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01/05/2013 at 09:40
A's sleep is getting progressively worse... little ups and downs but mostly down. At first he would sleep in his cot all night; waking a few times, but he'd go back in there. Then he'd only stay in there the first part of the night. Then that time got shorter and shorter, currently he goes in there at 9pm and is clamouring to get into my bed by 9:30pm. Before, he would be calmed by rocking. Then he would only settle if sleeping on me. Now even that doesn't work and I have to feed him, but he's not hungry, he only takes a couple of slurps... he just uses it to get back to sleep.
I have tried EVERYTHING. You name it, I have tried it. He is not too cold or too hot (there is a thermometer I can check at night, it's usually 18-20 and I feel his neck; I've tried all different combinations of clothes). I have tried: dummies (he spits them out), warming his cot with a hot-water bottle, putting my tshirt in there, slumber bear, rocking, patting, shushing, lights on, lights off, H there, H not there, me not there (I went into the spare room at 5am... he lasted 10mins before waking), holding upright after feeds, laying straight down after feeds. He just starts to stir every hour/90 mins, which wakes me, and then either I feed him or it's about 10mins progressively getting worse until he wakes himself with an awful-sounding strangled cry and then I have to calm him by feeding him back to sleep.
WHAT IS WRONG WITH MY CHILD?! I can't cope like this for much longer. I know he is CAPABLE of sleeping long stretches in his cot because he has done so before. He never self-settles, and he feeds to sleep in the daytime too; he then needs to stay asleep on me, if at any point I move him even gently, then he wakes 5-10mins after being put down. Putting him down drowsy but awake just leads to him fully waking up and crying. He is (almost) 16 weeks and exclusively BF but I am this: | | close to giving him a bottle of formula at night in the hope it would improve his sleep.
Anyone got any sleep training books to recommend? I don't want to leave him to cry but there must be a system that would work.
01/05/2013 at 09:48
Firstly (hug) sleep deprivation is horrible!
This was the age that I started to encourage self settling, first at night then in the day. I used shh/pat for a while but it made him angry, so did a sort of spaced soothing. I never (not even once) left him to cry, if he was very upset I'd pick him up, if he was just whimpering I'd lay my hand on him. We ff but I don't think giving a bottle would necessarily help, but obviously the choice is yours to make. What dummies have you tried? We have a drawer full upstairs until we stumbled upon the holy grail of dummies 5hrs straight that first night - bliss!! I also introduced a routine at this age as it just helped, but its not for everyone. Have you read up on various settling techniques? You might find something that works for you. We also have a comforter (from around 2/3months) and he's really attached to that now.
01/05/2013 at 10:01
I believe the startle reflex has a lot to answer for, is he startling himself awake? A is the lightest sleeper possible and constantly startles herself awake - if she even manages to get to sleep! At night she needs complete silence and darkness to sleep for 3-4 hours and also feeds to sleep at the moment. During the day she only sleeps properly in the sling and occasionally for half an hour in the pram before something wakes her up. I'm sure that the only reason she sleeps in the sling is because if she startles it's kept to a minimum as she's hugged tight. Like you we have tried everything and none of it makes a difference. Luckily for us she sleeps 'okay' at night...sometimes...but often needs to sleep in H's arms (I refuse as it's so uncomfortable and do all the night feeds as it is). But her sleep during the day is ridiculous, I can't actually believe how the tiniest f noises wakes her up or stops her from getting to sleep. If it wasn't for the sling she would barely have an hour's sleep. Anyway if it is the startle reflex then apparently it goes between 4 and 6 months so you're closer than me!
01/05/2013 at 10:07
McS - thank you. I've tried a few dummies, they just sort of seem too big for his mouth if that makes sense and he rejects them. I could try getting a few more different types. We do have a nighttime routine, and I'll definitely read up on some settling techniques!
Lindtbunny - possibly. In his cot he kind of bangs his fists on the mattress and slowly starts to waken. Hopefully this is the answer and it will just go soon!
01/05/2013 at 10:18
Bless you, offering you a huge hug. It's tough and feels relentless I know.
I think personally it's a case of keep going and see what works for him, I know it's really crappy but something must. As you know, my E is formula fed, but i absolutely don't attribute that to her sleeping, especially when I first introduced it, in fact the opposite - it kept us up - it filled her with wind, turned her poos foul, then she hated the teats so we changed them, then the powder so we changed that, then the whole bottles, then the teats again then another type of formula which fiinally seemed to work for her - what i'm saying is, if you WANT to give A formula absolutely no one will judge you for it, but please don't think it's an easy fix - gosh it's not. (I've only very limited BFing experience but there have been lots of times when E has been screaming refusing her bottle while benig hungry when I cried wishing I could have BF) and it provides a whole host of worries too, for example I knew last night E only had 3 of her usual 6oz, so I expected a crap night, and my anxiety then rubs off on her etc etc. (That perhaps sounds harsher than I mean it, but I hope YSWIM)
How does A sleep? Is he swaddled? Grobag? E still struggles when not swaddled as she jumps so very much. What dummies have you tried? The ones especially for BF babies? Nuk worked well initially for us, now MAM as they don't have the "ring" and so are lighter and smaller. E also slept amazingly on holiday - i'm thinking it's the hum of the fan in the room. Also worth remembering what does / doesn't work one night may well change for the next.
