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No sleep torture

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#1 livelifelovehappy

Posted 12 August 2019 - 06:26 PM

My 4.5 month old will not sleep. It’s breaking me. Over the past few weeks it’s gotten worse and worse.
She catnaps, 5 times a day for 40 mins. Last night I put her down at 8. She didn’t sleep until almost 1am and then was up 8 times before 5:30.
Tonight I’ve put her down at 5 (she’s tired). It’s now 6:20 and I’ve resettled her 3 times.
She’s breastfed and very chubby. Warm, white noise. Swaddled until now but I’m trying without it because what I’ve been doing isn’t working. She had a nightly relaxing bath and cuddle routine. We’ve done a week at sleep school. She’s medicated for reflux. She has a dummy but isn’t super fussed about it.
She just cannot stay asleep.
We used to get 4-5 hour blocks. Naps always rubbish, but this is awful. She’s also attempting to get up for the day at 3, taking 90 minutes to settle before getting up at 6.
She looks exhausted. I’m losing it.
Did anyone have issues like this that resolved themselves?! What else can I do?

#2 livelifelovehappy

Posted 12 August 2019 - 06:28 PM

Can you actually die from this much lack of sleep? I have two other children.

#3 mandala

Posted 12 August 2019 - 06:29 PM

You're right, that is definitely torture. You poor things, both of you!

What was the plan from sleep school? Did they send you home with her sleeping, or not really? Has anything changed? Have you done the obvious just-in-case dose of panadol for sneaky teeth?

#4 mandala

Posted 12 August 2019 - 06:31 PM

I'm sure you're not safe to drive at the moment, but does she sleep in the car? Could you rope a friend into driving her around for a few hours to get some sleep into her anyway you can? I'm thinking she sounds completely overwhelmed with tiredness, and can't actually settle. Getting any amount of sleep into her is only going to improve things.

#5 Dianalynch

Posted 12 August 2019 - 06:34 PM

Can you book back into sleep school? That just sounds terrible, it’s amazing you’re functioning. Is there anyone who can take over for a night with ebm so you can rest?

Edited by Dianalynch, 12 August 2019 - 06:36 PM.

#6 livelifelovehappy

Posted 12 August 2019 - 06:36 PM

We can go back to sleep school, but I’m following the plan they gave us and it’s stopped working.

#7 taters

Posted 12 August 2019 - 06:37 PM


My son is 16 months now and he was an ok sleeper until 4 months but after that it was terrible. Not as bad as your daughter's situation though. We resorted to co sleeping and we are still doing it now. If we hadnt, I wouldnt have survived.

He has a queen bed in his room, has since 10 months, and we lay in bed with him to get him to sleep because this is his biggest issue. He normally only wakes once a night so I go to sleep in my bed and go to him when he wakes then sleep with him until morning. When he is sick or teething though its a different story.

The beyond sleep training facebook page has a lot of support and made me feel less alone so I highly recommend that. They may also have ideas to help.

I had a friend who went to tresillian and that really helped their bub.

Other than that I dont have ideas, mostly I wanted to let you know you arent alone and many of my friends have also struggled with babies who dont sleep well.

#8 22Fruitmincepies

Posted 12 August 2019 - 06:39 PM

If the plan is no longer working, you need to go back. Go get help right away, call them tomorrow!

I should add, I know what it’s like, 4-5 months was the low point for DD when she would only sleep upright against my chest. I was able to make changes with phone support from sleep school, but I really should have gone for a stay. We’ve recently gone through a bad patch with 1.5yo DS, and the no sleep torture is so awful. Back on track with phone support from sleep school, and I’m a whole new person with sleep!

Edited by 22Fruitmincepies, 12 August 2019 - 06:45 PM.

#9 nakedrhubarb

Posted 12 August 2019 - 06:50 PM

My baby would only sleep for 15 minute blocks at night and not more than an hour during the day for her first year and is only starting to improve now. It is a huge stress to the system to have practically no sleep and you have my complete sympathy. I think we only made it through because we had a lot of support from family.

