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Old Aug 24th, 2016, 23:11 PM   1
jessmke
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Desperately need help/advice, getting to the end of my tether...


I apologize in advance as this is going to be long and rambly.

My LO has always self settled herself for naps and at bedtime. Sometimes I nurse her before her naps depending on when she last ate, but I always put her down before she falls asleep, as soon as her sucking starts to slow down. At bedtime I nurse her first, then do the rest of her bedtime routine and then put her down awake. Going to sleep has never been an issue, there are rarely, if ever, any tears when falling asleep. I put her down in her crib and leave the room and she takes 5-15 min to get herself to sleep. She does not have a pacifier, we took them away at 6 months old with no issues what-so-ever, but she does have a lovey.

From about 10 weeks old my LO would wake every night 45 min after going to bed crying hysterically. Absolutely nothing would soothe her back to sleep, she was wide awake no matter what we did. She would refuse to nurse so I couldn't even nurse her back to sleep. She wouldn't go back to sleep until 10 or 11 pm, but then be up for the day around 7 or 8 am and would be an over tired mess all day. So after weeks and weeks of spending hours every evening in her room trying to get her back to sleep and adjusting her bedtimes forwards and backwards, we tried some controlled crying. We discovered after about 2 weeks of this that going into her room just made things worse. We started letting her get up and hang out with us for the evening because we just couldn't take the fight anymore. Then one night when she was 7 months old I had just had enough. I needed a few hours without her in the evenings, I was desperate for some time to myself, and I just couldn't handle having an over tired baby all day. So even though I've sworn up and down I would never be able to let her cry it out I did it one night when my OH was away working a night shift. She woke 45 min after going to bed and I watched her cry in the video monitor for almost an hour. I felt like a terrible sociopath because I felt so angry and bitter towards her that I didn't even feel bad about it. I watched her screaming and it didn't affect me at all. I haven't admitted this to anyone in real life because I feel very ashamed at my lack of empathy for her. I literally just felt so angry with her for never giving me a moment of peace that I just watched her crying and felt nothing. Well it worked, she has never since woken 45 min after going to bed.

I am now feeling the same anger and resentment towards her again and I don't know what to do.
My LO has always woken frequently at night. We survived the 4 month sleep regression by co-sleeping and nursing a lot. Even after the regression was over she still woke 2-3 times every night to nurse, but I was able to cope with that. I think we are now in the 8 month sleep regression because she is waking every 20-60 min all night long for the last three weeks, this is so much worse than the 4 month regression. I have to get up and nurse her back to sleep every single time. Co-sleeping no longer works, she cannot sleep in bed with me and wakes even more frequently when she is in my bed. I literally can't move a muscle, I can't even move my head on my pillow without it waking her up. So I have to literally get up out of my bed and go pick her up, she will nurse for about 3-4 min, then put her down and go back to my bed, just to have the whole process repeat in 20-30 min. I cry when I go to bed at night because I know I am in for another night of torture. I realize that sounds dramatic but I honestly feel like I am being tortured. I only get to sleep for 10-15 min before I have to get up with her again. I often cry at night while I sit in her room nursing her back to sleep. I am just so exhausted. My OH would be more than happy to help with night wakings except when he goes in to her at night she just gets more hysterical. When my OH is working day shifts he is gone for 14 hrs a day so I don't feel like it's fair to also make him get up at night with her, and when he is working nights obviously he can't help with night wakings. If I go in at night she is back to sleep within 5 min, if my OH goes in to her she screams for an hour or more until I give up and go in to nurse her. So nights are basically up to me and I just feel like I can't cope anymore. If someone could tell me that this would only last for another week or two then I could manage but I just feel like this sleep deprivation is going to continue forever and I just can't cope.

I wonder if I need to night wean her because she only ever nurses for 3-5 min at night and then is back to sleep (even on a 'good' night when she wakes only twice), so I wonder if she even needs the night calories anymore? I honestly wouldn't mind nursing her once or twice at night, but I feel like she is getting mixed messages if she wakes 10 times at night and I feed her twice but then expect her to fall back asleep in her own the other 8 times. But how do I night wean? The advice I've been given is to decrease the time I allow her to feed my 1 min every few nights, but she only nurses for 3 or 4 min before falling back asleep so that doesn't leave me much room to reduce the time she nurses. I don't feel comfortable letting her CIO because I am sure that after all these months of feeding at night she legitimately feels hungry. I just don't know what to do. I don't know if night weaning is even the answer.