I also mentioned E picks up on my anxiety - would a bath for you before bed help so you're going into the whole bedtime routine relaxed help, maybe?
01/05/2013 at 10:50
I wish I knew the answer! Will he sleep in bed with you? Maybe just carry on for now and keep trying him every couple of days in the cot. At some point he will 'get it', as my mum tells me, how many 15 year old lads do you know shari te bed with their parents? Her point being he will eventually go in his cot.
May not be ready just yet. I'd do anything to get some sleep as you not getting any makes everything seem 100x more impossible.
With regards to formula, Henry doesn't sleep through, well you know that, but to be honest if I were you I'd maybe buy one ready made carton and try it. It won't hurt to try and see what happens but only do what you're comfortable with
01/05/2013 at 11:48
Thank you Kayleigh, and you don't sound harsh at all, don't worry! I realise that I must have sounded really insensitive to those mummies who wanted to BF but couldn't I don't want to fully FF him, just thought one before bed might help but it's a last resort really.
He sleeps in a Grobag, but what I'm confused about is that he used to sleep fine but has been getting worse... and he's always been in a Grobag... so how can that be it IYSWIM? I think it's a routine thing/feeding to sleep so when he reaches the lighter part of his sleep cycle he now needs to 'feed' again to go to sleep.
Missus, he'll sleep in the cot for the first hour or so each night, but then he comes in with us. He does sleep in our bed but only for 1hr-90mins at a time which is the problem. I know you're right and one day he'll get it, perhaps I'm being 'greedy' wanting him to hurry up haha!
01/05/2013 at 12:02
I think you should trust your own instincts and if you think its routine and feeding to sleep work on this first.
How about trying to let him learn to slef settle during daytime naps? Try putting him in a pram and rocking him to sleep so that he gets some comfort but learns to put himself to sleep.
Good luck, hope you manage to get some sleep soon. Things always seem worse when your sleep deprived.
01/05/2013 at 12:36
Could be the four month growth spurt.
I'd love to have answers, but I don't - E isn't a great sleeper still.
The No Cry Sleep Solution might be worth a read.
01/05/2013 at 15:20
Saisi iv just had a HV here for baby massage. What with your A, vickis A and H doing the same, she said it sounds like a classic growth spurt, if theyve previously settled ok. It doesn't have to come bang on 12 weeks as Henry's nearly 14. She also said (ask asked about the formula thing- Henry's doesn't sleep any longer on it, and she's quite adamant it shouldn't make a difference and if anything to keep him at the boob. Hope you didn't mind me speaking to her about it all. Just seems there's a few of us going through it
01/05/2013 at 15:24
Thanks Marmite, I was thinking about getting that one, might pop down to the charity shop tomorrow or Amazon if not.
Missus, thank you for asking the HV, I appreciate it. I suppose it could be the 4-month growth spurt. Boob is certainly easier than formula to prepare in the middle of the night!
01/05/2013 at 15:27
Haha i will drink to that! I'm hoping it comes to an end for all of you
03/05/2013 at 01:30
Saisi J did exactly the same- it got to the point where the only sleep I would get was with my boob out sitting in a chair with it in his mouth so he could feed as and when- it certainly contributed to me stopping BF as I couldn't cope at all. I think it's just a case of riding it out as it sounds very much like a growth spurt. Sending massive hugs
03/05/2013 at 10:07
Forgot to say thank you to nftfi! How rude of me! Trying to get him to self-settle in the day is certainly our plan... although it's hard when you've had no sleep to begin with and all you want is to sit on the sofa with sleeping baby!
Well a positive update today. I decided to just embrace co-sleeping for now. He fell asleep downstairs on me at 7:30pm, carried him up at about 10pm and gave him a dreamfeed. He then slept peacefully in the crook of my arm until 4am when he started stirring, so another dreamfeed and then sleep until 7am when he woke with big smiles. I feel like a new woman. I think he was in the wrong place on my arm previously so my arm would hurt/go dead but I seem to have found the right spot now.
I also managed to do the 7am feed lying down which I've never managed before, so if I can do that again tonight it may mean more sleep all round. Yay!
03/05/2013 at 10:09
I'm still putting him in bed after his 5 am feed as I need sleep too! Nowt wrong with it. All in their own time
03/05/2013 at 10:33
That's good, well done A. Our A was on with us all night last night either in H's arms or next to him or next to me *yawn*.
03/05/2013 at 12:06
Well done A- glad you've found something that works x
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