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Am I "creating a monster"? - Page 2

post #21 of 40
Thread Starter 
When I say "creating a monster" I don't mean to imply that my LO is a monster, more wondering if my mothering choices are somehow impeeding his development, since it seems that every baby I hear about sleeps for longer stretches.

I am all right with things as they stand presently as long as I think they are what is best for my son. But the varied responses I am reading to my original question are confusing me more! I mean, I have been doing what feels natural and "right" for us so far with no modeling - thus brailleing my way through so much of this. And since my choices are so vastly different than my family and community I can get confused and anxious.

I am not opposed to "helping him learn" how to sttn, although I have not yet expected him to - since he seems not to be ready (yet) I guess I think of it as a milestone in that it's unpredictable and different for every child. Like sleeping in his crib. There was NO WAY he was ready to sleep if he wasn't attached to me in moby etc until I sensed around 4.5 mths that he was ready and we "practiced" at naptime putting him in crib. He woke up at first and I would scoop him up and lay down with him for his nap. One day he didn't wake up. Since then, he's been able to snooze in his crib for the most part.

But this night nursing thing is different than naps. Maybe because it is the standard question in our culture "is he sleeping through the night?" I've never really considered putting him in his crib while I sleep in my bed -- but if he would be helped by me schlepping up and down with all his nursing, if it would help him "practice" sleeping for longer stretches - then I would do it. (even though I would miss his cuddly little body) Was I wrong to assume I would co sleep until he weaned and all would be well? He wakes frequently if he's in his crib or right beside me....oy oy oy. I'm confused.....and rambling....

I found this very helpful:
Quote:
My DS woke every hour or more his entire first year, and every 1-2 hours up until 18 months old. When I got pregnant again, things had to change. Before that, I was much too tired to try anything, so I went with what was easiest, which was cosleeping and side-nursing through the night. At 19 months we started nightweaning.. By 20 months he was nightweaned and only waking every 3-5 hours. We moved him to his own bed and DH began handling wakeups. He now STTN in his own bed 3-5 nights a week, with the other nights only having one wakeup.

I think that my son definitely needed help to head towards the STTN direction. On his own, he probably would not have STTN until closer to 3-4 years old. But, I waited until he was ready to handle the change, and I couldn't handle the nightwaking anymore, and I did something about it. He did great, never even cried. Fussed for a few minutes and learned how to sleep without nursing.
post #22 of 40
Thread Starter 
And this was comforting as well.
Quote:
I don't know what exactly you mean by "creating a monster". Do you mean that the night waking will get worse, or just that it will never stop? My DD1 drove me crazy with her night nursing the first 18 months. She nursed all.the.time at night. She did outgrow it some time in her second year, though. I didn't do anything to encourage it. She just stopped. She still nursed to sleep, we still co-slept all night, and she still nursed maybe once a night for a few months after that, but that's totally reasonable, IMO.

My DD2 is only 4 months old, and has been sleeping through the night, without nursing at all for 6 to 8 hours, since she was a few weeks old. She doesn't do it every night, but she does it most nights. We co-sleep and she has access if she wants it - she just doesn't want it.

So my opinion is that some kids are just cruddier sleepers and nurse more in the night. I have no idea why, but if you're both okay with it, then I don't see how it's bad for anyone. Now if you're utterly exhausted or otherwise unable or unwilling to deal with it anymore, then that's fine and you shouldn't feel bad about looking for a solution that works for you. I just don't think you need to change things if your situation already is working for you.
Like the reassurance that every kid is different.....
post #23 of 40
I am in the same situation, and I have the same concerns.
post #24 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamieCole View Post
Up only once per hour? I would have thought I was on vacation to get sleep like that when DS1 was 10 months.

Some babies are frequent wakers. Period. If you and your LO are happy, healthy and able to function during the day, then don't worry about trying to "do" anything to change. Trust me, things will change on their own and new patterns of sleep will happen as your LO grows and develops.
I agree 100%! My 6 year old was just like this - I'm sure he didn't sleep more than 2 hours straight until he was well over a year old, and usually it was closer to 1 hour. He is the best sleeper you could imagine now - sleeps through the night, goes to bed on time, sleeps in in the morning.

