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Struggling with very broken sleep!

Discussion in 'Parenting' started by ladymarm, Mar 3, 2012.

  1. Any advice? 9 month old on the 75th centile so not small and breastfeeding but having 3 good meals a day. Still getting up 3 times a night to feed/placate/ponder on how to get her to sleep through. Won't take a bottle.
    I dread controlled crying but I really am desperate. The hv advocates cc but no other real solutions for me.i have had one nights sleep in 9 months! i do have issues AROUND HER crying as she was very ill when born and i associate her crying with being in pain and don't ever let her cry really. i am there like a shot day and night but it's taking it's toll and frankly i am pretty miserable which is such a shame for both of us and my partner.
    She is teething but not unhappy i don't think. v cheerful in the day, 3 regular naps in the day and when she wakes at night doesn't really want to feed anymore but breaks off to 'chat' (I try to ignore!). I'm so tired I feel ill and actually fell over today! it is a beautiful day but all i can think about is when i can go to bed next.
    Nights hVE ALWAYS BEEN MY DOMAIN. Partner has v physical job with dangerous machinery and early starts so it's always been like this but I am getting very resentful and back to work in 3 mnoths which i cannot do on this little sleep. Heeeeellllllllllp i am going insane.
     
  2. 9 months is tough - it was on a par if not worse than the 4 month regression for us. Do you think she may need to drop a nap? Are you able to get any more sleep with her in with you? That was pretty much our only way through it combined with some early nights and OH taking her off on weekend mornings (I was back at work too). Things improved just before her first birthday and now at 14 months we've had one night of 7 til 7!(woo!) and lots of only one wake up - night before last the first wake up wasn't til 5 which was great. Sorry I can't offer anything more practical - sleeping through the night is developmental and though you can try to 'force' it earlier she will find her way in the end :)
     
  3. Hi Ladymarm.
    DD is 4.5 months and exclusively bf (refuses to take a bottle). She has fed every 3 hours (start to start), morning and night, since birth. I know how you're feeling - being sleep deprived is like torture and impacts on everything else. I had a really low week a couple of weeks ago where she was waking every hour and a half. I started to feel ill, cried every time anybody casually asked 'how are you?', and I left the electric hob on twice after cooking the dinner.
    Here are the things we have put in place to make life easier.
    -> I also dread cc and even at my lowest point realised I just couldn't do it. I can't stand to hear her cry. I bought the 'No Cry Sleep Solution' http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-No-Cry-Sleep-Solution-Foreword/dp/0071381392/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1330777736&sr=1-1 but have to admit that I haven't put it into practise yet as I'm just too tired. It's got lots of practical advice which I could see working if I could just get myself in gear and give it a go. Maybe it would work for you?
    -> Like bunique, we also co sleep. We bought a co sleep cot from Mothercare (can't seem to find it on the website now) which means I can feed dd without either of us having to wake fully.
    -> The best thing for us has been the introduction of an evening walk. After her feed which falls between 7 and 9, hubby takes her for a quick walk which seems to get her into a deeper sleep. She occasionally goes 4 hours after her walk which means I get 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep (BLISS). One night she even went 6 HOURS which is a complete miracle! Of course, this does mean that me and hubby barely see each other through the week. However, in the balance of things, me feeling less like a zombie mummy is more important. We just make sure we spend lots of time together as a family at weekends.
    I hope things get better for you. I've been keeping everything crossed that when I wean DD at 6 months she'll start sleeping better ...although after reading the posts by you and bunique I am not exactly filled with hope! [​IMG]
    Bumbly
     
  4. I know you are against it, but I would recommend giving CC a go. We were dead against it too, and tried everything we could think of but we were so wrecked after a year of broken nights that we had to do something for our sanity. And lets be honest, if you're ready for a full nights sleep - then LO probably is too!
    We ensured that she had eaten lots of food, had lots of fresh air and 'exercise' - once they are crawling or walking they get more tired anyway - made sure she wasn't unwell or teething and just went for it. She cried for about 40 mins the first night, 20 mins the second and that was it! She then slept through for 11 hours! We were amazed at how quickly it worked and kicked ourselves for not trying it sooner. However, I think we were all ready for it mentally and physically so it happen quickly for us.
    LO is now 18 months and we sometimes still get wakeups, and when she's waking lots because she's ill, we have to wait for her to get better and go thro the whole process again, which is rubbish! However, I feel much more human because I'm rested. It's short term pain for long term gain! Plus, my OH has got the nice girl back that he had a baby with, rather than the scary sleep deprived monster I had become. So everyone is happy! x
     
  5. Btw, I exclusively bfed too so I was doing the feed back to sleep thing thro the night. I would say it's really important to break that link, maybe give her her last feed before her bath? Good luck!
     
  6. Completely understand why CC is something you are very unsure of, particularly given early experiences. It was all that worked for us in similar circumstances, though. We had experience a bit like the poster above - it was tough and a bit heartbreaking at times - but it worked and she sleeps mostly through when not ill. In my view it was short term harder for her but long term means she is far better rested and not feeling upset in the night - she became better at settling herself and would be heard chatting to herself during wakeful bits rather than getting upset and needing comfort.
    Not to say it's best for everyone, but for us it felt like the way forward.
     
