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Desperate. Desperate. thread- UPDATE our vacation!

post #1 of 145
Thread Starter 
I wasn't sure exactly where to post this, but the majority of the "problem" revolves around sleep.. so here goes-

A little background- DS is 8.5 months old, high needs, had/has reflux, food allergies, etc. All of which have been remidied. We currently cosleep, and I currently cater to his every fuss/cry as best as I can.

But I am so far past my capacity, and I NEED a change.

Right now, to get him to sleep (when he is TIRED, not on any sort of SCHEDULE) it involves a very careful process (starting in his dark room, void of all lights/sounds) of rocking/nursing/shusshing/singing Silent Night/bum patting/jiggling.. then once he is asleep I take him into my room to the bed, lay him down in which he 99% of the time wakes up, and so I lay beside him and nurse him back to sleep.. then I wait a few minutes and try to remove my nipple from his mouth, try a few times before I succeed, then slowly carefully get off of the bed and insert pillow in my place. I make sure the temp is very comfortable for him, and have a white-noise fan going. I turn on the monitor and shut the door, so that no sounds outside wake him. For naps, he usually wakes every 30-45 minutes and needs to be side-nursed back to sleep for about 10-20 minutes before I can get up again. He usually sleeps a total of 2-3 hours for the nap.

This process is incredibly draining, and he has become harder and harder to get to sleep. I can't keep spending all of this time getting him to sleep. It takes me longer to get him to sleep than he actually sleeps! At night he wakes at LEAST hourly (other than 2-3 "good" nights a month, where he wakes every 2-3 hours). I am so far beyond exhausted it's not funny. I need a change.

We are stuck to our house most of the time. I can't go anywhere longer than 1-2 hours, because I can't get him to sleep anywhere else (besides the occasional car-nap). We are taking 2 vacations this summer and i don't know HOW I am going to be able to get him to sleep while we're there. And if he doesn't sleep, he just cries and fusses until he finally does sleep.

Honestly, I have been contemplating CIO. I don't want to. I don't even think I could go through with it. But I NEED a change. I need him to NOT FIGHT me when he is tired and needs to sleep. I need it to take less time/effort to get him to sleep. And I need him to STAY asleep for his naps, and for longer stretches at night.

In a perfect world, I would love to nurse him down in bed for his naps/nighttime, have him stay asleep during his whole nap, and sleep at least 3 hour chunks at night.

How do I do this in a gentle way? Please. Please. Please. I CAN'T take "no" for an answer anymore. I am trying to follow his lead, but it is quickly making me unable to cope anymore.

Please. Someone has to have an answer for me.
post #2 of 145
You just described my life, word for word, except my daughter is 7 months old. I posted about it a couple days ago. All I can say is I totally understand. She is up every 20-45 mins, all night long... the very, very seldom 2 hour chunk feels like a day at the spa.

Wish I could do more to help (both of us!), but in the meantime, just sending a hug.
post #3 of 145
A baby that is waking every 45 minutes to an hour at night sounds to me like a baby that could be in pain. Have you considered food sensitivities? If it were me, I would try eliminating dairy and soy (wheat and certain vegetables can also cause a baby a lot of pain)--it can take 2 weeks to get completely out of your system. I did this with my DD, and her sleep got SOOOO much better. It was absolutely terrible to give up cheese, but the extra sleep was worth it.

Although, I don't think it's that unusual for an 8 month old to wake after 30-45 minutes during a nap. Their sleep cycles are about that long, and then they go into a light awakening, realize that they're alone (8 months is prime time for separation anxiety) and need to be parented back to sleep. Some researchers believe that this is a protection mechanism against SIDS--if they were to fall into a very deep sleep at such a young age, they would be unlikely to rouse themselves if they had trouble breathing and be at more risk for SIDS. As he gets older, his sleep cycles will begin to lengthen, he will begin to sleep more deeply, and you'll get those 2-3 hour naps.

The one way I could usually get my DD to get through that light awakening during her naps was motion--walking in a sling, wrap, Ergo, etc. or driving in a car usually got her through that 30 minute mark without having to be nursed back to sleep.

