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Sleep Deprived Mamas Support Thread

post #1 of 43
Thread Starter 
Ah...sleep deprivation. Its a lonely place. Anyone want to join?

Aside from MDC and DH I get no support for DS's, and subsequently our, poor sleep habits. He is currently waking every 1-2 hours all night, which is better than previously, but still so difficult. The best part are the comments I have heard lately from friends and women in a mama's group:

"you are making him that way because you let him control you"
"what are you doing? he will never sleep on his own if you cater to him"
"cio is GOOD for babies"
"I nightweaned at 4 months because it was just unacceptable to have to feed LO 2-3 times a night"

Lovely. I just need to keep my mouth shut and pretend he sleeps. Anyone else need to vent or a shoulder to cry on? Fire away sleep deprived ladies!
post #2 of 43
I'm with you there.
It's been 9 months and I still have yet to "Sleep through the night" I find myself just saying that she does, just to not bring it into conversation. Maybe I shouldn't? Maybe I should be more visible as a sleepy mama. Haha.

I try to nap when she naps, but usually I get all excited about being able to read a book again or have some me time.

On those really bad nights when her teething is bothering her and I'm back to 1 hour cycles? I just chant to myself that this isn't forever and that this will pass. I often loose sight of that when I'm really tired. (like tonight ;p)
post #3 of 43
I've been co-sleeping for over 6 years now, and so I'm not sure I've slept since then. : My 12 month old wakes up a few times a night to nurse, and because she only wants me as a binky, she wakes up 2 dozen times a night because my nipple fell out of her mouth. :

Yeah, I'm tired. LOL!
post #4 of 43
Right there with you. Haven't slept more than 2 hours at a time since April 2008. Co-sleeping, still night nursing... I feel like trying to night wean would only mean less sleep!

Definitely try to keep "this is only temporary" at the forefront of my addled mind, but good lord... I'm a zombie!
post #5 of 43
I'm right there with you guys .
The only thing I can tell you is that I have yet to see any improvement. DD is currently 23 months and she still nurses at night like a newborn.
I'm not sure if we are the norm for co-sleeping, extended nursing, non-cio families, I certainly hope not.
I wish I were in your shoes OP and only 6 months into this. At that point I thought there was hope, I have hope no more. If I could go back in time, I would do SOMETHING to help DD to sleep better. I don't know what that would be because I am pretty sure I thought I was doing everything I could at the time, but seriously, it only gets harder to change anything.
At this point for us, something has to change. This will unfortunately mean a drastic (hopefully not too traumatic) change. We may take a stronger stance on nightweaning, we may get daddy to completely take over nights. I'm not sure. All I know is that I will be checking myself into some sort of hospital soon if nothing works or if it gets any worse.
post #6 of 43
:yawning DS is 17 months old and has yet to STTN. I haven't had a decent night's sleep since I got pregnant in Oct 07! I try to nap when he does, but if I did that I wouldn't get any time to myself.
post #7 of 43
Mama of an almost-18-month old here...and sleep-deprived since at least the last trimester of my pregnancy. Unless something is bothering him (e.g. teething), DS only wakes a few times a night. However, he does have a wonderful habit of grabbing my hair or whacking me in the face while he sleeps.
And, the real kicker, is that for the past...I don't know...10 months maybe...I've developed insomnia issues. So even when he sleeps for 2-7 hours straight, I'm lucky if I sleep for even a small fraction of that time. I think I'm just anticipating his waking up. Or his whacking me.

I just made it through a terrible week of insomnia and sadly remembered those Friday nights long past (pre-pregnancy) when I would get into bed and gleefully look at DH and announce how much I just loooooved Friday nights because I knew I could sleep in.
post #8 of 43
I have been running on 5 hours of broken sleep a night since DD was 4 months old, and that's on a good night. On the bad nights I'll be lucky if I even sleep an hour before she's up and ready to start the day. Everyone asks me how I function on so little sleep night after night and I really don't know what to tell them. The best way I can describe it is she naps at night. Unlike DS, who would go back to sleep immediately after nursing, she wakes up and is fully awake and ready to go. I would not mind the night-waking to nurse if she actually went back to sleep after doing so, and starting the day at 4am just isn't my cup of tea.