We did try the No Cry Sleep Solution when he was probably about your LO's age, because I was having a hard time with the lack of sleep, but honestly, it never did seem to do much of anything and I was too tired to figure out if I was doing it 'right'. When our issues resolved themselves, it really was just a maturity thing.
post #25 of 40
My DD sounds similar. She did STTN from about 10 weeks until about 4 months - and she stopped gaining weight! So we went back to co-sleeping, which I preferred to trying to get her to fall sleep in a crib anyway.

Somewhere around 18 months we put a double futon on the floor in her room and I would nurse her to sleep there - eventually she did stop waking so early in the night and would call for me about halfway through. At 2.5 we night-weaned and at that point she STTN most nights. Even if she didn't I'd just stumble into her room and fall asleep next to her - no problem. At 5, now she sleeps all night alone.

No monster created here, and I plan to repeat with DS!
post #26 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by lemontree View Post

I am all right with things as they stand presently as long as I think they are what is best for my son.

I am not opposed to "helping him learn" how to sttn, although I have not yet expected him to - since he seems not to be ready (yet) I guess I think of it as a milestone in that it's unpredictable and different for every child. Like sleeping in his crib. There was NO WAY he was ready to sleep if he wasn't attached to me in moby etc until I sensed around 4.5 mths that he was ready and we "practiced" at naptime putting him in crib. He woke up at first and I would scoop him up and lay down with him for his nap. One day he didn't wake up. Since then, he's been able to snooze in his crib for the most part.

But this night nursing thing is different than naps. Maybe because it is the standard question in our culture "is he sleeping through the night?" I've never really considered putting him in his crib while I sleep in my bed -- but if he would be helped by me schlepping up and down with all his nursing, if it would help him "practice" sleeping for longer stretches - then I would do it. (even though I would miss his cuddly little body) Was I wrong to assume I would co sleep until he weaned and all would be well? He wakes frequently if he's in his crib or right beside me....oy oy oy. I'm confused.....and rambling....
I think you are doing a great job mama. You are taking what could be an exhausting, anger inducing situation and making the best of it. You are meeting your sons needs and you are keeping a great perspective. You are giving him love, security, and nourishment during the night. You are not hindering his development in any way. I firmly believe that for at LEAST the baby's first year, you should follow their lead. Sometimes (heck, a lot of the time) it is hard, and exhausting, but they are only asking for what they need. And you are setting them up for a wonderful bond and attachment to you.. which, in our case, really helps when things DO need to change. Had I not met my sons needs through the night the first 18 months, I don't think he would've handled the nightweaning as well as he did. By 18 months he was very verbal (200 or so words), so I knew he could understand what I said and would be able to handle not nursing at night. At 10 months, or even a year, had I tried to enforce that kind of change on him, it would have been a disaster. We did try several times to have him sleep in a crib at various points during the first 18 months, but it never worked, and resulted in a lot of tears and frustration. We never did CIO, but even putting him down ASLEEP into the crib, he'd wake up and cry immediately. If you try to change things before baby is ready, it will be a lot of effort and can cause a lot of tears/frustration. If you are comfortable with the way things are right now, don't change them. They are little for such a short time, enjoy your middle of the night snuggles and don't listen to what others say. They just don't know what they are missing.
post #27 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by lemontree View Post
He's a pretty good napper. Usually taking one 1 1/2 to 2 hour nap in morning and another hour long nap in the afternoon. He is in bed between 630 and 8 depending on his nap (tends to sleep 2 hrs after waking up-3 hours after that nap and then bed 4 hours after he wakes from second nap)

He only really wakes up once if at all, though he nurses every hour or two if that makes sense. I am a sahm and although I am tired, I am not over the top exhausted- I guess I am in a very light sleep through all his nursing at night? My main concern is that I'm somehow "messing him up" sleep wise..... Perhaps I should try the no cry sleep solution? Darn! I was hoping to read stories from mamas saying that it's all ok.....
If you're okay with it, then it's fine.

I'm not going to tell you that it stops by itself, though. My cousin co-slept with my aunt until... a long, long time, WAY longer than I'd be comfortable with (past middle school!). I think it was when I heard that that I decided to change things.