  7. My LO is 12 months and for me CC hasn't been a good solution but I think partly due to the fact that often when LO's sleep is at its worst, he is teething or ill so of course, CC won't work then. I am sure CC is a great solution for many babies but guess it depends why they are waking up. I feel your pain. At the moment, we have been having a minimum of 5 get ups this week and I'm shattered. Working is really hard when you are so tired. One thing that helped us months ago when I needed LO to drop the 3am feed was the Gina Ford trick of giving LOs a beaker with cooled boiled water with 1 tsp of sugar. You only do it for a week but it worked and he had dropped that feed within the week. Sadly, things went horribly wrong for us about 7 months. I don't know why - teething has been bad and illnesses didn't help. Good luck.
     
  8. Hi Ladymarm
    I can feel your pain - my LO, at 14.5 months, still isn't sleeping through. Never has done - and I sometimes think, never will do!
    As you will see from a thread I started, we are having new 'challenges' connected with sleep, that is driving me bonkers.
    Unfortunately I can't help with how to get them to sleep through - my OH wouldn't let us do controlled crying. So, as a result, it's no wonder that we still give our LO a bottle at sleep times - and sometimes she can drink a cow's worth of milk (she's now on cow's milk) throughout the night.
    I do work full time and long days - 10-12 hours a day at school (not through choice) and on little sleep it is hard. But you get used to it. All I would say is that you won't be able to be the only one to deal with LO at night and do a full days work so although your OH works with machinery, perhaps he could do the early night shifts with LO say, before midnight and you do the post-midnight bits. You might get more get-ups than him admittedly but at least you can have some 'clocked-off' time before the shift starts!
     
  9. Have been pondering some more today. I second the no-cry sleep solution book as a place to start. I never really implemented anything at the time (I read Naomi Stadlen's book What Mothers Do and it totally changed my own approach to her lack of sleeping amongst othet things, rather than changing anything about her) but there are some lovely ideas on it. What I think has made a bit of a difference for us is that she started to not be fed to sleep regularly anymore but would still be awake after a long boob session so I started putting her down awake, turning on white noise and sitting right next to her cot saying "Time for sleepies baby" whenever she got upset, offering her physical reassurance by rubbing her back or hair, or if she was really distressed picking her up for a cuddle and putting her down when she calmed down. First night took over an hour but other nights when she's not fallen asleep on the boob it's taken much less time - 10-15 minutes. The last week or so when I've done it (she still feeds to sleep a few times a week) there've been no tears at all, and if she stands up in her cot I just say the cue words "time for sleepies" and she throws herself down on the mattress! Maybe a variation on that could work? As LO gets older and develops a bit more understanding I'll begin working on her falling asleep without me there but it's such a short period of time relatively speaking and she'll soon be so independent that I'm happy sticking with it at the mo!
     
  10. Our LO who is 14 months got a twilight turtle for Christmas, it projects stars onto the ceiling and has made a difference to how quickly she settles. She loves staring at it and even when she has woken in the night, we put it back on after a quick cuddle and unless ill she does go back off quickly. We also find any rhythmic stories or poems help her drift off. When all else fails she comes in with us so we all can get some sleep.
     
  11. Ah twilight turtle sounds lovely! Thank you for all your shared experiences. I find it very helpful.
    Wormburger, I am not 'against' cc as such just know that I and OH too will struggle as we associate crying with hunger and pain given our very scary start to parenthood.
    I made a plan last night that when she woke i would feed her but if she woke a second time soon after i would let her chat and hope she went back tosleep or failing that let her cry. I was very lucky that she woke after 6 hours sleep, fed, and then slept for 4 more hours which i think is more than i can expect from her really and was relieved to say the least.
    Thanks for book recommendation bunique, I admire your stamina and wish i was more like you but i do fear we may have to face cc at some point as me and OH are truly horrible people without enough sleep unfortunately. I laughed picturing your LO throwing herself down on the mattress.

    Forgotten who has 5 get ups per night was it jonesec? sorry cant look back, much sympathy. I would be on my knees xx
    Thanks all you ladies you are fab xx
     
  12. I've not read the whole thread but my lo was sleeping 10 to 4am. She now wakes at 2 (still not bad) but if I put some whie noise on she will sleep without a feed. Don't know if you have tried it and it might not work but if our lo isn't really hungry she goes straight back to sleep. Hairdryer sound is even more magic :)
     
  13. She is quite the diva :D glad you had a better night - I sometimes think they sense when we are on our knees and give us a bit of respite. Hope you get a repeat performance tonight!
     
