue. If I were in your position, I would go to the doctors. I am not sure what exactly they can do, but it may help? I am sorry if not!

If you are thinking of medicating using anti histamine, you should consult your doctor; they may prescribe a safer sleep aid designed for purpose.

When my three month old would not sleep for more than 20 mins at a time and woke in the night for over 2 hours at a time, I kicked my husband out, moved the quilt and pillows and co slept. My husband came back when child was one year old and we are all three of us still in one bed, child is nearly 3! I was desperate at the time and needed a quick fix as I was hallucinating through lack of sleep. It is not what I set out thinking would be the way we would sleep though!

I hope you find a solution before it has a serious detrimental effect on your life though. Happy mums, happy babies, happy families.

OmniDroid Tue 15-Sep-09 10:30:56

Can I agree with eggontoast, and say go to the Dr or your HV, and ask for some help.

My DS (3.6) was very like your DS sounds.

Please try and get some help, it can take years and years to resolve otherwise.

We saw HVs and were referred to a paediatrician for DS's sleep problems. All anyone would suggest was controlled crying. We tried it - full on, wholeheartedly, following all the rules - and it was a disaster, and didn't work at all. We were given the details for a sleep clinic, but were told by our HV that they would only suggest CC as well. So we dealt with it at home, by co-sleeping. Anti-histamines didn't work for us either.

Nothing changed (DS woke every 3 hours, if we were lucky, freqently more often) until he was over 3 years old. I had an average of 5 hours of broken sleep a night, and about 4 nights ever when he 'slept through'.

Throughout this, I worked 3 days a week in a demanding job, was an emotional and exhausted wreck, and still have to discover what harm I have done to my career and reputation at work (I'm on maternity leave with DD at the moment).

Sorry it is a negative story, but exhaust your options with the professionals before you give in - we didn't and DS still wakes regularly. His 6 month old sister is a better sleeper.

duedec2 Tue 15-Sep-09 12:11:18

The advice to seek professional advice - from a doc or health visitor - sounds good; here is just a v. amateur thought ...

When my baby wakes in the night, wanting comfort, he sometimes sounds incredibly unhappy. Wildly distressed even. Maybe he is (I give him the benefit of the doubt) but it's definitely in part at least because he is used to getting comfort and that is how he gets it ... I'm sure there's a link between my responses and his continued waking (well, obviously: I respond because I don't want him to feel abandoned). I suppose the point of CC is to break that link and opposed as I am in theory to leaving a baby to cry, it's got to be right to teach them to sleep at night once they are beyond the vulnerable baby stage if necessary and you sound exhausted. I'm trying to find a way to do it a bit more gently than CC myself but to be honest CC varies so much that it's not helpful to have an opinion on it one way or the other (a friend of mine got her baby sleeping through in one month by having a 4 minute maximum ... rather than 15-20 minutes and three nights). V different - still "CC" I suppose.

Anyway, I think you sound like a brave and brilliant mum and that you should cut yrself some slack, with CC or something like it. It's an unhelpful term, but taking away the things yr baby is waking for (= eventual non-waking) will result in some crying and only you can determine how much is fair. So if a health visitor suggests CC perhaps don't dismiss it. The Jay Gordon article people opposed to CC often cite is useful too. In his hippy programme babies cry as they learn. I think he has a website.

Have convinced myself writing this!

GOOD LUCK

NobbyD Tue 15-Sep-09 12:44:04

Thank you for your responses.

I have been thinking about the Doc route but I just know they will tell me that nothing is wrong, its probaby teething and to go away.

dudec2 - I did actually do the CC route when he hit 8months and I was going back to work. It took 3 nights. First night was 45mins, second 2 hours and 3rd about half hour and that was it, through the night! 4 days later it started all over again. I tried it again but it sounded different, something was wrong. He got ill, had thrush in the mouth, conjunctivitis and molers all in one. So I felt it cruel to leave him to cry through all that.

If I thought it was habit I would go back to the CC route as I know it worked last time. However, this time would be so much harder as he will stand up, reach out and even shout mummy through his tears. That I find impossible to ignore. Plus he is just uncontrollable to the point of thrashing himself about and making himself sick unless he's calmed down.

I don't know, maybe I Am just making excuses for him all the time?

duedec2 Tue 15-Sep-09 15:10:02

Oh sorry - I did wonder if you had tried CC but banged on anyway.

How about if you did it more gently this time? Calmed him down every 4-5 minutes or so? More like pick up-put down? I know it would take longer but it might be easier on you emotionally. Or put a mattress next to his cot and soothe him somehow (saying shush?)without picking him up? Then you wouldn't be ignoring him but yr response wouldn't be worth waking up for (unlike a bottle or a proper cuddle).

I'll shut up now as I am totally inexperienced. But it does seem to me that CC is sometimes too prescriptive (it doesn't have to be sorted in 3 days- there must be gentler, kinder ways of enforcing sleep)

floaty Thu 17-Sep-09 19:17:09

Sorry,not sure why I am on this thread but followed from your AIBU thread,and really feel for you.I don't think you will solve this whilst working full time because you are just too tired,how about taking a couple of weeks off ,keeping him in a routine at nursery and catching up on your sleep yourself (you are no use to him if you are feeling so exhausted and your health is just as important)and tackleing the nights with a fresher mind.Even consider getting GP to sign you off with exhaustion.

Following on from your thread about MIL wht not see if during this period DP and MIL can settle him and you spend the night at MIL comming back early in the morning.

Only suggestions ,just really feel for you

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