I liked NCSS, though I had to modify it a bit for my children. It's not perfect but her overall perspective is the best for my family.
post #28 of 40
For me personally, nursing every hour would cross the line from mother to martyr. BUT my LO sleeps without needing to nurse that often...and you don't sound too upset about it.

My observation (again, about myself, you are in all likelihood different) is that I sometimes stray over into bad territory without realizing it until I have a little breakdown from being so overextended. (it's not new to motherhood - I used to do this at work, too.) So, if you're like that, you might want to try something else. I'm almost certain that even in motherhood there's some space between martyrdom and selfishness.

If you're not prone to overextending yourself, if you two are feeling good about each other, and you feel right about his state of mind/level of tiredness, then keep on keepin' on! He's lucky to have a strong mom.
post #29 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by hildare View Post
i respectfully disagree with this. it's not unhealthy for either of you.
How do you know whether the mother needs more than one hour of consecutive sleep per night to remain free from PPD and PPP? I personally cannot function with fewer than five hours of consecutive sleep. I get really nervous and I am convinced that if I hadn't worked my butt off to get my second to STTN I could be facing post-partum psychosis now because as it is I'm not sleeping enough and I feel like crap.

There is no WAY I could live like that, no way.

Now, if the OP says it's working for her, that is great. I know that many people need less sleep.

But nobody here can say whether it's healthy for her or not.
post #30 of 40
Like one of the previous posters, nursing at night is often a comfort measure. Our routine, such as it is, looks like this:

nurse, then crib, around 9-10
I bring babe to bed with me around 11:30 or 12
off and on nursing through the night, until we wake for "good" around 7-8 a.m.

or

nurse, then crib, around 8
wakes to play around 10
bed with me around 11:30

Often at night, I have found he just wants to be near the boob, doesn't want to nurse (instead he pops his thumb in his mouth) I *think* he actually nurses once or twice at night. I no longer bother looking at the clock when he does, as it seems pointless to do so.

I tried one night to leave him in the crib instead of bringing him to bed with me. That was not a good idea. my mommy radar doesn't work well when he is in another room; I didn't hear him cry, or rather, I did, but thought it was part of my dream. DH finally heard him and woke me. So for me, so long as he wakes through the night he needs to be at least in the room with me.

You will find what works for you, and it sounds like your current situation does. Like you, I am tired, but I am happy and function ok. I think. (FWIW, I WOH two days a week, and WAH 3 days a week)
post #31 of 40
I have to agree with nextcommercial and tzs, in particular. It sounds like you're fine with the situation so you don't necessarily need to change anything. BUT have you considered that your situation could change and it may not be as easy to wake every hour and such? For example, what if you get pregnant? During my first tri with my DS, I could not keep my eyes open once it hit 7 PM and I'd sleep for 12 hours! The exhaustion was horrible and I know that I would not be able to deal with a LO waking every hour and neither would DH. If, for whatever reason you could not do all the things you do now, then you have "created a monster" of a situation.

I don't think you need to push STTN but it wouldn't be a bad idea to begin researching and implementing some things now to ease your LO into the process. I will also say that I moved my DS into his crib and that night he woke up half as often. Ever since then, he has consistently slept better. He still wakes ocassionally but it's gone from 5+ times a night to once or twice, a few times a week. Believe it or not, my DS prefers to sleep alone most of the time and co-sleeping was not good for him.

ETA: I want to rephrase my last statement. At 6 months, co-sleeping was no longer appropriate for my DS. As he got bigger and more active, sharing a bed with two adults wasn't comfortable for him. He would get too hot and he noticed every time one of us rolled over. He was constantly turning and kicking us away from him. So I moved him to his own space and he slept so much better.
post #32 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by newmomroxi View Post
I have to agree with nextcommercial and tzs, in particular. It sounds like you're fine with the situation so you don't necessarily need to change anything. BUT have you considered that your situation could change and it may not be as easy to wake every hour and such? For example, what if you get pregnant? During my first tri with my DS, I could not keep my eyes open once it hit 7 PM and I'd sleep for 12 hours! The exhaustion was horrible and I know that I would not be able to deal with a LO waking every hour and neither would DH. If, for whatever reason you could not do all the things you do now, then you have "created a monster" of a situation.
This kind of thinking really doesn't work for me. What if, what if, what if...Well, what if then? What if you get cancer and die? Maybe you should put your baby in daycare now, to ease the into that transition, just in case. What if you get some rare disease and have to go on some medication that would prevent you from breastfeeding? Maybe you should go ahead and get the baby used to formula, so it won't be so hard on his little tummy to go from exclusive bf to exclusive formula, just in case.

