Sleep won't improve - feel so desperate - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 09-02-2011, 05:49 AM - Thread Starter
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I woke up this morning feeling so desperate aboout our sleep situation.


Our 9 month old wakes about 6-7 times a night (or every 1-2 hours) since he was about 5 months.  We've tried suggestions from "No Cry Sleep Solution" but they have had no impact.


During the last week he has had a cold and has had trouble going to sleep at night.  Last night he was awake from 2-4 am and would not go to sleep, no matter how much rocking or nursing.


I'm getting to the point where I feel so angry and resentful.  I know it's not his fault, but when my son woke up this morning I did not feel like smiling or cuddling him.  He is tugging on my leg now and I just have nothing to give him.  I spend the whole day making sure he naps,even though he only naps for 30 minutes at a time.  Then I spend all evening putting him to sleep.  My husband and I barely make it through dinner and he has already woken up a couple of times.  Then I spend all nighttime getting him back to sleep.


I try very hard not to feel resentful towards my son, but I worry that this experience will affect my long term relationship with him.  I wonder if I am really cut out for motherhood.  When I see people with twins all I can think of is "thank goodness it's not me".


Everyone says "it's gets easier", "hang in there"...but it has not gotten any easier, and I can't see the light at the end of the tunnel.


We have researched several "sleep consultants" in our area, but it turns out they can only offer variations of "cry it out" which we do not want to do to our son.


I belong to a mom's group and they are all very nice ladies, but all have kids that sleep decently.  It annoys me when they complain that they have had one bad night - which is always better than any night we have - and there is this outpooring of sympathy from the other moms.  When I have raised our sleep problem they just say "have you tried letting him cry it out".


What makes me angry is that, let's say he had a physical problem, such as not walking properly, there would be plenty of professional help that would actually address the problem. No one would say "let him figure it out for himself".  But when it comes to sleep, there is no help out there that actually addresses the core problem. 


Anyway all I could think to do this morning was to express how I am feeling, which right now is incredibly dark and desperate.

41 y/o married Mama, 4 y/o DS1, Angel Baby lost in Sep 2013, Angel Baby lost March 2014, 3 months old DS2.
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#2 of 12 Old 09-02-2011, 07:37 AM
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The sleep thing is terrible, terrible, terrible.  I totally hear you, mama.  Our 17 month old is the same way.  It has caused a lot of trouble between DH and I, though we have worked through a lot of it together.  But it's still awful.


I, too, feel resentful towards our wonderful toddler and guilty for feeling resentful. 


We co-sleep, which may be part of the problem...when he wakes, he only wants me when he wakes, and he only wants to nurse in order to get back to sleep.  And he knows I'll always do it.


I haven't had a good night's sleep since June of 2009.


Don't doubt your ability to be a good mom...any human would be resentful and tired and irritable if they only got a hour's worth of sleep at a stretch, regardless of the reason.


Do you have a LLL near you?  They'd be less likely to promote CIO, for the most part.


I quit telling people about our LO's sleep issues because I didn't want suggestions (the suggestions were always CIO).  And I outright mislead MIL since she would ask if he was STTN every time I talked to her or saw her from the time he was a couple weeks old, I always got the same question:  "Is he STTN?"  She still asks, and I always tell her he sleeps great.


He doesn't.  I love my son, and I hate it that he doesn't sleep well.  It is okay to have both feelings, and one doesn't take away from the other.


Good luck.

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#3 of 12 Old 09-02-2011, 02:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by caedenmomma View Post


Do you have a LLL near you?  They'd be less likely to promote CIO, for the most part.



Thanks for your words caedenmomma.  I do have a LLL near me and was thinking I ought to join a your words of encouragement are a good reminder of me to do just that. 


It's such an isolating feeling having a kid who does not sleep well, surrounded by moms who - so it seems - are lucky to have solid sleepers.


I was thinking how infant sleep is such a neglected area and not taken seriously at all. I can't think of any other area of child development where the "solution" is to let them figure it out for themself....when there is a problem identified, they are given MORE help not just neglected and expected to flourish.


It's so frustrating not being able to find genuine help...

