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Please help this TIRED Mama.

post #1 of 45
Thread Starter 
So as we all know (if you follow any of my posts/threads) Liam is not a great sleeper. He normally goes to bed around 7, is up for the day between 5-6, and wakes every hour (sometimes more, sometimes less) all. night. long. every night.

BUT-- this thread is actually not about him, it is about me! I have been having an increasingly difficult time sleeping. I am getting very anxious when I go to bed, and will lay there for at least an hour before falling asleep. And when he wakes up, I have a hard time falling asleep after that. So, not only am I not sleeping because of being woken up every hour, I am having a hard time sleeping, period!

Please help! How can I unwind better/quicker at night? FWIW, I also nap with Liam each day, and by the time we nap (around 10 AM) I am so exhausted from not sleeping the night before and being up early in the morning, I don't usually have a problem falling asleep for naps.

Any advice is much appreciated! Thanks!
post #2 of 45
Oh LadyCatherine.....I cringe every time I see you post something in this forum because I know that means little Liam is still not sleeping well.

This may sound really simple and stupid, but hey, anything is better then nothing right? Other then being completly exhausted by 10am, what else do you do at nap time that you maybe can try at bed time? OR, maybe you are like a newbown and have your days and nights mixed up right now (Your body does) Would you be willing to try skipping your nap with Liam (If thats even possible) and then maybe by the time bedtime rolls around, you will be so exhausted you will just pass out!
post #3 of 45
I wish I knew how to help but I'm having the same problem!!

DS wakes up every 20-60 minutes -- although every once in a while he'll give me a longer (or shorter ) stretch -- and I just can't sleep even when he gives me those longer stretches!!! Partly for me it's because I'm anxious, it seems easier to stay awake than to be woken up just as I'm drifting off!! Plus my natural bedtime is around 10-11pm but he goes to bed between 11pm-1am so I kind of miss my chance I guess. And half the time when he wakes up (especially when he gets into that every-10-minutes mode!!) I just can't get back to sleep. I'll be wide awake at 4am with DS FINALLY fast asleep.

So... no help I guess... but I can certainly commiserate!! Have you tried reading or even watching TV? Or winding down with a cup of tea or relaxing music?
post #4 of 45
a few random thoughts (bearing in mind that I only sleep about 5-6 hours a night)...

Does he sleep with you at night? You might try everyone going to bed at the same time and sleeping in the same bed. I have found this is great for regulating sleeping patterns.

However, with my daughter (now 2), I found that it was precisely because she was still sleeping with us that she was waking up...she was affected, I think, by us rolling around or whatever. We put her in her own bed next to our bed and all of sudden she was sleeping through the night.


This is another random thought - I used to think keeping my kids up later would work to my advantage...it never has. I have found that overtired children sleep worse than well rested ones. A 10 am nap seems early to me...try for a noon time nap and see if he doesn't sleep longer into the afternoon and stay up a little later at night.

Good luck!
post #5 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barbie64g View Post
Oh LadyCatherine.....I cringe every time I see you post something in this forum because I know that means little Liam is still not sleeping well.

This may sound really simple and stupid, but hey, anything is better then nothing right? Other then being completly exhausted by 10am, what else do you do at nap time that you maybe can try at bed time? OR, maybe you are like a newbown and have your days and nights mixed up right now (Your body does) Would you be willing to try skipping your nap with Liam (If thats even possible) and then maybe by the time bedtime rolls around, you will be so exhausted you will just pass out!
I have thought about doing that... there are some days (actually, the last 3 days!) where he takes a really crappy nap, and I don't really sleep during it, but I still have a really hard time falling asleep at night. Last night I was WIPED, almost falling asleep on the couch, and I went to bed and layed down and still took forever to fall asleep. My mind just won't stop, and I am so anxious about Liam's next wakeup..
post #6 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchymomofmany View Post
a few random thoughts (bearing in mind that I only sleep about 5-6 hours a night)...

Does he sleep with you at night? You might try everyone going to bed at the same time and sleeping in the same bed. I have found this is great for regulating sleeping patterns.

However, with my daughter (now 2), I found that it was precisely because she was still sleeping with us that she was waking up...she was affected, I think, by us rolling around or whatever. We put her in her own bed next to our bed and all of sudden she was sleeping through the night.