This sleep deprivation is affecting the intimacy in my relationship with my OH because I am just way too tired to even think about being intimate (and we are supposed to be TTC baby #2 this month, ha!) and it is affecting my relationship with my DD because I am too tired to enjoy being around her during the day. Sure we go for walks and to the pool and park and whatnot, but I am just doing those things to fill up the day, I don't actually enjoy seeing her smile on the swing anymore. I am just too tired to enjoy anything at all anymore. I do try to nap during the day while she naps, but I don't feel like that is enough to catch me up on the sleep I am losing at night. I don't think I have a problem with depression because when we do have the odd night where she only wakes once I feel great and happy the next day. I really think it's just sleep deprivation that is making me feel so down and bitter towards my DD.

Please help with any advice. So many people have told me to 'sleep train' her, but all the sleep training stuff I have found online is about getting the baby to fall asleep on her own. She already does that! She has done that basically since birth! I can't find any help on what to do with a baby who falls asleep independently, but then wakes frequently all night long and cannot get back to sleep on her own.



 
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Old Aug 25th, 2016, 02:38 AM   2
noon_child
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I could have written something similar. Not quite at the same age, but I remember so vividly being at the end of my tether making DH share some night waking so only for her to scream for hours until I came and fed her and she'd be zonked in 5minutes, but only for an hour or so. I remember hating her, and while I picked her up and giggled her I was mouthing "I hate you" and silent screaming. Sleep deprivation is the worst. Then there were the night when she refused to even nurse and would scream in my arms for hours too.

I wish wish wish I had some useful advice I really do. I don't remember if anything we did helped or if she got over these periods by herself. I know we tried teething medications and sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't. For a while I thought it might be night terrors, but there's not much one can do about that.

I know you are exhausted but it might be worth trying holding her for longer after the feed, till she is past the point she would usually wake again and see if this settles her in to deeper sleep, which would give you a bigger interval between wake ups. I'm not saying it will work but might be worth trying?



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Old Aug 25th, 2016, 03:39 AM   3
Eleonora
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First of all, my sympathies! Sleep deprivation is definitely the hardest thing and it really changes who you are. It sounds like you have really approached this problem with all your remaining energies and it is unlikely that I can think of anything really useful to help you. I want to say I have a 4-year old who STILL wakes up a lot and a 4 month old who sleeps great so that clearly it is just sometimes all about that individual person and not something you can change. But, on the off chance there is some little condition you could alter and have a better sleeping baby, I'd investigate the circumstances around what might be waking her up. It is great that she goes to sleep initially on her own. Does she then get too hot? I'd really try to make sure this is not a contributing factor because a hot baby definitely doesn't sleep well and is also hard to comfort without making her hotter. I think my baby sleeps better in my bed vs her crib partly because the "safe" mattress in her crib is really firm. It seems silly, but it is a variable maybe you could look into. You could also make sure the room is not too dark, not too light...maybe try white noise. I'm sure you've thought of these things. If I were at the end of my rope, I would start taking melatonin - - first I would take an adult dose and hope a little would go through my breastmilk to the baby and then I would talk to a doctor and find out the right dosage for her directly. And yes, of course in the end, it is just a matter of time before she starts sleeping in longer intervals. Hang in there!



 
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Old Aug 25th, 2016, 07:30 AM   4
Twag
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My DD had this recently and she has now passed it sadly it is the 8/9/10 month sleep regression and it is because she is learning new things - I too was at the end of my tether as I was up all night the same as you and then had to go do a 9 hour day at work (I am an accountant I needed to use some brain but OMG was tired!)

TBH I had all the same thoughts as you about night weening etc and then I read about the sleep regression and realised she is only a baby and this will not last she will go back to sleeping (okay she wakes twice in the night but ah well)
And yes I am tired but I drink some coffee and just deal with it - I don't think I will ever not be tired

Any chance a family member or friend could have her for the day and you get a break?

