Author Topic: Could punch myself in the face for this!!!  (Read 733 times)

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Offline Vanillacherry

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Could punch myself in the face for this!!!
« on: November 19, 2014, 09:24:05 am »
Hi everyone,

Really hoping someone (anyone?!) can help me. My DS is 7.5months. He slept through (7-5am) from 8 weeks but stopped randomly after a month and now wakes more than once an hour. It is killing me. I have a demanding almost 3 year old so can't sleep in the day.

A couple of months ago I made the critical error of feeding him in the night to get him to sleep even though he hadn't needed it since 8 weeks (how I wish I could go back to that night and punch myself!) This has now spiralled into feeding everytime he wakes as I'm just so damn tired and don't want him to wake my toddler. I have turned myself into an all night buffet bar!! I've read lots of advice about cutting feedings by a minute a time but there are so many of them I wouldn't know where to start. He naps fine in the day in his cot and can settle himself to sleep at bedtime, just not in the night! He goes into bed drowsy but awake.

Routine is:

7am - feed (depending in when he last fed at night which at the moment is every 45 mins!)
Get dressed and play
8am - breakfast
9am - nap in cot for 1 hour
10am - feed, play or errands
12.30 - nap
1.30 - feed, play
4 - feed then nap
5pm - awake, dinner
6.30 bath
7pm - feed, bedtime

First wake up is almost always 10.30pm then it just deteriorates from there. Hubbie tries to settle him but after an hour or so we resort to feeding. I have tried resettling him for up to an hour and a half but he gets so worked up. I get him back to sleep but then he wakes a couple of mins later everytime.

I would be so so grateful for any advice or experiences. Feeling so low and alone!

Offline Kellyjs

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Re: Could punch myself in the face for this!!!
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2014, 12:45:49 pm »
Welcome to BW. First of all ((hugs)). I'm sure it's really tough having a 3yo around as well, so no wonder you've resorted to apop!

I think you're right in that you've created yourself a bit of a prop with the feeding at night. You can go down the route of gradual withdrawal if you'd like but tbh I would quit cold turkey as it's obvious he's getting enough feeds during the day. He knows he's going to get a feed if he holds out for it. It might take a few days that probably won't be pretty, but I think once you commit to it and his routine is worked out, it will get easier, promise!

Waking in the night like that makes me think he's UT from all those naps throughout the day. Your A times are quite low for a 7.5mo, many are pulling 3hrs+ around now. I would look at gradually extending those A times by 15mins, holding for 3 days then extending again until he can drop that last nap. I'll be back in a mo to post a link for you that explains it in full. What do you think? X

All about the 3-2 transition- 5/6 months

These will also be helpful I think:
Average A times- BOOKMARK ME!!
Typical Amounts of Day and Night Sleep
How to PU/PD (inc age adaptations)
chronological EASY samples, 7-9 months
« Last Edit: November 19, 2014, 12:50:21 pm by Kellyjs »



Offline Vanillacherry

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Re: Could punch myself in the face for this!!!
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2014, 16:42:26 pm »
Thanks so much for responding - really appreciate you taking the time to try and help. I'm going to do PU/PD tonight even if I have to stay up all night. He's only had 2 naps today of 45 mins each so maybe he'll be more tired. I'm willing to try anything at this stage (hopefully not CC as it would break my heart) - need to save my sanity. I'll steel myself for a tough night. Quick question though - should I feed him at 4/5am or try to get him through til 7 even if I have to get up for the day at 4?

Offline Kellyjs

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Re: Could punch myself in the face for this!!!
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2014, 17:28:28 pm »
Good on you hun! Please don't try CC, we really don't support it here as Tracy believed it broke the bond of trust between you and the LO. In the long run, our gentler methods will work out for the better.

45mims naps are definitely UT. I would work on those A times tomorrow. It's up to you about the 4/5am feeding. If you think he's hungry by then and it'll get you (well, him) to a decent wu time in the morning then yes do it. It will help you be able to push those A times tomorrow. We can always work on eliminating that feed later on.

Do remember, you can be stronger than he is if you set your mind to it. It really is pointless to give up after an hour and feed anyway as he'll quickly learn that's what he has to do to get fed. They are very clever at working this out!! Huge good luck vibes for tonight. Hopefully as you said he'll be more tired tonight. Let me know how it goes and I'm mentally holding your hand through the rough night ok?  :-*



Offline Vanillacherry

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Re: Could punch myself in the face for this!!!
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2014, 14:14:31 pm »
So last night was interesting. I moved a chair and a blanket to his cot side and went to bed at 9.30pm. At 10.30pm, as per usual, he woke up crying. I was so determined to be strong that I sat and soothed him for an hour and a half until he went back to sleep. So many false starts - kept thinking he was asleep then he'd wail all over again. Thought it would never happen but it did! I didn't pick him up once as he wasn't exactly distressed, more angry and shouty. I just put a hand on his chest or held his hand and kept saying "it's OK, you're just going to sleep".