  14. Hi Ladymarm,
    Once again - we have the same problem as you! I am at my wits end so can offer no advice. LO has been in bed with us for a while and only 1 week ago have we all moved into the nursery with me and DP on sofa bed pushed right up to the cot (we have lowered the base of the cot and taken one side off so that we are all on 1 level but it's like an extension of the bed so we have more room). LO seems to know that he is in cot though as he's not settling v well despite sleeping almost next to me. He is still waking 3 times a night and last night 5 times - not all hungry - and he doesn't settle well inbetween feeds (not sure why as he did settle inbetween feeds in our bed). So I'm spending the nights either feeding him or cuddling him back to sleep. I also do not want to do cc - the HV tells me that's the only thing for it - and like you I am not a very nice person without enough sleep and am starting to get annoyed with LO (in my head). LO will also not take a bottle - DP keeps suggesting giving some formula to make sure he's full up but he won't have a bottle so there's no way we could do that. The only thing that works (a bit) lately is trying not to always feed him to sleep and instead lying him on his side and stoking his back. But even then some days he doesn't stay asleep for long - and other times he will. I'm not sure what makes the difference. I'm wondering if I'm not making enough milk for him?
     
  15. If he's having plenty of wet and dirty nappies Lohman then it's very unlikely you're not making enough milk - it's very rare for someone not to :) When you say he's unsettled, how do you mean? Does he seem windy or uncomfortable?
     
  16. Plenty of wet nappies but since starting solids about 4 weeks ago he does not do as many dirty nappies - gone from 2-3 a day to every 3 days (but when he does do one there's a lot or he'll go 2 or 3 times in the same day). He's very whingey and at night after feeding or cuddling back to sleep he's very fidgety and moves his head from side to side and scratches his head and cries a bit (but with his eyes closed as he's asleep but if I left him he would wake and start screaming). I put the scratching down to his bit of eczema but that's a lot better lately so don't know if the scratching is tiredness or frustration. Also in the last 2 days he doesn't seem as interested in solid food and is not eating anywhere near as much as he was. But the whinging has been going on for at least a weel now so don't think it's connected to him being a bit off the solids.
     
  17. sorry, i cant offer any help or advice but just wanted you to know that your not alone! My 10 month old son can be up 6/7 times a night and other nights just a couple of times. Did think it was separation anxiety but now changed my mind! We are bf too as he will not take a bottle and i end up feeding him to sleep sometimes in desperation to get some sleep for myself.
    I have cut his naps down though to two 1 hrs during the day and this has helped a little. So maybe you could play around with her nap times?
    I am becoming adjusted to lack of sleep, as are my year 9 class, who have learnt to understand my slurring when im totally knackered!
    It has helped though knowing others are in my situation though.
    Lohman, is he teething? my LO copies a lot of your sons actions when he is starting, though he tends to pull at his hair too!
     
  18. Thanks all. hhh i have tried to get her to drink from a bottle but been unsuccessful so far. Thanks for the tip though. Watching my bottle feeding friends with babies who sleep really well has sometimes made me want to chuck in the bf I have to admit.
    Lohman, thanks for asking. My LO has slept in a similar pattern the last two nights waking at 1am for a big feedthen sleeping til 6 so feeling more human. Will be in bed early again tonight though as never know what the night will bring. Teething mmm could also try amber anklet/necklace (I don't like idea of necklace because of strangulation I must admit) some swear by it, anbesol gel I have heard good things about.
    fineline pen, I admire you. Don't know how you go to work on so little sleep but i may find out how soon when i go back too...!

     
  19. I know what you mean about the amber ladies! But thought it was worth a mention to poor Lohman as some people like it. My LO has an amber anklet. it arrived in the post day after her first two teeth broke through without her even murmuring so hard to say if it helps. Frankly if Iheard an 'urban myth' to rub onions on her feet Id probably do it for a couple of hours sleep !

    Another ok night here with one feed so no complaints...
     
  20. Hi Ladymarm - really glad that you're having a better time. Last night LO woke 3 times so not good for me. I can go to bed earlier and earlier and still get no more sleep. And I find that if you have a few nights with more sleep and start feeling a bit better - it only takes one bad night to knock you back to feeling awful again. The thing is for me, inbetween waking he is also unsettled. He turns his head from side to side a lot a lets out cries and if I don't see to him his crying gets louder until he is full on awake. When he's turning his head it's as though he's only half asleep and needs me there to reassure him. I gave him some calpol last night after the 11.30 wake up and he didn't seem to keep turning his head after this until he woke again at 1am. So he was more settled after the calpol but only until the next wake up - and then of course, I can't keep giving him calpol. Not sure if the calpol worked because he was in a bit of pain or if it just knocked him out a bit?! I've not heard of these anklet's or turtles but will have a look on the internet to see what they are. I know what you mean about trying anything. I feel the same about bottle feeding - I so wish I'd carried on giving him a bottle from the early weeks. Think I will keep trying.
    When are you back at work? Full time? A colleague of mine still BF's as her's will not take a bottle but she says that she just feeds him up in the evenings and he has solids through the day so it works OK. Think she stuggles with sleep though as well. And she's 0.5 so I guess that helps! Anyway, hope things keep going well xx
     

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