OK, my problem is: I’m exhausted.
My baby used to sleep through the night, but now she wakes up every 3-4 hours, sometimes even more often and will cry hysterically until I pick her up. Then she will only calm down if I nurse her.
Very rarely, I get her calm by rubbing her back or belly. If I’m lucky she’ll fall asleep at my breast and I quietly move her back to her crib, which is in a separate room. Sometimes she will start crying within 30 mins after that and then the same scenario… Sometimes I get a couple of hours of rest before the next fit.
I tried letting her cry it out, checking on her every 5-10 mins but she would just cry louder every time I left the room and when I picked her up, her crying just broke my heart and her little tummy was shaking. I would nurse her then and she would become quiet but her tummy would shake rhythmically.
I would let her cry it out again but I’m scared to hurt her, physically and mentally. I have no idea what I’m doing to her when I let her cry. If I knew for sure, she would be fine, I’d do it again and be consistent this time.
She does not have too much trouble napping, she usually takes two naps a day, each one at least an hour up to 2,5 hours.
She’s always been a healthy and happy baby. She eats 3 meals during the day and I started giving her snacks couple of days ago. She has already the bottom two teeth and I’m not sure if she’s getting the top ones yet.
I’m staying at home with her and I hardly get any rest since I don’t have any family or friends around here to help me out. My husband goes to school at night and works full-time so he’s not much help either. What can I do to help her sleep better? I slowly but surely cannot take the mornings after anymore.Baby Help Line:
How To Cope When 8-Month-Old Baby Doesn’t Sleep
I’m sorry you are getting so exhausted. It is hard when a baby changes sleeping patterns but I’m afraid it is par for the course! Some babies sleep through the night from an early age, some never do until they are toddlers or even older.
She may well be teething, she may be going through a hungry phase, she may be scared and frightened. Separation anxiety is more common than not at the age of 8 months.
I also suspect because you are exhausted and feeling stressed your baby is picking up on it and wanting more reassurance that you are available for her. And it becomes a vicious circle – the more demanding she is the more frustrated you get, and the more she is worried you are not really there for her.
I am not a proponent of letting babies cry themselves to sleep. I believe babies cry for a reason and if they need attention and reassurance then it is important to give it. However, if you are getting so exhausted and frustrated that you have no reserves left then you need to make yourself a priority.
I realize your husband is working hard too, both working and at school, but the well being of yourself and your baby has to come first for a short time. It is very hard when a baby usually only wants Mom, but even if he can do an evening shift, or early morning a couple of times per week to give you a bit more sleep. Maybe he can get up early with her and do the breakfast run and you can get an extra hour. You can find several tips on how to get some sleep as a mom here.
The other thing is when she naps, you nap. It doesn’t matter what else needs doing, you HAVE to get rest when you can or you are no good to anyone. She will settle back down into a different routine in time, so for the short term, you must get sleep when she does.
Also just check in your area if there are services available. When my children were tiny, there was a service called parentport, where a Mom could take the baby for the day or overnight and go and sleep in a sound proofed room. Even one good night’s sleep is an incredible help!
See if there are baby playgroups around, find other Mom’s who know how you feel, or may offer to swap babysitting for a couple of hours so you can take a Nap.
You must look after yourself so you can be available to enjoy your little girl – she needs a happy Mom to play with her and teach her things and reassure her when she is uncomfortable.
Regarding your daughter’s sleep, I don’t know where she sleeps. If you can put her crib next to your bed: even attached to it, with the side of the crib off if possible, you might be able to calm your baby by just placing your hand on her. If she is worried at night because she is too far from you, sleeping really close may improve her sleep very quickly. For some babies, this age is actually ideal for co-sleeping, to enable some kind of quality sleep for the parents. Read more about safe co-sleeping here.
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