6mo sleep keeps getting worse - finding it hard to cope.

(20 Posts)
amri Sat 16-Mar-13 21:50:05

I have a 6mo and could have written your post myself! We have been dealing with 3 or 4 nightly feeds for the last while, she used to be a great sleeper until week 19 confused

So hard to know if this is her 6 month growth spurt, or just habitual waking. I am trying to space out her night feeds to at least match her day feeds (3.5 hours ish) as I know she can physically go that length of time without a feed. But it's so hard when she's crying and I know a short feed will put her back to sleep in 15 mins. Are we just compounding the issue by feeding her? Argh! confused

Things seem to be getting better for you at least Blindly - it takes such patience doesn't it!

ellangirl Sun 03-Mar-13 13:09:12

You'll get there blindly! Swing was ok for first night. It has been working for daytime naps but fed up of having to sit for longer trying to get her back to sleep at night. Using swing meant quick feed then straight back down. She went to sleep 7.15, woke 8 (can't work out what that's all about) 11, 1, 3 and 7.15 so 4 night wakings not great, but at least we got more sleep in between!

blindlyovertherainbow Sun 03-Mar-13 12:56:56

Sorry - swing!

blindlyovertherainbow Sun 03-Mar-13 12:56:32

How did the sling go Ellan??

blindlyovertherainbow Sun 03-Mar-13 12:56:06

Night 3 wasn't so great. shock DS went to sleep in 10 minutes at bedtime (7pm) yay! He then proceeded to wake HOURLY until 1am.. Hmm. I fed him at 10pm and 1am; the other times I let him grizzle/reassured when crying and left him to fall asleep..which he did within about 10 minutes each time. He then slept until 4.30am, fed, then slept until 7.20am.
Not sure if the hourly waking is the "extinction burst" and we just need to persist.. Fingers crossed for night 4.

ellangirl Sun 03-Mar-13 04:34:25

Looking forward to seeing how night 3 goes blindly! Got my fingers crossed- need hope that my 2-3 hourly wakings every night can stop! Tonight putting my 18 week old to sleep all night in a swing as per troiblesome tots advice as she has become v dependent on me to get get to sleep (rocking/feeding) I have mastitis too and have had enough!

glowfrog Sat 02-Mar-13 20:12:24

Congrats, Blindly, hope things keep improving.

Just wanted to add to sympathies as my DD also gave us a hard time around the 6th month mark (waking every hour) but now she's a year old and with a bit of CC, she regularly sleeps for 8 hours at a time! So things will get better.

blindlyovertherainbow Sat 02-Mar-13 14:48:37

So night 2 went even better! I had low expectations because DS didn't nap very well yesterday, and was grumpy at bedtime. But he went to bed in his cot awake at 7.15pm, I went in to reassure him 3 times, and he was sound asleep by 7.30pm. No hysteria.
He woke at 10.30pm for a feed, and went back to sleep himself with no tears almost immediately. His next waking was FOUR hours later at 2.30am (longest stretch in ages) and again back to sleep. He woke again at 4.30, fed, and weirdly had a dirty nappy. So he woke right up when I changed him, I put him back to bed awake - and he chatted to himself for 20 minutes then fell asleep until 7.20am!!smile
Maybe this is all a fluke - we'll see how night 3 goes - but this unfamiliar feeling of sanity appears to be returning!!
Thanks everyone for kind words, and hope the sleep deprived are coping.

Loislane78 Fri 01-Mar-13 11:42:30

Glad you got a better night blindly smile. Ahhhh the difference some sleep makes!!

