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Its 3am... still havent slept

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  • Its 3am... still havent slept

    I am just done. I am so tired and angry and spent that its 3am and I am typing this while listening to DD in the other room screaming with DH. She just keeps going mamamama. I am crying.

    She just doesnt sleep..... she SERIOUSLY DOESNT SLEEP!

    She is 8 months old, we co-sleep and BF. In the beginning she was a very sleepy new born and for the first three months she did little but sleep, now however its just a total nightmare and getting worse by the day. We keep saying 'its just a stage' and then thinking that it will stop once her teeth are through, she is crawling, cruising, and now we are saying once she is walking.... I am exhausted and have not slept for more than two hours in a row in 5 months. To get those two hours in a row I have to send DH and the kids out the door because DD doesnt sleep for more than 45 min at a go..... EVER. This last week we are down to waking up every half hour all night long. And during that half hour I have to actively keep her asleep by rubbing her back, rocking or feeding. If I stop for a second or shift my weight, breath, she wakes up. In this last week I have been sleeping in 5-10 min blocks. I am going insane.

    I also have a DS who is 2.5, he was never a great sleeper when he was little and I used to complain about having to get up ever couple of hours.... I would KILL for a couple of hours now. He has started getting nightmares during the night so DH has been sleeping with him. This is great but also means that I have no help at night. DH cannot do the feeding at night so we are kind of stuck.

    I dont know what to do. I cannot keep this up any longer. I am done. At least when DS was little I could just try and grab some sleep while he napped, but as he doesnt nap any more I dont have that luxury with the two of them around. I am falling apart at the seam. I cannot think straight, I have ulcers, I cry at the drop of a hat and fall asleep if I sit down for too long.

    I need help or I am going to lose it. I am seriously going to lose it. I am here because I dont WANT to CIO, but I need some practical advise. If I dont get some sleep soon I dont know what I am going to do. I am seriously unhappy.

    Its gone quiet now.

  • #2

    Hi - I read your post and cried. My night was very similar to yours and I was looking to this forum for some support as well. I'm sorry that I don't have any advice for you... I too feel the exhaustion and frustration. I don't want to have her cry-it-out but all of us are so tired that we've become disfunctional.

    I go through the same thought process... it will get better once her teeth come in, once she crawls, once she walks.... but it feels as if there is no end in sight. On top of it, her sleep habits seem to get worse with each week that goes by. CIO feels like an awful thing to resort to, but if we can't sleep, how can we be nurturing parents?

    Advice from someone who has made it through this without CIO would be very much appreciated. In the meantime, I send you my sympathy and a wish for a few more hours of sleep.



    • #3
      Hey there! I read both your posts and feel SOOOO much for you. I have been there and it's not a fun place to be.

      I don't know if this applies to either of you but I found that the particularly intense nights (sleeping 15 to 30 mn at most) usually lasted a few days before going back to the 1 to 2 hour wakings (mostly every hour).

      At 14 months DS has just recently started a couple of longer stretches, maybe one 3 hour stretch a night which is amazing.

      The only thing that would grant me some sanity was to prop me AND baby with as many pillows as necessary to find a position where I could sleep sitting up with baby on a pillow across my tummy nursing basically ALL NIGHT. I read a post here from another Mommy who did the same thing.

      I must say it's not an ideal solution and PLEASE make sure ALL precautions are taken so as not to put your baby in danger of not being able to breath or of falling. You don't get the most comfortable sleep. Sore back, neck and bum in the morning but if you're at the point you sound like, you might not care, I didn't. It's also probably not something you can (or want) to do long-term but if you can at least get in a couple of nights of sleep you'll feel so much better and more able to cope with what's happening.

      Good luck and many of your fellow AP Mommies are thinking of you and sending you the most positive wishes.


      • #4
        My children were terrible sleepers, so I feel your pain! I can tell you that it DOES get better. All children eventually start sleeping regardless of your methods, so being responsive is the best way to go.

        Have either of you considered food allergies? Foods such as dairy can cause serious sleep disturbances. You may want to look into an elimination diet to see if you can find any relief.

        In the meantime, call in the reinforcements! Do you have family or friends that could come in during the day to help out with the baby so that you can get some sleep? Can someone help with the housework so that you can save your energy for the important things?


        • #5
          Thank you for the tips and encouragement. We discovered that Sierra can't tolerate the milk that I drink so I cut dairy months ago. She's just turned 7 months so solids are still fairly new to her. She barely eats them - especially if I try to feed her. She spits most of it out as if I'm trying to poison her! I'm wondering if this contributes to her night wakings.

          Aside from being horribly sleep deprived, it is really hard to have people everywhere telling me she just needs to cry it out. Two pediatricians, family, friends and books - all claiming that she'll never learn good sleep habits if I don't do CIO. I'm feeling pretty desperate and sometimes I think we might try CIO. I don't need her to sleep through the night (but it sure would be nice!), I just need enough sleep to be a good mom and a functioning human being. I'm not either right now. I want to do the best thing for her and up until now, I thought I was. But now we're both so exhausted, could the CIO crowd be right? She just needs to learn to fall asleep on her own?

          I joined this forum to find some other folks who believe in nurturing night time parenting, not CIO. I want my daughter to always trust that I will respond to her - day or night. But if I can't function due to lack of sleep, how can I be there for her? I keep waiting/hoping/trying to find balance - trusting that we will get there soon. But now I am full of doubt. I cry every day and wonder what to do next. Then I read that babies can continue with night wakings until 3 years of age... how can people do this for years? I'm hoping to survive until Saturday.

