on the verge of a breakdown over dds sleeping.

(19 Posts)
strawberryswing Mon 14-Oct-13 01:35:29

Hey guys.
Posting here is my last resort. I'm sat here sobbing because I can't take much more of this. My dd is nearly 15months old and she is a terrible sleeper.

She has never slept more than 4 hours solid. Everynight without fail between 2 and 4.hours.after shes asleep she will wake up screaming (and I mean screaming). She is inconsolable for a while and then thats it she point blank refuses to go to aleep. She's up to 1/2/3am most nights, before sleeping 1 hour and she's up screaming again.

I have no idea what to do, were running off empty here. Im completely exhausted 15 months ofno sleep I'm heading for a breakdown I'm close to leaving work because I cant concerntrate anymore.

I have.daily blinding headaches and eye pain due to the lack of sleep. Were lucky if we get 1 hours.sleep.before shes up.again

Its causing a huge rift in our relationship, we just dont know what to do I cant cope anymore.

LuisGarcia Mon 14-Oct-13 01:38:32

I've got no wisdom for you, sorry, only hugs.

Mondaybaby Mon 14-Oct-13 02:40:45

oh strawberry, poor you. my dd was also a terrible sleeper until about 24 months old so have been there.
A bit more info: Do you co sleep with her? What does she have to eat or drink before you put her to sleep? Will post again but the light from my phone waking my dd up. oops!

ttalloo Mon 14-Oct-13 02:57:27

Poor, poor you.

Does your DD nap during the day? Remembering from when my DSs were that age, they were still on a mid-morning nap, with another straight after lunch. They'd usually be awake again by 3pm. Young toddlers need to have enough sleep during the day (weirdly) in order to be able to sleep well at night, but too much sleep (more than 3 hours across 2 naps during the day) or waking up too late in the afternoon will affect their ability to sleep properly during the night. If she is sleeping more than this, you need to wake her up after an hour mid-morning, and after two hours mid-afternoon to make sure that she isn't getting too much sleep during the day.

What time do you put her to bed? She ideally needs to go down by 7.30 - the more sleep she gets before midnight the better for her.

Does she eat well during the day? Could she be waking up because she's hungry?

Avoid letting her watch TV or play on any electronic gadgets in the hour before your bedtime routine.

Have you taken her to your GP to see if there's anything physically wrong? Maybe she's been suffering from reflux or has an ear infection.

Something that worked for us when DS2 became a horrendous sleeper after a family holiday to the US when he was 11 months, and for six months afterwards would wake up every one or two hours screaming for milk (which drove DH and me almost demented), was to take him to a cranial osteopath, who gently massaged his head, and said that his ears were blocked from the flights - we had one more dreadful night with DS2, and then he started sleeping through the night again. It was the best £50 I've ever spent.

Hope this helps.

GiraffesAndButterflies Mon 14-Oct-13 03:15:14

Sadly I don't know how to get kids to sleep (else I'd be asleep right now...) but I feel for you! That sounds horrendous sad

I hope you find something to help soon. MN does know everything so fingers crossed.

milkjetmum Mon 14-Oct-13 03:52:10

Can you do 'shifts' with dp? In bad times with our dd we agreed he'd do 9-2 and I did 2-7 so that we each got at least 5hr sleep (earplugs/sleeping on sofa often necessary).

My only other tip is to change what is acceptable to you. If she will sleep in your bed, do it. If you need to sleep on a mattress on the floor in her room, do it. if midnight warm milk might help, do it. At one stage we had a blow up readybed next to our bed and dd was happy to sleep there if I held her hand.

If any of those work, just do them and don't worry about long term sleep plans for now. Deal with those once you have had at least a few weeks of better sleep.

Imo some children are just not built to sleep through. Dd is 3 now and has come into us twice so far tonight (hence my 3am post!) But I consider it a great achievement that at least now she will go back to her own bed and doesn't scream the place down when doing it! Good luck

APipkinOfPepper Mon 14-Oct-13 04:08:53

That sounds awful! I too have a 15 month old, and some nights her sleep can be awful, others much better. Looks like some good advice on the thread already, but just wanted to add one thing - how does she fall asleep? I find that can make a big difference. Last night we had an awful night (she was up every 2-3hrs and didn't really settle from 3am onwards) but we came back lateish from a day out, she fell asleep in the car and then was so tired she fell asleep feeding. Tonight has been much better, and she went off as normal (bath, story, feed and a cuddle before putting her in her cot almost asleep).

I hope it improves for you soon, sleep deprivation is horrible

redundant Tue 15-Oct-13 21:44:26

lots of sympathy, our 26mo is an awful sleeper - not that bad but still very difficult to cope with. We've had a particularly awful couple of weeks with molars coming through and I have spent most of today in tears. It is also really impacting on my husband and i's relationship, as we don't have any family to give us a night off ever, which is tough. I am freelance and I know there is no way I could hold down a 9-5 normal job because of it.

I went to the GP for the millionth time yesterday to check he didn't have ear infection etc, and the GP took pity on me and suggested I could try (very short term, obviously) an antihistimine that has drowsiness as a side effect. Am not recommending you do this without doctors say-so but if I was in your shoes I would ask the GP about it, and perhaps consider if it would help for 1-2 nights to give you a break, in parallel to ruling out any physical discomfort and doing what you can in practical terms to improve the bedtime routine etc.

Our son has improved the last few months (i look back on our early sleep diaries and am amazed we all survived at all) and in hindsight I think our particularly bad patches were teeth (very extreme reaction to), reflux and ear pain/glue ear. Huge sympathy because it is just awful, I really feel for you all.