41 y/o married Mama, 4 y/o DS1, Angel Baby lost in Sep 2013, Angel Baby lost March 2014, 3 months old DS2.
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#4 of 12 Old 09-02-2011, 07:23 PM
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Have you every thought of a sleep doula?  I have a friend who did and it worked wonders for her LO who is now 1 years old.  She was losing her mind and was at the end of being able to cope; she said it was nice having someone around who could reassure her that her child's crying wasn't hurting her LO.  But yeah, it involved some crying it out, but only for 2-3 nights.


Our LO breastfed every 1-2 hours his entire life until we finally decided to wean at 20 months.  After that, not only did he (mostly) sleep through the night almost RIGHT AWAY, but we were able to continue cosleeping! We were able to do it without a crying it out method!  My DH and i don't think that the sleeping it though the night thing would have been possible without the weaning however, at least not with us.  We were hugely surprised however that we were able to continue cosleeping, (we actually stopped though after about a month in order to improve OUR sleep).

Love of our life, born September 2009
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#5 of 12 Old 09-02-2011, 07:59 PM
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For what it's worth we saw big improvements in my daughters sleep around the time she was one. Sounds like you are having a rougher time, but it still may get better.


Can your husband be the night time parent for a night while you sleep? Would your little one take bottles of expressed milk? Even one night of full rest for you will make you feel a lot better. Even if your son cries the whole night he will be with someone who loves him, and you (with earplugs if necessary) will get that desperately needed sleep. Could Dad do it once a week, or once every two weeks. IMHO you need to get some rest if you are going to help your child learn to sleep.


If Dad can't in my city it is possible to hire a sleep doula to look after your child for a few nights so that you can catch up on some sleep and they can work on different routines with the little one. No CIO involved, though possibly some crying in the doulas arms of course. They could still bring him to you to nurse, but then do all the rocking, walking, sitting up, diaper changing, etc. Or if you have pumped milk available and your child will take a bottle you can even get a full 8 hours. This would be stressful for your son for sure, but not as stressful as being left to cry alone. He needs a functional Mama.


Have you read Sleepless in America? I found that book extremely helpful when my daughter was taking 2 hours to fall asleep at night and then waking every 3 hours at around 9 months old.






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#6 of 12 Old 09-02-2011, 09:13 PM
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i just wanted to send some hugs, i dont have any advice, i am dealing with similar sounding sleep problems that have snuck up on us and yes i do have twins. so hugs all around, we will get thru this

partners.gif 2twins.gif  So what if I don't fit cleanly into a defined parenting style, my kids don't fit into a personality archetype either!

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#7 of 12 Old 09-03-2011, 06:47 AM
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My son woke like that.


What finally helped was for me to stop nursing him from his bedtime to my bedtime.  So he went to sleep at 7 and I didn't nurse him until 10.  Initially I would just sing and if he still upset after a song (ok if he was upset through the song.. but at the end of the song if he wasn't calming down even a tiny bit) I would nurse him.  If he was calming down I'd keep singing.  


With DD I did it more 'cold turkey' b/c I had a job by then at night.  So she just got DH.  And yes she did cry but she was with her daddy and they worked it out.


Once they learned that the world didn't end if they woke up and didn't nurse they stopped waking so often.  Maybe 2x night or something manageable.


Hope it helps!


All my kids only woke a lot when I was nursing them a lot at night.  Even my tiny (then) 2 month old stopped waking at night when I was hospitalized for a week.  (Now I'm out and she's back to nursing a lot.  no prob @ this age).

DS (6.06), DD (10.08), DD (05.11).

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#8 of 12 Old 09-04-2011, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Alisse View Post

Have you every thought of a sleep doula?  I have a friend who did and it worked wonders for her LO who is now 1 years old.  She was losing her mind and was at the end of being able to cope; she said it was nice having someone around who could reassure her that her child's crying wasn't hurting her LO.  But yeah, it involved some crying it out, but only for 2-3 nights.



Crying it out (CIO) is not something we support or allow to be promoted here at MDC. It is a traumatic form of sleep training that can be extremely harmful to the child and the mother. Here is an excellent post of resources about this topic. 


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#9 of 12 Old 09-05-2011, 02:03 PM
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My twins woke to nurse every hour or two up until a week ago. They are 15 mos now. I would roll side to side every hour all night. Oh and for a while there I felt like all I did all day was try to get the babies to sleep. Miserable.