I feel bad because I just don't have the energy and mental stamina to interact with friends or do anything but what I have to do. I am lucky that DS has been STTN since he was a year old or so, I don't know what I'd do if I had two of them keeping me up all night long.
post #9 of 43
Ooh, can I join? My 9mo DD just wakes up a ton and has since she was 3.5 months old. It drives me nuts how as soon as anyone finds out she doesn't sleep well, they instantly have advice about what I should do to get her to sleep better. It's not like we haven't tried many, many, many strategies to get her to sleep better. Most people just do not understand what it's like to have a kid who wakes up as often as every 45 minutes, who won't nap in her bed for more than half an hour without waking up, who has been known to smack herself in the side of the head with her fist to keep from falling asleep. Man, it drives me nuts when someone thinks they can solve my problems with half a second (or less) of thought on their part. The recommendations to do CIO are particularly irritating. They do not know my kid. She would scream for HOURS if we just put her in her crib and let her cry.

Okay, I feel a little better now that I got that rant out. We've been having a tough week here. Finally last night I HAD to get some sleep, so DH stayed with DD until 3am. The sleep was helpful, but the only way I got to have it was that she had to cry in Daddy's arms until he could get her to go back to sleep. I know it's not exactly the same thing as CIO, but I still feel really bad about it.

It's a good thing my little sweetie is so awesome, bright, cute, and funny during the day.
post #10 of 43
Can I join? My situation is a little different as DS has slept through the night since he was around 7 months old. (a blessing we count DAILY!) Recently though we've been trying to get him to sleep on his mattress next to ours but uh, he's pretty much flat out refused. We have a full sized bed so while DS sleeps fantastically in between us, neither DH or I can go an hour without being kicked, hit, bumping heads with DS, trying to move him over..etc..etc.

He also rubs skin for comfort as he is going to sleep. After ten minutes of that in the same place on my arm, it HURTS. Then there's the clicking. He makes a clicking noise with his tongue when he's going to sleep. It can be heard all the way in the other room. So some nights it's like sleeping with a cricket.

We're planning on getting a King sized bed because obviously THIS isn't working out. I'm hoping by the time the new baby gets here we'll be able to convince DS to try out his mattress...but we'll see.

We've taken to just flat out lying about our sleeping arrangement with some family members. I feel AWFUL for that but it's tiring to hear the comments that are well meaning but don't do anything but wear me down.
post #11 of 43
I'm in! We've had a handful of stretches of 3-4 hrs at a time since ds (7.5 mo). Most of the time it's every 1-2 hours. The nice thing is he'll nurse and go right back to sleep. And recently I've been able to 'flip' him over and he'll go back (he sleeps in the crook of my arm, so switching arms is 'flipping' him over). But starting around 2 or 3 am he wants me to sit up to nurse him, and then stay sleeping that way. I've learned to 'sleep' sitting up with his blanket around my neck for support.
What I tell others when they ask about his sleep (WHY is that always their first question?!?!) is that he does well, he sleeps 10-12 hours a night... If he doesn't open his eyes to nurse, I don't consider him 'waking' up...
Oh, and I have to add this story:
so dh was at work (when ds was about 3-4 months I believe) and someone (a girl) asked how our nights were. Well dh is an honest person and said 'not good'. So then she says her lo (a baby girl, that was present during this encounter) had beev sttn since 3 mo (she was 7 months at the time). Well dh was like wow, that must be nice! So she said she read this book where she feeds x amount at x amount time intervals during the day to get all her 'food' in her in 12 hrs.... So dh is telling me this and I'm like, wow that's terrible! The poor baby is force fed! Then he said he asked her if she nursed and she said 'some' (?) but he said he felt awkward having her explain... So dh tells me this and it just seems weird, dh also said her lo was the same size as ds, at the time, even though there was a 4 mo age difference! Anyway.... He just sort of brushed her off and went about his day... The nex day she brought him the book! '12 hours by 12 weeks old'!!!! I was disgusted! This women (not even a phd or md) wrote a book advocating force feeding during the day to train a 12 week old baby to sleep 12 hrs!!!! No wonder the baby was small, I wonder if she fit ftt?
Anyway, rambling story. I guess the point is. I would rather do the best thing for my baby then get a 'good night's rest'.... Hugs to all you fellow tired mama's- way to be there for your babes!
post #12 of 43
I'm with you all too.. my nearly-13mo DD usually doesn't go more than 2 hrs, and many nights she's up every 45 minutes. If she makes it through the night with only 5-6 short wake-ups to snack, I consider myself lucky.

