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Thread: I'm exhausted, please help!

  1. #1

    Default I'm exhausted, please help!

    Our DS is 19 weeks old and has started waking every 60-90 minutes all night every night. I suppose that the poor mite has had a lot of change in his life, we started off after he was born living in a short term rental, went to the UK when he was 8 weeks old until 16 weeks old and have now moved back to Australia to live in our own home for the last 3 weeks. Therefore he has never been a great sleeper which I was fine with but we at least got a decent stretch of sleep from putting him down, usually about 6 hours after which he would wake several times before morning.

    Over the last week or so he no longer has the long sleep period when we put him down and he wakes constantly. We have a set bedtime routine, feed, bath, book then rocking/patting/dummy to sleep, we have kept this consistent since birth. We co-sleep and I BF him lying down when he wakes in order that I can get at least some sleep.



    I have the Pinky sleep book and whilst I have found it great to reaffirm that we are doing the right thing with him, I don't feel that it actually offers any solutions. Maybe that's because there are none, i'm not sure. Thought about ringing child health nurses or family centre but they advocate controlled crying/ comforting or whatever garbage label they chose to use and I would rather be awake every night till he is ready to sleep than risk using their barbaric techniques. I have tried family and friends too and their best advice is that I am bringing it on myself for not letting him cry or that he is obviously hungry and needs solids or a bottle of formula before bed

    He was a terrible day sleeper too but since his night time sleep has gone to pot he has become a better daytime sleeper and we are getting longer sleeps with him. I think that at night he is waking at every sleep cycle, are there any gentle techniques for helping them transition? He has managed to resettle through one yesterday afternoon but I have no idea what was different.

    Last night he went down at 19.30, up at 20.30 tried to resettle in cot but to no avail so got him up and he fed and fell asleep on my knee. I know that he wasn't really hungry, but wouldn't settle by any other means. We went to bed at 21.30 and he came into our bed asleep. Woke at approximately 23.30, 01.00, 02.30, 03.30, 04.30, 05.30 then had a long sleep till 09.30. I am trying the dummy when he wakes but he won't have it so the boob goes in and we both go back to sleep.


    I now that he is having a growth spurt as well as a wonder week and i'm sure that it will pass on its own, but i just wanted to get it out there and see if there were any suggestions. He is a great baby, so happy, sociable, chatty and loveable that I suppose the sleep thing is only a tiny part of him but it feels so huge!

  2. #2

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    is he teething at all? babies often go thru changes in sleep patterns especially during wonder weeks! i dont like controlled crying/crying it out as it has never worked with DS. i find he gets more upset and takes longer to calm down. keep going with what you are doing tho. if its working then thats great. maybe ride it out and see how he is in a few days. sorry not really much help.

  3. #3

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    I was going to suggest a Wonder Week but you've already thought of that! I know the 19th Week is a big one.

    If that is it, I hope it passes soon. Otherwise, I'm sorry, I have no advice.

  4. #4

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    It's tough work sometimes. I just wanted to let you know that 4 months is a VERY common age for sleep to regress. Google "4 month sleep regression" and you should find lots of info. I went through it with all three of my bubs at the same age. It does pass, I promise!

    You're doing a great job .

  5. #5

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    Oh yhun the sleepless nights really test the gentle parent in me...and I think is this the right thing to do! But you know whats in a few weeks ( I know that seems like ages away) It will settle and it will pass and you will be getting more sleep!
    Have you tried co sleeping? My DS1 was a sleeper like your bub and once he came into bed with me we both got way more sleep? Or even use the cot in your room agains t your bed with one side down so bubs isnt in your bed but within reach? And let bubs suckle if he has to...i know it is so uncomfy sometimes but its only for a short time!

    your doing a great job and please try to sleep when he does! Good luck xxx

  6. #6

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    My little one is 20 weeks and at the moment is much the same as your little one.

