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DS's sleep habits are starting to hurt my marriage....

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

DS (18 mos) has been going to bed around 7:15 and doesn't fight it (much) anymore because we finally figured out his real bed time--we had been putting him to bed around 8:30.  But then he either gets up to nurse every 3-4 hours, finishing with a wake-up around 4am at which point he doesn't want to go back to sleep.  He fusses until around 6ish, then will fall back asleep until 8 IF we put him in his carseat and drive him around.  Then he'll take a half hour nap around 11 and that's it for the day.  He is cranky, clingy, and impossible most of the day.

DH and I have been trying to take turns doing the nighttime parenting, but it's getting to both of us and we've both lost our tempers more than once--with each other, and poor DS.


The thing is, he was sleeping beautifully after I used Dr. Gordon's plan back in November.  It went pretty smoothly, with only a couple rough nights and he was taking a nice 1-1.5 hour nap every day.  He was happy and well-rested.  Then we went to my in-laws for Christmas for two weeks and he got really sick (not to mention it was a mostly negative atmosphere) and everything went back to the way it was.


So far I've tried doing Dr. Gordon again--but this time he's fighting it.  He'll stay up for hours and hours alternately crying or burrowing or trying to get comfortable in his bed, my bed, on top of me, whatever.  If I let him nurse, he doesn't want to let go and it gets to the point that my nipple is burning in pain because he'll latch on for an hour or more (he's never needed more than 15 minutes to get all the milk he needs since the day he was born, so this is really painful for me).  But he doesn't go to sleep while he's nursing anymore.  He just slows down.  If I try to pop him off (a la No-Cry Sleep Solution), he freaks out.


I think he has all his teeth already (besides his 2 yr molars maybe?), but I've been trying tylenol at night to help him sleep just in case.  We've also tried homeopathic calm-down stuff, and herbal remedies.


NOTHING IS WORKING.  If I don't get some unbroken sleep soon, I'm probably going to have a complete breakdown.  If your advice is to not try to nightwean him at all, don't bother.  Seriously.  I'm at my limit and I can't do it anymore.  It's making me not want more children at all, and I have thoughts of putting him in daycare just so I can have time in the day to SLEEP.  Nursing has never been easy for us for a variety of reasons, and I'm trying to stick it out until he's 2, but I can't do it at night.  I'm so sick of being in pain.  I'm trying to juggle a part-time job, night classes, and just getting dinner on the table, and I'm having serious detachment issues when it seems like all DS is bringing to the family is overwhelming exhaustion and pain.


I could really use any ideas, or encouragment before I fly off the handle and let him cry it out.

post #2 of 6
18 months is plenty old enough to be night weaned. You just need to be firm and consistent. It won't last forever.
post #3 of 6

Sounds like you have a really full plate.  Im wondering why nursing is painful; is it because of the way he latches on?  In any event you need to do what's best for your family so if it's night weaning so be it.  Perhaps you can start cutting  out one night feeding at a time and then eliminating it all together.  Maybe substituting nursing for hugs and cuddles might be useful.



I used to tell my DS that when it got dark tututs (breasts) needed to sleep to and he eventually understood and cooperated.  But he was older that your little one.


Is there anyone who could help you particularly with the household chores?  Just a thought.



Hope something works out for you.

post #4 of 6

I would strongly suggest you bring your son to a doctor of chiropractic who cares for children. Emotional stress, as the type you describe when you were away many have overwhelmed the nervous system a bit and chiropractic adjustments can help. You can find someone here:


post #5 of 6
Originally Posted by syn_ack89 View Post

18 months is plenty old enough to be night weaned. You just need to be firm and consistent. It won't last forever.

I agree with this. I think sometimes when we're tired we are less consistent and it just makes things SO much worse. If you feel like you can't do it then can you leave for a couple of nights and have your DH take over? When I went to wean my kids I had to pretend (to myself) that my breasts were simply not there. Like not an option NO MATTER WHAT. With my son it was more urgent than with my daughter but I learned with him (my first) that it was worth the effort.
post #6 of 6

If it makes you feel the least bit better, 18 months is a huge period of brain development for a lot of kids and it is notorious for causing sleep/behavior disturbances. My daughter was a raving lunatic for about eight weeks and then it suddenly got better over about four days right before she turned 19 months old. I did absolutely nothing to help except try and stick to a routine. And if I was as wiped as you sound I would nightwean in a heartbeat.

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Mothering › Mothering Forums › Baby › Co-sleeping and the Family Bed › DS's sleep habits are starting to hurt my marriage....