A few things we tried that helped a little -

my baby ended up sleeping better with a light on (we have one of those ikea night lights with a pulsing heart beat)

I put the cot right next to my bed so I could put my hand in the cot. While I had no problem co-sleeping with my other kids, I was too exhausted to feel confident with bub in the bed with me.

My baby slept better if there was classical music on so I try to get that playing when she starts fussing and sometimes she resettles.

My husband and I agreed on times that we would each resettle - I would go to bed earlier and he would do the late resettling and only wake me if absolutely necessary.

We tried sleep school and it didn't help us, but they did say that people are always welcome to come back.

I really hope you find something that helps you

Edited by nakedrhubarb, 12 August 2019 - 06:51 PM.

#10 eigne

Posted 12 August 2019 - 06:58 PM

You poor thing. I’ve suffered through this torture too.

DH and I did shifts. He was on duty for all wakeups until 2-3am and I was on duty from then onwards. He would wake up at 8am for work, so this gave both of us a good 5 hour block of sleep (provided I actually went to bed at 9pm!).

How long has it been since you went to sleep school?

How long is she awake between catnaps?

#11 eliza_non

Posted 12 August 2019 - 07:21 PM

Mine was very similar at that age. We started cosleeping at 4.5 months after I felt unsafe to drive and couldn’t function. We coslept until 5, she has also had stints of prescription melatonin in recent years and at 8 now sleeps through the night. It was a struggle but cosleeping was a lifesaver. Nothing like my first child who was a fairly decent sleeper. Good luck, and do whatever you can to get through it.

#12 Silverstreak

Posted 12 August 2019 - 07:26 PM

Big hugs, I remember those days! DS was a shocking sleeper. He used to do 45 minute increments.

By five months we transferred DS from a swaddle into a merino kids sleeping bag, that settled him a little. At one point I was also giving DS baths three times a day to settle him, plus baby massage.

When DS' sleeping completely went to pot I discovered he had a double ear infection. So I would take your DD to the GP and just check for ear infections, sore throat etc. Babies have tiny ear tubes and can be prone to ear infections.

I would also try sleep school again and see if they have any other ideas, but GP first, if you can, to rule out anything medical.

And another big hug. I'd be in survival mode: enlist any help you can, get groceries delivered, get a cleaner if you can afford it and make sure your partner is on board with things and can take over when you need a break.

Good luck and let us know how you go.

#13 Silverstreak

Posted 12 August 2019 - 07:49 PM

Oh yes, DS often slept when being held, so we used a baby carrier a lot once he was three months old.

#14 KACM

Posted 12 August 2019 - 08:00 PM

How long has she been on the reflux medication? As they grow, the dosage needs to change. Go back to see her doctor and have that checked. I hope it’s as simple as that.

#15 rowd

Posted 12 August 2019 - 08:04 PM

Could you try an in home sleep consultant? We used one at 6 months old and having them in our home and able to offer on the spot advice and changes to our routine/environment was so helpful. It actually changed my life. Sleep deprivation is just beyond hard, you have my full sympathy.

#16 onetrick

Posted 12 August 2019 - 08:05 PM

The 4 month sleep regression hit us hard as well. Was tolerable until 4 months, then became an absolute nightmare.
I co slept for a few months and it was bearable (still not ideal, but better than the sheer hell before), and when I couldnt fo that anymore we went to sleep school. Should have gone earlier.
We went to mitcham private and would highly recommend it you are nearby :)
As for advice I would say if anyone can help out for even one night, take the help. That was one of the best bits at sleep school- the nurses do everything the first night and you just sleep... so if you have anyone that can do that (and wake you every few hours to feed if needed), then take the help.
I hope you find something that works for you soon xx