    The others are right in saying that 19 weeks can be a doozie wonder week. But also, it sounds like he's had a lot of upheaval of late so might just need a few weeks to get back into a pattern that you're all happy with.

    The No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley offers some wonderful gentle solutions to help night time sleep. Would totally recommend that book.
    Sue xxx

  7. #7

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    Sounds like you already have a good idea how to cope - co-sleeping.
    We talk about sleep problems in babies like there's something wrong if babies have trouble going to sleep or staying asleep, but the truth is that it's just normal. They're all different and go through phases of better or worse patterns, but the real problem is that parents (and particularly) mums are not well supported to deal with the lack of sleep.
    So the other thing I would suggest to get through this current phase is getting whateve help you can so that you can take time out and rest, and just generally making life as easy as possible for yourself.
    That might sound really unhelpful, but this will pass, your baby will sleep better (one day) - don't spend the early months tearing your hair out making your life harder by trying to force them to do something they're not ready for.
    It sounds like he's a wonderful child - the sleep really is just a small thing. It's huge now, because you're tired! But one day (and in the greater scheme of things it won't be all that long) you'll look back and think, That wasn't so bad! In fact, we've been really lucky. Sure, he didn't sleep much, but he's so lovely and wonderful and that doesn't change, even as the sleep improves.

  8. #8

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    I could've written this as my story at 4 months I love Pinky & Sears & Pantley - and I have to say - like you - I wanted an answer, certain steps (really..I wanted a solution!! haha) but the closest I came to 'a plan of attack' for sleep was Pantley. Beautiful, gentle and kind. However, I then stressed about how many hours DD needed, it wasn't enough according to the charts and so I just stressed about something else.

    I honestly think her hourly wakings were a combination of teething (plus..I OD'd on the homepathics..creating a teething monster), growth spurts and who knows what else. I went everywhere..I mean everywhere (osteo / MCHN / homeopath / accupunturist) anything I could get my hands on to find something, some reason for the waking. And really, truly, it did start at the 4 month mark for me (when I thought I'd just nailed it..hahah), got worse at 8 months and we're just getting it together at 14 months. Like your bub, DD is a happy, joyful and wonderful girl to be around, so I had to expect I couldn't have it all

    I needed to relax, accept the fact that developmentally, this is quite normal and natural, and that it was me that needed to adjust my thinking an expectations. I put down my favourite books for now and went with the flow. I BF to sleep, co-sleep I nap with DD for each morning nap. House is mess, but this is just a small part of our lives..it's getting better every day and I'm not planning to ressurect NCSS until her last molar is out..so I know that I'm not making changes when she needs comfort the most. Just hang in there, you'll have a fantastic bond, and there is always plently of time in the future to gently make changes as you need to - you sound like such a caring mum...xxx

  9. #9

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    Just wanted to join the chorus - its normal! Trust he knows what he is doing and all you can do is be there for him. 4 months was a doozy for us. Phew I am tired just thinking about it. 8 months was worse, but in between has been ok, so as others have said...it will pass!

    In the meantime, you need to surround yourself with people who understand babies are humans that need love, breast, and mum's cuddles to sleep. It took me a long time to block out all the other sleep training/formula/cot sleeping ideas, and I have never looked back.

    Can you think of ways other people around you could help during this phase? Perhaps you could have an extra sleep in on the weekend? Or could friends/family help with washing or meals just until you're feeling ok again? Also sleeping in the day makes a big difference (I still do it!)

    Hope this helps. You're doing a fabulous job trusting your instincts and following your baby's lead.