Sending you BIG



 
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Old Aug 25th, 2016, 08:14 AM   5
gingmg
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I am so sorry, sleep deprivation is awful. It is torturous. It does pass and they go back to sleeping again, but while you are in it, it doesn't feel like it will ever end. 8-10months was by far our worst sleep ever. It was awful. I know you said that your little girl doesn't settle for your husband, but it sounds like you need a break. Could you sleep in another part of the house one night and let your husband and your daughter figure it out together? I did that a few times and I felt so much better after. I slept on the fold out couch downstairs with the AC on, soft music, and took a Benadryl. Just a few hours of solid sleep will make you feel like a new person.



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Old Aug 25th, 2016, 09:38 AM   6
jessmke
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Thanks everyone. Part of me knows that it's the 8/9/10 month sleep regression and I just need to ride it out and do whatever I can to get her back to sleep and survive this. But then there's a niggling voice in my head saying what if it isn't and I am encouraging her waking by getting up and nursing her every time. I am terrified of turning this frequent night waking into a habit. Last night wasn't too bad, she woke every 2 hours so I got a bit of sleep. Her little brain is definitely working on something because I was holding her, her little body was just twitching and her legs wouldn't stop moving. Then she would whimper and cry because she couldn't fall back asleep. Hopefully once she figures out whatever her brain is working on she will sleep again. Who knows, maybe she will start sleeping better than ever!

Our house is pretty small so there isn't really anywhere I could remove myself to where I wouldn't be able to hear her while my OH dealt with her at night. He would probably be happy to send me to a hotel for a night while he dealt with her, but I don't think I would be able to sleep because I would be worried about what was going on at home. If I asked him to he would take her somewhere on one of his days off so I could sleep during the day, but I feel bad doing that. He has been single handedly renovating our house for the last two years, so when he isn't at work he is working sun up to sun down on the house trying to get it finished. He would take a day off to give me a break, but I feel bad asking him to when he has so much left to do. I might have to though because I feel like I am reaching a breaking point.

No matter how little sleep I get I make sure we spend a large part of the day outside walking the dog or going to the park or something. I find being outside makes me feel better even if I am exhausted.



 
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Old Aug 25th, 2016, 13:34 PM   7
jtink28
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I have no advice to give about the sleeping problems, as I have similar ones. But I will say this - if you SO will take the baby somewhere and let you sleep, DO IT. Your SO loves you and doesn't mind one day of taking his child out. You NEED the sleep to be a good mama - he works hard, and SO DO YOU. You need a break too, eh? You will feel so much better after a day of sleep, and you will be a better mama for it. I promise.



 
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Old Aug 25th, 2016, 13:35 PM   8
crownest
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I could have wrote this last week. I think there is only few days between our little ones. DS son gave me no sleep for about 3 weeks I was at my wits end it's torture. I've no advice tbh I tried few things no idea if they worked or it was just time but after a bad few nights he started saying dada and going from sitting to belly and it then improved. We are back to one or two "goodfeeds" of 5-10 mins but he is much more settled in between.



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Old Aug 25th, 2016, 14:57 PM   9
minties
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Sophie was exactly like this at the same age and I totally get your resentment, tears and lack of empathy for baby. I felt like I loved my daytime baby and hated her at night. The amount of nights I cried and called help lines was rediculous.

Absolutely nothing I did ever helped anything. I hate to say it but she had to just grow out of it. Which she did eventually. It lasted from 8-11 months and I wanted to kill myself some nights.



 
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Old Aug 25th, 2016, 15:26 PM   10
Sealion24
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My ds2 is the same, he has never slept more than 2 hours at night ever. We co sleep and he too just feeds for a few mins before going back to sleep for a few hours at the most (sometimes only 20 mins) all night long. After 10 months my oh has had enough of sleeping in the spare room so next week we are putting him in his cot in his own room which I am dreading as I will have to get up each time he wakes to settle him. I too hate being so tired all day when I have ds1 to look after too and work 3 days a week. Just hoping one day he grows out of it and sleeps!



 
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