On not-so-lucky nights she may jolt *fully* awake at 4am, and require another 2-3 hrs to get tired enough to fall back asleep. As desperately as I wanted to BF, I thought that longer sleep stretches was one of the only supposed benefits of FF. Not for us! We do cosleep, and I'm not about to change that though we may slowly work on sidecarring and partial nightweaning over the next few months. My DH and I have both lost way too many hours of sleep trying to lie still in uncomfortable positions so as not to wake our little bundle up.

I just keep telling myself that it HAS to get easier from here, and is certainly better than the first 8 months when I was pumping 6-8x a day and had to get up twice a night to pump in addition to all of the nighttime feedings. That was fun.

One short anecdote.. the other day we were talking to a doctor and mom of a 14 month old who was lecturing me about "my DD only cried for 2.5 hrs the first night.." it took all of my (perhaps misplaced) restraint to smile nicely and nod.

Many hugs to all of you strong strong women
post #13 of 43
Icehockey, someone (well meaning, just didn't know any better) gave me that book. I was so horrified by it. Yes, she advocates feeding your 6wo or 8wo only every 4 hours during the day. You just have to feed them a ton at a time so that supposedly they will get enough to eat. And she says that breastmilk is good, but she wants you to exclusively pump so that you know how much your lo is getting in each feeding! She says your body is so smart that it will just naturally adjust and you won't have any supply problems. Wow, just wow. Not only did I throw the book out, I destroyed it first so that there would be no chance it would fall into anyone else's hands! And yes, the woman has no medical training or relevant education, but she works as a consultant, spreading these methods around.

So, last night DH was going to do the nighttime parenting for the first part of the night, then switch when River seemed to need to nurse. I expected him to come in to switch around midnight, but I didn't hear anything out of them until 7am! Turns out that she woke up twice (8pm and 10:30pm) but easily went back to sleep both times, and then partially woke up a few more times but resettled easily. This is maybe the second time she has ever done that in her life, and both times her dad was with her all night. So, I cannot figure this kid out. One night she wakes up a ton and cries a lot, then the next night she practically STTN. WTH? Since I have no idea what is causing it, I don't know what to do or not do to help her sleep better again.

Also, it's worth noting that even if my kid slept well, I did not. I kept waking up, wondering what was going on, worrying that she wasn't waking because she'd stopped breathing and DH just hadn't noticed.
post #14 of 43
I'm on day 3 with absolutely no sleep. Mia's always been a frequent night waker but the last 2 nights, she's been up every 30 minutes. I can't figure out why... She's not teething, she eats plenty during the day....she just wants to suck (but she won't take a binky...so it's nursing all night long).

She's miserable during the day, I'm exhausted, and I can't nap because I still have another toddler at home who doesn't nap except when in the car and she needs to be played with and watched.

This is getting ridiculous.
post #15 of 43
I haven't STTN in almost 8 years, I have THREE nightwaking children. Night time is utter hell in my house. If even 1-2 out of 3 slept better then life would be soo much better.

I have DD1 who is 7 years old, she suffers from anxiety issues which manifest as insomnia. It is tolerable right now, she is only up for 1-2 hours during the night, big improvement from the 6 hours a night she was averaging for most of last year. She starts off in DH's room, if she actually goes to sleep then she stays there until she wakes up during the night then she comes and crawls in my bed and flops around until finally going back to sleep. Some nights she can not go to sleep so she stays up until 11 or so before sleeping in my bed.

Next is 3 year old DD2 who as the middle child is still adjusting to her role. She hasn't nursed at night in 1.5 years but still has never STTN. DH gets her at night, during the night. 3-4 times a week she also wakes up in the middle of the night and is up for a while, her problem is that she has asthma, despite inhalers, she still coughs at night. Once she coughs then she gets afraid to go back to sleep and wants to get up for a while. My biggest problem with her is when DH works late or is traveling, getting her to sleep almost impossible by myself. You have to lay there and hold her hand, I can usually manage to get her to sleep the first time but then after that she wakes up several times until I or Dh go to bed and it is impossible to get her back to sleep with DS.