  10. #10

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    I'm so annoyed because I'd written this HUGE reply (about how your life sounded like mine!) and DH came in teasing me about my obsession with baby forums and I lost the whole write up! Grrr

    (turns out it did work..hahah poor DH, always getting the blame).
    Last edited by Heda; August 25th, 2010 at 09:52 PM. Reason: double up

  11. #11

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    Thanks guys. We had another terrible night but my resolve is strong. I bumped DH to the spare room again, i't's too hard to deal with worrying about him not getting enough sleep too. The little man, oh how I long for that decent first stretch of sleep again! Went to bed beautifully, no evening tears at 19.15 but alas awake at 20.00 and very cranky so fed him and then wanted to play, I try to keep everything low key but he wouldn't go back down until 22.00 and he was awake again at 22.45 He did have a slightly longer spell of a few hours somewhere in the night, but awake about every 45 minutes afterwards.

    I had a good cry last night, DH up until this point has been very supportive in that I know what is best for Elliot, but last night he said that he thinks I am creating this problems and that he thinks we will never get out of it. It frustrates me that I know I have not created anything but a child that feels supported and nurtured, I want him to know that Mummy will always be there and will never turn her back or shut the door on him.

    As for friends, it's hard as there is nobody like minded. My best friend has a 10 week old who she lets cry it out and he sleeps through, but he is a formula baby so whole different ball game. She also tells me Elliot is like this is because I refuse to let him cry. I chose not to get into a debate or tell her that I am just attending to his emotional needs. Her child has become very solitary and insular and cries when she picks him up. This would break my heart but she went to sleep school and they were told they caused his sleep issues by handling him too much. He now knows that it is pointless to express himself when he gets ignored

    I will certainly be lying in at the weekend when DH can get up with him in the morning. I know that this phase will pass and I will have an emotionally stable well rounded little man with a great connection to Mum.

    I am going to listen to the Pinky McKay teleseminar on sleep today and also buy the Elizabeth Pantley book. As for not I will just take a deep breath and suck it up, it's in the contract, somewhere

  12. #12

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    i think the other posters have given some great advice & i think marcellus has summed it up perfectly.

    with any luck, your little man will settle down a bit soon but even if he doesn't, do whatever you need to do to help get you through - take offers of support, rant & rave at your DH or on here and a big cry is sometimes the most therapeutic thing

    i think one of the hardest things is not knowing when it will end - i've often thought that if i had a date when these 1-2 hourly wake ups would end, then i could deal with it better. but unfortunately it doesn't work that way!!

  13. #13

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    Sounds like someones body clock is all over the place
    Do you co sleep through out the day? Whilst I loved co sleeping (and still do ) I made sure my little darlings had sleeps through the day WITHOUT me so I could get a little breathing space and they didnt smell my milk KWIM.

    I had an aweful time with DS2 and found that if I timed his sleeps through the day (meaning waking him) he slept better at night.
    It not a nice thing to do but as your little ones clock is like a NB's by the sounds of it...maybe you need to teach Elliot's body clock what day and night is again.

    I also found that this was the horror age when solids were starting to be needed...eg fuller tummy at night and just needing that little extra

    Your doing a fantastic job...dont doubt yourself....parenthood isnt easy but its the best job in the world

  14. #14

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    Awww hun, you're doing a great job. Your last post there struck a few chords with me with regards to your friend letting her little one cry it out and thinking you should do the same. Stick to your guns. I read somewhere that crying it out is a short term gain for a long term loss. What we are doing is a short term (loss of sleep!!) problem for a long term gain!
    I'm sorry to hear that DH isn't more supportive.... just keep reminding him it won't last forever.

    Keep at it hun, your little man will surprise you one night by sleeping a long stretch and then you'll freak out and keep checking to make sure he is ok!

    Sue xxx

  15. #15

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    Nothing like a friend with a baby that sleeps all night thats to CIO is there?? hahah I've got one of those with a 'good baby'.

    I try to remind myself when someone gives me a glowing report on CIO - is that we invite these babies (because thats exactly what a 4 month old is - a bitty baby) into our lives by conceiving them, we accept their entire dependance on us, by feeding them, changing them, carrying them yet, when it comes to sleep we expect them to develop into sleeping adults overnight by screaming. Just doesn't make sense to me

    Trust your heart and let your baby be your book xxxx

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