This is another random thought - I used to think keeping my kids up later would work to my advantage...it never has. I have found that overtired children sleep worse than well rested ones. A 10 am nap seems early to me...try for a noon time nap and see if he doesn't sleep longer into the afternoon and stay up a little later at night.

Good luck!
He does sleep with me at night, in fact we just kicked DH out of the room to sleep in DS's twin bed so that there is a little less disruption hoping he'd sleep better with just one other person in the bed. NOPE! We've tried having him sleep in his room/bed and he still wakes up just as often. I have tried pushing his naps back later and it doesn't really help. In fact, he sleeps worse during his nap and is cranky the rest of the day. I've tried keeping him up later, putting him to bed earlier, etc etc. and the 'schedule' we have now is the one that works best for him. He is ready for a nap by 10 because most mornings he is up at 5.
post #7 of 45
Thread Starter 
Is it within the realm of normal for a healthy 17.5 month old to still be waking every hour?

We have worked through some food allergy issues, he definitely reacts to dairy and that is out of both of our diets, and doesn't have any other allergy symptoms at this time.

He is gaining well (he is STILL a chunky boy) and very active. He has been on the early side for all milestones (crawl/scoot at 6 months, first steps at 9 months, walking full-time by 10.5 months, 5 words before a year old/20 by 14 months/now has about 130-40 words) so his lack of sleep does not seem to be affecting him negatively at all. He is generally a happy toddler (was a very high needs baby and fussy all the time until he started walking) as long as I keep him busy/entertained.

What am I missing?
post #8 of 45
Just wanted to say I identify with this feeling. I also get that anxious feeling at bedtime - for me, it's like I feel this enormous pressure that I need to fall asleep right now since DS is finally sleeping, and that pressure makes it impossible to actually fall asleep. The only thing that helps me is to sort of focus on myself and my sleep needs, and try not to think about the next time I'll be woken up - easier said than done, I know. But I try to focus on my breathing and systematically relax my body, head to toe - that helps take my mind off the bigger issue at hand, and usually nature will take it's course and I'll fall asleep.
post #9 of 45
Oh, I feel for you. I can't imagine hourly wakings. I too would wonder if something else was going on. Have you considered a sleep study? Perhaps it would shed some light on the cause of the wakings.

I also have issues with not being able to fall asleep which is the most awful feeling when you need every second of sleep. I do something that I think is bad, but I do it out of desperation. Sometimes I take about a half of a children's dose of benadryl. It doesn't impact my ability to wake up but it helps me fall back to sleep. I hate medicine of any kind so this makes me feel bad, but I do it out of desperation. I am not nursing though.

Is there something natural that you could take that may help? Like melatonin? Not sure what is safe with BF.
post #10 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyCatherine185 View Post
Is it within the realm of normal for a healthy 17.5 month old to still be waking every hour?
I don't think that it is normal. Not in a healthy child.

It sounds as though when he reaches the light sleep stage of his sleep cycle he's waking fully rather than putting himself back to sleep. It's a habit and he needs new sleep associations and to learn how to sleep normally.

Have you tried a sleep clinic? If you're worried that they'll recommend CIO then don't be, there are other, gentle, techniques you can try and they'll support you.
post #11 of 45
I think if he's growing, etc. those are signs that he is healthy.
Some kids are just not great sleepers If he is sensitive to dairy I'd also start looking elsewhere to see if any other food allergies are showing up in his sleep cycling.
post #12 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tessie View Post
I don't think that it is normal. Not in a healthy child.

It sounds as though when he reaches the light sleep stage of his sleep cycle he's waking fully rather than putting himself back to sleep. It's a habit and he needs new sleep associations and to learn how to sleep normally.