He woke up again at 4am. I tried for an hour to soothe him but I began to realise he was genuinely hungry as he kept trying to put my hand in his mouth. I fed him in the chair for just 5 mins, one side only then put him back in the cot and he went straight back to sleep until 7am. This is the first time he hasn't ended the night in my bed for months. Being up for 2 and a half hours doesn't seem like progress but I really feel like it is. And with only one night feed rather than 10, it gives me somewhere to go - I can gradually reduce it by a minute each night. Thank you so much for giving me the courage to try a different approach. Fingers crossed for a better night tonight! Xxx

Offline Kellyjs

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Re: Could punch myself in the face for this!!!
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2014, 17:35:20 pm »
That's amazing hun, well done you! Sounds like you're doing it just perfectly. Hope tonight goes well. Remember there sometimes can be a slight regression after a few days, but if you carry on it's normally only a temporary blip. You may find he might want to keep that 4/5am feeding for a little while but I think if you just work on all those other WU's, that one might phase out on its own anyway.

How did it go pushing the A times today?



Offline Vanillacherry

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Re: Could punch myself in the face for this!!!
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2014, 19:56:12 pm »
Not great.  I was going to try and keep him up this morning but he was so tired from being up for 2.5 hours in the night that he only managed 2 hours. We then had to go out so he had a 30 min cat nap in the pram about 1.5 hours later. I then kept him up for 2.5 hours, he had a 1 hour nap then was up 3.5 hours until bedtime (super grouchy!) so a bit inconsistent. He really does seem to get tired (yawning, rubbing eyes, grizzling) after about 2.5 hours max at the moment. Anyway, he didn't have a catnap before bed so I'll see whether that makes him better or worse. The trouble is when I had DD1, I spent my entire life devoted to her sleep (and she's now a great sleeper!) but DS just doesn't get the same devoted attention because I have DD to look after. His naps have to fit around her to some extent. Anyway, here goes night 2...!

Offline Vanillacherry

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Re: Could punch myself in the face for this!!!
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2014, 07:36:57 am »

Zzzzzz. Craving sleep. Night 2 was worse. First wake up at 9pm but easily settled with hand on chest. I was full of positivity and the next wake up wasn't until 2am. That was great - meant we had missed out the habitual 10.30pm nightmare. However it was all downhill from there. I was still trying to resettle him 2 hours later. Oddly, he was quite easy to get back to sleep but as soon as I was about to go back to sleep, he'd wake crying again. As this went on constantly until 4am when he usually has a feed, I got him out of the cot and fed him from one side in a chair then put him back down (rather than feeding him in bed laying down so we can both sleep). He went straight to sleep. I wasn't sure what to do as I didn't want to give up after a 2 hour battle but that is our usual feed time - was completely torn! Then he woke up again at 5.30am (easily settled with help), then 6am (easily settled with help) then up for the day at 6.45am. This doesn't seem like much progress and I am shattered - am I still on the right track? Should I be doing/not be doing anything else?

Offline Kellyjs

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Re: Could punch myself in the face for this!!!
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2014, 12:38:46 pm »
It's not unusual to still have a nf when they're ebf. I think many are still having one up to around 10mo.

I think you're doing brilliantly. If you do feel that he's hungry, do feed. What we wanted to get away from was the feeding every time he woke throughout the night. What you are doing is perfect especially not taking him into bed with you if you don't want that to continue (many people are happy to do this).

I do think you'll have to try and push those A times. That 9pm wu might have been because he was OT before going to bed. Many times when they get super grouchy at their usual nap times, it's just learned behaviour. We had that here. Once I did start pushing those A times slowly it resulted in the naps being better spaced out during the day and stopped those OT WU's in the beginning part of the night. I had to be convinced too! Those last 15mins were such hard work  ::)




Offline Vanillacherry

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Re: Could punch myself in the face for this!!!
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2014, 20:13:46 pm »
Last night was horrible. He woke up every 5 mins from 22.20-1am. My head was pounding from 3 nights of no sleep so I fed him for 5 mins and put him back in the cot. He then slept until 4.30am when I fed him again for 5 mins. He needed resettling at 6.15 then slept til 7.30. A real backwards step. I've asked hubbie to take over tonight - I just can't do another night of zero sleep. Is this DS getting worse before he gets better? I just can't understand why he keeps waking - he's not hysterical like he used to be, he just cries in frustration then as soon as I go to him and say 'it's sleepy time' and hold his hand he goes straight back to sleep. For 4 mins. Lol. Is this normal? Has anyone else encountered this?