That's also the age where a pretty horrible sleep regression hits. This article really helped me when I couldn't figure out what the heck was going on with my DD at that age: What Are Sleep Regressions Anyway
post #4 of 145
Thread Starter 
Quote:
A baby that is waking every 45 minutes to an hour at night sounds to me like a baby that could be in pain. Have you considered food sensitivities? If it were me, I would try eliminating dairy and soy (wheat and certain vegetables can also cause a baby a lot of pain)--it can take 2 weeks to get completely out of your system. I did this with my DD, and her sleep got SOOOO much better. It was absolutely terrible to give up cheese, but the extra sleep was worth it.
He has several allergies, dairy being the biggest, and I have been dairy free since he was 4 weeks old. I had him tested and I eliminated all of the allergens that he tested positive for for 3 weeks, and saw NO difference in his sleep. I still am dairy free, and I limit the other foods that he tested positive for.

Quote:
Their sleep cycles are about that long, and then they go into a light awakening, realize that they're alone (8 months is prime time for separation anxiety) and need to be parented back to sleep.
We cosleep at night, so he isn't alone. Also, about 50% of the days I nap with him, and he still wakes up just as much.
post #5 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyCatherine185 View Post
He has several allergies, dairy being the biggest, and I have been dairy free since he was 4 weeks old. I had him tested and I eliminated all of the allergens that he tested positive for for 3 weeks, and saw NO difference in his sleep. I still am dairy free, and I limited the other foods that he tested positive for.



We cosleep at night, so he isn't alone. Also, about 50% of the days I nap with him, and he still wakes up just as much.
Hmmm, maybe try eliminating the other foods he tested positive for, rather than just limiting? My understanding was that even a small amount in your system can cause a sleep disturbance--the folks on the allergy board know much more about this stuff though.

Yes, even if I napped with my DD, she also still woke up every 30 minutes or so. That's why I tried the motion and found it got her through that waking. At night, of course I couldn't do that (couldn't sling her to get her to sleep longer). I guess some people have success with hammocks and the Amby bed for that reason.
post #6 of 145
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rzberrymom View Post
Hmmm, maybe try eliminating the other foods he tested positive for, rather than just limiting? My understanding was that even a small amount in your system can cause a sleep disturbance--the folks on the allergy board know much more about this stuff though.

Yes, even if I napped with my DD, she also still woke up every 30 minutes or so. That's why I tried the motion and found it got her through that waking. At night, of course I couldn't do that (couldn't sling her to get her to sleep longer). I guess some people have success with hammocks and the Amby bed for that reason.
Well like I said, I did eliminate everything for 3 weeks and there was no change. He tested positive to so many things (and there is only a 50% chance that they are actually allergic when they react to the test) that I couldn't eat hardly anything. I am thinking of doing it again just to see..

I can't wear him around the house for 3 hours so that he'll nap straight through. He weighs 24 lbs and my back/shoulders start hurting after wearing him for 20 minutes. It takes at least an hour of walking around wearing him before he goes to sleep in a carrier, IF he goes to sleep.
post #7 of 145
Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyCatherine185 View Post
I can't wear him around the house for 3 hours so that he'll nap straight through. He weighs 24 lbs and my back/shoulders start hurting after wearing him for 20 minutes. It takes at least an hour of walking around wearing him before he goes to sleep in a carrier, IF he goes to sleep.
How about a stroller walk then? It never worked for me to walk around the house, but I usually went out for an walk in the neighborhood with her--I got exercise and some fresh air, she slept longer.
post #8 of 145
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rzberrymom View Post
How about a stroller walk then? It never worked for me to walk around the house, but I usually went out for an walk in the neighborhood with her--I got exercise and some fresh air, she slept longer.
He won't fall asleep in the stroller either. The only other way he will fall asleep other than the way I described in my OP is in the car. And that's not always a sure thing either. And I certainly can't drive around for 3 hours a day.
post #9 of 145
Yeah, if motion doesn't work, I can't think of how you could get such a young baby to sleep through that light awakening without nursing. Maybe someone else has some magic they can think of.
post #10 of 145
I'm sure that my solution is not the one you want, but it's the one that worked for me: a well-stocked iPod, complete with movies. That was for me, obviously. It made me able to stand having to lie down with my son for EVERY nap at the same age. That was when he was no longer comfortable napping in the carrier on me, and had not yet graduated to napping in the stroller.