If it's working for her, she doesn't need to change it just because something might happen, maybe, possibly, somewhere down the line. You could recommend someone be prepared for ANY possibility with that kind of reasoning. Now, if she's actually planning a pregnancy or a return to work or some other thing that might require her to get more sleep, that's one thing, but saying someone needs to change something just in case something might happen...well ANYTHING might happen. Why not prepare for all that, too? She should do whatever feels right and works for her and her situation, not sit around planning for every possibility that might cause her situation to change, even if none of them are in the works right now.
post #33 of 40
plummeting, you've taken what I've said and thrown it down a slippery slope. OP asked if she is creating a monster and I'm simply saying that if her situation changed even slightly then yes, she is "creating a monster". I never said anything about her getting cancer or some horrible disease, or whatever it is you are suggesting. (While those things are unlikely, they're not outside the realm of possibility and the solutions you suggested like daycare and formula aren't the end of the world. But that's beside the point.) Plenty of women have gotten pregnant when they weren't planning to (me included, while on birth control no less!) so my example of an unexpected thing happening wasn't as ridiculous as you are trying to make it seem. You also completely ignored when I said that
Quote:
It sounds like you're fine with the situation so you don't necessarily need to change anything.
and also
Quote:
I don't think you need to push STTN
I was suggesting to OP that she should go on as she is, but look into some options and gain some knowledge about a different way of doing things. It's not b/c I think what she's doing is wrong, I actually think of her as quite a superwoman! I just want her to inform herself so that if she feels differently, she can feel comfortable with making changes.
post #34 of 40
***off topic***

as a woman who has battled cancer (found out during pregnancy, started treatment at 2 months after DS's birth), I found the comments about cancer, formula and sleep rather funny...albeit in a dark sort of way.

More power to the original poster if you can handle waking every hour through the night...that sort of a schedule would send me spriralling into depression and anger.

If it is working for you, then that's fine...if not, perhaps start by putting baby down in a crib.

hope everything sorts itself out
post #35 of 40
All kids are different. My DD was a 3 hour kid-3 on/3 off...she took great naps and really didn't STTN until oh 2+, there are nights she still wakes up and she's almost 4.

Her brother on the other hand has pretty much STTN since birth. I had to wake him up to nurse because he slept 7 hours at a couple days old.

Some kids sleep, some don't.

In your case I would try to gently partial night wean. Maybe you could get some more sleep with less interruptions.
post #36 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by lach View Post
Waking up every hour at night is a lot at that age, unless it's a short period where he's sick or growth spurting. It's not healthy for him and it's not healthy for you.
I disagree. Every baby is different with unique needs. Nursing all night long is not unhealthy for a baby - yes, it's tough on mama (trust me, I did it with DD) but it's not unhealthy or wrong. It's obviously something that he needs, whether for comfort or nutrition or both.
post #37 of 40
I would look into medical issues that could be causing such frequent night waking. Food intolerances, sleep apnea, sensory integration issues all can cause sleep issues. Do you already have blackout curtains in his and your bedrooms? Darkness is important. And white noise? I have an air purifier running all the time in our bedroom. I nurse dd down but she sleeps just fine, most nights only waking once during the night. Sleep training is such bull, in my mind it just creates hard hearted moms. At least, I would feel cold hearted doing such a thing, and that's important. Some kids do sleep better than others from the start (ds woke a lot more and nursed a lot -- had to use to disposable diapers on him at night he peed so much). He just needed more cuddles than dd does I think.
I think that waking up every hour all night long is probably hard on both baby and mom -- without getting to rem sleep, the baby may be not very well-rested.
post #38 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by newmomroxi View Post
plummeting, you've taken what I've said and thrown it down a slippery slope. OP asked if she is creating a monster and I'm simply saying that if her situation changed even slightly then yes, she is "creating a monster". I never said anything about her getting cancer or some horrible disease, or whatever it is you are suggesting. (While those things are unlikely, they're not outside the realm of possibility and the solutions you suggested like daycare and formula aren't the end of the world. But that's beside the point.) Plenty of women have gotten pregnant when they weren't planning to (me included, while on birth control no less!) so my example of an unexpected thing happening wasn't as ridiculous as you are trying to make it seem.
Actually, I wasn't trying to make anything sound ridiculous. Having just lost a relative to cancer, I don't particularly find cancer at all ridiculous. Having had a friend need to begin a medication contraindicated for breastfeeding, while her baby was a nursing infant, I don't particularly find that at all ridiculous either. My point was that anything actually is possible (well, anything within the realm of possibility). Not ridiculous. Possible. Therefore, if one is to say that the OP should plan for situation X, because it's possible, then why not go ahead and plan for all sorts of situations, since they are also possible (again, not ridiculous, but possible).