Sounds pretty reasonable, I might give it a go. Report back!

blindlyovertherainbow Fri 01-Mar-13 08:40:43

Thank you everyone for your replies. It's always very reassuring to know that other people are going through/have been through similar!
We tried the No Cry Sleep Solution and it didn't work for us; DS wasn't fooled for a second by the Pantley Pull Off.. hmm
I think I turned some kind of corner yesterday and decided we had to sort this out or I'd go nuts. So we did a version of controlled crying, mainly using the Troublesome Tots website which I think is quite sensible.
The whole experience was much less distressing for DS or me than I had expected - no hysteria, no vomiting, no long periods of crying.
I put DS to bed wide awake at 7.10pm, said "bedtime, night night" as usual, and left him with loud white noise on (which has always helped). We could hear him on the monitor chatting away for a while, then grizzling, then crying. When he cried me or DH would go in, rub his tummy and say "bedtime, night night, love you" a couple of times then leave. Each time he stopped crying within 30 seconds. A few minutes after we left he would start grizzling again, eventually cry, then we'd go back in. We did this maybe 8-10 times. By 7.45pm he was asleep.
He woke up at 8.30pm and we repeated the process, this time for 20 minutes before he fell asleep.
He then slept until his first feed at 10.30pm. What I forgot to add yesterday was that previously when I'd put him back to bed after feeds he'd wake after 5-10 minutes back in bed and I'd have to sit blasting the hairdryer for 10 minutes for him to settle. Last night I didn't use the hairdryer at all. He grizzled a couple of times but went back to sleep after 2 minutes at most. No crying overnight.
I fed him every 2-3 hours because I still think he's hungry at night (he feeds for 15-20 minutes at a time) and he needs to feed more during the day - I was following the Troublesome Tots theory that night weaning should be totally separate to sleep training. I don't know how others dealt with feeds?
He woke for the day at 6.45am grinning and happy as usual.
So I know that's only 1 night, and we have a long way to go, and he may go nuts again tonight. confused And I know that some MN people will think it's brutal - I completely agree it's not for everyone. But I'm going to persist and work on his feeding. I feel so much more optimistic today. grin
Thanks everyone. thanks brew

SamraLee Thu 28-Feb-13 21:36:27

If you are not up for controlled crying, you can Google Pantley's Gentle Removal Plan. I have found this to be a very helpful way for our daughter not to wake up every hour to feed. She was doing it for comfort and because she didn't quite know how to go to sleep without it. Now, her sleep isn't perfect, but it's greatly improved. I've been trying other things too which I'm hoping will start to have an effect. I've introduced another two sleep associations, a comfort blanket and music from Ewan the Sheep. Starting tonight we are going to have my husband go to her when she wakes up so she knows she won't get breastfed during the night. She isn't hungry she's only doing it for comfort.

Controlled crying works for some people and they swear by it. I couldn't stand leaving my daughter to cry. It's really up to you and what your style of parenting is. Either way I hope you get some sleep soon. smile

JollyYellowGiant Thu 28-Feb-13 20:46:52

We did controlled crying at 7 mos because ebf ds was waking so often in the night. I was so tired I was unable to function - could not drive, got shingles and mastitis simultaneously and was generally very run down.

It worked for us and DS has been an excellent sleeper since (he's now 22mos). We borrowed the Ferber book and followed it to the letter.

My DS - now 9 months - has been exactly the same since 12 weeks. Awake every 1.5 to 2 hours and only feeding will get him back to sleep. I felt desperate around the six month mark as well and tried controlled crying. Didn't work at all. I was gutted because it was my absolute last resort strategy that I was sure was going to work. We also tried gradual withdrawal when he was under six months - also completely unsuccessful. I don't think anyone can tell you when they'll eventually grow out of it, but I can tell you that you do get used to functioning on such broken sleep. I'm back at work full time, and he's still awake every couple of hours, but my body has (mostly) adjusted. Co-sleeping is a lifesaver as well.

FrillyMummy Thu 28-Feb-13 20:31:56

I second what Queen says. It really truly does work and it doesn't hurt them smile

queenofthepirates Thu 28-Feb-13 20:19:40

Two words, controlled crying
My HV recommended a great book by Angela Henderson called the Good Sleep guide. It saved my sanity.