For who knows what reason in the last week or two they've really honestly slept for some 3-4 hour stretches! I feel amazing!

What really helped/helps me is napping with them during the day. If I'm up, even one eye open half asleep, every dang hour of the night, I REALLY need an afternoon nap.

Can you wrap him on your back? That does the trick for us a lot.

Hugs, best of luck

Mama to twin boys born at 30 weeks. 5/21/10. 
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#10 of 12 Old 09-06-2011, 09:11 AM
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Redmom, I am in almost the exact same situation. I am disappointed to hear the No Sleep Solution ideas didn't help, because I just read the book and started implementing some of them last night. :(  I offer no advice, just commiseration. I am working full-time, so it is killing me. I feel like all my time at home is spent trying to get my baby to sleep. I can't function like this.

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#11 of 12 Old 09-06-2011, 11:17 AM
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Redmom, do you co-sleep? Is baby in your bed or next to it? I found it exhausting when my son was in a co-sleeper next to our bed. I wanted to have him next to me and IN the bed, but believed our culture's fear of this practice. Regretfully I never researched the subject prior to my son's birth and half heartedly believed the myths surrounding it. Finally one day, I gave in to my instincts and placed my son next to me in bed. He slept much better from that night on and I felt like a new person. I finally had some sleep and realized that it didn't have to be as hard as I had made it for myself in the early weeks. Now 22 months later, my son still sleeps with us and it gets better and better. I sleep through the nursing, on some level I am aware but it does not disturb my sleep. I know he nurses several times a night still and it is perfectly normal and healthy, but now I feel rested when I wake. As a caveat, it did take a while for me to figure a comfortable sleep position months back, as I never knew how to place my arm (under my pillow!). That passed though, and I figured it out. So that was the one bump in the road, finding a comfortable sleep position, other than that it has been wonderful.


Good luck, I hope you find a more restful sleep.


I always like to pass along this article on children and sleeping below:


Oh, regarding sleep times, generally my son seems to do best going to bed along with us. There is little resistance when he sees all of us going to bed (even the dog).

Where as I have read that many moms who bed share put baby to sleep an hour or two before they themselves turn in. This seems common also and seems to work for many people.


Once again, good luck, I can recall feeling sleep deprived those first two months and it was awful, like a zombie during waking hours. I feel for you, having been through it for nine months.


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#12 of 12 Old 09-06-2011, 12:35 PM
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I was in your spot for about 18 months straight. It was hell. I didn't let her CIO, except for a couple times when DH and I actually got to go on a date and it took us about 15 minutes to get back to my parent's house, where DD was. She wouldn't sleep for ANYONE except me for those 18 or so months. Literally, I thought I might lose my mind.


Here's what I learned from the experience, that I couldn't 'see' at the time: I was stressed. VERY stressed. Even though I was trying not to feel it, I was. And DD was getting those stress hormones through my breast milk, which caused her to settle less easily at night and wake more frequently, just as adults do when dealing with stress. Also, because I wasn't sleeping soundly at night, since DD and I are so connected, that further affected her sleep.


Here is what I will do differently if I ever have another baby: I will meditate daily. I've started studying healing touch, and that has helped me immensely in my personal life, with my feelings and emotions. I will 'allow' (bad choice of word, but you know what I mean) my husband to comfort the baby from DAY ONE, so that she gets as used to him as she is to me. I will realize that my baby has TWO loving parents, and even though he doesn't have boobs, he can find his own great way to comfort her. I will make sure that, no matter what, I find at least 15-30 minutes each day that is ONLY dedicated to stress-relieving activities, such as a bath, meditation, a walk, etc. Whatever relaxes you the most, do that. DON'T just zone out on the computer! Limit screen time - we do this now, and it's been the most helpful thing we've ever done to help family harmony.


Feel free to PM me for more on my personal story if you think it will help you.


Blessings, and it does get better, I promise.







Me,yummy.gif   DS, Peace.gif and DDdust.gif Grateful to the baby I lost for sticking around long enough to teach me what I needed to know so badly  candle.gif  We  love our forest valley home, our goats and chickenschicken3.gif, and wild harvested food-medicine coolshine.gif

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