Submitting (once again) to baby's need for my presence, and giving up on comparing our situation to those of my friends with clean houses whose babies slept great was the most helpful, and hard to do. The iPod just made it more entertaining, and took my mind off my frustration. I often dozed while listening to my podcasts.

Far off good news - he's now 15 months old and he is napping alone as I write this! This has just begun to happen in the last month, and I can't believe other people have had this kind of freedom all along.

As an aside, I recommend the white noise mp3s that my husband made for us and shares for free at:
http://cantonbecker.com/music/white-noise-sleep-sounds/
There is a version with a subtle heartbeat and some wave-like variation which helps our son more than continuous same-ness, and may be better for auditory development.
post #11 of 145
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LCBMAX View Post

Submitting (once again) to baby's need for my presence, and giving up on comparing our situation to those of my friends with clean houses whose babies slept great was the most helpful, and hard to do. The iPod just made it more entertaining, and took my mind off my frustration.
Yeah, that is what I have been doing for the last 8.5 months. I have no expectations of me cleaning-wise, I sit at home and cater to Liam's every need. But I CAN'T do it anymore. And like I said, we are planning 2 vaca's this summer, and we will all be miserable the entire time if we don't figure out something soon. If maybe ONE aspect of the issues we are having would change, I think I would be ok with that. It isn't JUST that he FIGHTS sleep, or JUST that he doesn't stay asleep, or JUST that he needs a LOT of parenting to get to sleep, it isn't JUST that he needs the "perfect" environment to stay asleep, it isn't JUST that he won't sleep longer than an hour at night and 30 minutes during the day, it is the combination of all of those.

I need us to be a FAMILY, and for us to exist (more) mutually. It is all about Liam right now, and he isn't a tiny newborn anymore, I need a little bit of a life. I need sleep at night.

I know, I have a child now and that everything is different. But I am having to work ENTIRELY too hard to keep him happy, my own needs are NOT coming CLOSE to being met, my relationship with my husband is suffering, and something HAS TO change.

I need some options. Some BTDT advice maybe of something that worked for someone? Nightweaning? Keeping him up when he wakes up during his nap? Not putting him down for a nap during the day and letting him fuss all day so he sleeps better at night? Moving him to his crib? I don't even know where to start to get things to change... Please, someone!
post #12 of 145
So sorry if I didn't read your post carefully enough - it wasn't clear to me that you were already lying down with him for the whole nap and still only getting the shorties. Aaarrrrgh. Lots of sympathy to you.

We had great experiences travelling - discovered that our baby was way more resilient than we expected with time changes, rowdy cousins, late nights, drives in taxis, etc. I hope you find great things on the road even if no changes happen before then, but better that you get both.

Good luck.
post #13 of 145
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LCBMAX View Post
So sorry if I didn't read your post carefully enough - it wasn't clear to me that you were already lying down with him for the whole nap and still only getting the shorties. Aaarrrrgh. Lots of sympathy to you.

We had great experiences travelling - discovered that our baby was way more resilient than we expected with time changes, rowdy cousins, late nights, drives in taxis, etc. I hope you find great things on the road even if no changes happen before then, but better that you get both.

Good luck.
I sure hope that is the case for us.. however, I don't think it will be. We have had a few 'day trips' recently, where we were gone from home all day to visit family, and he did horribe. Would. NOT. nap. At all. And was a complete grump the whole time. He needs his sleep or he is extremely unhappy and fussy, and right now I do all I can to get him to sleep and stay asleep as much as he needs it, but if we are not at home, it doesn't happen at all....
post #14 of 145
Well this might get me flamed but whatever. I can take it.

I recently moved my son to a crib in his own room. He still wakes up every couple of hours but that is better than the constant waking he was doing when he slept with us. He seems to do much better nursing while I sit up in the glider than he did sidelying in bed. I think that really upset his tummy. Also, I think he is just really over-sensitive to the noise and movement of others. I'll be honest and say I miss him terribly. This was not how I envisioned things. I want him with me. Sometimes I try to bring him back in bed, but I am quickly reminded of why I moved him. I had to do it. I have another child to take care of, and I was losing my mind. I am still sleep deprived and barely functioning sometimes, but it is so much better than it was.