          Thank you for the support... it helps!



          • #6
            I know how you feel. I really do. My oldest started sleeping through the night just a few months before ds2 was born. ds2 was an even worse sleeper, up every hour for nearly 2 years and then didn't start sleeping through until 3. So I never got decent sleep for about 6 years straight. I honestly thought I would lose it psychologically. I have no idea how I got through it, but I did. It does end. Both of my children learned to sleep on their own, w/out CIO. My oldest, now 7, sleeps like a log every night. My youngest wakes occasionally due to growing pains, but does very well also. Your children will learn to sleep on their own, don't worry about that. Think about ways that you can, right now, help yourself deal w/the lack of sleep. Call a friend, insist on help from your partner (if you have one), focus what energy you have on the things in life that are positive and that you enjoy.


            • #7
              Thank you all so much for your replies. It makes such a difference to know that we are not alone. DH is fantastic and helps out heaps, it still feels awful when he is the one to put her down though because she just cries for me. I know its not really CIO as she is with her lovely and caring dad... but, you know. We have never done CIO and I dont think we ever would. Its been tempting though. I know intellectually that its not going to solve our problems..... but I NEED some sleep!

              We have started getting DH to settle her every other time she wakes and this seems to be helping (its been two night since I wrote this thread). At least she is getting used to going to sleep with someone other than me.

              Its so hard. I keep reminding myself that she IS eight months now and its not going to be a bad thing if her dad can put her to sleep, but I HATE hearing her cry for me. I hate the lack of sleep more at this stage though.

              I guess I am just feeling mean. And at three in the morning after no sleep for a week it was more than I could handle. Its funny how you tend to feel a bit better in the light of day, even on so little sleep. I know it wont last forever at the moment though it feels like it already has.


              • #8
                Originally posted by mumtoone View Post
                I know it wont last forever at the moment though it feels like it already has.
                It's hard when you're in it as it feels like forever, llike 'where is the light at the end of the tunnel?' I too am hoping my DS will start sleeping better/longer soon and I just don't look at the clock anymore because I certainly feel worse the next day when I clock up the little sleep I've had. If another person asks me 'does he sleep through the night' i am going to throttle them... at the end of the day I know it is not his fault, though at 4 in the morning it is hard to be rational like that. I have been so tempted to fish for an easy option, but I guess we have to pat ourselves on the back that by being responsive we are doing the best we can. It's tough though, much tougher than I imagined. My eyeballs are stinging I am so tired...
                I hope it gets better for you.


                • #9

                  What a lot you're going through! You sound like such a devoted mama (all of you!) and it's so wonderful to read even though I feel awful for you.

                  My oldest was never much of a sleeper. She just didn't need much and she was a night owl too. She did eventually become a great sleeper and she is now about to turn 12 and has been nothing but a joy every day of her life even though I got little sleep in the very beginning. I am so glad I never let her CIO even though I remember being so tired that I would fall asleep in mid sentence.

                  Someone suggested food intolerances and I would really check into that. Dairy is a huge one, even through mama's milk. My second child was sensitive to dairy and when I cut it out of my diet (in all forms) her ear infections stopped and her crankiness stopped. Also, babies don't need anything except breastmilk the first year so if a baby isn't eager to try solids I'd just wait till later on those. They could be leading to some tummy troubles that are exarcerbating things.

                  Is there a friend or relative who can give you a rest once in a while, even during the day? It can be wonderful to even have a friend come by in the afternoon and just watch the baby while you nap all by yourself for a blissful few hours.

                  Here is some general advice on how to help babies sleep better:

                  It does pass, even though it doesn't seem like it. Focus on all the other stuff that's going to pass soon too, those baby things that are so fleeting and magical and will never be again. As someone who's made it through 4 babies I can attest to this saying so much: "The days are long but the years are short." And yeah, I know the nights are longest of all!

                  I hope it gets better soon!


                  • #10
                    Don't know if you are still having trouble but something that works for me when DD is not wanting to sleep for decent stretches is I just get up, nurse and put her in the ergo in the middle of the night. I step side to side to give her constant motion. Doing this usually gets her a couple of hours and I just use the time to watch a movie or read a magazine while still moving. For some reason, getting one good stretch usually leads to another good stretch where we both get a little sleep. I feel like atleast that way, one of us is getting rest and I get to do something that I never do during the day, watch tv. It usually helps to set in a better pattern. Hope things are getting better and you are getting the support you need!


                    • #11
                      I so understand!!! I came on here looking for advice b/c I had a rough night. My dd is 16 months old and has never been a good sleeper (to me, she doesn't seem bothered by it). She has gotten better here and there but recently its been bad, I am thinking its the molars. CIO is a thing I toy with in my head but I could never do. I have talked about her sleep many times and somebody reminded me this is temporary. That this is a small window of time I have with her where she wants to be nursed, cuddled, held, rocked... soon she will be older. This always helps me with those hard nights and I needed this reminder a lot b/c its been over a month of every 5 to 40 mins of waking. I also have turned my clock around and don't look at the time b/c when I do I start to get resentful. When I get resentful I have to take a moment and look at her and remember she is a baby and is still learning how to live in this world and I remember that I too still get scared and want my mom. Hope this helps, hang in there. Hearing others makes me know that I am not alone and with others I can do this.