The positive is that I've taken your advice and we worked really hard today at stretching his A times so he only had 2 naps. The first was an hour but the second one was for 1.5 hours which is the first time in ages. All I can do is cross my fingers that tonight could be the night it all gets better...

Offline Kellyjs

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Re: Could punch myself in the face for this!!!
« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2014, 09:29:38 am »
It might be easier having your DH do it for a night. It is recommended as they don't expect milk from daddy! I'm sure it'll make you feel better too getting some more sleep. Yes, I would say this is completely normal. It is great he's settling without you having to bf every time. That's not a backwards step, but a step in the right direction. I know it doesn't feel like it now, but it is. He's obviously just needing the extra reassurance atm.

That's absolutely brilliant about the naps. You may find you'll have to stretch that first A again if he's trying to wake up for the day earlier as we know he's not hungry at 6.15. Consequently if you stretch that first A and he gets a nap of 1.5hrs you may need to add a little onto the second A too to get a decent nap in there too.

Huge ((hugs)) and sleepy vibes for both of you! X



Offline Vanillacherry

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Re: Could punch myself in the face for this!!!
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2014, 08:53:18 am »
As we approach the end of week one, I thought I'd make a note of the progress we've made - half to keep me strong and half for anyone reading who is going through the same thing!

Progress -

1. we are now at 2 naps a day and have a 3 hour A time. The first for 45 mins, then if we go in and hold his hand he falls back to sleep quickly and has another 20-30 mins. The second is an hour and a half. He wakes at 45 mins but resettles himself which is a miracle in itself!

2. When he wakes in the night he no longer looks for a feed - we have broken the association! He now has one feed at 6am and goes back to sleep until 7/7.30.

3. When he wakes in the night, we can resettle him immediately instead of the hours and hours of being awake before. Hence I'm not such a zombie.

4. Occasionally he can resettle himself in the early hours.

Now for the challenges:

1. Despite being easy to resettle, he is still waking every 1.5 hours throughout the night starting at 8.30pm. That's a heck of a lot of NWs!

2. He needs us to hold his hand gently to resettle - we've created a new prop!

So, for those that have been through it, where do we go from here?! How do we wean the hand-holding? Or do we just be thankful that we're only up for 5-10 mins at a time?

Offline Kellyjs

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Re: Could punch myself in the face for this!!!
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2014, 19:23:19 pm »
Great update hun. You really do have to pat yourself on the back for this  ;)

I think that first A could use with an extra 10 or 15mins adding on. That might help that transition over to the next sleep cycle. It sounds close to being right. I'd keep the second A as is.

Is he crying when he wakes every 1.5 hrs? If not, I would just leave him to see if he'll settle. I think I remember you posted about this on another thread? Otherwise, I would look at a gradual withdrawal method so reducing the handholding a little at a time. And reducing the pressure. I know you said it's gentle atm, but even so, a little less every few days would be good. Do remember though, you've come so far in a week, doing this next part slowly might be the key. I would continue this for at least another week with the new routine (with the extra little bit of A first thing) and see if it settles. If not, we may need to routine tweak again. But I'd like to see if he gets used to all these new changes first before we shake everything up again iykwim?

Just checking... There's no teething going on that you're aware of is there?



Offline Vanillacherry

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Re: Could punch myself in the face for this!!!
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2014, 19:58:30 pm »
Thanks Kelly - I couldn't have got this far without your brilliant advice. I was in a horrible place this time last week and I do feel so much better. Unfortunately - yes - he is crying at every wake up. We leave him for a minute or so but worry about waking up our toddler so try and go in before he escalates even more. We literally only have to touch his hand and he goes back to sleep - it's a bit like magic!

So I should try putting him to bed at 10.10 - 10.15 if he wakes at 7am? I'll give that a go. He's doing much better with a longer A time than I thought he would actually. When he gets grisly we just walk about with him until sleep time!

Will keep doing what we're doing for the next week and then maybe try to just use my voice. I've tried that a few times - it wasn't working but maybe once he's settled in the new routine he'll feel more secure. Will update again in a few days. It always frustrates me when I read threads and can't find out what happened next!!

Offline Kellyjs

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Re: Could punch myself in the face for this!!!
« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2014, 20:06:08 pm »
It is annoying isn't it! I used to trawl this website for hours looking for answers and more often than not people don't update with the result!

I was just thinking actually, what about adding the 15mins onto the first A but then taking off 15mims off the last A so it's only 2.75hrs to BT? It may be that he likes a longer first A but shorter last A to bed. They might be OT NW's if they're happening in the beginning part of the night. My DD could only do 2.5hrs to BT at around 7mo. That'll keep your day to 12hrs then xx