Also, he does very short naps too, 30 minutes tops, and I stopped trying to get him back to sleep. Sometimes I'll give it a try for a minute or two but thats about it. Again, another child to take care. No way can I spend all day trying to get this kid to nap. I try to make sure he has 2 to 3 chances for a real nap somewhere quiet and dark, but that is all I can do. He is a bit cranky and rough around the edges from the lack of napping, but that is life. He is welcome to fall asleep at any time nursing, in the car, in the sling, but I am not wasting the entire day on actively trying to get him to nap.

Anyway, that may not be the most AP answer, but for me this was all a matter of survival for all of us. It sounds like you are pretty desperate. I would suggest letting go of some of your ideals and do what you need to do...crib, pacifier, whatever makes things easier for you. I wouldn't bother with CIO. In addition to just being mean, it often doesn't work anyway, especially with high needs babies. Plus I've heard you have to redo it a lot.

Anyway, good luck whatever you choose to do. I've seen a lot of your posts about your little one, and I know how hard things must be getting for you. I hope things turn around soon.
post #15 of 145
Typing 1-handed as my 8.5 mo old sleeps in my lap!

here are some things i do that help:
-completely eliminated caffeine from my diet (chocolate too!)
-before bed give 1 tsp of chamomile tea and 1 Calms Forte
-dd naps 3 x a day...basically she is never awake for more than 2 hours except for her evevning stretch before bedtime.

if i am reading right, liam naps just once a day for 3 hours? personally i would let him wake up after 45 mins, then get him back down for another nap or two throughout the day. my dd's 3 naps vary in length from 35mins-1:45. typically i stay with her for the first 45 mins to "make sure" it is at least that long then i get up and she can either stay asleep or wake up. maybe getting in a different rhythm like that might help?
post #16 of 145
First, I would definately stop trying to get him to stay asleep for a three hour nap at 8 months. My guys all have had the typical 45 min sleep cycle. They were taking 2 naps at that age. They usually started switching to one nap at 12-14 months. At night, I would keep an eye on when he usually falls asleep, and aim for that window. For example, my 15 m/o falls asleep b/w 7 and 7:30. When I notice he is starting to get tired, but not actually overtired, I put him to bed. I use an exercise ball and bounce and nurse him to sleep while I read a book or surf the net. Anyway, I would try sticking to a certain window. I find for me that a loose schedule makes for a happier baby then no schedule.

For the night wakings, I remember I was up a lot with my first boy. I would look at the clock, and count the hours, and fully wake up whenever he woke up. I would worry about how much sleep I was getting. I really believe that how I was not sleeping soundly affected how often he woke. With my third, I just don't care and don't worry anymore, and he has always slept fairly well. Their are times when he's teething and he wakes up more often. But I suggest you throw away the clock, stop counting how often he wakes up, and go to sleep like you used to before you had a baby. i.e. don't worry about it. Once you are sleeping deeply and soundly next to your babe, I think he will too. I definately fall into a deeper sleep with my third then I did with my first, just because I was so worked up about it. I think you just have to not care first.

On the waking up before you come to bed, I don't have any suggestions. My youngest still does that too.
post #17 of 145
I'll second and third that on the second and third naps. We had NO nap schedule til 7 - 8 months and then it was 45 - 60 min three times a day (mama and breast in attendance.)
First nap was 2 hours after waking, second nap was 2 hours after first nap ended, etc, but no napping after 5 pm and a bedtime routine starting at 6pm and ending 30 - 60 minutes later depending.
post #18 of 145
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by riverscout View Post
Well this might get me flamed but whatever. I can take it.

I recently moved my son to a crib in his own room. He still wakes up every couple of hours but that is better than the constant waking he was doing when he slept with us. He seems to do much better nursing while I sit up in the glider than he did sidelying in bed. I think that really upset his tummy. Also, I think he is just really over-sensitive to the noise and movement of others. I'll be honest and say I miss him terribly. This was not how I envisioned things. I want him with me. Sometimes I try to bring him back in bed, but I am quickly reminded of why I moved him. I had to do it. I have another child to take care of, and I was losing my mind. I am still sleep deprived and barely functioning sometimes, but it is so much better than it was.