FrillyMummy Thu 28-Feb-13 20:10:49

I feel for you hmm We went through exactly the same thing with our DD just over 5.5mo. It was awful. She was waking every 1.5hrs and would only be fed back to sleep. At first I thought she was hungry, but we soon realised that she was waking purely out of habit. In the end we decided to try controlled crying. When she woke we would wait for 5 mins, then go in and give her the dummy and leave straight away, then when she started up again we would wait 10mins then nip in, give the dummy and then wait 15 mins every time after. It wasn't easy hearing her cry, but she quickly got the message and now only wakes once a night!! She is EBF too. EBF babies can actually go all night without needing a feed. It may not be something you want to try, but it worked for me and many other mums I know. Thinking of you tonight smile

lemontop Thu 28-Feb-13 19:58:39

blindly I started an almost identical thread today here. Same problems, same situation even down to the two hour awake period in the night. Keeping my fingers crossed for you. Please post on here if you find anything that works for you. Come on babies go to sleep!

TempusFuckit Thu 28-Feb-13 18:04:44

It's very likely you're near the end of the tunnel ... You sound like you're doing everything you can, so just hang on in there. Moving them to their own room can sometimes take a week or more to have an effect. Solids should help too - although probably not immediately. And he'll be crawling soon, which will tire him out in a good way too. Chances are you're nearing the end of the really bad patch ...

Loislane78 Thu 28-Feb-13 17:51:33

I don't have any great advice but wanted to tell you you're not alone if that helps!? My DD is 6.5 mo. Until 16 wks she was a lovely little sleeper waking for just 1-2 feeds a night. Well, along came sleep regression, Christmas, flu, teething, weaning, more teething, growth spurt etc. and here we are.

She goes down v easily at night but wakes after 3-4 hrs for a feed and wakings can be anything from every few to every hr after that. Not for feeds but she can't self settle. Still wakes co-sleeping too.

I'm reading no cry sleep solution but tbh apart from a few little things we mainly do 'best practice' so I feel like I have to ride it out

Tough isn't it, sympathies brew

blindlyovertherainbow Thu 28-Feb-13 14:37:03

My DS will be 6mo on Saturday. He hasn't been a "good" sleeper since he hit the 4 month sleep regression at 13 weeks; things are no better 13 weeks later and I'm just beyond exhausted.
Last night for example:
-Bedtime routine starts at 6.30 (consistent since he was 5 weeks old). I aim not to feed to sleep but DS was exhausted and had a short BF which sent him to sleep. Sound asleep in his cot (in his own room) by 7.10pm.
-8.30pm woke again. DH tried to settle for ages. We decided he was hungry and DS had a proper BF, quickly back to sleep.
-11pm woke for BF, quickly back to sleep
-1am woke for BF, quickly back to sleep
-2am-4am wide awake, wouldn't settle no matter what I tried. Rolling around in his cot. Finally fell asleep to white noise.
-5am woke for BF, feel asleep and slept 5.30am-8.20am

-DS is has been EBF up until this week when I've been trying to move to mixed feeding. DS has rubbish bottle technique (it all just runs down his chin) and manages at most 2oz formula a day. He's equally rubbish with expressed milk.
- We moved DS into his own room last weekend. Sleep is no better or worse.
-DS usually naps pretty well during the day - 35mins, then 1.5-2h, then 35 mins.
-DS had 2 teeth come through 2 weeks ago; he was a bit more unsettled by this but the teeth are now pretty well established and I don't think they are bothering him.
-we're starting solids this weekend

I'm now so exhausted that I'm tearful during the day, and dread the nights. I make sure we get out every day but at times I find it difficult to enjoy DS because I'm so desperate for rest. DH gets involved all he can and is shattered too. DS is a gorgeous, happy smiley little boy and doesn't seem to be bothered by his nights!

So I'm not sure if:
- we're at a 6 month growth spurt
-if DS is just making loads of developmental leaps and can't settle
-if he's waking out of habit

The health visitors I can see have no helpful advice and I feel really at a loss as to what to try next. Any thoughts gratefully received!!

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