Yay my 9 month old wakes every 2.5 hours… |#exhaustedmummy needs help!

Breastfeeding, Life with a newborn, Life with baby, Motherhood, Parenting
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You might have noticed I’ve been a bit slow on the blogging front recently. Well I have a bit of a confession, no I’m not pregnant, I’m not giving up blogging, and no, we haven’t been holed up in bed with the flu/chicken pox/D&V that’s been doing the rounds, touch wood! Nope, I’ve been totally and utterly sleep deprived. Zonked in front of the TV as soon as B is asleep; in a trance watching new guilty pleasures such as Married at First Sight (seriously, how watchable and addictive is it??!), and snoring away by 10pm.

At times I literally feel like I did during the first trimester with Baby B: absolutely shattered. I feel so so tired, like I really really struggle to keep my eyes open.

Why? Well, an almost 9 month old cheeky monster who wakes at least every 2.5 hours. Sometimes every hour, sometimes staying up for two hours at a time. I say stays up, but no, she falls asleep as I feed her and snores but when I try to put her in her cot she stirs, immediately sits up and screams. It’s terrible. I keep soothing her, and every way I try shhhhhing, white noise, mobiles, star shows, pick up put down, and yes, leaving her to cry, I relent. She cries and screams sitting up the whole time. Occasionally on those long relentless wake ups I can leave her and she’ll play with her Slumber Buddy, and then scream when she’s bored. But I’m pretty sure that’s happened less than a handful of times ever. I also probably shouldn’t let her play at 5am as she’ll think it’s ok to play then, but I’ve only done this after an hour or more tying to get her to sleep and I just can’t stay up any longer, I’m nodding away in the chair which really isn’t safe. On these occasions when I put her down she really is asleep but screams so I pick her back up and either feed her or sometimes she’ll just cuddle in and fall asleep snoring in my arms. Usually she roots around for a feed, and once again I feed, or realistically, soothe her to sleep. It’s been hard. Really hard. Night after night after night.

We’ve had a few odd nights when she’s slept 5-6 hours, but in reality I do wonder if I just was so tired I slept through her screams. Understandable I suppose when you consider this has been her constant wake up pattern for almost 9 months, and before that I had 4+ months of bad sleep because of my spd and the usual pregnancy insomnia.

I feel like I’ve failed. I swore I wouldn’t feed to sleep and somehow despite saying for months I need to put her down when she’s drowsy, I’m not, the time has flown by and she’s just so cute looking, snoring in my arms. She’ll often stir as I put her down and then close her eyes going to sleep, but she has to be snoring before that point. If I try to put her down before she’s snoring she sits straight up and screams.

So where did I go wrong? I think it’s because I haven’t taught her to self sooth, she’s always just fed to sleep and that’s that. At bedtime, at naps and at every wake up during the night. I’m also paranoid she’ll wake H, and think she just gets herself in a frenzy if I don’t go to her. She does fall asleep herself in the pushchair or car seat but that’s different. She’s just so cute in my arms I love her snuggling in ready to go to bed. I know it’s not always going to happen so it’s so hard to put her down knowing she’ll scream as she’s not snoring. But, she does need to learn to fall asleep herself so she can stir in the night and fall back asleep herself, she’s really not quite as cute when I’m doing this same routine all night repeatedly, half asleep. In an ideal world I’d also love her to nap nicely at home, and not rely on us going out at every nap time, or me feeding her to sleep and then being sat on the sofa with her while coaxing Toddler H to play quiet games or telling her I can’t put her sister down. Naps are the time I should be spending quality one on one time with Toddler H and that doesn’t happen as much as I’d like.

I tend to let her nap when she wants, and although that mostly means she feeds and falls asleep on me or in the pushchair or car seat, she’s naturally very regular with her naps. Generally 2.5-3 hours after her last nap she starts rubbing her eyes. It’s just unfortunate she seems to keep to this schedule at night too, or more frequent!

Where else did I go wrong? I’ve always soothed her, always woken with her screams and always fed her. Hubby hasn’t, and to be fair I’ve been happy with that, give or take on those 2 hour wake ups when it’s got all a bit much. Really, hubby might have been able to pick her up and soothe her during he night instead of me feeding her when it wasn’t really what she needed.

Why is this a big deal?

I want sleep, I want to feel like me. Is this selfish? I don’t know, maybe and I know so many say ‘my baby’s didn’t sleep through until xxx months’ and I know that. I know every baby is different, every mummy is also different and I feel like I could do with sleep that lasts longer than 2 hours max. I also know that she shouldn’t need the milk, and I’m pretty sure she’s not actually feeding, just soothing. I’m not going off books or websites to know this, this is from the way her feeds feel and the fact she cannot possibly want to feed 4 times in the space of two hours at 3am (or 4am, or 5am…). There must be an external influence or habit we need to break. I’m sure she’s not in pain, and I do change her nappy too. Until now I thought all the wake ups were teething related – she had two teeth appear before Christmas and two appear in February, however the wakes up continued just as they did when she was in pain from teething.