DS is the baby and at almost 9 months of course don't STTN. Granted he is the best sleeper out of my 3. He has a very annoying habit of going down at 7:30pm then taking a 20 minute minute only to be up until 10 or so. Not cool when I have work to do. I can't really complain though because I can lay him down, the girls at this age would only sleep on top of me.

Honestly, I rarely complain about my lack of sleep anymore. Nothing ever help, I just deal at this point.
post #16 of 43
I'm so tired I can't stop crying today. It's a bad day. LO has never slept through the night, ever, and has been on a jag of sleeping 1.5 to 2 hours at a time for several weeks. By the time I get in bed and to sleep I get less than an hour at a time. I am breaking things, forgetting things, and hurting myself on everything. I know this will pass but it sure is hard.
post #17 of 43
I am drifting through these last couple days on hardly any sleep. Its a really weird dangerous state to be in. My ears are ringing and its kind of an out of body experience. At least that is better than the rage. I have moved past the rage.

I have been handing out encouraging advice on this forum in the past few months, but seems like my sttn days are over. I suffered through 2.5 years of sleeping hell with ds1 and when ds2 was born he just slept like a rock for 5 months. I was in heaven. I thought- I could have 5 more of these babies!! He NEVER napped or slept during the day like typical newborns. Thought that was a little weird but told myself he would settle into a nap routine eventually, like ds1 did.


He is 9 months old and his nighttime sleeping has gone downhill. Its still not as bad as ds1's but he wakes quite frequently. And he will not nap. If I am lucky he will fall asleep in my lap for 10 minutes twice a day. On a good day I can set him in bed and he will sleep for about 17 minutes. Literally. I can set my watch by it. It gives me enough time to A)squeeze in a quick workout or B) throw my dishes in the dishwasher and take a 10 minute shower.
I feel totally screwed. I can deal with the lack of me time during the day if I am getting a full nights sleep (or with ds1 I got a solid 2 hour block of nap from him, even though he slept poorly at night) But this baby wants me to die a slow death of sleep deprivaton, and personal time deprivation.

He has been sick these last couple of nights with a terrible fever and the only place he will sleep is laid across my lap while I sit on the couch (hence the whining here) and I am in that zone of not being able to sleep regardless of if he is sleeping or not. Also he is cutting his 8th tooth, and taking some of his first steps. SO I might just be in the thickest thick of it right now. A lot going on. I just worry about his sleep defecit. It can't be healthy. I mean Weissbluth says an infant of his age should be getting something like 15 hrs of sleep per day. Mine gets a choppy 11-12. How can he live with 3 hours of sleep missing everyday?
post #18 of 43
I haven't hd a good night's sleep since maybe April 09. It was hard to sleep during the last half of my pregnancy. Dd2 is 4 months and is actually worse now than at the beginning. A good night for us would be me going to bed at 11 (her waking up to nurse) and being awakened by her at 6:30 to nurse with only 4 or 5 wakings in between. We co sleep and I keep hoping things will get better. Reading this thread isn't giving me much hope though.
post #19 of 43
this thread isn't helping much, is it? Well. We've tried having her fall asleep without our snuggles at bedtime and it doesn't seem to be helping. I tried one night of sitting next to her bed at 2 a.m while she screamed "I HAVE TO SNUGGLE!!! I CAN"T SLEEP!" and cried for an hour. Not gonna do that again, it just feels so wrong.
However, I am pissed (can I say that here?) at her! That's the only way I can put it. I feel SO bad. I am just so angry to be woken up THREE times a night by my almost 4 year old. I've decided we need a king size bed. I think we NEED it enough to warrant using a credit card. Let's call it an emergency. My dh doesn't agree. I'll have to start saving.
post #20 of 43
Thread Starter 
I agree that its depressing to read about all of our problems, but it is therapeutic to write about them (at least for me) and have the support of other mamas who btdt. Although it scares me because most other mamas have babies much older than DS and still have sleep problems.

We had an awful night last night after things began to look up again. I think it was from trying solids again. We only got two 1.5 hour stretches of sleep, otherwise he would only sleep 20-30 min and was up from 1:30-4. Poor thing is on his second nap of the day already and I can't bring myself to lay down!

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