Additionally, I never suggested that daycare or formula were bad. To say so is to say that your own original post suggested that finding an alternative to the current sleep arrangement is bad. Any of those three would be alternatives to a status quo. There's no value judgment inherent in pointing out alternatives.


Quote:
You also completely ignored when I said that
and also

I was suggesting to OP that she should go on as she is, but look into some options and gain some knowledge about a different way of doing things. It's not b/c I think what she's doing is wrong, I actually think of her as quite a superwoman! I just want her to inform herself so that if she feels differently, she can feel comfortable with making changes.
I wasn't ignoring the rest of your post. I was voicing my disagreement with the portion of your post with which I disagreed. If the OP is concerned about some future change in situation, then that's one thing, but she did not say that she was worried about what might happen if her situation changed. Essentially what happened was that you told her that maybe she should worry about what would happen if her situation changed. Heck, you even capitalized the whole word, "BUT" when you went on to tell her what, exactly, she might need to worry about.

Anyway, whatever. She can decide for herself what she needs to worry about, with no help from the rest of us. We all do it every day. <shrug>
post #39 of 40
I value sleep and there for I simpily provide the bedtime arrangments that give us the best sleep and I change those as needed... SO like for my LO she does "best" in her crib so oh 85% of the time bedtime for her is bath nursing and crib where she'll sleep an average of 10 hours then come into bed with me till I'm ready to get up for the day.. But then we have days where shes might wake up an hour after putting her down and cosleep/nurse all night long I sleep she eats/sleep its all good... other times she needs to be more upright or wants more rocking ect so I'll let her settle in her rocker and kinda side car it shes that way tonight.... I don't worry that her nursing all night today will mean nursing all night tommorow or that starting her in a crib means she will always sleep well alone.
But then I also have the 7 yer old you totaly goes to bed on her own with out fighting or fussing and reasonable times (8:30 school night 10pm weekends) but might sleep in her bed in the nursey on the extra bed on the couch on the floor in a sleeping bag sometimes shes settles with a finial cartoon on the tube other days with books other times in a pitch dark room with no sound at all....

Deanna
post #40 of 40
hmmm, this is a very interesting thread!! I would say that that is a lot of waking up, but then my DD wakes up several times a night to nurse-her schedule varies due to her teething. She has STTN once or twice, but it is so rare that I actually woke up thinking that something was wrong with her. She generally goes to bed around 10 pm, and if I go to bed too (we cosleep) she doesn't wake up until around 2, nurses and then goes back to sleep. Then she will usually wake up once or twice before 6 a.m. to nurse. When she wakes up in the morning, usually around 8, she nurses again..That said, her schedule is subject to change at any time. She is almost 11 months and teething, so I don't expect her to SSTN because teething hurts. There are nights that it seems she nurses all night, and let me tell you, those are some long nights! But I agree with one poster, that you should follow the baby's lead for the first year, because fighting with the baby is a losing proposition-they are holding all the cards. I am reading up on nightweaning now, because I want to be in a good position to start when DD is around 15 months. I am also planning on getting a toddler bed now and starting to transition her into it for naps. I am going to keep it next to the bed so that when she wakes to nurse I will be right there.But she is getting too big to be in the bed with us-she is hot and she kicks my DH all night. He has sleep apnea and needs to get as much sleep as possible. Anyway, you are doing fine, just follow your DC's cues and listen to your baby!! Good luck.
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