For instance last night she went to bed at 7.20 and I put her down snoring at 7.30. She then woke at:

  • 8.20 pm – 8.50 pm
  • 11.50 pm – 12.35 am
  • 2.05 am – 2.25 am
  • 3.30 am – 3.50 am
  • 5.15 am – 6.30 am

And, up at 7.30 am when she heard her sister shouting she wanted out of her room – her Gro-Clock turned yellow!

So what are we going to do?

Try altering as many variables as we can…

  • More food
  • Temperature adjustment
  • Better blinds and adding curtains
  • Hubby settling
  • More sleep associations
  • More perseverance leaving baby
  • Leave more time before going in to settle baby
  • Maybe try to increase milk feeds in the day
  • Maybe try a sleep schedule

First thing first, B’s room is always 18C, like Toddler H’s, so we’ll try increasing the temperature and trying to get hubby to settle her to sleep.

We’ve been trying to increase her food intake anyway so we’ll keep going with that.

In terms of outside influences, light and noise in the last few weeks we’ve stayed at my parents for a week and had a weekend in a caravan (with amazing central heating) and she woke in similar patterns throughout those stays too, with similar room temperatures and obviously with different outside noises etc. So I doubt those are having a huge impact.

I’ll keep you posted with how we get on!!

If you have any tips for getting a 9 month old to sleep for longer stretches, do let me know in the comments!

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  • Reply
    March 8, 2018 at 1:44 pm

    We had this with our daughter in the end we couldn’t take it anymore at 9 months and rightly or wrongly sleep trained her and it was the best thing we ever did. She was an amazing sleeper ever since that! But I know it’s not for everyone. I hope you make a breakthrough too. Good luck hun and thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub xoxo

  • Reply
    March 8, 2018 at 4:42 pm

    Oh lovely please don’t blame yourself for your baby not sleeping. As a Mum of three I have done all sorts of sleep training and each of my kids has been different. Baby #3 is now 17 months and STILL rarely sleeps through! Ultimately you can try various techniques, but I’m a firm believer that when it comes to babies and sleep you ultimately get what you’re given. Eventually they all sleep through, it just takes longer with some than with others. My only advice is to try and set up a simple easy routine (just milk, stories and bed can be fine) and keep being consistent. You can try leaving her for a little longer before going in to her to help her learn to self soothe, but don’t stress yourself out unduly. Wishing you peaceful nights soon xx

  • Reply
    March 8, 2018 at 8:56 pm

    As you know hun our second was a shocker of a sleeper – it hit us like a tonne of bricks. Interestingly enough that was around the time I started my blog, maybe I was looking for all the answers! My only advice is to hang in there hun…she’ll get there eventually, and until then be kind to yourself xx

    Thanks for linking to #coolmumclub

  • Reply
    Sarah Howe
    March 14, 2018 at 2:49 pm

    My friend was at her wit’s end with this and paid for a sleep consultant. She basically told her Dad had to deal with their little girl at night to stop the boob associations. It was tough but didn’t take long. I think self settling can be taught at 9 months if you can cope!! eeeek! Wishing you lots of luck xx

  • Reply
    March 29, 2018 at 9:49 am

    I went through this with my son when he was 8 months and the only thing we could do was sleep training and it worked within a couple of weeks he has slept through the night pretty much since then. We started sleep training our daughter at 6 months and she slept through the night from 6 and a half months so the sleep training method really does work. I’m pregnant with our third baby (yep its gonna be 3 under 3) and I will be using the sleep training method gently from about 4 months! And no its not selfish to want to sleep! Honestly we were sleep deprived with number 1 and number 2, it affected my relationship with my OH and I got to the point where I was about to have a break down if I didn’t get some sleep. I hope you find the answers soon and hope you start getting some sleep x

  • Reply
    April 25, 2018 at 8:27 pm

    I hope you get sleep soon! I also have a 1 year old who wakes every 2 hours. I hope it gets better soon, sorry no advice but just one mama to another saying you’re not alone. Sending sleepy vibes your way. X

  • Reply
    Old Mumma
    May 4, 2018 at 7:41 am

    I feel your pain i went through exactly the same thing and only finally caved in recently. We tried so many things to try an get DD to sleep through but nothing worked until i got so sick i had to do something and caved in to controlled crying. Check out my blog for what worked for us. No more nursing DD to sleep, we put her in cot and she is asleep in 10 mins, she sleeps from 7.30pm until 6.20am.
    Good luck Mumma i hope you get some sleep soon xx

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