Also, he does very short naps too, 30 minutes tops, and I stopped trying to get him back to sleep. Sometimes I'll give it a try for a minute or two but thats about it. Again, another child to take care. No way can I spend all day trying to get this kid to nap. I try to make sure he has 2 to 3 chances for a real nap somewhere quiet and dark, but that is all I can do. He is a bit cranky and rough around the edges from the lack of napping, but that is life. He is welcome to fall asleep at any time nursing, in the car, in the sling, but I am not wasting the entire day on actively trying to get him to nap.

Anyway, that may not be the most AP answer, but for me this was all a matter of survival for all of us. It sounds like you are pretty desperate. I would suggest letting go of some of your ideals and do what you need to do...crib, pacifier, whatever makes things easier for you. I wouldn't bother with CIO. In addition to just being mean, it often doesn't work anyway, especially with high needs babies. Plus I've heard you have to redo it a lot.

Anyway, good luck whatever you choose to do. I've seen a lot of your posts about your little one, and I know how hard things must be getting for you. I hope things turn around soon.
Thank you for your honesty. I, too, am thinking that we may have to move him to his crib. He is such a light sleeper, he wakes up anytime either of us moves at all. And if we do it, I will miss him, because I love "sleeping" with him snuggled next to me.

I've even been trying to give him a paci, but he just bites/chews it and plays with it.... I really didn't think CIO would work for him.. but, like I said, I feel like I am running low on options and some things need to change.
post #19 of 145
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SimonMom View Post
First, I would definately stop trying to get him to stay asleep for a three hour nap at 8 months. My guys all have had the typical 45 min sleep cycle. They were taking 2 naps at that age. They usually started switching to one nap at 12-14 months. At night, I would keep an eye on when he usually falls asleep, and aim for that window. For example, my 15 m/o falls asleep b/w 7 and 7:30. When I notice he is starting to get tired, but not actually overtired, I put him to bed. I use an exercise ball and bounce and nurse him to sleep while I read a book or surf the net. Anyway, I would try sticking to a certain window. I find for me that a loose schedule makes for a happier baby then no schedule.

For the night wakings, I remember I was up a lot with my first boy. I would look at the clock, and count the hours, and fully wake up whenever he woke up. I would worry about how much sleep I was getting. I really believe that how I was not sleeping soundly affected how often he woke. With my third, I just don't care and don't worry anymore, and he has always slept fairly well. Their are times when he's teething and he wakes up more often. But I suggest you throw away the clock, stop counting how often he wakes up, and go to sleep like you used to before you had a baby. i.e. don't worry about it. Once you are sleeping deeply and soundly next to your babe, I think he will too. I definately fall into a deeper sleep with my third then I did with my first, just because I was so worked up about it. I think you just have to not care first.

On the waking up before you come to bed, I don't have any suggestions. My youngest still does that too.
I don't "try" to get him to stay asleep for a 3 hour nap. He wakes up crying after 30-45 minutes wanting to go back to sleep. And, like I said, I sleep with him 50% of the time, and he still wakes up the same amount but just nurses right back to sleep and sleeps a total of 2-3 hours. He also takes a short (20-30 min) morning nap most days. He usually goes to bed around the same time every night (7:30-8). I usually try putting him to sleep at the first signs of tiredness, but I have even tried letting him stay up till he "crashes" a few times, neither of which produce any different results sleeping-wise.

I also don't look at the clock anymore, and I get the best sleep I can. I can't get into a 'deep' sleep when I'm being awoken every hour.
post #20 of 145
Thread Starter 
ok just want to clarify his usual "schedule" that he has totally done HIMSELF, nothing that I have tried to impose on him (like I said in the original post)--

6 am- wake up
9-11 am- first nap (usually 20-30 min's)
1-2 pm- second nap (usually 2-3 hours)
7-9 pm- bedtime

trust me, there are MANY times during the day that he acts tired and I try to get him to nap but he won't. and everyday is def different, so this is just what 70% of our days look like, or a variation of those.

I FOLLOW ALL OF HIS CUES, if he seems tired, I do what I can to get him to sleep. It doesn't always work.

If he woke up from his second nap of 45 minutes and seemed happy and ready to be awake, then I'd be happy to get him up and play. BUT HE WAKES UP TIRED AND WANTS TO GO BACK TO SLEEP. That is why I want him to stay asleep for the full 2-3 hours, not because I jsut want him to take a 2-3 hour nap, but because it is what HE wants, but can't do it on his own and without a LOT of help.
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