Have you tried a sleep clinic? If you're worried that they'll recommend CIO then don't be, there are other, gentle, techniques you can try and they'll support you.
he is waking fully after most sleep cycles. how would you suggest that I give him new "associations" without CIO? I have read NCSS and Sleepless in America. i thought about a sleep study/clinic but everyone on this board said that they will just tell me to do strict scheduling and forms of CIO. I am not willing to do CIO or any variation of it.
post #13 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyCatherine185 View Post
i thought about a sleep study/clinic but everyone on this board said that they will just tell me to do strict scheduling and forms of CIO. I am not willing to do CIO or any variation of it.
Yes, this seems to be true! I had a HATEFUL experience trying to get a study done. But my pediatrician just put a new referral in for me - just flat out ordered a study. We haven't gone yet, but I plan on taking the info that we learn from the study (if anything) and do what I want with it. They can tell you what is going on if something is wrong, but they certainly can't tell you what to do with that info, right?
post #14 of 45
My DS's doctor didn't seem to think there was any concern with his very frequent waking but I really do question it. His doc said he will catch up on sleep throughout the day & he won't make himself sleep-deprived (that's nice, what about ME though? lol) Does Liam ALWAYS wake up frequently? Has he ever slept a little longer stretch? DS just just started occasionally giving me a 4-5 hour stretch a couple weeks ago. But 99% of the time we're back to waking every 20-60 minutes. The inconsistency confuses me because I can't figure out if that means he's fine (since he CAN sleep a little longer) or that something else (allergies etc???) is interferring with his sleep on most nights?

I'd be very reluctant to try a sleep clinic but you could always call and ask about their methods...
post #15 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jend1002 View Post
Yes, this seems to be true! I had a HATEFUL experience trying to get a study done. But my pediatrician just put a new referral in for me - just flat out ordered a study. We haven't gone yet, but I plan on taking the info that we learn from the study (if anything) and do what I want with it. They can tell you what is going on if something is wrong, but they certainly can't tell you what to do with that info, right?
yes someone I know actually had a sleep study done, and they told her that the kid wasn't going into REM sleep. but there wasn't anything they could do about it. so... to me it seems like a waste of time and money.
post #16 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post
My DS's doctor didn't seem to think there was any concern with his very frequent waking but I really do question it. His doc said he will catch up on sleep throughout the day & he won't make himself sleep-deprived (that's nice, what about ME though? lol) Does Liam ALWAYS wake up frequently? Has he ever slept a little longer stretch? DS just just started occasionally giving me a 4-5 hour stretch a couple weeks ago. But 99% of the time we're back to waking every 20-60 minutes. The inconsistency confuses me because I can't figure out if that means he's fine (since he CAN sleep a little longer) or that something else (allergies etc???) is interferring with his sleep on most nights?

I'd be very reluctant to try a sleep clinic but you could always call and ask about their methods...
He slept 6 hours once (at 4 months old, christmas night, after screaming all day from overstimulation and no naps), 5 hours once (can't remember the circumstances, but it was also in his first year), 4 hour maybe twice. He had a "good" month around 11 months where he would sleep 2 hour stretches, and another around 14 months where he slept 2 hour stretches. The only difference those months where a) at 11 months it was before he got his molars and b) at 14 months before he got his canines. So, all teeth are in besides 2 year molars. And I have been feeling/looking in his mouth and cannot see any buds of teeth at all. Oh, he does give us a 2 or 3 hour stretch for the very first stretch of sleep 2-5 times a week. But the last several weeks we haven't even gotten that.
post #17 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyCatherine185 View Post
Is it within the realm of normal for a healthy 17.5 month old to still be waking every hour?

We ?
I don't know if I can speak to statistics, but my kids were still wakign that much at that age. In fact, the only thign that made them NOT wake frequently was night-weaning. I nightweaned ds at 18 months, with no regrets. Mama needs sleep, lol.
post #18 of 45
Our sleep got so much better when I did modified nightweaning (no nursing between 11 and 5 am). What's happening with nursing at night?

Also, dairy and soy can be linked. Have you tried eliminating both completely for a week or more?
post #19 of 45
i forgot to ask...when he wakes up every hour through the night, does he go back to sleep reasonably soon? how long is he staying awake - like enough for you to have to get up and go do something? What if he had his own bed, a night light and a few books to look at right there in the same room with you? If you had a gate on the doorway - or the door closed and he couldn't leave, could you nod off for a bit? Again, just a few thoughts as to what I might do.
post #20 of 45
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchymomofmany View Post
i forgot to ask...when he wakes up every hour through the night, does he go back to sleep reasonably soon? how long is he staying awake - like enough for you to have to get up and go do something? What if he had his own bed, a night light and a few books to look at right there in the same room with you? If you had a gate on the doorway - or the door closed and he couldn't leave, could you nod off for a bit? Again, just a few thoughts as to what I might do.
On a good night he is back asleep in less than a minute. On an average night, maybe 5 minutes. On a bad night he will toss and turn for 15-60 minutes before going back to sleep.
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