Friday, March 4, 2011

This sucks

So this is a personal post.

I just let my baby scream until she fell asleep.  I'm not proud.  I'm not converted.  I'm desperate.

For the past couple of weeks her sleep has been more and more disrupted.  I thought it was a cold, teething, the disruption of the cyclone, but that's all passed and it just keeps getting worse.  I know babies have different sleep needs, but we're down to 9-11 hours in a 24 hour block.  This is not ok.  This is not just a 'sleep problem' from my perspective.  This is not healthy for the baby.

Through this teething etc I have been feeding her to sleep often, which I don't mind doing.  But now she no longer settles with rocking or patting.  I've tried for well over an hour and all she does is cry until I give her boob or distract her with some activity.

The problem is that now she feeds till she looks sleepy, comes off and cries, gets up and crawls around, throws up, rubs her eyes and then cries because she's tired.  It's the constant throwing up that bothers me.  She's never had reflux, and she doesn't seem sick now.  There's no food she's been eating consistently enough to account for her doing this for 3 weeks.  She only chucks after she's fed and fed, so I think she's overfull.  She feeds to try and go to sleep but even that doesn't work all the time now.

My MIL has always been able to get her to sleep but she didn't sleep more than 20 min yesterday when I was at work, notwithstanding that she only slept about 7 hours the night before, and had only done about 1.5 hours of napping the day before that.  I gave her lots of cuddles last night and slept close to her.  She slept well apart from feeding, but she was awake for the day after only 9.5 hours.  Within an hour she was crying and yawning and rubbing her eyes.

I decided to lower her cot and see if I could get her to sleep in there again - because I used to be able to do it with patting and shushing.  I gave it a go, and it wasn't really working, so I decided to just feed her to sleep.  She bit me.  First time she's done this.  I was a bit shocked and couldn't think of what to do except pull her off and stare at her.  She cried and I stared for about a minute, so I gave her a cuddle and decided to have another go.  She bit me again.

I put her in the cot and walked out.  I wasn't sure what to do, so I turned the lullaby music on through the monitor and went and had a shower.

She was still crying when I got out.  I went back in and tried to pat her and shush her, which kind of worked for about 15 seconds then she started screaming again.  I felt so lost and helpless.  I wasn't prepared to put her back on the boob, and I didn't think cuddles would help.  So I walked out again.

I did that twice more and then she fell asleep.  I tiptoed in and she was kind of sobbing in her sleep.  It was horrible.

She went to sleep properly then, for maybe half an hour.  Then she woke up and started sobbing again.  I went in and gently stroked her until she was calm and looked almost asleep, which kind of worked, but then she started sobbing and sobbing and getting more and more worked up.  I have walked out again, and she kinds of stops and starts with the crying, but when she does cry it's more desperate (as opposed to when I was in there and it just sounded miserable).

Now I don't know what to do.  I'm sitting here at my computer crying.

I wouldn't mind helping her to sleep with patting and shushing if it worked.  I wouldn't mind putting her on the boob, but am afraid if she's not really hungry she'll just bite.  She won't take a pacifier.  I've been trying to get her attached to a lovey for months, but she's not really interested.

I cannot find any words to express this situation except: this sucks.


  1. Sorry you are having such a hard time :(

  2. *hugs* I also have felt pain like this. Id say she is vomiting because she is over full but if she keeps it up you might want to take her to a doctor for peace of mind. There are so many things that could be disturbing her sleep, like learning a new skill or pain or separation anxiety (have you just returned to work?) Also, I found physically tiring my baby out rather than just mental stimulation helps. Is Bethany crawling yet?maybe you can set up an obstacle course for her. But also sometimes bubs get in the habit of not sleeping. As they tend to copy what they did the day before a few days of extreme measures such as driving baby for hours or holding her once you get her to sleep and patting her back to sleep before she properly wakes is enough to "reset the system" so to speak.
    But don't be hard on yourself, you are tired and desperate and did nothing wrong.

  3. When my daughter was like that, generally around major developmental milestones, I would put her in a sling and walk and walk till she went to sleep, or bounce on a fit ball. And try not to think about how little sleep she was getting. Focussing on the magic of a baby rather than worrying about all the other things I "should" be doing also helped.

    Good luck - hope that she can relax into more sleep soon!

  4. My boy has never really fed to sleep or gone to sleep by himself. So during the day and for the first night sleep I put him in the ergo carrier and get on with things...sometimes I walk or fold washing standing up or sit at the computer bouncing on the fit ball. It can take a while for him to fall asleep but after an hour of him sleeping I can put him down for the rest of his sleep (if it’s a long one). He is getting heavy and I do get sick of this but on the positive I’m getting fit and ‘this too shall pass’. You are doing a wonderful job thinking about it and trying different things. I hope it soon gets better for you, I’d be crying too.

  5. I do not want to sound glib. However, DD ONLY ever bit me when she was teething. Can't speak for all babies, but DD was near impossible when teething, and still is. The best I found was Chamomilla homeopathic remedy (30c) which is actually commonly called the children's remedy, and one of its main indications is "impossible to please". I gave it to her a few nights ago when I thought a new tooth was coming in, and she was up until midnight stuffing around, grizzling and being weird. After the Chamomilla she relaxed and did finally go to sleep, albeit with booby.

    I definitely found that the teething could make for a baby who was not able to sleep. I always felt, at the young ages (now she's almost 2, she's never bit me, but if she did, I'd be more likely to think it was deliberately to hurt me) it was nearly impossible to suspect she was TRYING to hurt me (punish me) for anything I had done - withheld booby or otherwise. She is only just now starting to realise that hitting, biting and pinching actually hurts others - awareness of others as separate feeling beings other than herself - so during babyhood I always would assume that a biting baby meant a physically hurting baby. Again though, I can't speak for all babies (or any - just ask mine - I'm sure she'd tell you that I get it wrong plenty of times a day!)