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My 5 month old is so rubbish at sleeping - help!

(5 Posts)
ZabM Sun 20-Sep-09 19:09:52

Sorry this is long but I'm getting desperate.

My 5 month old is just rubbish at every aspect of sleeping. Since being about 1-2 weeks old she just hasn't slept in the day at all. In the last month we have finally got her into having 1 or if we're lucky 2 20min naps in the day, usually by walking in the buggy or driving in the car, but it takes her 20-30 mins of driving/pushing before she goes and wakes at the slightest thing.

At night she has finally, in the last couple of weeks started being able to be put down in her cot between 8.30 - 9.30 which is an improvement on 1am, but she then wakes every 2 hours demanding a feed and won't go back in her cot. She usually goes to sleep at the breast but then needs to be rocked for 30 minutes if she is to sleep for more than quarter of an hour and then actually putting her down is a a military procedure that more than often goes wrong. She does settle more if put down in our bed but still wakes the same and we don't sleep.

So far we have tried the bedtime routine, baby rice at night, a bottle of formula at night, just putting her down and letting her cry - but not for long, and generally losing my temper and shouting, none of which seem to be working. I am just about surviving on 5 hours of broken sleep a night but how long is this going to last? Any ideas please?

She is of course happy and gorgeous all day long despite no sleep, unlike her Mum.

woodforthetrees Sun 20-Sep-09 19:20:26

How do you feel about putting her down and leaving her to see what she does - I'm sure you've tried everything but sometimes if they're left to their own devices they get bored eventually and might nod off.

During the day if you put her in a quiet dark room does that help ? Maybe she's just very interested and nosey and the slightest thing is distraction - my DS was a light sleeper and he would though sleep really well during the day in a very very dark room - the length he slept got better as he got older.

I have a DD who is 3 months older than yours. She was a really sleepy baby but as I had my DS she got used to getting a bit grumpy and had to learn to go off a s DS is demanding to say the least.

Would she benefit from a comforter to help her off - DD I found liked a muzzy to suck and now won't go off without one ?

Re the feeding, are you b/f? I was formula so when the night feeding seemed to be going on too long I would water down feeds but you might want to get more "expert" advice on the boob separation with your DD.

Gosh it's all hard - I think the key though is that if you try something new then stick to it for about a week for it to take effect. It won't work overnight. Maybe get a plan going to put her down at the same time for a quick nap in the morning every day and get her up at the same time and then a longer sleep post lunch.

Is she heavy and drinking milk well? Are you thinking of weaning her soon ?

Sorry, not many answers but just trying to think of something to help !!

Niecie Sun 20-Sep-09 19:24:33

I am sorry you are having a tough time. My DS1 was very much like this and it is hellish at the time. He did sort himself out eventually but it was 10mths before he slept through the night and 12 mths before he had a proper daytime nap.

Baby rice probably won't work, despite what our parents might tell us - it doesn't have as many calories as milk and so won't fill your DD up any more than milk.

She is too young for controlled crying or crying it out. That isn't recommended, even by those who think it works (it didn't for us) before 6 mths.

I am sure you have tried everything practical but make sure you don't change nappies unless you have to, keep the light as low as possible, don't speak if possible.

Do you have a DP/DH? Since your DD is taking a bottle of formula could you get him to cope with one night a week, whilst you slept elsewhere, spare room or sofa. It would make things more bearable if you get some uninterupted sleep.

Or perhaps you could banish him to the spare bed occasionally and, if your DD sleeps slightly better in your bed, you might get some more sleep if he isn't in the bed too. You and your DD will have more room. It worked for me.

I never mastered the ability to feed lying down but that can help too if you can at least doze whilst she feeds.

Finally, are you sure she isn't in pain with colic or something similar? Does she cry all night or just not sleep but appears happy enough?

I really do feel for you. At the time if feels like it will never end but it does I promise.

ZabM Sun 20-Sep-09 19:45:52

Thanks a lot, I'll try the muzzy and maybe let her cry a little longer with it and settle herself. I might try weaning her too, if the baby rice isn't likely to help.

I don't think she's in any pain, she just wants to be cuddled all the time, and she's a little pudding, so no worries there. thanks for the encouragement.

woodforthetrees Mon 21-Sep-09 21:42:21

It will settle down ZabM - we have gone through patches of funny phases and then all of a sudden she'll sleep really well day and night. Alsorts can keep them awake or make their sleep thing a bit erratic at this stage. I usually find that as soon as DD settles down DS (3.3 years) decides that waking at 3am is a good idea !!

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