#17 Mamma Gibbons

Posted 12 August 2019 - 08:14 PM

Sympathies out to you, you must be wrecked on every level of your being. Look, this may or may not be of help, but our DS struggled like that until 5 months when we moved him off any dairy protein, he was mixed fed, and on both BM and Formula - it was the same, eventually, we moved him away from cow milk protein, and soy protein, (put him on goat which still has protein but not as much) and it worked wonders. i think he was and is intolerant to a lot of things, and even on BM alone with my diet regulated, he suffered, This move helped, he was happier and he started sleeping through, hopefully there's a miracle for you in this thread that rings true and works, best of luck xx

#18 JustMyGirl

Posted 12 August 2019 - 08:28 PM

We had several rounds of sleep help from sleep school to consultant coming to my house. One thing i realised is that it is normal for babies to regress and things not to work for a while. But if we persisted with what worked before things would eventually settle back down. It’s hard to persist when you’re exhausted and can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel though! How long has the regression been happening for? We had several regressions of up to 2 weeks duration.

#19 Apageintime

Posted 12 August 2019 - 08:30 PM

Join the beyond sleep training group on Facebook if you're on there.

But this is pretty normal for a 4.5 month old. Its a huge time of change for them.

If you hold bub through the first sleep cycle does that help?

#20 tinselfoil hat

Posted 12 August 2019 - 08:38 PM

 KACM, on 12 August 2019 - 08:00 PM, said:

How long has she been on the reflux medication? As they grow, the dosage needs to change. Go back to see her doctor and have that checked. I hope it’s as simple as that.

Just seconding this. DD’s dosage needed to change about that age as she grew. It was honestly hell. You have all my sympathy OP.

#21 tinselfoil hat

Posted 12 August 2019 - 08:41 PM

 Apageintime, on 12 August 2019 - 08:30 PM, said:

Join the beyond sleep training group on Facebook if you're on there.

But this is pretty normal for a 4.5 month old. Its a huge time of change for them.

If you hold bub through the first sleep cycle does that help?

I say this with kindness because I know it’s well meaning. But the ‘it’s pretty normal’ statement when someone clearly isn’t coping can easily make them feel like the problem, and stop them seeking help. I actually don’t think what the OP described is normal. Normal for uncontrolled reflux maybe but not a happy baby.

#22 Flaxen

Posted 12 August 2019 - 08:49 PM

My full sympathies. My first daughter was the same.  I couldnt function. It was truly torture. I can't recommend anything because nothing I tried worked. She gradually got better over time.

Eta: I can recommend something... take away any possible source of you being able to tell the time. It really did help my sanity and stress levels by not actually realising that it was already 3 wakings and not yet 3am (or similar)
And we ended up cosleeping.

Edited by Flaxen, 12 August 2019 - 08:53 PM.

#23 MrsP2014

Posted 12 August 2019 - 08:54 PM

theres a huge sleep regression around 4/5 months. we had the same-baby sleeping in small stints and then it all went to sh*t around that time. its generally because theres a huge amount of development that goes on around that time, and they just can't switch off properly.

id get a review of the reflux meds, they often need more as the dosage in kids is weight based. or sometimes another one is needed instead.

id also recommend the 'beyond sleep training group' on Facebook as they have lots of great tips and advice rather then a one size fits all method that sleep schools often have.

we left our sleep school after multiple times and found our own path as none of their stuff worked is their another option near you maybe a private person perhaps if the original places "plan" has stopped working?

solidarity mumma, its sh*t, you aren't doing anything wrong just some babies need more help then others.

#24 afterlaughter

Posted 12 August 2019 - 09:08 PM

That is on extreme end of bad, that must be really hard. Have you considered a sleep study to rule out sleep Apnea.

#25 Bearynice

Posted 12 August 2019 - 09:25 PM

You are doing all the right things. I’d be calling gp and asking for urgent appointment. Get bubs meds reviewed.

Honestly I’d be calling local health nurse and see if they have someone who can pop in to visit.
They might be able to link you in with local supports

No sleep is tough. What routine did sleep school suggest? Do they have a follow up phone number?

Is bub more comfortable sleeping in a rocker for daysleeps? Eg. On a bit of an angle... not so flat

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