Twattergy Wed 16-Oct-13 07:31:42

Agree with the advice on shifts, we did that for a couple of months at a similar age. Also think trying cranio worth a try.ensure it is someone with experience of working with babies.

andytired67 Wed 16-Oct-13 09:40:50

Hi There, really sorry you're going through this right now. My partner and I can relate to the stress and misery of a screaming sleepless baby. We really hit the wall a few times and it started to take a toll on every aspect of our lives. I assume you've ruled out any medical condition as to why your little one won't sleep. Don't be made to feel like you're over-reacting by asking doctors and health workers etc. This is hard. We got so low that we decided to start a website that we hoped would help other parents and features a page of tips that we felt helped our situation www.whywontmybabysleep.co.uk - One thing I want to ask is, have you put your baby in a bed yet or are they still in a cot? That was such a change for us (till another illness upset things again). Good luck and best wishes. Please let us know how you get on. Remember things won't always be like this - try and think of that in the wee small hours.

Andy and Sue

BlingLoving Wed 16-Oct-13 23:08:11

Strawberry, you haven't come back so I hope you are ok. You sounded desperate. A lot of good tips on here already, especially the shifts. I also agree that ironically, ensuring she is not exhausted at bed time is often helpful. Have you tried making bed time a bit earlier?

Ds went through a couple of phases like this, on top of his usual terrible sleeping. We found at one point that what worked to help us all get some sleep was for us simply to make ourselves a bed in his room and lie down there saying "sleepy time" as needed and then stay until eventually he went back to sleep. This worked better when dh did it because he was more able to sleep on our mat on the floor and also because ds was less liky to want to get to him but was reassured by his presence. If nothing else it meant that while we were up in the middle of the night we weren't massively uncomfortable at the same time!

Good luck. I really feel for you. Keep posting, it helps!

NaturalBaby Wed 16-Oct-13 23:13:37

I nearly lost the plot after 6 months of sleepless nights with ds1, I cannot cope with screaming babies - I don't know how you've made it to 15months! I asked a HV for help and she came out to do a home visit, I did a sleep diary for 2 weeks, we wrote up a plan, she came back 2 weeks later and it was sorted.
The only way I kept going was an afternoon nap, mostly co-sleeping with them or t.v on if they wouldn't sleep and I had a snooze on the sofa.

beachavendrea Fri 18-Oct-13 06:49:42

I feel awful for you. I lasted 6 months when I got to the point when I needed to do something. We hired a sleep consultant called millpond, it was done all over the phone and email. She had my ds sleeping through in 2 weeks. Was £250 but worth it.

strawberryswing Fri 18-Oct-13 23:17:21

Hello everyone, thankyou so much for your help/advice, you dont know how much I appreciate it!

Sorry ive not been back, just moved house and only got internet installed. Last night was just terrible, new house and her own room meant she was even more unsettled and she sobbed and screamed for hours on end.

Just to answer a few questions (sorry if any missed)

She is put to bed at half 7, but she doesn't fall asleep til around 8pm. I must admit we are probably at fault here because she falls asleep on me or dp and then we transfer her to the cot.
Thats not to say we dont try putting her in the cot first , but she just stands up gig gling laughing bouncing off the walls. She will scream when laid down and will not give in.

No matter how tired she is she.will stand at the bars. Im sure.ive made a rod for my own back but out of sheer desperation for sleep it was the only way.

I dont think she is hungry. She has her dads appetite lol and will eat anything and everything and she has a bottle just before bed.

Ive been to the doctor who said she needs calpol every night before bed???? And the health visitor blamed me for giving her a night feed. Again, everything else is tried.first but im so tired if she will sleep after a bottle then sometimes I have to do that.

I know ive instilled some bad habits and im.kicking myself day in and day out for it.

Oh and she has one nap, between 1-2 hours usually around dinnertime. She just wants to run round and play all day, its like the thought of sleeping never enters her beautiful little head!

Oh and to top it off I have a very smug friend on facebook who keeps.posting about how amazing her daughter sleeps and how she's obviously doing everything right.and making me feel like a failure!

BlingLoving Sat 19-Oct-13 15:57:32

Oh strawberry. It's hard.

I would definitely try earlier bedtime. 7:39 is quite late for a 15 month old. Try putting her down by 7. See how that works.

And block your fb friend. No one needs that and she's being ridiculous posting that kind of thing up there

Workberk Sat 19-Oct-13 18:27:08

This sounds a bit like my DS, except he's only 10mo. I think he's stuck in a cycle of over tiredness and I can't get him out. He doesn't nap much either.

If he's still doing this in 5 months time I'll be broken! Please let us know how you get on.

strawberryswing Fri 17-Jan-14 11:18:40

3 month update. THINGS HAVE IMPROVED!

I feel like I have some sanity back now. For the past week she has slept from 12ish solid til 8/9am 5 days out of the 7. Only once has she been up past 2am (in which she got up at 4am and stayed up ffs!)

The only thing we have changed is giving her a consistent bedtime routine of bottle, goodnight song on tv then bed at 7-7.30 without fail.

I know I have now jinxed this and will be in for it tonight, but for now I am happy, ladies there is hope.

thanks

Willothewhip Fri 17-Jan-14 20:58:17

Congratulations! And how nice of you to come back and post about what worked. It gives those of us still in the depths of sleep deprivation hope and something to work on. So glad it's eased for you.

strawberryswing Sat 18-Jan-14 10:36:12

Thankyou Willo, I hope it does give some people hope! Its not perfect, she still wakes up but it is soo much bearable that I can open my eyes during the day and not have blinding headaches.

The depths of sleep deprivation are horrific, I mean you know babies dont sleep etc but you're still not prepared for the effect it has on you!

All I know is that eventually it WILL get better!

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